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Meet John S. Varner, L.Ac.


I graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture in 1985, completed an additional three-year program in Chinese Herbal Medicine in 1993 and have a B.S. in chemistry. I have served on the board of the Massachusetts Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, have taught at Holyoke Community College, lectured on Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine and have published articles on acupuncture and on the safety and regulation of herbal medicine. In addition to having treated patients and researched acupuncture at Baystate Hospital's Pain Management Center for over 20 years, I have a private practice in Amherst, and have been associated with several area clinics providing care for victims of accidents, HIV and substance abuse.


I believe that acupuncture should be a common practice, an accessible form of medical treatment for everyone.  It doesn't need to be a spa service that stretches your budget, or mysterious experience that stretches your beliefs.  My office is in my home because for many patients, this is the best way for me offer premium care, for one patient at a time, at the lowest price. I help patients to establish clear goals of treatment and objectively monitor their progress, and to reach satisfactory outcomes as quickly and completely as possible.


The mind and body have a deep capacity to heal. Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM, i.e.: acupuncture, herbs, etc.) offers a gentle yet powerful way to guide patients back to health by harmonizing and focusing the body's own energy. Your body already has the power to be healthier. TCM helps to direct it.


With my formal education in chemistry and biology, a work history in biotech, and over 30 years' experience in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, I have a respect for the strengths and limitations of both biomedicine and TCM. My style of acupuncture leans toward classical Chinese diagnosis and treatment, but I recognize that patients vary in their sensitivities and needs, and therefore I don't hesitate to use Japanese and auricular techniques as well as trigger point needling and electroacupuncture when these options are best suited to my patients. Finally, I prescribe Chinese herbal medicine cautiously. I suggest TCM herbs to about 25% of my patients, usually to augment acupuncture. I choose sources of materials based on their purity, safety, reliability, convenience and value. I do not sell supplements that are not part of TCM, and I do not use herbs to enhance my revenue stream.


I look forward to working with you. Be well. 

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