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Acupuncture for Pain Relief, Cupping and Gua Sha

The practice of acupuncture began at the very early stages of human history, and, like all the other components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), its techniques have undergone more than 3,000 years of development and refinement. Acupuncture is itself a complete medical system that is used as a means of treating and preventing diseases through the application of needles to specific points on the body. It operates upon two fundamental concepts: first, there is Yin and Yang energies in the body that need to be in balance for there to be good health. Secondly there is vital energy or qi (pronounced “chee”) that flows along specific pathways or meridians that traverse the entire body and connect to our organs. This unimpeded energy flow promotes and maintains health, while any stagnation of qi can lead to disease. Acupuncture needles are applied at acupuncture points on the appropriate meridians to unblock congested qi or to strengthen a weakness of qi in that meridian, in turn reducing symptoms, improving vitality and aiding the body to heal itself naturally.

The core philosophy of TCM acknowledges the significance of a person’s lifestyle, mind, body, emotions and spirit in identifying the root cause of a health problem. Once the root cause is identified and the pattern of symptoms understood, I can then treat my patients and their conditions, reversing patterns of health imbalance and preventing future relapse. I have chosen to practice this ancient holistic medicine because, as its evolution over the past three thousand years demonstrates, it has truly stood the test of time and continues into the 21st century with further refinements and applications to modern health conditions and diseases.

A sound and safe medicine, acupuncture is general medicine that is effective in healing a wide range of specific problems and diseases without side effects. Any condition you would go to an M.D. for, you may come to Middle Path Acupuncture for. It is especially effective for chronic pain, reducing or eliminating the need for pain medication. For an extensive list of conditions successfully treated by acupuncture, please see the FAQ page.

The practice of TCM in California also includes herbal medicine, acupressure, moxibustion (heat therapy), cupping (suction therapy), exercise, nutritional counseling and other modalities to improve health and wellbeing.


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Cupping is suction therapy applied whenever the root of the health problem is stagnation of qi in a meridian. The plastic cups are applied to a patient’s back, legs or abdomen to increase circulation and relieve symptoms of pain or discomfort.


Gua sha is the application of a gentle scraping therapy. It is most commonly used at the early stage of a patient catching a cold. Scraping along the base of the back of the neck produces a light redness that indicates the patient’s immune system has been more fully activated to fight off the cold and prevent its further development. Gua sha can also be applied in conjunction with Tui Na style.