Traditional Chinese Medicine

Cupping for Athletes and Weekend Warriors in Denver

By |2016-08-31T16:12:51+00:00August 31st, 2016|Acupuncture, Sports Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine|

Cupping, an ancient healing tool that has been traced back to ancient Egypt, China, Europe, Africa and Native American cultures and has gained worldwide attention after Michael Phelps, United States Gold Medal Olympic swimmer, swam in the 2016 Rio Olympics with circular bruise marks on his back and shoulder, caused by cupping. 36FE14F900000578-0-image-a-12_1470640774760
Phelps has been using this therapy technique to help his muscles recover and perform at their best. It involves a therapist heating small glass cups, then placing them on the skin and pulling them from the body to loosen and relax the muscles.
Michael Phelps is a firm believer in the power of cupping, “Our bodies are going to hurt after doing this for so long. It’s the best thing that I’ve ever had. It has saved me from a lot of pain.”
What is cupping?
The treatment creates a partial vacuum on the skin using cups. The result is a suction that increases blood and energy flow to the area. The increase of circulation facilitates localized healing. Cupping relieves pain is by opening up the meridians, or energy channels, of the body and improving energy flow to every organ and tissue of the body. Cupping also triggers body tissues to release toxins and activates the lymphatic system which helps to alleviate aches and pains.
The cupping process:
Glass cups are fitted with a valve that attaches to a small hand-operated pump, allowing the practitioner to suck out air without having to rely on fire to depressurize the cup first. It also gives them greater control over the amount of suction. The modern name for cupping is baguanfa or suction cup therapy.
In order to allow the cups to move over the skin easily, oil is used. Oils that have been infused with extracts of medicinal herbs are particularly useful. The cups are applied at room temperature, and there is some friction generated with moving cups, causing a small but significant amount of heat, especially if a warming oil is also used.
Cups are generally left in place for ten minutes although the time can range from five to fifteen minutes. The skin will redden due to the congestion of blood flow and some bruising on the skin is to be expected.
What can cupping relieve?
This natural treatment isn’t only great for general body aches, pain, and stress. Cupping can be an excellent noninvasive treatment for:

  • Acute pain such as sprains and strains
  • Dull aches and pains, arthritis
  • Edema and swellings
  • Respiratory issues like asthma, chronic cough, and bronchitis
  • Abdominal pain, stomachache and indigestion
  • Painful menstruation and associated low back pain
  • Coughs from excessive mucus

The Wellness Center is your premier place for getting cupping in Denver.  We can work with you to create the perfect treatment plan based on your unique needs and lifestyle.  Cupping can be done is just a 30 minute session with one of our skilled practitioners.
If you are interested in booking a cupping session, you can book with any of the following Denver cupping therapists:
Acupuncturists: Dr. Shwu-Yar Tsai and Gabriella Rivera, L.Ac
Chiropractor: Dr. Tim Price
Massage Therapists: Amie Kern, CMT, Linda Moiseyev, CMT and Shannon McFall – Michelson, CMT

Hormonal Balance and Traditional Chinese Medicine

By |2016-06-16T16:47:34+00:00June 16th, 2016|Traditional Chinese Medicine|

by Gabriella Rivera, L.Ac, HHC, DAOM (Doctoral Candidate)
Chinese-MedicineToday, men and woman struggle and share some hormonal imbalances such as; fluctuating moods, declining libido, PMS, migraines, sleep disturbances and infertility. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, all disorders and diseases are due to an imbalance of Yin and Yang that are caused by an inner imbalance. Acupuncture, lifestyle and diet, all branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine, can offer a whole body approach that addresses two major culprits in hormonal imbalance; digestive disorders and excess stress.
Medically speaking, balancing hormones has proven to be complex. As more men and women search for alternatives to pharmaceuticals, and surgery, Chinese medicine offers a more holistic approach that balances the Earth element and the cumulative physiological effects of stress. The Earth element is related to digestive force and can support healthy reproduction and balance hormones. This is achieved through proper diet and acupuncture. Together, both acupuncture and proper nutrition help strengthen digestion and aid in the assimilation of nutrients that support proper hormonal balance.
Here are a few tips to help you strengthen your digestion:

  • Limit cold drinks and foods
  • Chew food thoroughly
  • Eat more cooked foods
  • Limit meat and dairy (always eat animal protein with vegetables)
  • Avoid food combinations that produce blotting and gas like, proteins and grains in the same meal
  • Eat more fermented foods and probiotic drinks
  • Explore adding digestive enzymes and probiotics

Hormonal imbalances however, are not only related to dietary issues and are commonly not an isolated problem. It’s important to remember that hormonal problems do not appear overnight and in a number of cases imbalances can be a result of a malfunction with the ovaries or other endocrine system factors. Most commonly however, the problems are a direct result of poor lifestyle and dietary factors.
Often hormonal issues are directly related to our daily stress responds. “The more stress we are under the more our cortisol levels are unbalanced. Not only is cortisol our primary stress hormone, it is a primary hormone in general helping our body convert food into energy, normalize blood sugar, respond to stress and maintain our immune system’s inflammatory response.” 1 Live style changes, proper nutrition and balancing hormones via acupuncture can often get our hormones functioning right again and are a great first step in holistically addressing hormonal imbalances.
Here are just a few types of stresses that can negatively affect the way our body’s hormones function:

  • Eating a highly processed diet
  • Relationship or family problems
  • Financial trouble
  • Job loss
  • Too much work
  • Exposure to chemicals and toxins in your environment
  • Constant depletion of antioxidants or not getting enough from our diet

Are you’re struggling with hormonal issues that manifest as a declining libido, low energy, PMS, infertility, migraines/headaches and or sleep problems? I invite you to explore how Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be the first safe step in supporting you holistically without the side effects of drugs or the dangers of surgery.
Here’s to your health!
Gabriella Rivera, L.Ac, HHC, DAOM (Doctoral Candidate)
1. References: Dr. Kalish L.Ac and Functional Medicine Doctor