About Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine encompasses the cumulative wisdom of over 2,500 years of practice. It is the world’s oldest continually practiced formal medical system. Chinese medicine is a safe, effective and holistic alternative or complement to Western medicine that works to restore the body’s natural state of balance or homeostasis so that we can access our innate healing ability. Many therapies or modalities are practiced in Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbal medicine, the main modalities used at Community Acupuncture Works.


Acupuncture is the insertion of sterile, disposable, hair-thin needles into specific sites on the body known as acupuncture points. Each acupuncture point runs along an energetic pathway called a meridian and has a specific function to effect physiological change in the body. Thousands of years ago the Chinese discovered and mapped out the location of these points. Recently, electromagnetic research has confirmed their existence and location.

How Acupuncture Works

According to Chinese medical theory, a vital energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”) runs in a circuit through the human body. If the flow of Qi through this circuit is disrupted (through stress, poor diet, trauma, injury, etc.), it will cause an imbalance in the body and lead to symptoms of one kind or another, such as pain. Through the use of acupuncture we can reestablish the flow of Qi, to create balance, and activate the body’s innate healing ability. Western science now acknowledges the effects of acupuncture on many of the body’s systems, including the neurological, endocrine, respiratory, and digestive systems.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine draws from a vast pharmacopoeia of over 5,000 herbs, minerals, and animal products. These substances are combined into formulas that are used to treat specific ailments. The formulas consist of very specific combinations of these substances, each having a unique purpose within the formula. They are dispensed as powders or pills, or in a raw form that is brewed into a tea. This form of herbal medicine is so effective because it takes into account the condition being treated, as well as the constitution of the individual, creating the most effective formula for each person. Therefore, three patients being treated for the same illness could potentially get three very different herbal formulas as part of their treatment.

What Chinese Medicine Treats

Chinese medicine is a comprehensive medical system and can have a beneficial effect on almost any disorder. The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have officially recognized the benefits of Chinese medicine, declaring acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine effective in treating over forty conditions, including:

  • Musculo-Skeletal Disorders: arthritis, low back pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, fibromyalgia, tendonitis
  • Gynecological Disorders: PMS, menstrual irregularities, menopausal syndrome, ovarian cysts, infertility
  • Gastro-Intestinal Disorders: indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, acid reflux, ulcers, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Respiratory Disorders: allergies, asthma, common cold, flu, and sinusitis
  • Neurological Disorders: headache, migraine, dizziness, Bell’s palsy, post-stoke paralysis, neuralgia
  • Circulatory Disorders: high cholesterol, hypertension
  • Psycho-Emotional Disorders: stress, anxiety, depression, nervousness, insomnia, smoking and other addictions
  • Uro-Genital Disorders: urinary tract infection, incontinence, impotence

In addition, acupuncture can increase energy levels, strengthen the immune system, and promote deep relaxation and a sense of well-being.