Your Acupuncturist

My name is Porter Nilsson, Licensed Acupuncturist, Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine, and Doctor of Oriental Medicine.  After graduating honors in Biology and Chemistry from Antioch College in Yellow Springs Ohio, I began Medical School at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1988.  I found that I was drawn to Traditional Chinese Medicine and moved to Los Angeles in 1991.  There I enrolled in the Master’s of Science of Oriental Medicine program at Samra University.

Since receiving my Masters degree I have practiced in California, Massachusetts and Virginia.  Although I am trained and licensed to treat all disorders and diseases, I have a specialty interest in treating infertility and have had a specialty practice in Infertility Medicine since 2008.

I am currently licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia to practice Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and am board certified as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).  I have extensive post-graduate study in the treatment of infertility.  I have additional post-graduate study from the New England School of Acupuncture.

I am a nationally registered medic/EMT and have spent several years over the decades working as such.  As an undergraduate I worked in two separate research laboratories at VCU Sanger Hall where respectively I participated in research into chemical senses (taste neurophysiology), and opiate mechanisms of pain modulation, and have been published in two journal articles. I also spent six months at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda in the lab of a Nobel Laureate Physician that researched spongiform encephalopathies such as Kuru, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease, and in 1982 was one of the few laboratories beginning investigation into the then newly recognized AIDS virus.

I am located in Cary Court in Carytown, Richmond.  The towns and cities convenient to my office include Richmond, and the towns of Henrico County and the surrounding areas.

What To Expect


Your first visit is when I get to know you and find out in detail what’s going on with you, and what you want to accomplish with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). During this meeting I will make a “TCM Constitutional assessment and diagnosis”, and will design a treatment plan for you specifically. Following this you will receive your first treatment which may include any combination of Acupuncture, Moxabustion, Cupping, and Tui Na body work.  First visits rarely take less than two hours depending on the history and complexity of your condition. Follow-up visits routinely take between an hour and ninety minutes.

Acupuncture points are located all over the body, although the most commonly used points are on the arms between the elbows and the hands, on the legs from the knees to the feet, on the abdomen between the umbilicus and the lower belly and on the lower back.  Below is an illustration that shows typical points used for treating infertility.  Typically between four and ten points are chosen depending on your Traditional Chinese Medical diagnosis.

Wear or bring with you loose fitting comfortable clothing that can be adjusted up and down the limbs easily.  Short sleeved tops and short pants are the best.  The office is heated, the acupuncture table has a built-in heater and I have plenty of linens and heated blankets to keep you warm if you get cold easily.

Prior to your first visit please print, complete and sign the Patient Forms.  These forms are available on this website on the “Patient Forms” page.

Be sure to have a meal within two hours prior to your treatment.  Acupuncture doesn’t work as well with a hungry stomach.

Course of Treatment

Typically acute and recently occurring conditions require fewer treatments, and chronic conditions or those that are allowed to linger without treatment require longer courses of treatment. Infertility typically is a chronic condition that on average typically requires two to six months to produce a stable pregnancy if used without Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART).  If Acupuncture is used with ART, one to three cycles often produce a viable pregnancy.  It is strongly advised that you continue with treatments at least through your first trimester and preferably until week 20.  Many clients continue to come on a regular basis, whereas others choose to reduce the frequency of their visits.  Others still discontinue acupuncture care once they feel comfortable and confident.  The choice is a personal one.

The effects of acupuncture are cumulative.  Acupuncture is not realistically a single visit cure. Although most women do well with a single treatment per week, I recommend that a woman receiving treatment for infertility come twice a week if her schedule allows.  Conditions that are treated two times a week show results more quickly, and treatments that adhere to a schedule of regularity are much more effective than treatments which vary from week to week.

Acupuncture needles are extremely fine, much finer than needles used for injections or to draw blood. If you have initial anxiety about acupuncture, please let me know.  You will not have been the first, and I will be able to put your fears to rest through explanation and demonstration.  Often the needles are hardly felt and it is rare when there is noticeable discomfort. During your session, needles will be precisely placed according to your diagnosis and treatment plan.  Licensed Acupuncturists are trained and certified in sterile procedures, and all needles are one-time use only and then disposed of.

Side effects are rare. The most common is slight bruising at the site of needling. Some people experience sleepiness or feel light-headed at the conclusion of a treatment.  This is usually due to a relaxed state and lowered blood pressure.

Moxabustion, or “Moxa” is the practice of burning the Chinese herb known as Ai Ye above and close to the body, and applying the radiated heat to specific areas on the body.  The preparation I use is smokeless.  This procedure often takes place while acupuncture needles are in place. Moxabustion is typically experienced as a pleasurable sensation of warmth.  Moxa may be used if your constitutional diagnosis includes cold, or stagnation in the network vessels.

Tui Na body work uses many techniques that may include brushing, kneading, rolling, pressing, percussion, scratching, scraping and rubbing, and is used to move “Stagnant Qi and Blood” within the body, meridians and vessels.

Below are links to two excellent WebMD articles describing aspects of what you can expect during an acupuncture treatment.

WebMD1  WebMD2

Please feel free to call or email me to discuss your unique situation. Use my Contact Us page or call 804-938-6457.

I look forward to meeting you!

Porter Nilsson Licensed Acupuncturist