"I grew up in Vermont, my dad took the whole family to learn Transcendental Meditation when I was ten and I have meditated ever since. I backpacked thousands of miles and lived/worked for several years on the Long Trail, Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. That quiet time in the mountains along with the TM lead me to the study of the Dharma and I ordained as a Buddhist monk. I coined the term nunk because monk and nun are technically not Buddhist terms, but help to explain the path and is gender free. Most nuns don't mind being called a monk but find a monk that is willing to be called a nun! I became a nurse to emerge from the solitude on the Long Trail, and after many years in hospital I was drawn to a simpler gentler method of restoring health. This turned out to be traditional oriental medicine."
Balance is the key. The body is composed of matter - tissues, fluids, blood, bones, which fall under the category of Yin. But it also includes energy, processes, activity, chemical reactions, immune responses which fall under the category of Yang. Yin is being, yang is doing. Harmony between Yin and Yang, balance, is essential to well being.
The beauty of east asian medicine is its simultaneous simplicity and complexity.
Illness or dysfunction waves a red flag of imbalance. To discover how to correct that we have to identify both the disease and the pattern. Five different people may each have a cold (the disease) but each of them may follow a different pattern (wind heat, wind cold, summer heat with damp, exterior pathogen with qi deficiency, exterior pathogen with yin deficiency) in that cold, and that changes the treatment that will work for them.
In order to diagnose the disease and clarify the pattern the acupuncturist or east asian medicine practitioner relies on asking about symptoms, touch, listening/smelling and observation. Thousands of years ago our Asian predecessors did not have technology like we have today but they had superior powers of observation and were able to record and share the understanding they gleaned and network with others to preserve and build on the developing knowledge base. They discovered systems of correspondence that point to the systems involved with imbalance.
When the imbalance is identified we can use those correspondences to encourage the body to restore harmony between the systems. The more balanced the systems are, the more energy available to enjoy life and maintain health.
The body is amazing! It is so complex but overall it has one prime directive:
~ maintain balance ~
We recognize the complexity of living beings and acknowledge the imperfection of our understanding, but we can help to enhance what is working and diminish what is dysfunctional or uncomfortable.
Acupuncture uses fine filaments of sterile stainless steel to influence the body systems by moving Qi. The term Qi (pronounced chee) was never translated because it doesn’t have a near concept in english or other european languages. That is the value of being open to different perspectives. Qi is what animates us, it is the force of cohesion and dispersion, of movement and response. In scientific terms it is probably some form of electromagnetism. It moves routinely thru the body in channels and broadly across regions and collects in seas. It circulates and shifts from place to place. It is one thing described as many because it has so many functions.
There are myriad styles of acupuncture and some use microsystems such as the ears and hands to great advantage. Sometimes the farther away an acupoint from the problem area the stronger its impact will be, like a lever and fulcrum. Often a treatment is designed as a package to be delivered to an address. Some treatments are like directions from conductor to orchestra, some are like fine tuning a precision engine. All of them work with the nature of the being and do not force but encourage beneficial change.
It is best not to come hungry, thirsty or rushed to a treatment Please eat a few hours before treatment and do not come full of caffeine, using recreational drugs, or while fasting.
At Jade we often give both front and back treatments in the same session, acupoints on the back are powerful immune boosters, system strengtheners and pain relievers so please remove clothing down to underwear and get under the flat sheet as you would for a full body massage.
If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to undress and redress - let me know and wear loose comfortable clothing that allows access to knees and elbows without constriction and I will adjust the treatment plan.
Please remove sports bras and stay covered with the sheet. Traditional bras should be unhooked if points on the back will be used. This is a time when clothing that is tight or binding should be loosened or removed so you can take a deep breath and allow the body to expand and relax.
All of you is important and interconnected. You may be experiencing an illness or discomfort that is the branch but underlying that is the primary imbalance that is the root, I will try to find that and correct it by questioning, observation, listening/smelling and touch. The different systems are all related and interdependent so things you may think are not important or relative, often really are.
Your tongue says a lot about you. I may ask you to lay it out like a carpet so I can see the state of your systems. Please refrain from scraping your tongue, or artificial coloring before your appointment.
During treatment please lay back and relax as much as possible, it is important to turn off the phone, remove watches and jewelry, take off your glasses and let your hair down.
Your treatment should be comfortable, on insertion you may feel pressure or a prick but that should rapidly resolve into a pleasant distending sensation, if a point is still uncomfortable after 10-15 seconds it may be pulling on a hair follicle or too close to a sensitive structure so please tell me and I will change it.
If possible, allow the rest of the day to be relaxing and allow the treatment and the body to work. Most people feel better and return to normal activity too soon to get the most from the treatment. If possible take a gentle walk, meditate, do some gentle stretching and relax.
Age, degree of problem, medications, stress level, surgical history, work situation, nutrition and more can hamper the full effects of acupuncture helping your body to heal itself. If you are particularly nervous before the first treatment it may take a couple of treatments for your nervous system to adjust.
If the pain or dysfunction you are experiencing is related or caused by to something you do regularly and you continue to do this the treatment is not going to be as effective as it would if you stopped or changed whatever that might be.
China and Japan treat more often and longer than we do in the states. Often patients are seen three or more times a week. Treatment courses are often ten visits with a week long break and then another ten treatments. However, China has a socialized medical system. It may be cost or time prohibited here to do the same but it should be kept in mind for prognosis evaluation. Studies do tell us that acupuncture is cumulative and is more effective after 10-15 treatments.
We may use tools apart from acupuncture such as acupressure, ear seeds, tuina, cupping, moxibustion, guasha, herbal formulas, teas, Qigong, meditation, e-stim or electro acupuncture, TDP lamp, to help you.
Licensed Acupuncturist, RN, Former Buddhist monk
"The pursuit of health is invariably a spiritual quest."