What Is Oriental Medicine/Acupuncture?
Discover More

Oriental Medicine/Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

Based on an ancient Chinese system of medicine, acupuncture is the practice of which fine needles are inserted into the skin along pathways called meridians or channels. These channels carry life force, which in Chinese Medicine is called Qi. These meridians are not blood vessels or nerve pathways but they nourish and maintain all aspects of the physical body.

The energy or qi flow can be blocked, deficient or in a state of excess when we are out of balance. Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific places that balance the energy flow, thus triggering the body into homeostasis: our natural healing mechanism.

In addition to relieving pain and treating chronic and acute systemic imbalances, acupuncture produces a peaceful state of relaxation, thus it is extremely beneficial for stress.

The profession has come a long way here in the West and is now recognized by most insurances. Positive clinical studies are abundant and contemporary. It is now customary to have acupuncture benefits be a primary requirement for choosing a health insurance policy.

    Chinese medicine evolved from the belief that true health results from balancing the entire system, which includes an interconnected mind and body and their environment. Yin and Yang, and their constant fluctuations of Energy occur within a never-ending circle of nature, so that all occurrences have a consequence, sometimes positive, sometimes negative.
    Meridians are invisible channels in your body in which Qi (the integration of Yin and Yang energies) flows. Meridians are a complex web of channels that branch out to smaller and smaller channels. Qi continually flows through these channels to create the wholeness of your body. Because Qi permeates the universe, meridians connect your internal body with the outside universe as well.
    From a Chinese medical point of view, your Qi flows through the meridian system of your body. Patterns of Energy are constantly in motion and strive to be in balance. The balance is achieved as Energy movement delivers nutrients and oxygen to nourish the body, and also removes toxins and metabolic waste. Toxins result from various sources: environmental, biological, biochemical, and physical.
    If the equilibrium of Qi is upset for any reason, there will be a slowing down of the Energy flow and the toxins and metabolic waste will not be sufficiently removed. When Qi becomes weakened, blocked or stagnated, this Energetic imbalance will result in illness and disease. To arrive at a diagnosis the Chinese doctor compiles a complete picture of you as a whole being Chinese medicine then uses:

Herbal medicine
Lifestyle counseling
Movement exercises
Other ancient healing methods
     To get the Qi flowing and correct the imbalance that caused the problem. Chinese medicine places all of its emphasis on the fact that you and all of your systems—body and mind—are a whole, interconnected and interdependent.

Herbal medicine
    Herbs are selected based upon your specific Chinese diagnosis. Each herb in a Chinese formula has multiple active ingredients that result in various effects on the body. Herbal formulas are usually brewed into a tea.

    Acupuncture is a Chinese medical technique that has been developed and refined for over 3,000 years. Acupuncture consists of inserting a number of very fine steel needles into the skin at specific meridian points for the therapeutic effect of reestablishing harmony within the Energetic systems.

--Taken from Ancient Herbs, Modern Medicine by Henry Han, OMD, Glenn Miller, MD and Nancy Deville.

Directory Listings

David Barton, L.Ac
Tai Chi instructor
Private, classes, seminars


Mary Tingaud, L.Ac.
1725 State Street

Santa Barbara, Ca. 93101

Find Out More about Mary
Learn more about thermography

Laurie Counihan Childs, OMD, DHM, LAc
Oriental medicine
1715 Pampas Ave.
Santa Barbara, Ca 93101

Find out more

Mark Ruskin, LAc

5121 Evalita Lane
Santa Barbara, Ca 93111

Bernard Unterman, LAc

Specializing in Pediatric Acupuncture

14 W. Micheltorena
Santa Barbara, Ca 93101

Find out more

Caroline White, LAc

Chineses Herbs
Nutritional Couseling

411 E. Canon Perdido
Suite 17
Santa Barbara 93101

Lonnie Wu, OMD, LAc, RN

4046 Foothill Rd
Santa Barbara, CA 93110


Mary Snyder, LAc, DAOMc
Integrated Acupuncture Services,
A Professional Corporation

16 West Mission Street, Suite B
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

805.705.1792 Office
805.456.0456 Fax
Find out more

Points of Health

Stacy Smith, L.Ac, Dipl. OM
Craig Rigsby, L.Ac, LMT
Erik Smith, L.Ac, Dipl. OM, MSN

2958 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105