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Our blog features personal thoughts, insights and analysis written by our own therapists on diverse topics of interest and current events related to issues of life, relationships, and emotional wellness.

Acupuncture, Cupping, Moxibustion

Acupuncture Monroeville PA

Acupuncture Pittsburgh and Monroeville, PA


Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, sterile, single use needles into acupuncture points. The points used are specific to each patient and are individualized based on their Chinese medicine diagnosis and constitution. During your first appointment, we take focused time to do an in-depth consultation regarding the details of your health. This helps us to formulate an individualized treatment surrounding your personal health pattern. In an acupuncture session, the number of points used in a treatment varies, but the average number of points ranges from 8-12 per treatment. Most people say that the experience of acupuncture is not painful at all but describe it as pleasant and soothing.

Acupuncture can be used to offer support for a range of emotional, physical, and spiritual concerns including but not limited to anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, infertility, hormone balancing, arthritis, muscular and skeletal injuries, addiction, cleansing, diabetes, colitis, fatigue, insomnia and many more.


Cupping Therapy

Cupping Therapy is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique.


Cupping is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique which involves using glass cups on the skin usually on the back. The cups create suction which brings and moves blood in an area, and relieves muscle tension. Over specific acupuncture points, cupping can improve digestive and respiratory discomfort. Sometimes, Slide Cupping will be employed, which involves moving the cup while suction is maintained in order to relieve muscle tension and pain.



Moxibustion as a Traditional Chinese Medicine Technique for healing.


Moxibustion is a long-trusted Traditional Chinese Medicine technique where Dr. Truncali burns a non-toxic Chinese herb commonly known as mugwort. It is performed over specific acupuncture points or areas of pain to provide a warming and nourishing input. By warming the acupuncture points, moxibustion can regulate the digestive system, boosts the immune system, alleviates pain, and calm the mind.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong Monroeville and Pittsburgh

Qi Gong

Qi gong is a meditative movement practice that acts to improve blood flow, mental function, emotional stability, immunity, and more. It is a way for you to engage with your acupuncture and sinew channels outside of the office. Your practitioner, Dr. Truncali may recommend one or two medical qi gong movements for you to do at home. You will be taught the postures and/or movements in office, typically at the end of your appointment.


Posted in acupuncture, acupuncture monroeville, cupping, integrative health, integrative medicine, mindfulness, moxibustion, qi gong, traditional chinese medicine, wellness center monroeville, wellness pittsburgh Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Dr. Zach Truncali, D.C., L.Ac Acupuncture

Dr. Zach Truncali, D.C., L.Ac, believes that mental/emotional, physical and spiritual health are integrally connected, and that health and wellness is best achieved through an holistic approach. Dr. Truncali utilizes acupuncture, Chinese bodywork, moxibustion, and Qi Gong to correct the body’s imbalances that lead to disease. These treatments facilitate enhanced healing, and promote a greater sense of well-being. Dr. Truncali has a clinical focus in mental-emotional disorders ranging from PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress, as well as an in-depth understanding of physical injuries including, neck and back pain, sports injuries, knee pain and neuropathy. Dr. Truncali approaches the mind-body as a whole – recognizing that imbalanced emotions can cause physical pain to develop, and that physical pain impacts mental health. He works to internally harmonize each patient both physically and mentally.

Dr. Zachary Truncali holds a Doctorate of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College as well as a Master’s of Science in Acupuncture from the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.Dr. Truncali was consecutively named to the Dean’s List in both the chiropractic and acupuncture programs, was named a member of the Phi Chi Omega Chiropractic Scholastic Honor society, and is certified in Clean Needle Technique by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Dr. Truncali has worked extensively with a variety of patients during his clinical rotations at locations such as Canandaigua VA Medical Center, Rochester VA Hospital, Monroe Community Hospital, Seneca Falls Health Center, and NYCC Campus Health Center. Additionally, he has worked with athletes including baseball teams, marathoners, triathlon competitors, CrossFitters, and weekend warriors. In April 2016, Dr. Truncali studied at Zhejiang Hospital in Hangzhou, China. There he completed a 100 hour clinical internship program under the supervision of the Zhejiang Provincial Hospital and learned contemporary acupuncture and tui na techniques, the latest acupuncture theories and approaches in the integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Medical models.



Posted in acupuncture, acupuncture monroeville, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, qi gong pittsburgh, traditional chinese medicine, wellness center monroeville Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

What is Nutrition Counseling?

What is Nutrition Counseling? Liz Mckinney, Certified Nutrition Counselor in Pittsburgh and Monroeville explains a little bit about how this works to enhance your health and wellness.
What to expect:
  • One on one individualized nutrition counseling based on your goals and health complaints
  • Detailed analysis
  • Goal setting, coaching and working through barriers to change
  • A clear cut program including diet, lifestyle and supplement therapy specific to your needs
  • Existing lab report analysis and/or future recommended lab work either through a third party lab or through your primary health care provider
  • Email support as needed between sessions
In your first session, we will:
  • Go over your client intake form and three day diet diary
  • Discuss your primary goals and current barriers to change
  • Complete a nutrition focused physical exam
  • Analyze any existing lab work you’ve had completed within the last year
  • Set a program for you consisting of dietary, lifestyle and supplement therapy
Posted in Certified Nutritionist, counseling, Emotional Health, integrative health, integrative medicine, mindfulness, Nutrition Counseling, Nutritionist, wellness Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Be Your Own Beloved: Cultivating Self-Care

Be Your Own Beloved: Cultivating Self Care

Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh, 830 Western ave, Pittsburgh 15233

Saturday Feb 10, 10am

Being your own beloved means treating yourself with the same love and kindness as you would to a dear friend. Just like you cannot fill from an empty cup, you cannot fully love someone else until you love yourself. This Valentines Day, give yourself (and your partner) the gift of self-care.

Join Kayla Hersberger, yoga instructor, essential oil lover, and advocate for natural living in this seminar which will include;

  • A guided heart-opening meditation

  • A writing exercise (bring your journal!)

  • Tips for starting and maintaining a self-care practice

  • Instruction to self-massage with essential oils

We kindly ask for a $5 love donation to cover the cost of oils, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

Posted in counseling, meditation, mindfulness, wellness, wellness pittsburgh, yoga Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Integrative Wellness Group & Cardio for the Soul

Get in Motion: Move Through Life with Us

Integrative Wellness Group & Cardio for the Soul

Seeking individuals who have been wanting to utilize the effects of fitness to achieve greater physical and emotional health but have been feeling stuck in the process. Melissa Taylor is a licensed therapist and kinesiologist – trained and dedicated to help you to overcome the barriers that have prevented you from implementing your wellness and fitness regime. Collaborate with us to learn the principles of fun and fitness and get unstuck and on to a healthy, whole, and more well you!

Location: Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh (830 Western Ave., 15233)

Group Sessions: Sunday’s, 9-11am

Start Date: February 25th, 2018

Services: Traditional Group Therapy paired with Physical Fitness

50 min. Cardio Session

50 min. Group Therapy Session

Wellness Group: Positive Psychology focuses on what makes your life valuable and worth living. These evidence-based techniques are offered in a group session by learning to utilize behavioral activation. These techniques will equip you to become motivated, carrying you beyond psychological and imagined barriers to achieving your goals.

Physical Fitness Description: A combination of cardio, dance, and strength-based exercises to improve overall health and wellness. Exercise has been shown to decrease negative mental health symptoms while rebuilding self-esteem and improving overall happiness. No prior experience needed.

The benefits of wellness peer groups coupled with group exercise are innumerable. There is power within numbers, enjoy the benefit of enhanced support networks and trusted sounding boards. Exercising with others builds motivation, accountability, and positive support. Wellness Group Members will offer specific ideas for improving difficult situations or life challenges, as well as help put problems into perspective. Members share how they overcame certain issues or relate to the stress of current issues. It increases motivation and courage when you can achieve fitness goals with others and knowing that you’re not alone.


Single sessions-$50.00

6 sessions-$250.00

10 sessions-$425.00 (packages must be used in 6 months)

Intake Required for each participant (60 mins/$85.00)

Medical Release Form Required to start group

Please call to set up an Intake Session with Melissa Taylor, LMFT, MS

As a separate service, we also have a nutritionist on staff to offer health assessments, meal planning, to help you to achieve your nutrition and dietary goals.

*All services are Out of Pocket, using cash, credit, debit card, or HSA, No Insurance Accepted at this time


Posted in clinical herbalist, kinesiology, psychology, resolutions, wellness Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Liz Mckinney, Certified Nutritionist

Liz McKinney Certified Nutritionist

Liz Mckinney holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and Integrative Health. Additionally she holds board certification as a nutrition specialist (CNS) and is licensed as a dietitian nutritionist (LDN). Liz’s approach is rooted in the tenants of functional and integrative medicine. Liz knows that wellness and whole body health can be optimized by treating the whole person: body, mind and spirit, and working to eradicate the root cause of physical and emotional suffering. Using dietary, lifestyle, and supplement therapies personalized for you, Liz will work with you to help you achieve optimal health and wellness.

Liz’s personal statement:

“I believe you can be well.

I believe you are capable of lasting change.

I believe your story is valuable and truly informs your journey to wellness.”

Liz first became fascinated by nutrition therapy when she realized how many of our modern day chronic diseases can be modified or even put into remission by the food we eat (or don’t eat). She is a firm believer that food is medicine and that simple lifestyle and diet changes can make a huge impact on our health, longevity, mood and all around well being.

Liz’s areas of specialty include:

Autoimmune conditions

Digestive health

Emotional Health

Food and Mood

Natural hormone balance

Migraine management

General health and weight management

Liz’s Intake Forms 



Posted in Certified Nutritionist, Emotional Health, integrative health, integrative medicine, Nutrition Counseling, Nutritionist, wellness pittsburgh Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Jackie Mandock, LPC, NCC

Jackie Mandock, LPC, NCC, LBSC, MH is a counselor at Counseling and Wellness Centers of Pittsburgh- Monroeville. She provides therapy to children, adolescents, families, couples, and adults. Jackie approaches therapy from a holistic perspective, always staying mindful of how the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected. Jackie is certified in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and is trained in parent-child interaction therapy.  She has worked with many different concerns in these specialized populations ranging from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder to trauma, as well as anxiety and depression. Jackie is also a licensed behavioral specialist with a strong background in autism.  Jackie was a school-based therapist and is familiar with school concerns and supporting educational issues. She is a graduate of University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors in Psychology and Neuroscience and  from Chatham University with a Masters in Counseling Psychology. Jackie also has a Master Herbalist diploma from American College of Health Sciences.

Posted in autism, child therapy, clinical herbalist, co-parenting, counseling, couples counseling, couples therapy, educational, marriage counseling, mindfulness, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, parenting, therapist, wellness Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Melissa Taylor, LMFT

Melissa Taylor, LMFT, MS is a very enthusiastic and compassionate professional that believes in the power of combining counseling and physical activity when working through personal issues. As a marriage and family therapist, Melissa works through family system issues that may influence a person’s current life situation, relationship issues, and emotional instability. As individuals, we have grown up with different family dynamics, viewed many family relationships and observed different ways of communicating that influence present time relationships and how we cope with issues. Family patterns exist, so Melissa helps people identify and understand those patterns, and then learn how they influence current problems. Melissa has worked for years with adults and adolescents that have been abused, abandoned, felt depression and anxiety, or struggle with current relationships; therefore, she is very comfortable working with individuals, couples and families that are dealing with past and current difficulties. She encourages self-care practices through counseling and exercise to build self-esteem, trust, communication and coping skills, to improve their own lives. Melissa is a psychoanalytic therapist that also provides CBT and other family system theories in her work. She encourages clients to trust her and themselves in the counseling process to work together towards healing and personal goals.

Melissa has lived in multiple states to complete her education and build her career while learning different cultures. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Kentucky, and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She also had the privilege of completing a Master’s degree in Kinesiology at LSU in Baton Rouge, which allows her to integrate physical activity for clients in their therapeutic treatment process. She has provided therapy in Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Texas and now Pennsylvania. She has worked with Rape Crisis Centers, FQHC’s, Inpatient and Outpatient locations, integrated healthcare centers, and group practices. Melissa has experience in different levels and types of mental health care and has learned how mental health symptoms affect all populations.

Melissa recently moved to Pittsburgh from Texas and enjoys exploring her new city with her husband and two young children. She enjoys playing and teaching her children, Zumba and other exercises, and cooking with her family. Melissa is very energetic and is always seeking new experiences for herself and her family.

Posted in co-parenting, counseling, couples counseling, couples therapy, marriage counseling, mental health, mindfulness, psychotherapy, therapists, therapy, wellness Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Mindful Parenting Workshop


Posted in child therapy, co-parenting, community outreach, counseling, educational, meditation, mindfulness, parenting, psychology, therapist, therapy, wellness, yoga Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wellness Tip of The Month, Frankincense


We love wellness and always are committed to bringing to you all the latest and often times most historically revered practices to sustain and support emotional, physical and spiritual health. This month we are highlighting Frankincense. Some of you may be familiar with the giving of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, in ancient times, these were gifts offered to kings and royalty, they even mention them in the Christian Bible as offerings brought to baby Jesus Christ by The Three Wise Men. Why all of the spotlight on Frankincense? Well in indigenous cultures, Frankincense was treated as medicine to reduce symptoms and even cure diseases of inflammation.

Modern Science is exploring the many benefits of Frankincense, some studies offering evidence that this can be used to cure everything depression, anxiety, and even certain forms of cancer. While we can not conclude the effectiveness of these treatments because it has not been supported of verified by the food and drug administration plant oils and herbs offer a wonderful route to healing and treating our bodies holistically.


Posted in meditation, mental health, mindfulness, personal growth, Uncategorized, wellness, wisdom, yoga Tagged with: , , , ,

Emotional Wellness

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