about...acupuncture & chinese herbal medicine 

Large Intestine Channel points clear pathogens via sweating and ease pain.

Large Intestine Channel points clear pathogens via sweating and ease pain.


QI & CHANNELS - The term Qi is used in Chinese Medicine; Qi as life-energy circulates through the acupuncture channels, maintaining every life function of the body. Chinese physicians discovered that the body’s Qi could be adjusted and physiological balance regulated by the insertion of fine needles into specific points along the acupuncture channels or meridians. To successfully treat the individual patient and relieve suffering, the Chinese Medicine practitioner cultivates the ability to feel or perceive the flow of Qi through the body and to diagnose and treat each individual according to the specific patterns detected.

There are twelve Primary Channels and eight Extraordinary Channels; in addition, Luo Vessels, Divergent Channels and Sinew Channels are described in the Chinese Medical Classics, Su Wen and Ling Shu. The Primary Channels are named after organs - Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, Triple-Heater, Gallbladder and Liver, and have various day-to-day physiological functions.

Points on the Lung or Liver Channel might be needled, for instance, to regulate the flow of Qi and Blood, to expel pathogens, break up inflammatory congestion or to stop pain. Each channel has specific functions in maintaining overall health; points from several channels are often used in combination to treat specific conditions.  

DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT - A Chinese Medicine practitioner observes and considers many signs and symptoms to try to understand the patient's functional patterns and how these patterns have become disrupted or impaired. Information is collected through visual observation, feeling the pulses and asking key questions. Before treating, the practitioner will form a working diagnosis and construct a treatment plan. Acupuncture needles are then placed in specific points along the channel pathways, at specific depths and with proper technique to reach, activate and regulate the body's Qi.

A skilled acupuncturist will usually want to clear any adverse influences from the body while also strengthening the body's 'upright Qi,' the innate physiological aspect that protects and promotes natural good health. The goal of any treatment is to improve health and well-being and bring harmonious function to mind, body and emotions.

Scutellaria biacalensis   黃芩   huang qin, ©Thomas Avery Garran

Scutellaria biacalensis 黃芩 huang qin, ©Thomas Avery Garran

chinese herbal medicine

Yin and Yang interact with each other in dark and subtle [ways and in] transmutations that are hard to fathom.
— Shang Han Lun, On Cold Damage - Translations & Commentaries*

THE ART OF DESIGNING FORMULASThe author of the above quote, Zhang Ji (Zhang Zhong Jing), was one of the most famous doctors and herbalists in the history of Chinese Medicine. Herbal medicine is a powerful form of treatment; to be able to design herbal formulas that can treat a range of conditions requires years of study and practice in addition to an intimate knowledge of the flavors, temperatures and qualities of hundreds of living plants. 

In my practice I use many classical formulas that have shown their worth and efficacy over hundreds of years; I also write raw herb formulas for some specialty conditions based on my study with Dr. Jeffrey C. Yuen. Formulas may be taken in different forms - as pills, tablets, granules or as raw herbs. Prices vary but generally run from $20-$40 for a two week supply, depending on the formula.

I order formulas from Kamwo Meridian Herbs in Manhattan.  Kamwo will deliver and will also mail formulas to out-of-town customers; you may also pick up your formula at the pharmacy if you wish.

* Shang Han Lun, On Cold Damage - Translations & Commentaries by Mitchell, Feng Ye, Wiseman, Paradigm Publications, 1999