Sustainable Health Acupuncture, the practice of Liz Roseman, L.Ac., is a fully licensed and board-certified acupuncture clinic conveniently located on Clayton Street, close to downtown Asheville. Some of the conditions we treat include Women’s health issues, pain, emotional issues, insomnia, and digestive complaints.
If this is your first acupuncture visit, you will be wondering what you can expect. In your initial visit, you and Liz will spend two hours together in order to conduct an extremely thorough intake and a full treatment. Chinese Medicine treats the whole person, so even though you may be coming in for pain, you will be asked about all systems such as digestion, energy, and sleep. After this, Liz will take your pulse and examine your tongue. Chinese Medical pulse-taking uses 3 fingers on each wrist to feel six different pulses – each representing a different organ system. Feeling the pulse is like listening to a symphony, and it is up to your practitioner to feel where the imbalances are – much like the conductor hearing that the violin is off-tune and the drums need to be louder. The tongue is also viewed as a microcosm, representing all of the organ systems throughout the entire tongue.
Liz will then take a few moments to hone her diagnosis and develop your treatment plan. The plan will include acupuncture, and may also include Chinese herbs, moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, Chinese dietary therapy, essential oils, flower essences, or any other modality that is appropriate for you. So let’s explore what each of these entail:
Acupuncture is an ancient medical art from China dating back thousands of years. It consists of inserting very thin, single-use needles gently into the body to help the body return to optimal balance. (Keep in mind that optimal balance is different for each person; Chinese medicine takes this into consideration.)
Chinese Herbs help to balance the body from the inside, and are something that you can do between treatments to continue to work on balancing yourself. I enjoy writing complex formulas for my patients that are customized for each patient, and keep myself abreast of research on drug-herb interactions – my patients can feel safe in that knowledge.
Moxibution, or moxa, refers to the stimulation of an acupuncture point or larger area of the body by burning the herb mugwort near or directly on the skin. (If used directly on the skin, it is removed well before it has burnt down to the skin, so you will not go home with a burn.) It can be used to warm the body, to help Blood and Qi flow smoothly, or to supplement deficiencies.
In cupping, a vacuum is created in a glass cup to create suction and apply it to the predetermined areas on the body. Cupping can be used for the early stage of colds, helping the Lungs to evacuate phlegm, treating pain, and many other issues.
Gua Sha is similar to cupping in its use. It consists of rubbing the skin with a gua sha tool in order to alleviate congestion (Blood Stasis) in the channels. It can also be used for colds and asthma. In both cupping and gua sha, you may go home with some red or purple marks – these are not painful and indicate that there was a significant amount of Stasis at the areas we worked on.
Chinese Dietary Therapy:
Chinese Medicine looks at nutrition in a very different way than western nutrition. Did you know that if you are cold-natured you should not be eating a lot of salads or cold food? And if you run hot, you should not be eating spicy foods? Doing either of these will worsen your condition. Liz really enjoys working with patients on modifying their diets to what will optimally support their personal healing. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Liz has been studying the use of essential oils on acupuncture points over the last three years with Lorie Eve Dechar, M.Ac., and Benjamin Fox, LMBT, in the Alchemical Healing Mentorship. She uses them both as an adjunct to, or in place of, needles. They can be a very good option for children (or adults!) who may be needle-phobic.
Liz started working with flower essences over the past few years, again as a result of the Alchemical Healing Mentorship. Flower essences are used to heal soul or spirit level disturbances, and Liz has found them to be highly effective in her practice. In her experience, they work quickly and have long-lasting results.
As you can see, there are many tools available for use. Based on your time together, Liz chooses the ones that are appropriate for you. And because you and she spend a good deal of time talking in follow-up treatments (these are one hour visits), she is able to constantly reassess and modify your plan as you change.