Acupuncture

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Acupuncture is an ancient art which originated in China. The insertion of very fine needles into the body along meridians is used to open and balance the channels of the body. The theory is that disease is caused by either too much or too little energy flowing through the body. The needles open and balance the channels, restoring health to the system. The channels can be thought of as the electrical system of the body. They are the invisible wires that run through our entire body. Inserting a needle in a point on the channel affects the entire system. All the the channels connect with each other. Our life force, or qi, moves through the wiring system. If there is a break or damage to the system through disease or trauma, the needle insertion can help reestablish communication in the broken system.


Lymphatic Drainage

The lymph system runs throughout our entire body. It is responsible for purifying our blood. Our blood is only as clean and healthy as our lymph system. The lymph runs parallel to the blood vessels and capillaries. It does not have a pump the way the blood system has the heart. The Lymph relies on our breath, exercise and stimulation to move and clean the blood. There are lymph nodes at various locations in the body near the major joints such as knee, hip, shoulder, neck, groin. These nodes detoxify poisons and waste from the blood. The lymph vessels run superficially near the skin. They are designed with one way valves that do not allow for back flow. The lymph vessels move the fluid slowly through the nodes and into our belly area. There are many deep lymph nodes in the belly. The lymph collects here and then is deposited into a cistern called “cisterna chyle”. Chyle means milky fluid or lymph. From the cisterna chyle the lymph travels up the thoracic duct into the left subclavian vein at the clavicle area. It then merges once again with the blood and moves into the heart to be recirculated. This lymph is blood plasma. It is blood with the red blood cells filtered out. The kidneys filter out the red blood cells. So if you have blood in your urine, there is a problem with the filtering system.Lymphatic drainage therapy helps the body to detoxify. It is very important when some lymph nodes have been removed.. It is a manual therapy that involves a very light superficial touch to the extremities, head an neck of the body. This massage encourages the lymph to move easily towards the belly. Massage of the deep lymph nodes is essential to unblock the knots and tangles of lymph, capillaries and nerve fibers that develop through disease, stress and a compromised digestive tract.It is important not to overload your digestive system with foods that require the lymph system to work harder than it is able. A diet filled with organic fruits and vegetables is optimal.


Cranial Sacral

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Cranial sacral therapy is an osteopathic technique that involves monitoring the rhythms of the cerebrospinal fluid as it moves through the bony structure of the central nervous system and interfaces with the autonomic nervous system. There is a quarter cup of cerebrospinal fluid that is distilled by the choroids plexus in the 4th ventricle of the brain from lymphatic fluid.. This CSF bathes the brain , spinal cord and sacrum and acts as a watery conductor of electricity to the body systems to give signals that keep the body healthy and actively functioning. If there is disease or trauma, the endocrine and nervous systems of the body are unable to communicate signals properly. The very light still touch of cranial sacral therapy provides a fulcrum around which the brain’s system can reorganize and heal. The therapist provides the fulcrum, the client’s “inner healer” provides the healing.


Polarity Therapy

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Polarity Therapy was founded by an osteopath named Randoph Stone. His life was devoted to balancing the Body Mind system. He believed that the body is the building and the mind is the blueprint. As Above So Below. As we think, so our body becomes. His work includes massage therapy and energy work techniques as well as recommendations for a diet and lifestyle that fosters health and balance. A polarity therapy healing session feels like a combination of movement, massage, deep tissue and quiet energy work. It also works with the 5 elements of the body: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. It balance the 3 poles of all these elements. Dr. Stone talks about the triune function of the body: the positive, neutral and negative poles and occur in any electromagnetic system. When all the elements and poles are balanced, there is health. When there is too much energy or not enough, there is disease. It is all about balance and harmony.


Massage Therapy

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Massage therapy is a general term for healing bodywork. Generally we think if massage as a relaxing, soothing touch that smooths away the knots in the muscles. In my practice I do many types of massage including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Lymphatic Drainage and activating movement massage. I incorporate massage, either with or without massage oil, into my treatments which also may include acupuncture, polarity and cranial sacral therapy.


Nutritional Counseling

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I am a Chinese Herbalist licensed by California and certified by the National Association of Acupuncture and Herbology. My work involves educating my patients in dietary and lifestyle choices that will enable them to benefit from their treatments with me. We are partners in this work. When a patient comes for a session, there are issues which need to be addressed. The treatments help best when they are supported by dietary and herbal protocols.

 

I am like a Cat

I am like a cat reclining as the late morning sun streams in though the east window bathing my body in precious November warmth. My legs curled up Listening to native flute music My head inclined towards the sky. I feel the desert landscape as I stroke my feet- The textures of red clay sagebrush hills Emerge as my fingers move over my legs, Finding crevices like caves and arches, Mounding and receding in a timeless Panorama of discovery. With eyes closed, my legs become plateaus and gorges- The spirals in my knees invite me to circle And explore with the deep awareness only the blind know. Such slow, gentle, reverent touch; Stretching each moment out to meet the horizon What lies over that last hill? What wonder awaits my next breath? What not will the Master sound To guide me in a new direction? Back to my toes as I sink Into the hidden kiva beneath my big toe And move over rivers of tendons In time with the rhythm of the flute. The outer music fades into the past. The stillness remains as I wander Into deeper landscapes of my soul- Feeling the luscious heaviness Of you tethering me to your heart as a force moves me slowly into the next movement. Slow and easy Sunday reveals itself.

A Poem by Mary Sullivan