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Classical Chinese Medicine Modalities

While the defining image of Chinese medicine for most Westerners is the acupuncturist’s needles, that represents only a fraction of the philosophy and practice of the world’s oldest intact system of healing. The primary distinguishing feature of the classical Chinese medicine (CCM) approach is that it harvests a practitioner’s thought on why, when and how a therapeutic modality should be used. This approach is especially suited to give new insights into the treatment of chronic diseases that are difficult to cure or even diagnose. Book a treatment at our health centers.

The most common Chinese medicine treatment modalities include:


A method of acupressure, where a vacuum is created on a patient’s skin to help relieve stagnation. Using a glass cup pressed against the skin, a vacuum is created by air heated with fire. As the air cools in the cup, a vacuum forms that pulls up on the skin, stimulating the acupressure effect. Cupping is often used to treat respiratory ailments as well as back, neck and musculoskeletal pain.

Herbal formulas

Herbs are matched to the needs of each patient; the practitioner will prescribe a custom formula with each ingredient carefully balanced in quantity for maximum efficacy. Formulas are generally mixed with hot water to drink as a tea.

Herbal poultices

A topical treatment prescribed to relieve inflammation, pain or aching. An herb mixture is often combined with a small amount of water, heated, applied to the skin, and then covered with a bandage.


This therapy uses moxa (an herb) to warm body areas and acupuncture points with the intent of stimulating circulation and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi. The moxa is typically ground and processed into a small stick, which is lit and then smoldered near the skin.


This meditative practice uses slow, graceful movement to promote circulation of qi and enhance overall health. Qigong combines movement, breathing and meditation to store and focus energy for personal mastery and for healing oneself and others.


A traditional hands-on therapy that originated in Japan. This form of acupressure involves the practitioner’s fingers and palm applying pressure to certain sections of a patient’s body in order to correct any imbalances and to maintain and promote health.


A combination of massage, stretching and manipulation to promote the flow of qi. The practitioner may brush, knead, rub and roll/press the areas between the joints to move the energy in the body.