Classical Chinese Medicine
The art of Classical Chinese Medicine actually involves much more than the practice of acupuncture, and beyond that, every acupuncturist brings the medicine to life in their own unique way. In fact, this creative and dynamic aspect is arguably it's greatest strength. In Classical Chinese Medicine, there is not just one way to analyze a person's experience, symptoms, and concerns; there are many. There is not just one lens to look through to see a person in their entirety; there are many. There is not just one way to elicit change and promote healing in the body/mind/spirit; there are many.
The more angles that are available for you to look at something from, the better your perspective, and the more likely you are to be able to see the bigger picture.
Below are some of the many things you may expect to experience during your treatments as a Wax and Wane Wellness patient on the quest to achieving greater harmony and balance in your health.
You are the expert on what it feels like to be in your body thinking your thoughts and feeling your feelings. At your initial appointment and every appointment that follows, this is where it all begins- with listening to your experience and your needs.
After listening comes observing. Observing by feeling the wrist pules, examining the shape/color/size/and coating of the tongue, and palpating specific areas of the body to evaluate the feel of the tissue as well as the sensation it elicits in the body.
Then, all of that information, is synthesized and follow-up questions are asked to dive deeper and add context. From head to toe, inside and out, a clear picture begins to develop, illuminating what processes and relationships in the body are working harmoniously and which ones need care and attention to be restored back to balance.
One of the quickest and gentlest, yet most powerful ways to elicit a physical, mental, and emotional shift in the body is through smell. Once the direction of treatment has been determined, specific essential oils are chosen and utilized both through inhalation and diluted, directly on the skin to best support that direction and facilitate the whole body's receptivity to treatment.
Another way to ease the whole body in to treatment before beginning acupuncture is through vibrational therapy with tuning forks. Different frequencies of vibration communicate different messages to the body tissues. Some frequencies act much like a hot compress and bring energy to an area while others are more similar to a cold compress and clear energy out of an area. Then, there are some that simply act to harmonize an area; to get the cells all humming the same tune. The subtle vibrations are also especially effective at accessing the subtle emotional body. For instance, lifting a heavy mood or calming a frantic one. The part of the fork that touches the skin is only abut the size of a pencil eraser, but the vibrations are often felt traveling through the body in a much bigger way.
The style of cupping therapy at Wax and Wane Wellness is traditional glass fire cupping. This technique uses a flame to create negative pressure inside of a glass cup that is then placed on the body, pulling the skin up in to the cup and facilitating blood and lymph flow in the underlying skin/ fascia/ muscle. This increased flow means higher oxygenation and nutrition delivery into cells and increased detoxification out of cells. Cupping is used most often in this practice to nourish chronically tense and tight muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back, to aid in muscle recovery post-exercise, and to clear lung congestion in both acute and chronic respiratory conditions.
The sensation is similar in intensity to a deep tissue massage, and is adjusted according to your feedback. Cup "marks" on the skin's surface are a common side-effect of treatment and shows the amount of congestion that has been moved up and out of the deeper tissues below. They do not hurt and are part of the healing process. Every body is different, but cup marks usually resolve within 7-10 days.
Based on the information gleaned at the beginning of treatment and the direction that is decided will best promote balance and healing, acupuncture points on the body are meticulously chosen. The goal always being to achieve the greatest impact with the fewest amount of needles. Each point is precisely located and gently massaged before a small tube guides the needle in to the point. It's very common to not feel anything as the needle is inserted, but then to feel "something" in the area shortly afterwards. Warmth and movement around the needle are the most frequent observations as are similar sensations in areas of the body where there are no needles at all. Some points may zing a bit on initial insertion - this dissipates quickly. You'll be walked through the process every step of the way and your feedback is honored and encouraged.
Once all of the points are in place and you're comfortable and warm, you'll be left to rest for 20-30 minutes. You'll most likely doze off, but your body will be doing a lot of work taking the direction of the needles- opening areas that are stuck and constricted and strengthening areas that are tired and weak. It's the ultimate "power nap."
The "warm blanket" treatment, moxibustion ("moxa" for short) is utilized in many different preparations in Classical Chinese Medicine. In this practice, stick moxa is most commonly used. Appearing much like a cigar, stick moxa is made by taking the herb mugwort (Artemisia) and rolling it in to a long stick. The end is then lit and hovered 1-2 inches over acupuncture points to promote warmth and circulation and blood flow to the area.
You'll be instructed to let the sensation of heat build and build until it's just hot enough, but not too hot! Then, the stick will be moved to the next point and the process repeats. Moxa is deeply restorative and feels...so...good.
Every Wax and Wane Wellness patient is equipped with the First Thing's First Foundational Diet and Lifestyle Guidelines after their first treatment. With roots deep in Eastern dietetics principles, these guidelines are aimed at preserving the digestive function and strengthening the body's ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients- key to both maintaining good health and recovering from imbalance. Additionally, custom dietary and supplemental recommendations + lifestyle modification considerations my be given to support and enhance each individual's unique needs and goals as treatment progresses.