Acupuncture is the use of very fine sterile needles inserted at specific points of the body so as to rebalance the internal environment, re-establish homeostasis, and thus treat disease. According to traditional theories acupuncture influences the vital force, or Qi, of the body. Western science has proven that acupuncture can regulate the body by many mechanisms, including stimulating the endocine and nervous systems.
The Chinese consider acupuncture a "bu tong," or painless therapy. Most patients find treatments relaxing and rejuvenating. Most people associate acupuncture with pain managament, and, it is true that acupuncture is very effective at treating all types of acute and chronic pain. That said, acupuncture can be used to treat a very wide range of conditions including infertility, gynecological conditions, digestive disorders, respriatory complaints, insomnia, fatigue, and psychological issues such as anxiety and depression. Click here for a list of conditions that acupuncture treats according to the World Health Organization .
Moxabustion is a traditional heat therapy in which the processed leaves of the herb Artemisia Vulgaris are burned at or above specific acupuncture points. In the Chinese and Japanese languages, the word for "Acupuncture" (Zhenjiu in Chinese, Harikyu in Japanese) is actually a combination of the words Acupuncture and Moxabustion as these two arts are almost always practiced in conjunction with one another. Moxabustion is particularly effective at treating weakness conditions as well as conditions where the body feels cold or tired. Modern research has shown that moxa treatment can enhance vitality, such as in raising white blood cell counts in severely debilitated patients. It can even be used to reposition breech babies. In our office moxabustion is a common adjunct to acupuncture treatment.
Pestle Needles (Chu Zhen)
The Pestle Needle (Chu Zhen) is a specialized type of acupuncture therapy developed by Daoist hermits of Wudang Mountain 17 generations ago. The word commonly translated as “needle” in Chinese (zhen) actually means any type of metal medical instrument that has a long or cylindrical shape; needles do not necessarily have to penetrate the skin. The Pestle Needles are an example of “needles” that do not penetrate the skin. Instead, they are used to press, tap, or stroke the surface of the body. Pestle Needles can be used alone or in conjunction with conventional acupuncture. Today, they are taught only in Chengdu, China and are rarely seen either inside China, and, especially, in the West. Dr. McCann is one of a very few westerners trained in their use and was the first person to publish an article on Pestle Needles in the English language. Click here to read a more comprehensive article about Pestle Needle Therapy.