Acupuncture Center of Spartanburg

753 E. Main Street • Spartanburg SC 29302

click here for a map

Shawn Jacobs, L.Ac.

Acupuncture: How It Works


Acupuncture is an eastern view of energy balance. People today don’t understand that an energy balance is essential for a quality state of health. Thousands of years ago, people ate according to the seasons, they slept when the sun went down, they were physically active, and they noticed how certain emotions affected them. People were more in tune to what was going on in their bodies. Throughout history, in China the royal families were the only ones who could afford medical care. If someone in the royal family died the physician was buried along with them, so the doctor had a vested interest in preventative health. The physician learned to recognize imbalances before they manifested into a full-blown "dis-ease." He would notice if there was more hunger, less sleepfulness, constipation, night-sweats, a faster heartbeat; he knew the constitution of his patients. These were all signs of imbalance (i.e. disease in the making) and at this point the physician was able to restore the balance of energy before it manifested as a more serious disease state.


Think of a large body of water that is made up of a network of small winding rivers. If one of the rivers is blocked at any point, the blockage will keep the water from flowing to some area whereas other areas will be overflowing with water. Acupuncture works by removing the blockages from “energetic rivers” in our bodies called meridians. When points along the meridian are stimulated, energy is unblocked “free flow” throughout the body. In Chinese medicine it is believed that good health is a result of free-flowing and balanced energy.


The western studies indicate that pressure exerted by an acupuncture needle stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals transmit a message to the hypothalamus to secrete certain hormones which will either change the experience of pain, or trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones that influence the body's own internal regulating system. This improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. All of this aside, as the needle enters the body it destroys tissue on a microscopic level and alerts the immune system that a foreign body is present, kind of like a red flag to a bull. The body responds by redirecting optimum blood flow to the area of pain and with that blood flow come new clean-up crews (phagocystic cells), along with collagen, red blood cells, and white blood cells to rebuild the matrix of tissue.


Conditions that are Treatable with Acupuncture


Back Pain
Carpel Tunnel
Joint Pain
Nerve Damage
Stroke Residuals

Sperm Quality
Menstrual Irregularity
Menopause Syndrome
Gastrointestinal Issues
Scar Reduction
Facial Rejuvenation


Acupuncture Techniques


Acupuncture uses tiny sterile needles inserted in carefully determined points. These needles are used one time and one time only. A patient will notice pressure and sometimes an achy feeling around the insertion point. Of course, the most commonly asked question is “does it hurt?” Sometimes for a brief moment people will feel something mildly electrical. The treatment typically consists of two 25-minute rest periods during which the needles are inserted in the back and then the front of the body. Most people fall asleep after the practioner leaves the room.


Electric stimulation (E-stem), also known as muscle stem or ultrasound, is a technique commonly used in the treatment of pain. Tiny alligator clips are attached to the acupuncture needles creating a constant stimulation to the tissue and increasing blood flow. Remember, it’s all about the blood flow. Most people find that this jump-starts the healing process, however, some people just don’t like it. A muscle spasm can be reset with the use of electric stem.




Cupping is a procedure using heat to create a vacuum affixing glass cups to the body. This suction is commonly used for musculoskeletal pain and lung problems such as cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and croup among other things. Remember, it’s all about the blood flow. For instance, in order to treat lung problems, the cups are applied alongside the spine where the spinal nerves branch off to go to the lungs. This will in turn increase blood flow and nerve innervation to the lungs. For musculoskeletal pain, which is probably 70% of my practice, the glass cups are applied to the area of muscle pain where they tear away the fibrin that is wrapped around the muscle like a cocoon and allow optimum blood flow to surge into the area. This creates a “hicky” effect or slight bruising. It’s hard to believe that the more it bruises, the better the outcome.




Moxabustion is a procedure that uses the herb artemisia also known as mugwort. It is used in many forms – rice grain moxa, direct moxa, moxa sticks – but most people know of its use in correcting a breech pregnancy.


Nutritional Counseling


Nutritional counseling is a very important part of Chinese medicine. We’ve heard the term “eating according to your blood type” and other fad diets. The Chinese believe that we should eat according to our constitution. For instance, some people are very cold inside and portray symptoms such as slow digestion, loose stool, and low energy. These people may be advised to avoid raw food, cold food, or too much fruit; while others who exhibit symptoms of heat such as night sweats, constipation, high blood pressure, or vertigo might benefit from that same diet. An individual assessment is required to achieve an optimal nutritional outcome. No one diet fits all.


Flexible Office Hours by Appointment

Charge is $90 for the initial treatment and $75 for each continuing treatment. Please allow an hour and a half for each appointment. There is a 24-hour cancellation policy.




Acupuncture Center of Spartanburg is located at 753 E. Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29302. The office is 2 blocks from the entrance to Converse College on the opposite side of E. Main Street, across from Arthur State Bank at the intersection of Heywood Avenue and E. Main Street. The entrance to the office and parking is at the rear of the building. Click here for a map


Shawn JacobsShawn Jacobs, Owner

Shawn has been practicing acupuncture since 1999. She graduated from the New York College of Wholistic Health in Syosset, New York, and holds a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine. She is a practitioner of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture licensed by the State Board of Medical Examiners of South Carolina and the Acupuncture Board of South Carolina. Shawn is also trained in the NADA protocol detox treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. She collaborates with doctors from both the Spartanburg Regional Hospital system and the Greenville Hospital system.