Cupping is an ancient technique that involves the application of glass or plastic cups that have had the air forced out of them to create a vacuum. Placing these cups on the body draws blood to the region and promotes relaxation, pain relief, and the movement of Qi. The sensation is deeply relaxing and pleasurable, akin to a massage. Cupping may be used alone or in combination with needling to address health concerns, particularly pain. This technique leaves circular marks that may take days to disappear, but these are usually not painful. Cupping is favored by elite athletes (think Michael Phelps) and others who regularly engage in intense physical activity.
A cancer diagnosis can be frightening. Some of the worst effects come not from the disease itself but from the treatments that are needed to help fight it. Conventional cancer treatment typically involves some combination of surgery and chemotherapy and can have many unwanted side effects such as pain, nausea, anxiety, neuropathy, and insomnia.
Naturopathic medicine, or naturopathy, is the modern expression of medical practices that have been around for thousands of years. The best way to understand it is as a kind of “bottom-up” health care where the focus is on prevention. Naturopathic physicians (NDs) begin their treatments with the foundational elements of a patient’s health: what they eat, their lifestyle, and how they manage stress. We know that if these elements are out of balance, disease is the result. We prefer to use gentle interventions like botanical and energetic medicines (such as homeopathy) to address imbalances that remain after the foundational aspects of health have been corrected. We are, however, also fully trained to use pharmaceutical medicines when they are called for and are able to order labs and imaging as needed. And we are comfortable making the appropriate referrals when necessary.
Acupuncture applies needles, heat, pressure, and other treatments to certain places on the skin, called acupuncture points (or acupoints), to cause a change in the physical functions of the body. The use of acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM is a medical system that has been used for thousands of years to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.
Acupuncture is based on the belief that qi (vital energy) flows through the body along a network of paths, called meridians. Qi is said to affect a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical condition. According to TCM, qi has two forces, yin and yang. Yin and yang are opposite forces that work together to form a whole. The forces of yin and yang depend on each other and are made from each other in an unending cycle, such as hot and cold, day and night, and health and disease. Nothing is ever all yin or all yang, both exist in all things, including people. Many of the major organs of the body are believed to be yin-yang pairs that must be in balance to be healthy. When a person's yin and yang are not in balance, qi can become blocked. Blocked qi causes pain, illness, or other health problems. TCM uses acupuncture, diet, herbal therapy, meditation, physical exercise, and massage to restore health by unblocking qi and correcting the balance of yin and yang within the person.
Most acupuncturists in the United States practice acupuncture according to the traditions of Chinese medicine. However, there are other types of acupuncture, including some used for medical treatment, that have different theories about meridians and acupoint locations.
Cold laser therapy uses LED lightwaves to address a variety of physical ailments. It has been shown to be beneficial in speeding wound healing, decreasing lymphedema, and improving neuropathy. The entire laser head can be used for wide tissue coverage. A smaller head is used for laser acupuncture.