Our treatment methods include Chinese Acupuncture, Acupressure, Herbal Medicine, Foot Bath & Foot Reflexology, and Moxibustion, Cupping, and Gua Sha Therapies.

Chinese Acupuncture  

Acupuncture is one of the oldest most commonly used systems of healing in the world (see FAQ/What is acupuncture?). Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) holds that energy (called qi; pronounced “chee”) flows through our bodies in channels called meridians. Disruption to the smooth flow of qi causes imbalance and ultimately problems with physical and/or mental well-being. Acupuncture restores the smooth flow of qi and so restores the balance between Yin and Yang (a concept that sort of refers to our highs and lows), and works by stimulating the body’s own restorative and recuperative powers. (Acupuncture is also used preventatively to prohibit disruption to the smooth flow of qi.) Acupuncture is a well-established medical procedure that is safe and effective for both acute (immediate) and chronic conditions when practiced by a trained professional.

Dr. Pi inserts small, sterile, disposable metal needles along the intricate network of meridians in the bodies of her patients. The procedure is painless for some and relatively painless for others (see FAQ/How does acupuncture feel?) and produces no negative side effects. The frequency and duration of acupuncture treatments vary depending on the health issue and the patient’s constitution. Acupuncture treatments usually take about one hour per session. Results can be felt immediately for acute conditions or may require several visits for chronic complaints. Depending on the severity of the complaint and the extent to which living patterns exacerbate the problem, a course of treatments can range from a couple-several visits/week in the first couple of weeks to a less intense longer-term management plan; Dr. Pi works with patients to establish individual visit schedules.

Patients should not undergo acupuncture on an empty stomach (please see FAQ/How do I prepare… before your first visit to The Acupuncture Clinic). Please inform Dr. Pi if you are menstruating or pregnant, or if you have hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, so that your treatment can be modified accordingly and your condition can be managed successfully.

If you are sensitive to needles, Dr. Pi can use a special patch instead (see FAQ/What are ear seeds and tacks?). For patients who do not want acupuncture and for children under 10 years of age, we recommend acupressure – a form of massage where finger pressure is used on points along meridians to treat conditions in the same way that acupuncture is used.

Chinese Tui-na Acupressure (Chinese Massage)

Chinese Acupressure Therapy is a modality of TCM that dates back to 2,500 B.C. Our Chinese acupressure therapists use hand techniques to manipulate the various acupressure points along meridians throughout the patient’s body in order to stimulate and balance qi. Having Chinese acupressure therapy treatments on a regular basis can help to restore energy and improve cardiovascular and immune system function. Acupressure is also widely used for alleviation of pain, chronic fatigue, stress, and anxiety.

Acupressure can be used instead of acupuncture for the treatment of children or patients who are sensitive to needles. Pediatric acupressure is particularly effective for treatment of asthma, indigestion, myopia, enuresis, and myogenic torticollis.

Acupressure sessions usually last about 30 minutes but can last for up to 2 hours; the duration is up to the patient. Acupressure sessions are $40/30 min and $60/60 min. Patients should inform their acupressure practitioner if they are wearing a pacemaker, if they are pregnant, or if they have open wounds, lesions, infectious conditions, phlebitis, fractures, or other injuries.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine is the world’s oldest type of continually practiced professional medicine, and is the primary therapeutic approach to improved health in China (acupuncture is secondary). Chinese herbal medicine treats the full range of human conditions, and is especially good for promoting the body’s ability to heal and recover from illness.

Chinese Herbal Medicine combines a deep knowledge of human physiology with the most extensive pharmacopoeia of organic herbs and natural substances in the world. Herbal formulas are carefully prepared from plant parts including branches, leaves, flowers, seeds, or vegetables. These herbal preparations come in the form of medicinal teas, powders, pills, and tonics.

Herbal combinations are tailored for each patient’s condition and lifestyle and are designed to treat specific health problems or correct specific imbalances in the body. Natural herbs tend to have slower and more gentle effects than the synthesized chemicals used in prescription or over-the-counter drugs, and have none of the negative side effects associated with such concoctions. As is every therapeutic modality used at our clinic, herbal treatments are both safe and effective.

Because the effects of some herbal formulas can be influenced by diet, patients should discuss with Dr. Pi the possible consequences of consuming the following: shellfish (prawns, shrimps, lobsters, crabs, etc.), icy or cold beverages and food, caffeine, hot and spicy food, ginseng, and radishes. As always, women should inform Dr. Pi if they are pregnant or menstruating.

Herbal Foot Bath & Foot Reflexology

Herbal foot bath & foot reflexology treatments are the precious heritage of Traditional Chinese Medicine. According to TCM, our feet are our “roots,” and on our soles are points that connect to the different organs in our bodies. When there is a problem with a particular organ, gentle pressure applied to these points can generate surprising results.

The warm water and combination of herbs in a foot bath increase circulation and promote balance and increased energy on a whole-body level. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of reflexology in promoting relaxation and in treating PMS, constipation, labor pains, hormone imbalance, and nervous exhaustion. Reflexology is recommended for cancer patients, patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Reflexology is contraindicated for pregnant women and patients who have suffered injuries or fractures to the foot. Otherwise, it is a safe and effective form of therapy.

Moxibustion Therapy

Moxibustion is another ancient therapy in TCM; one that is particularly effective in the treatment of arthritis, asthma, fatigue, and sexual disfunction. Moxibustion has the function of warming and clearing the meridians by strengthening the patient’s immune and circulatory systems. Moxa, the dried leaves of the common mugwort plant (Artemisia vulgaris), is formed into small balls and burned on the end of acupuncture needles, or is burned as small cones on herbal cake or ginger over the skin, to produce a gentle heat.

Moxibustion, used as routine preventive care, helps expel coldness from the body and promote the mobilization of energy and an increase in blood circulation and immune function. Patients should not receive moxibustion if they have a fever, a cold, the flu, infectious conditions, mouth sores, hepatitis, or high blood pressure. Please let Dr. Pi know if you are pregnant or suffer from numbness in the arms, legs, feet, or toes.

Cupping & Gua Sha Therapy

Cupping treatment involves the placement of jars on the skin in such a way as to result in a gentle suction action (see FAQ/What is cupping?). Cupping therapy follows meridians, in much the same way as acupuncture and acupressure. Cupping contributes to improved circulation and stress relief, and can be used to treat varying conditions such as pain, cough, and the common cold. Cupping therapy is also used in treating children’s asthma and diarrhea. Some red marks from the suction may temporarily remain, but these usually disappear within a few days.

Gua Sha Therapy is often used to treat the flu, skin rash, allergy, cold symptoms, and facial wrinkles. Practitioners use jade or ox horn with herb oil to rub patients’ meridians to remove toxins from the body and improve energy flow.