Mabby graduated from South Bay University in 2004. Since then, she has built her practice with Soft Touch. Mabby is also a Reiki practitioner. Her goal is to make a soul-to-soul connection with her patients to help them in their healing process.
Her passion is to help anyone in need. She especially has a heart for women dealing with fertility issues and children.
Mabby takes great pride in thorough consultations and has high expectations of the work she does with patients.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the core of TCM is the notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi (pronounced "chee") flows through energy pathways (meridians) in the body. Each meridian corresponds to one specific organ, or group of organs, that governs particular bodily functions. The proper flow of qi is thought to create health. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang, which are complementary opposites. According to TCM, everything in nature has both yin and yang. An imbalance of qi (too much, too little, or blocked flow) results in disease. In acupuncture, needles are inserted at points along the meridians to restore balance to the qi. Acupuncture points, or the specific locations where needles are inserted, are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin.
What is the history of acupuncture?
The earliest recorded use of acupuncture dates from 200 BCE. Knowledge of acupuncture spread from China along Arab trade routes towards the West. Up until the early 1970s, however, most Americans had never heard of acupuncture.
Acupuncture gained the attention of the American public after President Nixon's trip to China in 1972. Traveling with Nixon was a New York Times reporter, James Reston, who received acupuncture in China after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. He was so impressed with the procedure's ability to relieve his postoperative pain that he wrote about his experience upon returning to the United States.
Acupuncture was formally recognized as part of mainstream medicine's range of healing options in 1997, when the National Institutes of Health issued a statement documenting its safety and efficacy for a range of health conditions. Although slowly changing, many conventional physicians remain unfamiliar with both the theory and practice of acupuncture.
How does acupuncture work?
The effects of acupuncture are complex and how it works is not entirely clear. Research suggests that the needling process, and other modalities used in acupuncture, may produce their complex effects on a wide variety of ways in the brain and the body. For example, it is theorized that stimulated nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, thus activating parts of what is called the central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release certain hormones responsible for making us feel better overall and, more specifically, feel less pain. In fact, a study using images of the brain confirmed that acupuncture increases our pain threshold, which may explain its ability to produce long-term pain relief. Also, acupuncture may increase blood circulation and body temperature. It may also affect white blood cell activity (responsible for our immune function), reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood sugar levels. In general, acupuncture appears to transmit its effects via electric, neurologic, hormonal, lymphatic, and electromagnetic wave pathways.
What does an acupuncturist do?
In addition to asking questions, the acupuncturist may want to take your pulse at several points along the wrist and look at your tongue to observe its shape, color, and coating. He or she may also observe the color and texture of your skin, your posture, and other physical characteristics that offer clues to your health. The acupuncturist then asks you to lie down on a padded examining table, and he or she inserts the needles, twirling or gently jiggling each as it goes in. You may not feel the needles at all, or you may feel a twitch or a quick twinge of pain that subsides as soon as the needle is completely in. Once the needles are all in place, you rest for 15 to 60 minutes. During this time, you'll probably feel relaxed and sleepy and may even doze off. At the end of the session, the acupuncturist quickly and painlessly removes the needles.
For certain conditions, acupuncture is more effective when the needles are heated using a technique known as "moxibustion." The acupuncturist lights a small bunch of the dried herb moxa (mugwort) and holds it above the needles. The herb, which burns slowly and gives off a little smoke and a pleasant, incense-like smell, never directly touches the body. Another variation is electrical acupuncture. This technique consists of hooking up electrical wires to the needles and running a weak current through them, which may cause no sensation at all or a mild tingling. Acupuncturists trained in Chinese herbal preparations may also prescribe herbs along with acupuncture.
Are there different styles of acupuncture?
There are a number of different approaches to the practice of acupuncture; some of those most commonly found in the United States today are as follows:
TCM-based acupuncture -- the most commonly practiced in the United States today. It focuses on a diagnosis based on eight principles of complementary opposites (yin/yang, internal/external, excess/deficiency, hot/cold).
French energetic acupuncture -- mostly used by MD acupuncturists. Meridian patterns are emphasized, in particular the yin-yang pairs of primary meridians.
Korean hand acupuncture -- based on the principle that the hands and feet have concentrations of qi, and that applying acupuncture needles to these areas is effective for the entire body.
Auricular acupuncture -- based on the idea that the ear is a microcosm of the body. This means that applying acupuncture needles to certain points on the ear affects corresponding organs. This type of acupuncture is used widely in treating addiction disorders.
Myofascially-based acupuncture -- often practiced by physical therapists, involves feeling the meridian lines in search of tender points, then applying needles. Tender points indicate areas of abnormal energy flow.
Japanese styles of acupuncture -- sometimes referred to as "meridian therapy," tend to put more emphasis on needling technique and feeling meridians in diagnosis.
How many treatments do I need?
The number of acupuncture treatments you need depends on the complexity of your illness, whether it's a chronic or recent condition, and your general health. For example, you may need only one treatment for a recent wrist sprain, whereas for a long-standing, chronic illness you may need treatments once or twice a week for several months to get good results.
What is acupuncture good for?
Acupuncture is particularly effective for pain relief and for post-surgery and chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting. In addition, both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses. A partial list includes: addiction (such as alcoholism), asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, facial tics, fibromyalgia, headaches, irregular periods, low back pain, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, sinusitis, spastic colon (often called irritable bowel syndrome), stroke rehabilitation, tendinitis, tennis elbow, and urinary problems such as incontinence. You can safely combine acupuncture with prescription drugs and other conventional treatments, but it is important for your -primary care physician to be aware of and to monitor how your acupuncture treatment may be affecting your conventional therapies.
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture also lists a wide range of conditions for which acupuncture can be used. In addition to those already mentioned above, they recommend acupuncture for sports injuries, sprains, strains, whiplash, neck pain, sciatica, nerve pain due to compression, overuse syndromes similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, pain resulting from spinal cord injuries, allergies, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sore throat (called pharyngitis), high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux (felt as heartburn or indigestion), ulcers, chronic and recurrent bladder and kidney infections, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, endometriosis, memory problems, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, sensory disturbances, depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders.
Should anyone avoid acupuncture?
Some physicians and practitioners may avoid treatment during pregnancy. If you have been seen by a particular practitioner prior to your pregnancy, however, it is generally safe to continue receiving treatment from the practitioner during your pregnancy.
Should I watch out for anything?
Be sure your acupuncturist uses only disposable needles. In addition, if your acupuncturist is qualified to prescribe herbs and would like you to take them as part of your treatment, first discuss this with your physician. Herbs are potent substances that can be harmful if you suffer from certain conditions; they can also interact with drugs you may be taking and cause side effects.
Does my medical insurance cover acupuncture treatments?
An increasing number of insurance providers and HMOs now cover all or part of the cost of acupuncture treatments, but these providers may have restrictions on the types of illnesses they cover. Check with your insurance company to see what your policy offers.
Face and body Rejuvenation
What is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture?
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is a painless, non-surgical method of reducing the signs of the aging process. Though Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture can sometimes be referred to as an Acupuncture Facelift, it is more than a cosmetic procedure. It is a rejuvenation and revitalization process designed to help the whole body look and feel younger. The treatment is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and involves the insertion of hair-thin needles into particular areas of the face, ears, and sometimes neck, along channels or meridians of energy called Qi (pronounced chee). Specific points are chosen to manipulate the movement of energy in the body according to the individual's needs. Thousands of years ago the Chinese discovered that many meridians either begin or end on the face while some have internal branches that go to the face. Thus, practitioners of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture know how to specifically affect the face while simultaneously treating the underlying factors that contribute to the aging process.
The results are an increased activity of collagen in the treated areas and the diminishing of fines lines and wrinkles.
What are the effects?
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture may erase as many as five to fifteen years from the face, with results apparent after just a few treatments. Fine lines may be entirely eliminated and deeper wrinkles diminished. Bags under the eyes can be reduced, jowls firmed, puffiness eliminated, droopy eyelids lifted and double chins minimized. Other likely results include: moisturizing of the skin with increased local circulation of blood and lymph to the face; increased collagen production, muscle tone, and dermal contraction; tightening of the pores; brightening of the eyes; improving of hormonal balance to help acne; reduction of stress evident in the face - bringing out the innate beauty and radiance of an individual.
Who would benefit from Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture?
Anyone concerned with looking and feeling young and slowing down the aging process. The decision to begin treatment may be professionally or personally inspired or a combination of both. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is suitable for those with deep wrinkles, fine lines, and bags under the eyes, sagging, puffiness, drooping eyelids, double chin, large pores, dry skin or acne. Different methods are emphasized and specific points stimulated according to how an individual is aging. A person with excess puffiness, for example, would require a different treatment than someone with dry skin. The whole person is treated and evaluated on the philosophy that the mind and body are one, thus treatment is highly personalized to suit the needs of the individual.
What is the course of treatment?
Generally, it consists of 12 treatments, to start. The effects become most noticeable and lasting on or about the seventh session. Each person responds differently, depending on his or her condition and lifestyle prior to treatment. Following the initial course of treatment, maintenance sessions can prolong the results for five to ten years. It is often recommended to supplement the Facial Rejuvenation program with proper eating habits, acupressure, and herbal or nutritional supplements.
Does it really make a difference?
Many sources indicate that acupuncture has been used for almost 5,000 years to treat a wide range of conditions. Having proven itself with literally billions of people, Acupuncture has survived the test of time. The use of Acupuncture in Cosmetology-especially in preventing and reducing wrinkles-has already attracted great attention in Japan, Hong Kong, and Sweden. The effectiveness of Acupuncture is due to its direct manipulation of the body's energy system-balancing, removing blockages or adding energy when necessary. A 1996 report in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture reported that among 300 cases treated with Facial Acupuncture, 90% had marked effects with one course of treatment. The effects included: the skin becoming delicate and fair, improvement of the elasticity of facial muscles and leveling of wrinkles, a ruddier complexion, and overall rejuvenation-not confined to the face.
Is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture a new and trendy technique?
No, is the short answer. For thousands of years, the Chinese have known that beauty comes from the inside. At least as early as the Sung Dynasty (960AD-1270AD) Acupuncture rejuvenation practices were employed for the Empress and the Emperor's concubines. The Chinese discovered and utilized ways to change the energy flow within the body to initiate the healing process for rejuvenation. According to a famous Chinese axiom; "where qi goes, blood flows." Even for those unfamiliar with the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is known that increased circulation helps the body to look and feel better. Common sense would tell us that treating the underlying cause of why someone is aging is preferable to masking the outward symptoms and allowing further decline and dysfunction to continue within the body.
Why choose Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture over a surgical face-lift?
While not a replacement for surgery, Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation is an excellent alternative. It is far less costly than cosmetic surgery and is safe, virtually painless, has no side effects or risk of disfigurement. Unlike surgery that may have an extended recovery period with swelling and discoloration, there is no trauma from Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture. While Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture cannot reshape one's nose or chin, it is a more subtle rejuvenation that takes years off one's face-safely and naturally while improving overall health.
Are there any contraindications?
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is contraindicated for some pituitary disorders, heart disorders, diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure, individuals who have a pacemaker or who have a problem with bleeding or bruising, or who currently suffer from migraine headaches. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture should not be done during pregnancy, during a bout with a cold or flu, during an allergic attack or during an acute herpes outbreak.
Acupuncture has been proven effective in the tightening of the skin in the lower abdomen areas as well as other areas of the body. See patient testimonials
The abdominal protocol, or "tummy tuck", is a good adjunct to a weight loss program. It can help with peri-menopausal symptoms, post partum weight loss and uplifting the belly. It can be very helpful with chronic fatigue, low libido, fertility issues, and digestive disorders. This work helps to build abdominal and core strength, which aids in the resolution of back pain. More Americans are turning to Acupuncture instead of Western practices for their face lifting, tummy-tucking, and cellulite reduction.
The acupuncture method for reducing cellulite comprises of putting hair-thin needles into specific points on the body to attack problem areas. The Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to cellulite is to strengthen the spleen energy with acupuncture and herbs. We use a combination of acupuncture and body brushing for optimal results.
Treatment for each patient is personalized as every person needs a different harmonization of energies. Hence acupuncture is a vital solution in combating cellulite. Acupuncture enhances metabolic function and purifies tissues. It also promotes elimination of fat and cellulite and helps eliminate the "orange peel" appearance of the skin. A blend of acupuncture, detoxing, nutritious eating and exercise is an excellent method of clearing cellulite. Read and see our patient testimonials.
Fertility and Acupuncture
Can acupuncture be used to treat infertility?
Acupuncture, frequently combined with herbal medicine, has been used for centuries to treat some causes of infertility. For example, acupuncture and herbs will not work to address tubal adhesions which can occur as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. However, in this situation, an individual could still benefit from acupuncture and herbs because of the potential effect of improved ovarian and follicular function. Additionally, it is shown that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium, helping to facilitate a thick, rich lining.
When should acupuncture treatment begin?
Acupuncture is similar to physical therapy in that it is a process oriented method of medical intervention. It is better to do more than less. Patients are commonly treated for three to four months before an insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or donor-egg transfer. This period of treatment seems to have a therapeutic effect.
In a study by Stener-Victorin et al from the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fertility Centre, Scandinavia and University of Gothenburg, women are encouraged to receive acupuncture treatments pre and post embryo transfer. Clinical observations from the Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and traditional medical interventions. However, conception does sometimes occur when acupuncture and herbal medicines are used without traditional medical interventions.
When should I stop getting acupuncture?
Typically most miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy. Therefore, treatment of patients may often last through week twelve to help prevent miscarriage.
What are the risks of using acupuncture?
There are minimal risks when using acupuncture for fertility treatment. A risk of miscarriage may develop if incorrect acupuncture points are used when a woman is pregnant. This is one reason why those wishing to include acupuncture in their treatment regimen should only be treated by an acupuncturist who specializes in treating fertility disorders. Acupuncture is not contraindicated for anyone regardless of their pathology or what medications they are taking.
What types of fertility patients typically get acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. (Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture). Acupuncture is often combined with herbs to treat elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia (when not caused by a prolactinoma), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with annovulatory cycles, and male factor including men affected with sperm-DNA-fragmentation.
Herbology is one of the more important modalities utilized in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Each herbal medicine prescription is a cocktail of many herbs tailored to the individual patient.
The practitioner usually designs a remedy using one or two main ingredients that target the illness. Then the practitioner adds many other ingredients to adjust the formula to the patient's yin/yang conditions. Sometimes, ingredients are needed to cancel out toxicity or side-effects of the main ingredients. Some herbs require the use of other ingredients as catalyst or else the brew is ineffective. Unlike western medications, the balance and interaction of all the ingredients are considered more important than the effect of individual ingredients. A key to success in TCM is the treatment of each patient as an individual.
Chinese herbs are prepared in a number of ways. Raw herbs can be boiled and taken as a tea or decoction. Prepared Chinese herbs are sold as pills, tablets and capsules. Another preparation method is the extract form or tinctures in which small doses are taken from a dropper. In one type of preparation herbs are applied via a plaster, usually for pain.
Categorizing Chinese herbs
Chinese physicians used several different methods to classify traditional Chinese herbs:
The Four Natures
This pertains to the degree of yin and yang, namely cold (extreme yin), cool, warm and hot (extreme yang). The patient's internal balance of yin and yang is taken into account when the herbs are selected. For example, medicinal herbs of "hot", yang nature are used when the person is suffering from internal cold that requires to be purged, or when the patient has a general cold constituency. Sometimes an ingredient is added to offset the extreme effect of one herb.
The Five Tastes
The five tastes are pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty, and each taste has a different set of functions and characteristics. For example, pungent herbs are used to generate sweat and to direct and vitalize qi and the blood. Sweet-tasting herbs often tonify or harmonize bodily systems. Some sweet-tasting herbs also exhibit a bland taste, which helps drain dampness through diuresis. Sour taste most often is astringent or consolidates, while bitter taste dispels heat, purges the bowels and gets rid of dampness by drying them out. Salty tastes soften hard masses as well as purge and open the bowels.
The meridians refer to which organs the herb acts upon. For example, menthol is pungent, cool and is linked with the lungs and the liver. Since the lungs is the organ which protects the body from invasion from cold and influenza, menthol can help purge coldness in the lungs and invading heat toxins caused by hot "wind."
Chinese Patent Medicine
Chinese patent medicine is the more formal name for standardized herbal formulas. Several herbs and other ingredients are dried and ground. They are then mixed into a powder and formed into pills. The binder is traditionally honey.
Chinese patent medicines are easy and convenient. They are not easy to customize on a patient-by-patient basis, however. They are best used when a patient's condition is not severe and the medicine can be taken as a long-term treatment.
These medicines are not "patented" in the traditional sense of the word. No one has exclusive rights to the formula. Instead, "patent" refers to the standardization of the formula. All Chinese patent medicines of the same name will have the same proportions of ingredients.
Types of Needles
In addition to the needles shown in the videos here, our acupuncturist uses laser acupuncture for those who are not comfortable with needles. Laser acupuncture is just as efficient as acupuncture needles but not as aggressive, so it may take more laser treatments to achieve the same results as with needles.
During your first visit you can expect to receive a complete computerized diagnosis as well as a diagnosis done by the acupuncturist. She will examine the tongue, the pulse and other physical characteristics that offer clues about your current health. The acupuncturist will ask several questions about your symptoms and lifestyle.
If you will be having a treatment on that same day, the acupuncturist will ask you to lie down on the examining table, and she will inset the needles gently. You may not feel the needles at all, or you may feel a twitch that subsides as soon as the needle is completely in. Once the needles are all in place, you rest for approximately 30-40 minutes. During this time, you'll probably feel relaxed and sleepy and may even doze off. We have designed our office for maximum relaxation. You may choose to listen to soft music, meditation or just sit in silence. At the end of the session, the acupuncturist removes the needles, which is painless.