What Happens During a TBM Appointment vs. an Acupuncture Appointment?

Recently it was brought to my attention that people may find it difficult to understand, explain, and relate to what a session at Radiant Acupuncture & Wellness is. This isn’t the first time that I have heard this, so my hope is that the following description will answer some of your questions and ease the concerns of potential patients. 


I trust that many folks already understand the acupuncture side of my practice and may also understand that most of my perspectives on health, wellness, and how most “things” in our world interact is filtered through the eyes and metaphoric concepts of Chinese Medicine. The basic idea behind all of this is that all things interact with everything on multiple levels all the time. This is a general way of looking at it, and this means that generally, our physical bodies interact with our emotional and energetic bodies, and those interact with everyone else’s all the time. It can be more complicated, but really doesn’t need to be.

With that as the general understanding, I will just jump to the more energetic side of what happens during a TBM session.

The key takeaway from this last statement is the word “energetic.” We are energy. We are made up of energy, and we interact as energetic beings. Now if the words “energy,” “qi,” “prana,” “vibration,” “frequency,” and/or “energetic” somehow sound less scientific for how you view the world, ok—maybe change the language that better fits your view. The important thing is what whatever verbiage you choose to use, it is still true. We are energetic beings and as such, mobilizing, transforming, and harmonizing our energetic selves is what I intend to do during our sessions.

Acupuncture Appointments

Acupuncture is a tool (and a very physical form) that manipulates the energy and vibration in the body to help return your body to homeostasis (aka balance). During our acupuncture sessions, I listen to you; I observe how you move. And I feel the way your body is utilizing the energy (vibration) in it. Then I determine (diagnosis) what is out of balance, and finally, I physically insert needles into points in your body to manipulate that energy to address the imbalance in your vibrational (meridian) system.

TBM Appointments

TBM (Total Body Modification) addresses that same vibrational energy system, just through a different physical tool. I still will listen to you. I will still observe how you move. And I will still feel the way your body is utilizing the energy (vibration) within your complete unified body. TBM in its most basic form looks at your vibrational body, energetic body, emotional body, etcs and asks: “Is your brain (aka your neurological system or biological computer) able to still function in its most effective, efficient, and resilient way when under stress?”

Now, this stress may be from the pain you have from a “physical” injury to the “emotional” anxiety you might be feeling about talking to your manager, or your partner, or from past trauma from childhood. It also could assess the epigenetic “mental” stress that has been passed down through your family lineage, running like an old program set in your “mental” system on autopilot.

These and many more potential stressors all play a role in your body’s ability to continue to function while I touch (aka add in a sensory stressor) at a specific location on your body. All of the treatment systems at Radiant Acupuncture utilize reflexive sensory stimulus that may be related to an acupuncture point that overloads your energetic, vibrational frequency of an organ, meridian, etc. or just the discomfort you feel somewhere in your physical body with combinations of passive triggers.

Whenever your physiological system releases stress hormones, nerve impulses, and possibly triggers the “flight, fight, freeze” response to that stimulus, these systems can flip the metaphoric switch that turns the response on, and as such, starts the sequence of reactions that do not allow our bodies to rest, digest, and reset.

In TBM, compared to acupuncture, I physically utilize a specialized TBM tool or my hand to tell your brain (your “bio-computer”) that it doesn’t need to process that sensory stimulus as a threat anymore, and it can continue to function in an effective, efficient, and resilient way. And just maybe with some support from you, the patient, we can actually help your body to be more efficient and resilient so that stressor doesn’t disrupt your energetic vibration again.

In a nutshell, that is ultimate goal during our sessions—to return your body back to an energetic place of resilience so it can rest, digest, and reset.

Please check out the Total Body Modification video that is on our website to see more. I try to blend these ideas together utilizing them in tandem for diagnosis and treatment.

CranioSacral Therapy

The other hands-on piece is a form of CranioSacral Therapy called “Unwinding Meridians” or UMAC. This is a specialized form that utilizes the Meridians and Chinese Medical practices and the rhythmic flow of the spinal fluid to harmonize our many different energetic bodies functions. In some ways, this is very similar to TBM, except my hands are the diagnostic and treatment tools. By assessing the subtle changes in the rate and amplitude of the “rhythm,” I am able to dialogue with your body to find the pathway to balancing the changes in that “rhythm.” This in turn balances our physical and energetic systems.


Do you have a question about any of these services? Feel free to reach out to me (Jon) at (206) 251-3067 or email me directly at Jongissel@me.com. You can make an appointment with me here.