Other Benefits of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Longevity Medicine

In addition to treating disease, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be used to maximize health, promoting longevity and a higher quality of life. On a big scale, this system contains dietary and lifestyle guidelines that can be used to synchronize yourself with the cycles and rhythms of the natural world. On an individual level, this system recognizes that we are unique individuals with unique needs for optimal wellness. The focus of longevity medicine is to nourish tissues, build energy reserves, and strengthen the internal organs by using things like 5-element nutrition, acupuncture, and herbal medicine.

Acupuncture for Prevention and Longevity

Disease Prevention

Chinese medicine is excellent at identifying and correcting conditions, even when symptoms are vague or medical tests are inconclusive. This system has an extensive framework for interpreting the earliest stages of imbalance and disease and has treatments that can neutralize them before they have time to advance and take root. Chinese medicine also understands that we all inherit certain strengths and weaknesses. Our strengths protect us from diseases but our genetic weaknesses predispose us to them. By using things like acupuncture and herbal medicine we can compensate for our weaknesses and keep disease at bay. By taking a more holistic approach and treating the underlying cause of disease instead. 

Symptom Management

Some of us have conditions for which there is no cure. Examples include genetic conditions and chronic symptoms that have resulted from life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Often, western medicine has no treatment for these sorts of conditions or the treatment is risky, has low efficacy, or comes with unwanted side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are viable alternatives, offering ways to treat these types of conditions that are gentle and non-invasive. They can also be used alongside more conventional treatments, enhancing positive outcomes by acting as supportive, complementary therapies.

Cancer Support

There are many benefits to using acupuncture as a complementary therapy for cancer care. Some of the symptoms that can be minimized include nausea, vomiting, anxiety, low energy, hot flashes, lymphedema, and depression. It is also good for many different types of pain including cancer pain, post-surgical pain, muscle and joint pain from aromatase inhibitors, and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. I have been honored to be entrusted with the care of many cancer patients. Whether terminal or in remission, I can attest to the value of acupuncture in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Palliative Care

I have a special interest in palliative care, treatments that aim to provide comfort, not cure. In 2021 I completed a certification with the National Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Acupuncturists, making me one of only seven professional members trained in this specialty in the state of North Carolina. In 2022 and 2023 I volunteered at Care Partner's Solace Hospice. My desire to do this came after the realization that hospice is the most integrative branch of Western medicine. I have always believed that the more people on your healthcare team the better and that integrative medicine is the future. 


Tonification is a very special and important concept for which there is no equivalent in Western medicine. It is based on the idea that it is possible to increase your vitality by strengthening systems, improving organ function, nourishing tissues, and replenishing energy reserves. Both acupuncture and herbs can be used to tonify, and they are often combined for optimal effect. Conditions that respond well to tonification are usually marked by what we call "deficiency," especially low energy. This includes Western medical diagnoses like adrenal fatigue, ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, anemia, leaky gut syndrome, and any other type of conditions where there is depletion or an organ or system is under-functioning.


When you think about all of the processed foods, stimulants, intoxicants, recreational drugs, and pharmaceuticals that we ingest, not to mention all of the environmental toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis, it's easy to understand why we sometimes need detoxification. Though our liver and kidneys are excellent at filtering out and neutralizing toxins, at a certain point even they can become overwhelmed. This is especially true with exposure to novel lab-manufactured chemicals. Since these are relatively new inventions in the timeline of human evolution, our organs of detoxification are not always able to identify and process them. When this happens they are stored in our tissues, gradually building up over time. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and 5-element nutrition can assist our internal organs, helping them to clear out the accumulated toxins. There is even a special category of herbs for this that "clear heat," reducing our toxin load and the systemic acidification and inflammation that comes with it.
"Excellent experience! Dr. Nancy has helped me tremendously. She made sense of the challenges I've had with my body, and implemented a treatment program that has enabled me to function much better. I learn something every time I go. Would recommend to everyone!" ~Sam Lewis
West Asheville Acupuncture
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