Jennifer Black, LAc

Acupuncture & Herbs

Acupuncture and Herbal medicine with Jennifer Black, LAc



In Traditional East Asian Medicine, all pathology in the body is seen as an imbalance of yin and yang. Yin is the darker, cooler, slower moving aspect, and yang is it's bright, hot and fast moving counterpart. Yin-yang theory teaches that these two apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually mutually dependent, inter-transforming and mutually consumptive in the natural world, and that they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. They are also described to be infinitely divisible, meaning that everything in the universe can be divided into yin and yang...and then those yin and yang components can again be divided into yin and yang...and so on to infinity.

The vital force separating the living from the dead was traditionally described as qi (pronounced 'chee'), which was believed to flow throughout the body in a system of meridians or channels. Along these meridians lie points, where the qi can be accessed and influenced. The smooth and unimpeded flow of qi is a prerequisite to health & well being.

Traditional East Asian Medicine is based on a holistic understanding of the individual in his or her environment. It’s goal is to restore & maintain homeostasis or internal balance within the human body in a dynamic environment: changing weather and seasons, lifestyle choices, stress, the pressures of juggling work and family, and diet.

Acupuncture is a relatively painless procedure utilizing very fine filiform needles placed in the body at different acupuncture points. The points have definite locations and the function of each point has been defined and understood over thousands of years of practice. Acupuncture is effective in reducing pain, inflammation and swelling and it improves circulation. The WHO has recognized acupuncture as being effective in a long list of conditions when studied in controlled trials:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain 
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

Acupuncture was introduced to the United States on a broad scale in 1971, after James Reston, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with the New York Times, received acupuncture to help with pain management after an emergency appendectomy while in Peking, China. On his return to the U.S., he wrote an article titled "Now, About My Operation In Peking" for the NY Times describing his experience.  Now, over 30 years later, acupuncture has become a core aspect of what is known today as "Complementary and Alternative Medicine " (CAM), and as of 2014 is one of four CAM modalities to be covered under the Affordable Care Act when used for pain management in the state of California.