SLO Family Acupuncture will be closed starting January 2022.
Please check back for updates!

Acupuncture Services

Acupuncture & Eastern Medicine

Acupuncture on the Ear Lobe

Photo by Whitney Turner

Although acupuncture is the most well-known, the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) actually includes many more healing modalities. At San Luis Obispo Family Acupuncture, Carla Nerelli, L.Ac evaluates each patient to determine which combination of services will bring the quickest and longest lasting results. Any of the following techniques may be used in your treatment with no additional cost. If you have any further questions about any of these services, please do not hesitate to contact SLO Family Acupuncture!


Fine, sterile needles are inserted in specific acupuncture points to help return the body to it’s natural state of health and balance. To learn more about acupuncture and it’s common uses, click here.

Auricular Acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture is one of the more widely used microsystems within Eastern medicine. Microsystems use one aspect of the body – for example, the ears, hands or feet – to treat conditions that are present anywhere in the body. Auricular acupuncture may be used as a primary mode of treatment or in conjunction with other treatments such as acupuncture, bodywork or herbal medicine. It is commonly used for stress relief, smoking cessation, weight loss, and pain relief.

Electro-acupuncture (“e-stim”)

Small electrical currents are sometimes added to the acupuncture needles to create a pronounced effect. The sensation is typically one of “tapping,” or “pulsing” where you will feel a painless movement of the muscle near the stimulated needle. It is typically used in musculoskeletal pain, as well as many gynecological conditions.


Moxibustion is an ancient Chinese medicine technique which involves the burning of artemesia vulgaris (a.k.a. mugwort) to facilitate healing. Moxibustion is used to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi and maintain general health. The sensation that moxa produces is a pleasant warmth that penetrates deep into the skin. There are several different types of moxa – all of which are used depending upon various conditions (environment and patient), techniques used and the preference of the practitioner. Moxa is used to treat a wide variety of conditions.

Gua Sha

Gua Sha is a technique which involves scraping the skin with a smooth surface (typically a ceramic spoon, lid, or special tool) in areas where there is congestion or pain. It promotes healthy circulation to the area, relieves pain and tension, and restores proper function to the muscles. It is typically used in the case of the cases of pain and the common cold.


Acupuncture Cupping

Photo by Whitney Turner

Cupping is another ancient technique that applies glass suction cups to particular regions of the body to remove stagnation, release congestion and relieve pain. Toxins are brought to the surface to be released through the open pores. The increased blood flow into the area of cupping also allows the area to heal more quickly. Cupping has been found to activate the lymphatic system, clear blockages and help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries. Cupping may also be used to treat respiratory conditions (common cold, bronchitis, asthma) and gastrointestinal disorders.

Tui Na

“Tui Na” literally translates to “push pull” and is type of medical massage. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tui Na incorporates techniques that are similar to massage, chiropractic, osteopathic and physical therapy. Tui Na uses a variety of hand techniques and passive and active stretching to correct anatomical musculoskeletal conditions, neuromuscular patterns and increase circulation at different areas of the body.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture Moxa Needles

Photo by Whitney Turner

Acupuncture originated in China over 2,000 years ago. It was developed to restore health and wellness within the body. There are over 400 acupuncture points that are linked together on the body by a network of “meridians.” Blockages of energy (Qi) can occur throughout these meridians causing the manifestation of symptoms or disease. Traumas to the body, whether they are physical, emotional, or mental in nature, can cause these blockages. Acupuncture, as a medicine, helps to clear these blockages and create balance within the body. When body systems work together properly, they are in the state of homeostasis or “balance.”

Acupuncture treats the body as a whole; treating not only the signs and symptoms the patient is experiencing, but also the underlying cause of the ailment. The treatments are also based on strengthening the body’s resilience, encouraging the body to heal itself.

In general, acupuncture:

  • stimulates the release of pain-relieving endorphins
  • improves circulation, thus dispersing areas of stagnation, benefiting the skin, improving overall energy, etc.
  • influences the electrical currents within the body
  • affects nerve fibers to decrease pain sensation
  • mediates inflammation
  • harmonizes or re-aligns endocrine system
  • stimulates immune system functioning

Treatable Common Conditions

San Luis Obispo Family Acupuncture is a family oriented practice aimed to treat members of the whole family. SLO Family Acupuncture accepts patients off all ages and all conditions. Below is a list of common conditions that acupuncture is known to treat. For a more extensive list, visit the World Health Organization. For questions about you or your children’s conditions, or to see if acupuncture can help, please contact Carla Nerelli at SLO Family Acupuncture!

Common Conditions Treated With Acupuncture:

Chronic Fatigue
Colds and Flu’s
Cosmetic Acupuncture
Digestive Disorders
HIV/AIDS Symptoms
Immune Disorders
Menstrual Disorders
Musculoskeletal Pain
Neurological Disorders
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Oncology Support
Pain Management
Palliative Care
Pregnancy Related Symptoms
Psychological/Emotional Disorders
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections
Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Estrogen Blockers
Women’s Health