Acupuncture Advocacy :: The Future of Acupuncture is Now


The Future of Acupuncture is Now

Chinese medicine is a structure of systems that developed from observation, evaluation, and reasoning based on evident factors during the time in which the system was developed. Many of these systems ultimately serve within the context of diagnostic frameworks under the umbrella of Chinese medical theory. What many acupuncture medicine providers incorporate into this schematic, is both the brilliance of Western science and the ramification of Western medicine approaches. Integrating ancient and modern schools of thought appear to be part of the future of Acupuncture practice.


Blending the 800-year-old context of the Earth School with the modern context of the microbiome and microbiota gut-brain axis can deepen understanding of the mechanisms and enhance treatment strategies. This integration can aid assessment of gut-related comorbidities that exist in chronic conditions. It can also help explain pathophysiology of viruses in relation to auto-immune diseases. The brilliance of yesterday continues to inform today.


The medicalization and pharmacolization of normal health variants as pathological conditions, is a polar delivery of healthcare compared to acupuncture practitioners. This method of practicing medicine disregards true prevention, environmental factors, and the ramifications of long-term medication use and polypharmacy. This developing system is referred to as pattern differentiation based on the sequela of Western medicine.


Outside and within that developing framework, there are emerging approaches and schools of thought that are further refining and defining acupuncture medicine. Practitioners who gravitate to this paradigm may want to learn more from Dr. Clayton Shiu, Dr. Ayla Wolf, Dr. Caroline Wilkerson, Dr. Suzanne Robidoux, and Matt Callison. These are some of the pioneers forging the way ahead.

Dr. Clayton Shiu

Dr. Clayton Shiu is a subject matter expert in the treatment for post-stroke, cerebral, neurological, and speech disorders. His system of Nanopuncture merges Western neuroscience and acupuncture. Clayton was awarded a scholarship by the Chinese government to pursue his doctoral education. He continues to refine his understanding of Chinese Medicine under many renowned teachers, most notably Dr. Shi Xue Min, a stroke specialist and father of modern acupuncture. He completed his residency at the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin; a highly regarded teaching facility and the largest stroke rehabilitation acupuncture and moxibustion center in China. Clayton holds faculty positions at the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences and the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine teaching stroke rehabilitation courses for their doctoral programs.

Dr. Ayla Wolf

Dr. Ayla Wolf is a subject matter expert and specialist in neurological disorders, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). She is an international speaker and educator on functional neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurological exam techniques, and neurorehabilitation utilizing acupuncture and Chinese medicine. She is a faculty member of the Carrick Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation and has taught doctoral program courses in neurology as an adjunct faculty of the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, and American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She also teaches advanced courses on the management of patients with concussions and TBI.

Dr. Caroline Wilkerson

Dr. Caroline Wilkerson is a subject matter expert in photobiomodulation and other forms of light therapy. She is a dedicated practitioner and teacher of holistic medicine working at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Wilkerson is pioneering light therapy devices and refining the application of this powerful approach for acupuncturists. She completed her Master of Science in Tradition Chinese Medicine from Five Branches and completed her Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She further studied abroad in Taiwan at China Medical University. She has specialized training in vision disorders and stroke.

Dr. Suzanne Robidoux

Dr. Suzanne Robidoux is a subject matter expert in classical herb formulas in clinical practice. She has been studying with various masters while living in China and Taiwan for the last 20 years. She completed her Ph.D. in acupuncture at the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine in 2007. Her research focused on treating neurological disorders and psychological disorders. She has translated and edited over 20 professional Chinese medical textbooks related to acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Suzanne spent 10 years in Beijing following classical experts in clinical practice. She is now facilitating foundation programs and clinical mentorship program to practitioners interested in applying the classical approach of the Zhang Zhongjing’s classical texts Shang Han Lun and Jin Gui Yao Lue. She holds faculty several positions, including the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences.

Matt Callison

Matt Callison is a subject matter expert in Sports Medicine Acupuncture and Treatment of Orthopedic Disorders. He is a pioneer in using acupuncture with muscle motor points and Chinese medicine channel theory. His unique ability to blend Chinese medicine with Western Sports Medicine has captured the attention of acupuncturists worldwide. He is well-known for his research in human cadaver dissection, which he educates other practitioners on human anatomy examined through the lens of Chinese medicine. He is well known for developing innovative and successful treatment protocols for work-related, orthopedic and sports injuries. He has published many articles and has published three books. Matt earned his master’s degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. He is on faculty at Pacific College of Health Sciences and is frequently a guest lecturer in many acupuncture doctoral programs across the United States. As a clinic supervisor for Pacific College at the University of California’s San Diego Sports Medicine RIMAC Center, Matt guides acupuncture interns in providing Sports Medicine Acupuncture to their athletes.


Working within paradigms to further develop context, it is paramount for establishing cohesive education and prevention of common health variants that often develop into chronic conditions. As subject matter experts in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, there are many leaders in the field refining integrated frameworks that are desperately needed in the further development and delivery of healthcare in the United States.

This is the future of acupuncture and it is happening now.



Check out the 2021 NCSAAM 2021 Spring Conference & Meeting

Date:  May 28-30, 2021

Where:  Black Mountain, NC / Online

Speakers:  Dr. Caroline Wilkerson  |  Dr. Ayla Wolf  |  Dr. Clayton Shiu


Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Post-Concussion Syndrome

Treating Tendinopathic Sports Injuries and Utilizing the Cerebellum for Gait Patterns

Fundamentals of Light Therapy

CEUs/PDAs:  16 NCCAOM PDAs (pending) & 16 NC CEUs (pending)





(Early Bird Pricing Ends March 31, 2021)

About the Author:

Dr. Jennifer M. Williams, PhD, DACM, L.Ac operates clinics in North Carolina and Tennessee.  She specializes in difficult presentations and teaches advanced diagnoses.  As an approved NCCAOM PDA provider, she is crafting a framework of evidence-informed pattern differentiation based on the sequela of Western medicine.  She currently serves as Vice President of the North Carolina Society of Acupuncture and Asian Medicine.  She is on faculty at the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences as the doctorate program capstone lead.  Dr. Williams’ mountain studio clinic is a teaching facility and farm.