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Musculoskeletal treatments

Musculoskeletal acupuncture

Myofascial trigger points

A deeper method of needling has shown itself to be more effective for the treatment of pain associated with myofascial trigger points. Trigger points are hyper-irritable spots in a palpable, taut band of skeletal muscle fibres. Nearly all myofascial points are acupuncture points.

For painful conditions we use larger-gauged needles with more stimulation and deeper penetration into the acupuncture points.

There is a better response in the release of trigger points when local twitch responses present themselves. After the muscle has finished twitching, the spontaneous electrical activity subsides, and pain and dysfunction decrease dramatically. We owe this method to 7th-century Chinese physician Sun Su-Mo who inserted needles at points of pain, which he called Ah-Shi points.

Other helpful techniques

Alongside acupuncture we also use massage, stretching, ischemic compression, gua sha (spooning) and cupping methods to assist blood flow and the removal of bound tissue and lactic acid buildup in tight areas of the body.

We also recommend the use of our far infrared sauna alongside an acupuncture treatment.

Scar tissue release

Scar tissue affects the natural flow of blood, nutrients, fluid and life force through the body

Almost all of us have scars other than the belly button. Scars imply both a physical trauma (caused by surgery, accident etc.) and an underlying emotional component. This is usually memory of trauma, or a fear of touching or even looking at a scar as it can remind us of when and why we got it, and how we felt at that time.

Scar tissue consists of collagen fibres deposited by the body in no particular order to help knit and heal a wound and may well be a major factor in our body’s health and wellbeing. In both physiological and energetic terms scar tissue can seriously impair and even completely disrupt the flow of blood, nutrients, lymph and life force through the body. Its presence can cause life-long havoc, pain, affect body mechanics and restrain range of movement through fascial interruption and adhesions the body creates to compensate. Muscle testing shows that scar tissue can affect areas of the body that may look to be completely unrelated to the scar location.

Examples

  • Someone had an inguinal hernia as a child and is dealing with digestive issues or problems with lymphatics or lower back later on in life. While the symptoms may have a range of causes, the surgeon’s knife would have cut through the vital yin meridians of Kidney, Liver and Spleen, affecting, changing and potentially completely disrupting meridian function. This has consequences for the body’s physiology with potential follow-on effects for our emotional wellbeing.
  • Women who have distinctly feminine scars from mastectomies, hysterectomies, C-sections (especially emergencies) or laparoscopies/laparotomies often report feeling “disconnected” from the respective part of their bodies. This has the potential of affecting their lives in a myriad of ways.

Why scar tissue release?

Scar tissue release aims at “reconnecting” us to the affected part of our body by collapsing those wound-knitting collagen fibres after the original wound has healed well. Breaking them up changes body tissue at a fundamental level underneath and around a scar. There will be no return to sensation in the scar if the nerve damage is too extensive. Nor may the scar itself disappear. But the tissue will have a very different look and feel to it as it benefits from improved blood and nutrient supply as well as fluid and lymph distribution and life force flow throughout the body.

Clients are usually reporting

  • an improved ability to look at and touch their scars,
  • a return of the affected area to softness and warmth,
  • greater flexibility and
  • an improved overall sense of wellbeing.
  • Some clients have also mentioned that their clothes fit better.

Most scar tissue tends to require as little 2 sessions to break up. Sessions may include Chinese Medicine techniques to help the body “plump up” the territory previously occupied by the scar tissue.

Myofascial cupping

Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which heat is applied inside of a cup to create a vacuum. When placed on the skin the cup creates a suctioning affect. Through this process the cup draws up and holds skin and superficial muscles inside the cup. Depending on the strength of the vacuum, cupping can affect the body up to four inches into the tissue.

Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain.

Why myofascial cupping?

This process removes stagnation of blood and the toxic burden of lactic acid in the muscle. It also opens the muscles and meridians so that blood and Qi can flow freely. This method activates the lymphatic system, promotes blood circulation, releases toxins, clears visible veins and capillaries, improves the appearance of varicose veins, and is good for deep tissue repair.

Cups are generally left in place for 10 minutes. The skin will redden due to the congestion of blood flow. Some bruising on the skin is to be expected depending on the level of stagnation in the area. The bruising can last from 3 days to 2 weeks to clear.

Moxibustion

Burning a herb known as mugwort (or moxa) above the skin is what is known as moxibustion. Moxibustion creates a pleasant sensation of warmth by emitting far infrared (FIR) heat just like the sun.

When our bodies are heated by FIR rays, the activity level of our atoms is increased and heat generated. Research shows that FIR can literally alter the body’s basic biological functions by stimulating cellular metabolism, which increases the body’s regenerative ability and helps restore the proper function of the nervous system. FIR maximises healing and detoxification of the body i.

Why moxa?

From a Chinese Medicine perspective burning moxa expels cold and warms the meridians, leading to a smoother flow of blood and Qi.

Moxibustion is useful in a range of conditions such as:

  • Fertility issues
  • Turning breech babies
  • Pregnancy support
  • Painful menstruation
  • Lowered immunity
  • Asthma and the common cold
  • Arthritis and other joint problems
  • Digestive dysfunctions
  • Chronic tiredness/low energy

Moxa can be a standalone treatment but typically supports an acupuncture treatment.

Gua sha (spooning)

This healing technique uses a round-edged instrument, typically a ceramic or jade spoon. The practitioner applies deep pressure with the spoon to stroke over the skin. This approach causes cutaneous stimulation that results in greatly improved blood flow in, through and around the area.

Why gua sha?

Gua sha removes blood stagnation and promotes normal circulation and metabolic processes. Gua sha is great for

  • painful musculoskeletal conditions,
  • fever,
  • upper respiratory tract infections (URTI),
  • and any other symptoms of stagnant blood and qi.

If there is a lot of blood stagnation in the area where gua sha is beneficial, the ‘sha’ (toxins) will clear through red petechiae, like a rash, with a discolouration of the skin to either purple or black. If it appears brown there maybe dryness or vacuity in the blood, and dark red indicates heat. The discolouration typically fades in one to three days. Sometimes the discolouration can take two weeks to clear if blood stagnation in the area is severe.