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Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine is an ancient system of diagnosis and treatment to correct imbalances in Qi (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy, which flows through meridian pathways in the body. For more than 2,000 years, Chinese medicine practitioners have stimulated points along the pathways to restore energy flow and encourage healing. Acupuncture uses very fine, sterilized, disposable needles gently inserted in the body at specific points along Qi pathways. Acupuncture is one modality of Chinese medicine, a holistic and energetic system of health care.


Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The World Health Organization (WHO) lists the following conditions that may benefit from acupuncture:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Addiction: drug, alcohol, nicotine
  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergies/asthma
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis/ joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Cancer pain
  • Colds/ flu
  • Depression
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frozen shoulder/shoulder pain
  • GI disorders: IBS
  • Headache/migraine
  • Heart problems/palpitations
  • Herpes zoster
  • Hypertension/ hypotension
  • Insomnia
  • Knee pain
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Neuralgia, neuropathy
  • Paralysis/ numbness
  • Postoperative pain
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Sinusitis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Smoking cessation
  • Stress/ tension
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Surgery recovery
  • Tendonitis/ tennis elbow
  • TMJ
  • Tinnitus/ringing in ear

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your NorthShore acupuncture practitioner will perform an intake to develop a Chinese medicine diagnosis and a treatment plan. A Chinese medicine physical exam involves pulse and tongue examination along with palpation of acupuncture points. These techniques help the acupuncturist to identify areas of imbalance and disease in the body.

Depending on your needs, the acupuncture practitioner may incorporate acupuncture, herbal remedies, diet, exercise, meditation, Eastern nutrition and/or Qigong, a mind-body-spirit practice that integrates posture, movement and breathing control.

At NorthShore, acupuncturists may also use laser acupuncture. This modality can be used to augment traditional acupuncture. Because it is needle-less, laser acupuncture can also be used for young children or anyone who prefers needle-less treatments. Gentle electrical stimulation may also be applied to acupuncture needles to fortify the treatment.

Exciting new research continues to uncover the physiologic effects of acupuncture such as its ability to reduce pain by stimulating endorphin production (the body’s natural pain killers), regulate hormones via the neuroendocrine system, boost immune cell production, reduce systemic inflammation and induce relaxation by reducing sympathetic nerve activity.

“If the boulders are moved, even a river will change its flow.”
-Deng Ming Dao

For More Information

Please call 847.657.3540 for more information about Chinese medicine/acupuncture or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.