Acupuncture now on the menu at Pasadena spa

LOS ANGELES The Chuan Spa, at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, spa guests with jet lag, stress and back pain get immersed in the eastern medical arts.

"The company is based in Hong Kong," said Elsa Schelin, Langham Hotel. "They have deep beliefs in traditional Chinese medicine."

Dr. Paulette Saddler is an internal medicine specialist who took up acupuncture 12 years ago when she was battling breast cancer.

"I received it to help me with the nausea and vomiting from my own chemotherapy. "It worked so well for me that I really needed to learn more about it," said Dr. Saddler.

It's now a big part of her practice.

Valerie Gilbert suffers from chronic neck pain.

People who practice acupuncture believe illness or pain occurs when the energy channels or meridians in the body are blocked. They say placing needles at certain pressure points allow the rivers of energy to flow freely.

While some may not believe in it, Dr. Saddler says modern science has been able to show actual physiological changes during acupuncture.

"We do know that it does have an effect on the body. It can affect blood flow and neurotransmitters that are released. So there are changes that are going on in the body," said Dr. Saddler.

Valerie feels instant benefits after a treatment. She says the needles are actually very relaxing.

"I think that Chinese medicine has been around much longer than Western medicine," said Gilbert. "I think the two can work well together."

But be warned, acupuncture in a spa setting can get a little pricey. Acupuncture prices vary depending on the treatment, but on average, a 25 minute treatment is $200 and a 40 minute treatment is $275.

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