Margaret Ryding, M.Ac.

Margaret practices Five Element Acupuncture,  an ancient Chinese framework to understand and heal imbalances in the human body.

After consulting with patients to understand their physical symptoms and emotional history, Margaret designs treatments customized for each individual. When acupuncture works effectively, not only do patients report the disappearance of symptoms, but energy improves, vitality returns, and they are better able to enjoy life.

Margaret is certified in Zero Balancing, bodywork she incorporates in her practice that balances energy and structure through touch. She also incorporates Dr. Tan’s Balance Method, a unique form of acupuncture that helps to treat pain. 

Margaret has studied the Eight Extraordinary Vessels with Jeffrey Yuan and incorporates this into her practice when appropriate.  This medicine connects with our deepest ancestral code and has transformative powers of healing.

Margaret has been practicing acupuncture for 25 years. She is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to practice acupuncture, and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

In addition to practicing acupuncture, Margaret is also a quilter and an avid gardener. She lives with her husband, Jonathan Barkan, in Arlington and in Conway, MA. His photographs of their home on Hummingbird Hill and their Arlington office are featured on this website.


  • Certified and Licensed Acupuncturist

  • Trained Herbalist (Chinese and Western)

  • Dr. Tan's Balance Method (learn more)

  • Zero Balancing Bodywork (learn more)

  • Diet, Mindfulness, and Lifestyle Advice


  • Worsley Institute of Classical Acupuncture (learn more)

  • College of Traditional Acupuncture (learn more)

  • Boston School of Herbal Studies (learn more)

  • Sage Mountain Advanced Herbal Training Program (learn more)


  • Spectrum Health Systems (treatment center); 1996-2000

  • American Whole Health (integrative medical practice); 1996-2000

  • Carleton-Willard Village (retirement center); 2007-2014

  • Inner Balance (holistic medical practice); 2013-2014

  • People's Medicine Project (charitable medicine); 2015-present

  • Private Practice; 2000-present

Five Element Acupuncture is the foundation and backbone of my practice. This is an elegant and beautiful system of medicine that helps people heal and maintain balance at a deep level. Each person has an innate healing ability. By listening and gathering information about a person’s life, I can help to stimulate their own healing potential and guide them towards balance and health. I also encourage better health and lifestyle through diet, meditation and exercise.

Modern life is fast-paced and stressful. Slowing down and enjoying life more is something many of us wish we could do easier. Making time to experience the seasons and nature makes our lives richer. Because Five Element Acupuncture is based on natural laws, it helps us to live more in harmony with nature and the seasons. It reminds us that we are not separate from nature: we are a part of it.
— Margaret Ryding