Broomall Doctor Has Healing Touch with Acupuncture and Herbology
Dr. Sheng uses ancient medicine as the antidote to many modern illnesses, often when conventional medicine couldn’t help.
By Marilou Regan
By Marilou Regan
There is a lovely, faint whiff of incense and herbs inside the entrance to the basement office of the split level home, which lets you know immediately that you are arriving somewhere special. The waiting room continues the tranquil feeling of calm energy with its air of serenity, bolstered by the friendly staff, the beautiful photos of China on the walls, and the lanterns above.
But it’s when you meet the wise and compassionate Dr. Sheng that you realize you are about to have an exceptional healing experience. Dr. Zufang Sheng is certified in acupuncture, herbology and Oriental medicine and she is one of the few practitioners in the U.S. to have that distinction.
Dr. Sheng’s talent is renowned and recognized by her patients in the Philadelphia area and beyond, many of whom she has successfully treated for medical conditions that conventional medicine could not help. Through her treatment programs, she has also prevented many patients from having surgery.
“Many of my patients have come to me as a last resort,” Dr. Sheng says, “I am happy that I can improve their health.”
The medical problems that Dr. Sheng can heal are a very long list, as are the patients she has helped during the 25 years she’s been practicing in the area, and currently out of her Broomall office.
In its published research, the World Health Organization (WHO) designates acupuncture as an effective treatment for more than 50 medical problems; and 80 percent of 129 countries it surveyed now recognize the use of acupuncture. More than 14 million Americans have tried acupuncture, according to statistics from the National Health Interview Survey, an ongoing study that tracks healthcare habits in the U.S.
First practiced over 2,000 years ago, the ancient system of acupuncture is a form of natural healing used to both treat, and prevent, diseases. This is accomplished by inserting fine needles into certain locations on the body and sometimes applying heat. Today, electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points is used for certain patients.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the energy force of “chi” or “qi” (CHEE) is believed to flow through energy channels in the body, called “meridians,” which are like tiny rivers that irrigate and nourish the tissues. Any blockage in the movement of these energy pathways is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body, and restricts it in others. Acupuncture helps balance the chi as it unblocks the meridians.
“There are more than 300 acupuncture points on the body and each affects one or more specific bodily functions. And they are each connected to the vital organs as well,” Dr. Sheng notes. “It varies of course, but during treatment I typically use between 8 to10 needles to open the blocks.”
Dr. Sheng uses only disposable acupuncture needles that are very thin and do not have the same “pinch” of hypodermic needles. Acupuncture needles do not cut the skin and many patients report feeling a slight tingling sensation and increased relaxation, but they usually don’t feel the needles once they are in place.
Before a session, Dr. Sheng will consider the reason for your visit and examine your problem areas. She will review your medical history and then further assess you by using Chinese medical diagnostic methods, which involve tongue and pulse examination.
And then she will determine which meridians need to be opened and which herbal combination she will prepare for you. A 45-minute acupuncture treatment in any of Dr. Sheng’s five peaceful rooms is filled with the sound of Chinese music and creates deep relaxation, often helping to lull patients to sleep.
During treatment, the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions in the meridians and reestablish the regular flow of energy. The body’s healing mechanisms are released and some patients can experience immediate relief.
The number of treatments depends, of course, on the patient.
“Most patients who come to me have long, chronic problems, so having patience is important,” Dr. Sheng says. “Acupuncture treatment has a cumulative effect, and you have to be willing to go through the process and give your body time to respond.”
Dr. Sheng uses many varieties of herbs to help treat her patients’ underlying conditions, either alone or in conjunction with her acupuncture treatments.
“Herbs are a powerful and well-respected method of healing that dates back to the Third Century B.C. and they have been continually developed through the ages and sustained by research. They rarely cause unwanted side-effects and patients tell me they have excellent results,” she says.
Dr. Sheng studied both Western and Chinese medicine. She graduated from Shanghai Traditional Medical School, one of the most respected traditional medical schools in China. She was an assistant professor there and later worked as a clinical doctor.
She came to the United States in 1988 and worked for 8 years in medical research at the University of Pennsylvania. Several American scientific journals have published Dr. Sheng’s distinguished research papers.
With husband Li Qiong Chen and daughter Lucy, 22, to support all of her professional and personal efforts, Dr. Sheng has donated her time for the non-profit organization Unite for Her. She is also a Tai Chi master and a talented painter.
“I love what I do. Helping people to heal gives me the most happiness,” Dr. Sheng affirms.