Treatment Methods


Over two thousand years ago, Eastern practitioners discovered that the body forms disharmonies as a result of the various physical and mental stresses of life.  Oriental medical theory explains these disharmonies as an imbalance of opposing forces called yin and yang.  This imbalance disrupts the movement of the body's vital energy (qi) along the meridian pathways, which are channels through which the body's energy circulates.  Acupuncture has the ability to restore the smooth flow of qi.  Hair-thin needles are inserted and manipulated at specific points along the meridians, giving the patient the opportunity to restore balance and promote the body's natural ability to heal itself.

Many first-time patients are concerned that acupuncture needles will feel like hypodermic injections at the doctor’s office. They won't. Acupuncture uses hair-thin, flexible needles that you will hardly feel when inserted. When I gently stimulate the needles they may produce a unique sensation that Oriental medicine calls de qi. Patients often describe de qi as a heavy, achy pressure, or spreading, traveling feeling. You may also feel an "electrical" sensation moving down the meridian pathways, though this is less common. Most patients find these acupuncture sensations deeply satisfying and leave the treatment feeling relaxed both mentally and physically.


Cupping is a painless ancient technique, used in many cultures, in which a special cup is applied to the skin and held in place by suction. The suction draws superficial tissue into the cup, which may either be left in place or moved along the body. Cupping brings fresh blood to the area and helps improve circulation. Traditional cupping, sometimes referred to as “fire cupping," uses heat to create a vacuum-like suction inside of glass cups.

Cupping promotes wellness in the following ways:

  • Reduces pain and swelling

  • Eliminates toxicity from the body

  • Removes dampness

  • Provides warmth to specific areas and/or organ systems

  • Promotes the free flow of qi and blood

Eastern Nutrition

In Chinese Medicine, we do not talk in terms of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, or fats.  Rather, we refer to energetics of food and their benefit to organ systems.  We seek to forge a relationship with the seasons, environment, and the patient's qi, blood, and vital substances; the pathology is diagnosed and the synergies are aligned.  This is true holistic medicine. 


Not all dietary formulas are suited for everyone.  Dependent on pathology and or season, we may prescribe certain food combinations or caution an avoidance of foods to eliminate toxicity, decrease the manifestation of illness, and/or restore symbiotic relationships among organ systems. 

TLC Acupuncture practices and prescribes in accordance with The Five Phases of Food, which provides a framework for food choices and encourages us to find the balance in flavor, temperature, time of year, patient's constitution, pathology, environment, and lifestyle.

Gua Sha

Gua Sha is a healing technique used in Asia by practitioners of Traditional Medicine, in both the clinical setting and in homes, but little known in the West. It involves palpation and cutaneous stimulation where the skin is pressured, in strokes, by a round-edged instrument; that results in the appearance of small red petechiae called 'sha', that will fade in 2 to 3 days.  However, in deeper levels of stagnation it can last for a more significant amount of time.

Raising Sha removes blood stagnation considered pathogenic, promoting normal circulation and metabolic processes.The patient experiences immediate relief from pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, nausea, and so on. Gua Sha is valuable in the prevention and treatment of acute infectious illness, upper respiratory and digestive problems, and many other acute or chronic disorders.


Sotai is a form of movement therapy that was created in Sendai by Keizo Hashimoto, a Japanese medical doctor.  The meaning of Sotai is the exact opposite of the Japanese word for forceful and regimented exercise, Tai-so. 

Sotai therapy allows the body to restore natural balance after harmful regiments such as Crossfit and other depleting routines.  The structural distortion brought upon by the abnormal movements in these damaging regiments can be corrected by Sotai and has been very successful in our practice in that patients have regained a synergistic relationship between the nervous and muscular systems.

Tui Na

Tui na means "pushing grasping," and is a powerful form of Chinese medical bodywork. Based on the same Oriental medical principles as acupuncture, tui na seeks to improve the flow of qi through the meridian channels. Tui na is particularly effective for conditions involving muscles, tendons and joints, such as structural misalignment, orthopedic problems and sports injuries. It can also be used to treat internal diseases.

Moxibustion (Moxa)

Moxibustion involves the heating of acupuncture points with smoldering mugwort herb (known as moxa). Moxibustion stimulates circulation, counteracts cold and dampness in the body, and promotes the smooth flow of blood and qi. This safe, non-invasive technique may be used alone, but it is generally used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment.

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