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What is Acupuncture?


Some people may wonder: is acupuncture treatment painful? Will it hurt to have a needle inserted in my body? Fortunately, the needles used for acupuncture treatment are very thin and the tip of needle is very finely sharpened. This kind of needle won't make patients suffer from pain. Moreover, a professional acupuncturist has very skillful ways to insert the needles. It will only feel like a mosquito bite when the acupuncturist inserts the needles. Then you will feel a slight distention, this means that the treatment is effectively acting on your body. No one, anywhere in the world, likes painful treatment. If acupuncture were painful, it would be eliminated by modern society already, and you would not see it in the United States today.  

What are the Benefits of Treatment?


Acupuncture and moxibustion not only have a history of thousands of years of practice with abundant clinical knowledge, but also have modern clinical relevance as far as having a wide range of indications, good curative effect, safe usage and minimal side effects.

Accepted Treatment Method: As an accepted and well-liked treatment method with thousands of years of history, acupuncture has remarkable effectiveness and treatment results. It is especially good at treating all kinds of pain syndromes, sensory disturbances, dyskinesias and all kinds of functional disorders.

Safety: Acupuncture and moxibustion are natural physical therapies. They use external stimulation to improve the human body's immunity and can compel the body's organs and tissues to regulate themselves and regain their normal conditions. In the whole treatment process there is no foreign substance getting into the system, so it has no systemic side effects and can not damage organs and tissues. There is no possibility of hurting your stomach while treating your liver or damaging your hearing while curing your inflammation. Practicing acupuncture and moxibustion has certain professional requirements. The needles are sterile and are either disposable or autoclaved between treatments. The sizes, inserting depth, inserting degree, and stimulating method all have special requirements. In the hands of a comprehensively trained acupuncturist, your safety is assured.

Rapid Results Are Possible: A pain syndrome, for example, may only take one or two treatments to relieve the pain, and each session usually lasts only 20 to30 minutes.

It can keep you healthy: Ancient experience and modern research show that acupuncture and moxibustion can improve one's immunity. As we know, if the immunity is strong enough, most infectious diseases can be avoided. So if you are healthy, getting regular acupuncture and moxibustion can regulate your body’s immunity to keep you in the best condition. If you are less than healthy, but not ill, or only slightly weak, acupuncture and moxibustion could improve your immune function and help you become healthier.

What Can Acupuncture and TCM Treat?


The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture’s and TCM’s ability to treat over 43 common disorders. Thousands of years of practice in China have demonstrated that acupuncture and TCM can treat far more than just these 43 common disorders. But these disorders recognized by the WHO include:

NEUROLOGICAL: Headache, Migraine, Neuralgia, Facial pain, Post-Operative Pain, Stroke residuals, Parkinson's disease

RESPIRATORY: Allergy, Asthma, Sinusitis, Tonsillitis, Bronchitis, Constipation

DIGESTIVE: Abdominal Pain, Chronic Diarrhea, Indigestion, Constipation

GYNECOLOGICAL: Infertility, PMS, Cramps, Menopause Syndrome

EMOTIONAL: Insomnia, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Hypertension, Nervousness

EYES, EARS, DENTAL: Poor Vision, Tinnitus, Toothache, Post Extraction Pain, Allergy

MUSCULO-SKELETAL: Pain and Weakness in: Neck, Shoulders, Arms, Hands, Fingers, Back, Hips, Legs, Knees, and Feet, as well as Muscle Cramping, Arthritis, Sciatica, Disc Problems, Traumatic Injuries, Sprains, Sports Injuries, Tendonitis

UROLOGICAL: UTI, Sexual dysfunction

CARDIOVASCULAR: High Cholesterol, Heart diseases

How many treatments will I need?


Acupuncture is a process, not a procedure. Successful outcomes are dependent upon treatment given over a period of time at regularly scheduled intervals. Going weeks between treatments is not likely to be very beneficial.

In China, where the government pays for medical care, patients get acupuncture daily. In this country, patients usually receive treatments weekly. A course of therapy usually ranges between 8 to 12 treatments, with some disorders requiring more than one course of therapy to attain maximum results. Some disorders may also require coming more than once a week. The number of treatments you will need before you feel better also depends on the condition, how long you have had it, how often you receive treatments, how severe the symptoms, and successful adherence to suggested lifestyle modifications.



What is Acupuncture the abbreviated version?


The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Chi or Qi present in every living creature and that this energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as energy flows freely thru the meridians, health is maintained, but when the flow of energy is blocked, this system is stopped and pain and illness occur. Imagine if rivers would flood and cause disasters or an electrical wiring short-circuited and caused a blackout. Acupuncture works to “re-program” and restore normal functions by stimulating points on the meridians to free up the Chi energy.

What conditions does Acupuncture Treat?


Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as effective in treating these conditions:

  • Addiction - alcohol, drug, and smoking
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
  • Cronic Fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Common Cold
  • Constipation
  • Dental Pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive Trouble
  • Dizziness
  • Dysentery
  • Emotional Problems
  • Eye Problems
  • Facial Palsytics
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gingivitis
  • Headache
  • Hiccough
  • Incontinence
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Low Back Pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual Irregularities
  • Migraine
  • Morning Sickness
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Pneumonia
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Sinusitus
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Sore Throat
  • Stress
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tooth Pain
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Vomiting
  • Wrist Pain



What is Cupping?


Cupping is a method similar to acupuncture of stimulating acupuncture points by applying suction through a metal, wood or glass jar, in which a partial vacuum has been created. This technique produces blood congestion at the site, and therefore stimulates it. Cupping can be used for the following types of problems: low backache, sprains, soft tissue injuries, and helping relieve fluid from the lungs in chronic bronchitis.

How can Chinese Herbs help?


After diagnosing a pattern of disharmony and administering acupuncture treatments, a doctor of TCM often writes an herbal formula from over a thousand common herbal formulas or from more effective traditional family formulas. Herbal medicine has a long history in the Orient. The first Chinese material, the Shen-Nung Herbal Classic, was begun during the Stone Age and completed in the later part of the 5th century B.C., from which some important formulas originated.

In this herbal classic, herbs are categorized into three groups. The first group is called “food herbs” which are eaten as part of one’s diet for general fortification, prevention and maintenance. The other two groups are called “medicinal herbs” which are dispensed to each patient as an individual formula based on one’s constitution, environment and medical condition.

Medicinal herbal therapy works in concert with acupuncture by providing the nourishing support for the energetic “re-programming” and “re-balancing” efforts of acupuncture.

How are Chinese Herbs used?


For Reference Material Only

Herb Formulas are developed to use each herb to its greatest advantage. By combining different herbs together, one will not only adjust and increase the treatment results, but also reduce or release the side-effects from the other herbs. It also makes it possible to treat complicated diseases at the same time. That's why few Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors prescribe only a single herb to treat patients.  Formulas are based upon treatment principle, and treatment principle is dependent upon the cause. Because of the different cause of diseases, the herbal formula varies. A formula is made from typically 10-15 herbs together with appropriate dosage depending on the patient's condition and the treatment principle.

In thousands of years of experience in Chinese medicine, generation by generation, there are hundreds of excellent classic formulas to be used to treat different diseases. They have proven to be very effective in treating all kinds of conditions. Often one prescribes a formula based on the classic formula, and adds or deducts some herbs, adjusting the dosage depending on the patient's condition.

What is Ear Acupuncture?


Ear acupuncture, also known as auricular therapy, is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Auricular therapy is widely used for many conditions, including addiction treatment, mood disorders, obesity, pain, and other conditions. This medical system emphasizes a holistic approach to medicine, an approach that treats the whole person. The acupuncture points found on the ear help to regulate the body's internal organs, structures, and functions.

Auricular therapy has a long history of use in China. It was mentioned in the most famous of ancient Chinese medical textbooks, “The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine.” In modern times, auricular therapy has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's own feel-good chemicals.

How is ear acupuncture used in a treatment?

Ear acupuncture is can be incorporated into acupuncture treatment. In addition to using acupuncture points on the rest of the body, your acupuncturist may select a few ear acupuncture points that they feel will be helpful for your particular condition.

What are ear seeds and ear tacks?

Ear acupuncture points may be stimulated for a longer period of time by using ear seeds or ear tacks. Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant. These seeds are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days or up to two weeks. Ear tacks are very small needles with an adhesive backing. Ear tacks are inserted into the ear and left in the ear for a few days or up to one week.

What is Qi Gong?


Qi Gong (traditional Chinese exercise system similar in principle to Tai Chi) as a medical keep-fit activity has a history of several thousand years in China. Qi Gong is an art and skill to train the “Qi”.

Qi Gong must have these three key elements:

1. Regulation of body in Qi Gong Postures
2. Regulation of Breathing in Qi Gong Respiration
3. Regulation of Mind in Qi Gong (mind well)

People do Qi Gong to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds, and reconnect with their spirit. When these three aspects of our being are integrated, it encourages a positive outlook on life and helps eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors. It also creates a balanced life style, which brings greater harmony, stability, and enjoyment.

Instructor: Qingping Chen, L. Ac., Ph.D, OMD

Time: Every Tuesday 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday

**Fee: $ (TBD) For Regular Practice Class or
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**Location: 2405 Fulton Rd, Canton, Oh 44709

Contact: Chen Acupuncture Health Center, LLC
330-454-3940 (office)

**New Class: $(TBD) (4 Sessions)
Please sign up for new class at Dr Chen's Office if you are interested!

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What is Tongue Diagnosis?


My question to you is why do you keep closing your eyes when you stick your tongue out? The tongue is an important useful organ for many animals. It is used by birds and frogs to catch insects. Dogs and cats stick their tongues out to show affection. It is helpful in chewing and swallowing our food. It plays an important part in forming the sounds we speak. It is also the chief organ of taste. It helps us to determine what and how much food to eat (for some people). Of course, our sense of smell also determines how the food tastes.

But the tongue is more than that to a Chinese Medicine practitioner.

Since it is highly vascular and contains many important taste receptor cells, it is richly supplied by both the nervous system and circulatory system. It is also constantly nourished or “bathed in” saliva. Saliva is secreted by our salivary glands and controlled by our autonomic nervous system. It contains water, electrolytes, mucus, and enzymes. It serves many functions and can change the appearance of the tongue. Therefore the tongue is a very sensitive organ and its appearance can change with many physiological changes in the body. By observing the tongue we can see how our whole body is functioning and able to detect imbalances in different systems in our body. When we ask you to stick your tongue out, we are observing the appearance of the tongue in three distinct areas.

The first area is the tongue proper.

We may evaluate the size of the tongue compared to the opening of the mouth or observe any teeth marks on the sides. This may indicate edema or swelling in your body. We may search for any ulcerations or lacerations of the tongue. It may indicate a body that is prone or having some form of inflammation. The color of tongue can give us ideas of the strength of one’s health. The normal tongue is pinkish red with a certain shine. When the tongue appears pale, it may be a sign of anemia or weakened body. When it is red, it may be exhibiting hyperactivity in different systems of the body. When the tongue color has a tinge of purple, this might be an indication of pain, congestion and blockages in the body. In general, the tongue proper exhibits the strength of your body’s own immunity and functioning.

The second area is the tongue coating.

A normal tongue should have a very thin clear coating that exhibits proper enzymatic content and salivary secretions. When the coat becomes thick, it is frequently a sign of imbalance in the digestive system.

When the coat turns thick and cruddy, it is frequently a sign of decreased immune system with Candida (yeast infection) presentation.

When the coat peels, it is frequently a sign of damage or weakening to a certain systems of the body. When the coat turns yellow, it is frequently a sign of infection or inflammation in the body.

The third area is regional analysis.

Different areas of the tongue are represented by the functioning state of different regions of the body. For example, Area A of the tongue represents the functioning of the nervous system and the immune system. Any changes in this area can point to common colds, flu, upper respiratory infections, sleep disorders, and changes in mental state.
Area B of the tongue is represented by the liver and detoxification function of the body. Changes in this region can indicate changing toxicity levels in the body.

Darkening color in this region can mean pain and discomfort in the body. Area C is represented by the functioning of the digestive system and any changes in this area can be an indication of imbalance in the digestion and absorption functions in the body. Area D is represented by the urogenital systems as well as the intestines. Peeling in this region can mean adrenal weakness or chronic low back pains. Thickening of yellow coating in this region can mean either constipation or urinary tract infections. Other changes in this area can indicate problems in the urinary, reproductive and elimination systems.

So next time when we ask you to stick your tongue out, please do it with gusto and you do not need to close your eyes!

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?


Traditional Chinese Medicine has its origin in ancient Taoist philosophy which views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Unlike allopathic medicine which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person. Many people have found Traditional Chinese methods of healing to be excellent tools for maintaining optimum health and preventing illness.  One of the main tools that Traditional Chinese Medicine uses is Acupuncture.

What does Yin and Yang mean?
This article was written by Marc Ryan, L.Ac.
Marc is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who practices in Los Angeles, California.
To learn more, visit his website at


Chinese Medical theory, though scientific in its own right, is built on a foundation of ancient philosophical thought. Many of these ideas are based on observations of natural phenomena and are the reason why Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM ) has remained a truly holistic approach to health and well being.

The Theory of Yin and Yang is one such philosophy. It is said to date back nearly 6,000 years to the third or fourth millennium B.C. and is attributed to an enlightened philosopher named Fu Shi (also credited with creating the I-Ching or Book of Changes). The basic premise of yin and yang is the notion that the only constant factor in natural phenomena is universal change. In other words, nothing remains the same; no disease, no condition, no emotion, no treatment or diagnosis, absolutely everything is in a constant state of flux and, therefore, subject to the laws of change.

Yin and Yang are metaphorical images used to express these constantly transforming interactions. They have no fixed, precise definition. Rather, they describe two broad categories of complementary concepts which include the relationships of positive and negative, dynamic and inert, creative and destructive, gross and subtle, and kinetic and potential. This is quite similar to the notion of dialectics as expressed in Western philosophy. Within dialectics the whole is the sum of its parts and in turn part of the sum of a greater whole. As these various components interact, things become their opposites; i.e., variables become constants, causes become effects, and the process of creation leads to destruction. Furthermore, this idea is demonstrated in modern physics where sub-atomic interactions are the result of ever shifting polarities and constantly vacillating magnetic attractions and repulsions.

The entire universe may be viewed as the interplay and alternation of yin and yang. Originally the Chinese characters for yin represented the moon and yang represented the sun. Gradually these terms were broadened to include yin as night and yang as day, yin as winter and yang as summer, and yin as female and yang as male. In fact, there is nothing which cannot be viewed from the standpoint of yin and yang.

Yin is that which maintains and endures, it is nourishing and supports growth and development as well as being something contracting and moving inward. It also includes the following:

  • Earth
  • Autumn
  • Cold, coldness
  • Moisture

Yang is that which is creative and generating, it develops and expands; it is dynamic and full of movement. It also includes the following:

  • Heaven
  • Spring, summer
  • Heat, warmth
  • Dryness

It is important to remember that yin and yang are not static concepts and that they are constantly influencing and determining one another. There is always some measure of yin within yang and vice versa. To use the analogy of a hillside; during the day the sunlit side of the hill is yang within yang, while the shaded side is yin within yang. Conversely, at night the moonlit side of the hill is yang within yin while the dark side of the hill is yin within yin. In this fluid model it must be understood that neither yin nor yang can ever exist without the other. In fact, extreme yin will engender yang, an example of this can been seen in the popular expression "the darkest hour is right before the dawn". Naturally, the opposite is also true.

These types of relationships become significant when they impact the body's anatomy and physiology and it is precisely these designations that are used in the diagnosis of imbalances in TCM. For a TCM practitioner, the name of the disease is of secondary importance. The primary key to the proper diagnosis of syndromes is the identification of the condition in terms of yin or yang. In order to understand what this means let us examine these concepts in the context of human life.

Beginning at conception the sperm, which is yang, unites with the yin ovum and a new life is formed. As that life develops and progresses the energetic stages of youth are yang; whereas the later years are yin as life slows and becomes more deliberate. Each stage is also relative to the others and contains a measure of both yin and yang, just as the aforementioned hillside is an expression of yin within yang, etc. For example, the quick growth of early childhood is yang within yang and the transition from middle age to old age is yin within yang.

We can also see this philosophy expressed in everyday life. In respiration, the expansion of inhalation is yang while the emptiness which results from exhalation is yin. In digestion, the yin substance of food is transformed by the metabolic activity of yang. It is then converted into Qi (yang) and Blood (yin). Qi and Blood interact with one another using this paradigm. Qi moves Blood, yet Blood is thought to be the "mother" or source of Qi. Within the body yin is expressed as the material basis, the tissue and substance without which the transformation of yang would not be possible.

The physical body itself expresses this model. The lower part of the body which connects to the earth is yin while the upper body and extremities are yang and free to move. The front, which can easily be protected, is yin while the exposed back is yang. The internal organs, which are enclosed and protected, are yin relative to the surface of skin and muscle which are yang. In addition, the internal organs can be further differentiated into fu (yang), which are the "hollow" organs that are involved with digestion and elimination, and zang (yin) which are involved in assimilation and storage. Each zang has a corresponding fu organ which it is paired with and while these connections are not recognized in Western medical terms, they are often utilized in the treatment of disease in TCM.

Finally, disease and disease progression can be viewed using this paradigm. If the body's yang is weak it will be unable to ward off the invasion of a pathogen. If the yin is weak there will not be enough nourishment and support for the yang and the result will be the same. Expressed in other terms, without the substance, the active immune system is weakened and without activity the substance becomes vulnerable. Therefore, if yin is deficient over time then yang also becomes deficient and vice versa. Not only do yin and yang balance each other, they mutually generate one another. It is precisely this balance that the TCM practitioner uses various treatment strategies to restore. The idea is to reestablish the body's innate ability to maintain health and defend itself from disease.

The nature and progression of disease can also be understood using this pattern. When a disease develops rapidly, it is in the acute or yang stage. As it progresses and becomes more chronic, thus it enters the yin stage. Usually, acute diseases affect the surface or superficial aspects of the body while chronic diseases have already overwhelmed the body's defenses and gone deeper into the interior. In addition, regardless of location or duration, disease can be classified by its affects. Extreme, severe symptoms are considered excess and are consequently yang. In contrast, mild or diffuse symptoms accompanied by weakness are considered deficient and are therefore yin. With regard to diagnosis, that which is internal, cold, deficient or chronic is considered yin. That which is external, hot, excess or acute is considered yin. When conflicting signs are present it usually points to a more complex condition and the TCM practitioner must evaluate all the symptoms together to determine the appropriate treatment strategy.

In summary, it should be evident that the designations of yin and yang are universal and extend into every aspect of life. Because of its ubiquity, this theory is a very useful tool for understanding natural phenomena and therefore can be an indispensable diagnostic aid. While this is an ancient paradigm it is not primitive and though simple it can be developed into surprising complexity. The only limitation of the application of this universal truth is one's own perception and imagination.


Tao, The Subtle Universal Law and the Integral Way of Life , by Hua-Ching Ni, 2nd edition, Seven Star Communications, Santa Monica, CA. 1979

Between Heaven and Earth, A Guide to Chinese Medicine , by Harriet Beinfield and Efram Korngold, Ballantine Books, New York 1985

Analysis of Chinese Characters by G.D. Wilder and J.H. Ingram, Dover Publications, Inc. New York 1974

The Web That Has No Weaver by Ted J. Kaptchuk, Congdon and Weed, Inc. Chicago Il. 1983

What is Yin/Yang? This article was written by Marc Ryan, L.Ac.
Marc is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who practices in Los Angeles, California.
To learn more, visit his website at