Providing Acupuncture Therapy, Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, and Acupuncture treatments in Reston, VA and Bethesda, MD and Northern Virginia.

feel better alignmentCARLOS DURANA, Ph.D., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM) has been in practice since 1980. Dr. Durana offers a caring, holistic and integrative approach to prevention, health care and the treatment of a broad range of conditions. His approach is also practical, efficient and cost effective. Dr. Durana tailors the acupuncture treatment to fit you as an individual. Through the use of a holistic approach, you are seen as a whole person and not as a set of symptoms or a health problem; this natural type of treatment stimulates your inner regulatory mechanisms responsible for restoring balance and health. When necessary, Dr. Durana utilizes complementary approaches to augment the power of your treatment plan; these may include bodywork, life style management, nutrition, Chinese herbology, exercise, etc.

Traditional Chinese Acupunture

Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating slender filiform needles into specific sites on the body to relieve pain and to treat a wide range of conditions. Acupuncture treatments are carried out by gently inserting very thin, flexible needles, no thicker than two or three strands of hair, into specific points on the body Most acupuncture points lie about one-fourth to one inch beneath the skin. When the point is contacted, there is a slight, momentary sensation, but if one misses the point, there is no sensation. After insertion, the needles are manipulated and taken out, or left twenty to forty-five minutes, depending on the effect desired. Heat may be applied to acupuncture points with moxa, a cream made from the herbArtemisia vulgaris latflora.

Historic use of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the oldest systems of healing known to man, with its origins dating back 4,000 years in China. Its theory, laws and methods of application to the human body appeared first in manuscript form around 400 BC in the Nei Ching or The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. This treatise examines the functions of the human body and its diseases as well as the causes of disease, discusses the laws of acupuncture, and offers guidelines for daily living and for the maintenance of health in accordance with natural laws.

  • Dr. Carlos Durana

    healing services“My approach is based on caring, acceptance and positive regard for others. It is practical, educational, and holistic. I am a proponent of integrative approaches to health care that honor the body-mind connection and its impact on your well being. I provide you with the tools you need to find health, peace and happiness.” Dr. Durana is a licensed acupuncturist, counselor and clinical psychologist. For more information about Dr. Durana and the problems, issues, or concerns he can help you address……. Read More…

  • Contact Us

    4915 St. Elmo Ave.,
    Suite 504 - Room 7a,

    Bethesda, MD 20814
    (301) 654-0080

    Atrium #5, Suite 1C, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr.
    Reston, Virginia, 20190
    (703) 716-0906

    1625 K. Street NW, Suite 375B
    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 906-0533

    Mailing Address:
    2265 Cedar Cove Court

    Reston, VA 20191
    (703) 716-0906

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Chinese healing practiceToday, the ancient practice has been adopted throughout the world. Acupuncture first became popular in the United States in the 1970’s, particularly after Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972. Currently, more than 10,000 acupuncturists are practicing in the U.S. More than 30 states regulate the practice of acupuncture, and more than 30 schools of acupuncture are operational. In 2006, a national survey found that over 3.2 million people had used acupuncture in the U.S. In addition, Congress’ mandate to create the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has generated new research in the field of acupuncture. Studies have suggested some efficacy in the treatment of certain conditions, but further research is appropriate. Most important, there is general agreement that acupuncture use is a safe treatment when performed by a qualified practitioner using sterile needles.

Acupuncture treatments in Reston, VA and Bethesda, MD

Acupuncture can be applied to many conditions. Research studies suggest that it is useful with pain related problems, menstrual disorders, breathing disorders and addictions. The World Health Organization lists 32 conditions that lend themselves to acupuncture treatment (neurological, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and respiratory). Emotional disorders are also amenable to treatment. Acupuncture is not recommended in emergency situations resulting from accidents or for conditions when surgical intervention is necessary. When disease has progressed to the point where the patient cannot be helped, acupuncture can be used to relieve pain and suffering. For each patient, the practitioner must decide if acupuncture is the best form of treatment.

Types of Acupuncture

pressure pain releifDifferent types of acupuncture (notably Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Korean and Vietnamese) are practiced throughout the world. In this country, however, there are two main diagnostic frameworks used in treatment; sometimes they are combined. Dr. Durana makes use of both approaches. The practitioners of Five Phases acupuncture make use of a Five Phases diagnostic framework and pays attention to five principal avenues of information. These are color as shown in the subtle hues in the face, the sound qualities of the voice, the subtle odors emitted from the body, the inappropriateness of emotions, and the pulses of each of the twelve major pathways of Qi energy. In addition to these five signals, the individual’s medical history and information such as dreams, preferences for taste and certain seasons as well as body language – all aid the practitioner in defining the nature of the problem. The Five Phase model is very useful for understanding oneself and others; it is very valuable for influencing the emotional, mental and spiritual states of an individual. 



Using the Eight Guiding Principles as a diagnostic framework, practitioners look to tongue diagnosis as well as to patterns of symptom; in this diagnostic framework, patterns of disharmony are identified using such criteria as hot/cold, internal/external, yin/yang, deficiency/excess and classifications of organs and substances. This classification model is widely used in Chinese herbology.

The practice of Traditional Acupuncture is very different from that of First Aid Acupuncture, Acupuncture Anesthesia and Formula or Local Doctor Acupuncture. First Aid Acupuncture uses specific acupuncture points to relieve particular symptoms during emergency situations, such as shock, fainting or an acute earache. Acupuncture Anesthesia is a recent treatment development in which acupuncture points are used to create an analgesic effect on a specific part of the body where surgery is to be performed. Western researchers have found that Acupuncture Anesthesia releases the brain’s endorphins, the body’s own morphine-like substance. This type of acupuncture is also beneficial in reducing pain during childbirth as well as pain from terminal illness. Formula or Local Doctor Acupuncture
uses specific formulas of points to relieve chronic symptoms, analogous in Western medical practice to prescribing a specific drug for a given symptom. The formula approach to acupuncture, however, is limited because it does not relate the symptom to the overall well-being of the individual.

In the traditional clinical practice of acupuncture, the historic theoretical concepts play a key role in assessment and treatment. Medical acupuncture, a more recent development used by some medical doctors, does not make use of these traditional theoretical concepts. Instead it employs a symptomatic approach to treatment. Traditionalists criticize this use of symptomatic treatment without the use of the traditional concepts for assessment.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (T.C.A.) works by stimulating QI Energy

According to T.C.A. theory, it is the vital force called Qi energy that controls the functioning of not only the main organs and systems of the body but also its mental, emotional and spiritual processes. Qi energy circulates throughout the body along specific pathways, a system of pathways distinct from the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. The main Qi pathways, or meridians, are associated with specific organs and physical, psychological and spiritual functions. For example, pathway VIII (the liver) is associated with liver function, ligaments and tendons, the eyes, the smooth movement of energy and blood, anger, planning, and hope. Some of the symptoms associated with its malfunction may include: muscular problems, menstrual and sleep disorders and symptoms along its path (the big toe, inside of the legs, the genitals, the underside of the rib cage, the eyes and ending at the crown of the head).



Qi energy must flow freely and in the correct quantity and quality for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual processes to function properly. From the acupuncture practitioner’s point of view, it is the flow of this vital energy that is impaired in all illnesses. Restoring health is dependent on the restoration of Qi energy.

To understand better the balance and harmony in Qi energy, or lack thereof, let us look at the analogy of an irrigated field. If one of the irrigation ditches becomes blocked or dammed up, the restriction in water’s flow will cause flooding in one area of the field and drought in another. Similarly, in humans the flow of Qi energy can also be blocked, creating excesses or deficiencies. These “blocks” can come about as a result of physical, mental or emotional reasons. Just as water can look clear and feel soft or look cloudy and feel gritty, Qi takes on identifiable characteristics or qualities that give many clues as to the state of disease and the origin of distress.

Without balance and harmony of the Qi energy, there is disease. According to T.C.A., any disease, any symptom, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual, is a result of the Qi energygoing awry. The work of the practitioner is to assess the state of the Qi, to locate the “blocks” and areas of distress in the system, and then to help restore balance before more devastating symptoms occur. Qi energy is also viewed as connecting us to the rest of nature. Disharmony of our relationship to others and life is seen as disturbing this energy, therein the emphasis placed by the traditional practitioner on educating the client in lifestyle management, social harmony, exercise, meditation, etc.

How illness is described provides one of many indicators that can furnish useful information about the state of our health on all levels. In Chinese medicine, there is no separation between physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. If an individual is continually grieving, there will be a manifestation of this grief on the physical level involving the lungs or the colon. Conversely, if there is disease in the lungs or colon, there may be an inappropriate expression of grief/loss or sadness.

The practitioner of T.C.A. tailors treatment for each patient to best fit that individual’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. Because no two people are treated the same, even if their symptoms are similar, the focus of the treatment is the person, not the disease. Balancing Qi energy can enhance our well-being, our quality of life, and it can prevent or alleviate disease.

The traditional acupuncture practitioner, rather than “healing,” assists the inner self-regulating mechanisms which are responsible for restoring balance and health. It is through Qi energy, the integrative force, that the unity inherent in each of us can be reestablished.

Traditional acupuncture or Chinese Medicine in general looks at function and its treatment tries to improve function. Western Medicine, on the other hand, looks at structure and observable organic changes. From the point of view of Western Medicine, acupuncture theoretical views (Qi energy, meridians, etc.) may be difficult to reconcile with biomedical information. But specifically, from medical research, it appears that the effects of acupuncture can best be explained by some sort of neurotransmitter mechanism that is linked to the release of endorphins by the brain and the body, those substances involved in analgesia, endocrinology, immunology and emotional well-being.

Choosing An Acupunturist in Northern Virginia

Several guidelines are useful in choosing an acupuncturist. A minimum of two years of study from an accredited institution is essential. National certification from the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists is required by many states. If the practitioner is viewing the whole person while considering the symptoms, he or she would include the use of traditional assessment procedures such as pulse diagnosis. Sterile procedures, such as using disposable needles, avoid transferring disease. Just as with other medical professions, ethical practices, such as not making misleading claims, are relevant. Most importantly, good client/practitioner rapport is essential. Often the best guideline for choosing an acupuncturist is recommendation from an acquaintance.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the practitioner does not heal, but rather assists the innate self-regulating mechanisms that are responsible for restoring and maintaining balance and harmony on our health. “The doctor of acupuncture must strive to see his patient not as he is at the time of examination, but as he would be if he were whole and perfect in body, mind and spirit, with every possibility of his “unique being” realized” (Worsley, 1973).