[wpex What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?]
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a gentle, effective and safe method of holistic healing that works on the physical, emotional and psychospiritual levels. TCM includes the modalities of acupuncture, Chinese herbal formulas, acupressure, internal energy work, such as Tai Qi and Qigong, and dietary advice. Chinese medicine regards the human body as a complete, self-regulating system that is always in a state of change. TCM follows the laws and cycles of nature and embraces the interconnectedness of all things. The body is viewed as a landscape that is shaped by the external elements of wind, cold, heat, dampness and dryness as well as from internal emotional effects of anger, worry, grief, fear and joy. The sovereign ruler is the Heart which encompasses the Spirit.

Chinese medicine looks beyond simply isolating and treating symptoms. It searches for “patterns of disharmony”, or syndromes, and directs treatment towards bringing the body, mind and Spirit back into its innate balance.
[wpex How does acupuncture work?]
It is said that ancient Chinese sages, while observing the movements within nature and the Universe, discovered that the body and all living things have their own energy systems of “life force” called “Qi” (chee). Qi is similar to what we know as electromagnetism or bioelectric energy. When this energy is disturbed or blocked, discomfort or illness results.

Unseen lines of energy, called meridians, are said to traverse the body. These meridians have superficial pathways along which acupuncture points are located and deep pathways that lead to the internal organs. The insertion of thread-like, stainless steel needles at these bioelectrically charged points stimulate the flow of Qi and help to restore equilibrium.

Studies indicate that acupuncture influences the central and peripheral nervous systems, releases endorphins to reduce pain and stress; affects sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, and can also enhance the function of the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems and improve circulation.
[wpex Does acupuncture hurt?]
Acupuncture, when administered by a competent and well trained individual, is rarely painful. The needles are extremely slender and are very different from the syringe needles used in western medicine. A sensation such as a heaviness or distended feeling indicates that the acupuncture is working.
[wpex What should you expect during and after a treatment?]
The treatment room is a private space where your history, questions, and aspirations are discussed. The initial visit is usually about an hour and a half and ncludes an extensive intake and treatment. Other modalities such as acupressure, local massage and heat application may also be employed. Follow up visits are usually about an hour. During the session the person lies comfortably on a treatment table where an average of 10 disposable needles are gently and strategically placed in the body for about 20 minutes. Acupuncture is very relaxing and rarely is there discomfort.
[wpex What does Chinese medicine treat?]
Traditional Chinese medicine utilizes theories and principles that date back nearly 2500 years. Though an ancient healing art, its popularity continues to grow, especially in the west. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the ability of Chinese medicine to treat many commonly encountered clinical disorders such as addictions, allergies/asthma, anxiety/depression, arthritis/joint problems, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, gynecological and neuromuscular disorders, chemical sensitivities, headaches/migraine, immune system deficiency, post-stroke hemiplegia and facial paralysis and stress, to name a few.
[wpex How do you choose an acupuncturist?]
For optimum results, seek a professional who is licensed by the state and/or the NCCAOM (national certifying board), has had 3-4 years training at an accredited institution of Oriental medicine, and preferably an individual who has a Masters degree in Oriental medicine. Quality of training has a direct correlation to the degree of efficacy of treatment.