Although many fear hospital needles, those used in acupuncture are much less scary. Check out Groupon’s examination of acupuncture needles to ease any lingering aichmophobia.
Acupuncture generally doesn’t draw blood—a testament to the skill of professional acupuncturists but also to the special needles they use. Unlike the needles commonly feared by hospital-goers, acupuncture needles are thin enough to slip through the skin without breaking any blood vessels. Although most are roughly the thickness of a hair or a pixie’s wand, they come in several varieties for different treatment types: thinner needles provide less stimulation and are often used for children or the elderly; shorter needles treat the head and face; and longer needles (up to 5 inches long) target the thighs and other fleshy areas to reach points along the body’s theoretical energy pathways, known as meridians.
Filiform needles are the most common, comprising a stainless-steel wire sharpened at one end and wrapped at the other to form a handle. With a quick, skilled hand—or the aid of an insertion tube—practitioners insert the tip just beneath the skin’s surface, and although a small prickle may be felt, once the needles are in, the patient shouldn’t feel them at all. Today, most acupuncturists use disposable needles due to their safety and simplicity, but some may use reusable steel or even gold needles, sterilizing them between use in the same way doctors or guitarists do their instruments.
The practice of acupuncture stretches back more than 5,000 years, well before stainless steel was a household commodity. Archaeologists have dug up traces of the implements early healers used to get energy, or chi, flowing properly through the body: sharpened stones were a popular choice, as were delicate needles of bone.
The caretakers at Healing Waters Wellness Center keep the human body in working order with an array of holistic methods, such as FDA-approved colon-hydrotherapy treatments. During the session, visitors lie on a specially designed LIBBE bed as an I-ACT certified hydrotherapist safely clears toxins and accidentally ingested fruit portraits out of inner aqueducts with doubled-filtered, temperature-controlled water. The purified streams work in tandem with the body’s natural rhythm to help dislodge impacted waste while an exhaust apparatus retains any unpleasant odors. The body-bettering staff maintains cleanliness throughout the procedure by using disposable tubes and rubbing Purell on their hands before every high-five. The 90-minute session time also includes an explanation of how the system works as well as pre- and post-treatment instructions. The detoxifying procedure can yield a variety of positive health benefits, such as a reduction in constipation, an increase in energy, and improved sleep.
Behind the decorative changing screens at Magic Foot Massage, a quiet sanctuary welcomes guests onto reclining, padded beds. The glow of paper lanterns illuminates the hands of trained therapists, whose fingers deftly apply focused pressure onto client feet. The spots that they knead aren't random—they're practicing the ancient art of Chinese reflexology, a method based around the claim that parts of the foot correspond to different areas of the body. By massaging these nodes, the staff hopes to bring relaxation and balance to the entire self.
In conjunction with their reflexology treatments, they also offer body massages. Patrons can split their appointment into a combined foot- and body-massage session, and opt for the VIP treatment to choose their preferred lotions and oils. The pampering services can boast both physical and mental effects, coaxing tension from overworked muscles, enhancing blood flow, and clearing the mind without first putting a leaf blower against your ear.
Ekengren Chiropractic Inc.'s Dr. Jessica Ekengren knows there's a lot of confusion when it comes to chiropractic care. For instance, some believe that all chiropractors do is perform adjustments. But Dr. Ekengren's state-of-the-art treatments do so much more. She actually uses 10 different chiropractic techniques, and often performs gentler adjustment techniques that omit the "cracking" sounds associated with traditional adjustments. These treatments can help assuage pain caused by pinched nerves, auto accidents, and scoliosis, as well as alleviate headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome.
She also uses Meridian Stress Assessments to evaluate overall health and Nano SRT therapy to fight stress. In order to dispel some myths about chiropractic and teach people in the community how to take care of themselves, she tapes podcasts.
Pure Wellness Center's chiropractor, Dr. David Chang, works in tandem with his patients to develop profiles of their spinal health that will serve as the pivot point for holistic wellness. Each patient's narrative gives shape to their treatment, which can include preventative-care regimes geared toward correcting problematic habits or care for recovery from serious traumas, such as car accidents. Therapies range from careful manual or electrical manipulation of vertebrae and muscles to exercises that strengthen the whole musculoskeletal system. The office resembles a Mondrian painting, with panels of red and yellow cloth, geometric black massage tables, and crowds of gallery docents cautioning visitors not to exhale too forcefully on the crisp white walls.
It's not his fondness for tennis, golf, or the Lakers that makes Radiant Wellness's Brian Ghessi stand out among the other chiropractors in town. Rather, he distinguishes himself with his advanced certification in Network Spinal Analysis. One of the only practitioners of this methodology in the Santa Clarita–Valencia area, Dr. Ghessi uses his unique training to relieve tension plaguing overstretched spinal cords. During adjustment sessions, he observes the patient's muscles and breathing patterns, then uses gentle pressure to dissolve pockets of stress and their jabbing car keys. His sessions work to offer relief from pain, anxiety, and fatigue without the use of drugs or surgery.