Many of us seek relief from pain that we're experiencing - whether it's in our hands, head, neck, low back, or other body part. And while these specific areas need to be treated, it is vital to understand how our individual parts are organized, coordinated, and influence each other. The idea is that if you can get the whole being functioning more efficiently and effectively, the individual parts will be under less strain and stress, and hence, in less pain.
We can treat specific physical ailments, such as rotator cuff tear, IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, epicondylitis, low back pain, recovery from surgery, etc, while also pursuing overall health maintenance, injury prevention, and optimization of potential.
A Physical Medicine approach to acupuncture is the coming together of relevant western physical assessment tools, with a Chinese Medicine understanding of the relationships of individual parts to the whole. The beginning of a session might include postural, range of motion, and muscle strength assessment, as well as analysis of movement, balance, and coordination.
Besides acupuncture, treatment could include tui na medical massage, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, and electro-stimulation. We provide guidance in working with conscious abdominal and thoracic breathing, visualization, and slow, mindful movement, which should all be continued at home.
The ideas behind a Physical Medicine Acupuncture approach can be applied to everyone, up to and including the elite athlete.
A foundational idea of Chinese medicine is that pain and debilitation, and even aging itself, are a result of some form of stagnation. One of the challenges is to determine where the stasis is, and what its nature is. I am fascinated by this idea that being stuck (whether it is a knot in the muscle, scar tissue adhesions, restricted breathing patterns, or even an addictive behavior) is essentially a situation in which we are tying up energy that could be utilizing for performance and growth. Releasing restrictions and constrictions becomes a process of liberation !! And that can mean less pain, more energy, greater efficiency, better balance, increased performance, less likelihood of injury, and a greater overall sense of well-being.
What I offer in my clinic is based on my personal explorations in body-mind techniques (such as yoga, tai ji, and meditation), my history as an athlete, and my extensive clinical training. Personally, I enjoy exploring what it means to be present in my body, and mindful in my being. Through becoming aware of our patterns and habits, we can better pursue new possibilities for alignment, movement, and health.