When people ask: “What is Chinese Medicine? What is acupuncture? How does it work?” it is seemingly complicated to describe because the paradigm of medicine is so different than Western medicine’s model. But we do not need to go into the complexities of the model to understand the basics.

Chinese Medicine deals with imbalance in the natural, healthy states of the body. Our work is to find out where the body is struggling to heal itself, often because underneath, we are just worn out. We do not sleep enough, we do not eat real foods that build back our energy stores, and the pace of life in this culture does not support an in-balance existence. Using the Chinese Medicine model enables practitioners to determine how to help the body help itself.

Our “labs” are not drawing blood and comparing it to charts deemed “normal.” We draw information you and your body give us. We take your pulses, we look at your tongue, we look at your face, body and demeanor, the way you move, the way you hold stress. We listen to the words you use. In the first few treatments we are able to gather information that tells us exactly what is going on inside the body.

In the first appointment, we go through an extensive series of questions to find out the history of your health. We do not just treat symptoms that have brought you in to us. Symptoms are easy to address and take less time. However, no issue is an island. If you have shoulder pain for example, and there is no trauma you can pinpoint, we want to address why the body cannot heal itself.

Just because we have no symptoms like pain, acid reflux, headaches does not mean we are “fine,”and in balance. Symptoms are what make us seek help but if we were in-balance prior to pain, the body could prevent symptoms from arising.

I have a client who came in for a pain in what he thought was his tricep, the muscle on the back of the arm. There was no trauma he could remember like pulling that muscle. He kept insisting, “This is new, this came on two months ago.” No, it did not. The pain may have arisen two months ago but his posture, neck muscles, lifestyle, and diet have all been building to the shoulder pain for years, as well as an injury to the opposite hip years prior. (There are straps of connective tissue that connect one shoulder to the opposite hip. Hip pain and shoulder pain are completely related.)

If you want to understand more I would love to explain the system in detail.

But, here is what the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined can be helped with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression
  • Dysentery
  • Dysmenorrhoea
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (TMJ/TMD temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow
  • TMJ (TMD)

Additional diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction
  • Ménière disease


Title:  Acupuncture : review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials
Authors:  World Health Organization
Issue Date:  2002
Publisher:  Geneva : World Health Organization
Language:  English
Description:  81 p.
Subject:  Acupuncture therapy
Evaluation studies
Controlled clinical trials
Evidence-based medicine
Review literature
URI:  http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/42414

You can email any questions you have to this link: [link to contact form]
I look forward to working with you.
Christa Caputa, LAc