Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine, also known as TCM, includes a range of traditional medical practices originating in China. It is well accepted as the mainstream of medical care throughout East Asia. TCM includes such treatments as Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, dietary therapy, and exercises such as tai chi and qigong. Of these, the cornerstone of TCM is Chinese herbology, which has a 2,000 year history of continued evolution and success. It is one of the most sophisticated clinical systems in the world for diagnosing and treating ailments successfully.

Pulse Diagnosis

A traditional Asian diagnostic test, pulse diagnosis is interpreting the flow of blood through the radial artery at both wrists. A skilled practitioner who has mastered this fine art can correctly diagnose a multitude of anatomically based problems.

I Ching: An Ancient Style of Acupuncture

This method of acupuncture is over 2,500 years old and was derived from the “I Ching,” a Chinese literary classic. It has many names such as “I Ching acupuncture,” the balance method,”or “distal point acupuncture.” With this method, the pain relieving effect usually occurs within seconds after needle insertion and provides long lasting relief over a series of treatments. What is unique about this style of acupuncture is that needles are not inserted directly into the area of pain. The points used are usually from the elbows to hands, knees to feet and sometimes placed on the scalp or ears. Changing into a gown is not necessary and patients can relax in normal street attire on their back on a heated treatment table. Modern, disposable, hair-thin needles stimulate the miraculous ability of the body to heal itself in ways that cannot be replicated by symptom-reducing drugs or chemicals. Acupuncturists trained in the “I Ching” method use only a few strategically placed needles. The relaxing relief of pain and enhanced healing is priceless.

Treatable Conditions

Below is a partial list of ailments that can respond to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Please call if you have any questions about a condition not listed.

  • Acute & Chronic Pain
  • Allergies & Sinusitis
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual Disorders
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Sports Injuries
  • Substance Abuse
  • Tendonitis & Sciatic Pain
  • Tobacco Addiction

Gina Butler, Lac, Dipl CH

Licensed Practitioner of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology

Gina Butler received her Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree at the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine in Seattle, WA in 2004. She is nationally board certified in both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and is licensed by the State of Missouri to practice acupuncture. After completing her training, she began practice in Washington State. She has also practiced in Oregon and now Missouri where she resides with her husband and son.

Gina’s practice is founded upon an integrative approach to medicine that recognizes the unique state of each individual’s specific condition. Her approach is to become a facilitator in the health and healing of her patients. The body’s natural healing process is encouraged through the use of the diverse methods contained within traditional Chinese medicine.

Preparing for Your Acupuncture Visit

  • Please allow 90 minutes for your first visit and 60 minutes for the following visits.
  • It is best to eat a few hours before your treatment, or at least have a light snack before the treatment.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothes in which the sleeves can be rolled up to the elbows and pants rolled to the knees. If necessary, you may change into a gown.
  • After your treatment it is best to not engage in strenuous activities.

What to Expect

Acupuncture needles are thin, solid, and are for single use only. Needles have been sterilized and packaged with an air-tight seal to maintain their sterile condition, and are dropped into a biohazard container for disposal after use. Some people feel no sensation with needle insertion. Others feel a slight pinch followed by tingling, aching, or heaviness. These sensations are all normal within the context of an acupuncture treatment. Once the needles are inserted, a patient rests for 30-45 minutes depending on needs of the individual’s condition. Most people feel deeply relaxed during a treatment. For some that relaxation sustains after treatment, while for others there is a feeling of rejuvenation.


What Patients Are Saying about Acupuncture at Women’s Wellness Center . . .

Chronic Urticaria.  Before trying acupuncture with Gina, I was suffering from chronic urticaria for four months.  Chronic urticaria is defined as hives that persist longer than six weeks, and it is an incredibly miserable condition to live with. The hives would itch and last all day long.  I had an excellent team of doctors following my condition, but after having two skin biopsies and extensive blood panels taken, that all came back normal, my physicians were unable to treat my condition.  My quality of life changed dramatically from the illness.  After my very first acupuncture treatment with Gina, my body felt a sense of peace.  I felt better than I had in months.  Within one week of beginning acupuncture and herbs with Gina my condition improved drastically.  The hives were decreasing daily.  After two weeks of treatment I was nearly hive free. I am so very grateful for Gina’s services. I truly believe she saved my life and she has provided me with a lifetime alternative to biomedicine.  This holiday season Gina gave my family and I the best gift of all, my health. – S.G.

Foot Pain.  I am extremely pleased with the results I got from my visits with Gina. I had never considered acupuncture until I had gone to the orthopedic, then physical therapy route with little or no improvement! The pain in my outer foot upon standing after sitting was intense! After TWO visits with Gina my pain was gone and has not returned! I am a real believer in acupuncture and the relief that it can bring. My sessions with Gina were painless and so relaxing. She is a pro at what she does, and so pleasant to work with. Thanks Gina!  – B.F.

Headache.  When I first came to see Gina, I had suffered from a continual sinus headache for 3 months. Two courses of antibiotics had not solved the problem. After approximately 6 weeks of acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs, the headache is entirely gone. I am especially appreciative of my acupuncturist, Gina, for her personal care and attention to me through the treatments and recommend this holistic approach to healing. – J.H.

Morning Sickness.  A special thanks to Gina for helping me through both the roughest earlier phase of my pregnancy and the final stretch. Baby Will is doing great and continues to be very mellow and content. – B.M.

Peripheral Neuropathy.  Because I have diabetes, I have developed neuropathy in my fingers and feet. I had lost all feeling in my fingers so that if I were to pick up a screw, I would not know which way it was pointed. It also made it very difficult to pick a coin up off a table. My feet had lost all feeling and felt like there was a piece of cardboard under them. I could feel my weight on them but not the floor. Since I have been going in for acupuncture for six weeks, I am now getting the feeling back in the fingers and feet. Thanks Gina for your help. – T.H.

Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy.  I wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much I appreciate your knowledge of and skills in the art of acupuncture. As I have told you, my colleagues in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri were mixed in their assessment of whether or not acupuncture would help with my neuropathy in both feet, a side effect of six chemotherapy treatments. I can’t begin to thank you enough for getting me started and for continuing acupuncture treatments. My feet are 50% better, which is huge when you consider they were previously numb, tingled, and caused me to stumble often. I now have feeling in both feet, I have much improved balance, and I am beginning to think the neuropathy will go away. It is difficult to describe what it means to a person with terminal cancer to have the body rid of the many side effects of the chemotherapy designed to treat it. This is especially true of the feet, a constant daily reminder of the ordeal caused by the cancer shrinking and cell-killing chemicals. At any rate, thank you for your treatments, I am glad that I made that first appointment. – D.O.

Numbness & Pain.  My experience with Gina has been a very positive one. I was in a car accident in which I received a whiplash, leaving me with numbness and pain in my right arm and fingers. After seeing several doctors with little results, one doctor recommended acupuncture. After 3 months, Gina has given back my arm and hand to me with NO numbness or pain. – V.H.

Back Pain.  After going to my chiropractor for 3 months for back, shoulder and neck pain and also suffering from years of a dermatological condition that creams and ointments did nothing for; I came to see Gina on my daughter’s recommendation. Several treatments later, my back, shoulder and neck pain were a lot better.  Also the herbs that Gina prescribed to me reduced the dermatitis significantly.  I am now finished with my series of treatments with no more pain and the dermatitis is completely gone. I am 68 years old and now enjoy gardening, biking, hiking and camping again, thanks to Gina. – B.M.

Neck & Thumb Pain.  Thank you so much for your help! It is amazing the relief I have felt not having the pain in my hands.  I knew that one thing had led to another in what was causing the pain, but you really have changed my whole body.  The pains in my thumbs were from my neck being so bad and the difference is 95% better in just 2 weeks. You listened to what my problems were and solved it, where I have just been medicated and not solved before. Thank you from a dedicated patient. – L.G.

Smoking Cessation.  I have friends who use acupuncture as a form of treatment for back spasms and chronic pain, but I had no idea it could be a form of therapy for tobacco cessation. When I finally decided I was ready to quit and didn’t want to trade one addiction for another (i.e. nicotine replacement therapy) I decided to give it a try.  Gina was very upfront about the treatment and the commitment required for successful completion and I felt encouraged by her enthusiasm.  I was a 30-year smoker who began the treatment on a Monday and by the end of the week I was amazed when I realized that I was no longer even thinking about smoking.  I just completed my therapy and I have no doubt that I’ll be able to remain smoke free thanks to Gina and her encouragement.  If you’re seeking an alternative treatment that doesn’t replace one habit with another, I would highly recommend it… it’s painless and actually relaxing! Thanks very much to Gina and Women’s Wellness Center for offering this great alternative therapy! – PB

Sciatica.  I am a 56-year-old male who up until now was extremely skeptical of any medical procedure that did not involve drugs, doctors or surgery. After experiencing a severe attack of sciatica in which I was treated by 3 different doctors and prescribed 6 drugs with very little results, I turned to acupuncture. I underwent approximately 16 acupuncture treatments with astonishing success and am completely recovered from my sciatica. I am now completely convinced that Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture in particular, is a safe and effective procedure. I give my gratitude and highest recommendation. – R.K.

Shoulder Pain.  After an accident nearly 8 years ago, I have had chronic shoulder pain. The orthopedic doctors determined that surgery was not the cure, and instead suggested periodic cortisone shots. Because I also have some bone loss, I decided against this treatment. Then I read in the paper about a new acupuncturist, Gina Butler, located at Women’s Wellness Center in Columbia. I was not new to acupuncture. While living in Colorado, my plantar fasciitis foot pain was successfully treated with acupuncture, and I recognized the importance of a well trained acupuncturist. I decided to make an appointment with Gina. I found Gina to be professional and friendly, but most importantly, she knows what she is doing. Gina relieved my shoulder pain and I was finally able to return to yoga. The spa-like setting of the Women’s Wellness Center, along with Gina’s expertise, makes for a pleasant experience. I highly recommend her. – J.F.

Trigeminal Neuralgia.  Gina, This is a progress report on how I am doing. The only discomfort is in my upper lip and this is very manageable.  Rarely do I have pain in my head and when this happens, it does not last very long. The best to you and your family and thank you very, very much for giving me back my life. I could not function very well the way I was when I first met you. The pain was getting worse, not better as it is now. – D.L.

Low Back Pain from a Car Accident.  I was new to acupuncture and didn’t have any idea how coming to Gina would turn my life around. Now, 2 short months later, I am almost done with my treatments and my body is almost healed. I am so grateful for what Gina has done for me. I had been in a car accident and dealing with pain for over a year. Living daily with pain had become a tiresome way of life for me. My first visit was right after seeing my chiropractor and I was still in a lot of pain. I remember wincing with pain both when I sat down and stood up as both of these things set off the back pain so much. I carefully got onto the acupuncture table but when I got off I was very surprised that there was no more pain. It was gone and I couldn’t believe it! It has been such a pleasure getting to know Gina and I look forward to seeing her smiling face at each of my visits. I give Gina my highest recommendation and feel good knowing that whoever decides to see her will get the best treatment possible.  – M.B.

Infertility.  I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and I never ovulated. On my doctor’s recommendation, I decided to try acupuncture. On the very first visit Gina made me feel at ease. She took my pulse and was able to figure out the best treatment plan based on that and my medical issues. I was shocked that I was actually very relaxed during the appointment and the feeling lasted well after the treatment. Gina also made a combination of Chinese herbs for me to take as well. I had only been going in for treatments for about four weeks, when I had blood work done and it showed a slight improvement in progesterone levels. I continued on with the treatments and taking my temp. After a year and a half of trying with no luck, no regular cycle, and never ovulating I became pregnant, and I can say with my whole heart that I believe it was the acupuncture and Chinese herbs that made it possible. I think if we had continued on with the “traditional” medical path we would still be trying with no luck to conceive. Acupuncture really made the difference for us. – L.M.