Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) includes five main modalities or branches: Acupuncture, qi gong (pronounced chee gung), Chinese herbs, dietetics, and tui na (qi massage, pronounced tway nah). Qi is often described as breath, energy, or movement though, at the same time, is understood to encompass the entire spectrum of our reality, from pure energy to physical matter. Qi, in its endless manifestations, is the guiding principle in all five branches of TCM.

Acupuncture is well known for its ability to reduce acute and chronic pain, gently and safely. Internal diseases as well as emotional problems are well addressed with TCM–independent of, or in conjunction with, Western medical treatment. The practice of acupuncture is designed to release blocked chi, by activating points along the channels through which the chi flows in the body. Pain, or any other health imbalance is the result of blocked chi flow.  As a preventative measure acupuncture can be used as a tune-up, releasing blockage before more serious problems arise.

A typical acupuncture session lasts around one hour. After taking the patient’s history, the acupuncturist examines the tongue and feels the pulses on both wrists to make a diagnosis and a treatment plan. The patient then lies on a treatment table, and needles are inserted. Only sterile, disposable needles are used. Usually, the needles are left in for about twenty minutes, to allow for deep relaxation. Depending on the complaint, the patient may then receive tui na, or some other adjunct modality. Herbs may be prescribed; dietary or other recommendations may be given.

All licensed acupuncturists in the state of California have earned a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in TCM; the basic 4-year post-graduate (Master’s) program incorporates training in Western medicine, including pathophysiology and pharmacology.


Bill Schieve, LAc
Melinda Mills, LAc

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Nothing happens until something moves.

~ Albert Einstein

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