This visit will take from 1.5-2 hours. We will discuss your chief complaint (what’s bringing you here) as well as your full medical history. We need your full clinical picture to assess your health and provide appropriate treatment.
Even if your condition has a clear etiology (i.e. a broken arm), it is important that we have a good understanding of how you are doing over all. We will ask you many questions that may seem unrelated, (especially if you are new to Chinese medicine), though rest assured, all of the nitty-gritty details matter. It is necessary for us to obtain as much information as we can gather in order to provide the proper support your mind and body needs to reach recovery and wellness.
Once we have a clear picture of your health, we will design your treatment plan and discuss it with you. Your plan may include many different modalities depending on what is indicated for your health concerns. Dietary, exercise, and lifestyle suggestions will also be provided to supplement your healing. Actual treatment time may be shorter during this first visit due to the time needed to obtain your medical history.
This visit will take between 1-1.5 hours. We will discuss the outcome from your prior visit(s), response to any supplemental therapy, and any new information or concerns that may have occurred since your last visit. We will review your treatment and make adjustments as needed.
This visit will take up to 45 minutes. We will discuss the outcomes from your prior visit(s), response to any supplemental therapy, and any new information or complaints that may have arisen since that time. We will review your treatment course and ensure we are on the right track or make adjustments if your plan needs some fine tuning.
Immediate results from treatment vary for each individual. It is important to honor your response to treatment and rest if you feel tired, or go for a walk if you feel invigorated. You may not feel anything noticeable at all. Sometimes it takes a few treatments to notice a change. It is also important to pay attention and to report back anything new or different as these can be helpful in guiding future treatments.
Communication is key and, as your practitioners, we will partner as a team for your health. We may follow-up with you via email to review your treatment plan and inquire about your response to treatment. This helps us adjust your treatment plan. There is always fine tuning that can be done, even if your responses are positive.
In addition, please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your visit or treatment either by email or by phone.
Chinese Medicine Treatment Modalities
We are practitioners of Chinese medicine. This means we do acupuncture, but that is not all! We have many tools in our tool box and many approaches to accomplish your wellness goals.
Don’t like needles? You aren’t the only one. We like to point out here that we feel the term “needle” is a misnomer. Acupuncture “needles” are as fine as horsehair and incredibly bendable. A whopping 20 of these pins can fit inside of a single hypodermic needle (the needles used to inject medication). Although, acupuncture is one of the primary modalities, there are other very powerful ways to treat without a single pinprick. A&A brings to bear all things Chinese medicine.
Below is a list of the most common treatment modalities that will be a part of your treatment plan if clinically indicated. Please contact us If you have questions or are just curious about any of the modalities. We love talking about any and all of it!
A simple definition of acupuncture/acupressure is utilizing a needle/pressure to an acupoint to stimulate a healing response from the body. Responses include:
- Activating under active nerve responses to alleviate numbness;
- Calming an overactive nerve response to alleviate pain;
- Increasing blood circulation and lymph to an area to promote healing;
- Dissipating accumulated blood or lymph to alleviate swelling & pain;
- Generating warmth or clearing heat from an area to promote healing.
Thanks to thousands of practitioners that came before us, the systems and pathways have been laid out for our use. Different points and channel pathways do different things. There are many combinations and techniques to provoke the intended responses, and not just one path to wellness!
As board certified herbalists, we have completed extensive studies and passed the national board certification exam. Our studies include primarily Chinese herbal medicinals, but we work with Western herbs as well. We continue to study not only how to design herbal formulas specific for individual needs, but also about drug interactions, preparations, and other precautions needed to safely prescribe herbs.
The A&A herbal pharmacy includes the highest quality raw herbs, prepared medicinals, and nutritional supplements; sourced from US companies that have only the highest standards. Most all of our raw herbs are certified organic or have been lab tested to ensure they do not contain unsafe levels of toxic material. If this is a concern of yours, let’s talk about it! We want to make sure you are comfortable with everything we prescribe prior to prescribing it!
Please note: The herbal pharmacy is not a retail store and is for existing patients only.
What is nutritional, food, or dietary therapy? It’s not a fad diet. It is about taking your clinical picture and providing you with foods that can help align your body with its best state of health. It is a way, a perspective, of utilizing your food as “medicine.”
No one food or one diet is good for everyone. Our digestion and ability to absorb nutrients is as varied as any other personal characteristic we have, whether it is our bone structure or the sound of our voice. We are individuals who walk different paths, and our bodies have adapted or maladapted accordingly.
When you start seeing food as a potential part of your healing process, and not just sustenance, you can make wiser choices about what you put into your body.
We have been trained in food therapy from a Chinese medicine perspective, and nutritional therapy from a Western medicine perspective. We use both in developing a plan specific for your needs.
Tui Na involves hands on manipulation that is focused on acupoints and channel pathways associated with your chief complaint. Different techniques are used to address the specific disharmonies involved with your clinical pattern. It is not your typical massage, but it may resemble one in certain cases.
Gua Sha is an instrument assisted massage technique that involves scraping areas of your body to provoke a healing physiologically response called ‘sha’.
‘Sha’ presents as red/purplish petechiae (tiny spots). The intention of this treatment is to assist the body in healing. It breaks up fascia tissue in places where your body may have stuck or stagnant blood or fluids. This allows things to open up and to flow freely, which will alleviate pain and promote clearing toxicity through the lymphatic system.
The ‘sha’ may last a few days and it is recommended that you keep the area covered and warm during that time.
Moxibustion, commonly referred to as moxa, is the practice of holding a burning herb ember (commonly mugwort) close to the skin to stimulate a healing physiological response.
There are a variety of forms of moxa that are employed depending on the desired therapeutic response. It is common to apply moxa to a needle, burn it in a wooden box that sits above the skin, or by holding a cigar shaped moxa stick over an acupoint or wider area of the body.
It can be a little smokey, and therefore, some patients are not able to tolerate this modality. However, most people find it to be a pleasant, soothing, and warming experience.
Cupping involves the use of a small cup to apply suction to specific areas of the body. There are a variety of types of cups that practitioners use. We mainly use fire cupping in practice, which involves using fire to create the vacuum prior to placing on the skin.
Cups can remain in place or they can be moved in a massage-like fashion to break up fascia and alleviate muscle tension.
Cupping often creates circular marks (‘sha’) that may last anywhere from a day or two to over a week. This is expected and shouldn’t cause any concern. The color of the marks and how long they last can help give clues about your clinical picture.
Cupping feels good, is very soothing, and can have dramatic impact with pain and muscle tension. You may have seen pictures or videos of celebrities or Olympic athletes showing off their cupping marks.
Essential oils (EOs) are derived from plants and are used in many different ways by practitioners to provoke a physiological healing response from the body.
By utilizing a combination of EOs, you can strengthen the therapeutic effect, as well as minimize potential side effects.
Just like herbs, some oils are more compatible with others, and some can cancel out another’s effect. And just like herbs, some EOs are better suited for certain conditions than others.
Therefore, we would prescribe a formula that is specific for you and your chief complaint.
No matter what shape you are in, we will talk with you about exercise. The type of movement exercise you do on a regular basis is essential to your health and wellbeing.
Qi gong is a practice where specific coordinated movements are synchronized with your breath. The movements and breath are generally slow and precise. We will recommend qi gong exercises for you as clinically indicated.
Our foot soaks are a safe, effective, convenient, and relaxing way to improve your health.
We have a variety of foot soak options available to you and if you are seen as a private patient at our clinic, your practitioner may recommend a foot soak based on your clinical complaints or disharmony.
Whether you are an existing patient or just wanting to enjoy a foot soak in our community room, foot soaks are a wonderful addition to any health and wellness routine.
Although our foot soaks are generally safe, they are not typically appropriate for those undergoing cancer treatment, women who are pregnant, or anyone with open sores on their feet or hands. If you have any questions about whether they would be appropriate for you – just ask – we will be happy to discuss your treatment options.
Chinese Medicine Treats These Conditions and More ...
- Somatization disorder
- Headache and migraine
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Facial palsy (early stage, within three to six months)
- Paresis following stroke
- Peripheral neuropathies
- Meniere’s Disease
- Nocturnal enuresis
- Cervicobrachial syndrome
- Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
- Intercostal neuralgia
- Disc problems
- Acute conjunctivitis
- Central retinitis
- Myopia (in children)
- Cataract (without complications)
- Toothaches, post extraction pain
- Acute and chronic pharyngitis
- Spasms of esophagus and cardiac
- Irritable bowel and colitis
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- Gastric hyperacidity (i.e. acid reflux)
- Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief)
- Acute duodenal ulcer (without complication)
- Acute and chronic colitis
- Acute bacillary dysentery
- Paralytic ileus
- Muscle pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness
- Localized traumatic injuries, sprains, strains, tendinitis, contractures
- Work and sports related injuries
- Low back and/or neck strain
- “Frozen shoulder”
- “Tennis elbow”
- Menopause syndrome
- Benign irregular menstruation
- Benign amenorrhea
- Acute sinusitis
- Acute rhinitis
- Common cold and allergies*
- Acute tonsillitis
- Acute bronchitis
- Bronchial asthma
- Essential hypertension
- Withdrawal from street and pharmacological drugs
- Appetite suppression