Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic approach to medicine with an extensive and rich history of utilizing acupuncture, cupping, herbs, and tuina massage to effectively treat a variety of symptoms and illnesses; most notably pain, anxiety, stress, and fertility. Acupuncturists at Optimal Health Collective have extensive training in Traditional Chinese Medicine and frequently integrate a combination of acupuncture, cupping, and massage into treatment strategies for patients.

Common myths about acupuncture are that it is painful/uncomfortable and requires needles. Although acupuncture primarily uses needles, there are needleless alternatives for anyone who is nervous about them. The needles are hair-thin, meaning they are extremely fine and with strategic placement will be virtually painless and unnoticeable throughout the treatment. What you will notice is feeling great and relaxed throughout and after the treatment.


Acupuncture utilizes the strategic placement of fine needles into the skin, called acupuncture points, to enhance the flow of Qi/energy. There are about 365 acupuncture points which connect 12 main pathways (meridians) throughout the body by which qi flows through and keeps the body in balance. Ailments and illnesses of the body will block the optimal flow of qi. Acupuncture will unblock these pathways to restore balance and health to the body and mind.

Cupping, dry needling, and electro-acupuncture can also be used in a treatment protocol to treat specific conditions, most notably physical pain.

What does TCM treat?

Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture is most known for its treatment of pain (e.g. low back pain, headaches, sports injuries), however it can treat a wide variety of symptoms and illnesses. Acupuncture has also been shown to successfully treat:

  • Gynecological conditions g. painful periods, fertility, PCOS, endometriosis
  • Digestive conditions – g. IBS/IBD, SIBO
  • Mental health conditions – g. anxiety, depression
  • Stress
  • Allergies
  • Insomnia

TCM and acupuncture can also help maintain optimal health in the absence of illness. As health care professionals, we not only strive to treat conditions but also prevent them.

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

Your acupuncturist will take a thorough health history which includes tongue and pulse assessment. The tongue and pulse are the window into the internal environment of the body and can aid in uncovering underlying issues that are contributing to your condition.

Once this history and physical exam is taken, your acupuncturist will have you lay face up/down choose the appropriate acupuncture points. The needles will be retained for 30 – 45 minutes, during which you have time to relax or even take a nap.