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What is Chinese medicine?
How can it help?

Read the descriptions below, or book a complimentary phone consultation by calling or texting us at 208-278-2972.

Chinese medicine has been proven over thousands of years to benefit physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual issues. It is a complete medical system which uses acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbalism, nutritional guidance, and other modalities to improve well-being, prevent disease, and diagnose and treat illness.


Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body by insertion of very fine, sterile, stainless steel needles to elicit a predictable physiological response. This stimulus may also be administered to the points using mild electrical stimulation (with or without needles), pressure techniques with the hands (acupressure), or the application of heat by various methods.

Acupuncturists assess a patient’s syndrome or pattern of disharmony by using a set of diagnostic skills that involve four areas: questioning, palpation, visual inspection, and olfactory-auditory data collection. An acupuncturist determines the necessary treatment principle and strategy to prompt the patient back to functional harmony by discriminating the exact pattern of the body’s physiological response to pathogenic factors.

The acupuncturist’s skill at determining the appropriate points to treat is based upon their ability to accurately distinguish the presenting pattern, knowledge of correct points to address that pattern, and knowledge of the proper type of stimulus for each point. The possession of this knowledge and skills is the key distinction between a professional certified acupuncturist and other health care providers who employ acupuncture only as a modality (stimulating points for their general effect without adjusting their choice of points to the specific patient’s need).

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage that is rooted in Chinese medicine theory. It utilizes the hands, thumb, or other body parts to apply direct pressure on various points or channels in the body. It is performed through loose clothing and does not use oils.


Shiatsu treats the human body/mind/spirit, including the electromagnetic or energetic field, which surrounds, infuses, and brings that body to life, by pressure and/or manipulation.

Shiatsu does not require the use of needles, which is the ideal therapy for children and those who are apprehensive about receiving acupuncture treatments. Many Chinese medicine practitioners use acupressure and other massage techniques instead of acupuncture for these patients with excellent results.

Chinese Herbalism

Chinese herbalism is one of the primary modalities within the scope of Chinese medicine.

Chinese herbalism includes treatment with substances such as plants, roots, minerals and more. Like acupuncture, Chinese herbalism has evolved as an integral part of Chinese medicine and is used to re-harmonize imbalances in the body.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines herbal medicines to include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products that contain as active ingredients parts of plants, or other plant materials, or combinations. Chinese formulas are comprised of herbs designed for each individual patient. This special formulation is crucial because these formulas must be delicately composed for the purpose of achieving balance in each disharmonious state of being. Even small deviations in dosage or herb composition can change the entire focus of the formula and therefore, the results.

It is very important that consumers are aware of the risks associated with purchasing herbs directly from vendors without seeking the advice of a qualified Chinese herbalism practitioner. These risks can include adverse drug interaction when using herbs without consultation and the potential of receiving inferior herbs from vendors. 


Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy that entails the burning of mugwort leaves. This is a small, spongy herb that enhances healing with acupuncture. As such, the leaves are burnt close to the skin’s surface using an unscented incense stick to apply heat.‌


Moxibustion is another primary modality within the scope of Chinese medicine. Its purpose is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi or energy, and maintain good health. ‌

According to Chinese medicine, an increase in the circulation of Qi can help your body deal with a broad range of issues, including digestive problems and chronic pain.

Cupping &
Gua Sha

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a trained professional puts special cups, which can be made of glass, bamboo or silicone, on the skin for a few minutes to create suction. The suction created by the cups removes toxins from the body, reduces pain and inflammation, increases blood flow, and promotes overall relaxation and well-being much like a deep tissue massage.

Similar to cupping, gua sha involves stimulating the skin to remove toxins from the body and reduce pain and inflammation. With gua sha, a trained professional uses a smooth-edged tool to stroke the skin while they press on it. This motion raises small, red, rash-like dots that show under your skin called petechiae.

Chinese medicine practitioners use cupping and gua sha to treat chronic pain all over the body. They often do it alongside other complementary treatments like acupuncture, bodywork, and moxibustion.

Holistic Nutrition 

Holistic nutrition takes an integrative approach to health, looking beyond food to consider other areas of life that need nourishment, like career, physical activity, and relationships. Certified holistic nutrition health coaches empower clients to better their health by providing a safe space to explore all aspects of their well-being for a deeper understanding of health.

Copyright Notice: The information provided above is not all original content of Sun Valley Mobile Acupuncture. Some of the written content on treatment modalities was copied and shared from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, or medically reviewed articles provided by

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