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   I respond to questions in the order I receive them, 

usually within 1-3 business days.  My responses are for

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advice for specific medical treatment or diagnosis

.   For appointments, please call my office at: (757) 631-9799.  

     Your email address or other information is confidential; I will never share it with anyone, nor will it be used for any form of solicitation.   I look forward to your questions! 

The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions

Natural & holistic, whole-person, wellness-based Healthcare - Drug-Free & Non-Surgical Pain Relief


Introduction to

Liebell Clinic Acupuncture

   By Dr. Donald Liebell

                                I've written this article to introduce myself to you, as well as to give you some background on acupuncture, and the                                   techniques I use in my natural health practice, which has operated since 1993.  I suspect most Americans have heard of                               acupuncture, but don’t necessarily know much about it beyond its Chinese roots and the use of needles.  For some                                       people, the mere mention of needles turns them off to one of the oldest and most successful treatment methods the                                   world has ever known.  Oddly, acupuncture is referred to as alternative medicine… even though it was mastered                                           thousands of years before the first drug prescription was ever written.  
   Today, acupuncture is being learned by some conventionally-trained doctors, who have opened their minds to drug-free methods.  The term, medical acupuncture has recently come into vogue, largely due to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, which was formed in 1987 by a group of physicians graduating from programs through UCLA School of Medicine.   Its purpose has been to promote the integration of acupuncture into Western medical training—to create a more comprehensive approach to health care.   The term, medical acupuncture means acupuncture provided by a physician, who is licensed and trained in both conventional Western medicine and acupuncture.   

As a doctor, licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine in both chiropractic and acupuncture, I am also qualified and equipped to conventionally diagnose and refer patients, evaluate x-ray and other diagnostic tests, and provide other physician-associated services, when necessary.

  There are many different schools-of-thought and approaches within the field of acupuncture.  I utilize some specific and unique acupuncture techniques.  My principle acupuncture approach is called Auricular Therapy, which is a remarkable method developed by the award-winning neurologist, acupuncturist, and homeopathic physician, Paul Nogier, MD, of the medical school in Lyon, France.   It is an incredible, comprehensive system of acupuncture and other integrated techniques performed exclusively on the outer ear.  You’ll be able to get all the details throughout this website.

   By general definition, acupuncture involves insertion of needles into

clinically established points on the body—intended to stimulate health

and well being.  Although acupuncture has been around for thousands of years,

explanations of how it works have been continually updated, as further evidence

scientifically validates it.  It is fascinating to ponder that this ancient art and science

has been in progressive development before written history began. 

   Traditional Chinese medicine acknowledges the balance between our body, mind, and spirit.  The term, holistic applies, meaning that these three components of our health are interconnected, and that we are more than just the sum of our parts.  Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) views the human body as a whole universe that must conform to laws of balance—the yin and yang.  This is in stark contrast to conventional or contemporary Western medicine, where health is broken down to chemical reactions and only visible mechanical processes, which must be measured and quantified.

  Chi (Qi), the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine, has been described in many ways.  Perhaps it’s best defined as the living energy of the body—which at this point in human history cannot be seen or measured. 
Perhaps someday scientists gain the ability to do so.  In the meantime, it has been indisputable that living people have living energy, while the deceased do not.  In acupuncture, illness is viewed as imbalance or blockage of energy in the body.  The goal of acupuncture is to correct such imbalances and restore normal energetic circulation through the long-established meridian channels—to unblock a stalled or blocked healing process—to remove an impediment to the incomprehensible and extraordinary, natural and inborn healing ability of the human body.

   Albert Einstein determined that matter and energy are dual expressions of the same “substance.”  Practitioners of acupuncture, like many other holistic and natural health sciences, understand and acknowledge this established scientific fact. 

   Thousands of positive scientific studies have been conducted on acupuncture.  But quite frankly, its effectiveness and safety does NOT need to be proven! On the other hand, HOW it works, in terms of scientific mechanisms of action is certainly a fascinating topic for research, and we do well to investigate acupuncture with modern technology.  For that reason, you will see references to published medical research throughout this website.  

"What exactly are acupuncture points?"

   Acupuncture points can be detected with modern technology, revealing pinpoint

spots where the electrical resistance is greater than the skin surrounding them.  

There are hundreds of them, which can be expertly found at very specific anatomical areas

along the meridians, which according the TCM, are associated with 12 main organs of the

body—their energetic pathways.  There are also some acupuncture points that are not

associated with any meridians, including the auricular medicine ear acupuncture points,

which I focus on in my practice.  

   The World Health Organization (WHO) has a publication that

lists 20 meridian channels, and they recognize approximately

400 acupuncture points.
   How fascinating it is that electricity conducts faster through our meridians than the rest of the body.  Acupuncture needles (as well as needle-free methods) act like antennas that attract energy to the tissues.  They also stimulate the brain to release helpful natural chemicals, such as endorphins for pain relief and other functions.  It is also thought that acupuncture can affect pathways that prevent pain signals from affecting the brain.  Remarkable it is that these acupuncture points and meridians were located, studied, and used for treatment long before any scientific validation was possible.

   Traditional acupuncture views the body in terms of FUNCTION rather than structure. 
Anatomy is the focus of Western medicine, where function or physiology is very Eastern in medical philosophy.  There is no visible structural or anatomical evidence for acupuncture meridians or points.  But there is a mountain of amount of clinical evidence and history documenting their existence, specific pathways, and their effectiveness in treatment!

Let’s take a moment to discuss acupuncture needles.

    Acupuncture needles could more appropriately be called filaments rather than needles. 
I realize that people don’t like the idea of needles.  In medicine, needles are hollow, fairly thick, and pointed instruments used for drawing blood or giving a shot.  By contrast, acupuncture needles are solid, hair thin—usually without much of a point.  They are designed to penetrate the skin without cutting it.  Most acupuncture needle insertion does not hurt. 

   There are many types of needles, as well as various techniques of usage

therefore, how acupuncture treatment feels depends upon factors including the type

of needles used, area of the body or point receiving treatment, the skill of the practitioner,

and the sensitivity of the patient.  There are many different approaches to acupuncture

used today, developed in countries such Korea, France, Germany, and the United States.

Safety & Effectiveness

   It can’t be stressed enough that acupuncture is generally not painful—perhaps it just looks like it might be.
  In reality, most people find it relaxing.  Caricatures of acupuncture depicting scary and painful insertion of needles, may indeed be funny; but if they scare you away from safe and effective treatment—that’s not funny at all.  Acupuncture is a safe way to promote healing and wellness, and has millennia of history of effectiveness.  All acupuncture needles used at the Liebell Clinic are FDA cleared, sterilized, packaged, properly disposed after usage, and never shared or reused.  

   It seems that the only thing that ever stops Americans from trying acupuncture is the fear of the unknown (okay, and needles too!).  Remember that acupuncture has existed, producing amazing results, long before Western medicine was ever developed.  Today, nearly half of the FDA approved pharmaceutical medicines have unknown mechanisms of action, as well as a wide range of side effects and significant risks.  But keep in mind that results come from comprehensive evaluation of the individual and individualized treatment; they are not based upon what research says, or even the history of a particular symptom or medical condition. 

   In Western medicine, the diagnosis of the condition is generally what dictates the treatment.  With holistic medicine practices, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and chiropractic… the individual person is treated.  

Your results will depend on the severity of your condition when we start, how long you’ve had it, and many other factors of your health lifestyle.  I’m sure you agree that health care should always be a comprehensive, customized, and careful process—that takes in to account all possible evaluation and treatment approaches.  I cannot promise or guarantee results—no practitioner should.  But I can guarantee that I will evaluate your health needs in as thorough and a responsible a manner as I possibly can—utilizing skills and knowledge from both a doctor’s and an acupuncturist’s perspective.  

   I appreciate you taking the time to read this article.  I welcome you to email me with any questions you have.  Do yourself a favor, and take the time to explore my website, and learn all about these wonderful methods.  It will be my privilege to help you, if your condition warrants it.        

  Acupuncture methods used at the Liebell Clinic include:Auricular therapy (Ear Acupuncture), Distal Acupuncture, Ashi Trigger Point Acupuncture, Dry mouth & Eyes Acupuncture, Auricular Allergy Acupuncture, Battlefield Acupuncture, Macular Degeneration Acupuncture                                                        


-Dr. Donald Liebell 

​Donald K. Liebell, DC, BCAO

477 Viking Drive Suite 170

Virginia Beach VA 23452 
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F 

(By Appointment Tu, Sat)