Acupuncture Union Square 10003

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated in mainland China over 3,000 years ago and is part of the holistic system of healing known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”).

Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of very fine, sterile, one-time use needles into specific points on the body. This process stimulates the movement of energy (what the Chinese refer to as “Chi” or “Qi”) which propels blood, stimulates organ function and animates every living cell in the body. The acupuncture points are selected based on a complex system of diagnostics to yield specific point prescriptions that are unique to the condition and individual being treated.

Acupuncture treats and also helps to prevent illness by improving the overall functioning of the body’s immune and organ systems. Acupuncture is helpful for:

  • Treating existing illnesses and injuries.
  • Preventing both recurrence of illnesses and new illness.
  • Improving overall health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory:

The classical Chinese texts explain that energy (Qi) flows in channels (meridians) throughout the body and over its surfaces. The meridians are viewed as rivers of energetic potential that travel along internal vessels, mimicking the cardiovascular system. The Chinese have identified 71 meridians in the human body. These meridians make up the basic energy map for all humans and animals.

Acupuncture points on the meridians are where the energy potential (Qi), is both concentrated and accessible. Acupuncture engages and encourages the Qi to move in the proper manner, thereby restoring natural homeostasis.

Acupuncture and Modern Science

To the human body, acupuncture needles, once inserted, provide a physical stimulus. In Western science, a stimulus is defined as a detectable change in either the external environment or within the body itself. When the body detects a stimulis, it produces a response. Although acupuncture is not yet fully understood by Western science, with modern technology scientists can now begin to “see” the body’s response to acupuncture. Using Functional MRI, researchers have shown that when an acupuncture needle is inserted at a specific acupuncture point on the body, corresponding changes can be observed in the region of the brain that relates to the region stimulated.

In the West, acupuncture is mostly known for its ability to relieve pain, so the majority of research thus far has been done in this area. Acupuncture point stimulation has been shown to stimulate the central nervous system to release pain-relieving chemicals into the muscles, via the spinal cord and brain. 

Moxibustion and Acupuncture

Moxibustion is a therapy that historically predates acupuncture. If you’ve ever visited an acupuncturist’s office and smelled something fragrant burning, chances are the acupuncturist was using moxibustion therapy.

The therapy is the burning of the herb artemesia vulgaris, commonly known as ‘mugwort’ or ‘moxa’, to warm and stimulate the acupuncture points for a specific function/condition.

Prior to the invention of the modern acupuncture filiform needle, moxa was used solely to stimulate a particular region of the body and provide deep penetrating heat which could relieve pain. 


Acupuncture needles, once inserted, must be stimulated by the practitioner in a particular fashion as to affect the function intended. Any particular acupuncture point, in and of itself, is relatively neutral in function unless stimulated, either manually or electronically by the practitioner. In ancient times, manual stimulation was the sole method used to achieve this. Today, modern acupuncturists rely on specifically designed electronic acupuncture devices, to achieve this same goal. Electronically stimulated acupuncture, or “electro-acupuncture”, is typically used to strengthen and guide the treatment for a particular outcome.

TDP Mineral Lamp

The TDP emits Far-infrared light waves (FIR) below visible light emissions, plus minerals that penetrate below the skin’s surface to stimulate circulation, eliminate inflammation and mineralize the deeper muscles.

The story told about the discovery of TDP mineral lamp therapy begins in a black clay factory in rural China, where in spite of a work environment where workers were exposed to extremes of cold, wet, and heat, they had a very low incidence of illness. The TDP mineral lamp was invented in China in 1978 and exhibited at the 1986 Zagreb International Fair in Yugoslavia in competition with 560 inventions from 18 countries by the inventor Gou Wenbin. 



Gua-Sha involves using a specific smooth-edged tool, which is applied to the bare skin, prepped with oil or other liniment, for the purpose of scraping along muscle tissue to release knotted tension in certain muscle groups. The releasing of “sha” or in the West what is referred to as ‘petechiae’ (tiny red skin dots), releases built up lactic acid, which is trapped in the muscular tissue matrix, to resolve deeply-rooted and chronic tension. The result is a “flushed” skin surface and underlying muscle tissue that is free of trapped congestion and which can now receive a fresh supply of oxygenated blood to function normally.