Acupuncture and chinese Medicine

Acupuncture is getting a lot of attention for its ability to help break the cycle of chronic pain and reduce the need for pain medications, but it's been long used successfully and safely to treat a variety of conditions such as

         Allergies & Asthma                                      Migraine & Tension Headache  

         Sinusitis                                                        Dizziness                               

         Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia                 Back and Neck Pain

         Shoulder Pain                                               Muscle and joint pain or dysfunction

         TMJ Pain                                                     Sciatica                                  

         Anxiety or Depression                                 Insomnia

         Sexual Dysfunction                                     Indigestion, Constipation, Diarrhea

         Menstrual disorders, PMS, Menopausal symptoms                    

         Post Operative Recovery                             Palliative Care                                             

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for over 5,000 years, and utilizes acupuncture, along with combinations of herbal medicine, moxabustion, cupping, gua sha, tuina, and qi gong to restore or maintain a healthy balance physically and emotionally.  TCM sees the person as a whole being with no separation between body, mind or spirit, and as part of the greater whole of nature and the cosmos.  Much of the theory originated in Taoist thought, and seeks to bring balance for the individual, within the laws of nature. 


Very thin, sterile needles are inserted into acupuncture points. This is generally not painful, though a heavy or dull aching sensation is normal, and even desirable. Generally, most people find an acupuncture session very relaxing. Acupuncture may be used by itself or with other modalities. Research has shown it to be a safe and effective treatment for many conditions. 


There are different types of moxibustion.  Generally, the herb mugwort, also called as Ai Ye, is burned near the skin to create warmth over an acupuncture point or over a Chinese Meridian.  This may be done with a pole or stick of compressed herb, or with loose herb, and increases blood flow and boosts immunity, along with other tonifying effects. 


Cupping is the process of placing a cup on the skin by the use of suction.  The practitioner may then slide the cups to help break up scar tissue, adhesions or stagnation in the tissues, or they may remain in one place for a period of time.  You may have heard about Olympians using this therapy during the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.  Although cupping can cause some temporary discoloration of the skin, it is not painful. 




Gua Sha

Gua sha is a form of bodywork that incorporates scraping to bring up 'sha,' or stagnation in tissues and release it from the body.  It helps break up scar tissue, adhesions, and alleviate musculoskeletal pain from subacute or chronic injuries.  It can also be used in other conditions, such as hepatitis and asthma, and helps increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.  Like cupping, it can also leave temporary discoloration that is not painful.  

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese herbal formulas may augment your healing process. We always consider your safety and any interactions with your current medications when considering a formula. There is a great deal of scientific research for some herbs or formulas, and a long history of anecdotal evidence for others.  There are three options for taking an herbal formula. Your practitioner may recommend a 'patent formula' of pre-prepared pills.  Other options include a customized granule formula, or bulk herbs that you can simmer into a tea.  Each option has its own pros and cons, and your practitioner can talk with you about whether Chinese herbs are right for your condition. 


An example of bulk Chinese herbs

An example of bulk Chinese herbs


Tuina is a type of Chinese massage and soft tissue manipulation that is therapeutic and seeks to restore postural balance and address specific patterns of disharmony. It is generally done as a corrective therapeutic treatment, rather than for relaxation.  

Qi Gong

Qi gong is referred to a moving meditation, and is a system of coordinated postures and body movements timed with breathing.  It can be used for relaxation, boosting health and vitality, and reducing pain perception.  Qi gong is another system meant to bring balance within the individual, and bring the individual into balance with nature, to increase vitality and a sense of calm and well being. There are many forms of qi gong, often following a family lineage, and it is practiced all over the world.  Some specific exercises may be given as homework in the context of an acupuncture session.  We also offer group classes in Qi Gong.