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Our St. Cloud locations offer acupuncture,  and Chinese herbs with our acupuncturist, Karen Nielson. To talk with her about setting at time to see her or ask if acupuncture is good for you, call her directly at 320 293-0394

So what is acupuncture and how does the Dr. Tan Balance method differ from what most offer?

Many new patients are visibly surprised when I tell them which points I will be using to treat their condition.  More than one person has asked, “why are you putting needles in my ankle if it’s my shoulder that hurts?”  Honestly, I can’t say that I blame them for their confusion.  In America, we are used to symptomatic-based treatment- if your low back hurts, therapy is applied directly over the low back.  Whether it’s massage, ice/heat, physical therapy, cortisone injections, or surgery, you’d be hard-pressed to find a practitioner who doesn’t go anywhere near the problem area itself.  That is, until you visit an acupuncturist using the Balance Method.  So, what is this newfangled idea, and how does it work?


The Balance Method is actually not “new” at all.  In fact, it is based on a very classical form of acupuncture.  Many of you have by now read or heard of the meridian system acupuncturists use.  For those who haven’t, the meridians can be thought of as highways that connect every part of our body, much like the interstate system does in the US.  It is through these highways that our body’s energy flows.  Because every part of the body is connected, there are multiple ways to treat any given body region (just like you can take multiple routes to get to the same place).  The Balance Method, based on the works of Dr. Chan and Master Tung but popularized but Dr. Richard Tan, capitalizes on these connections.


Returning to our highway example, if there is a wreck on a road, traffic will often be detoured onto other routes until the wreck is cleared.  With Balance Method acupuncture, pain is like a “wreck-” there is a “blocked” region of the body that healthy blood flow and energy cannot reach.  Instead of allowing blood, inflammation, and energy to create a “traffic backup” in the area, alternate routes are opened.  The chosen routes are based on a mirrored view of the body.  We already know that our bodies have matching right and left halves.  However, the Balance Method also views the body as having a mirrored top and bottom.  This makes sense when you consider that not only do we have two limbs on top and two on the bottom, as well as two hands and two feet with ten digits each but also that our body’s main openings occur in only two places- our heads (top) and our genitals (bottom).  Keeping this in mind, to open an “alternate route,” we need simply to look to the opposite region of the body.  So, to treat the Right Ankle, we would treat/”open” a meridian/”highway” on the Left Wrist.  For another example, to treat Erectile Dysfunction, we would use points on the head.


The beauty of the Balance Method is that results are immediate.  Classic Chinese texts state that “when you stand a pole under the sun, you immediately see its shadow.”  In other words, as soon as an acupuncture needle is inserted, changes should be felt.  Oftentimes pain is decreased by 50% or more with the insertion of only 1-3 needles.  This also makes it an excellent choice for people sensitive to needles, or for whom access to the painful part of the body is difficult.  Multiple treatments are necessary for sustained pain relief, with acute cases of pain often resolving in as few as 1-4 treatments.  Jacqui has undergone many hours of training on the Balance Method, and it is often her first choice for treating joint pain, back pain, neck pain, menstrual cramps, and headache.


Wondering if Balance Method can help you or someone you know?  Feel free to contact Karen or set up a free consultation today!

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