Based on your diagnosis, any of these adjunctive techniques
may be used at your first appointment.
Moxa is used hand in hand with acupuncture, and has been for thousands of years. Even though the practice of burning moxa is less well known, it plays an extremely important part in an acupuncture treatment. The needles move energy in the body strongly, therefore breaking up stagnation in the channel system, while moxa works to build, nourish, and warm points and meridians. It is my strong belief that one should not be used without the other if needed for an individual’s constitution and/or main complaint. The herb used in a moxa treatment is called Mugwort. Many years ago, when Chinese and Japanese acupuncture styles were becoming established, many different herbs were tested to determine which would be the most effective for this important aspect of the medicine. Mugwort was decided upon because when burning the herb on a full, uncut watermelon, the herb had the power to penetrate entirely through to the other side. Where other plants lacked this power, Mugwort proved to be the most warming, nourishing, and deeply penetrating herb available. If moxa is applied appropriately, it has the power to greatly improve a patient’s condition, helping them to stay better for longer periods of time between treatments. Moxa comes in many different forms and has a variety of applications and indications. If interested, please ask me more!
This practice is sometimes referring to as "coining" or "spooning." It is a great tool for moving blood stagnation that is the cause of tightness and/or pain. Gua Sha produces a petechiae appearance on the skin, earning it the name "scraping sand." The skin may get quite red during Gua Sha, but the darker the "bruising" on the skin, the deeper the concentration of blood stagnation in that area, and therefore the greater need for Gua Sha. Gua Sha can be performed in many places on the body, including the calves, quads, arms, and feet, and is commonly done on the neck and back.
Cupping has had a resurgence of popularity thanks to the recent Olympics and, namely, Michael Phelps. Similar to Gua Sha, cupping can help break up stagnation in the meridians that causes pain. Cupping is performed by attaching a cup, by suction, to the skin. This breaks up the capillaries in the area, resulting in what appears to be a perfectly round bruise, though unlike a bruise, it is not painful. The pooling of blood in the area helps to release the underlying muscles and relieve pain. In general, cupping is not a painful technique, but for new patients it may feel unusual, like the skin is being stretched tightly. Cupping can be effective maintenance for pain.
I choose to work extensively with the energetics of the Chakra system during many of my treatments; particularly treatments involving a mental/emotional/spiritual component. Having studied Esoteric Acupuncture with Dr. Mikio Sankey, I now incorporate crystals, a pendulum, astral oils, tuning forks, and sound therapy into many of my treatments.
Having recently completed my Reiki II certification with Uma Gaia more and more Reiki elements are also being incorporated when appropriate.
Finally, since my heart lies with both acupuncture and yoga, many “take-home” yoga practices are often given as homework, as well as pranyama (breathwork), mindfulness, and the use of mantra during treatments.