For  millennia, physicians in China have been helping patients to recover from a variety of illness by using acupuncture, Tuina ( a Chinese-style chiropractic), and herbs. These age-old medicines amplify your body's own natural healing power.  Your body, under these kinds of proper directions, miraculously makes itself well without synthetic drugs or invasive surgeries.  And now in the United States, the physicians at ACM HEALTH CENTERS have combined these ancient philosophies and techniques from the East with the knowledge of modern medical sciences from the West.  When these two forms of medicine are combined, the result is significantly more effective.


Formed in 1979 by a group of highly educated Chinese medical experts from the same family, ACM HEALTH CENTERS is the first Chinese medical clinic chain in Northern California.  All our doctors are trained in China's most prestigious medical universities in both Western and Eastern disciplines and with years of experience in teaching, research, and clinical practice.  Serving the Bay Area for 25 years, our doctors work with tens of thousands patients with all kinds of conditions: from allergies to arthritis, from low back pain to migraines. Please check our doctors' panel for their credentials.


Before we recommend any treatments, you'll be given a thorough examination. In addition to the traditional Eastern diagnostic work-up, such as pulse reading and tongue watching, we also apply modern Western diagnostic techniques to increase the effectiveness of Chinese medicine. We might include musculoskeletal evaluations, radiographic and other imaging studies, orthopedic and neurological examinations, and often we will order laboratory tests as well. We know that no two patients are alike and many of the symptoms also relate to emotional factors, diet and lifestyle. We believe the more thoroughly our doctors know you the more accurate our diagnosis and the better we can help you. So please don't expect a quick in and out. One more safety concern. We use disposable needles on all our patients.




Traditional Chinese medicine --- one of the oldest forms of healing systems known --- is a great treasure house. It embodies the fine achievements accumulated over the millennia in the course of medical practice of Chinese physicians. Acupuncture is a component of this health care system that can be traced back for at least 2,500 years; some historians even believe it started 5,000 years ago. This therapeutic intervention is still widely used in many Asian and European countries. It is also widely practiced in the United States. Recently, with the rising popularity of so-called “Complementary and Alternative Medicines”, acupuncture has become more accepted in this country. Millions of Americans already know how effective acupuncture can be in treating chronic pains and many other ailments.

During last several decades, more and more Western doctors and scientists have agreed that these kinds of treatments do work. There has been an increasing awareness of the usefulness of acupuncture in treating many medical conditions. For example, in 1979, the World Health Organization (WHO) has formally pro-claimed that acupuncture is an effective medical treatment and has listed more than 40 variety of medical conditions for which acupuncture may be indicated. World Health Organization stated “the sheer weight of evidence demands that acupuncture must be taken seriously as a clinical procedure of considerable value.” (1) In 1997, the National Institute of Health (NIH) had held, with wide spread publicity, an Acupuncture Consensus Development Conference. This authoritative “Science Court” had adjudicated that “the data in support of acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies.”(2) In California, acupuncturists have even been recognized as primary health care professionals since 1980 and acupuncture is ever increasing in its popularity, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Acupuncture treats diseases by painlessly inserting thin, sterile needles into certain designated points in the body, and inducing stimulation through various manipulative methods. Sometimes, an electronic apparatus may be used to maintain a constant stimulation. During treatment, the patient may lie comfortably on the table, or sit quietly in a chair for twenty to thirty minutes.

There are two special techniques called Moxibustion and Cupping which are considered integral parts of traditional acupuncture practice. The heat and fumes of a slow-burning moxa-wool roll held near an acupuncture point or the diseased areas produce the therapeutic effect of Moxibustion. Sometimes, burning moxa-cones can be placed directly on such locations. Cupping uses a small bell shaped jars with vacuum to apply suction to the skin. After cupping treatments, there may be some bruising or a cluster of tiny purple spots on the skin. This is normal and will disappear within a few days.


The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (called “Qi”, pronounce chee) that are essential for health.  According to the classical doctrines of classical Chinese medicine, this is an unceasing flow of life energy throughout the human body. This vital energy originates from the major organs, and flows along the continuous circulatory channels called Meridians. When the energy flow is smooth and in balance, one is healthy; if the balances disturbed, then one will experience illness or pain. There are some specific points along the meridians called acupuncture points where the energy flow can be stimulated and the function of related organs could be regulated, thus restoring the delicate balance. These effects are vital for the healing. Acupuncture, as well as moxibustion or cupping, is applied to the points selected on the basis of meridian systems.

This is the Chinese way to explain how acupuncture normalizes the physiological function and helps to maintain the body’s harmonious equilibrium. In other words, acupuncture amplifies human’s natural healing power. For thousands of years, Chinese physicians not only use acupuncture to treat diseases, but also to strengthen the human body’s physical condition, to prevent disease, to promote health, and to achieve longevity.


The evidence now available is sufficient to place this age-old Chinese healing art on solid scientific grounds. Findings from basic research have begun to elucidate the mechanisms of acupuncture. Substantial evidence demonstrates that acupuncture may stimulate the release of some endogenous morphine-like substances, such as endorphins, which in turn mediate the analgesic (pain killing) effect.

Secondly, acupuncture has an obvious effect of stimulating or strengthening the body’s immune system, which in turn mobilizes the natural defense power inside the human body. This reaction is the major mechanism of anti-inflammation/anti-infectious effects induced by acupuncture.

The overall influence of acupuncture is regulatory. It is very interesting to know that this kind of adjustment is “biphasic” in nature. Acupuncture can reduce the blood pressure in hypertension while it can raise the level in low blood pressure. Also, acupuncture is particularly effective in many psychosomatic disorders.


The prime advantage of acupuncture is its safety. According to Journal of American Medical Association, “In the hands of competent physicians, acupuncture is a method free from discomfort or side effects . . . “(3) There is no pain unless the patient is too nervous. And there is no bleeding unless the acupuncturist purposely squeezes a drop or two, which is sometimes necessary for the treatment. Infection can easily be prevented by strict sterilization. Using disposable needles let both doctor and patient have peace of mind.


Most patients find the treatment very relaxing, which brings on a feeling of well being. As a sign of “obtaining the vital energy”, some patients may have a slight sensation of characteristic tingling, numbness, ache, traveling warmth, and/or heaviness around the needles. The beneficial reaction usually starts during the first four or five visits. Of course, just like any other medical treatment, not all cases can be cured. However, there is no harmful effect from the therapy in common practice. Therefore, people who suffer from lingering or chronic diseases, which do not respond well to orthodox medicine, are particularly encouraged to try this promising Chinese art of healing.


Each person is unique; therefore, the treatment plan is individualized. It depends on the type of the illness, the severity of the condition, the duration of the sickness as well as the physical state of the patient at time of treatment. 

As a classical tradition, a course of treatment usually takes twelve sessions, more or less. In order to get the best therapeutic result; acute cases should be treated daily for a few days, then in longer intervals. Chronic cases usually need two or three visits per week. In case of slow reaction, the patient should still try to complete the entire course; some time even a second or third series, because most of these cases require more effort to restore energy balance. To receive the best results, treatments should not be missed.

Keep in mind that acupuncture is not only for current illnesses. It will improve patients’ overall long-term health condition as well. For health maintenance purpose, either preventive or promotional, a regular, periodic treatment (once a week or every two weeks, or in the beginning of each season) is recommended. This program usually helps the internal organs to function in a continuous balanced condition and improves the whole body’s physiological ability. This is the way of rejuvenation and longevity that Chinese people have been enjoying for thousands of years.

(1) Bannerman RH: Acupuncture ---The World Health Organization's View. California Acupuncturists, 1980; 1(2) 3-8 

(2) National Institutes of Health: Acupuncture Consensus Development Conference Statement, 1997

(3) Ulett GA: Acupuncture Treatments for Pain Relief. JAMA, 1981; 245(7):768-769



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ACM HEALTH CENTER     417 North San Mateo Drive    San Mateo, CA 94401 

Health Hotline: (800) 887-8688