It’s All About Balance

While Chinese medicine can seem endlessly complicated, and the human body a maddening chaos of possibilities, I am constantly reminded to return to the basics. Our dual nature is at the very foundation of Chinese medicine — we rely on the opposing forces of yin and yang. I have lately been thinking about patients in… Read More It’s All About Balance



This week it happened again… one of those strange moments when I inserted a needle into an acupuncture point and got surprised by electricity jumping out into my hands! It felt like I had gotten zapped with electrified green fuzz. I didn’t actually see green. I don’t see energy that way. It was more like… Read More Zzzzzapped!


Acupuncture for Pain

Pain is the number one reason patients come to see me. As an idealistic student, I thought acupuncture could treat every kind of pain. I still think it is miraculous medicine. But the reality in the clinic is that I need to understand clearly what I can and cannot treat. In order to know what you can… Read More Acupuncture for Pain

Clinical Mysteries

Belly Says Yes

There’s a funny thing that happens with almost every patient, almost every time. Their belly talks. I may be touching a specific point to decide exactly where to place the needle, and it seems as though when I’m in just the right spot, I get a little rumble of acknowledgement from the patient’s belly. Maybe,… Read More Belly Says Yes

Five Element Acupuncture

Trauma and the Spirit of the Points

A friend asked me recently to write about acupuncture and emotional trauma. I’m happy to take on the subject because it’s something that acupuncture, especially Five Element acupuncture, treats very effectively. Consider trauma as an experience that harms (or threatens to harm) a person’s health or wellbeing. The traumatic event could range from something severe,… Read More Trauma and the Spirit of the Points


Andrographis Root

This flu that has been going around town is a bugger. People seem to be getting it more than once, and/or getting hit so hard that they have to take many days off. I caught it for a few days myself. And I rarely get sick because I keep an herbal formula on hand that… Read More Andrographis Root


Trigger Points

My practice can be very esoteric. Five Element training taught me, in theory, that most illness can be traced back to the spirit. I had an extensive debate about body versus spirit with some senior practitioners of the tradition, most of whom studied directly under J.R. Worsley. I was arguing that body and spirit influence… Read More Trigger Points


Distance Treatments

One thing I have found through the practice of acupuncture is that there are so many things about healing that don’t fit into our generally agreed-upon reality. At the request of a friend, I recently decided to try giving a distance treatment. Over the years I have worked to develop my intuition, although I had… Read More Distance Treatments

Five Element Acupuncture

Working the Withins

When I was in school learning Five Element acupuncture, there was occasional talk about this mysterious thing called the “Withins.” Each person has one element that is his or her Constitutional Factor (CF), which is the basis for Five Element treatments. And then there is a secondary one called the Within. Some people describe the… Read More Working the Withins

Clinic Tools

On Moxa

I was trained to use direct moxibustion extensively in acupuncture treatments. I have been using small cones directly on individual points for the past three years. Beyond its warming properties, moxa smoke has a comforting smell that most patients really enjoy. Moxa has been particularly important in treatments that address a patient’s spirit. Unfortunately, I have recently come… Read More On Moxa