Kim M. Messier, LAc
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used forms of medicine in the world. Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture is currently one of the most thoroughly researched, practiced, and respected forms of complementary medicine available anywhere.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, your overall health is determined by the quality of the Qi (energy) flow through the natural pathways of your body (meridians). Acupuncture uses a variety of techniques, including placing very thin sterile needles into specific points on the body, to stimulate and improve your Qi flow. The many benefits of acupuncture include:
- Pain reduction
- Stress and tension relief
- Increased energy levels
- Stronger digestion
- Relief from bad habits and addictions
- Greater sense of overall health and well-being
Acupressure is based on one the most ancient principles of healing — that simply touching a specific point on the body will release stress and improve health in the body. In an acupressure session, I apply firm pressure directly to these "points" on your body, which relieves your muscle tension and improves your circulation. This simple and powerful technique has been shown to very effective in treating headaches, backaches, and even insomnia.
Cupping has been a part of Chinese Medicine for over 2,500 years. It relieves aches and pains, improves circulation, and also helps with respiratory and digestive issues. I simply place a specialized "cup" onto specific points on your body, and then use suction to draw your skin up into the cups. It doesn't hurt — it simply draws fresh blood to that area of your body, which facilitates the cleansing and strengthening of your Qi (energy). The end result is a greater overall sense of health and well-being.
Electroacupuncture is a highly effective holistic treatment for pain, nausea, and chronic ailments. In practice, it is actually very similar to traditional acupuncture. Using the exact same system of Chinese Medicine, I insert very thin and sterile needles into specific points along the meridians of your body. I then attach the needles to a device that delivers gentle electrical pulses between two points. This helps restore the healthy flow of Qi (energy) through your body, removing any blockages and clearing out stagnant areas, thus creating a stronger and clearer experience of health and well-being.
Although Gua Sha is an ancient healing technique used by Chinese Medicine practitioners for thousands of years, it is relatively unknown in the West. It is recognized throughout Asia as a highly effective treatment for chronic pain conditions, stress, fatigue, and a host of other ailments.
First, Gua Sha oil is applied to a specific meridian (energy pathway) on your body. I then use a smooth round-edged object (such as a spoon) to apply short brisk strokes to that area. This creates red patches of skin (called "Sha"), detoxifying your blood and restoring the healthy flow if Qi (energy) to the area. There is no pain involved, and the Sha will fade in 2 to 3 days. But the sense of health and vitality you experience from it will last much longer.
Chinese herbal medicine is a 2,000 year old tradition using naturally occurring substances — including herbs — to enhance one's health and vitality. As opposed to Western medicine, the foundation of this approach is to support the body's natural self-healing mechanisms and abilities.
Since each patient has different needs, I carefully select and combine a variety of herbs that will synergistically blend together to achieve optimal results for your unique situation. I prescribe high-quality, professional-grade herbal medicines that are available only to qualified licensed professionals.
Muscle Energy Technique
This is a manual therapy technique I have used for over 20 years. This very gentle technique uses your own muscles, which when aligned at the most advantageous angle of pull in three planes of motion, through an isometric contraction, can pull your spinal facet joints and/or sacroiliac joints back into alignment. There is usually a very quick relief of that nagging or sharp catching or pinching pain that formerly accompanied movement. Depending on how long you had the pain, several treatments of this technique may be required to release all areas involved.
Therapeutic / Deep Tissue Manual Therapy
Studies have shown that the combination of acupuncture with manual therapy/massage is 22% (initially) to 63% (over time) more likely to reduce back pain in particular, than either therapy used alone. I usually include some form of manual soft tissue bodywork to the affected area during each session.
This very light touch energy work relaxes the Central Nervous System by relieving tension anywhere in the myofascial system of the body. Myofascia in the body is the same as that glistening thin layer of tissue you see on a chicken breast after removing the skin. It runs from head to toe and covers every organ and muscle in your body, eventually tying into the covering of the brain and spinal cord. The skull bones and sacrum can be used as handles to access the CranioSacral system and by using very light touch/pressure, a skilled practitioner can ensure there is symmetry in movement, releasing tension and thus relaxing the whole system.