Chinese Medicine

The term Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) refers primarily to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, however, it includes other healing practices such as Tuina (Oriental bodywork) and nutrition.

People who seek care from TCM look forward to being treated as a whole individual with specialized treatments that align naturally with the human body and the environment.

The theoretical basis of Chinese Medicine is centered upon the concept of Qi (sometimes referred to as life-force) moving along pathways called meridians in the body. There is at least 5,000 years of history and tradition wrapped up in what most people now refer to as acupuncture. Although acupuncture is indeed part of the medicine, it is only one part.

Today TCM remains a thriving and successful form of medicine, combining traditional theories with modern medical research. As a primary and firmly established health care method in Eastern countries, Chinese medicine is becoming more readily available in the United States.

Acupuncture is a very large part of Chinese medicine, especially here in the United States. While there are many times that acupuncture alone is a good protocol for a patient’s treatment plan, it is not always the case. Acupuncture works best when it is used as part of a Chinese medical diagnosis and treatment plan. This often includes herbs and massage.


Although many scholars date acupuncture to around the time of the Yellow Emperor (2,690-2,590), there are two historical discoveries which push the date back even further. The first discovery archaeologists made was of stone and bamboo-shoot needles in caves that date back to the New Stone Age (9,000-8,000 BCE). The second discovery was of a 5,300 year-old mummy called Otzi, which was found tattooed with acupoints for back pain.

Although well known in the United States for pain relief, acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of problems.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterile and single use, solid, hair-thin needles through the skin. Patients usually find that there is little to no discomfort with the needles. Treatments are usually found to be relaxing and enjoyable.


Massage can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue, stress, promote faster healing of injured muscle tissue, improve posture, promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being. Massage provides relief to people from all walks of life, from the competitive athlete to people that are overstressed.

Many massages can be too light or too deep. A happy medium allows for proper healing in a relaxing environment. Communication is the key to ensuring your massage is exactly what you want. Each session is designed to your specific needs, whether it be for total relaxation or to restore an area of dysfunction.

Tui-na (twee-nah) is a form of Chinese bodywork. With a history rich in Oriental medicine and the martial arts, Tui-na plays an integral part of the healing process. It re-establishes the flow of blood and energy to an area of the body, and may repair an injured shoulder or other joint, or heal through the power of touch.

Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine has been practiced for thousands of years. Chinese herbalists closely observed patients and meticulously recorded their clinical findings, allowing successors of the medicine to advance their knowledge through the ages and adapt to the different diseases that have developed over time.

Chinese herbal therapy is natural medicine. It is also a powerful medicine, and therefore it should only be prescribed by someone trained and certified. Today, the medicine is used to treat many common ailments such as insomnia, hot flashes, and digestive problems. It is also used to treat more serious diseases such as IBS, cancer and HIV.

By offering an alternative to prescription medication, Chinese herbalism has helped many people to address serious health concerns without the downside of high expenses and multiple side-effects. By mixing herbs together into a balanced formula, a skilled herbalist is able to create effective prescriptions that have few to no side effects. The use of herbs in formulas is one of Chinese medicine's greatest strengths. While Chinese herbalism has a long tradition, it continues to evolve and is driven by constant research and practice to further the base of knowledge. As a result, it has adapted to meet our modern needs and offers a natural alternative to pharmaceutical interventions.

Very powerful in their healing abilities, herbs are an excellent way to greater health. While not every patient needs herbs, there are times when herbs will be a predominant portion of the treatment plan.

A dictionary full of information about individual Chinese herbs.

What Does Chinese Medicine Treat?

Traditional Chinese Medicine can address a variety of symptoms that people experience. In addition to your main health concern, we will discuss your medical history and overall health. I will ask you a variety of questions on each of your body systems (respiratory, circulatory, (ect.), and we will have the opportunity to talk about any health concerns that you may have. Chinese medicine is effective in preventing imbalances which will result in illness, and people find regular follow-up treatments helpful in maintaining health. The National Institute of Health cites TCM as providing healthful benefits for many conditions. Some of these include:

  • Emotional- depression, anxiety, mood swings
  • Respiratory- colds/flu, allergies, shortness of breath, asthma, sinusitis
  • Cardiovascular and circulatory- hypertension, palpitations, heart disease
  • Gastrointestinal-poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, excessive hunger, ulcers, IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohns Disease, Diarrhea, Constipation
  • Urogenital- Bladder infections, frequent urination, urinary and bowel incontinence
  • Gynecological- irregular or painful menses, endometriosis, PMS, infertility, pregnancy issues, menopausal issues
  • Musculoskeletal- injuries, back pain, muscular pain, tendonitis, arthritis, TMD (TMJ), tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, post-operative pain
  • Neurological-neuralgia (nerve-related pain/numbness), sciatica pain, headaches, migraines, dizziness, numbness
  • Dermatological-skin rashes/eczema, acne, scars
  • Sleep and stress disorders-nervous tension, insomnia, low energy
  • Adjunctive/supportive therapy- during treatment of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases
  • Addictions
  • Weight Management