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Contemporary Medical Acupuncture vs. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

Contemporary Medical Acupuncture vs. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

Contemporary Medical Acupuncture:

This form of acupuncture takes the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach and modifies it slightly using modern day scientific understanding.  At first glance this form of acupuncture will look very similar to TCM acupuncture, as they both require the placement of small, thing needles in specific points along determined meridians for an extended period of time in the body.

In contemporary medical acupuncture treatment is rendered after a medical/neuro-functional diagnosis has been made and the practitioner will often use acupuncture in conjunction with other treatment modalities such as soft tissue therapy, electrical stimulation, joint mobilization or manipulation, and rehabilitation protocols.

The points used are often chosen in relation to the joints, muscles, nerves and ligaments, which correspond to the diagnosis, based on the presenting symptoms, medical history questions and physical examination findings.

At our clinic this form of acupuncture is provided by Dr. Livia Chiarelli and can be billed separately under acupuncture with most extended health plans.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture:

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture treatment in rendered after a TCM diagnosis has been made through complex theories based on disturbances in the body’s energy balance.  These imbalances are determined through diagnosis based on the tongue and pulse and are quantified by excess or deficiencies in the five elements; fire, water, earth, metal and wood.

The points used are often chosen in relation to flow of the body’s qi (chi) and manipulation of needles is often conducted to reset the imbalances previously determined.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture unlike medical acupuncture can be used to treat infertility, overdue pregnancies, smoking cessation, etc…


Dr. Livia Chiarelli

Doctor of Chiropractic

Medical Acupuncture Provider

Certified Active Release Technique® Provider


Apple Creek is proud of the diversified set of skills our staff members possess. Acupuncture is another specialty that we can use to get you better fast. Two of the most common questions patients have are: “What is it?” and “How does it work?” Let us shed some light on these very good questions.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical therapy that dates back over 2000 years. It involves the gentle insertion of hair-thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate your body’s own natural healing ability.

How does acupuncture work?

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that energy, called Qi (pronounced “chee”), runs in pathways throughout your body. These energy pathways are like rivers that flow and nourish the tissues.

Your Qi, or energy rivers, flow smoothly when you are healthy. Pain, illness, and disease arise when you get blockages in the flow of energy. These blockages can be due to things like injuries, stress, and overexertion. The purpose of acupuncture is to unblock the obstructions and re-establish the regular flow of energy, thus restoring your body’s health and balance.

The modern explanation is that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals can act as your body’s own natural pain killers or they may act to trigger the release of other chemicals which influence your autonomic nervous system.

With such wide ranging effects on your body, acupuncture can be effective in dealing with a variety of ailments. Pain in the body, neurological disorders, stress related illness, and many other problems may be reasons why you would consider acupuncture.

Our Certified Contemporary Medical Acupuncture providers include:

Stefanie Moser

Jordan Katz

Nejin Chacko

If you have further questions or are interested in booking an appointment, please contact us at the clinic