Exterior office sign of Carolina Family Acupuncture.

Carolina Family Acupuncture offers patients a variety of alternative medical treatments, not just acupuncture. We may use any of these techniques at various appointments depending on your specific health needs and goals.


Acupuncture is a treatment that has been used for over 2000 years to help the body reach a place of homeostasis (balance). Modern acupuncture uses hair-thin filiform needles that are inserted into different acupuncture points along the body. Inserting the needles will stimulate a physiological response to the body. We choose different points to stimulate depending on the individual patient and the specific symptoms and complaints.

Dr. Garrison performing acupuncture on a client's legs.
Dr. Dawn Garrison performing electroacupuncture on a male client.


Whereas standard acupuncture uses one needle at the treatment point, electroacupuncture uses two. In electroacupuncture (a.k.a. E-stim or electro-acupuncture), a low electric current passes between the two filiform needles that are in different acupuncture points. This increases the stimulation to the acupuncture points. Electroacupuncture enhances the healing effects of traditional acupuncture methods. But don’t worry–you should still not feel any pain, just some slight tingling or vibration at most.

Dr. Garrison of Carolina Family Acupuncture performing cupping on a female client.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy involves a therapist heating special cups (made from glass, bamboo, earthenware, or silicone) and placing them on your skin for a few minutes. The heat from the cups creates suction which helps a number of issues, including pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, and even a type of deep-tissue massage. Like other Eastern medicine techniques, cupping has been around since at least 1550 B.C. in Egypt.

Gua Sha

Gua sha, which predates even acupuncture, involves “scraping” your skin with a smooth-edged massage tool in order to improve circulation and minimize inflammation in muscles and joints. This technique is also used by physical therapists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners and is known as myofascial release technique. A practitioner will often perform gua sha on a person’s back, buttocks, and limbs as well as a gentler version on the face.

Large stone being used during a gua sha acupuncture treatment.
Dr. Dawn Garrison performing dry needling on a male client.

Dry Needling

Although both acupuncture and dry needling use needles to provide relief to the body, they are very different techniques. Dry needling is a newer method often used by physical therapists and sports therapists. Dry needling relieves muscle pain, tightness, and cramps, whereas acupuncture helps the body release endorphins and other healing chemicals within the body. But just like acupuncture, dry needling does not inject any liquid into the body.

Dr. Garrison performing a moxa treatment on a male client.


Moxa (or moxibustion) is an herbal heat therapy that increases stimulation and blood flow to the different acupuncture points and corresponding tissue. The main herb used in moxa is mugwort, an aromatic herb related to daisies. Moxa can help treat pain, digestive problems, immune system, and even correct a baby in breech position.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine (or Traditional Chinese Medicine) is a healing approach that dates back thousands of years. In China, traditional medicine is practiced along with modern medicine; yet in the Western Hemisphere, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered “alternative medicine.” TCM operates on the basis that all the body’s organs support and influence each other. Diseases and emotional, physical, and mental disorders can be traced to imbalances within the body. TCM, which includes acupuncture, seeks to bring balance back to the body through physical techniques and through herbal formulas.

Chinese herbal medicine used at Carolina Family Acupuncture.

Heal your body from the inside out using time-tested natural methods.