Have you ever been curious about acupuncture or Chinese medicine? There is a new herbal apothecary clinic that just opened up right in our backyard. Grain & Pestle, owned and operated by Geoffrey Edwards is located in the center of the Avenue of Fashion. Edwards is an acupuncturist, herbalist and healing artist whose treatments include art therapy, acupuncture and herbal medicine. As a husband and father of young children that endured complications from allergies and asthma, he was inspired to do a deep dive in the studies of East Asian medicine.
Exotic Plants and Herbs
The space is inviting and has a healing feel to it, covered with exotic plants and smelling of herbs and healing essential oils. The shelves are full of apothecary teas and tinctures. On your first visit, you have your initial intake appointment. You go over your medical history and concerns. From there, Edwards advises which treatment is best for you. I was able to experience 4 different treatments including acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion and gua sha.
The first treatment is called “gua sha” and used in East Asian medicine to treat muscle tension and pain. There is a bit of pressure applied to certain areas of the body with the strokes, but it doesn’t hurt. It reminded me of a deep tissue massage. This technique can also break down scar tissue and reduce inflammation in the body. A ceramic spoon-like tool was used to scrape my neck where all of the heavy tension was trapped. The goal of this treatment is to move energy around the body. You can immediately feel a release of stress.
The second treatment is called “cupping”. There are two types of cupping; wet and dry. Grain & Pestle offers dry cupping. It is an ancient form of alternative medicine used to help with pain, blood flow, relaxation and inflammation. It was commonly used in Egypt, China and Middle Eastern cultures. Several cups are secured on the upper back to create suction, just for a few minutes, and then released.
The suction sensation is quite interesting. The cups feel very tight, and pull on the skin. Afterward, it can leave marks and sometimes bruising. Do not be alarmed, it does go away within a few days. Keep that in mind if you have any special events or projects to work on that require exposing the area of your body that underwent the treatment.
The third treatment they offer is called “moxibustion”, which is another practice used in Chinese medicine. This is something completely different than anything you have ever experienced. This therapy involves the burning of mugwort leaves. Mugwort is an herb used to promote healing in the same way acupuncture does. The mugwort is strategically placed on acupuncture points and burned close to the skin’s surface. A stick is used to burn it, then once it gets warm, removed from the skin. This practice is great for digestive problems. After undergoing this treatment, I followed up with my doctor and was informed that the digestive concern she had was no longer an issue.
Acupuncture, which is a major component of traditional Chinese medicine is traditionally used to treat pain, addictions and stress. This therapy was done laying down. Edwards chooses different points on the body that he feels could benefit from the treatment. He inserts a needle into the layers of skin. The needles he uses are fine as a strand of hair and used once, then disposed. The needles stay in for a few minutes.
This was my first time experiencing acupuncture. I was nervous at first, because I thought it would be painful. It was not painful at all. I could not even feel the needles. They were placed near my ankles, elbows, knees and forehead. About 7-9 needles were used. It was actually a relaxing experience. It was different, but felt natural. I would definitely do it again.
It is pretty amazing to have the option to experience alternative medicines that we typically are not exposed. Edwards is so passionate about his work, and enjoys educating people.
The initial intake visit is $125 with additional visits being $75. If you are interested in experiencing any of these treatments and all of the other amazing things that Grain & Pestle has to offer, make sure you visit them right here in Detroit!