Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Better known as TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine is the study of integrative medicine draws on the 2,500-year history of Chinese medicine which views the mind, body, and spirit as a single interrelated system. Modalities included in TCM are: Herbal Medicine, Tuina Medical Massage, Acupressure, Cupping Therapy, Acupuncture, and many more! At HLHC our Licensed Acupuncturist Christopher Thompson works with a focus on Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine for most patients needs and may recommend additional modalities when indicated. 

Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine are two of the most well-known therapies within Traditional Chinese Medicine and their use is on the rise in the United States. With origins in ancient medical practices, acupuncture and herbal medicine have become increasingly accepted within modern health care and many are turning to TCM to provide results and solutions rather than masking issues and symptoms.

A holistic practice, Chinese medicine focuses on healing the root causes of disease in addition to treating symptoms. It is non-invasive, patient-centered care for the promotion of health and well-being.

To learn more about the unique aspects of care you can expect to receive and what is entailed in an appointment with Chris, we welcome you to explore the rest of the page and to visit our blog for creative insights straight from Chris and our wellness team. 

If you are ready to book your own TCM session please click below.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

What to expect from your 1st visit

Appointments generally last about 1 hour. It’s best not to come to your appointment on a full or empty stomach. Please arrive approximately 30 minutes before your appoint to fill out new patient forms. Alternatively, you may download the forms here and bring them filled out before arriving. The acupuncturist will check you in and, after reviewing the intake forms, may ask you a series of detailed questions about your health problems and symptoms, feel your pulse on both wrists, and look at your tongue. After the consultation, the acupuncturist will ask you to remove your shoes and socks and lie down on the table. You may be asked to remove other articles of clothing depending on what area will be receiving treatment. For your comfort and convenience, we offer clean medical gowns that can been worn during the treatment. After swabbing the various acupuncture sites with alcohol, the acupuncturist will insert very thin, sterile, disposable filaments. Although some points are more sensitive than others, the patient will usually feel little to no sensation or discomfort. The metal filaments will be left in for approximately 15-30 minutes. During this time, the practitioner may check on you several times. Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing; however, should you experience any pain or discomfort, please alert your practitioner right away so that any adjustments can be made. If your practitioner thinks it would be beneficial to your treatment, they may make recommendations for herbal formulas, dietary changes, and/or types or changes in exercise.

After your treatment

Plan to take it easy after your treatment. Sometimes after treatment you may feel a little lightheaded or “woozy”. If this is the case, please sit and relax for a while in the waiting area. After a few minutes, you will be relaxed and clear-headed. Herbal prescriptions are intended only for whom they were prescribed and may be inappropriate or harmful to someone else even if they have received the same diagnosis. Very rarely, symptoms may become worse after an acupuncture treatment. This is often a sign that previously dormant conditions are being awakened so that complete healing may occur. This should pass quickly. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Chinese Medicine Herbs
Acupuncture close up

Healing in Tune with Nature

Natural Healing, we believe, works by seeking to find the root cause of a problem, not just the symptoms. By promoting the body's self-healing capabilities, health can be restored and maintained. The self-healing capacity of the body works most effectively when there is harmony: physically, emotionally, structurally, functionally and mentally.

We believe that conventional medicine is also important, and we work with doctors, specialists and counselors from other clinics in Hong Kong. These professionals may refer you to one of our practitioners for alternative or complementary therapies, and we may likewise refer you to other health professionals for conventional or complementary treatment.

Intention of Care

Our aim is to provide the best treatment plan for your individual needs. The treatments that you receive at the Highland Lakes Health Club will empower you to take part in your own healing path to help restore your health, wellbeing and vitality.

Acupuncture old book

Frequently Asked Questions


What is acupuncture?

The most well-known traditional Chinese medical procedure, acupuncture is the practice of inserting sterilized, stainless-steel needles (that are often as fine as a human hair) into the body at specific points to relieve pain or treat a disease. Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. They have been mapped out by the Chinese over a period of more than 2,000 years.


Does acupuncture work?

There is increasing scientific evidence proving the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of medical ailments including chemotherapy-induced nausea, autoimmune disorders, chronic back pain, hypertension and allergic rhinitis. The World Health Organization recognizes almost a hundred diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture is effective. Much of the research on acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is being conducted by universities, research institutions, and the National Institutes of Health.


What is the history of acupuncture?

The earliest recorded use of acupuncture dates from 200 BCE. Knowledge of acupuncture spread from China along Arab trade routes towards the West. Up until the early 1970s, however, most Americans had never heard of acupuncture. Acupuncture was formally recognized as part of mainstream medicine’s range of healing options in 1997, when the National Institutes of Health issued a statement documenting its safety and efficacy for a range of health conditions. The use of acupuncture is on the rise in the United States. Between 1997 and 2007 the number of visits among adults nearly tripled, rising from 27.2 to 79.2 per 1,000 adults. According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), approximately 3.1 million adults in the United States used acupuncture in 2006, a 47 percent increase from the 2002 estimate.

Acupuncture Session

How does acupuncture work?

The insertion of needles into specific points can alter biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Research suggests that the needling process, and other modalities used in acupuncture, may produce their complex effects on a wide variety of ways in the brain and the body. For example, it is theorized that stimulated nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, thus activating parts of the central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release certain hormones responsible for making us feel better overall and, more specifically, feel less pain.


What conditions can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture is particularly effective for pain relief and for post-surgery and chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting. In addition, both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses. A partial list includes: addiction (such as alcoholism), asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, fibromyalgia, headaches, irregular periods, low back pain, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, sinusitis, stroke rehabilitation, tendonitis, tennis elbow, and urinary problems such as incontinence. You can safely combine acupuncture with prescription drugs and other conventional treatments.

Assortment of Pills

What is Chinese herbal medicine?

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine consists of over 11,500 substances derived from plant, animal, and mineral sources. The use of these substances can be traced back to 1,000 BC. Over the past 3,000 years, an incredibly rich and powerful system of medicine has been created. During this time, classical herbal formulas that are effective for many health concerns have been developed. The herbs are available in the form of herbal teas, liquid extracts, tablets, capsules, granules, lotions, creams, salves, or poultices.

Herbal Medicine

What kinds of problems does Chinese herbal medicine treat?

Chinese herbal medicine treats the full range of human disease, acute illness, like flu and the common cold, to chronic disease, such as allergies, gynecological disorders, autoimmune diseases, chronic viral diseases, and degenerative diseases due to aging. Compared to acupuncture, Chinese herbs treat deeper diseases. Herbs can also help to maintain or create balance and health before disease sets in.

Natural Herbs