Wooden spoon with herbs on a table

10 Best Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors & Practitioners [2024]

January 5, 2024
Clinically reviewed by Dr. Mary Oleksowicz

Essential Takeaways

  • A Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor is a certified practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine can involve acupuncture, Tai Chi, and herbal products. TCM practitioners are trained to diagnose conditions, develop treatment plans, and administer these treatments.
  • When finding the best Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor for you, make sure to review the providers licensing, education, experience, accessibility, and healing specialties.
  • Start your healing process with Qi Health’s highly trained TCM doctors.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a promising form of alternative medicine and holistic healing that has helped countless people for multiple millennia. By combining various modalities and methods toward healing and considering the mind, body, and spirit as an entwined whole, Traditional Chinese Medicine can help patients find harmony and relief.

At the same time, not all Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners are equally skilled and qualified to deliver patient care. As with any trusted professional, it’s important to thoroughly understand the requirements and certifications needed in the search for a reliable Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor.

In this article, learn about the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine, dig into the elements defining top practitioners, and meet some of the best Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors out there.

What is a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor?

A Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor is a certified practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine has cultural roots spanning back thousands of years and integrates various modes of healing and wellness.

Traditional Chinese Medicine can involve acupuncture, Tai Chi, and herbal products. Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors are trained to diagnose conditions, develop treatment plans, and administer these treatments.

The History of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine has roots in ancient Chinese philosophy and culture. With a centuries-long evolution dating back to 200 BCE, the practice has changed over time to incorporate new knowledge and the latest discoveries.

Mostly practiced in Asia for many centuries, Traditional Chinese Medicine practices made their way to the United States in the mid-19th century. These practices have become better known in the United States after the 1970s.

At the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine are foundational principles including the concepts of Qi, Yin-Yang theory, and the five elements. Qi refers to life energy, Yin-Yang are opposing forces, and the five elements are used to understand health conditions in the body through their connections with natural phenomena.

How to Choose a TCM Practitioner

Take the following factors into account to ensure the best possible care.

Licensing & Education

While Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners do not go through the same training and education as physicians, who need a Doctorate of Medicine to practice, they do require extensive licensing and education specific to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Depending on the specific treatment type, practitioners require different certifications. For example, an acupuncturist will undergo specific acupuncture training while an herbal practitioner will follow a different path for licensing.

Referring to reputable membership organizations like The Society for Acupuncture Research and The National Federation of Chinese TCM Organizations, or certification and referral providers like the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the Acupuncture Referral Service, can help patients identify qualified practitioners.

Accessibility

Establishing a long-term relationship with a practitioner requires open lines of communication and reliable accessibility. As you make initial contact with a practitioner, pay close attention to how easy or difficult it is to reach them.

Do they talk about regular follow-ups or easy-to-use messaging portals? Do you know if they’ll be available to answer your questions as needed? If you’re looking for acupuncture or other in-person care, how close is their office to your home or workplace? How convenient is it to go for a visit? Accessibility is key to a working relationship in the long term.

Experience

Certifications only say so much. Make sure to look into the actual experience of each doctor you’re considering. Are they brand new to the field? Have they been practicing for decades, with a wealth of experience and knowledge?

These aspects should play a factor in choosing the right Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner for your needs.

Specialties

Finally, narrow down your search by focusing on practitioners with specialties relevant to your needs. If you’re interested in herbal medicine, you may not need to pay any attention to acupuncture licensing, for example.

Practitioners may also specialize in specific health conditions or populations, which can help you in choosing the right professional for your needs. If you’re not sure exactly what path your healing journey will take, you might seek out practitioners with multiple specialties and certifications.

Treatments Used by Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine builds on holistic practices to work toward overall healing. Each aspect of this holistic approach requires specific certification.

Some practitioners only specialize in one type of treatment, while others may be certified in all of them. The following treatment modalities are common in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is a treatment type in which practitioners diagnose health conditions and prescribe specific herbs to treat them. The practitioner will advise on the correct dosage, sourcing, combination of herbs, and more.

In most cases, herbal medicine treatments should involve ongoing communication about outcomes and symptoms so that dosages and herbal prescriptions can be adjusted as needed. With the right herbal blend and personal approach, customized herbal medicine can have profound positive impacts on women’s health, chronic pain, and digestive issues.

Acupuncture & Acupressure

Acupuncture and acupressure are some of the most well-known modalities of alternative medicine. In acupuncture, practitioners insert thin needles into specific points in the body. Then, they gently move the needles manually or through electrical stimulation.

This practice is meant to stimulate Qi, or life energy, and bring about balance. Acupressure is similar in that it brings focus to specific points in the body, but in acupressure, the practitioner will apply firm pressure instead of inserting needles.

While these practices may sound painful for those who haven’t experienced them, patients generally find pain relief and relaxation through acupuncture and acupressure.

Nutrition & Exercise

Because Traditional Chinese Medicine takes a holistic view of health, nutrition, and exercise play a large role in treatment for many practitioners. This focus can take various forms. Some practitioners specialize in the Traditional Chinese Medicine principles of nutrition and exercise.

For example, some may teach Tai Chi or Qigong to support well-being and balance. Other practitioners might provide personalized dietary plans to address health concerns through nutrition.

Tui Na Massage

Often used in conjunction with cupping, Tui Na massage is designed to promote blood flow and stimulate Qi. This treatment is similar to acupuncture in the way that it addresses specific points in the body to bring about energy and balance.

Depending on patient needs, this type of massage may involve specific manipulations and techniques to help alleviate pain and enhance relaxation.

Cupping Therapy

For those experiencing pain and inflammation, cupping therapy is often helpful. In cupping therapy, Chinese Medicine Doctors place heated suction cups on the skin to create a vacuum. This practice can help relieve tension in the muscles and promote Qi and blood flow.

The Best Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors & Practitioners

For those seeking local care for acupuncture, massage, or cupping needs, individual research may be required. Fortunately, many aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine are now accessible virtually, such as herbal consultations and nutrition guidance.

This list of top Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors can help you begin a search for the right practitioner for your needs.

Dr. Mary Oleksowicz

Dr. Mary Oleksowicz

Specialties:

  • Pain conditions
  • OB/GYN care
  • Acupuncture

Certifications:

  • Licensed Oriental Medicine Practitioner (O.M.D); Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.)
  • Certified in the USA for Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Years in practice: 25+

Dr. Oleksowicz holds a doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and is fluent in English and Spanish. She has a private clinical practice in New York and has been practicing integrated herbal medicine there for 28 years. She also teaches at various colleges in the US.

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Dr. Biao Lu

Dr. Biao Lu

Specialties:

  • Pain conditions
  • Infertility
  • Dermatology
  • Allergies
  • Asthma

Certifications:

  • L.Ac., O.M.D.
  • Certified in China & USA for Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Years in practice: 35+

Dr. Lu has studied acupuncture with world-renowned acupuncturists and has learned specialized techniques to target neurological and immunological disorders. He has been practicing acupuncture since 1984 and has practiced in both Beijing and Los Angeles.

Lu is an expert in QiGong healing and his specialties include dermatology, psoriasis, eczema, male infertility, and pain conditions. He is fluent in Mandarin and English.

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Dr. Shiao-Ting Jing

Dr. Shiao-Ting Jing

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Specialties:

  • Gynecology
  • Fertility
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Pediatrics

Certification: Ph.D. and O.M.D

Years in practice: 30+

Dr. Shiao-Ting Jing completed an eight-year training program to become a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and her family has been practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine for generations. In Beijing, she gained experience and success in treating gynecological issues.

She also performed research regarding kidney failure and took on roles such as teacher, intern supervisor, and chief physician at Beijing Immunology Hospital. After a move to Los Angeles, Dr. Jing earned a Ph.D. and opened her practice.

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Dr. Miao Miao

Dr. Miao Miao

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Specialties: Women’s health

Certification: Master's of Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (MATCM)

Years in practice: 1 year

Miao Miao is currently completing her Doctoral program at Yo San University of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, where she previously earned her Master's of Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (MATCM).

She is trained in Tan Balancing Acupuncture and 5-elements acupuncture and is a current faculty member of Yo Tan University.

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Dr. Jane Li

Dr. Jane Li

Specialties:

  • Pain conditions
  • OB/GYN care

Certifications:

  • L.Ac., O.M.D.
  • Certified in China & USA for Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Years in practice: 25+

Dr. Li has her own clinic in Los Angeles where she uses her knowledge of medical herbs to help patients solve various health concerns. She is fluent in Mandarin and English and she works to integrate Chinese Medical practices in Western healthcare through her work at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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Dr. Jill Blakeway

Dr. Jill Blakeway

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Specialties:

  • Fertility
  • Women’s Health
  • OB/GYN

Certification:

  • Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM), LAc
  • Licensed and board-certified acupuncturist
  • Clinical herbalist

Years in practice: 25+

Blakeway founded the Yinova Center in 1999 and focuses on helping women with fertility concerns. She has authored several books combining ancient Chinese medicine practices with conventional biomedicine and has been named as one of Manhattan’s top acupuncturists by the New York Times.

In addition to founding the Yinova Center, Blakeway also founded the acupuncture program at NYU Lutheran Medical Center and has had her research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. She now teaches as a visiting professor and speaks at Chinese Medicine conferences.

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Dr. Michelle Gellis

Dr. Michelle Gellis

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Specialties:

  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition and exercise
  • Skincare

Certification: LAc MAc DiplAc

Years in practice: 20

Michelle Gellis teaches acupuncture facial rejuvenation and has been published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Today. Her focus lies on facial acupuncture and neuromuscular facial conditions, but she also offers holistic guidance involving lifestyle choices like diet and exercise.

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Dr. Qinghong Han

Dr. Qinghong Han

Source

Specialties:

  • Internal medicine
  • Pain control
  • Tui Na massage
  • Cupping
  • Tai chi
  • Acupuncture

Certification: Board-certified acupuncture physician

Years in practice: 29

Born in Hubei, P.R. China, Dr. Han first received Traditional Chinese Medicine training at Hubei University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and an advanced degree in gynecology from Tongji Medical University.

She then moved to Sarasota and worked as a professor and Acupuncture Physician there. Her award-winning acupuncture practice serves the Sarasota-Venice area.

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Dr. Randine Lewis

Dr. Randine Lewis

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Specialties: Fertility

Certification:

  • Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM)
  • PhD in Alternative Medicine

Years in practice: 25+

Dr. Randine Lewis has studied in both China and the United States and now teaches through her program The Fertile Soul. She served as a governing board member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and has authored multiple books about fertility issues.

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Dr. Sharon Weizenbaum

Dr. Sharon Weizenbaum

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Specialties: Acupuncture

Certification: L.Ac

Years in practice: 30+

Sharon Weizenbaum has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine in both the United States and China. She has taught at the Northwest Institute of Oriental Medicine and founded White Pine Healing Arts and the White Pine Institute.

This clinic offers acupuncture and community acupuncture for a wide range of health conditions.

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What to Expect on Your First Visit to a TCM Practitioner

What to expect with Qi Health

Especially if you have only experienced Western medical practices or you’re not sure what the process of visiting a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner entails, uncovering the details of the approach can be helpful.

Every practitioner and clinic will leverage their own methods for diagnosis and treatment, and your visits may vary based on your health conditions or whether you’re making an in-person or virtual visit.

With Qi Health, patients can access care and guidance from world-renowned Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors from the comfort of their homes. Strike an ideal balance between convenience and quality in your journey toward herbal wellness and healing.

Here’s how the process works with Qi Health:

1. Book Your TCM Doctor Consultation

No matter where you’re located, you can book an herbalist consultation with one of Qi Health’s top Chinese Medicine doctors. Book this 45-60 minute session according to your schedule and preferences.

2. Get a Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Assessment

During your one-on-one herbalist consultation, your Traditional Chinese medicine doctor will talk through the following factors with you:

  • An assessment of your overall health
  • Your symptoms
  • Possible root causes of your symptoms
  • A diagnosis
  • Your customized herbal medicine prescription, including dosage and guidance about the best way to incorporate your prescribed herbs into your lifestyle and routines
  • Additional care plan details such as dietary and lifestyle recommendations
  • Guidance for tracking your symptoms and the level of symptom reduction you can expect
  • Answers to any questions you may have

3. Receive a Custom Treatment Plan

Following your consultation, your doctor will assemble your customized herbal blend. Then, you can purchase your personalized blend of high-quality herbs directly from Qi Health and have them delivered straight to your door.

At Qi Health, patients can rest assured that all herbs are:

  • Laboratory tested
  • Made from 100% natural ingredients
  • Highest purity, potency, and quality
  • Free from off-putting flavors or odors

4. Receive Monthly Follow-Up Appointments with Your TCM Practitioner

Your health journey is ongoing and ever-changing. Sometimes, finding the right solutions for a specific health condition can require continuous analysis of your symptoms and overall health.

That’s why Qi Health offers monthly follow-up appointments with your Chinese medicine doctor. You can expect to cover details including the following:

  • Symptom reductions, past and future
  • Changes or desired changes to your lifestyle
  • How the herbs are working for you
  • Any suggested changes to your prescription or health plan
  • Answers to any questions you have

Health guidance should never be one-size-fits-all. Each person is different and has unique health needs, necessitating a holistic and customized approach to healing. With Qi Health, ongoing listening paves the way for customized care that evolves with you.

Work with the Best Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor

Selecting the best doctor for your unique needs can feel daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Regardless of your location, you can access convenient care from world-renowned Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors with Qi Health.

Whether you’re looking for help with fertility, hormone balance, or cycle health, Qi Health can help.

Book your initial herbalist consultation today!