Melissa is amazing. Years ago I worked with several highly-respected acupuncturists and she’s clearly the best, both because of her many skills as well as her warmth and empathy. Our small community is blessed to have someone so talented.
— David, Willsboro, NY

5 Element Acupuncture


The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have issued countless glowing endorsements on the effectiveness of Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of physical and mental conditions

Acupuncture Treatment for Common Health Concerns

Respiratory concerns:
* Colds and flu, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, emphysema

Gastrointestinal concerns:
* Food allergies, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, colitis

Circulatory concerns:
* Hypertension, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, diabetes

Gynecological concerns:
* Menopausal syndrome, menstrual irregularity, low sexual drive, endometriosis, PMS, infertility

Musculoskeletal concerns:
* Tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, pain with your golf swing, TMJ, sciatica, low back pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus, Epstein Barr

Emotional/Neurological concerns:
* Depression, anxiety, insomnia, headache, migraine, dizziness, tinnitus, trauma, fatigue, exhaustion, pain (emotional or physical)

Pre-surgery preparation & Post-surgery healing

Dermatology concerns:
* A wide variety of skin conditions

Acupuncture with Melissa is a mental and physical life changer. The first person I saw transformed was not even me. The positive energy and change to a person I love, is what led me to use Melissa and acupuncture for the first time. You may tell Melissa what you think you need worked out, and if you forget to tell her an area that is causing physical or emotional pain, she WILL find it! She has a gift. She’s accessible by email and very flexible with her schedule. I look forward to each visit, and you can tell when you are overdue for a tune up. I can’t say enough about her and her services.
— Carrie, Malta, NY


Acupuncture is the oldest, professional, continually practiced, literate medicine in the world. This medical system's written literature stretches back almost 3,000 years. Acupuncture is an effective choice for general health and well-being or for the treatment of diseases which modern Western medicine either does not understand or for which it has no effective treatment. Furthermore, acupuncture can also speed up the healing process when used in conjunction with modern Western practices.

5 Element Acupuncture goes beyond just the symptoms and treats the root causes of the imbalances in our body (symptoms we feel) caused by internal and external stressors that affect the vital energy (Qi). If these imbalances are left untreated they become the root cause of illness/disease in the body/mind/spirit. It is not always necessary to have a specific symptom to benefit from acupuncture. Very often the first signs of energy imbalance are little discomforts which we learn to ignore (and which often do not reveal any specific cause on medical tests) such as poor, un-refreshing sleep or general fatigue or aches/pains.

In acupuncture, the body is made up of energy pathways, called meridians. These meridians (vital energy) pass through and nourish organ systems, tissue, bone, etc. Meridians are like highways of energy within our body. Acupuncture, for example, clears debris off the highways, removes accidents, and maintains the safety of our roadways so that our Qi (vital energy) can travel smoothly in every direction it needs to go.

The individual is a complex organism where every aspect of function is interrelated. Any energetic malfunction affecting one organ system, will ultimately affect all of the others. Illness arises as a result of some blockage or interference in the natural flow of Qi (vital energy). Treating a symptom by itself would ultimately either recreate the original symptom or force the imbalance to manifest as another symptom elsewhere.

A symptom in the body, for example, is like a drainage malfunction underneath the highway. It would be futile to simply pave over the crumbling highway. Rather, to do the job right, you would need to fix the drainage issue and then repave the highway. People receiving acupuncture may initially report feeling better in themselves before they begin to notice symptoms recede.

They may sleep better, and perhaps get along better with partners, family, friends, and colleagues. They often report they have more overall vitality. Some people find that they are able to work more efficiently and effectively.

The personal attention, warmth and expertise that I have received at Gratitude for Wellness from Melissa is second to no other of the many health care providers I have seen throughout my life. Melissa really listens, and personalizes my visits. She has significantly helped me, not only through acupuncture, but also through her knowledge of herbs and nutrition. I feel so fortunate to have her right here in my “back yard”!
— Scott, Westport, NY

Methods of Treatment

Acupuncture seeks to regulate the flow of Qi and blood within the body by either inserting fine, sterile needles at certain acupoints or warming certain acupoints by using moxibustion. Needles are most often the size of a shaft of hair. Needles are used to clear energetic blockages, redirect energy, tonify or disperse energy and to generally re-establish harmony among all of the organ systems.

Acupuncture with Melissa offers physical and mental solace to the client. Most importantly it provides hope. Melissa is gentle and kind which in my mind is wonderful in a health care provider.
— Claire, Essex, NY

Melissa Maki, LAc, AP, DOM, CCT

Melissa Maki was born and raised in Ithaca, NY. Melissa attended SUNY Plattsburgh, NY where she received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 1994. Her first Master's degree came from Syracuse University, NY in Marriage & Family Therapy in 1998.

She worked for the Counseling Service in Addison County based in Middlebury, VT for 12 years in the roles of a clinician for the Emergency Team for Children & Families, an Adult & Youth outpatient therapist, a School-Based therapist for Middlebury High School, and a clinic supervisor.

In 2009, she was trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing), a therapy for post-traumatic stress that has been studied extensively and is often used for military personnel.

Melissa received a second Master's degree from The Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in September 2012. She also received a Certificate in Chinese Herbal Studies in July 2013. The Acupuncture and Herbal studies program is a four year program that is 155 credit hours which encompasses acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and biomedical sciences. The fourth year is spent in the classroom and on-site clinic where 180 direct treatment hours were completed. After completion of this program four national board exams were taken which focused on theory, acupuncture point location and usage, Western biomedicine, and herbs. Upon completion of these exams a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine was issued by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine to Melissa.

In March 2019, Melissa was trained in Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (Thermography) as a Certified Clinical Thermographer (CCT) from the American College of Clinical Thermology (ACCT).  She provides full body, half body, point of interest and breast thermography scans on the lower level of the Wellness Clinic weekly by appointment only.

Melissa started her five element acupuncture practice in Essex, NY in October 2013 and in November 2016, Melissa and her business partner, Rebecca Palmer opened Gratitude for Wellness in Willsboro, NY. Melissa currently resides on Willsboro Point with her partner and Shih Tzu's. She loves hiking, kayaking, boating on Lake Champlain, cooking, gardening, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Melissa has treated me for a variety of issues and is truly amazing. She is passionate, knowledgeable and caring.
The quality of my life has improved under her care and for that I am eternally grateful.
— Paul, Westport, NY
I began my treatments with Melissa in Plattsburgh, but I did not hesitate one second to follow her to Gratitude for Wellness. Although I have had acupuncture from other practitioners, there is no one like Melissa. Her depth of knowledge and holistic approach have helped me add some excellent self care to my routines. My visits with her are often the high point of my month. I have never been more grounded and in tune with my self-care than I have been with Melissa. Her ability to determine where I need support is uncanny and has made a tremendous difference in my life.
— Michele, Plattsburgh, NY
I was introduced to acupuncture at a time in my life that I was very lost. I had lost someone very special to me to cancer and could not find my way out of a deep dark place. Melissa sat and listened and knew exactly where to start to help me heal from the inside out. I will forever be grateful to her. Through acupuncture I have learned how to listen to my mind, body and soul.
— Thomessina, Moriah, NY

Enhanced Fertility with Acupuncture
Posted by Christiane Northrup, M.D.