Whether it’s applying deep Chinese massage to an aching back or adjusting the temperature of a patient’s drinking water, Marc Herns takes a holistic approach to Acupuncture.
“Chinese medicine looks at the whole body and we look at preventing illness in the first place, whereas western medicine will treat the symptoms after you get sick,” said Herns. “But it’s important to note that the two cultures can complement each other.”
At his Lake Jackson, Texas clinic, Acupuncture & Alternative Health, Herns offers many treatments including acupuncture and cupping. Using various sizes of glass “cups,” cupping involves creating a vacuum over various parts of the body for therapeutic effects.
Cupping is used therapeutically to draw blood flow to areas of pain, thus flushing capillary beds and re-supplying vital nutrients. Suction also mobilizes and stretches soft tissue, loosening areas of restriction. Suction cups are usually placed over disease/injury sites for five to 10 minutes.
“Acupuncture and suction cupping follow the meridians, because if you’re in pain, you are blocked somewhere along the way, and we work to unblock the meridians,” said Herns.
And for anyone new to Chinese massage, be forewarned: it’s not always comfortable, but it is effective. Herns uses a method known as Tui Na, a method of bodywork therapy that has been used in China for over 2,000 years. Tui Na uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi (“chee”) through the meridians. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques, Tui Na seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi, allowing the body to naturally heal itself.
“I will look at the tongue and the eyes and feel the temperature of the body,” he said. “With traditional Chinese medicine, there is much to learn about the meridians, the acupuncture points, the muscles, where they start and stop, and then the bones.”
Each of Herns’s sessions lasts between 30 minutes and two hours. On their first visit, clients are assessed, with Herns getting to know what it is they need, and adjusting the treatment to each individual.