Acupuncturist placing needles into a person's outer ear
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Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture is one treatment method of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a medical treatment system designed to promote overall health and balance.
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Acupuncture Treatments in Schaumburg and the Northwest Suburbs

Acupuncture is a primary treatment method within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the individual is seen as an integrated whole. Every aspect of your health and well-being is considered – home life, work life, diet and lifestyle – to understand what is affecting the healthy functioning of the whole person.

When I first went to Teri, I was scared of the needles and skeptical of whether acupuncture would work. At my first appointment, Teri’s calm and warm presence helped to soothe my anxiety about the needles. I soon realized that the acupuncture has helped me to work on issues that even my doctors had not been able to solve. Teri is professional and dedicated to her patients, and I always feel like I am in good hands with her. Four years later, I am still going to Calandra Center for Health and Wellness and look forward to every visit.

– Sara via Google Reviews

How can acupuncture treatments help?

Acupuncture treatments can help alleviate a range of conditions, including musculoskeletal and neurological pain, allergies, arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory ailments, high blood pressure, chronic stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression, infertility, menopausal symptoms, eye floaters, tinnitus, post-nasal drip, to name just a few.

A fear of needles is a common concern for people new to acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture needles are designed for gentle precision and are extremely thin (ranging in size from 0.12mm to 0.35mm in diameter). To put that in perspective, a standard hypodermic needle, which is used for injections, is 3 to 5 times bigger – typically around 0.4mm to 1.8mm in diameter.

acupuncture needles displayed with a matchstick for scale
For scale, from top to bottom: a matchstick, a standard hypodermic needle, an acupuncture needle

Acupuncture FAQs

What conditions can acupuncture help treat?

By stimulating meridians (“energy pathways”) via specific locations on your body (“points”), acupuncture treatments can help you achieve better health. Acupuncture helps the body to heal itself.

  • Musculoskeletal: Arthritis, back pain, muscle cramping, muscle pain/weakness, neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and sciatica pain
  • Neurological: headaches, neurogenic bladder dysfunction, postoperative pain, strokes, and Bell’s palsy
  • Digestive: Abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, bloating, and indigestion
  • Emotional: Anxiety, depression, insomnia, nervousness, easily angered, PTSD, and neurosis
  • Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat: Eye floaters, post-nasal drip, and tinnitus
  • Gynecological: Infertility, menopausal symptoms, PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, cysts, and premenstrual syndrome
  • Respiratory: Asthma, bronchitis, common cold, sinusitis, smoking cessation, and tonsillitis
  • Miscellaneous: Addiction, athletic performance/ sports recovery, blood pressure regulation, chronic fatigue, immune system strengthening, support during chemo or radiation therapy, and stress reduction

This list is by no means exhaustive! Please ask us about any conditions you don’t see listed. New acupuncture clients must schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation before their first appointment. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your health concerns and learn how your practitioner will work with you to resolve them.

What does acupuncture feel like?

People often think “needles” when they hear “acupuncture,” and wonder if it hurts. Acupuncture needles are very fine, sterile, painless and safe. Some say that at most they may feel a sensation of a mosquito bite if anything at all. The needles are the primary component of an acupuncture treatment. However, with NAET® Allergy Elimination acupressure is also available.

To achieve a therapeutic effect, needles will be left in for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 45 minutes, while you lie comfortably on a heated table. They are placed into certain acupuncture points on the body, either locally (at the part of the body needing treatment) or distally (away from location needing treatment). The needles are retained anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Most people find the treatment to be relaxing and calming, and take this opportunity to take a nap, regroup, and recharge.

How does acupuncture work?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture is believed to work by influencing the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), which is considered the vital energy or life force that circulates through the body along specific pathways called meridians. These meridians are connected to the organs and bodily functions.

Note: An organ name with a capital letter, for example “Heart,” refers to the TCM concept and meridian (or energetic pathway) of that name. The same organ named in the lowercase, as in “heart,” refers to the physiological organ or physiological structure.

Acupuncture points are located along these meridians, and by inserting thin needles into these points, practitioners aim to stimulate or balance the flow of Qi within the corresponding organ systems. Each acupuncture point has specific effects on the body’s energy flow and can be used to address various physical, emotional, and mental imbalances.

From a TCM perspective, illness or discomfort arises when there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi within the meridians. Disease or dysfunction is seen as a manifestation of being out of balance, not just physically, but in any aspect of life. Acupuncture helps to restore balance by clearing blockages, regulating Qi flow, and supporting the body’s natural healing processes.

TCM views the body as an interconnected energetic network of Organ Systems, where each Organ has its own functions and relationships with other Organs. Acupuncture points are selected based on their connections to specific Organs and their corresponding meridians. For example, points along the Liver meridian might be used to address issues related to liver function or emotional well-being, while points on the Stomach meridian could be used for digestive issues.

Overall, acupuncture in TCM aims to promote harmony and balance within the Organ systems, supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself and maintain optimal health.

How is my acupuncture treatment unique to my symptoms?

Your licensed acupuncturist uses the entire framework of TCM to understand your symptoms and to decide which other forms of treatment, such as herbal medicine or cupping, to use in addition to acupuncture. Your acupuncturist’s holistic approach produces what is known as your TCM Diagnostic Pattern, which represents the total picture of your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The TCM Diagnostic Pattern guides the treatment you receive, including where the needles are placed. This is why people with the same Western medicine diagnosis receive different TCM treatments.

We use pulse diagnosis to give us insight into your pattern, and how you are presenting on each day we see you for an acupuncture treatment. We look at the depth, rate, and quality of the pulse on both hands. Each side and finger position represents a different Organ system. If we ask you a question like, “Are you having vivid dreams?” it is because we are feeling something in your pulse suggesting that symptom. This does not make us mind readers! Please be completely honest with us about the symptoms that you are experiencing. We’ll also ask to see your tongue because it gives us more information about your pattern.

How much will acupuncture treatments cost?

Initial appointments are 90 minutes long; follow-up appointments are 60 minutes. Acupuncture Services for new and returning patients are as follows:

  • New Patient Acupuncture (90 minutes) – $250
  • Follow-up Acupuncture (60 minutes) – $105
  • Follow-up Acupuncture + Energy Medicine* Combo (60 minutes) – $175
  • Ear Seeding (10 minutes) – $20
  • Cupping (30 minutes) – $50

* Either Reiki or Access Consciousness Bars

We do not accept insurance, but are happy to provide an itemized bill for submission to your insurance company.

What can I expect at my first acupuncture treatment session?

The initial acupuncture session is 90 minutes long. Your acupuncturist will review the intake form you completed before the appointment, and ask you questions to better understand your health concerns. Some questions are about your chief complaint while others are not. We will ask questions about digestion, appetite, diet, sleep patterns, bowel movements, urination, pain, lifestyle, and stress level. It is important to note that during this detailed intake the practitioner will also be observing voice pitch, hair luster, skin color/tone, as well as posture, mood, and any type of abnormal odor (for example a sinus infection tends to give off a certain odor).

Once the initial intake is complete your acupuncturist will do a pulse and tongue analysis. This will help to further differentiate what TCM Diagnostic Pattern you fall into. Finally, we may proceed with additional tests such as taking your blood pressure or palpation of the body. Your acupuncturist will create a TCM Diagnostic Pattern and treatment plan and review them with you. We are happy to answer any questions that you might have. You will receive your initial treatment during the remaining time of the session.

CCHW is a licensed acupuncture clinic and our practitioners are trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac.) must meet state requirements to become licensed and to remain licensed. Learn more about what credentials to look for when choosing an acupuncturist.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a Holistic Health System

With roots in China and other parts of Asia, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced for thousands of years. It views the body as a interconnected system of energy channels (meridians) through which Qi (vital energy) flows.

The TCM system works by seeking to achieve balance and harmony within the body to maintain health and prevent illness. TCM includes various modalities such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional counseling, massage (Tui Na), and exercises like Tai Chi and Qi Gong.

Modalities within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Each modality in TCM addresses different aspects of health and wellness. By combining modalities such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and other practices, your practitioner treats patients holistically, considering the interconnectedness of body, mind, and spirit.

Different modalities within TCM complement each other and enhance therapeutic outcomes. For example, acupuncture may be used to address specific symptoms or imbalances, while herbal medicine can provide ongoing support and nourishment to the body’s systems.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine is the use of elements derived from plants, animals, and minerals to treat illness. Herbal formulas are typically dispensed as pills. Sometimes, Herbal Medicine can provide an effective alternative when Western medications are ineffective or poorly tolerated.

Nutritional Counseling

In Chinese medicine, food is medicine. It is very common that you will receive tailored dietary advice to support your unique health needs.


Cupping uses glass cups heated with a small flame to create suction on the skin. This dissipates stagnation of blood and lymph fluid, promotes blood flow, eases stiffness, encourages better circulation to muscles and tissues, and feels great.

Gua Sha

Gua sha uses a flat-edged tool that is scraped in one direction on the skin, usually on large areas such as the back. Gua Sha helps to release stagnant energy, promote blood circulation, and reduce inflammation. Commonly used to alleviate muscle pain and tension, improve mobility, and boost the body’s natural healing processes. Gua Sha can be applied to various parts of the body, including the back, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and face.


Moxibustion is a heat therapy that involves the burning of mugwort plant leaves that have been dried and formed into sticks or cones called moxa. The moxa burns slowly like incense. Usually the glowing moxa is held over an area of the body to bring deep-penetrating warmth and relaxation. It’s great for menstrual cramps and chronic pain.

Ear Seeding

Ear seeding, also known as ear acupressure or auricular therapy, originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Because ear seeding uses mild pressure, no needles are used. Small black seeds from the Vaccaria plant are secured over specific acupuncture points on the outer ear with a piece of adhesive tape. They may be kept in place until they release themselves, or whenever you’re done.

Try Acupuncture and/or Reiki in a relaxed group setting. Join us for a free Acupuncture & Reiki Stress-Reduction Hour, the third Thursday of every month, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

Learn more in recent articles on our Be Well blog.

Start your wellness journey

Calandra Center for Health & Wellness offers a safe place to cultivate well-being and heal the mind, body, and soul. We work with you and your other healthcare providers to help create a fully integrative healthcare experience.

New to CCHW? Request a free 15-minute consultation.