Acupuncture &
Herbal Medicine


When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
–Lao Tzu

 

Acupuncture



The over-2,000-year-old practice (some say up to 5,000 years old!) of tapping needles into people’s bodies in order to cure their ailments is growing in the West at an unprecedented rate. Though modern studies are just beginning in the field of scientific research, they are confirming what the people of Eastern Asia have known to be true for thousands of years: that acupuncture is effective for treating a vast range of conditions, from physical pain to emotional pain, from women’s health to athletic injury.

The needles we use today are sterile, one-time use, and much, much thinner than you will find at your M.D.’s office. Many people report not even feeling them go in, and some say it feels like a mosquito bite–but without the incessant itching afterward.

If the thought of needles makes you queasy, non-insertive techniques and modalities are available. Just ask!

Herbal Medicine



The ancient Chinese materia medica contains well over 350 herbs and is one of the oldest systems of internal medicine in the world. Over the past several thousand years, scholars have formulated elegant prescriptions to treat conditions ranging from the common cold to paralysis, from anxiety and insomnia to manic depression.

Prescription of these formulas in PA is licensed only to educated practitioners who have passed the national board exam, which covered over 300 herbs, formulas, modifications, dosing, pharmacological interactions, and other safety considerations. Not all acupuncturists prescribe herbs, but as someone who worked for a master herbalist before enrolling in acupuncture school, Laura is a strong believer in the powerful capabilities of this branch of East Asian Medicine. She practices the prescription of herbs with reverence and care.


Cupping uses suction to relax muscles and improve circulation. It is often done on athletes to improve performance and leaves those funny (temporary) circular red marks.

Burning mugwort very close to the skin to stimulate circulation and penetrate its healing properties deeply into the body. You can think of this ancient practice as the "original infrared."

Guasha means essentially "scraping and expelling unnecessary energy," and is a method of working out muscle tension at a deep level.

 

What can acupuncture and herbs treat?



Just about anything! This was the primary medicine in East Asia for thousands of years - they figured a lot out. At Bridges, we believe in the power of Integrative Medicine, and although some conditions are best treated alongside modern Western Medicine, whatever conditions you want to discuss will be considered in your treatment plan.

To give you a sense of scope, here's a list of examples of conditions that people see East Asian Medical practitioners to address:

Anxiety Insomnia Digestive issues and weight loss Chronic Pain Acute injuries Bell's palsy Facial rejuvenation Allergies Immune support Autoimmune support Fibromyalgia Depression Surgery preparation and recovery Hair loss Infertility Women's health issues Sexual issues Headaches and migraines Stress Chronic Fatigue

Does acupuncture hurt?



Not usually. Sometimes, in more sensitive areas, you might feel a quick pinprick, but the sensation dissipates quickly.

More often, people report not feeling the insertion at all - one person even remarked how amazed they were that they fell asleep while the needles were going in!

 

Does my insurance cover acupuncture?



Some insurance companies will cover acupuncture, yes. However, at Bridges we are no longer accepting insurance as payment for services. It's a game that we played for a while, hoping to be able to better serve the community, but at this point it's just not healthy for the business with all the time and frustration involved.

That said, we are still committed to treating anyone who needs it, regardless of ability to pay. If you are having trouble affording the care you need, talk with us and we'll make use of the Community Fund.

 

I am the wilderness before the dawn. –Dao De Jing