Pins + Needles Acupuncture LLC
Pins and Needles Acupuncture offers you access to an array of ancient healing techniques in a thoroughly modern setting. Co-owners Matthew Kerr and Thom Heil are dedicated to healing the ailments of contemporary Americans by practicing traditional modes of Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, Chinese herbalism, and nutritional counseling.
While Thom and Matthew each hold special interests in the broader field of Chinese medicine, they are general practitioners with experience treating a variety of illnesses. They have successfully treated conditions ranging from:
- the common cold to chronic sinusitis
- indigestion and heartburn to diabetes
- muscle aches to osteoarthritis
- anxiety and depression to schizophrenia
Many people do not realize that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has been used for centuries to treat all of these conditions and much more. TCM excels at treating conditions that are difficult to diagnose or that have been resistant to other treatments.
TCM teaches us that we must take into account the entire person and not just the symptoms of that person’s disease. As a result, acupuncture and other Chinese medical techniques often raise a patient’s general quality of life by reducing stress and increasing focus in addition to addressing specific physical complaints. If you are curious about what Chinese medicine can do for you, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Matthew Kerr, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Thom Heil, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Pins and Needles Acupuncture is located in the Northside Holistic Center at:
4737 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
We are just a few doors south of the intersection of Clark and Lawrence. Ring the bell when you arrive; the clinic door is typically locked during business hours.
The clinic is easily accessible by public transportation, including the 22 Clark bus and the 81 Lawrence bus. We are a short 10-minute walk west from the Lawrence Red Line train stop. Street parking is also available.
Matthew Kerr, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, graduated with a Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) in Chicago. During his time at PCOM, he completed over 1000 hours of clinical internship, as well as in-depth studies of biomedicine, herbalism, and Chinese medical theory. He is an active member of both state- and national-level acupuncture associations, and is nationally certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbalism by the NCCAOM. Matthew received his B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting and B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. He began studying Chinese medicine as a way to bridge the gap between his background in the arts and his interest in helping others.
While Matthew’s private practice is located on the north side of Chicago, he also has been involved in various community acupuncture clinics around the city, bringing healthcare to those in need of it the most. Matthew treats a wide variety of disorders including sleep issues, headaches, muscular/skeletal pain, men’s and women’s health, and hormonal issues. He has a special focus on treating HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and psycho-emotional issues. In his spare time, Matthew’s interests include a wide range of art and music, and he enjoys learning about and cooking new and unusual vegetarian dishes.
Thom Heil, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, graduated valedictorian of his class with a Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) in Chicago. During his time at PCOM, he completed over 1000 hours of clinical internship, as well as in-depth studies of biomedicine, herbalism, and Chinese medical theory. He is an active member of both state- and national-level acupuncture associations, and is nationally certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbalism by the NCCAOM. His interests include hiking, urban biking, kitchen canning, and sustainable agriculture. He also enjoys classic science fiction, contemporary art, and the history of science.
Professionally, Thom supports his patients’ goals for wellness by focusing on their lives as a whole. He has treated sinus and nasal congestion, muscle and joint aches and pains, digestive disorders, blood sugar imbalances, hormonal irregularities, and illnesses subsequent to cancer treatment. His particular interests include diseases of the modern American lifestyle, including metabolic disorder and type II diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and hormonal disorders. His treatments may include dietary and lifestyle advice in addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies. He believes that moderation in all things is truly the key to health.
Your First Visit
Your initial appointment at Pins and Needles Acupuncture may last anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes, so please be prepared for a longer than usual office visit. Follow-up treatments will take about an hour.
Your first treatment will start with a general health intake and a detailed summary of the symptoms that prompted you to come in. The practitioner will feel your pulse, inspect your tongue, and ask a series of questions to better understand your condition. Once he has determined the general pattern of disharmony, he will insert the acupuncture needles while you relax. The needles will be retained for 15-30 minutes depending on the condition.
Diet and lifestyle recommendations may be discussed during the course of the appointment, and other treatment techniques might be applied before or after the acupuncture. See below for more information about those. If your practitioner thinks an herbal formula will be helpful, he will discuss that with you during your time together.
To make sure your appointment runs smoothly, please follow these simple guidelines:
- Don’t brush or scrape your tongue the day of your appointment. Your tongue coating can tell us a lot about what’s going on inside your body. Feel free to brush your teeth normally, just not your tongue.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing that provides access to your arms, legs, and torso. Most acupuncture treatments will involve needles in those areas.
- Make sure to eat something before you come to your appointment. Acupuncture can be stimulating or draining, depending on the treatment, and we want to avoid feelings excessive lightheadedness.
What To Expect
We offer a wide range of treatment modalities ranging from acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to cupping, gua sha, tui na, moxibustion, and dietary and lifestyle recommendations.
Cupping relieves muscle tension and pain by pulling toxins from the body. During a cupping treatment, glass or plastic cups are attached by suction to parts of the body and left for several minutes. “Cupping marks” may appear after the cups have been removed. These are completely normal and usually fade within a few days.
Similar to cupping, gua sha can release tension and inflammation from the body. During gua sha, a smooth, blunt instrument is dragged across the skin to strip toxins from the underlying muscle. It may also cause marks to appear on the skin, but they will fade within a few days.
Tui na is a form of Chinese bodywork that loosens tight muscles and joints. It is sometimes used as an accessory to acupuncture to help relieve stiffness and pain.
During moxibustion, the herbal plant Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) is formed into cones or sticks and burned over acupuncture points or entire areas of the body. Also known simply as “moxa,” moxibustion is frequently used to warm the body and relieve pain.