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Surfing, Acupuncture, and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

By Danielle S.

Hello Wahine Kai! I am a former relatively active group member that is hoping to get back in warm water for a re-attempt at surfing! I wanted to introduce myself and share some information about acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

I have a Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, I am a licensed Acupuncturist and a Business Professor. I have a 10-year old girl and I live in Huntington Beach. I am very passionate about health, fitness and skincare. I was turned on to Oriental Medicine about 10 years ago and have treated a lot of personal medical issues that were otherwise not treatable.

I hope I can shed some light on a subject that has so much more depth and meaning then is otherwise portrayed.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been practiced for thousands of years and continues to be practiced around the world, with cultural adaptations outside of China. Generally speaking, the goal with Chinese medicine is to bring the body to balance or to a state of homeostasis which can be achieved through use of needles, exercise (Tai Chi), herbs, massage techniques, dietary restrictions, moxa, cupping, etc.

– The body contains a delicate balance of 2 opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, slow or passive principle. Yang represents the hot, excited or active principle. Health is achieved through balancing the

– Disease comes from an imbalance that leads to a blockage in the flow of qi—the vital energy or life force thought to regulate your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.

– Acupuncture is intended to remove blockages in the flow of qi and restore and maintain health


– Stimulates specific points on the body, usually by inserting thin needles through the skin.

– Stimulates the release of the body’s natural painkillers and affects areas in the brain involved in processing pain; however, some trials suggest that real acupuncture and sham acupuncture are equally effective, indicating a placebo effect. Results from a number of studies, however, suggest real acupuncture may help

– Ease types of pain that are often chronic, such as low-back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches. (Possibly ease side effects from pharmaceutical's)

In Eastern Medicine we assess imbalance or a state of “disease” through observation, interrogation or asking questions, tongue assessment, pulse diagnosis, symptom assessment, etc. Treatment is based on individual needs with a focus on working toward eliminating symptoms. The amount of treatment needed can be determined by a variety of factors, including elimination or reduction of symptoms, patient goals including prevention and/or health maintenance, etc.

Treatment Modalities

Some examples with explanation of treatment modalities include the following: Moxa, cupping, electroacupuncture, gua sha, tui na, auriculotherapy and use of ear seeds.


• Moxibustion is the heating of a point on the skin utilizing moxa in various forms. The most commonly used herb material used for moxa comes from Artemisia vulgaris, also called mugwort.’

• Used for a wide variety of conditions from musculoskeletal complaints, gastrointestinal symptoms, gynecologic disorders, breech presentations, stroke rehabilitation, and complementary care for cancer symptoms, to the treatment of infectious diseases.


• Cupping uses a vacuum and causes the tissue to tumefy and stretch into the cup. Cupping intentionally creates therapeutic petechiae and ecchymosis that appear in round or “nummular” areas.

• Types of cupping: Fire, suction, wet (plastic, glass or silicone)

• Conditions treated: acute or chronic pain; mild to severe conditions such as colds, flu, and fever; respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema; functional internal organ problems; musculoskeletal problems; and in any case of recurring or persistent fixed pain.


• Electroacupuncture (EA) is used as an adjunctive therapy for conditions associated with qi, blood, or phlegm stagnation. Prior to the advent of modern electrical appliances, hand manipulation of the needles was used to strongly stimulate qi flow. EA is used to replace prolonged needle manipulation for conditions in which there is an accumulation of qi, such as in chronic pain syndromes, or in cases where the qi is difficult to stimulate

Gua Sha

• Gua sha is a traditional East Asian healing technique defined as the “closely-timed unidirectional press-stroking of the body surface with a smooth-edged instrument to intentionally raise transitory therapeutic petechiae and ecchymosis (sha) representing extravasated blood in the subcutis.” (1,2) The petechiae and ecchymosis resolve in 2-4 days.

• Conditions treated: Gua sha treats both acute and chronic pain, acute respiratory infection, influenza, and fever, as well as internal organ diseases where the identified ferroheme metabolism can reduce inflammation and offer immune protection. (3).

• Gua sha has been shown to be effective in randomized trials for neck pain, (4) neck and back pain, (5) and breast engorgement/mastitis.

Tui Na

• Tui na is a manual therapy which uses Chinese massage and manipulation techniques.

• Tui na is extensively used in China for a variety of pain and musculoskeletal syndromes. A recent study which reviewed the uses of and therapeutic effects of tui na for pain (1) and Parkinson’s disease.


– The ear is a micro-map/system of the entire body with all parts represented. Thus all parts of the body can be evaluated and treated by means of the external ear.

– Treat pain, addictions, internal disorders, emotional issues

– Paul Nogier, MD, in original Treatise of Auriculotherapy, discussed a neuroanatomical connection between the auricle and the nervous system.1

– Largest nerve in the body

– VN acts as the central switchboard of the ANS

– ANS controls autonomous functions, where you have little to no control: heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, digestion, etc.

– VN travels through the body

– Stimulating the VN can enhance both physical and mental health

I am starting to take patients now and can schedule an individual appointment with you directly at a location in Corona Del Mar off of PCH and will hopefully add an HB location in the near future. I can work on treating most issues; however, I can treat and will continue to learn more about cosmetic/facial acupuncture, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) dermatology, immune system and eventually orthopedics.

Please feel free to DM me on social media (@DSAcupuncture or Acustrong - and then I can share more contact information. I wish you all a happy and healthy new year with lots of safe surfing!!

Warm Regards,


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