Acupuncture is one of the oldest traditional forms of medicine in the world and continues today as a widely accepted alternative to the western pharmaceutical model of symptom management. Scholars argue over how old acupuncture has been around as a healing modality, but it is widely accepted to be between 2 to 5 thousand years old. Through ages of practice and observation acupuncture has grown in complexity and efficacy. It is a safe, effective and relativity pain free treatment which promotes the body’s natural healing mechanisms to treat a wide variety of complaints.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing the other. This energy system is composed of blood and Qi, the vital energy that flows through all living things. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. When Qi flows freely and smoothly, it protects the body from illness, pain and disease. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

When a disruption or imbalance of Qi occurs, the blockage can cause inflammation and pain.
With the insertion of very fine needles to specific points on the body, acupuncture can remove blockages to restore and regulate proper flow and thus enhance the body’s innate healing abilities.

From a western perspective, there are several theories as to why acupuncture works. One theory is that by stimulating the bodies insulated nerve cells and this overriding the pain single of slower non-insulated nerve cells. Another theory is, by inserting a needle into the body there is an observable change in blood chemistry, notably in the form of neurotransmitters and hormones. These NTs and hormones are associated with pain reduction, anti-inflammatory effects, and relaxation.

Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive education that requires over 2,500 hours of theory and application as well as over 450 supervised clinical hours, including detailed study of human anatomy and training in Clean Needle Technique. I have passed four comprehensive national board examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and I am licensed by the state of Washington’s Department of Health. As required by law, I use pre-sterilized, disposable, single-use needles to ensure your complete safety.

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine’s ability to treat over 200 commonly encountered clinical disorders. Acupuncture has also been recognized as supportive therapy for many other chronic and painfully debilitating disorders. This is a list of common complaints that respond well to acupuncture.


• Pain / Body Aches (acute and chronic)
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Digestive Disorders
• Constipation / Diarrhea
• Sleep Disorders
• Athletic and Traumatic Injuries
• Common Cold
• Respiratory Issues
• Urogenital Issues
• Allergies/Hay Fever
• High Blood Pressure
• Female Health Issues and Pain
• Labor Induction
• Nutritional Education
• Addiction Support

• Fear
• Stress and Anxiety Disorders
• Mild Depression
• Anger Issues
• Addiction Support
• Post-Traumatic Stress
• Relaxation

Following is a list of other treatment modalities that I may utilize to enhance the effects of the acupuncture needles during your treatment.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is an ancient technique practiced in many cultures that involves the placement of special plastic or glass cups on the skin. A gentle vacuum is created that encourages circulation to improve to specific areas where qi, lymph and blood flow has become obstructed or stagnant. Cupping therapy is often used on the back and is helpful in treating musculoskeletal complaints of the shoulder, upper, middle, and lower back as well as respiratory issues among others. In some cases, temporary dark circles or bruise-like marks may appear in areas where the cups were placed. These are not the same as bruises from trauma and generally disappear in a few days.


Electro-Acupuncture utilizes a small electrical stimulation to acupuncture needles to enhance its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. This stimulation promotes muscle relaxation and encourages the release of the body’s natural pain relievers. This therapy is often used as an adjunctive treatment for acute injury, chronic pain, inflammatory conditions as well as mild depression.

Sonopuncture or sound therapy, provides a completely non-invasive approach to healing with similar results to Acupuncture. Instruments called tuning forks are activated and placed on acupuncture points, effectively stimulating them with sound vibrations tuned at different therapeutic frequencies. The sound waves of the forks vibrate and travel deeply into the body along energy pathways, clearing blockages and reaching places not otherwise easily accessed. Their rich resonance and vibration connects with and supports the body’s natural frequencies, stimulates and balances the body’s physical and subtle energy field, and promotes wellness and deep inner harmony.

Point Injection Therapy
Point Injection Therapy combines the bodies energetic pathways with powerful homeopathic formulas to encourage the body to return to homeostasis. Homeopathic remedies that are used have been developed many years ago and have been in use in European countries for decades. The formulas promote marked pain relief, anti-inflammatory, stress reduction, immunostimulant effects. By injecting victims and other homeopathic remedies directly into the body, the medicine is able to bypass the hepatic portal or the first pass effect. This means that less of the vitamins and medicine are filtered out by the liver and thus can be more rapidly absorbed by the target tissue and surrounding cells. Also, by utilizing the bodies acupuncture meridians, the vitamins and medicines are synergistically enhanced by the stimulation powerful acu points.

Potential Benefits of Point Injection Therapy
By injecting victims and other homeopathic remedies directly into the body, the medicine is able to bypass the hepatic portal or the first pass effect. This means that less of the vitamins and medicine are filtered out by the liver and thus can be more rapidly absorbed by the target tissue and surrounding cells. Also, by utilizing the bodies acupuncture meridians, the vitamins and medicines can be synergistically enhanced by the stimulation powerful acu points.

B12 Injection $15
Possible signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be fatigue, depression, stomach pain, anemia, and some nerve pain. B12 is essential to help your body use carbohydrates and lipids as energy, as well as building proteins. B12 injections can be more beneficial than oral supplements as many deficiencies are a result of poorly absorbed vitamins/nutrients by a weakened/malfunctioning GI tract.

M.I.C. Injection $15
Injection is comprised of methionine (M), inositol (I), and choline (C). Methionine is both an anti-oxidant and an essential amino acid. Methionine helps the liver return to hemostasis after exposure to alcohol, prescription drugs, and copper toxicity. Inositol is carbocyclic sugar produced in the body and plays a role in supporting cellular signaling. It has been shown to help with diabetic nerve pain, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, reducing sugar cravings, as well as promoting the health and function of the ovaries. Choline is an essential nutrient that is vital for maintaining our cells structural integrity. It serves an important component for the creation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role memory, mood regulation, and muscle control.

B12 & M.I.C. Combination Injection $20
Synergistically enhances the effects of both substances for increased energy, mood regulation, lipid metabolism, and overall hemostasis.

Pain Relief Injection $25
Truameel by Heel is a homeopathic remedy that has been shown to provide both pain reduction and anti-inflammatory properties. Many consider it to be an effective alternative to steroid injections. As it is plant and mineral based it has fewer adverse side effects. It has been shown to offer immediate pain relief and support long term tissue healing.

Joint Relief Injection $25
Zeel by Heel is a homeopathic remedy that is specifically formulated to reduce inflammation, pain, and inhibits wear to the articular cartilage that is associated with osteoarthritis (OA) pain.

Muscle Spasm Relief $25
Spascupreel by Heel is a homeopathic remedy that has been formulated to provide temporary relief of muscle spasms. Its indications include spasms that occur with menstrual cramps, spasmodic cough, hiccups, abdominal/intestinal cramps, as well as spasms that can occur in major groups of skeletal muscles.

Cold Relief/Immune Booster $35
A combination of Grip-Heel and Engystol by Heel to provide relief from the common cold or as a preventive measure at the beginning of the cold season. The combination of these two homeopathic remedies have been shown to help alleviate the signs and symptoms of both the common cold and the flu. Indications include: body ache, chills, fever, and shore throat. Taken proactively the remedy works to increase anti-body repose to components of the influenza virus. When taken during an infection, it will increase the phagocytic activity of white blood cells.

Stress Relief $25
Calmvalera by Hevert is a specially formulated homeopathic remedy to help to body cope and recover from the stress of daily life in our fast-pasted culture. Indications include: stress, mild depression/anxiety, insomnia, and irritability. Calmvalera is formulated to help the body cope with daily stressors, not to sedate. With this in mind it is appropriate to take before heading into work for that big presentation and heading home in the nightly traffic.

Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine is a very sophisticated system, utilizing over 400 medicinal substances including roots, leaves, bark, fruits, seeds, shells, resins, minerals and animal products. Single herbs are seldom used alone. Instead, a combination, or formula, is selected to treat imbalances and disease. Herbs are chosen in combinations to specifically address each patient’s unique presentation and constitution as a means to further the healing process and enhance the benefits of acupuncture.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treatments are frequently combined, as they mutually enhance each other for certain conditions. Acupuncture treatments are typically once a week while herbal prescriptions are taken two to three times daily and can be considered as means to continue the healing process in between acupuncture treatments.
Among the conditions frequently treated with combined acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are infertility, menopausal issues, digestive issues, insomnia, and stress/anxiety.
Chinese herbs are very safe when prescribed by a qualified herbalist and we provide only carefully selected, reputable brands based on their purity. Many Chinese herbs can be found right home in your pantry such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, sesame seeds, walnuts, and scallion just to name a few. You might even have some in your back yard: dandelion, roses, peony, chrysanthemum, as well as arborvitae.

Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy in a non-invasive procedure that uses both far red and infra-red light frequencies as a means to promote pain reduction, healing and tissue regeneration. The light waves can penetrate 2cm-5cm into the tissue to interact with the photoreceptive aspects of the cell as a mean increase intra-cellular metabolism and energy production. The use of cold laser can improve both micro and macro circulation to the target area, thus reducing local inflammation. Research has shown that cold laser therapy is an effective treatment for ligament sprains, muscle strains, tendonitis, joint pain, wound healing and many others. Often it will be applied during an acupuncture treatment to synergize both modalities.

What happens during acupuncture?

Your Tacoma or Gig Harbor acupuncturist will give you a thorough exam and determine how well you are functioning. They will also ask about your overall health then treat you accordingly.