what you're wondering

questions about acupuncture• What is acupuncture?
• What is Classical Chinese Medicine?
• What conditions can Chinese Medicine address? 
• What is treatment like?
• Does it hurt?
• Are the needles sterile?
• Is acupuncture safe?
• Are herbal supplements safe?
• How many treatments will I need?
• Do I have to believe in it for it to work for me?
• Can Chinese Medicine be used together with conventional Western Medicine?
• How can I prepare for my first visit?


What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of Chinese Medicine which includes needling, moxabustion, cupping, gua sha, and tui na. Needling involves the stimulation of specific places on the body, called acupoints, with hair-thin needles. There are over 2000 acupoints on the human body; I determine exactly which points to needle based on your condition. Because the needles are so thin, they are typically painless.

Acupuncture is an ancient healing practice which predates recorded history and is based on the notion that Qi (think vital energy) courses within all living things. In the practice of acupuncture, we evaluate health by feeling for the relative strength or weakness (the Qi) of energetic pathways that run up and down the body. When an imbalance is found, very fine needles are inserted to guide the flow of qi. And when we move qi, we effect the flow of blood and body fluids so that stagnation is moved, obstructions are cleared, accumulations are dispersed and the smooth functioning of organs is restored. As my teacher’s teacher used to say: “flowing waters run clear”. Acupuncture helps restore the balance so that the waters run clear. 

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What is Classical Chinese Medicine?
Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) is Chinese Medicine as it was practiced during the Han (206 BCE – 221 CE) and Song Dynasties (960CE – 1279CE), in all its complexity and depth. It is a complete system of health care with its own forms of diagnosis and treatment that prevents and treats illness at its source. It is Classical Chinese Medicine that people refer to when they talk about the nearly 3000 year old art which developed over the millennia through careful observation of nature and the human body. At its heart are Taoist philosophy and the classical texts, the Huangdi Neijing and the Shang Han Lun. Through its comprehensive understanding of the progression of disease and its integration of the 74 meridians (think energy pathways), Classical Chinese Medicine is able to address deep-seated conditions such as cancer, auto-immune disorders, inherited disease, psychological disorders and issues of the spirit.

Because it acts on the body-mind-spirit connection, Classical Chinese Medicine is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and promoting overall well-being. But its effectiveness extends far beyond the conception that it is only useful to address dysfunction. Chinese Medicine, as it integrates the physical, psychological and spiritual facets of existence, is not just about disease but about cultivation, contemplation, self-reflection. It’s about deeply connecting with and understanding one’s self to understand the universe.

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