Acupuncture refers to the insertion of fine, sterile needles along the body in order to control the flow of qi (energy) through pathways of body. Often acupuncture is combined with moxibustion therapy, and the two are known as acu-moxa therapy.

When the human body is diseased, the qi and blood that flow along the meridian pathways get blocked or depleted. Meridians can be influenced by acupuncture needling, unblocking the obstruction within the meridian circulation and releasing the regular flow of qi, blood, fluid, and moisture. According to Chinese Medical theory, puncturing a needle at specific points clears the meridians and cures disease.

Acupuncture is normally applied to the body, scalp, and ear. Needles penetrate the skin at varying lengths from millimeters to a few inches depending on the thickness of flesh and muscle at a given location. Needles inserted into the body have the largest clinical application. The head or scalp needles are mostly adopted in the treatment of nervous system diseases and pain management, while ear acupuncture is often used in the treatment of endocrine system diseases and psychological problems. In recent years, ear acupuncture, also known as auriculotherapy, has been used for weight control, smoking cessation, and detoxification.

With vast nerve and blood supply to the face, eyes, hands, feet, wrists and ankles, these areas indicate connections to the whole body. Acupuncture points in these areas correspond to many parts and organs of the body and are often treated for different conditions. These micro-system modalities have their own unique indications and are used in different cases in the clinic according to the practitioner’s discretion.

Acupuncture therapy can also include electro-stimulation, the use of mild low-voltage electrical stimulation on acupuncture needles. This method is generally used for analgesia.

The primary concern of many patients is usually the following question: Is acupuncture painful? Since acupuncture needles have very thin gauges compared to hypodermic needles, only a minimal pinch is felt as the needle breaks through the skin. After the needles are inserted to the proper depth, the patient may feel tingling of the skin, distention, soreness or pressure radiating from the acupuncture point. In fact, the correct needle sensation creates a dull, heavy distention, which even children can handle. Patients’ fears usually subside after their first treatment. Of course, laser, electrode and acupressure can be applied instead of needles for some very sensitive patients. For children under 10 years of age, acupressure often replaces acupuncture to achieve the same therapeutic effect.

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

Based on the condition to be treated and a patient’s lifestyle, herbal prescriptions are tailored to each person and designed to treat specific health problems or correct imbalances in the body. In general, herbs tend to have a slower and gentler effect than refined chemicals used in drugs. Dody will prescribe Chinese herbs in sophisticated combinations to foster balance and lasting healing for your particular medical condition in a safe and effective manner. Chinese herbs are safe and very effective when prescribed by a licensed Acupuncturist/Herbalist and can enhance your healing when used alone or in conjunction with acupuncture treatments.

While taking Chinese herbal medicine, patients should avoid the consumption of shellfish (prawns, shrimps, lobsters, crabs, etc.) icy or cold beverages and food, caffeine, hot and spicy food, ginseng, and radishes, as they may neutralize the effects of the herbs. Women should inform their Chinese herbalist if they are pregnant or menstruating.

Tui-na (Chinese Acupressure)
Tui-na (Chinese acupressure) is a variation of acupuncture. When acupuncture points or meridians (energy pathways) become blocked or congested, a person experiences pains or discomfort on a physical level. On emotional or mental level, one may become frustrated or irritable, and on a spiritual level one may experience a sense of feeling ungrounded, vulnerable, and indecisive about life.

In Tui-na, the practitioner uses deep or gentle finger pressure on specific points to release the blocked energy and to facilitate its smooth flow. In effect, this allows the body and mind to relax. This treatment is given along designated meridians and can be modified – either gentler or stronger – to suit patients. As in the case of acupuncture, Tui-na stimulates the body’s own restorative powers.

Tui-na may replace using acupuncture in the treatment of children or patients who are sensitive or fearful of needles. Tui-na can treat a variety of clinical diseases and is especially effective for pain relief to restore energy or remove painful obstruction. It is applied widely for alleviation of chronic fatigue, stress, anxiety and other syndromes. Tui-na is also very potent for the recovery of one’s energy, qi and blood regulation, and yin and yang adjustment.

Tui-na/acupressure sessions are incorporated as part of the acupuncture treatment plan in Dody Chang’s office.

Information about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for certain conditions: