Treatment Offerings

/Treatment Offerings

Rather than treating symptoms, TCM addresses the underlying patterns of an imbalance. This powerful approach positively impacts conditions within affected systems of the body. With a deep understanding of this process, Susan has treated a variety of conditions with clinical success. Her specialties include musculoskeletal pain syndromes, women’s health, gynecology, digestive and respiratory conditions, autoimmune conditions, chronic and terminal illness, geriatric concerns, preventative treatment, and psycho emotional conditions.

She is strongly committed to working in partnership with patients to enhance their quality of life and bring them true healing.

Treatment Offerings:

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Acupuncture helps strengthen and balance the body’s life force energy known as Qi (pronounced chee.) When Qi is blocked or weakened, disease can be the end result. By gently stimulating acupuncture points with hair-thin, sterile, disposable pins, energy pathways are opened, allowing the Qi to flow freely through the body’s organ systems and meridians (pathways not unlike the nervous system.) Through this process, acupuncture taps into the body’s innate ability to heal itself by promoting a state of harmony.

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The second major branch of Traditional Chinese Massage, Chinese Herbal Therapy is used to internally treat all conditions of the body. The art of Chinese Herbal Therapy involves the blending of several herbs into a formula specific to each patient. There are over 6,000 different medicinal substances within the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Of these, there are about 600 different herbs in common use today. Each is categorized based on its properties and the disharmonies it is used to treat.

In Herbal Therapy, herbs are classified into two major dimensions. The first dimension refers to the temperature characteristics of the herb, namely hot (re), warm (wen), cold (han), neutral (ping), and aromatic. The second dimension refers to the taste property of the herb, namely sour (suan), bitter (ku), sweet (gan), spicy (xin), and salty (xian).

Various combinations of temperature and taste give the herb its properties, which influence the yin and yang energy patterns of the body. Herbs do not possess one single quality, which is why they are almost always blended. This combination of properties and temperatures may reach one to as many as twelve organ systems, and positively affect energy flow through the body.

At West End Eastern Medicine, we have a pharmacopia full of Chinese Herbs in capsule form.

Cupping is an ancient therapy widely used both in folk medicine and modern practices. Cupping is used in the treatment of muscular pains such as back ache, frozen shoulder and so on. The method of cupping stimulates acupuncture points by applying suction through a metal, wood or glass jar, in which a partial vacuum has been created. This is achieved by holding a small flame inside the cup to create a vacuum. The cups are then placed quickly on the skin over the point or area to be treated and left in place for up to 15 minutes. This causes the skin to be sucked up into the cup encouraging the flow of Qi and blood and clearing local stagnation. This technique produces blood congestion at the site, and therefore stimulates it. Because cupping causes blood to be drawn into the small blood vessels just below the skin, some people may experience purple wheals or bruises to form for a short time.

In addition to treating low backache, sprains, and soft tissue injuries, cupping helps relieve fluid from the lungs in chronic bronchitis. It is also used to treat asthma and chest colds.

Gua Sha is another East Asian healing technique used in conjunction with acupuncture. Gua means to scrape or rub. Sha is a ‘reddish, elevated, millet-like skin rash’. Gua Sha is one technique that intentionally raises Sha rash or purple-ish bruising. The intention is to clear blood and Qi stasis. The area to be Gua Sha-ed is lubricated with oil. The skin is then rubbed with a round-edged instrument in downward strokes. One area is stroked until the blood and static Qi are completely raised. If there is no blood stasis the reddish bruise will not form and the skin will only turn pink.

Gua Sha is used to treat both acute or chronic disorders, typically musculo skeletal pain. It is used to prevent common cold, flu, bronchitis, asthma, as well as any chronic disorder involving pain, congestion of Qi and Blood. Sha is raised primarily at the Yang surface of the body: the back, neck, shoulders, buttocks, and limbs. On occasion, Gua Sha is applied at the chest and abdomen. There may be aching, tenderness and/or a knotty feeling in the muscles after a Gua Sha session.

Tuina, or Chinese Medical Massage, has been used extensively in the East. When combined with Chinese Herbal Therapy and Acupuncture, Tuina creates the tri-fold form called Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has been used to treat a variety of conditions and to compliment other forms of Chinese medicine, especially specific musculo-skeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems.

Tuina also treats chronic pain, especially those caused by muscle-skeletal conditions and injuries. Neck, shoulder and back pain and immobility, sciatica and tennis elbow, chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems all respond very well. Tuina is also effective for headaches, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, weakened immune systems, digestive problems, female problems, and for stroke patients.

The benefits of Tuina include heightening organ function, adjusting hormone balance, increasing immune function, and promotion of blood circulation, as well as having a relaxation effect.

Unlike Western medical approaches, the Chinese healing system addresses both the external and the internal realms. When a person is as aware of their external world as they are of their internal, this is what it means to be balanced, or healthy. A healthy internal world not only means having good organ and muscle function, it means having a clear mind, being consciously awake and observant to one’s feelings and reactions to the world. It means processing not repressing. A repressed person has deficient Qi flow, energy flow.

Including life counseling within ours services means, we are able to help you understand where in your life your energy is being depleted, and how to regain control of your flow.

The causes of inner turmoil are limitless. Though the root may be in differing sources, it is a fact that turmoil places obstacles in one’s path which can eventually cause damage to the self. Learning to train the mind to be uncluttered, unbending to turmoil, is the key to clarity and mental efficiency. Controlling and deepening the breath is but a step into this clearing.

Meditation and breathing are an integral part of Chinese healing. When practiced, these techniques allow one to regain control of the inner realm. In Chinese healing, the outer is a reflection of the inner. What one experiences in one’s life, is but a manifestation of the inner’s harmony or disharmony. If the inner is clear and healthy, the outer will follow.

The self is the beginning of healing. This is an important concept in Eastern Medicine. One heals one’s self. The self is responsible for its own way of being. When one takes control of his or her own health, they take control of their life. Regaining the responsibility of one’s health is absolutely necessary in the healing process. Meditation and breathing are a means to calm this inner world, a cause to clear and heal.

All acts in one’s life reflect within the body. Thus, the saying “You are what you eat” rings true in the Chinese Medical system. Food affects every system of the body. Just as herbs have qualities of taste and temperature (refer to Chinese Herbal Therapy), so too does food. Where one food can contribute to a condition, another can treat it. Analyzing consumption is highly important to understanding why or why not one is healthy. The key to body awareness is being observant of what we bring into our life and into our body.

Within our counseling health, lifestyle and diet are discussed. Nutritional guidance is offered to as a means speed the recovery process, to eliminate foods lending to one’s condition. Recommendations are suggested to change the Qi flow within the digestive system, a system which feeds and nourishes the entire being. Remember that Eastern Medicine considers all aspects of life in order to find rejuvenation. Diet is, of course, a mandatory aspect worth dissecting.

Nutritional guidance is pragmatic – the lifestyle of the individual is completely considered. Our counseling is designed to fit with what the patient is doing in his or her life. For example, if you don’t cook you won’t be given recipes to promote your health, if you do then you will. Family and workload are considered as well. Nutritional counseling is given slowly, over a reasonable period of time. This rate of healing enhances one’s life quality, rather than retracts from it, so that getting to a point of health is not a burden.

In the Chinese Medical view, eating is simple. You eat with the seasons of the year, and you eat what is locally offered.

Though West End Eastern Medicine is not a Massage clinic, Susan has an extensive background in massage. She has studied Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, and Neuromuscular Therapy.

Myofascial Release is a sliding technique that involves stretching the tightened tissue, fascia, around all organs and muscle groups. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the Myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn’t expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.

Trigger Point Therapy is practiced by pressing points on the body deep enough to stimulate the nervous system. In doing so, circulation is increased in the specific area. Similar to acupressure, trigger point therapy helps locate points of tenderness from where pain is generated, (known as referral points) and by applying sustained pressure to these trigger points, pain is released. This technique can help improve range of motion, muscle weakness and even numbness or tingling sensations.

Neuromuscular Therapy is based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system maintains homoeostatic balance, and in many cases, eliminates the cause of a person’s acute to chronic Myofascial pain and dysfunction. Through Neuromuscular Therapy homoeostasis is restored between the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. This technique consists of alternating levels of concentrated pressure on areas of muscle spasm. The pressure is usually applied with the fingers, knuckles, or elbow. Neuromuscular Therapy will feel painful at first, but the pressure of the massage should alleviate the muscle spasm and pain. It is extremely important to communicate with the practitioner regarding the pressure – whether the pressure is too much, too little, getting better, getting worse. Most people describe the pressure as “good pain”. Neuromuscular Therapy enhances the function of joints, muscles, and the biomechanics of the body, and speeds healing by facilitating the release of the body’s natural pain killers, endorphins.