One of the oldest healing modalities, which has been continuously practiced for more than 3,000 years. It is an ancient medical procedure that involves the gentle insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points in the body. The focus is to prevent and treat common conditions.

Acupuncture Point

Specific sites along the skin where the meridians come closest to the surface of the body. These points provide a communication network, connecting the outside of the body with the interior of the body, and directly affect Qi and the meridian/organ systems. There are hundreds of acupuncture points located over the entire body, including the ears.

Acupressure & Tuina

Massage techniques that stimulate the meridians, facilitating the flow of Qi.

Ashi points (Alarm points)

Acupuncture points on the body that relate to specific organs and meridians. When they are active, or tender, it may reflect a potential health problem or meridian/organ imbalance.

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The harmonious arrangement and stability of the body and mind to maintain a stable equilibrium that supports health and wellbeing.

Blockage of Qi

When there is a blockage in the meridians it will restrict the supply of Qi required to nourish and support the cells, tissues, muscles, organs and glands. A blockage of Qi can lead to health problems and pain.

Blood (Xue)

The Chinese concept of Blood differs from the Western view. In Chinese philosophy, Blood is the densest fluid substance in the body. Blood transmits nourishment and supports our mental and emotional life. Blood is stored by the Liver, generated by the Spleen, propelled by the Heart and is the mother of Qi.

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One of the Eight Principle Patterns of diagnosis and an External Factor. Cold illness is characterized by aversion to cold, desire for heat, hypoactivity, lack of thirst, loose stool, pallor, lethargy, dullness, weakness, profuse clear urine, thin odorless discharges, pain, cramps and spasms. A "Cold" condition is treated differently from a "Hot" condition.


A treatment technique using glass or bamboo cups to create a vacuum in order to increase warmth and stimulate Qi circulation.

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Dan Tien

It is also known as the Hare. Located about 3 inches below the navel, it is one of the most important energy centers in the body where Qi is stored.


An External Factor. Damp illness usually appears during damp and humid weather. Symptoms are characterized by feelings of heaviness in the head and limbs, swelling, distension of chest and abdomen, fluid accumulation, nodular masses, watery stool, sore joints, sticky copious discharges, phlegm, and lethargy.


A lack of basic constituents (i.e. Qi, Blood or Body Fluids) or a result of inadequate function of the Zang Fu Organs. Over a prolonged period, a deficiency can translate into physical and emotional symptoms and signs.


Translates as "arriving at the Qi" – the sensation of accessing the Qi with the needle, which the patient may experience as a slight pressure, fullness, numbness or a tingling sensation. These sensations are normal, and let the practitioner know that the treatment is working.


Lack of harmony and balance in the body due to the blockage or imbalance of Qi. This can be caused by physical or emotional trauma, environmental factors or an excess or deficient condition.


A treatment technique that moves, circulates and distributes Qi in order to relieve stagnation of Qi and Blood. or the accumulation of Heat, Cold, Dampness or Phlegm.


An External Factor. Dry illness affects the fluids of the body. Symptoms may include dry skin, chapped lips, dry cough and constipation.

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Eight Principle Patterns

A system of organizing diagnostic information in Chinese Medicine according to the principles of Yin, Yang; Interior, Exterior; Hot, Cold; Excess, Deficiency.


When Qi. Blood, or Body Fluids are imbalanced and accumulate, leading to symptoms and signs of an excess nature.

External Factor

Any factors influencing the body that originate from the outside, resulting in specific symptoms and signs within the interior of the body. Some external factors are: Cold, Damp. Wind, Dryness and Heat.

Essence (Jing)

The material basis of an individual's life. Essence is the most refined substance of the body, which forms the basis of all tissue, especially male and female reproductive secretions. It is also a reservoir to store Qi of the body, some of which is derived from parents at conception (Prenatal Essence) and some of which is derived continuously from food and air (Postnatal Essence).

Essential Substances

The various fluids, essences and energies that nurture and nourish the meridian and organ systems, keeping the mind, body, and spirit balanced, healthy and protected from illness and disease.


The use of a battery-powered instrument that generates a safe and gentle electrical current to stimulate acupuncture points.

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Five Elements

The Five Element system in Chinese Medicine is based on observations of the natural world and is used to both describe the physiology of the mind/body/ spirit and to guide diagnosis and treatment. The Five Elements are: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal.

Fu Zheng

Translates as "restoring normalcy and balance." The term is applied particularly to herbal and nutritional therapies whose primary goal is to improve constitutional integrity, strengthen and build resistance to disease, and promote health and longevity.

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Gwa Sha

A gentle scraping of the skin surface using a specialized tool to increase circulation of Di and blood.

Gu Qi

Also called Food Qi. Gu Qi is extracted by the Stomach and transformed by the Spleen. It provides nourishment and is the basis of Qi and Blood.

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A sense of ease and vitality that is experienced when all functions of the body and mind are in balance with each other and with the external environment. To attain harmony is to achieve a natural ease of living that mitigates the destructive effects of stress, pain and suffering.


Comes from the Greek word "holos" meaning whole. Holistic is the treatment of the entire individual as a whole system, rather than treating or separating into parts. Treating with a philosophy that includes a complete approach to healing body, mind and spirit through exercise, diet, meditation, acupuncture, and massage.


The ability of the body to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting physiological processes, despite constant varying external conditions.


One of the Eight Principle Patterns of diagnosis and an External Factor. Heat illness is characterized by fever, hyperactivity, inflammation, dehydration, constipation, skin rashes, restlessness, agitation, confusion, insomnia, scanty dark urine, and foul smelling body secretions.

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Internal Factors

Any factors influencing the body that originates from the inside of the body. Usually due to an imbalance or disharmony of meridian and organ systems.


Lack of balance that leads to a blockage or dysfunction of Qi and our internal environment. Eventually, an imbalance can lead to illness, disease and pain.

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Also called channels, they are a series of pathways in which the vital energy called Qi circulates through the entire body. Meridians are connected to every organ system. Overall, there are 14 main Meridians.


The dried leaf of mugwort that is rolled into a stick or placed on the end of needles and then burned as a warming therapy during treatment.

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Organ Systems

The Five Organ Systems – Liver (Wood), Heart (Fire), Spleen (Earth), Lung (Metal), and Kidney (Water) – organize all physical and mental processes and link together all of the structural components of meridians, cells, tissues, muscles and organs. Each Organ System is connected to a meridian, and together they carry out unique and specific bodily functions.

Oriental Nutrition

Specific foods used to strengthen, rebuild and balance the body.

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Examination or exploration with the hands as a diagnostic aid. It usually consists of applying pressure to certain areas of the body and the pulses.


Usually an external factor, or foreign body, such as bacteria or fungus, that can cause illness, disease and pain. In TCM theory, external pathogens can also relate to environmental influences and internal factors that lead to meridian and organ system disharmonies.

Pattern of Disharmony

The integrated interpretation and identification of an individual's unique array of symptom and signs in terms of the categories of Yin-Yang, Five Phases. Body Constituents, Eight Principle Factors, and Pathogenic accumulations.


A by-product of dense, congealed dampness, which can cause obstructions, mucus, nodules, lumps, or tumors.

Post-Natal Essence

Qi manufactured from air and food.

Pre-Natal Essence

Jing that is acquired from our parents at the time of conception.


To rid the body of pathogenic agents such as Wind, Heat, Cold, Dryness, Dampness and Phlegm; or to eliminate the blockage of Qi, Moisture, and Blood.

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Qi Gong

Specific movements and breathing exercises used to cultivate energy and balance, which can result in improved health and vitality.

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Seven Emotions

In appropriate circumstances, it is normal to go-through various emotions on any given day, but when any Of the seven emotions are prolonged or repressed, it can potentially lead to illness and disease. The seven emotions - joy; anger and frustration; fear and fright; sadness; pensiveness; worry; and grief - are internal triggers that can either cause blockage of the circulation of Qi, or an imbalance of Qi.


A therapy derived from acupuncture in which pressure is applied to acupuncture points by finger, thumb, or palm.

Spirit (Shen)

Refers to the outward expression of the life of the organism, observed in the clarity and luminosity of the eyes and complexion, and in the focus, lucidity and intensity of the intellectual and emotional process.

Summer Heat

An External Factor. Symptoms include excessive sweating, and other heat signs. A Summer Heat illness is usually accompanied by dampness.

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Tai Chi

Movement exercises that help develop harmony and balance, and promote maximum health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

An ancient and complete holistic system of health care that has been around for more than 3.000 years. It includes acupuncture, herbs, oriental nutrition, movement and meditation. Treatments emphasize restoring the proper quality, quantity and balance of Qi circulating within the meridians and organ systems.


One of the meridians that refers to the division of the torso into upper, middle and lower burners. Each 'burner" houses and supports certain organs.

Three Treasures

Describes the three concepts that underlie the philosophy and theory of TCM. They are Jing, Qi, and Shen.

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A treatment technique used to nourish, supplement, support, and invigorate. To tonify is to add to the supply of the body's vital energies in order to restore and promote the proper function of the organ systems.

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Wei Qi

In TCM theory it is similar to our immune system. Wei Qi is also called Defensive Qi. It circulates just below our skin and serves to protect the body from invasion by External Factors.


One of the External Factors. Wind illness usually affects the lungs, throat. head and skin, and is characterized by aversion to drafts, spasms, migratory pains, dizziness, vertigo, trembling, itching, headache, stuffy nose, scratchy throat and numbness. Symptoms arise suddenly and can quickly change. When we suffer from "the common cold," an acupuncturist may treat it as a "Wind Heat" type cold or "Wind Cold" type cold depending upon the various symptoms and signs.

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One of the two fundamental polar forces that organize the universe. Yang manifests as form, light, warmth, activity, heat, and birth. It includes the functional activity of the body and the generation of metabolic heat.

Yang Organs

Known as the "hollow organs" that transform matter, transport and store body substances and discharge waste. The Yang Organs are the Gallbladder, Small Intestine, Stomach, Large Intestine, and Urinary Bladder.


One of the two fundamental polar forces that organize the universe. Yin manifests as solid, darkness, quietness, coldness, inertia and death. It includes the material substance of the body, which includes tissue, blood, fluid and internal secretions.

Yin Organs

Known as the "solid organs" that store the Essences of the body. The Yin Organs are the Liver, Heart, Spleen. Lung and Kidney.

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Zang Fu

The complete Yin and Yang meridian and organ system.

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