Traditional Acupuncture is based off of a 2,000 year old medicine. The concept behind it is that there are 12 pathways in our body that help circulate blood and Qi (roughly translated to oxygen or energy). When either of these are not flowing through our bodies properly, dysfunction happens. In other words, if our bodies aren’t functioning properly, pain develops. What we are doing during an Acupuncture appointment is helping the flow of Qi and blood return to normal, helping the body to behave as it should. When our bodies are functioning properly the dysfunctions will normalize.
Dry needling is a modality where we use acupuncture needles to treat pain, numbness, and/or tingling that are caused by trigger points. Trigger points are hyperactive bands in you muscle. Some people refer to them as “knots”. They are called trigger points because they often trigger pain, numbness, or tingling at a different part of the body.
For instance, someone can have a trigger point in their shoulder which is causing them to have headaches or eye pain. Or someone can have a trigger points in their low back causing pain down their leg or into their hips.
You get the point: trigger points are something you want treated.
Motor points are specific locations on a muscle where the nerve enters and give it the energy to contract. Often, the muscle is contracting improperly and this leads to pain. With motor point acupuncture, we access these specific points using acupuncture needles to help reset the muscle.
Cupping, aka Myofascial decompression, is a type of body work that helps to decompress muscles or fascia, allowing blood and nutrients to come to the area. This helps with tissue healing and optimal functioning.
Gua Sha / IASTM
Gua Sha / IASTM is a form of manual work. Often, the practitioner will use a stainless steel tool to massage the area of dysfunction. One of the theories as to how this technique works is that it helps with tissue healing and function. Another theory as to how this works is through the nervous system. Through changing the input signal to an area of dysfunction, our body will change it’s output signal, decreasing the sensation of pain.
Manual Therapy is defined as a clinical approach utilizing specific hands-on techniques, including but not limited to manipulation/mobilization, used by the acupuncturist to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures for the purpose of modulating pain; increasing range of motion (ROM); reducing or eliminating soft tissue inflammation; inducing relaxation; improving contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, extensibility, and/or stability; facilitating movement; and improving function.