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Jump to a particular style:
> Five Element Acupuncture
> Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including Chinese Herbs
> Structural Acupuncture
> Chiropractic Acupuncture

The principles of oriental medicine which underlie acupuncture are over 3,000 years old. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles through the skin to promote the harmonious flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”) in the body’s passageways, or meridians. Only sterile, disposable needles are used. The needles are solid, flexible, and the width of two human hairs. There is little or no pain when acupuncture needles are inserted, and most patients experience a pleasant state of relaxation. People seek out acupuncture not only for specific physical problems, but also for stress and emotional or mental difficulties.

The goal of acupuncture is to recognize patterns of disharmony and correct the imbalance through specific treatments that manipulate the flow of Qi. Qi is the animating life force that expresses itself through a person’s ability to feel, think, act, move and work. When Qi in the body is full and flowing, health is promoted. When Qi is not full and flowing, the body exhibits signals in the form of symptoms.

Acupuncture originated in China but has spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe, and America. Different styles have developed over the centuries. While the basic theoretical principles of acupuncture remain the same, different styles of acupuncture differ greatly in technique and diagnosis. There is no evidence that one particular style is more effective than another.

The World Health Organization recognizes the proven effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of more than 100 medical conditions, a few being disorders of the muscular, digestive, respiratory, neurological, and reproductive systems. Acupuncture is also an effective treatment for such conditions as: chronic pain, depression, infertility, and smoking cessation.

Five Element Acupuncture is an acupuncture tradition that uses the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water and the symbolism associated with each to help patients expand their understanding of health and the cycles of human life. It also teaches the best way to use that awareness effectively as one moves through life. Coleen Connolly is True North’s Five Element Acupuncturist.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including Chinese Herbs
The TCM style is the most common form of acupuncture. It encompasses ancient and modern techniques. Chinese herbs are often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Laura Meyer, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, draws from TCM as well as many other styles, including Japanese Acupuncture (fewer needles and less stimulation), Master Tong’s style, Dr. Tan’s Balance Method and needle-less acupuncture for children. Laura has received extensive training in acupuncture for women’s health.

Structural Acupuncture
As described above, acupuncture is a medical treatment system where specific points on the body are stimulated with thin needles to relive pain and treat many other medical conditions. Acupuncture points and diagnostic concepts are based on a practice that began thousands of years ago in China and has continued to evolve into various styles over time. “Structural Acupuncture” in particular refers to training in a Japanese style of acupuncture where immediate, palpable changes in the patient’s body during treatment help to guide the treatment itself. Loose, comfortable clothing is appropriate treatment attire.

Chiropractic Acupuncture utilizes the insertion of fine needles at a specific point or points to eliminate or modify the perception of pain and to normalize physiological function in accordance with the principles of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Dunphy will utilize chiropractic acupuncture as a sole method of treatment and in conjunction with chiropractic care.

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(207) 781-4488


National Institute of Health

Tai Sophia

Academy for Five Element Acupuncture

Acupuncture Today (journal)

Maine Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAAOM)



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