Descriptions of Treatments
Acupuncture: is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine. Developed some 5,000 years ago, it is based on the theory that energy, called Qi (say "chee"), flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians. When the flow of energy becomes blocked or unbalanced, through trauma, injury, illness or emotional upset, the body develops symptoms like pain, restricted movement, insomnia, digestive issues, etc. The practice of acupuncture uses tiny, stainless steel needles inserted into points along the acupuncture meridians to unblock or influence qi and help it flow back into balance. The body is always seeking balance and wellness, and acupuncture is one technique that can help guide it back to a state of health.
Aromatherapy: also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process. It was the French perfumer and chemist, Rene- Maurice Gattefosse, who coined the term “aromatherapie” in 1937 with his publication of a book by that name. As the practice of aromatherapy has progressed, over the years, it has adopted a more holistic approach encompassing the whole body, mind and spirit (energy).
"Aromatherapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It is an art and science which seeks to explore the physiological, psychological and spiritual realm of the individual's response to aromatic extracts as well as to observe and enhance the individual's innate healing process. As a holistic practice, Aromatherapy is both a preventative approach as well as an active method to employ during acute and chronic stages of illness or 'dis'-ease. It is a natural, non-invasive modality designed to affect the whole person not just the symptom or disease and to assist the body's natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself by the correct use of essential oils
Autoimmune diseases: can affect almost any part of the body, including the heart, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, glands, the digestive tract, and blood vessels. The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling. How an autoimmune disease affects you depends on what part of the body is targeted. If the disease affects the joints, as in rheumatoid arthritis, you might have joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function. If it affects the thyroid, as in Graves’ disease and thyroiditis, it might cause tiredness, weight gain, and muscle aches. If it attacks the skin, as it does in scleroderma/systemic sclerosis, vitiligo, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), it can cause rashes, blisters, and color changes.
Many autoimmune diseases don’t restrict themselves to one part of the body. For example, SLE can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, nerves, blood vessels, and more. Type 1 diabetes can affect your glands, eyes, kidneys, muscles, and more. No one is sure what causes autoimmune diseases. In most cases, a combination of factors is probably at work. For example, you might have a genetic tendency to develop a disease and then, under the right conditions, an outside invader like a virus might trigger it.
The Bowen Technique : (also known as Bowtech - the Original Bowen Technique and Bowenwork) is a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy that was developed by the late Tom Bowen in Geelong, Australia. Sometimes called the homeopathy of bodywork, it utilizes subtle inputs to the body (known as moves), stimulating the body to heal itself, often profoundly.
One of the most interesting areas of the body is the brain. The basic function of the brain is to receive information from our sensory organs and interpret this information, such as light, sound, pain, movement. This enables conscious communication within our body. Neuroplasticity which is the brain’s ability to recognize itself by forming new neural connections allows the nerve cells in the brain to adjust their activities in response to new situations or changes in their environment. This includes a stimulus through touch. There is something like 600,000 signals that travel from the brain into the body every second and these in turn come back to the brain with information which is then interpreted and sent back out. Whenever we feel, hear, see or even think something, the brain brings in past experience in order to categorize the sensation and create an appropriate response. In the case of the Bowen move, the brain is unable to do this instantly and needs more information to form a response. As it is, just when the brain is asking for more information, the therapist has left the room, and therefore the brain has to send specific signals to the area in order to gauge a response. If the client is lying down, the immediate response is nearly always rapid and deep relaxation. Although musculoskeletal problems such as frozen shoulder, back and neck pain account for the majority of conditions brought for Bowen treatment, it can also be helpful with more organic problems. Clients have reported significant improvements with asthma, migraines, irritable bowel, infertility and other reproductive problems.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): has developed over several thousand years and includes the practices of acupuncture, herbology, nutrition, bodywork, and internal practices (Qi Gong and T’ai Qi). One of the core principles of Chinese Medicine is the belief that the processes of the human body are interrelated and connected to the environment. TCM practitioners approach the treatment of illness by looking at the whole person in order to discover underlying imbalances and disharmonies at the root of the patient’s symptoms. By correcting the underlying causes, symptoms and illness are resolved. Central to TCM is the belief in Qi, which is roughly translated as "life energy." Qi flows through a number of channels, or meridians, throughout the body, connecting to muscles, bones, and internal organs. Regulating and stimulating the flow of Qi creates balance in the body, which is critical for good health. Balancing the flow of Qi helps balance the body’s yin and yang. Yin describes qualities that are dark, dense, passive, feminine, receptive, and associated with the night. Blood, muscle tissue, bones, and fluids are all yin substances. Yang describes qualities that are light, bright, active, masculine and associated with the day. Breath, digestive juices, nerve responses, and metabolism are all Yang mechanisms. Within the body, each organ has qualities of both yin and yang, though some organs and functions may have more of one quality than the other. For instance, the heart is considered a yin organ, while the stomach is considered a yang organ. By using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary recommendations, and movement therapies, the Chinese Medicine Practitioner helps guide the patient towards a state of physical and emotional balance.
The Physical Exam: is an essential part of any doctor's visit. Surprisingly, though, there are no absolutes in a routine physical. A good doctor may be thorough or brief, but he or she will spend time listening to your concerns and providing counseling for your particular needs.
Annual exams usually check your:
History. This is your chance to mention any complaints or concerns about your health. Your doctor will also likely quiz you about lifestyle behaviors like smoking, excessive alcohol use, sexual health, diet, and exercise. The doctor will also check on your vaccination status and update your personal and family medical history.
Vital Signs. These are some vital signs checked by your doctor:
- Blood pressure: Less than 120 over 80 is a normal blood pressure. Doctors define high blood pressure (hypertension) as 140 over 90 or higher.
- Heart rate: Values between 60 and 100 are considered normal. Many healthy people have heart rates slower than 60, however.
- Respiration rate: From 12 to 16 breaths per minute is normal for a healthy adult. Breathing more than 20 times per minute can suggest heart or lung problems.
- Temperature: 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the average, but healthy people can have resting temperatures slightly higher or lower.
Heart Exam. Listening to your heart with a stethoscope, a doctor might detect an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur, or other clues to heart disease.
Lung Exam. Using a stethoscope, a doctor listens for crackles, wheezes, or decreased breath sounds. These and other sounds are clues to the presence of heart or lung disease.
Head and Neck Exam. Opening up and saying "ah" shows off your throat and tonsils. The quality of your teeth and gums also provides information about your overall health. Ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid, and carotid arteries may also be examined.
Abdominal Exam. Your doctor can use a range of examination techniques including tapping your abdomen to detect liver size and presence of abdominal fluid, listening for bowel sounds with a stethoscope, and palpating for tenderness.
Neurological Exam. Nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and mental state may be assessed.
Dermatological Exam. Skin and nail findings could indicate a dermatological problem or disease somewhere else in the body.
Extremities Exam. Your doctor will look for physical and sensory changes. Pulses can be checked in your arms and legs. Examining joints can assess for abnormalities.
An annual physical exam for men might also include:Testicular exam: A doctor can check each testicle for lumps, tenderness, or changes in size. Most men with testicular cancer notice a growth before seeing a doctor.
- Hernia exam: The famous "turn your head and cough" checks for a weakness in the abdominal wall between the intestines and scrotum.
- Penis exam: A doctor might notice evidence of sexually transmitted infections such as warts or ulcers on the penis.
- Prostate exam: Inserting a finger in the rectum lets a doctor feel the prostate for its size and any suspicious areas.
- Breast exam. Feeling for abnormal lumps may detect breast cancer or benign breast conditions. The doctor will also check the lymph nodes in the underarm area and look for visual abnormalities of the breasts and nipples.
- Pelvic exam: The pelvic exam allows examination of the vulva, vagina, and cervix. Routine checks for sexually transmitted infections are often done. A Pap test and HPV test can screen for cervical cancer and help assess risk.
- Complete blood count
- Chemistry panel
- Urinalysis (UA)
Corrective Exercise therapy: is about choosing the right exercises for your posture, activity level and personal health history; knowing when and how to progress them and making sure they are performed with proper technique and posture. In everyday life, we are constantly doing activities that create imbalances in our bodies. From sleeping on one side, sitting for long periods of time, or participating in sports like tennis and golf, our bodies slowly develop strengths and weaknesses that eventually lead to asymmetry in our posture and movement. These posture and movement imbalances can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on our muscles and joints and make us more susceptible to chronic pain and injuries. The goal of Corrective Exercise is to identify both posture and movement imbalances and joint limitations and develop a program to correct them. The focus is on movements designed to create balance, stability, and/or mobility in areas that are not functioning properly.
Cupping: is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice that involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. This practice dates back over 2,000 years but has received recent attention in the media due to its use by world-class athletes for injury relief. The cups used in cupping are typically made of bamboo, glass, or earthenware. One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward. I often combine cupping with acupuncture into one treatment, but it could also be used alone. Cupping was developed thousands of years ago and though the techniques have modernized, the original philosophy remains the same. Cupping involves placing glass, bamboo or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove "heat" and pull out the toxins that linger in your body's tissues. You usually will feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup. Often, this sensation is relaxing and soothing.
Diagnostic Labs: diagnosis made by a chemical, microscopic, microbiologic, immunologic, or pathologic study of secretions, discharges, blood, or tissue
Environmental medicine: is a multidisciplinary field involving medicine, environmental science, chemistry and others, overlapping with environmental pathology. It may be viewed as the medical branch of the broader field of environmental health. The scope of this field involves studying the interactions between environment and human health, and the role of the environment in causing or mediating disease. The basic assumption is that health is more widely and dramatically affected by environmental toxins than previously recognized.
General Medical Care : The scope of family practice encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system, and every disease entity. A Family Medicine Practitioner possesses unique attitudes, skills, and knowledge which qualify them to provide continuing and comprehensive medical care, health maintenance and preventive services to each member of the family regardless of sex, age or type of problem, be it biological, behavioral, or social. These specialists, because of their background and interactions with the family, are best qualified to serve as each patient’s advocate in all health-related matters, including the appropriate use of consultants, health services, and community resources
Herbal Medicine: Herbal medicine is a cross cultural, ancient health practice that uses all parts of a plant as medicine for maintaining balance in someones physical, emotion and spiritual self. It may be used to help treat imbalance or disease. The practice of herbal medicine varies from culture to culture and there are similar parallels in many indigenous cultures. Culinary herbs such as basil, sage, rosemary, etc. are used in herbal medicine, but many of the plants people refer to as “weeds” are also highly medicinal and grow right in our back yards. Herbal medicine can be taken in many forms such as a tea infusion, tincture, glycerite, bath/soak, vinegar infusion and topically as an oil or salve. Using medicinal plants as medicine has been shown to cause less side effects and be safer to take than pharmaceuticals. Herbs are very wise and work on a wide range of ailments, physical and emotional/spiritual. It’s very rare for an herb to be taken for one specific thing. They help us find balance and support us in living our best life.
An Infrared Sauna: is a type of sauna that uses light to create heat. These saunas are sometimes called far-infrared saunas. "Far" describes where the infrared waves fall on the light spectrum. A traditional sauna uses heat to warm the air, which in turn warms your body. An infrared sauna heats your body directly without warming the air around you. The appeal of saunas in general is that they cause reactions, such as vigorous sweating and increased heart rate, similar to those elicited by moderate exercise. An infrared sauna produces these results at lower temperatures than does a regular sauna, which makes it accessible to people who can't tolerate the heat of a conventional sauna. But does that translate into tangible health benefits? Perhaps. Several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis, and found some evidence of benefit.
Low Dose Allergy Immunotherapy:(LDA) is a safe and effective procedure for relief of immune reactions. Allergy occurs when the immune system no longer tolerates the external environment. Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system no longer tolerates the internal environment of the body. LDA helps restore immune tolerance to the environment outside and inside the body. Some immune reactions we can treat for include:
- Environmental Inhalant Allergies (Dog, Dust, Hay fever, Mold etc.) and Chemical Sensitivities
- Food Allergies (IgE / non IgE)
- Food and Inhalant Related conditions
- IBS, Inflammatory Bowel (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis)
- Other Colitis.
- Autism Spectrum
- ADHD Spectrum
- Chronic Ear Infections, Tonsillitis
- Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea
- Asthma, Pharyngitis, Rhinitis, Sinusitis
- Food triggered Headaches and Migraines.
- Auto Immune Diseases: Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, ITP, Interstitial cystitis, Auto immune thyroiditis (Hashimotos), SLE (lupus).
- Other Conditions:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Lyme disease
- Chronic Joint and Muscle Pain, NAFLD,
- Nephritic Syndrome
- Re-current Strep
- Chronic Vaginitis
Lymph Drainage Therapy: has numerous applications:
- Circulation of lymph, blood capillaries, veins, interstitial liquids and cerebrospinal and synovial fluids (in-directly) is activated. This action helps to reroute stagnant fluid in the skin (i.e., edema, primary and secondary lymphedema), mucosa, muscles, viscera, joints, cranial sutures, periosteum, chambers of the eyes and cochlea.
- Toxins are removed, making lymphatic drainage especially effective in tissue regeneration. Scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and fracture, or surgical-incision sites, are improved. Many therapists also use LDT as part of detoxification and anti-aging regimens.
- Macromolecules (proteins) are drained, which helps to eliminate protein-rich fluid from the extracellular tissues and aid the reabsorption of edema.
- Fats are evacuated through lymphatic vessels. These vessels are located in virtually every area of the body where fats may accumulate.
- The functioning of the immune system is stimulated through increased lymph flow. The additional flow carries more antigens to the lymph nodes, thereby increasing antibody/antigen contact. This has been found to help with chronic or subacute inflammatory processes -- chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disease, bronchitis, sinusitis, amygdalitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, arthritis, acne and eczema.
- The functioning of the parasympathetic system is bolstered and sympathetic tone is diminished with stimulation of the lymphatics -- the "fight or flight" response. This can be very helpful in dealing with stress, depression and sleeping disorders.
- Chronic pain is reduced as the drainage alleviates tissue-fluid stagnation and possibly inhibits nociceptors (pain receptors).
- Voluntary and involuntary muscle spasms are reduced, proving helpful in cases of constipation and other muscle-related maladies.
Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy: A significant part of health is balancing hormones. We will use lab tests, physical exams, and questions to decipher appropriate treatments to balance your hormones. This may be with diet, vitamins, herbs, acupuncture, lifestyle interventions, or hormone supplementation.
Nutritional Counseling: We will address your current clinical nutritional needs with laboratory work, physical exam and questionnaires to help decipher the best dietary approach for each individual. We will evaluate for toxins and help support your body's detoxification. Our dietary teachings will include an emphasis on whole foods, limiting refined foods, and eating the rainbow each day. We will have individual counseling and classes available.
Massage therapy: is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods (also called modalities). People seek massage therapy for a variety of reasons – to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles, rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain, and promote overall health and wellness.
Maya Abdominal Therapy®: is a non-invasive, external, massage technique. When applied, they guide internal abdominal organs into their proper position for optimum health and well being. The techniques work by relieving congestion and blockages to improve the flow of chi and fluids of the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems to prevent the progression of chronic disease symptomology. This results in improved organ function by releasing physical and emotional congestion from the abdomen. These techniques are effective for both men and women. The technique works by relieving congestion and blockages that improve the flow of qi and fluids of the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems, thereby preventing the symptoms to progress to chronic disease. Organ function is improved by the release of physical and also emotional congestion from the abdomen.
The work is best known for correcting a prolapsed or tipped uterus. As with any other natural healing modality, Arvigo Techniques support the body's inherent healing ability to self regulate and self-heal, referred to as homeostasis or balance. These techniques are offered as a supportive modality to enhance health and wellness, and are not meant as an entire approach to health care.
Meditation: is a practice that uses techniques to quiet the mind. There are many ways to practice meditation, and regular meditation has been shown to reduce stress, enhance sleep, and improve clear thinking. Those who meditate report higher levels of self-esteem. The practice has also been used to help people quit smoking, conquer drug and alcohol addictions, reduce blood pressure and reduce symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome and menopause. Meditation aids in lowering heart rate and blood pressure by slowing down breathing, which reduces the amount of oxygen needed. Along with the mind, muscles gently relax. “Some experts have compared it to a ‘reset button’ for your body.”
Mindfulness-based: approaches are most commonly delivered through the use of mindfulness meditation, though mindfulness may be achieved through a variety of techniques. During mindfulness meditation, the practitioner will typically guide the person or people in therapy to direct their focus on the present moment. The participants are trained to zone in on a particular phenomenon. If the participants become aware that their thoughts are drifting away from the present, they are encouraged to take notice of where they are and what they are doing before bringing their attention back to the present moment, without reacting or judging themselves. Mindfulness can be achieved without meditation. Gentle yoga movements and sitting, walking, or mountain meditations may be used in mindfulness approaches as a way of heightening awareness of physical sensations.
Myofascial Release: is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate. Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)
Reflexology: is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands and ears. Reflexology is generally relaxing and may be an effective way to alleviate stress. The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body. Several studies funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, and enhance relaxation and sleep. Studies also show that reflexology may have benefits in palliative care of people with cancer.
Reiki: is a spiritual healing art with its roots in Japanese origin. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word (Rei) which means “Universal Life” and (Ki) which means “Energy”. Reiki is not affiliated with any particular religion or religious practice. It is not massage nor is it based on belief or suggestion. It is a subtle and effective form of energy work using spiritually guided life force energy. Reiki is the life energy that flows through all living things. Reiki Practitioners understand that everyone has the ability to connect with their own healing energy and use it to strengthen energy in themselves and help others. It is believed that a person’s “ki” or energy should be strong and free flowing. When this is true a person’s body and mind is in a positive state of health. When the energy becomes weak or blocked it could lead to symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance. A Reiki session can help ease tension and stress and can help support the body to facilitate an environment for healing on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional.
Trigger Point Therapy: targets a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may produce referral pain in the neck. The neck, now acting as a satellite trigger point, may then cause pain in the head. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort. The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain.
Yoga: is a combination of philosophical and physical practices developed in India thousands of years ago. Here in the West, when most people hear the term yoga, they picture the practice of Hatha Yoga or yoga asana (postures), which represents one limb of the eight-limbed practice of yoga. The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj, means to yoke or bind. Hatha translates as willful or forceful, but can be broken down into its root words, ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon.” Hatha yoga then, involves the binding or union of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. . In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose. Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. By bringing our attention to our breath, we learn to quiet the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment. Practicing just a few yoga postures each day can help reduce stress, enhance sleep, improve mobility, decrease pain, and increase longevity. In addition to the practice of the physical postures, the philosophy of yoga also teaches a way of living more mindfully in the world. It is not a religion, but rather a way of engaging with our self and our actions in ways that help us be more present to our daily experiences. The Indian sage Patanjali collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most the practice of yoga. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara(withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly (through breath work and meditation) until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment). Many people find that a regular, mindful practice of yoga asana provides a platform from which they can work with all eight limbs, and so, for many westerners, asana is the core of their yoga practice.