How Chinese medicine can help you:

Acupuncture originated nearly 2500 years ago and is one of the oldest and most widely used healing systems in the world. It is the stimulation of specific acupuncture points along a meridian or pathway by inserting sterile, hair-thin, disposable stainless steel needles. The needles alter various chemical and physiological imbalances, encouraging the body to activate and mobilize Qi (pronounced "chee") and Blood.   Proper metabolic function is triggered restoring the body's innate ability to heal. Research demonstrates that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins and promotes circulation and blood flow as well as reducing pain and inflammation.


The original text of Chinese medicine is the Nei Ching, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, which is estimated to be at least 2,500 years old. Thousands of books since then have been written on the subject of Chinese healing, and its basic philosophies spread long ago to other Asian civilizations. Nearly all of the forms of Oriental medicine which are used in the United States today, including acupuncture, shiatsu, acupressure massage, and macrobiotics, are part of or have their roots in Chinese medicine. Legend has it that acupuncture developed when early Chinese physicians observed unpredicted effects of puncture wounds in Chinese warriors. The oldest known text on acupuncture, the Systematic Classic of Acupuncture, dates back to 282 A.D. Although acupuncture is its best known technique, Chinese medicine traditionally utilizes herbal remedies, dietary therapy, lifestyle changes and other means to treat patients.


In the early 1900s, only a few Western physicians who had visited China were fascinated by acupuncture, but outside of Asian-American communities it remained virtually unknown until the 1970s, when Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit China. On Nixon's trip, journalists were amazed to observe major operations being performed on patients without the use of anesthetics. Instead, wide-awake patients were being operated on with only acupuncture needles inserted into them to control pain. During that time, a famous columnist for the New York Times, James Reston, had to undergo surgery and elected to use acupuncture instead of pain medication, and he wrote some convincing stories on its effectiveness.




In Chinese medicine, disease is seen as imbalances in the organ system or meridians, and the goal of treatment is to assist the body in reestablishing its innate harmony and balance. Disease can be caused by internal factors like emotions, external factors like the environment and weather, and other factors like injuries, trauma, diet, and germs. However, infection is seen not as primarily a problem with germs and viruses, but as a weakness in the energy of the body which is allowing a sickness to occur. In Chinese medicine, no two illnesses are ever the same, as each person has his/her own characteristics of symptoms and balance. Acupuncture is used to open or adjust the flow of Qi throughout the organ system, which will strengthen the body and prompt it to heal itself.




The acupuncturist does a thorough inventory of a patient's medical history and symptoms, both physical and emotional. This is done with an interview at your first visit along with reviewing the six page questionnaire you have completed prior to coming in for an appointment. Then the acupuncturist will examine the patient to find further symptoms, looking closely at the tongue, feeling the pulse at various positions on the wrist, the complexion, general behavior, and lifestyle. From this, the practitioner will be able to determine patterns of symptoms which indicate which organs and areas are imbalanced. Depending on the problem, the acupuncturist will insert needles to manipulate Qi on one or more of the twelve organ meridians. A treatment plan will be made based upon the diagnosis.  


The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends acupuncture as an effective treatment for 43 common disorders including:


Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints and Nervous System such as arthritis, migraine headaches, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness and low back, neck and shoulder pain


Gastrointestinal Disorders such as food allergies, peptic ulcer, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, gastrointestinal weakness, anorexia (lack of appetite) and gastritis.


Gynecological Disorders such as irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, infertility in women and men, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)


Urogenital Disorders including stress incontinence, urinary tract infections and sexual dysfunction


Respiratory Disorders such as emphysema, sinusitis, asthma, allergies and bronchitis


Circulatory Disorders such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia


Emotional and Psychological Disorders including depression and anxiety


Addictions such as alcohol, nicotine and drugs


Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders such as eye twitching, tearing, redness, tinnitus, nasal congestion.


Supportive Therapy  for other chronic, painful and debilitating disorders


Acupuncture has been used as an effective and low-cost treatment for headaches and chronic pain, associated with problems like back injuries and arthritis. It has also been used to supplement invasive Western treatments like chemotherapy and surgery.





Laurie Ghiz, LMHC, Dipl. Ac, (NCCAOM), LicAc

Back in Balance Acupuncture and Psychotherapy Center

354 West Boylston Street

Suite 224

West Boylston, MA  01583

508-769-0039  Fax:  888-350-9915

conditions treated with acupuncture