St. John Acupuncture

Take Charge of Your Health!

St. John Acupuncture is committed to providing the highest
quality health services and products available while offering an
educational foundation for patients to maintain optimal health.

Some Conditions We Treat:

– Pain Management
– Sports Injury
– Fertility
– Pregnancy and Postpartum Issues
– Hormone Balancing
– Digestive Disorders
– Autoimmune Diseases
– Allergies
– Insomnia
– Anxiety and Depression

To learn more about our treatments, check out our Services, or contact us with questions.


St. John Acupuncture offers a wide array of treatment options to insure the best outcome.

Learn more:

Treatment Options

The Five Element Advantage

Treatment Options


Acupuncture is the treatment of the patient according to Traditional Chinese Medical theory. Marston St. John will take your medical history and learn the details of your signs and symptoms. She will perform a physical exam based on this intake and then create an optimum treatment plan for your needs.

You will then have the opportunity to relax in the lying or sitting position while Marston inserts acupuncture needles in specific points on your body and allows you to close your eyes and take a rest.

Depending upon your chief complaint, you may receive electric stimulation at the needles points, cupping or guasha and moxibustion. If you have any questions about these treatments please read about their descriptions below.

After your treatment, Marston will provide you with an herbal formula or treatment when needed. In addition she will offer you a hand out of dietary and lifestyle suggestions based upon your health concerns. If you would like to request a list of suggested reading, Marston will be happy to provide you with that.

Electric Stimulation

Electric stimulation is a technique used to augment certain acupuncture treatments. Small electrical charges are emitted painlessly by a TENS machine through the acupuncture needles.

Cupping and Guasha

Cupping and guasha may be used to augment an acupuncture treatment or in place of acupuncture, for those patients who wish to avoid needles.

Cupping is a treatment involving round glass cups that are placed on the surface of the skin using suction. Cups may remain stationary on one part of the body, but may also be moved back and forth over a larger area.

Guasha uses a ceramic, jade or bone implement. An herbal liniment is selected based upon the type of ailment that the patient is suffering and the guasha tool is rubbed against the body in the area of pain or tension.

Both of these treatments remove pain, tension, toxicity or stagnation by releasing the muscle and allowing the dead blood cells in the affected area to rise to the surface of your body thus enhancing your energetic flow.


Moxibustion, or moxa, is a type of therapy used in accordance with Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves the application of heat to an acupuncture point or affected area. The herb mugwort is dried and prepared into a roll or ball and then burned slowly near the patient’s body. During this treatment, the patient is under constant observation and care by the practitioner.

The healing properties of the herb are coupled with the heat and help to heal the body. Moxa is a wonderful treatment for pain, digestive issues and other long term health problems. It may be used instead of acupuncture for those patients who do not like needles.

Medical Qi Gong

Medical qi gong is a Traditional Chinese Medical treatment that does not involve the use of needles. A regular intake and physical exam is conducted similar to an acupuncture treatment. Instead of administering needles, the medical qi gong practitioner uses their hands to guide the energy of the body into a healthy pattern. The patient usually remains in the lying down position during the course of the treatment while the practitioner work on them. Sometimes, healing sounds or vibrations are used on the affected area of the body. Moxa, cupping, guasha and needles (if requested) can also be used in conjunction with this treatment.

After the treatment, the patient practices qi gong exercises and asked to do these exercises at home. In addition, the patient may also receive herbal prescriptions and a dietary and lifestyle consultation.

PostPartum Home Visit

During the first month after giving birth, we will come to your house and give you a postpartum acupuncture treatment. This service includes an intake, acupuncture, herbs and a lesson for mom and/or dad in basic infant tuina massage. This is a worthwhile way to help prevent postpartum depression and heal after your birth and all in the comfort of your home.

Labor Induction

Go into labor naturally to avoid pitocin and reduce your risk of a c-section with an acupuncture treatment. It works and you'll love it!

The Five Element Advantage

Bronze buddha with parasol in Japan

This type of acupuncture is based upon the Theory of the Five Elements. The practitioner’s observations are coupled with the five Daoist phases of nature; fire, earth, metal, water and wood. According to this theory, qi moves naturally through these five elements in the body. When there is an illness, the flow of qi has become fixed in one of these elements and corresponding signs and symptoms are expressed.

An example of this would be someone who is manifesting a pathology indicative of the wood element. Emotionally, the patient may have unexplained bursts of anger or shouting, depression, impaired decision making skills, self esteem issues, inability to plan or even a workaholic and overstressed lifestyle. Physically, the patient may have muscle tension, hepatitis, seizures, tremor or pain in an area dominated by the wood element.

A Five Element treatment will usually require a more in depth health intake that involves reflection on the patient’s life goals, fears, desires and relationships. As a result, this treatment is ideal for the patient who is looking to make both physical and emotional changes.


The Earth Room is yellow and conveys the feeling of being grounded.

The Wood Room is green and conveys the feeling of setting boundaries, planning the future and working towards goals.

The Water Room is blue and conveys the inner depth and potential.

About Us

Marston St. John

Marston St. John

L.Ac., DAOM Marston St. John

Marston St John, L.Ac., DAOM graduated from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, Ca for Acupuncture, Herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine and received her undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence, RI. She is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of North Carolina.

As a Debbie Doubter chronically afflicted by skepticism, acupuncture was not on top of her list of chosen professions. In fact, when Marston decided to do an independent study in Ecuador for her coursework at Brown, she had very little understanding of complementary medicine and even less tolerance for the idea of seeing anyone but an M.D. for healthcare. Fortunately, her experience working with a shaman for college credits led her to realize that the possibility of effective medical treatment outside of or in conjunction with the current medical system was very real.

Marston went on to take a year off of school travelling around the world observing different healing modalities. While studying Tibetan medicine in Kathmandu, Nepal she witnessed the beneficial effects of acupuncture on the Tibetan refugees who were crossing the Himalayas and in need of healthcare. Seeing is believing and Marston was able to overcome her skepticism and go on to become an acupuncturist and herbalist herself.

When Marston founded St John Acupuncture in 2009 it was her priority to give result-oriented treatments that would improve the lives of her patients. As her private practice grew, she realized that it could deliver much more than pain relief and freedom from anxiety, digestive disorders and even hormonal imbalances.

Today, St John Acupuncture is a family and community oriented clinic that not only seeks to continue dish out amazing results, but also to cultivate a holistic lifestyle and a few pearls of wisdom along the way.

She works with many other types of practitioners and doctors, utilizing the most cutting edge research to offer her patients the safest, easiest and most effective forms of treatment available.

Acupuncture has been around for a long time, right?

Acupuncture is an ancient modality of healing. Really ancient. In fact, needles made out of stone (ouch!) have been found in Mongolia dating back to 3000 B.C. and archaeologists have discovered a 5000 year old mummy covered in tattoos of the acupuncture points somewhere in the Alps.

Today acupuncturists apply thin filiform needles into specific points on the body to heal a number of ailments and relieve pain based on the principle of moving qi.

What is Qi?

Qi (pronounced chee) is often thought of as a measureable animating force or energy. While the ancient Chinese may have described the breeze that blows the tree branches and the cause for a flower to bloom as qi, they would also consider the shivering chills from our fever and the metastasis of cancer to be qi as well.

As a result, scholars and scientists have begun to consider a more finite or narrowed definition of qi to be unnecessary. As the scholar James Flowers remarked after leaving a conference on Qi:

"Our understanding of qi flow in accordance to acupuncture and the human body is that there are different types of qi that contribute to or take away from our health that may manifest as specific pathologies or overall wellness."

"To say that it can be measured is not unbelievable or fantastic, but it could also be said that Qi can be measured because it was observed that a tree grew more luxuriantly if it was exposed to a certain climate rather than another."

What is acupuncture and how does it work?

Acupuncture is the use of filiform needles in specific places or points on the body. These needles are inserted in a certain way by the practitioner to signal qi to move in a direction that creates greater health.

Consider acupuncture needles as the teacher and the body as the student.

The needles act by entering a specific place on the body through a specific type of insertion that signals the qi to move in a helpful direction thus teaching and guiding the body towards its optimal direction.

Not all teachers and students are created equal. Different types of patients and different pathologies will respond differently to needling. There are different approaches to needling as well. This is where having a properly trained licensed acupuncturist can really be to a patient’s advantage.

Some patients will experience what appear to be miraculous results; one treatment seems to irrevocably fix their health issue forever.

More often, however, patients will have some improvement after one treatment, but the old pattern (back pain or insomnia for example) may begin to come back after a few days. These patients will receive long term benefits and independence from their issues with more treatment because their bodies need to be trained into fixing their old pattern more permanently.

Other patients might not be so quickly responsive to acupuncture. Their bodies don’t recognize the lesson in the needles right away and they may not until somewhere between 3 and 5 treatments.

Does acupuncture hurt? ... Because I’m terrified of needles...

Relax. Getting an acupuncture treatment isn’t like a trip to the doctor for a flu shot. Filiform needles are extremely thin and won’t give you a reason to cover your eyes and wince in terror.

What is Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) works based upon the principal of balancing yin and yang; the two opposing and interdependent forces of nature that give rise to and destroy one another. In other words, TCM breaks down diseases between hot and cold, excess and deficiency and exterior versus interior conditions.

TCM uses its own system of diagnosis that enables the practitioner to see a patient’s problem on a much more personal and individual level. For example, two patients could present a case of low back pain and be treated two completely different ways than each other by an acupuncturist based on their TCM diagnosis.

Is it safe to treat children with herbs and acupuncture?

Of course! TCM and acupuncture is actually a really safe way to help care for your children. I use massage, herbs and needles to treat colic, diarrhea, constipation, cold and cough, flu and other conditions listed above.

As a mom myself, I understand how important the wellness and safety of your children is. Childhood health can set up the foundation for healthy, focused and energetic life.

Acupuncture and Pregnancy - Part 1: Conception

When we discuss fertility and conception, we know that it is important to have plenty of circulation and blood flow in the uterus to optimize chances of success. As a result, many fertility patients will employ acupuncture to increase their chances of getting pregnant. In a 2002 study by WE Paulus, et al, women who received acupuncture before and after IVF were pregnant at a rate of 42.5% compared to the control group that was successful only 26.3% of the time. Results were even more striking in a 2006 study by Dieterle, et al and another 2006 study conducted by Westergaard et al. When you conceive via IVF treatment, your blastocyst will have been implanted on its 5th day of development. Congratulaions! You can tick five days until baby off on the calendar already! images-2 On the 5th day of conception your tiny embryo, in the form of a blastocyst, will hatch. At this point, from days 6 to 9, your embryo will develop trophoblast cells that look a little bit like tentacles. These trophoblasts will destroy the uterine lining in order to create pools of blood and release nutrients essential to survival. During this time, your uterus prefers a more anaerobic environment – meaning less blood flow and circulation. In fact, a low oxygen environment is essential to the success of a continuing pregnancy. Unknown From days 6 to 9, if you choose to get acupuncture, make sure that you have a licensed and experienced acupuncturist to see. Licensed Acupuncturists receive a four year graduate education and have learned the ins and outs of protocol during pregnancy. Between days 6 and 9, I prefer not to give acupuncture for fertility purposes to my patients. If I do give treatment, the emphasis moves away from encouraging blood flow to uterus, opposite of what we do during treatment before transfer. Tune in for Acupuncture and Pregnancy during the First Trimester. Links to the studies referenced above on Acupuncture

Making News with my Favorite Hobbies

In this volume of, your favorite acupuncturist is on page 28 of a story called "Business Owners By Day: By Night". peacockmoses   When I'm not having fun in the clinic, I'm often having fun on my yoga mat... or the back of a horse.   About 4 years ago I was feeling pretty stiff and crotchety.  I couldn't even touch my own toes.  So I decided to take one yoga class a week to see if I could loosen up a bit.  I started in a class that was mainly comprised of people over the age of 70. I enjoyed it so much that I added a second class.  After a few months, I began to challenge myself more and take different types of yoga classes all over town.  Before I knew it, I was a yoga addict. sidecrowmoses As my two daughters got to be a little older, we found a sport that combined our mutual love of horses and tumbling around in the yard: Equestrian Vaulting. As the oldest member of the team by a great many years, I can tell you that vaulting is really, really challenging, but also rewarding and super fun.  The kids who do it cheer each other on and are team players.  In addition, there's a great sense of love between girl and horse.  But what has been really incredible for me is taking my work on the yoga mat to a new place and learning to push through fear. Improvement takes time, patience and perseverance. But the things we work diligently for are often the most rewarding. familymoses   We have made this into a family sport that we all share together. If you would like to try vaulting, check out Shea Rose Farm in Marvin, NC and call Carol Land at 704-578-9020    

Cheap Tricks for Restless Leg Syndrome

  If you have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) you’re going to want to pay attention to this one because – as you already know – RLS is no fun at all. Unknown-4   Those who suffer from this problem experience discomfort (mainly in their legs) that leads them to an uncontrollable urge to jerk or move around in order to make it stop. The sensations can come in the form of “pins and needles” or itchiness and generally worsen while the body is at rest. When this problem is severe, it can cause serious sleep disruption and really set someone up for a bad day.   Parkinson’s disease, iron deficiency, diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, medications and even pregnancy can cause RLS.   Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be incredibly successful at alleviating Restless Leg Syndrome and I treat these cases often in the clinic.   That being said, it may be helpful to try some cheap and easy tricks at home to see if you have any success.              
  1. The bar of soap trick
Unknown-2 This is a great one passed down by the grandmothers of the world. All you need is a bar of soap – any brand will do.   Stick the bar of soap near your legs between the sheets in bed before you go to sleep. If this helps, then you’ve just fixed your problem for less than $2          
  1. Magnesium
Unknown-3 Magnesium in the form of Epsom salts can be great in a bath before bed. You can also try applying magnesium oil topically to your legs before bed.             Unknown-5       Not everyone is going to have an easy time getting rid of the restless leg syndrome.     Many of my RLS patients arrive at their first treatment with a prescription for Mirapex or Requip . They tend to have taken it for quite some time, usually years, and they are tired of constantly having to raise the dosage on their medication or they simply dislike the side effects that they experience.                 So if you’ve exhausted your cheap trick options… and your not so cheap options… it may be time to come in for some acupuncture.    

Acupuncture 101

For those of us who love getting acupuncture, it can be difficult to explain just why we like it and how it makes us feel to people who have never tried it before. And – come on, let’s be honest – if you have never tried it before, you probably are a little curious as to why your friends are so hooked. For those of you who do love acupuncture there are lots of ways to explain why it’s awesome. Let’s go over one of my favorite basic modern acupuncture concepts and see what we learn.   Acupuncture and the Autonomic Nervous System   Acupuncture helps to reset the Autonomic Nervous system that regulates our body's unconscious action. It is comprised of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Our sympathetic nervous system is also known as our “fight or flight” button. Way back in the olden days our ancestor would see a threatening bear in the woods. Before his mind had the opportunity to really ponder about his interaction with the bear, his body had already stepped into gear. images-3 Thanks to his Sympathetic nervous system, our ancestor’s heart rate increased, his lungs expanded, his digestive and metabolic functions slowed down and his blood pressure rose so that he could have the physical strength and metal acuity to either fight or run away from the bear. This is great! The Sympathetic Nervous System is awesome! When we find ourselves in moments of fight or flight survival we actually get a boost of power from our body before we even act.     It’s also problematic.     Unlike our ancestor in the woods, most of us do not find ourselves confronting life or death situations on a daily basis. We do, however, have little bears to confront. Lots of little bears. All of the time. images-4 Little bears are our everyday stressors or challenges. You need to get new tires. Your son is sick and you have to pick him up early from school. The internet isn’t working and you’re not sure why or when the guy can get to your house to fix it. All of these little bears have the potential to put you into Sympathetic or Survival mode. And if you end up staying in Survival mode for too long, the consequences become hefty. High blood pressure, insomnia, weight gain, digestive disorders, lowered immunity and muscular pain and tension are just a few of the problems that can arise when your body never has the opportunity to relax. images-5 So how does acupuncture help? Acupuncture is not going to change the fact that your deadline at work is tomorrow morning and acupuncture it is definitely NOT going to change the fact that your taxes are due soon either.     Acupuncture IS going to change how you react to these challenges around you through your Autonomic Nervous System.     Acupuncture has the ability to stimulate your Parasympathetic Nervous System into action. Our Parasympathetic Nervous System is all about “rest and digest”. When our bodies are not focused on surviving, we’re metabolizing, breathing easy, sleeping and maybe even getting a little extra libido kick as well. This is why we feel so good when we get acupuncture. And this why we are able to find a still point amidst the perceived chaos and challenges that surround us daily as a result of acupuncture. And when we aren’t focusing our energy on fighting with or running from bears we have plenty of time to enjoy what really matters in life. Unknown-1 Tune in for more Acupuncture 101!

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