Services, Styles of Treatment, Specialties:

The main areas for practice focus are:

Chronic Pain | Dermatological  | Thyroid  |  Orofacial Pain   |  Head & Neck




Below is a list of some of the most common conditions that are being treated at this office.   An assessment or initial consultation is free, whether in person or on the phone.

  • Hypothyroid and Hyperthyroid (including autoimmune)
  • Chronic constipation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Neuropathic pain (peripheral neuropathy, dysesthesias, paresthesias)
  • Chronic neck, jaw, or head pain
  • Back and hip pain
  • Rotator cuff and shoulder problems
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Atypical orofacial pain
  • Headache and Migraine
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Eczema or dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne and acne rosacea
  • Facial rejuvenation

This list is not comprehensive.  If you would like to discuss your specific health concerns, please use the contact form on the “Appointments” page. You will be contacted shortly.

Treatment Times:

Michelle typically sees patients on a long-term basis, particularly for issues that involve digestive or immune health.  This includes many pain conditions that are not responding well to medications, or that have become chronic.  A health plan for most patients will involve a weekly or bi-monthly course of acupuncture that can span anywhere from a few weeks to up to 2 or more years.

As patients improve, the frequency of treatment lessens.  Note that there are also many people who only require a couple of treatments to feel better, and may only be seen once or twice a year.  There is definitely a lot of variation, as the response time is quite individualistic and can fluctuate with stress, diet, lifestyle.


Michelle has advanced training in thyroid disorders with Apex Energetics, a sponsor for educational seminars on endocrine, immune, and nervous system topics. Common signs and symptoms of thyroid problems include chronic fatigue, muscle pain, headaches, insomnia, and dysmenorrhea. Using a plan that includes acupuncture, herbals, vitamins, minerals and enzymes is key to healing on a deeper level. Lab testing may be advised and can be ordered through this clinic. Some insurances cover this cost as well.

Michelle has worked at the Orofacial Pain Clinic at UNC Dental Faculty Practice for the past 3 years. This clinic is located within the UNC hospital system on Manning Drive. Patients travel from all over the state, and outside of NC, to receive treatment for complex orofacial pain syndromes. This work requires a gentle approach, skillful health history review, and advanced knowledge of Chinese medicine as it relates to neural and musculoskeletal pathways. Acupuncture strategies for TMJ, trigeminal neuralgia, headache, migraine, and cervical (neck) structural or organic issues are chosen to reduce pain and restore function.

Chinese medicine is more than acupuncture. Please read or skim through some of the blog posts to learn more about the benefits of this wonderful medicine.


fruit-1929879_640Modalities used in this office:

Acupuncture of Chinese, Japanese, and auriculotherapy (ear) style
Acupressure (press and rub, or press and hold along the meridians). Especially useful for those with pain syndromes who will benefit from hands-on work.
Gua sha (Vietnamese style scraping with ceramic or plastic implement). Used to disperse very stagnant energy, for example, fascial constrictions around muscles that restrict movement of joints. Usually performed on the back muscles.
Cupping (placement of glass cups on back, legs, arms and abdomen to release areas of focal tension or stagnation).
Moxibustion (warming technique using rolled herbal ingredients over the back or abdomen). Very helpful for internal Cold stagnation, for example, menstrual cramps, intestinal cramping, tight paraspinal muscles, cramping and spasmodic pain).
Herbal medicine.  The advantages of herbal cures are significant and greatly underutilized in this country. Herbs enter into tissues without creating circulatory disturbances to the blood or organs, and gently yet profoundly alter blood chemistry to heal many conditions. Used for digestive, respiratory, immune system health, and even topically for dermatological conditions.

I have chronic back pain despite (or, perhaps related to) three laminectomies/fusions over the past 10 years.  I went to Michelle with an open mind, hoping for an appreciative level of relief.  She performed a full assessment and developed a plan of action.  I noticed relief following the first acupuncture treatment.  I had a total of three treatments.  I intend to follow up with her soon.  I recommend Michelle to anyone who is not receiving adequate control of pain with traditional modalities or wants to avoid long term opioid use.”

Edward W., RN Care Coordinator at Carol Woods Retirement Community, Chapel Hill, NC

“My husband and I have been getting treatments with Michelle Thelen for several years.  She has been trained in acupuncture, massage and herbal medicine.  She also has intuitive knowledge and she can tell you what she needs to do to help you with your problems.  She is very committed to do everything she can to help her patients.  After suffering intensive cluster headaches on almost a daily basis for years, Michelle was able to eliminate my husband’s headaches after one treatment.  It has now been over 4 years and my husband has never experienced that pain again.  We recommend Michelle without reservation.”

Anna G. Hillsborough, NC




“Michelle is an amazing acupuncturist who really knows her craft. She really listens to her clients and ensures that they leave each session feeling satisfied. She doesn’t just use acupuncture as her only treatment modality but rather she combines several modalities to ensure the best results. She goes above and beyond for her clients and is very flexible with scheduling. As a nurse, I would highly recommend Michelle.”

Lauren T, RN, BSN, OCN, Assistant Nurse Manager, Radiation Oncology

“Michelle Thelen is an excellent acupuncturist.  Last year, I had foot surgery to remove two bone spurs.  The orthopedic surgeon did not prepare me well for the surgery nor did he do a good job with my recovery.  I was in incredible pain for months before I went to see Michelle.  Michelle made more progress after one treatment than the orthopedic surgeon could do at all.  After three treatments, I felt like a new person.  I have since gone back to Michelle for other things and she is fantastic.  She has helped me relieve tension, get over a cold and more.  I can’t recommend Michelle more highly.”

Jodi B, Chapel Hill, NC