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Five Element Acupunctue

Services and Prices​

  • Initial Intake and Acupuncture Treatment- $90- 90 minutes

    • Appointments may include cupping, gua sha (also known as scraping), 5-10 min of massage and/or acupressure​, and moxa. For patients with insurance that only covers the acupuncture procedure, non-acupuncture modalities will be charged at $10-25 sliding scale (your choice) per your prior consent.

  • Follow-up Acupuncture Treatment- $75, 60 minutes

    • ​Appointments may include cupping, gua sha (also known as scraping), 5-10 min of massage and/or acupressure​, and moxa. For patients with insurance that only covers the acupuncture procedure, non-acupuncture modalities will be charged at $10-25 sliding scale (your choice) per your prior consent.

  • Nutritional and/or Herbal Assessment and Counseling Add-on-$50 for 30 min


Acupuncture is a treatment using the insertion of sterile, filiform needles into specific points that lie along networks of energy (qi) flow and cellular communication, called meridians. These points influence areas of the body, internal organs, and body systems, with the purpose of promoting homeostasis. Homeostasis is the ability to maintain a stable internal physiological environment amidst the stressors from an unstable external environment. Maintaining homeostasis allows one to live in an ever-changing world while maintaining physical, emotional, and spiritual balance. It is also the state in which the body needs to be for healing to occur. The goal of acupuncture, and ultimately the whole system of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is to promote and maintain homeostasis in the body. Francesca uses sterile, stainless-steel, single-use needles which are relatively painless, and can accomodate those who may be more sensitive than others. Acupuncture needles have a diameter not much bigger than a human hair. It is normal to feel a stronger initial sensation as the needle enters the skin, but within a few seconds to a minute the sensation subsides. Other mild sensations may follow, such as a slight heaviness, dullness, slight ache, pressure, tingling, or some other sensation that may occur around the site of insertion or may extend to another body part or area--this is completely normal. Francesca practices careful and attentive needle technique to ensure a pleasant acupuncture experience.

Click here for a biomedical perspective of acupuncture.

Five Element Acupuncture

This is a style of acupuncture that is especially useful for the psycho-emotional aspect of a physical imbalance because the emotions are used to determine a diagnosis, based on the five elements and their correspondences. It was brought to the West by Dr. J.R. Worsley,who apprenticed in Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore and developed this system based on the information that was shared with him. Five element acupuncture diagnoses and treats based on the states of the five element archetypes--Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, which manifest in both nature and in the human body-mind-spirit. This system includes unique treatments that can address stress more directly, whether from current or past traumas.


This technique involves creating a vacuum in sterile glass, bamboo, or plastic jars and placing them on particular areas of the body. The result is the underlying tissue, including the skin, muscles, and fascia, are sucked or pulled into the cup. This can be thought of as the inverse of massage. This stimulates the flow of blood, lymph, and qi in the affected area to relieve stagnation and pain and loosen any tightness.

Nutritional Therapy

Most health conditions are a direct result of diet and nutrition. When diet is corrected, significant improvements in health will nearly always be made. Western nutrition focuses on the vitamin, mineral, and general nutrient properties of food, which leads to fad diets and confusing changes and disputes over what constitutes a healthy diet. Eastern tradition adds another dimension by classifying foods according to their physical and elemental natures, which correspond to flavor, temperature, moving tendency, and function. Foods are chosen based on their therapeutic function in a specific case. A patient’s dietary recommendations will depend upon the natures of their unique individual constitution, health condition, and medical history.

Herbal Therapy

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine is a vital part of the holistic system of TCM. It refers to the use of plants, flowers, minerals, and sometimes animal products as sources for healing, each of which have specific actions, qualities, and elemental natures. They are typically combined to create a carefully balanced formula, which assists the body in harmonizing the particular imbalances that underlie a health condition. There are many traditional formulas to choose from. Formulas are concentrated sources of nutrition and therapeutic molecular constituents, which give the body the substance it needs to reach one’s desired health goal and strengthens response to acupuncture and the other modalities. Francesca never uses endangered animals or plants in her prescriptions.

Tui-Na Massage

Tui-na is a form of Asian bodywork that is the oldest known system of massage and is part of TCM. “Tui na” means “push and grasp” and involves a variety of techniques, including rolling, compression, pressing, kneading, and tapping. A tui-na massage treatment does not require the removal of clothing and is usually practiced with the patient fully clothed. Techniques and protocols are based on the patient’s internal condition as well as musculoskeletal complaints.

Biomedical Perspective of Acupuncture

From a biomedical perspective, acupuncture decreases pain, reduces physical and emotional stress, reduces inflammation, increases blood and lymph circulation, and regulates hormones and neurotransmitters, among other therapeutic effects. There have been decades of debate over “how acupuncture works”. Francesca is currently researching the relationship between acupuncture and the endocannabinoid system, which is relatively new area of study in the field of science. The endocannabinoid system is an endogenous physiological system that is of utmost importance because it appears to be the primary mediator of downstream physiological systems and processes, such as the endogenous opioid system and ion channels. It, so-to-speak, oversees the "tempo" of all the body’s other physiological systems. Francesca likes to give the analogy that it is like the conductor of an orchestra, in which all the different instrumental sections are the body’s other physiological systems (immune system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, nervous system, etc), and they each play a different part of the musical piece. The conductor must regulate the starting, stopping, volume, and tempo of each section to ensure harmonious music. If the conductor is unable to do her job properly, it will produce dissonance and discord. The endocannabinoid system may be the first  place where dysfunction creates a downstream chaotic situation that leads to a disease condition.

The endocannabinoid system is composed of endogenous cannabinoids (i.e. the body produces them using nutrients from the food we eat), receptors, and related enzymes. These receptors are found in most of the body’s organs and tissues as well as the brain and central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, immune system, gastrointestinal system, and nearly every other physiological system of the body. The majority of receptors are found in the presynaptic terminals of neurons, indicating their importance in initiating and regulating downstream processes. A recent study states that “the endocannabinoid system may be a primary mediator and regulatory factor of acupuncture’s beneficial effects” by influencing and upregulating the endocannabinoid system. ("The endocannabinoid system, a novel and key participant in acupuncture’s multiple beneficial effects" by Hu, B., et. al., 2017).


Acupuncture has been extensively researched up to this point, and there is plenty more research to be done. In its paper published in 2003, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the WHO recognizes 28 diseases, symptoms, or conditions that acupuncture has been proven, through clinical trials, to be an effective treatment:

  1. Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

  2. Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

  3. Biliary colic

  4. Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

  5. Dysentery, acute bacillary

  6. Dysmenorrhoea, primary

  7. Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)

  8. Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)

  9. Headache

  10. Hypertension, essential

  11. Hypotension, primary

  12. Induction of labour

  13. Knee pain

  14. Leukopenia

  15. Low back pain

  16. Malposition of fetus, correction of

  17. Morning sickness

  18. Nausea and vomiting

  19. Neck pain

  20. Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

  21. Periarthritis of shoulder

  22. Postoperative pain

  23. Renal colic

  24. Rheumatoid arthritis

  25. Sciatica

  26. Sprain

  27. Stroke

  28. Tennis elbow

The paper also lists diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has shown to benefit, but for which more scientific evidence is needed:

  1. Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)

  2. Acne vulgaris

  3. Alcohol dependence and detoxification

  4. Bell’s palsy

  5. Bronchial asthma

  6. Cancer pain

  7. Cardiac neurosis

  8. Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation

  9. Cholelithiasis

  10. Competition stress syndrome

  11. Craniocerebral injury, closed

  12. Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent

  13. Earache

  14. Epidemic haemorrhagic fever

  15. Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease) Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection

  16. Female infertility

  17. Facial spasm

  18. Female urethral syndrome

  19. Fibromyalgia and fasciitis

  20. Gastrokinetic disturbance

  21. Gouty arthritis

  22. Hepatitis B virus carrier status

  23. Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3) Hyperlipaemia

  24. Hypo-ovarianism

  25. Insomnia

  26. Labour pain

  27. Lactation, deficiency

  28. Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic

  29. Ménière disease

  30. Neuralgia, post-herpetic

  31. Neurodermatitis

  32. Obesity

  33. Opium, cocaine, and heroin dependence

  34. Osteoarthritis

  35. Pain due to endoscopic examination

  36. Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans

  37. Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)

  38. Postextubation in children

  39. Postoperative convalescence

  40. Premenstrual syndrome

  41. Prostatitis, chronic

  42. Pruritus

  43. Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome

  44. Raynaud syndrome, primary

  45. Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection

  46. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

  47. Retention of urine, traumatic

  48. Schizophrenia

  49. Sialism, drug-induced

  50. Sjögren syndrome

  51. Sore throat (including tonsillitis)

  52. Spine pain, acute

  53. Stiff neck

  54. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

  55. Tietze syndrome

  56. Tobacco dependence

  57. Tourette syndrome

  58. Ulcerative colitis, chronic

  59. Urolithiasis

  60. Vascular dementia

  61. Whooping cough (pertussis)


The paper also lists “Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:”


  1. Chloasma

  2. Choroidopathy, central serous

  3. Colour blindness

  4. Deafness

  5. Hypophrenia

  6. Irritable colon syndrome

  7. Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury

  8. Pulmonary heart disease, chronic

  9. Small airway obstruction

Biomedica Perspective of Acu
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