Milissa Gillen, L.Ac., MAOM practices Balance Method acupuncture. Let me explain what that is so you have a better understanding of this very effective acupuncture treatment method and if it would be a good fit for what you are currently experiencing in your health. If you would like to experience the Balance Method acupuncture way, call the clinic to book an appointment with Milissa or go online to schedule: Click here to schedule!
Balance Method Acupuncture is considered a “distal treatment” method. In the field of Chinese Medicine, we have the richness of thousands of years of practice and development to draw from. In Balance Method, we trace the understanding of the human anatomy as it relates to the meridians, along with their physical form and energetic function back to the very origins of Daoist philosophy and the Yi Ching. In the recent 30 years, Balance Method has evolved to become world recognized through the efforts of the late Grandmaster, Dr. Richard Teh-fu Tan. His tireless efforts to develop, test, and then teach this method around the world has truly revolutionized how many people practice acupuncture. Balance Method acupuncture is renowned for its clinical efficacy and producing “instant results”. It is most famous for treating pain anywhere in the body. This treatment approach is not limited to pain, however, as the system has many layers to treatment which include very impressive results with functional/internal imbalances, as well as psycho-emotional imbalances and complicated presentations that may involve several or all 12 meridian systems.
What may be notably different in the patient experience is that the distal treatment approach never places the needles at the site of the pain. A great example of this is knee pain. In Balance Method we most often insert needles into the elbows, fingers or scalp to treat knee pain. Back Pain is often best treated by placing needles in the hands, lower limbs, arms, or scalp. Most of the points used in Balance Method are located from the elbows down to the wrists/hands or from the knees down to the ankles/feet. As such, the acu-points are very conveniently accessible. The patient is rarely asked to disrobe and most treatments you will be laying comfortably on your back or in a reclined position. In addition to it’s effectiveness with pain, Balance Method achieves great results in the following areas: digestive issues, allergies/sinusitis, common cold/flu, headaches, migraines, dizziness/vertigo, Bell’s Palsy, Trigeminal Neuralgia, PMS, stress management, anxiety, sleep issues, hormone imbalances, genitourinary and reproductive health, cardiologic issues/hypertension, diabetes/metabolic issues and more. Most of the treatments last about 45 minutes to one hour, during which time the patient will enter a deep state of relaxation and hopefully take a nice nap!
Milissa Gillen L.Ac., MAOM holds a Master’s of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree from the New England School of Acupuncture and is certified by NCCAOM (2003). Milissa’s studies at NESA included both Chinese and Japanese styles of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. She worked as an assistant instructor at NESA for four years post-graduation, while continuing to study with three different Acupuncture Masters, focusing on Meridian Style Acupuncture. Milissa holds post graduate Certifications in Advanced Japanese Acupuncture, Shaku Ju Therapy, Auricular Acupuncture and Balance Method Acupuncture. After seven years in the Boston area, Milissa returned to her home state of California in 2007 and became a California Board Certified Acupuncturist. Milissa is now very happy to receive her Arizona Board Certification and join the growing team at Harmonizing Healthcare!
Since 2003, Milissa has poured her focus into learning and practicing Balance Method Acupuncture with the late Grandmaster Dr. Richard Teh-fu Tan OMD. Today, Milissa’s treatment modality primarily focus on Balance Method Acupuncture which is known around the world for its clinical efficacy, especially when it comes to pain management. Her treatment approach also includes Japanese Meridian Style Acupuncture and Japanese Style moxibustion therapy, also known as Okyu. Milissa’s goal as a practitioner of Oriental Medicine is to assist and support people in their journey to optimize their health in mind, body and spirit, achieving their best quality of life and best self.
Milissa is an avid outdoors-woman and has a deep passion and respect for our Mother Earth. She firmly believes in the restorative healing power of nature and wilderness. When you don’t see her at Harmonizing Healthcare, you can be sure she is somewhere out in the back country with her backpack or her trail running shoes. Milissa is also a 2nd Dan Kukkiwon Certified Black Belt in Taekwondo and a Certified Wilderness First Responder.
If you would like to experience Milissa's unique acupuncture method, call the clinic at (928) 856-065 to schedule an appointment with her or feel free to schedule online
THE Coronavirus has taken over our news, media, and minds. We cannot get through a day without hearing or thinking about its implications. How are we to respond? What can we do? Well let’s take a slightly different view point through the lens of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Since modern times, we have come to think we are the observers of nature, but in fact we ARE nature. We are the 5 elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. There is a saying in TCM, “as above so below” or what is in the macrocosm is in the microcosm. We are not just a reflection or this Earth, we are this Earth. Most of us have gotten so far away from nature that it has created imbalances within us. The best way to prepare for this pathogen is by harmonizing our imbalances and nourishing our “Wei Qi” or the Western idea of immunity. More important than the strength of a pathogen, is the strength of our own Qi or immunity. We need to be smart about this, prepare, and plan, but not get overwhelmed with fear. That will not lead us in the direction we are wanting to end up, nor will this nourish our immune system.
So, what is the best way to prepare? There is NO better time than now to really start taking your health seriously. Every choice we make is either promoting our health and nourishing our body or putting us in more imbalance. Every day is an opportunity to make the best choices. Of course, we will not be perfect every day, as we are all human, but we will do the best we can with the resources we have at any given moment. So, let me give you some guidelines to get you started.
First, follow the rhythms of the Earth. Again, we ARE earth, so following the natural rhythms turn our bodies into self-healing beings. This means getting up with the sun (no later than 6am) and going to bed when the sun goes down (but no later than 10pm). These hours change based upon the season, so you need less sleep in the summer than you do in the winter. The most healing and detoxing happens before midnight so those early hours are the most important. Now I do realize how difficult this can be and to be completely honest I struggle with this one myself! It seems there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to get done. But what I have come to know (and I’m sure you do as well) is that we will never get it all done so we just need to prioritize. And right now, health should be your priority. If we do not have our health, all the money, vacations, material possessions, and goals mean nothing. We need our health to truly enjoy these things. So please give your best effort in getting sleep. It is not the number of hours that matter as much as the time you are going to bed and waking up. Again, following the rhythms of the Earth turn your body into a self-healing entity and is the number one “rule” in Chinese medicine!
Following the rhythms of the Earth also mean eating right! It is best to eat seasonally and at the right times. Aim to eat three meals per day with no snacking in between. This will balance insulin and blood sugar and give your digestive system a much-needed break in between eating food. The digestive tract, which includes the TCM organ Spleen, is at the root of Wei Qi or the Western idea of immunity. We need to eat nourishing, easy to digest foods that are warm and cooked to nourish our Spleen Qi. This means no raw or cold foods. No ice water, no cold smoothies, no ice cream! Soups, stews, sautéed vegetables, and warming aromatic spices such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and so forth should be incorporated into your diet every day! Fermented foods, probiotics, and enzymes can also be helpful towards repairing the digestive system or Spleen. Of course, what we DON’T eat is just as important as what we do eat. Stay away from sugar and processed foods such as cereals, breads, pastas, cakes, and cookies as these all weaken our immune systems.
You can also add in nutrients, supplements, and/or herbs to boost your immune system. High dose vitamin C, vitamin D, and Zinc are all great additions to your daily regimen. There are wonderful Chinese herbs to also boost and tonify Wei Qi (immunity) as well. If you are a regular patient at the clinic and would like a customized herbal formula to address this, please let me know and I would be beyond happy to help you. Please do allow a little extra time right now for your herbal formulas to be prepared as requests and orders are high right now. We will triage based upon what each person is experiencing.
Getting regular acupuncture treatments also boosts the immune system and will be very helpful physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. In TCM language, when we are giving a treatment to increase immune function, we "Tonify Wei Qi". However, here is an article that also explain the effect of acupuncture on immunity from a Western perspective: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540978/
If you are feeling any flu like symptoms, such as fever, chills, body aches, cough, sore throat, or fatigue, you will need a different formula customized to what your TCM diagnosis is. If you are feeling sick, please schedule an online herbal consult so that we can treat your underlying pattern of imbalance.
If you are having any shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, be sure to go into the Emergency room right away. Do not drive yourself. Have a family member drive you or call 911.
The clinic is currently taking extra sanitary precautions for your protection and sanitizing all surfaces between every patient. We will continue to do what we always have in the fact that we wash our hands frequently, sanitize equipment, and use clean disinfected sheets between every patient. Your safety and well-being are our absolute number one priority and always will be.
Lastly, in times of uncertainty and heightened social strain, we can use this as an opportunity to examine our priorities in life. What is most important to us? Are we spending our time in the way that serves us most? Are we spending time with the people we love most? Are we living our lives to our highest potential? How are we responding both internally and externally during a time that demands so much of our attention and thought?
We need to remember that we are a community and we all need each other not just during this current period, but ongoing. We all need to find ways to support one another and that can be in so many different ways. Maybe it is taking a break from the news and calling a friend you haven’t talked to a really long time, having more “present” time with your kids where you give them 100% of your attention, or maybe it means giving your neighbor some toilet paper. 😊 Support and giving show up in so many different, unique ways. Make it a daily practice to dig deep for what you are grateful for in this life and how you show up in a bigger way for yourself, your family, and your community. This is an opportunity both internally and externally.
I hope you know that our clinic will continue to be of support to you and your family and will look for ways to show up in a bigger way. Please let us know how we can support you.
Brittany Petrick, L.Ac. and the Harmonizing Healthcare team
Brittany Petrick, L.Ac, MSOM, BSN
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