What We Do!

What is Acupuncture? 

 

Acupuncture is a Chinese system of medicine that dates back over 3,500 years. The ancient Chinese Medical Doctors discovered pathways, or channels, along the body that relate to organs and systems of the body where life energy, or “Qi”, travels. At the root of all illnesses is unbalanced yin, yang, and Qi due to blockage, excess, or deficiency.  Stress, poor lifestyle and eating habits, emotional upset and illness begin to disrupt the natural flow of Qi in the body.  Acupuncture works by restoring harmony, or homeostasis.  By inserting needles into specific points along the channels and manipulating the Qi flowing through those channels, Qi, and therefore the organs and body systems it influences, can be regulated.

Acupuncture has been shown to provide numerous benefits to the body, including increased systemic circulation. By increasing circulation, it unblocks obstructed areas, resulting in a decrease of pain and the restoration of health. Moreover, acupuncture releases muscle tension, decreases inflammation, relieves pain, promotes restorative sleep, manages stress, regulates the digestive tract and the menstrual cycles, strengthens the immune system and prevents disease. By selecting points that correspond to certain functions or illnesses, acupuncture restores balance to your body, strengthens what is weak, and calms what is overactive. Your body naturally strives to be healthy and in balance; acupuncture can help it regain homeostasis.

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, health is based on the individual, and so acupuncture treats each person, not only according to their symptoms, but according to their unique constitution (it can treat both the symptoms and the underlying causes of illness). When you are being treated, every point and every treatment will be specifically tailored to your individual needs. When the cause of an imbalance is addressed, your entire system benefits and other symptoms you might have thought to be unrelated can be resolved or prevented.

 

Needle Insertion: 

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Acupuncture works along channel pathways or meridians. Thin sterile stainless steel needles are gently inserted into acupuncture points around the body. Feeling the stir of Qi is desirable and may resemble deep pressure, a pinch, a change in temperature, tingling, distention, or numbness. It should NOT be painful. All the acupuncture channels and points are connected and influence each other. Because acupuncture is a "whole system" treatment it is possible that multiple issues can resolve in one session.

 

 

 

 

Auricular Acupuncture:

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The ear is considered a microsystem. In other words, points on the ear directly reflect mirrored points on the body. For example, by inserting a needle in the ear that is a mirrored point of the ankle, you can treat ankle pain. Auricular acupuncture, or acupuncture for the ear, is especially effective in two situations: pain control and addiction. By normalizing the pathological, hypersensitive reflex pathways between nerves in the ear and the brain, endorphins are released and energy is rebalanced. 

 

 

 

 

Electroacupuncture (E-STIM):

Electro-stimulation uses small electrodes attached to acupuncture needles to send an electrical impulse into the muscle.  In musculoskeletal issues, the use of gentle electrical stimulation is sometimes applied to needles to bolsters the treatments effectiveness. E-STIM, felt as a subtle vibration or a mild pulsing in time with the electrical impulse, sends a light current through the tissue, healing muscle and tendon on a cellular level. This is done to further break up and dissipate the energetic obstructions, heal torn muscle tissue, loosen adhesions causing pain, and facilitate the removal of accumulated toxicity within the tissues and organs.  It is not painful or uncomfortable. If you experience pain or discomfort, advise your acupuncturist, who will adjust the strength of the impulse to a more comfortable setting.

 

7 Star Needling:

“7 Star,” or plum blossom needling, is a technique that uses a specially designed small plastic hammer with 7 small needle tips. Like acupuncture needles, these are very fine, small needles, and the surface area of the hammer prevents them from penetrating deeply into the skin. This technique is often used with early stage cold symptoms, trauma, and long term pain. The clinic intern practitioner will use the 7 star needle to lightly tap on the affected area, rather than inserting a single needle into the area. It should not be painful. There may be slight bleeding, depending on your condition.

Following treatment you will be advised to keep the area covered and avoid windy conditions for a day or two.

 

Facial Acupuncture:

Cosmetic acupuncture is a good alternative for people who do not want the side effects associated with a surgical facelift. As we age collagen and elastin diminish from our tissue, causing it to wrinkle and sag. When short thin needles are applied to wrinkles on the skin, collagen and elastin are stimulated. They fill in problematic areas, removing fine lines, reducing deeper lines and firming bags around the neck and eyes. Using acupuncture muscular motor points, and stimulating the muscles’ toning and tightening ability, the facial muscles tighten. Facial acupuncture also stimulates blood and circulation, which improves facial color.  Facial Acupuncture is a safe, painless and effective treatment for renewing the face.

Cupping:

Cupping is a technique that is most often used for musculoskeletal pain, such as back pain. By creating negative pressure (a vacuum) in small plastic or glass cups, and then applying it to the affected area, suction is created with the skin, drawing some of your tissue inside the cup. Cupping therapy takes waste products and stagnation out of the tissues. These waste products accumulate in the body gradually and eventually impede the healing process and encourage muscle spasm. Cupping draws waste products to the surface of the skin, then brings them back to the circulatory system for elimination. In this way, it is incredibly detoxifying. Cupping also releases muscle tension and stimulates healthy circulation. It works remarkably well and quickly for many musculoskeletal conditions, as well as common colds, influenza, allergies, asthma, and headaches.

Massage cupping is a modified version of the Traditional Chinese Medicine form of cupping therapy.Your practitioner may apply a thin layer of oil to your skin and then move the cups around the affected area.  Unlike the traditional method in which the cups remain stationary, they are massaged over the body for greater comfort. This simple technique achieves powerful results in:   

  • lymph drainage

  • cellulite reduction and weight loss

  • pain relief

  • loosening adhesions and tightly contracted muscles

  • improved circulation

  • increased range of movement

  • detoxification

  • decreased inflammation

  • shorten pre- and post- operative care

  • scar reduction

  • sedation of the nervous system

There is no bleeding. You may feel a sensation similar to that of being massaged. You may experience round bruises, redness, or bruising over the affected area that may last 3 to 5 days.

Following treatment you will be advised to keep the area covered and avoid windy conditions for a day or two.

 

    Moxibustion (Moxa):

Moxa is a heating method of treatment. It is a technique in which mugwort herb (Artemisia Vulgaris) is burned (in a similar way to incense) and applied to acupuncture points. It is used to warm, soothe, and treat an assortment of conditions including pain, trauma, and certain cold-related injuries or conditions. The mugwort is compressed into a stick that is burned near the body or into small cones that are placed on the body with a protective barrier that prevents burning. Both these methods introduce heat into the affected area, providing relief of pain. There is some limited smoke and odor when using moxibustion. Please advise your practitioner if you have asthma or other respiratory conditions, or if you are sensitive to odors.

 

 

 

 

 

Gua Sha:

Gua Sha is a treatment that is used primarily for early cold symptoms or tightness in large muscle groups. This technique involves using a dull-edged device, like a soup spoon or polished stone, to gently massage the skin, usually the upper back and neck. It is not painful. There is no bleeding or scabbing. You may experience some slight bruising or redness that may last 1 to 3 days. Following treatment you will be advised to keep the area covered and avoid windy conditions for a day or two.

 

Herbal Medicine:

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Chinese herbal formulas are specially formulated combinations of traditional herbs that are intended to compliment acupuncture treatments and are given to treat an illness internally. Chinese herbs can be plants, minerals, sea products, and animal products.  Herbs come in pill form, powders that you mix with warm water and drink as tea, and raw herbs that you simmer in water and then drink as tea. 

In order to be licensed as an acupuncturist in the state of California, a student of Chinese medicine must complete several years of herbology. Acupuncture and herbal medicine work synergistically to restore and maintain health. The former works on the energetic system of the body, whereas the latter works more with the body chemistry. By taking herbal medicine daily, the therapy is continued between acupuncture treatments. There are hundreds of common chinese herbs, and they are usually prescribed in formulas which include 5-14 herbs in combination. While herbs can often be used with no or fewer side effects than prescription drugs, they are not harmless and must be taken appropriately as prescribed by a licensed herbalist.

Powdered formulas can bought directly from Honeycomb Acupuncture. All raw herbal formulas will be called in and picked up at your convenience from Spring Wind or Draline Tong Herbs:

 You should never discontinue doctor-prescribed medications without consulting your doctor.

Please advise your practitioner if you are vegan or vegetarian, and if you have any food/medication/environmental allergies or sensitivities.

 

Nutrition:

One of the most profound ways to influence our health is through diet.  Nutrition is fully integrated into the theories of Chinese Medicine and boosts the success of treatments. Similar to herbs, foods of plant and animal origin have been used and studied for their nutritive properties for centuries. Specific foods are recommended for specific patterns of imbalance, as well as for individual constitutions. At Honeycomb Acupuncture nutrition education is an important aspect of patient care. It is important to pay careful attention to the quality of the food, combinations with other foods, cooking method, seasonal availability, constitution of the person when considering individual diets. It is important to practice mindfulness in the daily refueling of your body. You have the power to choose what you will eat. Eating in a relaxed, slow manner, chewing food properly, and eating at regular intervals helps the digestive process.

 

Exercise

Like eating habits, exercise is invaluable to a healthy lifestyle. Increasing circulation to the tissues, heart, and brain does wonders for joint issues, muscle pain, respiratory and cardiac disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, and depression. As the body moves, it triggers built in self-cleansing mechanisms, by which toxins are released, fluids are circulated, and the cardiovascular, digestive, and lymphatic systems are regulated. 

 

Western Science:

Western science and clinical trials have come a long way in proving the efficacy of acupuncture. From a Western medical perspective, acupuncture points work along nerve or synaptic pathways, releasing endorphins or other chemicals to promote physiological reactions in the body.  Some studies have shown that there is less resistance in the magnetic force at the acupuncture point then in surrounding tissue. This demonstrates that the energy and pull at that exact location is significantly different and can bring about change when activated.  Other research shows that acupuncture helps to block the pain stimulus in neurons and increases circulation to the limbs when needled in those areas.  Ear acupuncture, one of the most extensively researched fields in Chinese Medicine, has incredible clinical value, but is best known by it's success treating addiction and detoxification. 

 

 

Give us a call or email today: 


(707) 318-0423

camille@honeycombacupuncture.com


Serving San Francisco and the East Bay: Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont, Alameda and Walnut Creek.