Acupuncture

Acupuncture originated in China around 3,500 years ago and remains one of the oldest, most common systems of healing in the world. The process itself involves the use of tiny needles, inserted into various pathways in the body (called meridians). In short, this is to enable the body’s Qi, or energy, to flow freely. Each acupuncture point acts as a “gate” sending information energetically deep into the body. These small prompts help to restore balance and release areas of blocked Qi.

By releasing these blockages, we can tend to all sorts of physical and emotional imbalances including:
  • Stimulating organ function
  • Promoting circulation
  • Interrupting pain signals
  • Reducing inflammatory markers
  • Balancing the nervous system
  • Calming the mind
With balanced body energy and increased blood flow, one’s physical, mental, and emotional health naturally improves.

Acupuncture is a vital pillar of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Results from several studies show that acupuncture may help ease chronic pains such as low back, neck, and osteoarthritis/knee, and also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraines. Acupuncture has also been proven effective in the treatment of asthma, allergies, anxiety, depression, digestive disorders, women’s health, addiction, and autoimmune diseases.

After a complete and thorough medical history and Chinese Medical exam, we determine each individual patient’s needs and creates a customized treatment plan to restore health to the areas in need. No two acupuncture sessions are exactly the same as you may be feeling slightly different and be in need of particular remedies on any given day. As you shift, so, too, will your treatments on and off the table.
In general, it’s safe to say receiving acupuncture should make you feel calm and sleepy once needles are in place. You may even fall asleep or doze quietly.

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AURICULAR ACUPUNCTURE

The ear represents, in Chinese Medicine, the whole anatomical body, but in an upside-down orientation.

Dr. Paul Nogier’s theory contended that the auricle could be compared to an inverted fetus, with the head represented on the lower ear lobe, the feet at the top of the external ear, and the rest of the body in-between.

Because the whole body is reflected on the surface of the ear, various ear points may be used during treatment to affect different areas of your body. Auricular acupuncture is widely accepted for its treatment of addictions and weight loss. They can also help with physical issues such as back pain, internal issues like digestion, and emotional issues such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

Ear seeds, tiny black seeds from the Vaccaria plant, may also be applied to specific acupoints on the ear at the end of treatment. Ear seeds stimulate acupoints by resting on them gently and can be reengaged with a light fingertip massage every few hours. In many cases, ear seeds are used to reinforce or elongate the effects of a treatment and may be left on for up to five days.

MOXIBUSTION

Moxa is a dried herb (mugwort) that is used in Traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine and comes in the form of a loose herb, cone or stick resembling a cigar.

It is used to warm and stimulate acupuncture points—hence, the name of the process is moxibustion. This therapy, like most Chinese Medicine, is thousands of years old and is used in conjunction with acupuncture during treatment. Its purpose is to improve the circulation of Qi and blood, and conditions specifically associated with “cold” or “yang deficiency,” such as fatigue.

Moxibustion is also well known for its ability to stimulate a breech baby to turn in up to 85% of cases according to various studies. In this instance, we use moxa to warm a point on the pinky toe. The fifth toe is a traditional acupuncture point called Bladder 67. It is thought that the heat encourages the release of two pregnancy hormones – placental estrogen and prostaglandins – which lead to uterine contractions. These contractions can then stimulate the baby to move (Cardini & Weixin, 1998).

We recommend that the moxa protocol take place daily for 15 minutes for 5 days, reassess the position of the fetus, and then if needed for an additional 5 days. Typically, moxa is started between 28 and 37 weeks of pregnancy. Because doing this daily is recommended, we often supply moxa to take home so a friend or partner can assist.

CHINESE DIETARY THERAPY

Chinese dietary therapy is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

We believe that eating nutritionally dense foods that suit your constitution according to your Chinese medicine diagnosis will help support your body in its ability to heal. That is why Chinese dietary therapy is part of every treatment plan.

Because Chinese medicine is centuries old, it relies upon “four pillars” of diagnosis: looking, asking, smelling/hearing, and palpation.

Looking

Dr. Iona begins assessing from the moment you meet. She may check stature, gait, facial complexion, nails, eyes, ears, and tongue, which all reveal clues to the state of your health, and any imbalances.

Asking

At every visit, Dr. Iona will ask a variety of questions. In Chinese medicine, these are called the Ten Questions. Often, patients are surprised at how detailed they can be. This dialogue provides key information about your health and how each treatment should be tailored.

Smelling/Hearing

In addition to looking and asking, Dr. Iona also listens to the sound of your voice and breath. Are you soft-spoken or deep? Do you have difficulty breathing or do you sigh often? Constitutionally, we all have an odor and this, too, relays important information.

Palpation

Palpation involves taking your pulse and palpating various points on your body including skin, hands, feet, chest, and abdomen to infer the location, nature, and state of an illness. Also taking note of tenderness or changes in temperature, such as cold hands and feet or a warm core, indicate different imbalances.

Still have questions?
Read through our FAQs and 3 tips for your acupuncture visit.

Patient Love

Five stars don't cover it! Dr. Iona is like a medical detective who has your best interests at heart. Versed in so many healing modalities, she listens to me and makes me feel cared for. I leave her office feeling relaxed and like I visited a spa for hours. The Best! Her goal is your best health. I'm hooked!

Allegra D.

I suffered with sciatica and low back pain for almost 6 weeks before deciding to try acupuncture. I was recommended to her by someone at the gym. My only regret is not choosing to go sooner. She is amazing, knowledgeable, intuitive and compassionate. What more…. she listens…she took the time to hear my story and go over my history. Her recommendations were on target and I was able to go from a pain scale of 10+ to 2 within 3 visits…. Don’t make the same mistake I made…. Don’t wait…. she’s beyond the best!!!!

SJS

If I could give more than 5 stars I would! Dr Iona helped me get through one of the most difficult times in my life as I was battling cancer and was dealing with a lot of side effects, from nausea to a weakened immune system. She is incredibly knowledgeable about acupuncture and the medicinal powers of chinese herbal medicine as well as other natural healing remedies. She always goes above and beyond to get to the bottom of my ailments, most recently with inflammatory issues. Thank you for always being so kind, for your positive energy, and dedication to my & my family’s well-being.

Maribel C.

I highly recommend Michelle Iona. From the first visit I knew I was in the right place. With her guidance, dedication and support I have been able to improve my health and achieve my goal. Michelle takes great pride in her work and it shows in the compassion and care she provides to all of her patients.

Laura N.

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