In an earlier blog post, I’ve talked about how holistic medicine treats the mind and spirit in addition to the body. I’ve also mentioned how my practice offers acupuncture and other complementary treatments.
But what are these treatments? And how do they work to heal the body in ways that you might be unfamiliar with? Check out the list below to learn more:
Japanese, non-insertive, and auricular acupuncture
These styles of acupuncture differ in the size and shape of the needles, the way the practitioner uses the needles, as well as where the needles are stimulating the body.
- Japanese acupuncture: The stimulation of acupuncture points throughout the body using thinner needles and a gentler technique with shallow insertion. Needles are generally placed on different points of the body along meridians.
- Non-insertive (Shakuju Therapy) acupuncture: The stimulation of acupuncture points along the meridians of the body without insertion of the needle into the skin.
- Auricular acupuncture: The stimulation of acupuncture points on the external ear surface for the treatment of health conditions throughout the body.
Stretching, aromatherapy, essential oils, mindfulness, fitness and dietary consultations
While we don’t necessarily think of stretching or dietary consultations as holistic treatments, there are numerous benefits to these that impact your health beyond your body.
- Stretching: A natural therapeutic treatment to alleviate muscle or tendon tension. This includes kinesiology taping, which helps provides stability and support to muscles and other soft tissues by microscopically lifting and gently stretching the skin, and correspondingly increasing blood/lymph circulation and reducing inflammation.
- Essential oils: The use of aromatic plant oils to elicit a certain physiological and psychological reactions from the body.
- Mindfulness: The practice of being present.
- Fitness consultations: A service where your physical health is assessed to provide guidance for improving physical fitness, whether it be tai chi or more traditional forms of exercise like jogging to lifting weights.
- Dietary consultations: A service where your physical health is assessed to provide guidance for improving food choices and eating habits.
Moxibustion, tui na, gua sha, reiki, and cupping
Some holistic healing services are still unfamiliar in the western medicine vocabulary. While less mainstream, many patients have found relief and healing through these techniques.
- Moxibustion: The process of burning dried mugwort, also known as moxa, on parts of the body or on needles inserted at acupuncture points. The warming and therapeutic properties of moxa is said to strengthen the immune system and to bring more qi (sometimes understood as blood flow) to a bodily area.
- Tui na: A therapeutic form of massage to knead, roll, press, and rub at meridians, acupressure points, and groups of muscles and nerves.
- Gua sha: A process to improve circulation by scraping the skin to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue
- Reiki: A technique to regulate the qi in a person’s body by laying hands on the patient.
- Cupping: The application of cups on the body to create suction and stimulate blood flow.
Integrative medicine and traditional chinese medicine
These holistic healing services are an approach to care, rather than specific healing practices.
- Integrative medicine: Patient centered healthcare that addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences. Integrative doesn’t necessarily have to mean alternative medicine.
- Traditional chinese medicine: A way of looking at the body that focuses on improving the amount and circulation of qi (the body’s vital energy) through various techniques.