Important Information

When embarking on a new treatment plan it’s helpful for both long-term and first-time patients to have as much information about techniques and practices they will experience as possible. Depending on your needs, your Integrative Healing Arts treatment program may include some or all of these techniques and protocols. If you have any questions about the treatments we use, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’d be delighted to share with you!


What we treat

Which conditions do you treat?

Integrative Healing Arts offers acupuncture, massage therapy and herbal medicine programs to promote and maintain general wellness.  The practice specializes in Acupuncture for Fertility, Sports Medicine Acupuncture and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, but we also offer treatment programs for successful treatment of a wide range of specific conditions and illnesses.  Please visit COMMON CONDITIONS for a list of the most common conditions we treat. If you don’t see your condition here, don’t worry - it’s probable that we can help you. Contact us for more information.


Massage Therapy

What kinds of massage therapy do you use?

Tsao uses a variety of effective massage therapies to treat her patients. These different styles may be used alone or in conjunction in treatment plans.

Massage Techniques

Anma Gentle pressure and circular motions along meridians and acupressure points, releasing tension. Anma can also be used as a diagnostic treatment to determine which meridians and acupuncture points should be needled.

Sotai ho A Japanese form of physical therapy and bone structure adjustment. It is neuromuscular re-education through breathing and movements, untwisting muscular holding patterns. This balances the nervous and muscular systems. Sotai ho literally means “work (or manipulate) body way (or method).”

Tuina Chinese massage that literally translates as “push press”. It is considered a form of “bone setting” because as the soft tissues are manipulated the tension around the joints is able to relax, enabling the “bones” to “set”. Many types of pain is muscles imbalances and tendinous attachments around the joints. Many martial artists practice Tuina because it is effective in treating pain and the effects of traumatic injury.


About Acupuncture

Acupuncture Techniques

Acupuncture is a powerful form of healing and part of a system of healthcare practices which date back more than 5000 years to ancient China. The foundation of this form of medicine is based on the ancient Taoist principles of Yin and Yang, the transformation of energies within the body as well as the external environment to achieve balance. Acupuncture uses the application of needles to stimulate various points on meridians on the body, facilitating the movement of Qi, or “life force”. Stimulating these points helps bring the body into balance by activating and supporting the immune system, thus boosting the body’s ability to heal itself.

What happens during a treatment and what does it feel like?

  1. Using a guide tube, pre-sterilized disposable needles are gently inserted in an acupuncture point along a meridian.
  2. The acupuncture needle is stimulated to obtain “Qi” sensation. Sensations vary from heaviness, warmth, “dull achiness”, numbness or tingling in the area of insertion.
  3. Another acupuncture point is carefully palpated before needle insertion.
  4. Patient experiences deep relaxation during acupuncture treatment.

Styles and Techniques

Japanese Style acupuncture, particularly based on the teachings of Kiiko Matsumoto, focuses on Hara diagnosis (palpation of the abdomen) and palpation of the meridians to determine which acupuncture points to “needle”. The use of moxibustion, ion pumping cords and pachi pachi may also be used stimulate acupuncture points and promote the flow of Qi.

Traditional Chinese acupuncture uses various diagnostic methods for determining which acupuncture points to use. These include tongue and pulse diagnosis and meridian palpation. The use of moxabustion and cupping may also be used in conjunction with needles.

American Style Acupuncture refers to APM (Acupuncture Physical Medicine) and is a protocol developed by Dr. Mark Seem, founder of Tri-State College of Acupuncture. This style uses classical acupuncture and Western physical medicine to focus on the individual’s unique “holding pattern”. Trigger point style needling is used on tender points to release myofascial constrictions. This is especially effective with musculo-skeletal, tendino-muscular problems, as well as both chronic and acute injuries.

Acupuncture Glossary

Moxibustion: The use of an herb (mugwort) that is burned directly or indirectly on the acupuncture point, warming the area and promoting circulation and the flow of Qi. Moxa can be used with needles or alone. Its effects are warming and soothing.

Cupping: Cupping is a therapy in which a jar or glass cup is attached to the surface of the skin creating suction. This brings congested or stagnant Qi and blood towards the surface promoting free flow of Qi and blood. In ancient times the cupping method was called “horn method” because an animal horn was used instead of a glass vessel.

Gua Sha: Is a frictioning/scraping technique used bring “Sha” to the skin surface. “Sha” is congestion in the skin and in the tissue below that causes pain and stiffness. Gua Sha is applied with a rounded tool - a soup spoon, a buffalo horn made for this purpose, or a metal lid. When “Sha” comes to the surface there is a warm feeling and the skin will have reddish discoloration and petichia. This is not painful and the redness disappears in a day or so.


What about Western Medicine?

In recent years, practitioners of Western medicine have become more interested in Acupuncture and other Eastern medical treatments, especially in cases where Western medicine has proven less effective. They probably have noticed the impact and success of acupuncture in pain management, post chemotherapy conditions, addiction treatment and AIDS symptom relief. Many hospitals are starting to incorporate acupuncture into some of their treatment programs.

Despite increased interest and the inroads being made, many Western medical doctors still have little experience or more than surface knowledge about Acupuncture or Chinese medicine and its efficacy.

We respect Western medicine and will work with western medical practitioners to offer our patients a broad perspective of treatment possibilities so they can make their own informed healthcare decisions.


Training, License & Certification


Who can perform Acupuncture?

To receive a license requires a minimum of 3,000 hours of training in an accredited 3-year Master's-level acupuncture program (Master’s of Science in Acupuncture). The course includes a combination of classroom and clinical training and includes:

  • Safe and effective patient care and diagnosis.
  • Diagnostic techniques of both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western medicine are both taught.
  • Selecting the appropriate treatment with a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs and lifestyle counseling.
  • Application of acupuncture techniques in safe and appropriate ways.
  • Integration of Eastern and Western medical techniques for the purpose of informing the practice of acupuncture, communicating with other medical professional and making appropriate medical referrals when necessary.

After passing the National Board Certification Exam, a license can be obtained from the state. Medical doctors and Dentists who have undergone an accredited certificate program of 300 hours may also perform acupuncture.