What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, sterile, filiform needles to help normalize the functions of the body. It has proven to be effective by a number of different methods that can be explained bio-medically through numerous evidence-based research studies. Mechanically, acupuncture increases the blood flow and carries oxygen to the muscle tissues. This, in turn, relieves pain and inflammation which stimulates healing by promoting the body to generate healthy tissue. Biochemically, acupuncture triggers the release of endorphins and other biochemicals into the body. This function works to decrease stress levels, enhance mood, regulate the immune and endocrine systems, and systemically reduce pain and inflammation. Acupuncture is effectively used for a wide variety of conditions.
Electroacupuncture is done with a small electrical current on the needles which is used to increase the effectiveness of acupuncture. There is only enough stimulation for the patient to feel a slight pulsating sensation around the point and the surrounding area. It works especially well for pain, injuries, and musculoskeletal complaints. It can also be used to promote ovulation and increase the blood flow to the reproductive organs. It is contraindicated in those who have a history of heart disease, stroke, or epilepsy. Those who have a pacemaker or who are pregnant should not receive this treatment.
Cupping is a technique that uses various types of devices which can be applied to the skin by creating a vacuum to increase circulation to the areas being treated. The suction and negative pressure provided by the cupping can loosen muscles, increase blood flow, and calm the nervous system. This can speed up the healing process for many musculoskeletal issues, as well as headaches, migraines, and anxiety. Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies as it may affect the tissue up to 4 inches from the surface of the skin. We use manual cupping and mechanical forms of cupping which use high-tech machines that can also provide deep electrical stimulation to reduce inflammation and block pain signals.
Hands-on treatment such as myofascial release, massage, manual traction, joint mobilization, active or passive stretching, and percussion. All manual therapies are done slowly without any high-velocity cracking or popping. In our Sports Medicine protocols, we also use the top of the line percussion device the Hyperice Raptor which can significantly reduce muscle tension and break up adhesions while improving joint function.
Herbal medicine uses plants and natural substances to treat a variety of health conditions. It is the world’s most ancient form of healing and has been safely and effectively used for thousands of years. Chinese herbal medicines treat the underlying cause of the illness rather than focusing on individual symptoms. In this way, the whole body system is addressed creating overall balance to the individual. No two formulas are alike and this enables the practitioner to take into consideration other possible interactions with other medications and can focus on that patient’s specific needs. All of our acupuncturists have a minimum of 4 years professional training in prescribing these types of individual, customized herbal prescriptions. Herbal formulas can be taken internally in capsule, pill or powder form. They can also be used topically on the skin for certain conditions.
Monica Sarrat, L.Ac, Dipl. OM
Dr. Monica Sarrat was involved in the field of Nursing prior to obtaining her Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in 2004. She also received her Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) with a focus in Integrative Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. This background has given her the ability to integrate both Eastern and Western treatment modalities to ensure her patients receive the highest standard of care.