Day 23

Received Moxibustion and Cupping.  Up until today, I had only experienced receiving Acupuncture when it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine. .  Thanks to the expert, Kristi Oshiro L.Ac.., I was exposed to 2 new techniques.  

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CUPPING:

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Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps). *Kristi explained it well in that it draws blood to the stagnant area to provide nourishment which of course promotes healing.

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don’t be alarmed nor worried if any ‘marks’ are left 🙂 .. 

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Moxibustion: 

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Moxibustion is an alternative therapy that involves burning herbs and applying the resulting heat to specific points on the body. It is typically administered in conjunction with acupuncture.

What it does:  According to practitioners, the heat generated during moxibustion helps increase the flow of Chi (vital energy) throughout the body via certain pathways (known as “meridians”). In traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating the flow of chi is considered essential to achieving health and wellness. In fact, physical and mental health problems are thought to develop (in part) as a result of blockages in the flow of Chi.

When to use it:

  •  Pain due to injury or arthritis, especially in “cold” patterns where the pain naturally feels better with the application of heat
  • Digestive problems and irregular elimination
  • Gynecological and obstetrical conditions, including breech presentation in late term pregnancy
  • Protection against cold and flu strains

 

Practitioners often do both acupuncture and moxibustion in the same clinic session when appropriate to the diagnosis and treatment strategy. They believe that the therapies increase each other’s effectiveness when used together. Unlike acupuncture, which is almost always done by a trained practitioner in a clinic setting, moxibustion can be easily used at home. It is not uncommon for Chinese medical practitioners to train their patients to use moxa on themselves to strengthen the effect of the clinical sessions between appointments.

 

What Does Moxibustion Involve?

There are two main types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. The technique most commonly used today, indirect moxibustion, often involves burning moxa (a substance created from dried leaves of the herbs mugwort or wormwood) on top of the acupuncture needle. Kristi just got a new moxa box to facilitate the application of moxibustion on her patients. 

An added bonus – first time ever experience ear needles, yes as fore-warned they have an initial ‘bite’!  subsides quickly though 🙂

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Immediately after the treatment I felt a bit sore and when I was riding back over the golden gate bridge on my route home felt more tired than usual but perhaps that was because my body was relaxed.   Now (5 hours after the treatment), I noticed that the congestion I had in my sinuses and throat has cleared. Am certainly ready for bed, feeling quite mellow.

Overall a cool experience.

As for the practitioner – she was awesome.  Answered any questions I had thoroughly and was really knowledgeable in her field.  

About Kristi: 

Kristi’s journey in Chinese medicine began with her interest in nature, healthy living and the environment. She received a Bachelor of Science from Humboldt State University California in Environmental Communications and Buddhist Studies. Kristi discovered that Chinese medicine’s perspective on the body integrates her interest in healthy living, natural systems, and Asian philosophy.

 

“Much like an ecosystem, Chinese medicine views the body as an interdependent system rather than individual parts separate from each other.” Everything affects everything else. This holistic perspective allows Kristi to focus on bringing the body back into balance therefore addressing the underlying imbalances rather than simply masking symptoms. 

 

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