Chinese Medicine has been practiced in its various forms for at least 3,000 years across China.  The most recognizable theory of Chinese Medicine is the concept of Yin-Yang.  Yin and Yang are opposites that transform into one another.  Night (Yin) turns into day (Yang) and Summer (Yang) turns to Winter (Yin).  A small fraction of Yin is Yang and vice versa.  Matter (Yin) is literally energy (Yang) moving very slowly, (E=mc2) or (m=E/c2).  For example, ice is steam vibrating at a much slower speed. Chinese Medicine seeks to maintain the balance of Yin and Yang in the body.


Another notable theory of Chinese Medicine has to do with the concept of Qi (pronounced chee).  Qi is a subtle force that can be transformed into a material substance such as blood.  Chinese Medicine  seeks to regulate the amount and flow of Qi in the body.  A healthy body has a balanced amount of Qi that flows freely.  Qi is the life force that pervades the Universe.  In India it is called Prana.  In physics it can be considered akin to the subtle but powerful energy that inhabits the vacuum of what seems like empty space.  In the volume of one hydrogen atom, is one trillion times more energy than what exists in all the tangible material of the known Universe!

Five Elements 

The theory of Five Elements is a lesser known concept of Chinese Medicine in the Western world.  However, it is popular enough in the sphere of Chinese Medicine to be the basis of an academic institution where you can obtain a degree focused mainly on this theory.  The five elements are fire, earth, metal, water, and wood.  Each element has several correspondences from their specific season and climate to their direction and color.  For example, Fire is associated with the Summer, heat, the South, and the color red.  In a healthy body each element is in balance and harmony with the other elements.


Your first session will begin with an interview in which questions concerning your medical history and your constitution will be asked.  Your vitals will be taken and tongue visually inspected.  A Chinese Medicine diagnosis, the cause of your symptoms, will be determined from this information. 


Depending on your condition a number of modalities may be employed such as inserting needles into specific acupuncture points, electro-stimulation of certain acupuncture points, acupressure, cupping, moxibustion, gua-sha, or energy work.  See below for a description of these modalities.  Herbal remedies may also be prescribed.  Your session will last from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the nature of your specialized treatment.  Also, please wear loose clothing if possible.


It is possible that you will experience a significant improvement in your condition in as few as one or two treatments.  However, it may take as many as 10 or more treatments depending on your diagnosis and your constitution.  You will be advised, at the conclusion of your question and answer session, of how many treatments you generally could expect to alleviate your symptoms.  This advice is not a guarantee due to the numerous variables involved in its’ development.


Rest assured we will take every measure to make certain that we recommend as few visits as are possible to adequately treat you.  We are grateful that you have allowed us to participate in restoring your health.

Please see our services page for more information.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture at our clinic is the insertion of very fine, almost hair thin, sterile, one-time use needles into specific acupuncture points to restore the Yin-Yang balance and the proper flow of Qi.  These acupuncture points are located along meridians or channels in the body.  Meridians are like highways of Qi.  You may have a sensation of tingling, heaviness, buzzing, or warmth at the needle site.  This is both sought after and expected as it indicates Qi flow. 

Do the needles hurt?

The needles we use are very fine, almost hair thin, sterile, one-time use needles.  Although you may feel a slight pinch upon insertion, the needles are nearly painless.  You may have a sensation of tingling, heaviness, buzzing, or warmth at the needle site.  This is both sought after and expected as it indicates Qi flow.

Is Acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is generally safe for everyone when practiced by a licensed, certified, and well-
trained individual.  However, you should inform your practitioner if you have any of the following:  a pacemaker, diabetes, numbness or reduced sensitivity, a tendency to bruise or bleed easily,  hemophilia, a tendency to faint, are pregnant or may become pregnant.  Any underlying conditions you have should be reported to your acupuncturist to ensure that your treatment is performed as safely and effectively as possible.

What is electro-stimulation?

Electro-stimulation is the application of a current to a particular acupuncture point or area of the body.  The various waveforms, frequencies, and intensities used have specific effects on the body.  Electro-stimulation can enhance your treatment by relieving pain, calming the mind, stimulating flaccid muscles and ligaments, relaxing tense muscles, or speeding up the recovery of damaged muscles by improving the nourishment of tissues. 

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is the burning of the mugwort herb, moxa, and directly or indirectly applying it to certain acupuncture points or areas of the body to stimulate, warm, or strengthen the body.  For example, moxa can be applied directly by lighting a moxa stick and rubbing it along an acupuncture channel atop a paper towel to warm without burning.  Also, a moxa cone can be lit and placed atop an acupuncture needle to stimulate or strengthen the point or channel.  

What is cupping?

Cupping is the application of cups, with negative pressure, to a particular acupuncture point or area of the body to stop pain, enhance immunity, or to remove toxins with the addition of bleeding.  This negative pressure can be attained by using a flame or with an air pump.  Bleeding is relatively painless save for the prick felt at the beginning of the procedure. 

What is gua-sha?

Gua sha is the rubbing or scrapping of the skin with a round-edge instrument, usually done on the back to stimulate both qi and blood flow as well as the immune system.  The skin is rubbed or scraped until it turns red or slightly purple.  It is generally performed on a person with a pathogenic invasion such as a cold or flu with great success in reducing down time if performed in the first few days of the onset of illness.  It is thought that the body views this scraping as an injury and in turn boosts the immune system.  Gua sha is also used to treat pain and asthma.

What is medical qigong or energy work?

Energy work, as defined by our clinic, includes touch and non-touch methods of medical qi-gong, a system of energy work similar to reiki.  The touch method involves either light or deep pressing and/or rubbing of an area to promote qi flow.  The non-touch method only requires that the hands be placed a few inches from the body.  Increasing scientific evidence points towards meditation and positive thinking as an effective means of restoring health.  Medical qigong is both a mixture of and an extension of these two modalities.

What is acupressure and Chinese bodywork?  

Acupressure is the pressing of acupuncture points to activate them.  Chinese bodywork is the manipulation of the body's soft tissues along acupuncture meridians or channels and on acupuncture points to restore balance to the body.  It also relaxes both body and mind.




north star acupuncture clinic

Your Guide To Wellness