What is Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is steeped in a rich and powerful history.  With records dating back some 5000 years, this medical system predominated healthcare in China for millennia.  Still today, TCM is practiced right along side western medicine in Chinese hospitals, offering patients the most appropriate care for their conditions.

TCM employs multiple modalities in treatment, the most well known of which is acupuncture.  Acupuncture is quickly becoming recognized the world over as an effective treatment method for a wide variety of complaints.  There is a growing body of research proving that effectiveness with hospitals and major universities in the US now offering and encouraging its utilization.

Another modality included in the TCM spectrum of care is the use of herbal prescriptions.  Chinese herbology is arguably the most advanced system of botanical medicine in practice on the planet today.  Differing from western systems of herbalism, TCM formulas are often very complex in their composition and treatment strategy, shying away from the use of single herbs and treatment based on symptoms.  It is crucial to have someone trained in TCM diagnostics prescribing these formulas as diagnosis and formulation have evolved together over centuries of clinical use.

A patient of TCM might also encounter modalities like cupping, therapeutic massage, electrical stimulation, moxabustion, and herbal lineaments and oils.  All these methods are used to treat based on the practitioner’s discretion, which should always be rooted in clear diagnosis.  Each treatment session is custom tailored for each patient.

new Acupuncture & chinese medicine Patients

Our Initial Consultations are an in depth look into your medical history and current health concerns and goals.  You should count on being here for approximately 90 minutes.  If you need additional time to complete the initial paperwork, please arrive early to do so.  We will have plenty of time to address both the chief complaint, and your history.  We will then devise a treatment plan for you based on your presentation and our diagnosis, and give you a treatment.    

Needles do NOT have to be a part of the treatment.  Acupuncture is one of the treatment modalities we utilize frequently, but for some patients needles may not be indicated, or the patient may just prefer not to have any.  We have many other tools, including tuina, cupping, moxa (or heat therapy), and Chinese herbal formulas.  

At the end of your first treatment we will explain our treatment plan including frequency of treatments, any prescribed herbs or supplements, and any diet and lifestyle changes we recommend.  Patients often feel results after just one treatment.  Indeed, for mild, acute conditions, that may be all that's required.  For longer-standing or chronic conditions, more treatments are usually indicated.

If you would like to discuss your health goals before deciding to make an appointment, please do not hesitate to call or email us!


Initial Consultation + Treatment (90 minutes): $130

Follow-up Consult + Treatment (60 minutes): $85

Initial Herbal Consult (60 minutes): $85

Follow-up Herbal Consult (30 minutes): $50

prices reflect time of service discount

Tony Galis, L.Ac.

Tony received his Masters in Traditonal Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University, one of the oldest and most respected institutions in the nation.  In addition to classroom study with some of the best practioners from China and the US, Five Branches extensive clinical training gave him the opportunity to take advantage of his supervisors’ decades of experience in hospitals in China and busy private practices to treat a wide variety of conditions.  Tony also interned with some of the best San Franciso Bay Area TCM practitioners outside of school, rounding out his experiences in busy private clinics where he saw a great deal more patients.

Tony is an excellent general practitioner, but also specializes in Internal Medicine, Emotional health, and Chinese herbal medicine.

Jana Galis, L.Ac., DACM

Jana completed her Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in 2010, where, in addition to the regular course work, she earned specialty certificates in Trauma and Orthopedics, and in Five Element Acupuncture.  In 2017, Jana returned to school to complete an Integrative Doctoral program at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and now holds her D.A.C.M.  (Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine). Jana is also NADA certified and has worked at multiple rehabilitation centers to aid people in their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. She has also done extensive extracurricular training in Obstetrics with some of this field’s most respected practitioners.

Jana believes that health is not something any practitioner can give to a patient, but rather that when people are engaged in their own healing process, far more profound changes occur. Jana approaches her practice as an opportunity to work together with her patients, taking into consideration their health goals and personal challenges, so that she may be of service to them on their journey.

  • Ashley Kissinger, L.Ac.

    Ashley holds a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine and specializes in women’s health. During her study at Five Branches University, she focused on gynecology and oncology, both at the university clinic and in various integrated hospitals in Hangzhou, China. She is nationally certified through the National Certification Commission (NCCAOM).

    Before relocating to Athens, GA, and Thrive Integrative Medicine, Ashley was in private practice in San Francisco, where she provided thousands of treatments to young professionals in the Financial District. In addition to her private practice, she provided care at multiple fertility clinics in the Bay area, including UCSF, and was a provider for Integrative Fertility. 

    During her time volunteering at Charlotte Maxwell Clinic , Ashley provided acupuncture services to women with cancer to help ease the discomfort associated with cancer and its treatment. She is a proud member of the Society for Integrative Oncology.

    Ashley has also been fortunate to consult with leaders in the field such as Raven Lang, acupuncturist and midwife, and Robert Levine, pulse diagnosis expert. Her mentors also include Dr. Sharon Feng, who she studied with until her last day in practice at Five Branches.