While the most well-known Chinese method of therapeutic intervention in the West is Acupuncture, it is certainly not the only one. At Root and Branch, we combine other techniques such as Bodywork, Moxibustion, Fire Cupping, Gua Sha and Infrared Heat Therapy in private sessions, to tailor each treatment to a patient's needs. These modalities allow Chinese Medicine to unfold in its dynamism and reach its full capacity in healing. For more information about each of these techniques, please read below.
Literally, "working with the body," Bodywork is a form of "hands-on" therapy, commonly referred to as massage. While bodywork is often thought of as an enjoyable treatment for rest and relaxation, it can also be used in the promotion of wellness and the elimination of disease.
Many of the practitioners at Root and Branch use Shiatsu, a style of Japanese bodywork, or Tuina, a style of Chinese bodywork along with Acupuncture and other techniques.
Fire Cupping & Gua Sha
Fire Cupping and Gua Sha are additional techniques that can be used to open up the body, and liberate pathology from deeply within the tissues.
Fire Cupping is a very simple procedure. It is done by taking a glass "cup," placing and then quickly removing, a lit flame beneath its concave surface, and finally, setting the cup on a portion of the body (such as the back, or a shoulder). The rapid removal of the flame, creates a "sucking" effect to the skin. This effect, allows the cup to "draw out" tension, and stuck substances from the fasha and up to the skin. The skin can then release this matter, in the form of petechiae (red/purple dots on the skin) or "sha" in Chinese.
Fire Cupping has grown in it's popularity since the most recent Winter Olympics, when the U.S. swim team famously showed up with "cupping marks" on their bodies. While certainly useful in its the capacity to speed up recovery time for athletic performance, cupping can also be used to assist the body with acute onset cold and flu conditions, as well as many other things.
Gua Sha is the process of moving a tool, such as a porcelain spoon, across the muscle and skin of a person. Similarly, Gua Sha attempts to draw out stuck substances within the fasha. The practitioners at Root and Branch use both Fire Cupping and Gua Sha to fit patient needs.
Moxibustion is an elegant therapy initiated by carefully burning an herb called mugwort (or "Ai Ye" in Chinese) on or around the skin. Through artful positioning and technique, moxibustion's effects compliment and match the effects of acupuncture itself (acupuncture being a more "Yin" therapy, while moxibustion being a more "Yang" therapy).
The warmth, comfort, and beauty of the treatment makes moxibustion a quick favorite of patients.
Many of the more traditional medicine practitioners in Japan, specialize in moxibustion as a sole therapy. The practitioners at Root and Branch, combine moxibustion with acupuncture and other techniques to achieve the desired result.
Infrared Heat Therapy
Infrared Heat Therapy refers to the use of a TDP Lamp to warm the body and stimulate healing mechanisms. This form of therapy is often used alongside acupuncture treatment.
The warmth that the lamp emits allows the body to open and relax. It is useful for patients who have cooler constitutional tendencies or have forms of "stasis" in the body that cause pain.