Gretchen Sampsen Acupuncture

Gretchen Sampsen, practitioner of Chinese medicine:  acupuncture, qi cultivation, bodywork and herbal medicine

What happens at an office visit:

Each session will begin with a discussion of your health concerns.  I will feel your pulse, take a look at your tongue and ask you a few key questions about your health, which will give an impression of your individual constitution, according to Chinese medicine.  Talking will be followed by physical treatment, which consists of one ore more of the following applications:

Acupuncture is one of many wonderfully healing applications of Chinese medicine.  When skillfully employed, it is a powerful tool for stimulating the body's innate capacity to heal.
Daoist Zang Fu Acupressure is a massage for the internal organs.  It excels as a treatment for a range of digestive issues, but has even broader application for treating internal imbalances.
Deep Qi Bodywork is a replenishing form of hands-on healing.  This work is ideal for people whose health has been impacted by long-term illness, and for those who experience significant fatigue or need for more satisfying rest.  It involves the gentle application of warm hands and subtle rhythmic bodywork, which puts the whole system in a deep state of rest so that healing can occur.
Moxa, short for "moxabustion," is the application of the herb mugwort at specific points.  As a healing method, it likely pre-dates acupuncture.  Mugwort belongs to the sage family and burns slowly, allowing heat to penetrate points and meridians.  It is a warming and tonifying treatment.
Cupping is the application of glass cups that form a suction over points and areas of the body.  It is particularly helpful for circulation and is most commonly used to treat muscle pain and lung issues.

Usually, several of the above techniques are interwoven into a session.  For example, a common shoulder treatment might start with bodywork to enliven the meridians, followed by acupuncture to clear areas of constriction, followed by 10 minutes of deep qi bodywork to calm the nervous system and bring healing blood flow to the area.  A treatment for IBS might start with acupuncture to balance the affected meridians, followed by 15 minutes of Daoist zang fu acupressure to improve blood flow to the abdomen, followed by moxa to warm the meridians.

Chinese herbs contribute greatly to the efficacy of the treatments.  An herbal consult is included in each session.  Herbs are administered in several ways:

topical:
Oils infused with warming, cooling and circulating herbs are used to massage areas of the body treated with acupuncture.
Soaks  Hand and foot soaks are used to treat a range of issues from shoulder and hip pain to painful menses.
Nasal steams consist of herbs with cooling and aromatic properties that clear congestion in the head.

internal:
A custom formula is a group of several herbs, chosen to treat a health issue in your particular body at this particular time.   The herbs are cooked into a tea and consumed daily.  This is a remarkably sophisticated form of herbal medicine in that each formula is individually tailored and regularly altered to meet your changing needs as your health improves.

Tablets  While less individually tailored than decoctions, tablets are a convenient and quick way to address common health problems.  Many patients keep a couple of go-to tablet formulas on hand to take at the first sign of a sore throat or common digestive disturbance.

Time and Fees:

There are three appointment options.

the 50 minute session - Highly recommended for the first session.  Recommended as a follow-up visit for people who are addressing more than one health issue.

the 35 minute session - Recommended as a follow-up visit for people who are addressing just one health issue.  May be booked exclusively as a bodywork treatment - Daoist Zang Fu Acupressure or Deep Qi Bodywork.  May also be booked as a first-time herbal consult without physical treatment. 

the 65 minute session - The longer session is ideal for people who feel they benefit from extra time on the table.  It allows for an extended bodywork session, which lends toward deeper rest. 

If you are unsure of how much time to book, please send me an email with your questions, and I will help you chose the appropriate amount of time.  After your first visit, we will have a better sense of which length of visit will best for you.