Our bodies have the capacity to heal themselves and sometimes all it takes for healing is a little nudge. Through careful attention, counseling, and examination, our clinic determines the root cause of disease and incorporates naturally-based modalities to energize and restore the body's innate capacity for health.
From a western biomedical perspective, acupuncture needles create tiny micro-traumas which stimulate a healing response. This healing response is expressed by:
Increased circulation through promoting blood flow.
Increased endorphins, a neurotransmitter, to help relieve pain, improve mood, and enhance immune function.
Relaxed muscles. Enough said.
Reduced Stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This takes us out of the “fight or flight” mode and into the “rest and digest” mode.
From an eastern medical perspective, pain and dysfunction in the body are caused by a blockage in the flow of Qi (oxygen, function, metabolism) and blood in the body, as well as poor communication between organ systems. Acupuncture needles are used to stimulate circulation and organ function, in order to relieve physiological and emotional discomfort. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be used as general care for most conditions from colic to cancer.
Chiropractic medicine focuses on creating equilibrium between the musculoskeletal and nervous system. This equilibrium will decrease inflammation, improve proprioception and increase overall function and form of the human body. By using manual adjustments, soft tissue manipulation and functional strength and rehab tools, treatment is not only about the “crack” but about a individualized whole body approach.
When a skeletal segment in your body is not moving or is moving incorrectly it can cause pain, inflammation and nervous system interference. Chiropractors generally treat this irregular movement with a manual adjustment. This adjustment consists of bringing the joint to tension by adding pressure to the specific area and than a quick thrust that restores movement in the area.
Our bodies are wrapped in a thin connective tissue called fascia. When muscles are used too much or too little, tension in the fascia layer can form. During injury the fascia can also be damaged. Massage is one of the best ways to release tension from the fascia and has a therapeutic effect on both the fascia and deeper muscle layers. Often times patients have a combination of deep tension and superficial tension or injury. Acupuncture can assist the deeper layer while massage often has a much more intense effect on the superficial layer. Cupping and other massage techniques also provide relief.
We find massage to be a great treatment for motor vehicle accident injuries, de-stressing from the Portland lifestyle, working through aches and pains after intense workouts and training sessions, parents to be, and pregnant women*.
*We also have a pregnancy table so that mamas-to-be can be comfortable face down.
CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE
Chinese herbal medicine is a powerful tool to affect physiological changes in the body. The complexity of one plant, then combined with many others in an herbal formula, allows for profoundly elaborate reactions to take place. Western medicine has a long history of using herbs for treatment, and still borrows from herbal medicine by producing pharmaceuticals inspired by the “active compounds” in the plant.
The caveat to this western medical perspective is that we don’t benefit from the wisdom found in nature to produce balance. By eliminating all “inactive compounds” in a plant, or those that we do not yet see a use for, we eliminate potential resources for healing.
cupping & gua sha
Cupping is similar to a massage in sensation as well as its actions on the muscle and fascia layers. The cups are applied to create strong suction, pulling muscle and fascia away from the bone, causing them to release tension, blood and body fluids from the areas. This allows fresh blood to flow in and nourish. Round bruise-like marks with petechiae are left behind for 0-10 days.
Cupping is also used to break up phlegm in the lungs during a common cold. For this condition cups are placed on the back or chest. Cups can be left on for 5-30 minutes depending on comfort and need.
Gua Sha is a topical scraping technique used by physical therapists and acupuncturists to break up scarring and rope like muscle or tendon. It is great for plantar fasciitis as well as back pain, IT band tension, neck pain, etc.