Articles about Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine






Newsletter Archives





Chinese Medicine and Winter Season

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Article originally published in

The ancient Chinese believed that human beings should live in harmony with the natural cycles of their environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down. This is the time of year to reflect on our health, replenish our energy, and conserve our strength.

Winter is Yin in nature; it is inactive, cold, and damp. Remain introspective, restful, and consolidate your Qi through the season and prepare for the outburst of new life and energy in the spring.

The wise nourish life by flowing with the four seasons and adapting to cold or heat, by harmonizing joy and anger in a tranquil dwelling, by balancing yin and yang, and what is hard and soft. So it is that dissolute evil cannot reach the man of wisdom, and he will be witness to a long life.

—Huangdi Neijing Suwen

Element: Water

Winter is ruled by the water element, which is associated with the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands.

According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, the kidneys are considered the source of all energy (Qi) within the body.

They store all of the reserve Qi in the body so that it can be used in times of stress and change, or to heal, prevent illness, and age gracefully.

During the winter months it is important to nurture and nourish our kidney Qi. It is the time where this energy can be most easily depleted. Our bodies are instinctively expressing the fundamental principles of winter - rest, reflection, conservation, and storage.

Foods for Winter

Winter is a time when many people tend to reduce their activity. If that's true for you, it's wise to reduce the amount of food you eat, too, to avoid gaining weight unnecessarily. Avoid raw foods during the winter as much as possible, as these tend to cool the body. During winter you should emphasize warming foods:

Eating warm hearty soups, whole grains, and roasted nuts help to warm the body's core and to keep us nourished. Sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy.

Staying Healthy this Winter

Seasonal changes affect the body's environment. With the wind, rain, and snow comes the colds, flu, aches, and pains.

Here are a few tips to staying healthy this winter:

According to tcm, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can work together to throw your immune system off, allowing pathogens affect your body.

Build Up Your Protective Qi

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body's energy pathways.

These points are known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy and for consolidating the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle (wei Qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year also serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems. The ultra-thin needles don't hurt and are inserted just under the skin. The practitioner may twist or "stimulate" them once or twice, and they are removed within 10 to 20 minutes.

Acupuncture Point: Du 14

One particularly important point to attend to is Du 14. Located below the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebrae, approximately at the level where the collar of a T-shirt sits on the neck.

Du 14 activates the circulation of blood and Qi to strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle (wei qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.

This point is often used to ward off, as well as shorten, the duration colds and flu.

This would be a great point to place an acupuncture needle, magnet or pellet before going on a flight. Ask your acupuncturist for more information.

Treat Those Colds - the tcm Way!

If you've already happened to catch that cold, acupuncture and herbal medicine can also help with the chills, sniffles, sore throat, or fever in a safe, non-toxic way that doesn't bombard your body with harmful antibiotics. Acupuncture does not interfere with Western medical treatment. On the contrary, it provides a welcome complement to it in most cases, and with its emphasis on treating the whole person, recovery time for illness is often shortened.

There is a 1,000-year-old Chinese herbal formula that forms a handy complement to these immune-boosting treatments: the Jade Windscreen Formula. It is made up of just three herbs: Radix astragalus, Atractylodis macrocephalae, and Radix ledebouriellae. These three powerful herbs combine together to tonify the immune system, strengthen the digestive system (so that we can be sure to gain the nutrients from our food), and fortify the exterior of the body so that we can fight off wind-borne viruses and bacteria.

This handy formula which comes in pill, capsule, or liquid form can be taken for a few days each month to stave off colds or flu or when there's been a challenging workload, or perhaps some loss of sleep.

Autumn, Acupuncture and TCM

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Article originally published in

The weather is cool and crisp. The sun is beginning to set earlier. The leaves are turning vivid hues of red, orange, and yellow.

Fall has arrived, and now is the time to harvest the bounty that grew during the summer so we can store up for the cold winter ahead. It is a time to organize, work hard, and finish projects that you began in spring and summer.

One of the most beautiful aspects of traditional Chinese medicine is as a tool to live harmoniously with the seasons. Ancient Chinese physicians observed the natural cycles of the seasons and recorded the best everyday practices for staying healthy and harmonizing our own energy with that of our environment.

In the three months of autumn all things in nature reach their full maturity. The grains ripen and harvesting occurs. The heavenly energy cools, as does the weather. The wind begins to stir. This is the changing or pivoting point when the yang, or active, phase turns into its opposite, the yin, or passive, phase. One should retire with the sunset and arise with the dawn. Just as the weather in autumn turns harsh, so does the emotional climate. It is therefore important to remain calm and peaceful, refraining from depression so that one can make the transition to winter smoothly. This is the time to gather one's spirit and energy, be more focused, and not allow desires to run wild. One must keep the lung energy free full, clean, and quiet. This means practicing breathing exercises to enhance lung Qi. Also, one should refrain from smoking and grief, the emotion of lung. This will prevent the kidney or digestive problems in the winter. If this natural order is violated, damage will occur to the lungs, resulting in diarrhea with undigested food in the winter. This compromises the body's ability to store in winter.

—Huangdi Neijing Suwen

A Time of Reflection

Fall is the season associated with the metal element. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the metal element governs the mind, organization, order, and stability. We tend to be more reflective, turning inward to our work, our families and our homes during this time. It is a time to organize and prepare for the winter season ahead and a time to reflect on our lives.

Emotionally, this is the season associated with grief and sadness. It is important to keep the mind clear and "let go" of negative emotions, which can impact health more strongly during the fall.

Lungs and Large Intestine

Fall corresponds to the lungs, skin, and large intestine. The lungs and large intestine are in charge of respiration, digestion, and elimination. Common symptoms associated with lung and large intestine imbalances are respiratory problems, such as asthma, shortness of breath, frequent colds, and sinus infections, as well as constipation and skin problems.

The body is particularly susceptible to wind and cold during the fall. Dryness can cause symptoms of coughing, dry nose, sore throat, dry skin, dry hair and scalp, dry mouth and cracked lips, and hard and dry stools. Adding more nourishing yin foods to your diet can promote body fluid, soothe the lungs and protect you from dryness.

Eating with the season

In the fall, eat fewer cold, uncooked foods - such as salads - and more warm, cooked foods. Switch from salads to soups and steamed vegetables such as winter squash, winter peas, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and yams. Incorporate yellow and red foods into your meals. Start your day with hot oatmeal.

Here are some more warm and nourishing foods and herbs to add to your fall diet:

Protecting Your Lung Qi

Lung 7 is one of the most powerful points on the lung meridian points. It is a popular acupuncture point to use for stopping a persistent cough and relieving a sore throat. Besides treating those symptoms, LU 7 is often used to treat conditions related to the head and neck, such as headaches, migraines, stiff neck, facial paralysis, and toothache.

LU 7 is considered to be the "command point" of the head and neck and is also used to improve circulation in the brain and stimulate memory.

This acupuncture point is located above the wrist on the inside of the arm. To find this point, interlock your thumb and index finger of one hand with those of the other, the point lies on the edge of the index finger, in a depression between the sinew and the bone.

Stimulate this point on both hands with the tip of your index finger for approximately 30 seconds or until your cough subsides.

Oriental Medicine and Male Sexual Disorders

By: Marc Sklar, da, L.Ac., MSTOM
Article originally published in

Throughout Chinese history its society has been dominated by men. Although this is an unfortunate reality it has also lead Chinese Medicine to focus its medical knowledge on treating men's health and longevity. As far back as the Yellow Emperor's reign many classical texts were devoted to increasing men's sexual performance and health. Although centuries have past since the Yellow Emperor began inquiring about health and wellness, men today still look for various ways to stay healthy sexually.

Sexual health is not the only concern for men today. As men age they begin battling with various other male disorders. Aside from impotence, men also suffer from conditions affecting urination, the prostate and testicles.

How Chinese Medicine Views Sexual Disorders and Men's Health

Chinese Medicine can help treat various male disorders. At the center of treating all male disorders are the Kidneys. Although other organ systems tend to be involved such as the Liver, Spleen, Bladder and Heart, the kidneys are usually at the core of the problem. One of the kidneys' major functions—according to Chinese Medicine—is storing Jing (essence). Jing is one of three treasures, Qi and Shen (spirit) being the other two.

The life-giving processes of nature are manifest in the concept of Jing. It can be understood as the sap of life, the irreducible essence that contains all the critical ingredients needed to make new life that shares characteristics with its source.

As Jing has a direct connection with sperm in men you can begin to see why premature ejaculation and other sexual disorders are important to treat for the Chinese.

As a man ages Jing naturally depletes. As a man turn 40 the decline of kidney qi begins and with that Jing. Men experience their own kind of Men-opause as they age. This is different than that experienced by a woman as there is no single physiological change. This is still a time that brings many imbalances in men as estrogen begins to be the dominant hormone in the body.

Another reason why the kidneys are the focus of treatment is its close connection with urinary function. According to Chinese Medicine the kidneys govern the opening and closing. This function corresponds to urinary incontinence as well as premature ejaculation. Both of these functions depend upon the kidneys strength and control to govern these functions properly. If this ability is weakened, one might experience frequent urination, dribbling, or incontinence.

Acupuncture and Impotence

One condition that we hear about often on the television, in the newspapers and magazines and on the radio, is impotence. As mentioned previously, Chinese Emperors viewed sexual function as an important part of health and longevity. If an Emperor had impotence, he would seek the advice of his medical staff, and in the case of Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor, he would ask the advice of Su Nu. Impotence is known as yang wei which literally means flaccidity. Impotence refers to the inability to attain erection or the ability to attain only partial erection. This can be caused by several underlying reasons; however some of the more common causes are overindulgence in sexual activity and emotional disturbances.

Prostate Health

The condition of an enlarged prostate gland as a man ages is called benign prostatic hypertrophy (bph). In bph the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra. Symptoms commonly seen with bph are:

These conditions, if left untreated, could lead to more serious conditions such as prostate cancer, urine retention, urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence.

bph according to Chinese Medicine is categorized into diseases relating to urination. Historically there was no mention of an enlarged prostate. The Chinese had no way of knowing that a man's prostate was enlarged, but they were aware of the symptoms it caused. These symptoms of frequent nighttime urination, painful urination, and difficult urination were observed and thus categorized as disease categories which are used today to diagnose and treat bph.

Male Infertility

Male infertility is rarely discussed but can frequently be the problem when couples are having trouble conceiving. In many cases men have poor quality sperm or a decreased quantity. According to the World Health Organization guidelines normal sperm count consists of 20 million sperm per ejaculate, with 50 percent motility and 60 percent normal morphology (form). The amount of semen in the ejaculation matters, too. If the concentration is less than 20 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate, it may impair fertility. Still, if the sperm show adequate forward motility—the ability to swim—concentrations as low as 5 to 10 million can produce a pregnancy. It is important to remember that only 25 years ago, counts of 100 million sperm per ejaculate were the norm. Time, the effects of our environment or lifestyle seem to be gradually degrading male sperm counts.

Within Chinese medicine once again the kidneys play an important role in semen production and quality; however this is not the only cause for infertility in men. Many times infertility is caused by dampness in Chinese Medicine. One major way that dampness is produced is through poor and improper dietary habits. The Standard American Diet (sad) is a large contributor to health problems and that remains true with infertility.

Read the study in the journal Fertility and Sterility, Volume 71, Number 4 (April 1999), pp.684-689, "Comparison of the sperm quality necessary for successful intrauterine insemination with World Health Organization threshold values for normal sperm".

What Acupuncture Can Treat

Here is a brief list of Male Health problems that Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture can help:


  1. The World Health Organization
  2. "A Brief History of Qi" by Zhang Yu Huan and Ken Rose, Paradigm Publications, Brookline Mass, 2001
  3. "Practical Therapeutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine" by Yan Wu and Warren Fischer, Paradigm Publications, Brookline, Mass, 1997
  4. "A Handbook of TCM Urology and Male Sexual Dysfunction" by Anna Lin, Blue Poppy Press, Inc. Boulder Colorado, 1992

About the Author

Marc Sklar is a board certified herbalist and expert Oriental Medicine Practitioner. He specializes in men's health, infertility, gynecology, pediatrics, and digestive disorders. Marc sits on the board of directors for the California State Oriental Medical Association. Marc approaches every patient with an open mind, compassion and a medically integrated perspective.

Marc Sklar practices in San Diego, California.


Energy of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality that adjusts the energy flowing through our bodies. Ancient Chinese called this energy or life force Qi (pronounced "chee"). Quantum Physics has very recently confirmed scientifically that we are essentially beings of energy, that our bodies are nothing more than energy, not to mention that everything else is only energy as well, even our thoughts.

We are energy machines, churning out unharnessed Qi without any intention to do so. It just happens and we don't even think about it. But we can think about it and our intention can be a powerful tool to aid our healing, our sense of well being, our reality.

Qi is the mysterious life force that runs through meridians or river-like paths in our bodies nurturing every cell in our bodies. What if Qi could be directed, channeled, increased, transferred? Could it be that our ancient brothers and sisters were on to this much earlier than our modern civilization? Could it be that thousands of years ago Acupuncture was developed as a way to easily and effectively tune up the energy body? Signs point to "Yes."

Acupuncture is a mystifying process and very few understand the inner workings, but work it does. As is evidenced by the Acupuncturist who can turn a breech baby in three treatments, reduce or eliminate migraine headaches in patients who have tried it all, treat emotional problems, like stress, depression, anxiety without conventional medications, induce labor, heal scar tissue, or assist the couple with fertility problems to conceive a precious child at last. There are many positive indications to evidence that Acupuncture can make a difference in the lives of many. The positive manipulation of Qi by needle, thought, and herb is a powerful force that should be considered a viable health care option to all human energy forms.

If you have not yet tried Acupuncture, pick up the phone and call Liferoot Acupuncture of Tucson today to schedule your very first experience with Acupuncture. Three thousand years of history indicate that we may be on to something very big.

Watermelon Gazpacho

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Article originally published in

Chinese Medicine uses the fruit (Xi Gua) and the seeds (Xi Gua Ren) for dehydration and summer heat symptoms which include thirst without desire to drink, a band-like headache, nausea, irritability, low appetite, heavy, weighted body sensation, low motivation, sluggish digestion, increased body temperature and sticky sweat.

Watermelon (Xi Gua)

In ancient Egypt watermelon juice and its seeds were traditionally offered to quench the thirst of travelers. If you are looking for a healthy choice to quench your thirst this summer, make it a delicious and refreshing watermelon!

Chinese Medicine uses the fruit (Xi Gua) and the seeds (Xi Gua Ren) for dehydration and summer heat symptoms, which include thirst without desire to drink, a band-like headache, nausea, irritability, low appetite, heavy, weighted body sensation, low motivation, sluggish digestion, increased body temperature and sticky sweat.

Because of watermelon's cooling nature it is often recommended to reduce your body's inflammatory response. Research indicated that the effects of chronic, low-grade inflammation can contribute to conditions such as arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes and certain forms of cancer.

Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamins C, A, B6, B1, magnesium, thiamine and potassium.

Watermelon Gazpacho

The delicate flavors of cucumber and watermelon go hand in hand to create this sweet-and-savory chilled soup, perfect as a first course or as an appetizer on a hot summer night.



Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Purée about half of the mixture in a blender or food processor to the desired smoothness. Stir in the remaining diced mixture.

Chill for at least one hour to allow flavors to combine. Stir well before serving.

Serve chilled and enjoy!

Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Article originally published in

Everyone suffers from irritability and moodiness from time to time, but if you find that a short temper and frustration are becoming a constant issue for you, then acupuncture may help.

Often irritability and moodiness are the consequence of chronic stress in your life. Over time these emotions can progress into more serious emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression as well as other health conditions such as digestive problems, trouble sleeping and the tendency to get sick more frequently.

Liver Qi Stagnation and Emotions

Within Oriental medicine, emotional disorders can be associated with a number of different patterns of disharmony; however, anger, irritability, and frustration are all signs that our qi (life force) is not flowing smoothly. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of qi throughout the body and for smoothing our emotions. When the liver's function of moving qi is disrupted, qi can become stuck. This is referred to as liver qi stagnation.

Liver qi stagnation is one of the most common patterns of disharmony seen in today's patients. In addition to irritability and moodiness, signs and symptoms may include: distending pain in the area below the ribs, stuffiness of the chest, sighing, abdominal distention, nausea, sour regurgitation, belching, diarrhea or constipation, feeling of a lump in the throat, irregular periods, painful periods and distention of the breasts prior to periods. Liver qi stagnation is commonly associated with PMS.

Acupuncture is excellent at relieving liver qi stagnation. Treatment for irritability and moodiness associated with liver qi stagnation focuses on moving qi and supporting the liver and spleen organ systems with acupuncture, lifestyle and dietary recommendations and perhaps an herbal formula.

If you are concerned that your emotions may be interfering with your health and wellness, please call an acupuncture practitioner in your area to see how acupuncture can help.

Move Your Qi!

The liver is responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (life force) throughout the body. When the liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly. So, for optimum health, move your Qi!

Stretch - The liver controls the tendons. According to Oriental medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine. Try yoga or tai qi.

Eye Exercises - The liver opens into the eyes. Although all the organs have some connection to the health of the eyes, the liver is connected to proper eye function. Remember to take breaks when looking at a computer monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.

Eat Green - Green is the color of the liver. Eating young plants—fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses—can improve the liver's overall functions and aid in the movement of qi.

Try Something Sour - Foods and drinks with sour tastes are thought to stimulate the liver's qi. Put lemon slices in your drinking water, use vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing and garnish your sandwich with a slice of dill pickle.

Do More Outdoor Activities - Outside air helps liver qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that liver qi stagnation. Try hiking or take up golf.

Enjoy Milk Thistle Tea - Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances, such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals such as mercury.

Get Acupuncture Treatments - Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help improve the overall health of your liver as well as treat stress, anger and frustration, which are often associated with liver qi disharmony.

Signs and Symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation

Periodic acupuncture treatments can serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.

Here are some of the symptoms commonly associated with liver qi stagnation:

Summertime! Chinese Medicine and the Summer Season

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Article originally published in

The summer season is filled with abundant energy, long days and sunshine. This is the most yang time of year. Summer is about expansion, growth, activity and creativity.

The Fire Element

Summer is the season of yang, a time when the body undergoes vigorous metabolic (body energy) processes. Several thousand years ago, The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor put forth the principle that one should cultivate the yang energy in spring and summer, while protecting the yin energy in autumn and winter.

TCM teaches us that summer belongs to fire, one of the five elements. Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest yang, which means that it is a time of heat, outgoingness, and moving outward in nature and in our lives. In human anatomy the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element. Thus, top priority should be given to the heart, mind, and spirit for staying healthy in summer.

Live Life to the Fullest

The heart's main function is to pump oxygen-rich blood through the body. In Chinese medicine, mental activity is associated with the heart and therefore our memory, thought processes, emotional well-being, and consciousness are also attributed to the heart and fire element. This is a time to nourish and pacify our spirits, and to realize our life's greatest potential as we find joy in our hot summer days and warm summer nights.

When the fire element is in balance, the heart is strong and healthy, the mind is calm and sleep is sound.

When the fire element is imbalanced, we may either lack joy (depression) or have an excess of joy (mania). Indicators of an imbalance in the fire element include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and insomnia.

Tips for Summer Health

To prevent summer ills and remain in harmony with the environment of summer, ancient Chinese physicians advised:

Salad Days: Eating Under the Sun

In summer indigestion can easily occur, so a light and less-greasy diet is strongly recommended. It is the perfect season to introduce some cool, yin foods into your diet. Chinese nutrition classifies food according to its energetic qualities of temperature, taste, and ability to moisten and strengthen the body. Food with cool and cold properties can clear heat, reduce toxins, and generate body fluids.

In general, cooling foods tend towards the green end of the spectrum - lettuce, cucumbers, and watercress are some of the coolest. Few vegetables are warming. Fish and seafood are also cooling, while most meats are warming.

Here are some suggestions to keep you cool and balanced all summer long. These fruits and vegetables will help your body adjust its temperature and protect you during the long, hot summer days:

Other helpful tips for the summer season

Yintang: The Third Eye Point

Acupuncture has been found to be helpful with all types of emotional and mental disorders, from stress and anxiety to schizophrenia. Often used for such treatments is Yintang, a point located between the eyebrows - sometimes referred to as "the third eye."

The Chinese translation for the acupuncture point, Yintang, is "hall of impression". "Hall" is defined as a corridor or passageway, or the large entrance room of a house. An "impression" is defined as a strong effect produced on the intellect, emotions, or conscience. Thus, Yintang is the entrance or passageway to the mind.

"Hall of impression" is an appropriate name for this powerful point which is used to calm the mind, enhance one's ability to focus, soothe emotions, promote sleep, and relieve depression.

Related Articles [on]:

The Body As Garden

by Kym Kleiman, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Viewing the human body as a garden or landscape is a great metaphor for demonstrating the ideas behind Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Thousands of years ago, the Chinese used their relationship to nature and the landscape to understand the workings of the human body and how to promote health and create healing. This understanding gave birth to the concepts that initiated this ancient healing modality.

Think of the Acupuncturist as the Caretaker or Gardener of this fleshy landscape, with the prime objective being to promote vitality, harmony, health, balance and beauty. In order to achieve these objectives it is critical that certain elements are included in the care. In this case the Caretakers tools are needles, cups, moxa, Tuina massage, herbal formulas, and nutritional counseling. All of, which nurture the tender garden and provide nourishment, care, and healing.

Qi is the mysterious energy that is behind all life force and so essential to health. The needles, used properly, bring this energy into alignment and allow the energy to flow unimpeded through the entire body (landscape/plant) system. Cupping moves the blood, dispels pain and opens the lungs to assist breathing. Moxa nourishes the places where energy is low and encourages the healing process. Herbal formulas work internally to clear pathology and strengthen the body's vital system by inspiring healthy function. Tuina massage manually clears blocks, improves joint range of motion and increases circulation. Nutritional counseling allows for the continuity of work between treatments by using food as medicine.

The Caretaker, the Gardener, the Acupuncturist, using the proper tools, will provide guidance regarding the proper amount of sun, and nourishment, as well as what must be weeded out, for your overall benefit. Seeds planted at the most correct time, and provided with superior care have a better chance of flourishing with health and vitality. The payoff is an abundant thriving garden that yields the harvest of a life filled with harmony, health, balance, and beauty. Together we thrive.

Can Acupuncture Really Help?

by Kym Kleiman, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Many people come to Liferoot Acupuncture & Healing Arts Clinic of Tucson, AZ as the last stop in a long line of Doctors and Health Care Professionals. They have tried everything to treat their painful conditions and have finally decided to try Acupuncture. First it is important to note that Acupuncture is not a miracle cure. It may take some time to correct a situation which has been developing over many years. We all want immediate results and most importantly, we want relief from pain, and we want it now. There are many instances where a single Acupuncture treatment can provide relief from pain, comfort from the suffering, but in many cases a treatment regime, including Chinese herbal formulas is necessary to treat the underlying Chinese diagnosis. This is a much different approach from Western allopathic medicine, and sometimes a hard concept for mainstream Americans to understand and work within the new paradigm.

We want to introduce the suggestion that in order for society as a whole to accept a new idea in health care that the new paradigm must be believable and intimately experienced by the culture. As a nation, we are returning to the awareness of our symbiosis with the earth and the absolute connection to nature, each other and our survival as a species. This connection between our beings and the earth is the crux of Chinese/Asian Medicine. The dynamic idea behind Chinese medicine is that the body, mind and spirit are a complete ecosystem, and the Acupuncturist brings that ecosystem back into alignment with it's proper place in the universe and individual expression of health, using Acupuncture, Herbal Formulas, Cupping, Tui Na, Nutritional changes, etc.

If you have a condition that you have been treating with Western medicine and have not gotten the results you want, then, by all means, find a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Practitioner that will listen to your case history and really hear you. Most Acupuncturists are trained to observe the entire individual, not just the Health History form. Establish the relationship, tell the truth and most of all, give it a chance to work. Another important factor in healing is the patient's willingness to make lifestyle and dietary changes. Willingness to change is a key component in the healing process and this must be in place for lasting change to take effect.

Treating Chronic Pain with Acupuncture

by Kym Kleiman, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Medicine are healing modalities which works with the principal that vital energy called Qi (Pronounced chee) flows through the body in a series of rivers or paths called meridians. These rivers or pathways must function without obstruction, in order for the Qi to flow to all vital areas of the body and ecosystem. Poor diet, physical trauma, emotional stress, chemical dependency or sensitivity, inherited weakness of Qi and many other conditions can create blockages of Qi flow. By inserting, fine, sterile needles at specific points throughout these meridians the goal of acupuncture is to eliminate Qi blockages, which would manifest as pain in the body.

Many people suffer with chronic pain and have been taking pain medications for many years and never seem to achieve permanent relief from their pain. The focus of Acupuncture is to treat the symptom of pain (the branch) while also addressing the underlying cause (also known as the root). When the root cause is eliminated and brought into balance the flow of Qi is restored to travel freely throughout the body promoting pain free health and vitality.

Acupuncture needles are fine and about the size of a human hair or a cat whisker. When skillfully inserted the needles produce little or no sensation at all. Often when the needle makes contact with the Qi (the energy) some patients report a slight tingling sensation. Most first time patients are wonderfully surprised at how comfortable the treatments are and delighted with the additional stress relieving benefits of Acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture is widely recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to treat many pain manifestations and health conditions; Allergies, Addiction, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Colitis, Common Cold, Constipation, Dental Pain, Depression, Diarrhea, Digestive trouble, Dizziness, Emotional problems, Eye problems, Facial tics, Fertility, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, Incontinence, IBS, Low back pain, Menopause, Menstrual Irregularities, Migraines, Nausea, Pain, PMS, Sciatica, Sinusitis, Sleep disturbances, Smoking Cessation, Sore Throat, Stress, and, Tennis elbow.