Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions


Please CONTACT US with any specific questions you may have.


Chinese medicine has a long history of use and many modalities of treatment.  The medicine makes use of its own language and terminology which creates a platform to observe and define the patterns of the body.  The terminology can be tricky to get at first.  Here we aim to describe a few of the more common ideas and treatments.  The following is a compilation of a few frequently asked questions.




What to Expect

Each treatment is a full hour in length and begins with discussion and inquiry, followed by palpation of pulse.  Then, there is acupuncture which consists of the insertion of small, sterile needles into specific points, or gates, located on the body.  These points stimulate the movement of Qi and blood in the body to promote healing.  Alongside acupuncture, a treatment may include tui na, gua sha, and cupping.  The needles are withdrawn at the end of the treatment, and time is taken to breath and reflect.


Once an appointment is booked in for the desired time, an email will confirm time slot. When you arrive to the 222 Broadway please ask to take the elevator to the 19th floor.  Here is a second lobby, this is where to check in.  You will find a community room with refreshments and a comfortable place and relax until the time of your treatment.


Please where comfortable loose fitting clothing that can be rolled above the elbows and knees.


Does Acupuncture Hurt?

This depends, but not usually, as the needles are really very thin and often cannot be felt.  However this is question is subjective to each patient’s view, as some individuals are more perceptive to pain than others and may experience a stronger sensation from the acupuncture needles.  Eastern medicine makes use of many methods of healing, including gua sha, tui na, moxabustion, qi gong, meditation, and dietary advice.  In any case, there is always a way to facilitate healing with or without needles.


Certain points are more sensitive then others too.  Points on the palms and soles are usually tender and elicit a response.  Points on the legs, arms and back often can not even be felt.  Everyone has their own relationship with acupuncture and specific points.  Tui na can be used to prepare a point for needling by relaxing the muscle, skin, and by creating a distracting stimulus.  We try not to use the more painful points if we do not need to, however often they are very effective in specific circumstances.


How Does Acupuncture Work?

There are several theories to answer this question.  Particularly, eastern theory goes into great depth about the movement of Qi in the body, and the numerous channels and paths it takes to travel.  Whereas, western science has studied the electrical impulses of the nervous system, conductivity of the fascia, and micro trauma to the body as being a factor.  Above all, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years with powerful effect and is arguably even more relevant to us today as we are living our lives.


The sensation of Qi can be elusive to describe, however the feeling can stay vibrant in the mind for a long time.  Many needle techniques are specific for accessing different types of Qi.  Similarly tui na techniques move qi in specific directions or channels.  These channels are consistent, which lets us work on the body with accuracy and intention.  Likewise, it allows the body to take root, which is the driving force behind the inner fire and movement.  In regards to a physical sensation, Qi is the relationship that remains from the needles presence.


Moxabustion moxa stick warming leg channels

Tui na massage performed on the shoulder



Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine makes use of many modalities of healing.  Each modality has its own specific techniques and functions.  Some frequently asked questions regarding these modalities are listed below.


What is Tui Na?

Tui na is a form of Chinese therapeutic massage based upon the physical structure of the body and the energetic flow of Qi through the channel systems.  It is one of the four main methods of therapy of Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, qi gong, and Chinese herbs.


Whereas in acupuncture the practitioner uses needles to access and direct channel Qi, during a tui na treatment, the practitioner utilizes massage techniques and point stimulation to direct the flow of Qi.  This style of massage makes use of a variety of hand techniques which are quite similar to western massage such as kneading, compression, vibration, foulage, and shaking.  Tui na is an option for patients who may be sensitive to needling.


Tui na is useful for instances of muscle ache and local pain because it takes into account the connections that exist in the body.  Working on the channel systems and muscle chains offers many benefits such as moving blood and lymph fluids, relaxing and releasing target muscles, and stabilizing the tendons and joints.  Often times a tui na session will focus very locally into the problem area, then move along the channel and associated channels.  For example, a treatment for the ankle may receive needling in the wrist.


Why do Gua Sha?

The practice of gua sha, coining, spooning, or scraping has been used for centuries in the eastern medicinal world to treat a variety of ailments.  Gua sha is the pulling or scraping of a tool across the surface of the skin.  Oil, or liniment, lubricates the skin and allow a smooth motion.  The process can leave marks along the skin, such as bruising or redness.


Through out time, gua sha tools have been made many materials.  Metal, bone, and stone were the original materials.  Now gems and crystals, ceramics, lacquer, and plastics are more common.  These tools come in many shapes and sizes.  Simple round stone discs or metal coins, are a common tool of the past.  Different shapes have different uses.  Large flat shapes are best for the shoulders and legs, whereas smaller notched tools more useful around the ribs, hands, neck and face.


Gua sha is really wonderful as a monthly wellness treatment and a preventative measure against seasonal illnesses.  It moves blood and lymph, stimulates circulation, stretches fascia, and encourages the smooth flow of Qi.  It might not look so pretty, but if you try it, you may learn to love it.


What about Moxabustion?

Moxabustion is the burning of moxa near, or on, specific acupuncture points and channels.  The strong radiant heat of the embers penetrates heat and yang into the channel system.  The scent is very strong and the warmth from the treatment has a lasting effect.


The methodology of making moxa has a few steps from plant to product.  Moxa is the herb Ai Ye, or Mugwort (Artemisia).  The best moxa is 6 years old.  Moreover, the best moxa is harvested just before the plant goes to seed, when the plant is most Yang.  Good quality dried moxa is cotton-like and airy.  The moxa can be burned as is, or pinched into tiny grains, pressed into small balls, or rolled into cigar shaped moxa sticks.  Moxa boxes are also a popular method of application as they offer a large surface area and a gentle but powerful radiance.


Cases of cold predominance and yang deficiency are best to treat with moxa.  Instances of cold hands and feet, cold abdomen, sore low back, or fatigue and lethargy are some basic examples.  When raw, the herb is a great addition to tea or soups.  Once it is dry, it makes a great addition to smoking blends or bundles of sage.