John Aguilar, Jr., L.Ac., R.Y.T., M.S.TCM

Licensed AcupuncturistChinese Medical HerbalistYoga and Tai Chi Instructor


Traditionally, a professional Chinese medical practice may have incorporated several different modalities, each an extension of the underlying medical theory and therapeutic intent. With a given diagnosis, one could employ acupuncture or an herbal formula. For the same diagnosis, one could recommend specific foods and teach specific exercises.

Some illnesses, and some patients, are better suited for certain types of therapy, and some therapies work better when combined with others. Additionaly, some modalities or techniques are more appropriate for actively combating illness, while others express their power when practiced daily for health maintenance and disease prevention (eg. diet therapy, meditation, and qi gong).

I practice according to these classic principles and incorporate several different types of therapy depending on the unique clincial situation. The following lists the individual modalities:  

Now, also offering Essential Oil Therapy, in conjunction with Mally Shaw, L.Ac., M.S.TCM, Dipl. OM.


Acupuncture is the insertion and skilled manipulation of sterile, small gauge needles into specific areas of the body, called acupuncture points, regulating the systems associated with those points.

Please see the section covering acupuncture for a detailed discussion.

Moxabustion is the therapeutic application of heat from burning the herb ai ye. This herb is burned on or near specific acupuncture points. It can be used clinically for treatment of acute or chronic illnesses, and can be applied by the patient at home, as well.

Acupuncture points and the acupuncture channels can also be effected through massage. Often times, a massage technique will be applied as adjuncitve therapy to acupuncture.
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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Professional Chinese herbal medicine has the patient drink a tea made from Chinese herbs. The herbal teas are tailored specifically for each patient and their unique situation. Such 'personalized' care greatly increases efficacy while virtually eliminating negative side effects.

Please see the article "What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?" for a detailed discussion.

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Qi Gong (aka 'Chi Kung')

Qi gong (pronounced 'chee gong') is the practice of therapeutic exercise and breathing techniques. These exercises can be as simple as standing with the arms extended to the front, as if holding a ball, to the complex practice of Tai Chi Chuan. Exercsises can be practiced daily for health maintenance and disease prevention, or as part of more comprehensive treatment for specific disorders.

The regular practice of qi gong can be an essential foundation of good health. (see "Foundations of Health".)

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Yoga is a comprehensive system of philosophy, meditation and breathing practices, the well-known postures, plus much more. (Please see About Yoga and Introduction to Yoga for more information.)

The practices can be 'prescribed' by a teacher for the unique circumstances and goals of an individual student.

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Diet Therapy

Diet therapy maximizes the healing potential of food by

A) Adjusting eating habits to match the design and function of the human body, and
B) Using food as medicine.

Diet is a necessary foundation for good health (please see the article his topic). As such, inclusion of at least basic diet therapy is necessary for any effective treatment strategy.

"Therapy", in this sense, simply means paying increased attention to and making adjustments where unhealthy habits have taken hold. Making simple changes, such as drinking less fluids with meals and obeying appetite, assist the healing process no matter the nature of the illness and are essential for good health in the long run.

Some conditions require greater focus on diet. Additionally, many people simply wish to use food as medicine to maintain health. In these cases we use foods similarly to herbs. Foods have individual therapeutic properties that can be matched to an illness or constitutional weakness. Food is relatively weak compared to herbs, but because your are effectively dosing three times a day (three meals), every day, the net effect of food as medicine is enormous.

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As discussed in the article titled "Meditation" , the daily practice of sitting emptiness is as important for growth and development as diet and exercise. An argument could be made that meditation is the basic requirement for mental and spiritual health. The physical body can survive without regular meditation, but the mind and spirit suffer tremendously. You may be alive, but without meditation you may not truly be living. 

We tend, as a culture, to strongly emphasize action and doing. There is an unspoken assumption that the purpose of life is 'to do'. If you are not doing something, you are 'wasting' time or, perhaps, even your life. This reflects the youth of our country. In cultures where age and wisdom have sunk deeper into the daily lives of the people, non-action is treated more as an equal.

As meditation is so essential to right living and good health, I offer instruction and guidance to my patients.     

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Chinese Medical Counseling

In modern times the clinical practice of talk therapy has become a stand alone area of practice, reflecting the basic philosophical division of mind and body in the West. Classically, in Oriental medical theory and practice, the state of the physical body was as much a reflection of the 'mind' as any purely material organ. The physical and mental were understood as various manifestations of the same underlying reality, much as two sides of a coin are not truly separate, but merely different relative aspects of the same coin. With this understanding, clinical practice naturally involved effecting the body via the mind and mood, and vice versa.

In my private pratice, I employ basic counseling as a modality for guiding the patient's awareness and assisting in personal discovery. I also use discussion to share the wealth of wisdom that Chinese medicine has to offer in how to lead a healthy, happy life.

(Please note, I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist. I employ counseling as a classic Chinese medical modality within the diagnostic and treatment paradigm of Chinese medicine.)

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Essential Oil Therapy

The use of professional grade, full spectrum essential oils, in accordance with traditional Chinese medical diagnostic and treatment paradigms, can greatly assist the overall treatment effect.

Specific oil blends are created according to the individualized Chinese medical diagnosis and can be applied topically or inhaled. Oils can be used for specific complaints or on a daily basis for health maintenance and disease prevention.

For specific information on setting up an appointment, please visit my private practice page or simply contact me.

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