Acupuncture and Dry Needling

Our Holistic Doctor at Mend Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine specializes in acupuncture therapy in Gilbert, AZ. Our Integrative Doctor is a licensed acupuncturist specializing in integrative medicine to get people as close to a pain-free life as we can through proven methods of acupuncture and dry needling.


Acupuncture treatment can be a life-changing modality. Opposed to popular belief, it is not energy medicine, voodoo, or magic. It is a real, physical medicine based on real anatomy. If you are looking for a natural solution to your health problems, one without side effects, then let us help provide the acupuncture therapy you need.

How Acupuncture Works

How exactly does TCM acupuncture work in helping to heal the body? Let us uncover some of the mystery behind this treatment.

  • Promotes Blood Circulation – Blood contains oxygen, nutrients absorbed from food, immune substances, hormones, analgesics, and anti-inflammatories. If there is only 3% reduced blood flow to breast tissue, this is enough to cause cancer to develop. Nearly all chronic diseases begin with inflammation.

  • Stimulates the Body’s Built-in Healing Mechanisms – Acupuncture creates “micro-traumas” which stimulate the body to heal the surrounding areas through the activation of the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems.

  • Releases Natural Painkillers – A signal is sent to the brain through the nervous system to release endorphins, norepinephrine, and enkephalins. These substances can be 10-200 times more potent than morphine!

  • Reduces Both the Intensity and Perception of Chronic Pain – This is done through an involved process called “descending control normalization.”

  • Relaxes Shortened Muscles – Repetitive stress injuries can cause muscles to become chronically shortened, which can pull on other areas of our body causing a structural imbalance and stress on joints.

  • Reduces Stress Response – The “pins” stimulate the release of Oxycontin which regulates the parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest” or “calm and connect”). Stress increases cortisol levels which reduce protein synthesis and tissue regeneration and leads to weight gain, particularly in the abdomen. Recent research has implicated impaired parasympathetic function in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Erin inserting acupuncture needles in the back

How Can Acupuncture Therapy Help Me?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncture can help support healing in many different conditions. These include:

  • Musculoskeletal Pain/Sports Injuries
  • Neck, Back, and Knee Pain
  • Migraines, Headaches
  • Reproductive/Hormonal disorders
  • Digestive disorders
  • Numbness/Tingling sensations
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Male and Female Infertility
  • Stress, Anxiety, Depression
  • Obesity
  • Facial wrinkles, sagging, dark spots, acne

Benefits of acupuncture while pregnant

Acupuncture benefits during pregnancy can work wonders for expectant mothers experiencing discomfort. Acupuncture therapy during pregnancy can help with:

  • Pain
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Hypertension
  • Edema
  • Anemia/Fatigue
  • Stress/Anxiety
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Breech or Malposition
  • Labor Preparation (suggested weekly starting at 35 weeks)
  • Labor Induction/Pain
  • Postpartum Recovery
Patient relaxing during an acupuncture therapy appointment

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are many more conditions proven to be effectively treated with Acupuncture!

How Can Acupuncture Help with Infertility?

It can be frustrating when the “tips and tricks” that help other women get pregnant doesn’t work for you. And with so many recommendations out there to try to conceive, it can be overwhelming to know what’s right for your body. No matter what – you deserve a clear and effective plan to help with your fertility. Acupuncture therapy can help you with this.

Acupuncture can:

  • Regulate the menstrual cycle and promote healthy ovulation
  • Increase blood circulation to the uterus to provide a better lining
  • Increase success of rates of IVF (in vitro fertilization) and IUI (intra-follicle insemination)
  • Reduce stress response and regulate hormones
  • Make sperm healthier and increase motility
  • Increase pregnancy rates and reduce miscarriages

Book your first appointment, and let us help you restore your balance, nurture your body, and treat you through acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Hall decor inside Mend's office

Acupuncture FAQs

Do you have questions about acupuncture therapy? We answer some of the most commonly asked questions we get from our patients about acupuncture.

Generally, there is no pain. Different sensations can be felt as the points are stimulated. The needles are solid and about the diameter of hair. We carefully talk you through the process, especially for anyone who has never had a treatment before. We buy the highest quality needles in order to ensure painless insertion and comfort to our patients.

The first treatment includes an exam in which we will carefully go over your intake and any health concerns you have.  Your physical exam may include checking your blood pressure, examining any area of concern, tongue and pulse diagnosis.  After the acupuncture needles (or “pins”) are in place, you will then listen to music (or silence) and enjoy the down time while your body responds to the pins.

  • First session will last up to 1.5 hours long
  • Follow-up treatments will last 45 minutes – 1 hour
The needles will typically be in place for 20-30 minutes.
Once you have been properly diagnosed during your first exam, you will be recommended a treatment plan specific to address your needs. This is will include frequency and duration. The goal is to not under-treat or over-treat. It will be important to follow the treatment plan to get the most out of the healing process.
Bruising is the most common side effect. Please be sure to have eaten a small snack before your treatment to avoid any dizziness after a treatment.
Never. All of our needles are individually wrapped and sterilized for single-use only. Acupuncture needles are considered a surgical device and is regulated by the FDA.
It is best to wear lose fitting clothes, however if you don’t, we will be able to provides sheets to allow us to access the areas we need to while still keeping you covered as much as possible. It is best to eat a small meal or snack at least 1 hour before your appointment.

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System

While acupuncture therapy can help with the healing of many conditions, there are certain forms that can help with improving the appearance and vitality of the skin of the face. Mend Healing & Herbal Medicine proudly offers the Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System™.

Wrinkles and sagging skin are the natural side effects of aging. And while many want to avoid these natural side effects, some are uncomfortable with the idea of injecting a toxin into their face. For those wanting a natural method in controlling skin aging, this form of acupuncture is here to lend a hand. The Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System™ can help with reducing fine lines, leveling deeper lines, fading dark spots, improving acne and rosacea, and can help provide you with softer, younger, more vibrant skin; Resulting in you feeling and looking younger! Results can last 3-5 years with maintenance.

This is the only cosmetic procedure that actually helps the health of the patient.

Results after Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture system


Image by Martha Lucas, PhD, LAc

Reported Side Effects Include:

  • Improved digestion
  • Better sleep quality
  • Reduction of hot flashes
  • Improved energy
  • Elimination of mild depression and anxiety
  • A better sense of well-being

Moxibustion Therapy

Moxibustion (or Moxa) is a herb also known as Mugwort. This therapy uses the heat from the burning dried mugwort herb to increase circulation to the local tissues. There are numerous studies demonstrating that moxibustion helps reduce chemotherapy side effects, correct breech presentation (gestational), rheumatoid arthritis, and senility. Moxibustion therapy has also been studied for the treatment of pain, cancer symptoms, stroke, ulcerative colitis, constipation, and hypertension.

In our clinic, we use a strong moxibustion herbal tincture that is applied to the skin where infrared therapy will take place. This is a great way to combine the benefits of both forms of healing.

Infrared lamps are a medical device that promotes faster healing by stimulating microcirculation, which delivers higher levels of oxygen and nutrients to injured cells while eliminating toxins and cellular waste. Acupuncturists use this heat therapy to promote circulation and induce the smoother flow of blood in cases of muscle pain, soft tissue injuries, arthritis, headaches, and more.

Man on office table during moxibustion therapy

Dry Needling Therapy

Regular activity can come to an unexpected, painful halt when you have stiff or tight muscles. Luckily dry needling can help you get back on track! Dry needling, also known as trigger point dry needling, is the perfect treatment for those looking to treat muscle pain, stiffness, and movement issues. During this treatment, a provider inserts thin needles through your skin to treat underlying trigger points or areas of tight muscle fibers. Let us perform your dry needling treatment to help you reduce your pain and improve your movement.

Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture

Dry needling and acupuncture are two different treatments!

Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, as mentioned previously. Dry needling is a specific treatment and is used for the treatment of pain and movement impairments and trigger point reduction.

During dry needle therapy, needles are placed in trigger points in your muscles or tissue. The needles will help release these knots and relieve any muscle pains or spasms. Trigger point dry needling can provide relief for sore muscles and stiffness. In addition, easing the trigger points may improve flexibility and increase range of motion. That’s why this method is great for sports injuries, muscle pain, and even fibromyalgia pain.

Benefits of Dry Needling

When you take part in dry needling therapy, there are a few benefits you can enjoy. These include:

  • Relieves muscle tightness and pain – Instead of treating the general area of pain, dry needling targets the origin of the pain. By inserting needles directly into trigger points, it will decrease the tightness and increase the blood flow. This leads to a decrease in pressure and tension and will help release any inflammation and chemicals. As a result, you’ll experience pain relief quickly.

  • Improves range of motion – Having a complete and fluid range of motion is crucial for everyone. When dry needling releases trigger points, it restores blood and oxygen flow, allowing you to achieve full range of motion. By improving your function, you can reduce discomfort and move more freely.

  • Accelerates recovery – For athletes and those with active lifestyles, injuries aren’t uncommon. And while injuries are never fun, it can be worse knowing recovery can take weeks or even months. Dry needling therapy may speed up the healing process and help you get back to full strength faster compared to other therapies.

Mend is Here for You

Whether you’re searching for acupuncture treatment, dry needling treatment, or fertility acupuncture treatment, Mend Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine is ready to help assist you. Our holistic doctor in Gilbert, AZ is here to get you healthy and happy through our natural and effective methods. Contact us at (480) 788-1757 or schedule your appointment online today.

  • Han, J.S. “Acupuncture Activates Endogenous Systems of Analgesia.” National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture, Program & Abstracts (Bethesda, MD. November 3-5, 1997). Sponsors: Office of Alternative Medicine and Office of Medical Applications of Research. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, 1997.
  • Beinfield, H. and Korngold, E.L. Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine. New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1991.
  • Wu, B., Zhou, R.X., and ZI M.S. “Effect of Acupuncture on Interleukin-2 Level and NK Cell Immunoactivity of Peripheral Blood of Malignant Tumor Patients.” Chung Kyo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chich. 1994.14(9):537-9.
  • Wit, B. “Effect Of Acupuncture on the Regulation of Cell-Mediated Immunity in Patients with Malignant Tumors.” Chen Tzu Yen Chiu. 1995, 20(3):67-71.
  • Dale, R.A. “Demythologizing Acupuncture Part 1. The Scientific Mechanisms and the Clinical Uses.” Alternative & Complementary Therapies Journal. April 1997. 1(2)-.125-31.
  • Takeshige, C. “Mechanism of Acupuncture Analgesia Based on Animal Experiments.” Scientific Bases of Acupuncture. Berlin, Germany: Springere-Verlag, 1989.

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For new patients, we schedule a comprehensive examination to go over your concerns, eating and sleeping patterns, day-to-day activity, diet, and anything else that may be contributing to your medical concern. We are your trusted integrative doctor in Gilbert.