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Celia Tom OMD, L. Ac.

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Acupuncture & Moxibustion

When the body falls sick or is injured, it tries to heal itself.

If the body’s healing energies are weak, as when one’s immune system is low, the cause or causes of the illness can overwhelm the body’s resources and the body cannot overcome the illness completely and will not heal efficiently. With time, the illness may worsen or it becomes chronic and the body has difficulty returning to full health.

If a body is under frequent or constant stress or is subjected to a severe stress situation, its organ systems cannot work the way they are supposed to. For example, stress frequently causes the stomach to develop digestive problems. Tension and migraine headache may occur. Often, even after the stressful situations have resolved, the body continues to be ill. It is as if hurricane Katrina had hit, and even after it is gone, the damage it had caused is left behind. It takes a lot of effort and time for the body to recover completely.

If a muscular or joint injury is severe and the body needs time to heal but we don’t give it sufficient time to heal completely and by our activities aggravate the injury and the body cannot stay ahead of the damage, then the injury becomes chronic. The surface may heal somewhat but underneath the injured part, we know that it isn’t “quite the way it used to be, and we have to be careful” That’s because the injury is not completely healed.

This is where Acupuncture comes to the rescue. The purpose of acupuncture is to promote and speed-up the natural healing of the body. It restores the body’s internal environment to a balanced and healthy state.

In this balanced and healthy state, the body can efficiently send the needed bio-chemicals to repair the injured muscle or joint.  It will boost the body’s immune system and direct the healing bio-chemicals to overcome the illness. When stress speeds up the body’s function excessively, acupuncture will slow it down to what it should be or if a body is too sluggish, acupuncture will speed-up the body’s metabolism and other functions.  It will restore the body to a balanced state so that it functions properly and optimally. It is then said to be in a state of harmony.

Very basically, acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles on acupuncture points
in order to access the body’s energy or Qi (pronounced chee). When this qi is accessed, there is a sensation which is called “duh Qi” which means the “arrival of Qi”. This sensation is the body’s working to heal itself. This sensation may be felt as a distension, a warmth, a slight tingling, a mild numbness, a heaviness, a pressure, etc. This promotes and speeds natural healing. It often is quite a relaxing experience as the treatment puts the body in balance.

The acupuncture needles that I use are extremely fine and made of stainless steel. They are sterile and disposable. Acupuncture points are specific locations on the body’s surface where the energy or qi (pronounced chee) of the body comes to the surface of the skin and is more easily accessible.

Moxibustion is the burning of the herb, Moxa  (Artemesia Vulgaris) to produce heat that penetrates into the body in order to influence the physiological functioning of the body. The moxa does not touch the skin. Moxa strengthens the body and eliminates cold stagnation. It is used only for certain conditions.

The number of treatments depend on two things – one – your general health, the healthier you are, the faster you heal and two – the severity of your problem – the more severe, the more treatments will be needed for it to be completely resolved.


Sometimes, electro-acupuncture is used. This is the attachment of wires to the needles and a very small amount of electrical impulses is transmitted to the needles. This very low power, a few micro-amperes, pulses the needles. The pulsing needle stimulates the qi through the acupuncture point. Many people have experienced this sensation .with the use of the TENS units. The patient feels a very gentle tapping or pulsing. Many like the feeling. 


acupuncture needle

Acupuncture Points

Head with acu points

herb artemisia vulgaris






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