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Acupuncture is an ancient, effective, and noninvasive system of medical treatment that has been used over 3,000 years to help billions of people get well and stay healthy, without drugs or costly surgery. Acupuncture involves the use of fine, sterile needles to stimulate various pressure points throughout the body. These needles promote natural healing by boosting the body’s immune system and enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), good health depends on our body’s vital energy, called “Qi” (pronounced CHEE). When we have abundant and free flowing Qi, we have energy and are less likely to have illnesses. Consequently when our Qi becomes depleted, we are more likely to feel sick. When our Qi becomes blocked, pain and disease may develop.

Acupuncture needles are used to access and rebalance the body’s energy. The needles can remove blockages in the body, reduce pain, increase energy, and assist our body in healing disease. Thus, allowing our energy and circulation to move more freely. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of physical and emotional problems.

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.

The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. This is why acupuncture works well for all types of pain in the body.

Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, but they also regulate serotonin in the brain, which plays a role in human and animal disposition. Thus depression, anxiety and other problems related with stress are often treated with acupuncture.

Physiologically acupuncture increases circulation, decreases inflammation, relieves pain and muscle spasms and increases T-cell count, which stimulates the immune system.

Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Some common conditions treated by Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can be found here.

No! Acupuncture needles are tiny, thin and flexible, about the size of a cat’s whisker. Patients are often surprised that acupuncture is relatively painless! They usually report that needles create very little to no sensation at all, and within a few minutes they become so profoundly relaxed that they often fall asleep during the treatment and awaken feeling very calm and refreshed.

Patients normally feel relaxed, calm but focused and energized. You may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours if the experience is particularly strong. Rarely but on occasion, you may also experience a short term flare-up of symptoms in the healing process. After a session, it is a good idea to take it easy and relax. Avoid big meals, vigorous exercise, alcohol, and stressful situations.

The number of visits will depend upon the duration of disease, the severity of the symptoms, and the state of your overall health. The suggested treatments will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.

There are a variety of techniques used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Below are a few that are typically used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance its effects. 

Electro-Acupuncture: Acupuncture needles are used to conduct small electrical currents. This technique has been proven to decrease pain, accelerate healing, and significantly reduce inflammation, edema, and swelling.

Moxibustion: A technique in which a Chinese herb called mugwort or Artemisia Vulgaris is used to heat an acupuncture point. Moxa is usually rolled into a stick, lit, and held over specific areas of the body. Moxa can also be placed onto the handle of an acupuncture needle or placed directly on the skin for deeper penetration of heat.

Cupping: In cupping, a glass or plastic cup is suctioned onto the body and kept in place or moved around for 5-10 minutes. Cupping stimulates circulation and relieves swelling.

Gua Sha: A technique which involves palpation and cutaneous stimulation in which the skin is pressed by a round-edged instrument; Gua Sha is used to prevent and treat diseases and strengthen the body.

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Our office works by appointment only. Appointments are available on Mondays through Fridays between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. We recommend that patients book at least a week in advance, but we happy to provide same-day treatments if our schedule permits! To book an appointment click here or email us at

Healing with Zen is located at 221 Walnut St. Suite 134, Pasadena, CA 91101. There is a paid parking lot behind the building off of Marengo Avenue. There is also meter parking along Garfield Avenue. The main entrance to the building will be in front of the paid parking lot. Our office is on the first floor, suite 134.

For our current fee schedule, please click here.

Healing with Zen is “in-network” with Blue Shield of California, however, is NOT part of the ASH network.

We do not bill insurance but are more than happy to provide Superbills for you to submit and get reimbursed directly from your insurance.

Healing with Zen is a fee-for service office, meaning all of our patients pay with cash or credit card at the time of service.

We also accept Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) which, in many cases, can be used for covering the cost of acupuncture treatments.

The initial visit will be subject to full payment upfront.