Skin Health

Many people do not consider acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine when it comes to treating their skin problems. The treatment of dermatological disorders has been a focus for treatment with Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and showing excellent results. Common chronic skin problems such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis are very difficult to cure or manage with western medical approaches. Chinese medicine offers a holistic approach to these and other chronic skin problems that can promote true long term healing effects.

Dermatological diseases treated


Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be very helpful in treating skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis acne, herpes zoster, alopecia (hair loss) and rosacea.


Acupuncture treats Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)


Eczema is a general term that includes many different types of dermatitis or inflammation of a person’s skin. All types of eczema share the uncomfortable symptoms of pruritis (itching) and redness of the affected area. Other possible symptoms include weeping, peeling, and/or blistering. Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a type of eczema that mainly affects the insides of elbows, backs of knees, and face, however the person’s entire body can be affected. The term “atopy” is from a Greek origin and refers to a persons predisposition to develop some type of allergic reaction due to a hypersensitivity to an allergen. Asthma and hay fever are very common complaints of a person suffering with AD and these three diseases together make up what is known as the “atopic triad.”


The prevalence of atopic dermatitis has nearly tripled in the United States over the past 30 years and is still growing. This disease almost always begins at infancy or childhood, however it can become a lifelong problem. Western medical treatments include managing the symptoms of atopic dermatitis with the use of topical or internal corticosteroids, petroleum products to keep in moisture, and the avoidance of any possible irritants. Unfortunately these treatments never get to the root of the problem and can lead to dependency issues and cause side effects such as loss of integrity and thinning of the skin, leading to the development of stretch marks. Rarely dietary allergens are taken into account when treating someone with eczema.


Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can effectively treat the symptoms of itching and redness associated with the disease as well as treating more of the root cause of the eczema. Acupuncture alone is effective at reducing the itch sensation as well as decreasing the inflammation and redness. I often recommend a custom Chinese herbal formula as well as dietary and lifestyle changes to help with quickening the overall treatment time and increase effectiveness of the treatment. Food sensitivities are becoming more widely accepted as definite triggers to dermatitis, therefore I work with each patient to help them in determining what foods may be making their eczema worse. The British Journal of Dermatology published positive research in 2007 on the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Also the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine published a clinical trial on how eczema was effectively treated with the combination of acupuncture and a gluten-free diet. To learn more about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you with your eczema please see our Eczema page.


Acupuncture treats Acne


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acne is the result of some form of internal heat that rises to the skin surface. This heat expresses itself as red and raised bumps or acne on the skin. In order to cure acne one must determine what is causing this internal accumulation of heat and then use methods to effectively remove this internal heat. In other words, one must work from the inside out to treat acne rather than applying endless amount of medications topically. The combination of acupuncture with Chinese herbal medicine works very well along with dietary and lifestyle changes to effectively cure acne.

Acupuncture treats Psoriasis


Psoriasis presents as red, itchy, and dry lesions with white scaling. Psoriasis tends to worsen in the colder and drier months of winter and improve in the warm and more humid days of summer. Chinese medicine sees this disease as a result of a combination of blood heat with fire toxins within the body. These two hot internal pathogens dry out the natural moisturizers of the skin which causes the disease to manifest. The redness of the lesions illustrates this heat or fire while the white scaling of the lesions is indicative of dryness. Chinese herbal medicine in combination with acupuncture can effectively treat and cure psoriasis from the inside out, through clearing out this internal fire and allowing the body to moisturize naturally.


To learn more about psoriasis and how we can help you in treating your symptoms please see our Psoriasis Page. Thank you.


Joseph Tonzola L.Ac., Dipl O.M.

Pain Management

Acupuncture is most known for and researched in the United States for the treatment of pain. And the research continues to show acupuncture outperforming placebo and most times western pain medications. I have seen hundreds of cases with pain as the main complaint, and I continually see acupuncture work outstandingly with decreasing and even eliminating pain.


How Acupuncture Works with Pain Management


Acupuncture, is based on a system of energetic channels called meridians. Energy or “Qi” is said to flow within these meridians. When there is free flow of energy, there is health. When there is blockage there is disharmony within the entire circular system. Pain is a result of this blockage of energy. Needling acupuncture points effectively frees the flow of energy, therefore restoring balance and decreasing pain. It works.


Commonly Treated Pain Complaints


I have use acupuncture very effectively for the treatment of the following pain complaints: abdominal pain and IBS, ankle and foot pain, elbow pain, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, hand and wrist pain, headache and migraine, knee pain, low back and hip pain, pelvic pain, neck, shoulder, and back pain, TMJ and jaw pain.


Joseph Tonzola L.Ac. Dipl OM

Women’s Health

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are extremely helpful in treating and helping manage women’s health related problems. One’s that I have treated and managed successfully include menstrual irregularities/pain, menopausal symptoms, and PMS symptoms. Other problems that are managed well with acupuncture include pain or heavy periods from endometriosis, or fibroids.


Menstrual Irregularities/Pain


Menstrual pain and irregularities can be caused by many different contributing factors according to Chinese medical theory. We perform a thorough intake which includes tongue and pulse diagnosis to determine what is the cause of these problems. Usually when there is menstrual pain this is a result of some type of blockage within the reproductive area of a woman. An example of a physical blockage would be a uterine fibroid or ovarian cysts that cause pain during menstruation.


Stress and Menses


Stress contributes to many women’s health problems such as menstrual irregularities and PMS. Acupuncture is very effective in helping a person decrease the amount of stress in her life through the promotion of relaxation and overall wellness. Acupuncture, which uses very thin and solid stainless steel needles, helps with regulating menses and PMS symptoms through freeing the flow of blocked energy from stress on the nervous system. It is painless and very healing to the overall health of the person receiving the treatment.




Endometriosis is a condition that is becoming more commonly diagnosed in women between ages of 25-40. It is a condition where the endometrial tissue begins growing outside of the uterus. This leads to symptoms such as pelvic and abdominal pain, painful periods (dysmenorrhea), pre-menstrual spotting, and infertility. It can also cause digestive disturbances. Acupuncture has been found to be very effective in reducing pain associated with endometriosis as well as with regulating the menses for a more regular cycle. The key treatment principles according to Chinese medical theory involve supporting proper shedding of the endometrial lining through boosting energy within the reproductive system, eliminating stagnating factors such as dampness and heat, as well as increasing healthy blood circulation. Acupuncture is often combined with Chinese herbal medicine to increase the positive results and outcome.


Joseph Tonzola L.Ac., Dipl OM

Fertility and Reproduction

Hello and Welcome. Acupuncture can be used as a stand alone treatment for infertility as well as in conjunction with western reproductive medical techniques such as IUI or IVF. Acupuncture along with herbal medicine can increase fertility through balancing reproductive hormones, regulating menstrual irregularities, and through increasing a women’s uterine lining for healthy implantation. Men can also benefit from acupuncture treatments to help with healthy sperm growth and functioning for fertilization.


High FSH/Advanced Maternal Age


As a woman ages her egg quality and quantity naturally decrease which will result in a compensation by her hormonal system to increase the amount of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) released. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment have been shown to increase overall egg quality through creating a healthier reproductive environment for eggs to develop in. This in turn lowers FSH levels and increases the success rates with IVF and IUI, as well as increasing a woman’s chance for a natural pregnancy. Acupuncture treatment to help with increasing egg quality is usually effective in a 3-6 month period of continuous treatment and sometimes may take up to 12 months.


Traditional Medicine and IVF


Tradition Chinese medicine (TCM) offers a different emphasis on fertility than many modern western reproductive techniques such as IVF. When we compare the two approaches we can see clear differences but in a way where one compliments the other. For example within TCM we use acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to help with things like increasing the quality of eggs and of the endometrium. Where as IVF treatments tend to focus on increasing the quantity of eggs and the thickening of the endometrium. TCM can increase a woman’s chances for fertility through increasing the overall quality of the entire reproductive system, while western medicine is very effective in increasing chances of fertility through increasing numbers.


TCM further contributes to good outcome in an IVF cycle through increasing ovarian response, increasing egg and follicle quality, reliving side effects of reproductive drugs, and in increasing implantation rates.


Acupuncture treatment for Fertility


Acupuncture can be used throughout your entire menstrual cycle to help with each of the 4 phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulation, luteal.


Joseph Tonzola L.Ac., Dilp. O.M.


Autoimmune Disorders


Sleep Disturbances/Insomnia


Sports related injuries


Anxiety and Depression


Weight Loss and Appetite Control


Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)


Joseph Tonzola L.Ac., Dipl OM