Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy

About Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an organized system of diagnosis and treatment that entails stimulating certain points on the body to alleviate pain, assist recovery from injury, decrease stress and inflammation, or to help treat a wide range of health conditions. Needling may be performed locally to the pain, other areas of the body, with or without electrical stimulation, all decided upon on a case-by-case basis.

Acupuncture is linked to the belief that pain and disease is caused by disruptions to the circulation of electricity (nervous system) and blood (vascular system) in the body. Acupuncture needles stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and relaxes the vascular system and soft tissue to release this disruption, bringing relief to the system.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is a form of myofascial release practiced worldwide. Using glass or plastic "cups", a suction is created on the skin, opening compressed soft tissue and allowing free flow of blood and body fluids. Cupping is used for many purposes including the treatment of pain and tension, inflammation, affected blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and facial rejuvenation.

About Dr. Mary Froeba, DACOM LAc

Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Mary Froeba, husband and pets

Dr. Mary Froeba is a second-generation Licensed Acupuncturist, with a concentration in integrative medicine for pain treatment and management, and systemic health. She holds both a Doctorate and a four-year Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine. At Apex Sports Medicine, Dr. Froeba offers full-body acupuncture and dry needling, cupping therapy, nutritional advice, and herbal prescriptions.

Dr. Froeba's has also completed additional training with the following organizations:

  • National Acupuncture Detox Association (NADA)
  • Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA)
  • International Cupping Therapy Association (ICTA)

Dr. Froeba has lived in Austin since 1999 and recently moved to Lago Vista with her loving husband, Dan, with their dogs and cat.

Book now with Dr. Mary Froeba DAcOM, LAc >

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of education does Dr. Froeba have?

I hold a Doctorate and a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAcOM) from AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in Austin - a total of 6 continuous years of graduate-level education, no summers off!

Upon graduation I had completed:

Over 900 Patient Treatments
Nearly 1500 Clinical Internship Hours
Over 2000 Class Hours.

This education included acupuncture, herbology, bio-medicine and pharmacology, physical assessments, and so much more.

Afterward, I sat for four separate Board Exams and earned my Diplomate of Oriental Medicine. I am now licensed with the Texas Medical Board.

Does Dr. Froeba know how to dry needle?

Yes! Dry needling is acupuncture by another name, as is Motor Point Needling and Myofascial Trigger Point Needling (ACAOM).

With so many years of education, Licensed Acupuncturists become highly skilled in more than one approach or needling style - needling locally to the pain, needling distally (away) from the pain, needling deeply or superficially, needling to create strong sensations or very gently, needling with electrical stimulation or warming (moxibustion), auricular (ear), scalp, and facial acupuncture - we are trained in it all with hundreds of hours of practice and clinical work.

At AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, we learn primarily Chinese needling techniques (of which there are many!) and some Japanese and Korean techniques.

What does Dr. Froeba treat?

Dr. Froeba treats a wide range of disorders including (but not limited to):

Physical Pain:
Tennis elbow
Frozen shoulder
Muscle spasms
Chronic back/shoulder pain

Systemic Health:
Menstrual and fertility difficulties
Gastric and colon disorders
Colorectal abscesses
Bell's Palsy

General Wellness:
Stress, anxiety, depression
Insomnia and disrupted sleep
Facial drooping and loose skin
Seasonal allergies
Preventative health

If you have any further questions about what acupuncture and herbal medicine can do for you, go to Book Now and set up a complimentary phone call with Dr. Froeba.

What kind of needles are used?

Hair fine needles, made of surgical grade steel - the same material used for a blood draw, but a much smaller needle. There is no need to pass fluid through the center of it, so it can be much smaller than a hypodermic needle.

Do the needles hurt?

Usually no, and I do my best to minimize potential discomfort. In fact, many patients report a positive feeling from treatments. Occasionally a bruise might be left behind, or a lingering sensation, but both are temporary and neither are cause for concern. Just keep talking to me throughout the treatment, and I’ll help discern the different needle sensations from the “good” feelings and the “not necessary” feelings.

How does a session usually go?

Blood pressure and temperature are taken on the first visit, once a year, and as needed. After that, Dr. Froeba will conduct an intake to determine what services are required for the visit. Treatments may potentially include acupuncture of various styles, cupping therapy, gua sha (scraping) and a written herbal prescription to be picked up at a dispensary/pharmacy. Every patient’s visit is unique, and no treatment will be conducted without their full consent. If there is anything you are uncertain of or know you like/don’t like - speak up! Your treatment is for you.

What can I expect after a treatment?

How one feels directly after a treatment varies from person to person, and purpose of the treatment. Some feel invigorated and ready to go! Most feel relaxed and unbothered by the world’s worried. Others feel centered and focused.

It is extremely common for patients to experience a great night's sleep and improved digestion in the first 24 hours after treatment - something that can last longer and longer with regular treatments.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is observable medicine that has been practiced and developed for at least 3,000, maybe even 5,000, years. New technologies and the modern scientific process have allowed us to understand how acupuncture works in new ways and studies are ongoing. Here is what we do know:

Hair fine needles are inserted into the skin and sometimes into the muscle. When that happens, the nervous system is stimulated and in turn that stimulates the brain to release certain hormones including analgesic and anti-inflammatory hormones. The blood vessels relax and the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system is turned on. This is only the beginning of all the many workings in the human system in response to acupuncture.

There is a lot more to it, and I could go on for hours - come in a chat if you want to learn more!

Do the needles go just anywhere?

By choosing specific points and handling each point in a unique way, the body receives different messages. I think of acupuncture point selection as a computer code; I’m giving commands to the brain to do certain tasks, thus we achieve specific goals with different point combinations.

Approximately 80% of acupuncture points fall on connective tissue planes AKA fascia. Sonographic images have been taken of a needle inserted into a subject. We can see tiny thread like collagen fibers grab onto the needle. By twisting and moving the needle, we can send vibrations down the path of fibers, like when a fly gets caught in a web. (Langevin HM, 2002) The vibrations seem to amplify communication to the brain and organ systems, increasing effectiveness of the treatment. Most often patients cannot feel this process at all, but usually the relaxation effect it can have.

What does cupping do?

I think of cupping as a reverse massage: Through decompression, suction cups open the spaces between materials, allowing for the free flow of blood and body fluids.

Will cupping leave marks?

Every human body is different, so the likelihood marks will be left behind do vary, but they are temporary and do not hurt. They are not standard bruises, but rather a response where there is existing tension or inflammation. Facial rejuvenation cupping is the least likely to show marks as it is conducted so delicately. Deep tissue treatments are the most likely.

What does a visit cost?

1-hour: private, one-on-one $90
30-minute: private, one-on-one $50
30-minute : community-style, in an open treatment space $30 COMING SOON!

Package rates, as well as discounts for veterans, active US Military and all First Responders, are available. HSA/FSA accepted.

Other Remarks

Everyday stress and prolonged exertion constrict the blood vessels, raising blood pressure. The physiological effect of long-term vasoconstriction is detrimental. Restful breaks, such as meditation and cloud watching, without the distraction of technology, relaxes the system. Acupuncture helps to turn off the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system, and along with it relax vasoconstriction, faster and for longer periods of time with compounding treatments.


ACAOM (2018, Oct 26). ACAOM The Accreditation Commision for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine; ACAOM Glossary. Retrieved from

Langevin HM, Yandow J. (2002, Dec 15). Relationship of acupuncture points and meridians to connective tissue planes. Retrieved from

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