alchemical chinese medicine

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Therapies

What is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese medicine is a complete system of medicine with sophisticated diagnostics, a comprehensive medical theory, and various treatment modalities.  Two of the treatment modalities that are most familiar in the Western world are acupuncture and Chinese herbalism.  Chinese medicine also includes other modalities such as cupping, diet therapy, qi gong, which is a form of medical exercise, and tuina, which is a type of medical body work/physical therapy. In my practice I may also use Bach Flower Remedies or tuning forks on acupuncture points for a different quality of experience.  Chinese medicine treats more people worldwide than any other system of medicine, and is proven both safe and effective.

What does Chinese Medicine Treat?

In heaven it is the mystery,
In [wo/]man it is the dao,
On earth it is the transformations
— Su Wen

Chinese Medicine excels in treating any type of chronic disease, which accounts for 95% of all illness, including cardiac, vascular, respiratory, digestive, eliminatory, gynecological, dermatological, sports medicine, and psychological illness and trauma.  

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

A good rule of thumb is that you will need one month of treatment for every year that you have had the condition being treated.  Treatments are usually weekly at the onset, then twice per month as you stabilize, and less frequently thereafter.  For prevention we recommend coming in four to five times a year at the changes of season. 

How is Alchemical Chinese Medicine Different?

The ancient Chinese alchemists perceived life as a continuum from unknowable mystery to the cosmological, environmental and individual, each woven from and connected to the same fabric.  The brilliance of Chinese medicine is that its theory and practice are based on the underlying nature of reality, that of wholeness, something now recognized in contemporary physics.  Its practice by well-trained professionals is both effective and safe.  As a map of nature from macrocosm to microcosm, Chinese medicine operates on the cusp between psyche and matter, thus including both.  The early traditions of Chinese medicine fully integrate physiology with mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of being. By recognizing that psyche and matter are two expressions of the same fundamental whole, Alchemical Chinese medicine supports an ever-widening awareness of the web of life, health and harmony.         

Acupuncture points or ‘holes’ are in the deepest sense spiraculum aeternatitis; windows to heaven.  These holes are points of contact between macrocosm and microcosm, eternal and temporal.  When approached from this archetypal perspective, they have the capacity to make available spiritual awareness and essential aspects of being that can then be integrated into consciousness.  In an ancient Chinese medical text, the Su Wen, it is written that when needling ‘one must first contact the spirit.’ This can be taken to mean that the numinous depth of the individual, the Self or Soul, must be touched when needling in order for it to be worthwhile.

By approaching healing from both the symbolic, e.g., what does this process have to teach me, and the practical, e.g., getting the right physiological support through acupuncture and herbal therapies, a new level of health and consciousness results.  If you have no particular physical or psychological ills, the work can then focus on accessing deep inner states of awareness that give insight in support of spiritual and emotional transformation.

In my Alchemical Chinese medical work I include my patients consciously in their process of healing and development, working in partnership, rather than from a top-down model.  Unless I am dealing with acute physical symptoms, such as a respiratory infection or bleeding issues, I use the acupuncture to treat the psycho-spiritual levels, and work with Chinese herbs to address the more physiological levels of treatment.  Over the years I find that there is a deeper level of transformation, as well as a greater autonomy and empowerment for the patient. 

My Training

I received an MA in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine in 2001, with further individual training after graduation with Dr. Wu Bo Ping from Beijing, China.   

My Five Element training was with Master practitioner Warren Bellows, L.Ac, with further herbal training from a Daoist approach with Dr. Heiner Fruehauf.  I have been in private practice in Port Townsend, Washington and in Zurich, Switzerland during my analytic training, since 2001.  I am licensed as an East Asian Medical Practitioner in Washington State. 

Having trained in Depth Psychology and Jungian Analytic Psychology brings another level of insight and a stronger overall foundation to my Chinese medical work.  I am licensed in the State of Washington as a Mental Health Care Practitioner, am board certified in mental health, and a member of ISAPZurich, AGAP and IAAP.

In Combination with Jungian Analysis

Many of my patients find it helpful to combine this work with the Jungian analytic work, enabling deep exploration of the symbolic meanings of physical, emotional or spiritual challenges with the more body-centered Alchemical Chinese medical work.


  • Medical Intake: $275

  • Follow up Chinese medical sessions are 1.25 hours in length, and are $225.

  • Combination Jungian analytic and Chinese medical sessions are typically 1.5 – 2 hours in length, and are billed in 15 min increments at $180/hr.


Port Townsend, Washington.

To schedule, please contact Laura Lewis Thayer.  360 385.1956 or