acupunctureAcupuncture and herbal medicine are two of the five pillars of Oriental Medicine (the others being massage, diet and exercise). Oriental Medicine is a 3,000 year old science that uses a variety of techniques to balance the flow of the body’s life force or energy (called Qi). Oriental Medicine views disease or ill health as the result of an imbalance or restriction in the flow of the bodies Qi. This Qi or energy can be accessed through specific points spread over the entire body along pathways called meridians or influenced internally with herbs.


What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a technique where hair-thin sterile stainless steel needles are inserted into the skin at points along the meridians facilitating the flow of Qi in those meridians. In the simplest terms, where Qi does not move, there is pain – either physical or psychological. Acupuncture offers significant relief. It can correct the source of the pain or disease. It is the energetic and moving aspect of Oriental Medicine, and is considered yang.


Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine utilizes Chinese plants and other organic substances in traditional formulas that have been specifically tailored to the individual patient. These formulas help to remove blockages in the meridians (often in combination with acupuncture), and also help to build up Qi in the body. In the simplest terms, where Qi is deficient, organ function is diminished and there is dysfunction. Herbal medicine can help with this. It is the substantive, building aspect of Oriental Medicine and is considered yin.


Can Acupuncture And Herbal Medicine Help Prevent Disease?

Yes. In fact, early Chinese physicians were only paid if the patient remained healthy. They would not be paid if the patient became ill. In addition, the World Health Organization considers acupuncture an effective treatment and preventative therapy for many conditions (see partial listing below).

Physical Medicine: Arthritis Tendonitis, Lower Back Pain, Joint Pain, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Cumulative Trauma, Acute Sprains, Sciatica, Fibromyalgia, Recovery from Surgery, Painful Scars, RSD

Respiratory & Cardivascular Disease: Asthma,Cardiovascular, Allergies,Angina, Chronic Bronchitis,Palpitations, Shortness of Breath,Hypertension, Recurrent Colds,Irregular Heartbeat, Chronic cough,Cold Limbs (Raynaud’s)

Gastrointestinal: GERD, Ulcers, Diarrhea, Constipation, Indigestion, Colitis, Hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Genitourinary Disease: Urinary Tract Infections, Incontinence, Prostatitis

Psychological: Fear & Anxiety, Stress Management, Depression, Insomnia, Eating Disorders, Addictions

Neurological: Parkinson’s Disease, Post-Stroke, Paralysis, Numbness, Facial Paralysis, Headaches/Migraines




What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Acupuncture needles are very thin, and are not hollow like hypodermic needles so it’s not like getting a shot. There is usually a slight sensation as the needle is inserted and then a feeling of distention, or warmth is felt as the Qi is contacted. Often people do not feel the initial insertion just a light tap. There are many kinds of insertion techniques, some are stronger than others. Don’t be afraid to ask the practitioner what kind of techniques diey use.


Do They Always Use Needles?

No. Although needles are often a key element in an Oriental Medical treatment, there are other options available to you. Some are familiar – such as massage, exercise, herbal medicine, dietary counseling and stress management – while others are unique to traditional Oriental Medicine. A brief description follows:

  1. Moxa: A traditional Chinese medicinal herb that is used to warm the meridians and relieve blockage and pain.
  2. TDP Lamp: Is an infrared lamp that functions much like moxa and tonifies the body.
  3. Gua Sha: A massage technique that relieves stress and tension, and restores natural musculoskeletal function.
  4. Cupping: Glass or porcelain cups that use suction to treat the same sorts of things as Gua Sha.
  5. Electro-stim and Laser: A mild electric current or cold laser light is used to stimulate acupuncture points – either electrodes are attached to a needle, or electrode pads are placed on the skin, or laser light is directed at acupuncture points on the skin.


How Long Does It Take?

Treatment sessions usually run from 30 minutes to an hour, with the initial session being longer as it includes an extensive evaluation and medical history. The treatment itself will consist of one or more of the techniques previously described.


How Safe Is Acupuncture?

Licensed acupuncturists are nationally certified in Clean Needle Technique, which is based on the latest Western medical standards and protocols. All needles are FDA approved, sterile and one time use only. All contaminated materials areto be disposed of in accordance with Federal regulations. Make sure you are seeing a licensed acupuncturists!


How Many Treatments Will I Typically Need?

Because all Oriental Medical treatments are tailored to an individual’s particular condition, this, of course, varies. As a rule, an acute case will take a few treatments, whereas a chronic case could take quite a bit longer. An estimate can be given following the original intake, and regardless of the expected duration a re-evaluation will take place with each treatment in order for the practitioner and patient to monitor the efficacy of the treatments. Results are the ultimate goal, not maximizing the amount of treatments.


Are There Different Styles Of Acupuncture?

Yes. Oriental Medicine has a long and varied history and there are numerous styles of acupuncture that have developed in different countries. All are effective in building and moving of Qi, but the theoretical frameworks and clinical techniques vary somewhat. Chris has training in a variety of styles and would be happy to discuss which will best address your particular needs.


Where Do I Go For Acupuncture And Alternative Medicine In Tucson?

We refer our patients to Cloud Hawk Medicine, LLC which is a practice well known to us. Its principle Christine R. Oagley has demonstrated dedication to providing one on one care and healing for people in the Tucson area. The focus of this practice is to assist patients in their journey towards optimum health in a manner that is most effective for them. By listening to all of the patient’s concerns, and by educating the patient to listen to his or her own body, a relationship is created where the practitioner and patient work together toward the common goal of optimal health in body, mind and spirit. Please read Chris’s brief biosketch below.

Christine R. Oagley has a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College, Santa Fe and has studied clinical acupuncture in Beijing, China. Chris is nationally board certified in acupuncture and has been a licensed acupuncturist for 15 years. She was co-owner of a successful private practice in Portland Maine for many years. Since her return to Tucson in 2002, she has split her time between private practice and teaching Oriental Medicine. Chris has extensive experience in treating stress and depression particularly as it relates to physical illness and injury

Chris has a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University, and is Nationally Board Certified in Hand Therapy with 20 years experience treating complex hand and upper extremity disorders. She has special expertise in management of the painful unstable wrist and thumb, RSD, tendonitis, arthritis and repetitive stress syndromes.

Chris has lectured nationally on RSD and custom orthotic making. Chris uses both eastern and western treatment methods including: Chinese herbology, homeopathy, cranial-sacral therapy, tui-na, laser, wellness, nutritional and stress management counseling as well as traditional acupuncture techniques.

Prior to entering the health field, Chris experienced an extensive rehab herself. This “consumer experience” led her to pursue her own journey of healing and eventually paved her way into medicine. Since her earliest days as an Occupational Therapist Chris has strongly advocated for patients rights and continues to do so to this day. Chris has worked professionally as a designer in both films and the New York Theater, and has served in the U.S. Marine Corps.


(520) 878-0488.