Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Center for Women's Health

woman's hand with three acupuncture needles

OHSU is committed to meeting the diverse health care needs of patients, and one of the ways we do that is by offering treatment plans coordinated across teams of specialists. Just at the Center for Women's Health we have experts in more than 22 areas, from obstetrics and gynecology to mental health to dermatology. 

Did you know that included among these specialties is Traditional Chinese Medicine? Yunpeng Luo, D.A.O.M., M.Med., L.Ac., trained and educated in China as a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, offers these services at the Center for Women's Health. 

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine? 

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system. Practitioners have used it for thousands of years to treat and prevent health conditions, whether they are physical, psychological or emotional. 

"In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we see illnesses and conditions as related to an imbalance of Qi, or vital energy, in the body," Dr. Luo says. "Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can facilitate free-flowing of Qi, which leads to balance in the whole body." 

Dr. Luo treats a variety of patient complaints with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. 

Who can benefit?

In addition to treating many types of pain, including musculoskeletal, nerve, and pelvic pain, Dr. Luo can help patients with a variety of conditions specific to women's health. These include: 

  • Menstrual disorders 
  • Endometriosis 
  • Menopause-related symptoms 
  • Infertility 
  • Migraines/headaches 
  • Stress, anxiety and depression 
  • Pregnancy-related symptoms


Acupuncture involves inserting needles into the skin at specific points on the body. The classical Chinese explanation for this process is that channels of energy run through the body and accessing these channels at specific points can help unblock barriers and improve energy flow. 

Modern scientific studies show that acupuncture may stimulate the nervous system, triggering the body to release chemicals and hormones that affect how we feel pain or influence other parts of the body's regulatory system. 

"Acupuncture is safe and can be very effective," says Dr. Luo. "New patients are sometimes nervous, but the needles are so smooth and thin that they rarely cause pain." 

Chinese herbal medicine 

Chinese herbs are also thought to help restore energy balances. In the United States, Chinese herbs are considered supplements, not medicine, and are available over the counter. However, Dr. Luo strongly recommends using them only under the care of a licensed herbalist. 

"Herbal medicine is usually safe and may have less side effects than other medicines, but herbs can interact with medications you take," Dr. Luo says. "Overuse or misuse can be dangerous. I always check a patient's medication list and health history before recommending an herb, and monitor their response to it."  

Integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine with conventional medicine 

A holistic treatment like acupuncture can be a great complement to other medical treatments patients use. Treating pain is a great example. 

Many patients Dr. Luo sees take pain medication but are looking for more pain relief. He works closely with these patients to help them achieve their goals. 

"Acupuncture can often decrease pain while also allowing people to take less medicine," says Dr. Luo. "Some patients can even use acupuncture to manage their pain without drugs." 

If you are looking for an effective alternative treatment, Dr. Luo may be able to help. Call 503-418-4500 to make an appointment. You can be sure that Dr. Luo will look at your health holistically. 

"I believe that the mind-body connection is very important," he says. "When treating patients, I always take a whole body approach."