Other Therapies at the Clinic

The clinic might be called Nanaimo Acupuncture, but we do more than that. Some people don't like needles, or would benefit from a different form of therapy than acupuncture, or combined with it so we do have other treatment modalities available at the clinic.

This is what else we can do to help you get better.

Auricular Acupuncture & Auricular Therapy

Auricular therapy can be done with very small needles inserted into the ear, which is usually called Auricular acupuncture. Alternatively we can stick seeds or pellets onto (as opposed to into) the ear which acts like acupressure or massage which we refer to Auricular therapy.

Auricular therapy uses a of reflexology concept, where different parts of the body or functions can be targeted. Through observing changes in the ear - discolouration, depressions or protrusions, tenderness to touch or even changes in skin quality - we can diagnose and treat many conditions.

Ear treatments are often used for treating anxiety, smoking (and other addictions), aiding weight loss as well as many other conditions. Treatment with seeds is completely painless, since nothing breaks the skin, it's safe for children, people who don't like needles and for clients who cannot make regular, frequent appointments. All you have to do is massage the seeds a few times a day.

Some ear treatment can be included with any appointment at this clinic, but you can also request to have just the ear treatment. Standalone auricular treatments are still just $20 - $40 and the treatment can stay on for around 5-7 days.

The NADA protocol began for addiction treatment but has been used for all sorts of substance use, mental health issues, weight loss and chronic pain. Recent applications include Battlefield Acupuncture, used by the American Air Force and other branches of the armed forces around the world to help returning veterans deal with chronic pain, PTSD and other issues related to combat service.

Find out how acupuncture can help you better manage a safe recovery.

Cupping or Myofascial Decompression

Cupping therapy has been used in China for nearly 3,000 years and is a popular traditional medicine throughout Eastern Asia all the way across to Western Europe, Australia and Africa. In recent years other professions have seen the benefits of the therapy and rebranded it, taking the exact same therapy and calling it myofascial decompression. Have to admit that sounds more like a professional medical procedure than cupping does.

At its core, cupping is a deep tissue massage, but it pulls up rather than pressing in. Suction from the cup pulls the skin and underlying tissues up into the cup relaxing muscles, loosening fascia, reducing inflammation and boosts the circulation of blood and lymph.

Here at the clinic we use pump-controlled plastic cups rather than glass or bamboo because they're easier to keep sterile, there's zero risk from open flames and they provide significantly more control over the strength of suction than traditional fire cupping. Patient safety is more important than looking cool.
Softer silicone cups are also available which allow the cup to be moved over oiled skin for a form of massage which really loosens the tissues below.

Cupping does leave visible marks, which is often a desired effect and can last up to a week - looking like a mild bruise, or hickey.

It's often used for:

  • Aches and pains especially on the back, neck, shoulders and limbs
  • Neck and shoulder tension including tension headaches/migraines and grinding teeth at night
  • Sports injury and training recovery
  • Respiratory conditions including asthma, cough & bronchitis
  • Digestive and menstrual problems

Guasha or Myofascial Release

Guasha directly translates as "scraping sand" and and is now practiced by many different therapists as myofascial release, Graston or other trademarked names. Guasha has been around for thousands of years, for so long we have no idea how old it actually is, but it probably predates acupuncture which is thousands of years old.

Gua sha is classically done with buffalo horn tools but can be done with a ceramic spoon, a lid from a jar or even coins for simple home treatment in China. Modern practitioners still use horn tools, but fancy-pants ones are available made from jade, metal and other materials. There's no benefit to using expensive tools, most of us use what fits best in our individual hands.

Treatment involves repeatedly scraping the tool over prepared skin with the goal of creating ecchymosis (redness). These marks are different than the light bruising that accompanies cupping and should fade in 2-3 days.

It's often used for:

  • Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Colds & flu
  • Headaches & migraine
  • Recovery from shingles