Alpenglow Acupuncture Logo

907.336.6692

3343 Fairbanks St
Anchorage, AK 99503

Treatments Offered at Alpenglow Acupuncture, LLC

Chinese Acupuncture

Chinese Acupuncture chooses points based on expected affects to a particular problem area, often utilizing a 3-point combination to address a particular complaint. These points are known as local, distal and remote. For example, if the main complaint was low back pain, the Chinese approach would choose a point local to the pain, a distal point on the legs or arms that is on a channel or meridian that directly crosses the area of complaint, and finally, a remote point on the arm or leg that is especially known to have beneficial effect on that area.

The Chinese approach hopes to focus and direct Qi (energy) from the needle to the main complaint, promoting healing to an isolated area. Other tools are also used to enhance the treatment such as Moxa, Cupping, Gua-sha, and Electrical Stimulation.

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Japanese Acupuncture

Japanese acupuncture is unique in its efficiency and precision, but is still firmly imbedded in the ancient Chinese medical texts. Techniques are directed at using the minimal amount of stimulation to attain the greatest results. Practitioners who practice this style use thinner and fewer needles, and shallower needle insertion. Sometimes the treatment involves simply touching the surface of the skin with the needles called “superficial insertion”. It also uses abdominal palpation and other diagnostics to determine the underlying balance. Meridian therapy is one system of Japanese Acupuncture that grasps all diseases as a condition of deficiency or excess of Qi or blood in the meridians, and then uses the techniques of acupuncture to tonify or shunt to bring about healing. Moxibustion is used extensively in the Japanese techniques.

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Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is the practice of manipulating joints, primarily in the spine, to restore normal position and movement, and encourages a healthy and functional musculoskeletal and nervous system. Vertebrae that are out of alignment or not moving properly create a condition called “subluxation complex”. It can be a mild irritation that causes discomfort and reduced range of motion, or can be a more severe condition resulting in disc displacement, nerve compression, and pain not only at the site of subluxation but also along associated muscles and nerves.

Chiropractic treatment involves evaluating the spine and performing adjustments to segments that are out of alignment to restore movement, function, and support the body's own natural healing process. A Chiropractic adjustment is a specifically directed quick thrust using the hands or a small spring-loaded instrument. The Chiropractor may also employ other therapies to support the adjustment, such as, specific massage techniques to reduce muscle tension. Chiropractors are trained physicians with 4 years of intense study that includes taking and reading x-rays, diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, and providing nutrition and lifestyle counseling.

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Herbal Medicine

The Chinese meaning for Herbal Recipes or Formulas is a simple phrase “Fang Ji”. Since the pre-Han era (206 B.C.) these words refer to the separate but complimentary practice of medicine. Fang refers to the document on which the formula was recorded and Ji refers to the practice of the technique itself. Thus, Fang Ji, are formulas which are put into practice.

Many of the Formulas we use at Alpenglow date back to the 3rd century BC. The Chinese have a rich history and background in herbal medicinals. With this comes a rich history of conscience dialog and documentation of every aspect of the Fang Ji. A common phrase in China is, “too much medicine makes a man sick.” Thus implying the corrective qualities of Chinese medicinal. They help symptoms, and bring the body to perfect harmony but their potency can move it back into disharmony if overused. Licensed Acupuncturist’s have extensive training in the use of these formulas, the good that they bring and the potential side effects they may have. This is why all Chinese Medicinal should be taken with respect and caution under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

At Alpenglow Acupuncture we regularly use Chinese Herbals with our treatments. Herbs are just one facet in the Oriental Medical approach. Formulas are made by taking the herbs roots, stems leaves, and fruit of plants and combining 4 or more herbs that synergistically complements each other in the goal for health for each unique individual. All of our practitioners have extensive training in Chinese Medicinal. We love our herbals and use them wisely to bring honor to those who went before us.

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Moxibustion Therapy

The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi, resolve pain and maintain general health. Moxibustion is often used on people who have a cold or stagnant condition. The burning of moxa is believed to expel cold and warm the meridians, which leads to smoother flow of blood and Qi. In Western medicine, moxibustion has successfully been used to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth. Studies have shown that moxibustion increases the movement of the fetus in pregnant women, and may reduce the symptoms of menstrual cramps when used in conjunction with traditional acupuncture. Moxibustion is especially effective in the treatment of chronic problems and deficient conditions.

Mugwort, also known as Artemesia Vulgaris or Ai Ye, is a small, spongy herb, used in moxibustion that facilitates healing. Moxa is placed on an acupuncture point or needle and lit, but is extinguished or removed before it burns the skin. The patient will experience a pleasant warming sensation that penetrates deep into the skin. Moxa energy has been researched to be an infrared energy which has a deep penetrating and healing effect on the body.

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Digestive Disorders

Acupuncture enhances the absorption and elimination processes of the digestive tract by optimizing blood flow and function to the digestive organs and reducing overall stress in the body. It aids the body in utilizing its own resources to properly digest, by restoring proper Ph to the systems and balancing the body naturally. By reducing stress it eliminates stress hormones that inhibit the body’s ability to digest and restores the proper balance of hormones in the body. Finally, by increasing blood flow, performance and health of all organs is optimized. Acupuncture, as well as Chinese herbs, can be a safe and natural approach to all digestive and elimination disorders.

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Family Practice

When we think of Acupuncture, we see it through a western paradigm in which it treats only pain and injuries. However, in the Orient, Acupuncture and herbal medicine is viewed for everyone in the family. Starting with infants and giving support through the years in all aspects of life unto death, Acupuncture is truly a family practice medicine from start to finish.

At Alpenglow it is not by chance that we have practitioners who specialize in each phase and aspect of life, from fertility to pregnancy, newborns and pediatrics, teenagers and adulthood until our silver years of existence. We want you to see us more than just for pain, but for health and longevity. Using gentle needle and non-needle techniques we can accommodate even the most sensitive of patients while still changing stubborn symptoms.

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Headaches

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine offers a safe and effective approach to relieving headache pain. Looking at the body specifically to develop an individual approach to your body, acupuncture can be a tailored approach to wellness.

Body constitution, emotional health, excessive work, social and physical activities, improper diet, physical trauma, hormone cycle or pregnancy can all be causative factors that can trigger headache. With acupuncture we try to find the root to the problem and then balance it with safe and natural methods.

It is important to note that even though acupuncture can provide immediate relief it is by no means a “quick fix” for your headache problems. Depending on your constitution and health, positive change may occur quickly or over a period of time.

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Nutrition

In Chinese Medicine food is considered medicinal. Each food has a different nature and flavor. The nature of the food affects the temperature of the body. For example watermelon is a very cooling fruit, and is good to eat during the warmer summer months. Where as cayenne, cinnamon or garlic are very warming spices that are great to use during the cold winter months. The flavor of the food will affect the body’s metabolism.

Whether specific foods are good or bad for a person depends on the their condition. For example a person who has trouble staying warm wouldn’t want to eat a lot of watermelon, and like wise a person who is overly hot shouldn’t consume many spicy foods. Your Acupuncturist will be able to diagnose your condition and give guidelines as to which foods are best for you to consume and which to avoid. In doing so you will increase your energy, improve digestion, enhance overall quality of sleep, boost your immune system and loose weight.

The 3 keys to a healthy life are diet, exercise and rest.

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Oncology Support

Acupuncture is can be very beneficial during cancer treatment and is an especially powerful tool for general pain control. Cancer-related pain is reduced and the associated side effects of narcotics can be minimized or avoided. Other symptoms that are commonly encountered during cancer treatments, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation and other symptoms that affect a patient’s quality of life, including weight loss, anxiety, depression, insomnia, poor appetite, fatigue and boosting low blood counts can often be managed with acupuncture. It reestablishes homeostasis by re-balancing energy distribution and un-blocking energy flow. Patients and families all benefit from treatment.

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Pain Management

Acupuncture is a time-tested, safe, effective, natural and drug-free way to eliminate pain. Ignoring the pain or taking medication is not resolving the problem, just covering it up. Unless the source of the pain is treated your body will keep sending out signals reminding you that something is wrong. If left untreated the pain may get worse or become a chronic debilitating condition.

In Chinese Medicine the body is comprised of a system of Meridians that carry Qi. This is the vital energy in all living things, from the tallest tree to the smallest cell. Meridians are like rivers inside the body, carrying nourishment and support to every cell, tissue, muscle, organ and gland. If a garden hose is blocked it can’t supply adequate amounts of water to a plant, and it will be unable to thrive, grow and blossom. Similarly if a meridian is blocked Qi will not reach it’s destination and the body will weaken, becoming susceptible to pain, disease and poor health.

Acupuncture is able to break up blockages that have inhibited the smooth flow of Qi. Once the blockage is removed the body is restored to balance promoting pain-free health, well being and vitality.

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Pediatric Acupuncture

Shonishin is a Japanese Acupuncture Technique specific for children. It follows the same theory and guidelines as acupuncture, but with out the use of needles. This technique involves light brushing and tapping along the meridians and at acupuncture points to bring the body back into harmony and balance. Shonishin uses the same meridians and points to stimulate the immune system. This helps your child’s body fight off infection, disease and supports the healing process. Shonishin can be used both as preventative care and during an illness.

In Oriental Medicine a child’s energy is considered very Yang ~ meaning their energy is right on the surface. For this reason, children from birth to age 10 respond very quickly to Shonishin techniques, and do not require needle acupuncture until they are older, unless they have a deep-rooted condition. Once a child is older than 10 their energy is no longer superficial and they respond better acupuncture.

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Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive medicine is fast becoming on of the top integrated medical approaches in the United States. With solid research and consumer driven approaches, reproductive medicine has taken on a whole different methodology. Many top fertility doctors in the country utilize Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture with their existing practice. In fact, practitioners that have worked closely with fertility clinics claim a 60% increase in success when acupuncture and Chinese herbs are applied. A recent German study shows that with acupuncture alone, IVF patient’s success jumps 40%. As you can imagine with the high personal cost of IVF acupuncture is now seen as an alternative but rather a necessary tool.

Because the success is so noticeable, Acupuncture is very much a stand-alone therapy. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have a long and richly documented history in the treatment of fertility. Gently supporting the body’s natural hormone production acupuncture does the following:

  • Increases blood flow to the uterus
  • Reduces anxiety, stress and the hormones secreted during stress that in turn decrease fertility
  • Normalize hormone and endocrine systems to regulate ovulation.
  • Positively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which plays a role in fertility.
  • Regulating the menstrual cycle.

(5 ways Acupuncture can boost Fertility, Prevention.com 2002)

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Rolfing

ROLFING®, also known as Structural Integration is a holistic form of bodywork developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf over fifty years ago. It specifically works with the connective tissue in the body (fascia) to release, re-align, and balance the body while maintaining integration. Fascia is an intricate web-like network that is interwoven within every layer of the body such as muscle, ligament, organ, and bone, etc., and will change depending on the stresses placed upon it. Manipulating the muscular and skeletal systems are sometimes not enough. When the fascia is addressed, it results in all the structures of the body being affected on various levels and layers, including the muscular and skeletal systems.

Rolfing® is a holistic treatment of deep tissue work that realigns and balances your body so that your head, shoulders, chest, pelvis, and legs are in better vertical alignment. Rolfing® is especially recommended for dancers, musicians, athletes and all those who lead a strenuous lifestyle. People suffering from stiffness, chronic pain, structural aches and physical stress can benefit with reduced or eliminated pain and stiffness as well as a balanced and properly working body.

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Sports Medicine

Acupuncture has been used for years on athletes to help increased strength, endurance, stamina and flexibility. As an athlete, you may experience sprain, strain, repetitive stress injuries, physical trauma, overexertion, over training or emotional stress. Improving the circulation of Qi throughout your body can help all of these. Acupuncture has been used extensively for pain management, to decrease inflammation and to speed healing. It also looks into the underlying weakness and disharmonies that allow the injury to occur in the first place (the “root”). By correcting these disharmonies and treating the injury as a “branch,” athletes get amazingly fast results with injuries, both chronic and acute problems.

Chinese herbal therapy may also be recommended. External herbal therapy is applied directly on the injured tissue to promote circulation and therefore the healing of the injury. Internal herbal therapy may be recommended to address constitutional imbalances that may be either aggravating or slowing the healing of your injuries. Herbal therapy may also be used during the training period (without an injury) to address any health issues that may be preventing the athlete from performing optimally.

An athlete need not choose between acupuncture and other therapies. Chinese Medicine works well in conjunction with other therapies like massage therapy, personal training, and chiropractic.

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Zero Balancing

Zero Balancing is a style of manual medicine that was developed by Dr. Fritz Smith, a medical doctor, osteopath, and five-element acupuncturist who integrated a brilliant synthesis of eastern and western paradigms of medicine into one treatment modality that simultaneously works on both energy and structure.

Typically a session lasts around 45 minutes. The person receiving the session is fully clothed and lays on their back, while the practitioner uses finger pressure and gentle traction on areas of tension in the bones, joints, and soft tissue to create fulcrums, or points of balance, around which the body can relax and reorganize itself. This work addresses the deepest and densest tissues of the body, along with soft tissue, and energy fields, and in doing so helps to clear blockages in the body’s energy flow, amplify one's vitality, and contribute to an overall better postural alignment. Typically after a Zero Balancing session one is left with a wonderful feeling of overall physical organization and on of inner harmony.

As far as health issues, Zero Balancing is an effective treatment for the alleviation of body aches and pains, releasing restrictions in movement, as well as for providing lasting relief from emotional distress and thereby improving one's overall quality of life. It can also be helpful with reaching specific goals such as the relief from back pain, improving one's energy concentration and/or sleep, releasing unwanted stress, eliminating old habitual behavior patterns & overcoming addictions, as well as boosting overall well-being.

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