Meet Claire, our TCM specialist

Have you ever wondered how you can benefit from Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Our newest therapist, Claire Vouga, can tell you all about it. She brings Eastern modalities to Your Siesta not via Beijing, but Oshkosh, California and the Twin Cities.

“In California, acupuncture and other similar treatments are pretty common, and I found that the school just wasn’t the right fit for me” she laughed. “Everyone there was ‘American.’ It wasn’t what I was expecting at all.”

She moved on to the American Academy of Acupuncture in Minneapolis, which was exactly the opposite sort of experience.

“Nobody’s first language was English.” she said. “I actually learned quite a bit of Mandarin in the process and while I can’t speak it, I can understand some of it.”

The classes were comprehensive and difficult. Only a handful of students from her original class made it through to graduation. The medical texts had not been translated into English.

“They were 5,000-year-old medical texts,” she said. “We had an incredible amount of hands on work. It was great training for me, but it was very, very difficult.”

She went on to start a clinic with one of the faculty members, which was very much in the Chinese tradition (and very much unlike Your Siesta’s environment).

“It was very clinical and very assembly line, but that is how it is in China,” she said. “Eastern culture and Eastern medicine is very, very direct.”

As an acupuncture practitioner, she soon developed a following and had a three-week waiting list for appointments.

But then life happened. Claire relocated to Milwaukee, met her future husband and recently got married. The Twin Cities loss is our gain at Your Siesta Wellness Center.

Claire is currently offering consulting on Chinese herbs, pressure point massage using cups, meridian work, moxibustion and guided meditation. In 2018, she will start offering acupuncture services.

For anyone who has never experienced Traditional Chinese Medicine, it may seem a little unusual. First of all, Claire will ask to check your pulses – plural – and check your tongue. TCM practitioners are assessing different qualities of your pulses to see if your energy is weak or strong, fast or strong and thin or weak, among other qualities. A tongue check provides similar information.

Claire uses a variety of techniques in her treatments, including moxibustion, which is a traditional Chinese therapy that includes the burning of mugwort, a dried plant material, suspended carefully above certain meridian points on the body.

“It’s really a liniment for the body,” she says of mugwort (moxa). “It trans-dermally relaxes up the tissues.”

A moxibustion treatment is very calming. There is a slight sensation of heat as she moves from point to point on your body.

As a practitioner, Claire is also happy to educate and share her knowledge of Chinese modalities with her clients. Give us a call to schedule your first appointment.

Claire Vouga


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