Acupuncture and Functional Medicine Services

Red Leaf Wellness offers acupuncture and functional medicine services in Edmonton, Alberta. I provide whole health, functional and alternative medicine strategies by blending the best of ancient Eastern healing and modern Western medicine.  In addition to traditional acupuncture care, I offer highly specialized treatment for stress management, female wellness, men’s health, weight loss, digestive issueschronic and acute pain management and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

For thousands of years Chinese Medicine has been evaluating, diagnosing and effectively treating a wide variety of health conditions.  Below are examples of some of the common services and treatment modalities I provide.

Acupuncture is an ancient method of medicine that uses the body’s energy or Qi (chee) to treat conditions such as pain, dizziness, nausea, chronic conditions, post-stroke paralysis, drug and alcohol addiction, etc. Acupuncture uses very fine, sterile, single-use needles placed in specific locations around the body to manipulate that energy. There are acupuncture points all over the body, including the face and scalp. Where you will have needles placed will depend on your signs and symptoms.

“7 Star,” or plum blossom needling, is a technique that uses a specially designed small plastic hammer with 7 small needle tips. Like acupuncture needles, these are very fine, small needles, and the surface area of the hammer prevents them from penetrating deeply into the skin. This technique is often used with early stage cold symptoms, trauma, and long term pain. The practitioner will use the 7 star needle to lightly tap on the affected area, rather than inserting a single needle into the area. It should not be painful. There may be slight bleeding, depending on your condition.

Moxibustion is a heating method of treatment using the Chinese herb mugwort. Moxibustion is used for treating pain, trauma, and certain cold-related injuries or conditions. The mugwort is compressed into a stick that is burned near the body or into small cones that are placed on the body with a protective barrier that prevents burning. Both these methods introduce heat into the affected area, providing relief of pain. There is some limited smoke and odor when using moxibustion. Please advise your practitioner if you have asthma or other respiratory conditions, or if you are sensitive to odors.

Electrostimulation uses small electrodes attached to acupuncture needles to send an electrical impulse into the muscle. It is most often used for musculoskeletal pain and paralysis. Your practitioner will insert 2-6 needles in an area and attach electrodes. You will feel a mild pulsing in time with the electrical impulse. It is not painful or uncomfortable. If you experience pain or discomfort, advise your practitioner, who will adjust the strength of the impulse to a more comfortable setting.

Gua Sha is a treatment that is used primarily for early cold symptoms or tightness in large muscle groups. This technique involves using a dull-edged device, like a soup spoon or polished stone, to gently massage the skin, usually the upper back and neck. It is not painful. There is no bleeding or scabbing. You may experience some slight bruising or redness that may last 1 to 3 days.

Cupping is a technique that is most often used for musculoskeletal pain, such as back pain. In this technique, small glass or plastic cups will be placed on the affected area and suction will be created, drawing some of your tissue inside the cup. Your practitioner may apply a thin layer of oil to your skin and may move the cups around the affected area. There is no bleeding. You may feel a sensation similar to that of being massaged. You may experience round bruises, redness, or bruising over the affected area that may last 3 to 5 days.

Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.

Chinese herbal formulas are specially formulated combinations of traditional herbs that are intended to compliment acupuncture treatments for most conditions. Chinese herbs can be plants, minerals, sea products, and animal products. Herbs come in pill form, powders that you mix with warm water and drink as tea, and raw herbs that you simmer in water and then drink as tea. Your practitioner will thoroughly explain any herbal formula you may receive, as well as any anticipated interactions with your medications. You should never discontinue doctor-prescribed medications without consulting your doctor.

Please advise your practitioner if you are vegan or vegetarian, and if you have any food/medication/environmental allergies or sensitivities.

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