Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific points determined by your acupuncturist depending on your presentation, signs and symptoms. It is utilized for many different reasons. For a more compressive list, see our Nebraska Acupuncture Page. Acupuncture is not performed on infants, but can be administered on children and adolescents over 7. For infant and young child treatments, see Shonishin below. Acupucnture needles can vary in size both in length and diameter. We use single use prepackaged, sterile filiform needles.
Acupuncture can be applied to many areas of the body. Auricular or ear acupuncture is a specific microsystem that can be administered on its own or in combination with traditional acupuncture and other Chinese and Oriental Medicine modalities.
Cupping, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice whereby plastic or glass cups made for the purpose of this procedure are placed on areas of the body while under vacuum pressure. This modality can be gentle or quite intense, bringing a rich supply of blood and circulation to the the area of treatment. This is incredibly beneficial for those suffering from tension, pain, weakness due to atrophy and general deficiencies. A less intense form of cupping is used on children as well as any person with the beginning stages of colds or flu. Like Gua-sha, if cupping marks are left, the color typically goes away within a week to ten days after the treatment.
Gua-sha (gwa-shaa) is an ancient Oriental Medicine technique that is so beneficial, it is being used under different names by western physical therapists and sports medicine practitioners. This procedure uses different tools to lightly or firmly scrape the surface of areas of the body in order to cause petechia (puh-TEE-kee-uh) to occur. Petechia are pinpoint or tiny speck like round spots that appear on the skin as a result of small dermal bleeding under the skin. The blood rising up towards the surface of the skin can appear red, brown or purple. The petechia often appear rash-like and form in clusters. They are usually flat to the touch and when pressed, don’t lose color and usually go away within a week to ten days after the treatment.
Hara is a powerful Japanese style of body work wherein patients receives deep or visceral abdominal massage. This procedure can assist in breaking up obstructions and adhesions, scar tissue, benefits bowel, stomach and bladder issues.
Moxibustion is the direct (on the skin) or indirect (near the skin or on the top of a needle) burning of a fluffy green to golden colored refined herb called Moxa or Chinese Mugwort. Mugwort, also known as artemesia vulgaris or ai ye in Chinese, has been used for thousands of years for treatment of many diseases. Moxibustion is used on people who have cold, tight, sluggish or congested conditions. The burning of moxa is believed to expel cold and warm the skin and meridians, which leads to smoother flow of blood and qi. In Western medicine, moxibustion has successfully been used to turn breech babies, causing the babies head to turn down prior to childbirth. A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that up to 75% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the Bladder meridian. Other studies have shown that moxibustion increases the movement of the fetus in pregnant women, and may reduce the symptoms of menstrual cramps when used with traditional acupuncture.
Tui Na (twee-naah) is part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine system. This procedure utilizes several systematic hand movements to manipulate specific points and broader areas of the body with pressure. It is used for a variety of ailments such as, but not limited to; stiff neck and joints, muscle pain, abdominal and digestive issues, emotional problems, headaches, respiratory problems, circulation issues, trauma, insomnia, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, and issues with the reproductive systems.
Shonishin, or pediatric acupuncture is a gentle, non-invasive treatment for infants more like acupressure. Infant’s and young children’s symptoms and pathologies change much more quickly and often more easily than adults, so gentle cutaneous, or on top of the skin treatments are in order for this delicate stage of life. Shonishin tools are Japanese tools made from stainless steel, silver, gold, stone or shell and sometimes copper. They are specially designed for different purposes to stimulate points and regions of the babies body.
Shonishin literally translates as sho “little”, ni “children”, and shin “needle”. Babies tend to enjoy and react positively to Shonishin treatments which last 15-30 minutes. Your practitioner will teach you some basic baby massage techniques that can be done as regular daily preventative massage. These techniques may increase the circulation of qi and blood, and may strengthen the child’s immune system. Soothing, relaxing massage can improve sleeping and eating habits, bond caregivers to child as well as help children to be better disposed, comfortable and sociable.