Sarah Chase’s approach to Classical Chinese Medicine melds a variety of techniques to promote the deepest healing for the individual. Each patient’s experience begins with a thorough walk-through of their health history — then Sarah determines the right combination of acupuncture, massage modalities and Chinese herbs. Moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, massage, essential oils or other techniques may be used to enhance your treatment. Herbal formulas and nutritional suggestions will be given as needed.
How Acupuncture Works: The Classical View
The human body is a microcosm of the natural world. We contain mountains, valleys, rivers, and oceans. The meridians, or channels, are the waterways that carry life-giving qi and blood to the other aspects of our bodies. Like in streams, the flow of water might be blocked by a fallen log that creates a dam. In us, this blockage can come from injury, stress, exposure to weather, or improper diet. We begin to have places of excess (pain, congestion, inflammation) and places of deficiency (numbness, discoloration, coldness). If we can remove the blockages, the qi will again flow freely. Our bodies want to remove these blockages and just a little bit of assistance in opening can have a big impact.
How Acupuncture Works: The Scientific View
Hair-thin, sterile, disposable needles are placed in strategic points on the body. These needles affect the nervous system and promote the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites — helping to re-establish the signaling system in our bodies. Through the nervous system, the hormonal system is affected via the adrenal gland which makes connections to every cell and system in the body. Acupuncture points are located near cranial nerves, spinal nerves, and their terminals. Through their stimulation, neurotransmitters are released from primary sensory neurons. Acupuncture also has an effect on endorphins which have been shown to alleviate pain. People typically experience heavy, achy, warm, tingling sensation at the location of the needles — or sometimes no sensation at all.
Read more about the science of acupuncture here.
Acupuncture Helps Treat:
Some of the most common conditions treated by acupuncture are: musculoskeletal problems like back and neck pain, inflammation, digestive issues, gynecological issues, emotional balance, autoimmune disorders, nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.
5 Meridian System
Sarah Chase studied the 5 Meridian System of acupuncture under the lineage of Dr. Jeffrey Yuen — a detailed tradition that goes well beyond the 12 Primary Meridians of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture meridians or channels are roadmaps or pathways that represent the movement of qi and blood in the body. The 5 Meridian System deals with different relationships within the body.
The Primary Meridians deal with both the Interior and the Exterior of the body. They are great at meeting someone exactly where they are in their day to day life. And they give us the best reference for understanding both the inside and the outside of the body. This is why they have become the Primary channels. But if we want a more specific relationship, we have to look at the other channel systems.
The Sinew (Musculoskeletal) Meridians deal with the Exterior of the body. The exterior is represented by climatic factors, ecological factors, environmental factors, and accidents. They relate to our autonomic or instinctual responses. They address issues of the physical realm like inflammation, pain, spasms, numbness, or tension. They help us become aware of what we do have control over in our bodies.
The Luo Channels look at the flesh like visible blood vessels (varicosities) or nodules. They represents the interior, the gut and Internal pathological conditions which in Chinese medicine are emotions, lifestyle choices, and diet. In Chinese medicine we say that the blood contains our spirit or Shen so it has consciousness. This means that the things we feel we are conscious of, or these are the things we make conscious choices about. Luos deal with issues of thoughts and emotions.
The Eight Extraordinary Vessels conduct essence or our genetic material. They are used to deal with deeply ingrained patterning and healing the ancestral code. These help us in finding spiritual evolution and purpose in our lives.
The Divergent Meridians conduct Qi from the External level to the level of Essence via the joints which contain marrow and DNA. These treatments help to free up overactive defensive qi that can get lodged in our Essence as in cases of autoimmune disease.
Cupping uses glass cups to create suction on the body. It can affect the body up to four inches into the tissue, causing the tissues to release toxins, activating the lymphatic system, and promoting the circulation of blood. The cups are used two different ways. Stationary cups are placed over acupuncture points to help pull out stagnation. This is especially helpful for lung disorders like asthma, allergies, chronic cough, and chest congestion. Moving cups or massage cupping is great for musculoskeletal disorders. Tight muscles relax easily because they respond differently to the negative pressure created by the cups.
Gua sha, roughly translated, means "to scrape wind." It also releases unhealthy elements from injured or stagnant areas and stimulates the flow of blood and qi, promoting healing. It is used to treat internal and external conditions as well as for health maintenance. Digestive upsets, colds, flus, headaches, fibromyalgia, and painful muscles or joints are just a few of the conditions gua sha can help. Patients often notice immediate improvement in musculoskeletal pain and stiffness.
Moxibustion is the ancient Chinese medical practice of burning moxa — processed mugwort — to warm specific areas of the body. Moxa is burned and held about an inch above the skin or burned on acupuncture needles to warm the channels, activate the qi, and promote circulation.
Sarah is also a certified Chinese herbalist and takes great joy in designing specific herbal formulations to fit the individuals need. Chinese herbal medicine can be traced back 5000 years so whether you are fighting off the flu or just wanting some extra energy these potent herbs have the answer. The herbs most commonly given are easy to swallow pills, capsules, tablets or granule formulas that are drunk like a tea. All the herbs prescribed are from reputable suppliers and GMP certified.
Wellness comes from the mind, the body, and the spirit — including what we put into our bodies. The food we put in our bodies is classified just like the Chinese medicinal herbs. We can use the temperature, nature and taste to create healing in the body and provide long term change.