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Practitioners  |  Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture is the oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world used by one third of the world’s population as a primary health care system. More people have been treated by Chinese medicine throughout history than by any other formalized medical system. Because of its relatively low cost and non-invasive nature, acupuncture has become a highly popular form of complementary health care in the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed acupuncture treatment for over 40 conditions, including:

Digestive and intestinal disorders Addictions,
Depression, Anxiety and other Psychological stressors, Headaches, back, neck, muscle and joint disorders,
Allergies Gynecological, Fertility and Uro-Genital disorders,
Sleeping and nervous system disorders, Respiratory and Crculatory disorders

Acupuncture is often effective for other chronic and painful debilitating conditions which have no clear explanation or origin.

The highly effective acupuncture system of medical care is based on cyclical laws of nature which govern the movement of vital life-giving energy, both in nature and in the body. This energy, called “chi or qi”, moves through the body in precise channels called “meridians” supporting functions of the body, mind and spirit. When “chi” is blocked or is moving disharmoniously, imbalance begins to surface in the form of specific symptoms which signal disorder. To address the underlying cause of a condition, these symptoms are viewed in relationship to the totality of a person. The gentle insertion of hair-thin sterile needles at specific points along the meridians helps restore harmony. In the presence of this subtle yet profound intervention, a person’s body, mind and spirit can return to balance and health. Symptoms then often resolve and clients frequently experience renewed vitality.

In addition to addressing specific symptoms, clients often choose to come in for “seasonal tune-ups” to foster balance and maintain health.

The Neijing, an ancient Chinese medical text, tells us that healing is more than the insertion of a needle. For healing to occur, the relationship between practitioner and client must be primary. This is the basis of Traditional Five Element Acupuncture. In Western medical practice where credentials, double-blind studies and technological expertise are so highly valued, we can easily loose sight of the importance of the client-practitioner relationship in promoting healing. Like the Ancient Chinese, we at Blue Heron Wellness also recognize that, as humans, we are part of nature and are affected by the same natural forces evident in the cycles of the seasons. The art and practice of Five Element and Eight Principle Acupuncture awaken the “inner healer” that resides in each of us. Thus, we are not merely a collection of symptoms to be cured. Instead, by  careful history-taking and focusing on root imbalances, acupuncturists are often able to help people go beyond symptom relief. Clients learn to maximize the energy flow initiated and enhanced by acupuncture treatment, to recognize subtle signs of distress before they develop into symptoms and to adopt a lifestyle that fits their individual needs.

Interested in acupuncture treatments for your office or staff? .


In the time-honored tradition of Chinese medicine, acupressure may be considered the early ancestor of acupuncture.  Acupressure employs the same meridians, acupoints and theory as acupuncture, only instead of needles, the practitioner uses manual techniques (hands, fingers and other tools) and gentle stretches to make connections that bring about relaxation and balance the energetic system.

Like acupuncture, acupressure may help a wide variety of problems in every system and function of the body.  It is an appropriate therapy for:  all types of physical pain, including headache and backache; circulatory, digestive, and emotional imbalances; general conditions of stress of all kinds.

Treatment Benefits

Acupuncture is often effective with a wide range of complaints and in maintaining wellness and one doesn’t have to have a complaint to benefit from treatment. Patients committed to a healthy lifestyle and who receive ongoing acupuncture treatment often experience:

· Being sick less often and recovering more quickly

· Improvement of vitality and stamina

· Being able to take care of their own health

· Relationships with others deepening and becoming more harmonious

· Reductions in long term health care costs

A recent survey of people who receive acupuncture, conducted by Claire Cassidy, Ph.D., indicates that they see their physicians less frequently and use fewer medications. In addition, over two thirds of those surveyed reported having avoided recommended surgery.

Breathe Free: Smoking Cessation Program

Blue Heron now offers an 8-session program designed to help smokers stop using tobacco and to remain non-smokers. In a series of individual treatments, it combines acupuncture with education to create and maintain the internal shifts needed to manage withdrawal symptoms, change long-term habits and support greater awareness and overall health.

Intake and 1st session (1 ½ hrs.) $150
Next 7 sessions (1 hour) $100 each
Prepayment for all 8 sessions $650
Client handbook $20

Please call the office at 301-754-3730 for more information and ask to speak with Sue Berman, licensed acupuncturist.

Did You Know?…

As part of a project on wellness modalities offered in Montgomery County, two talented students on Blair Network Communications at Montgomery Blair High School, Andrew Lichter and Clio Grillakis, filmed and produced an interview with Blue Heron acupuncturist, Sue Berman. We were so impressed with their work, that we want to share it with our community. To view the acupuncture video,

Thanks again Andrew and Clio, and congratulations!