Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine: It’s Not Just Acupuncture

Oriental medicine is a very broad and complete system of holistic health care. Acupuncture is the most famous technique, but when you bring your health care needs to our offices we apply this complete system of medicine to make sure that you gain the most from your treatments.


Acupuncture is just one therapy within Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture is the technique of inserting thin, metal needles into specific points on the body for therapeutic effect. It has a long lineage of use in China, with references to its practice dating back over 2500 years. These points are arranged in lines and patterns on the surface of the body, following energetic pathways of Qi (also rendered as Chi or Ki). These pathways are called Meridians or Channels (Mai in Chinese). Acupuncture points, though located on the surface of the body, connect to deep patterns of Qi within the body. Through insertion and manipulation of acupuncture needles, an art form in itself, disharmonies in the flow of Qi may be influenced and changed. We only use disposable needles in our practice, so that you can be assured of getting brand new, prepackaged and sterile needles each time.


Cupping is useful for a wide range of external and internal disorders.

Cupping is the technique of using brief heat to create a vacuum in a glass cup and placing the cup over acupuncture points. The suction created by the cooling air within the cup creates a “pulling” effect, said in Chinese medicine to extract Wind and Dampness. Cups are also used to break up stagnation of energy, and to treat sports and accident related soft tissue injuries. Patients have told us that cupping is a like “getting a massage backwards.”

Tui Na Massage

Tui Na massage is a Chinese system of massage and physical therapy.

Tui Na is a Chinese system of massage and physical therapy. Using many of the basic principles of acupuncture, combined with modern knowledge of body mechanics, Tui Na is used extensively in China for the treatment of injuries. It is also used frequently with athletes for injury recovery. Martial artists, gymnasts, dancers and others engage in activities requiring extreme flexibility especially benefit from acupuncture and Tui Na.


Moxibustion is an ancient technique of heating points on the body to resolve stuck and deficient Qi.

Moxibustion is the process of burning an herb over specific acupuncture points and channels, or over a needle inserted in an acupuncture point. It is an art and science in itself, brought to its heights in Korea and Japan. You are not burned in this process and most people find moxibustion very warming and relaxing. Many people do this for themselves at home, supporting their treatments between visits. In fact, in some cases there are points you can moxa at home to support your treatments. Don’t be surprised if you’re sent home with a moxa stick.

What Can Be Treated With Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is best known as an effective treatment for pain, but it is actually an entire professional system of healthcare and can treat a wide range of chronic and acute health conditions including, but not limited to:

Addictions Fatigue
Allergies Fibromyalgia
Arthritis Flu
Asthma Headaches
Back Pain Hypertension
Carpal Tunnel Immune Disorderes
Chemotherapy Nausea Insomnia
Chronic Pain Joint Pain
Colds Menopause
Depression Muscle Pain
Digestive Problems PMS
Ear Problems Urinary Problems

Based on research and clinical experience, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared acupuncture effective for these and more than 200 other conditions:

  • Circulatory disorders — Hypertension, palpitations, heart disease
  • Disorders of the bones, muscles, and joints — Headaches, low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, joint pains, injuries, numbness and tingling, muscular aches and pains, osteoarthritis
  • Disorders of the nervous system– Multiple sclerosis, post-stroke conditions
  • Emotional and psychological disorders –Depression, anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal disorders–Indigestion, pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea constipation, eating disorders
  • Gynecological disorders– Irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal problems, fertility issues
  • Immune disorders–Chronic fatigue, HIV/AIDS
  • Pregnancy-related complaints–Morning sickness, edema, fatigue
  • Respiratory disorders–Chronic colds, coughs, asthma, allergies
  • Sleep and stress disorders–Nervous tension, insomnia, low energy
  • Urogenital disorders–Urinary tract problems, sexual dysfunction

You can learn more by visiting The NIH’s MedlinePlus: Acupuncture

© Copyright 2007, Norman Kraft, L.Ac. The above text is extracted from Frequently Asked Questions about Oriental Medicine by Norman Kraft, L.Ac. and it is copyrighted material. All rights reserved.

Veterinary TCM & Holistic Medicine

Even cats like acupuncture

For information on Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture & Acupressure, Herbal & Nutritional Therapy for pets please visit our website: Four Paws Acupuncture.

Please note that since moving the practice from Salem, MA where I legally treated animals with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 11 years, I am not permitted to perform acupuncture on animals as Virginia laws limit the practice of animal acupuncture to veterinarians. This is quite ridiculous since I have more TCM and acupuncture training than most vets, who often have little more training than a few weekend courses!

Given the legal situation in Virginia, I am no longer accepting new animal patients for acupuncture. However, I am accepting animal patients for acupressure and herbal & nutritional counseling. Please visit the Four Paws Acupuncture website for more info.

Auricular Acupuncture & Ear Seeds

From our friends at Earseeds:

"What is Auriculotherapy? Often described at reflexology for the ear, there are hundreds of points on the ear that are believed to represent a microsystem of the whole body, with points for areas both physical and emotional. The stimulation of these points is known as Auriculotherapy."

I love using ear seeds during and after an acupuncture or tapping session to maximize the positive effects of the treatment. Ear seeds are safe and can be taken off by the patient. I have also been incorporating the ear seeds infused with aromatherapy to help reduce stress and promote weight loss.

credit: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Penelope Cruz was spotted wearing auriculotherapy at the January 10 premiere of “Venuto Al Mondo.” (Image credit: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Watch acupuncturist Jill Blakeway explain using ear seeds on Dr Oz. Click here

Herbal & Nutritional Consultations

Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbal medicine is a sophisticated system of healthcare

Chinese herbal formulas are complex combinations of herbs, balancing one another to increase the effectiveness of the whole.

In the last 1500 years the Chinese and others developed very logical, sophisticated and effective models for using herbs in the treatment of disease and promotion of health. Chinese herbal medical theory and practice is much more developed and sophisticated than most Western herbal traditions, and relies on carefully balanced formulas. These formulas are combined in ways that are simple in principle yet show a remarkable sophistication behind their construction methods. Formulas are made up of individual herbal substances with complementary (or sometimes antagonistic) properties to achieve what are often complex therapeutic goals. Some ancient herbal formulas have stood the test of use over hundreds of years and millions of patients.

Nutritional and Lifestyle Counseling

Diet and lifestyle play an important role in Chinese medicine. Chinese dietary therapy is very different from Western nutrition, and is fully integrated with acupuncture, herbs and other therapies. The old rule of computers, “Garbage In, Garbage Out” applies to your body as well: food is the foundation upon which your body rebuilds itself each day, and can influence the direction of one’s health. With the thousands upon thousands of cells in your body that will be replaced today, are you simply recreating disease, or growing toward health? Chinese dietary therapy is based on simple prinicples that allow you to get your health back on track.

Qi Gong, Tai Chi Chuan and Yoga are lifestyle additions that can make a tremendous difference in your health. Research has shown that seniors who practice Tai Chi daily have fewer falls, and maintain greater flexibility and balance. Tai Chi and Yoga have played a part in the healing process for cancer patients, chronic headache sufferers, patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, and many others.

Please note that we do not sell any products. If a Chinese herbal formula is recommended, Jeanie uses Crane Herbs, an online Chinese pharmacy. She will leave your prescription with them, and you complete the transaction via email. If supplements are recommended most can be found online or at your local natural food shop or vitamin store.

(For Phone Consultations for your dog please visit the Four Paws Acupuncture site by clicking here.)

EFT Tapping

Tapping: also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Emotional Freedom Technique

I began to use tapping during a turbulent time in my life thanks to a dear friend who talked me through a few sessions. After experiencing dramatically positive results in a short time, i began to research, read, take classes and devour everything i could on this topic.

There are several theories about this form of therapy on how it works and which the best way to “tap” is. My condensed version of an explanation is that EFT is a form of acupressure, in which you tap on the same energy meridians used in acupuncture with your fingertips while saying affirmations. This may sound far out and just crazy – but it works. And the best part is you can do it all by yourself once you learn how.

This more detailed explanation of tapping comes from one of leading authorities on the topic, Nick Ortner of the Tapping Solution: “Tapping provides relief from chronic pain, emotional problems, disorders, addictions, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, and physical diseases. While Tapping is newly set to revolutionize the field of health and wellness, the healing concepts that it’s based upon have been in practice in Eastern medicine for over 5,000 years. Like acupuncture and acupressure, Tapping is a set of techniques which utilize the body’s energy meridian points. You can stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power.” The Tapping Solution

I like to incorporate tapping sometimes during an acupuncture or auricular therapy session to help treat chronic stress, emotional blocks and weight loss. After one or two sessions, the patient has learned how to tap and where the points are located and can perform this unique therapy on their own when needed.

For more books and websites about tapping please click here.

Crystal Therapy Sessions

Balance Body, Mind & Spirit with Crystal Therapy

Acupuncture combined with crystals has a strong energetic effect.

Crystal healing is an alternative therapy in which crystals and semiprecious gemstones are placed on energy points of the body to reduce stress, calm the mind and clear negativity. It is also used to open the chakras.

Crystals may be used during and acupuncture or Reiki session depending on the needs of the patient.

Before you leave, lavender infused seeds will be placed on acupuncture points on your ears to help calm the mind. These seeds may be left on for a few days for a peaceful lasting effect.

Please note this treatment is not for any specific pain, ailments or diseases. I offer full acupuncture sessions specifically tailored to your needs and symptoms. These include a full assessment of your diagnosis, along with an acupuncture treatment and recommendations for herbs, supplements and nutrition.

Questions? Please contact Jeanie Mossa, L.Ac. [email protected] 703-982-0826


Balance with Universal Energy

Reiki uses your own body energies.

Reiki is a form of hands on healing, with its origins in the East dating back many thousands of years.

Reiki is a two syllable Japanese word meaning universal life force. It is holistic non-invasive therapy. The energy of Reiki works on the body, mind and spirit by aiding a person's own natural healing abilities. It may help to unblock stuck emotions which may lead to physical symptoms, disease and ailments. It helps bring the body, mind and soul into balance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture Treatments

What can I expect from an Acupuncture treatment?

When you go to a practitioner of Oriental medicine do not expect it to be like a visit to a Western doctor. Oriental medicine practitioners depend highly on what we see, feel, smell and hear during your meeting with us, and use little or no modern medical equipment. Practitioners are more interested in the overall picture of you than the complaint that brought you there. In the course of your first interview, which may take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more, we will ask detailed questions about your health, diet and lifestyle while we try to learn more about who you are and what influences are at work in your life and upon your health. We will take your pulse on both wrists, at three places on each side. We will look at your tongue. We may press on some acupuncture points on your body to test for tenderness, or press gently on your abdomen. When we are done, we will then make a working diagnosis and begin your treatment with acupuncture, herbs, moxibustion, cupping or all of these.

Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?

The role of the mind in healing cannot be understated. However, acupuncture works whether you believe in it or not. Acupuncturists around the world (Jeanie Marie included) successfully treat animals with acupuncture every day. Horses, dogs and other animals don’t “believe” in acupuncture, they’re just happy that it works.

What does an Acupuncture treatment feel like? Does it hurt?

People often ask if acupuncture will hurt. Many practitioners quickly answer “No, of course not!” If Western MDs can get away with calling some of their procedures “a bit uncomfortable,” we can be excused for saying that acupuncture is painless. In general, most patients expect that they will feel the needles being inserted through the skin, but often you won’t feel that at all, especially if you are relaxed. On the other hand acupuncture is not without sensations. Once needles are placed you may feel a dull, distending, heavy feeling around one or more of the needles. You may feel some undefinable energy or temperature sensation moving in a limb or through your body. One of the needles may feel warm, while another feels cool. When the first needles are inserted you may feel a wave of warmth rising up in your body. There are all sorts of mild sensations that can be expected during a treatment. They are subtle. They are the effects of Qi.

Is acupuncture safe?

There are no known negative side effects of acupuncture. The needles we use are sterile and disposable.

How long will my appointment last?

Your first treatment will last from 60 to 90 minutes. Follow up treatments take about an hour.

What will I feel after the treatment?

Most people find acupuncture treatment very relaxing and many report feelings of well-being, sleepiness and even mild euphoria. On the other hand some people have long overdue emotional releases during acupuncture. Others say that treatments are energizing and practically dance out of the room. Some are inspired to poetry, others to boredom. In short, there are as many responses to acupuncture as there are patients and all these responses are completely normal, expected and part of the healing process.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Each person is unique and will respond to treatment differently. The length of treatment depends on the type, severity and duration of the condition. In general you should notice some change in your condition, even if just a small one, within eight to ten acupuncture treatments for chronic conditions and two to four treatments for acute conditions. If you do not experience a change in that time frame, don’t give up on acupuncture. After all, if you go to your family physician and he or she gives you a drug that fails to quickly and completely cure your condition, do you give up on Western medicine?

Discuss your progress with your acupuncturist. It may be that your condition is unusually tenacious, or it may be time to change some aspect of the treatment. By keeping us up to date on your progress you are taking a partnership role in your healing.

I’m not feeling well, should I cancel my appointment?

It’s very kind of you to want to protect us from your cold or flu, but one of the best times to get an acupuncture treatment is when your body needs help fighting a viral or bacterial infection like colds and flu. Chinese medicine hasn’t found a sure-fire cure for the common cold yet, but many symptoms such as fever, headache, sinus congestion, coughing, nausea, and other unpleasantness can be helped greatly with acupuncture, cupping and Chinese herbs.

Can Oriental medicine help keep me from getting sick?

One of the strongest areas of Chinese medicine is prevention. Among ancient acupuncturists keeping patients healthy was a higher calling than treating disease. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is wonderful for maintaining general well-being, stress-reduction and immune function. Many patients will visit an acupuncturist at the change of seasons, or before a stressful event to re-balance their Qi.

Are there good books you can recommend to learn more?

  • Asian Health Secrets, Letha Hadady, Three Rivers Press, New York, 1996
  • Between Heaven and Earth, Harriet Beinfeld and Efrem Korngold, Ballentine Books, New York, 1991
  • The Web That Has No Weaver, Ted Kaptchuk, Contemporary Books, Chicago, 2000
  • Healing With Whole Foods, Paul Pritchford, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 1993

What can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) to effectively treat a number of health conditions including:

  • Addiction
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Colitis
  • Common Cold/Flu
  • Constipation
  • Dental Pain
  • Depression
  • Digestive Problems
  • Dizziness
  • Eye and Vision Problems
  • Facial paralysis
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Incontinence
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Low Back Pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual Irregularities
  • Migraine
  • Morning Sickness
  • Nausea
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • Paralysis
  • PMS
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Sleep Problems
  • Sore Throat
  • Speech Problems
  • Stress
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tonsilitis
  • Tooth Pain
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Loss
  • Wrist Pain

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