"The real medicine is the one that returns the body to its inner balance"
what we treat
A relaxing, comfortable way to regain your health and stay healthy
Pain & Headaches
Pain in the body has multiple causes, from trauma to ischemia (lack of blood circulation), nerve impingement, inflammation, etc. Acupuncture and herbs can address each of these in different ways. Trauma to the body is healed through increased circulation of blood and bio-electricity. White blood cells remove damaged tissue, and new tissues are grown by deposition of fibrinogen and other proteins from the bloodstream. The swelling of fresh trauma brings blood to the area but restricts proper circulation with compression due to increased internal pressure in the tissues. Acupuncture can reduce swelling and maintain good blood flow to the injured area shortening healing time. These same mechanisms restore proper blood flow to areas suffering from ischemia and inflammation.
Nerve impingement improves when we calm overactive nerve signals and reduce muscle tension in an area that could be increasing pressure on the nerve. In some cases, the bones can find their way back to alignment by fixing the imbalanced muscle tension. In some cases, I refer to a chiropractor or osteopath to realign the structure to aid in healing.
Headaches can be of many causes as well. These can include sinus pressure, cervical misalignment, chronic tension, migraines, etc. The same mechanisms above can correct muscle tension, open the sinuses to facilitate drainage, and relieve pain.
Another factor in chronic pain is the structural alignment of the body. The brain calculates how your body stands in 3D space based on signals from the nervous system. Sometimes these signals corrupt the brain’s calculations causing the body to stand in an unbalanced way. This causes the body to fight against gravity causing unbalanced muscular tension that can lead to many types of pain. Auricular (ear) therapy, in combination with a physical exam, correct these imbalances and frequently lead to quick and often permanent relief of the pain.
Women's Health & Fertility
One area where Chinese medicine excels is in the area of women’s health. The holistic model we use considers everything from diet, climate, exercise, stress and emotional factors. Thousands of years of detailed observation of the signs of the menstrual cycle have given us a much deeper understanding of what can lead to imbalances in hormones and the menstrual cycle. Whether the cycle is early, late, or irregular; if the flow is heavy, light, or absent; color, consistency, and level of discomfort – all of these are signs as to what is going on with the entirety of your body. With gentle herbs, lifestyle change, and acupuncture we can greatly improve your quality of life.
Fertility is another area where Chinese medicine can be highly effective. Our first concern is to stabilize and regulate the menstrual cycle. After the cycle is stable we can address other issues that could be hampering your fertility efforts. Sometimes simple dietary change, or proper management of stress is all that is required for the body to take on the new challenge of growing a life. Other times we need to strengthen the body, and improve the quality of the reproductive essence (eggs). This takes a bit longer but can still greatly improve fertility outcomes.
We also treat male fertility issues. Remember two parents are working together to create a life. Stress has a large impact on male fertility, as do diet, and exercise.
Colds and Flu, Allergies, Asthma & Skin problems
Colds and flus hit us all at some point. Unfortunately, most of our over the counter medications that relieve our symptoms also hamper the proper functioning of our body’s immune response. Unnecessarily lowering fever and drying up mucus production hamper two of the main ways our bodies’ combat viruses and bacteria. Many herbs have been time tested to properly support the body’s immune response and speed the recovery process. Acupuncture also modulates the immune response and aid in recovery from acute illnesses. Acupuncture can also shrink swollen sinus membranes to open a stuffy nose, can break a fever, and can thin mucus in the respiratory pathways to help with expectoration.
One of the best things you can do is to cultivate a sense of bodily awareness and catch those first signs of starting to feel under the weather. Whether it is fatigue, the beginnings of a scratchy throat, headache, or burning in the eyes, catching a cold or flu early enough can often allow you to head it off before it really gets started. Numerous herbs such as elderberry, astragalus, and reishi help strengthen your immune system and ward off sickness during cold and flu season for prevention. Other herbs can increase the body’s immune response in acute infection, and shorten the length of a cold or flu.
Asthma is a delicate balance between the energetic functions of the Lung and Kidneys. Different types of asthma affect the breathing in different ways. Acupuncture can balance these two systems to provide great relief and even cure some asthmatic conditions.
Some treatments such as SAAT can also be curative for asthma and allergy suffers. SAAT stands for Soliman’s Auricular Allergy Technique. This technique tests the patient for sensitivity to substance and works to remove the body’s reaction to it. A small needle is placed on the ear for 3 weeks after which the patient is no longer allergic to that substance.
Skin problems come in two categories. The first is a superficial body reaction to some substance or allergy that shows up on the skin. SAAT and auricular medicine can be very helpful to treat and rapidly resolve these cases. The other type is when the body is giving you an outward sign of a deeper underlying health problem. These types of skin condition require fixing the underlying problem and can take a little longer to see the results of the treatment. Since acupuncture and auricular medicine are good at modulating the immune system and circulation I frequently see good results with conditions that have sometimes trouble my patients for years.
Digestive and Urinary Problems
Digestive problems can have many causes, most of which are aggravated by stress. Acupuncture works to harmonize function of the vagus nerve (the 10th cranial nerve) which controls digestive function. Acupuncture can also help to switch a patient from a chronic sympathetic state (fight or flight response) to a calmer parasympathetic state (rest and digest). This sends more blood back to the digestive system allowing the digestive organs to work at a more optimal level.
Some digestive disorders are autoimmune in nature and benefit from the immune modulating effects of acupuncture. I have seen good results in regulating the symptoms of IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Acupuncture is also effective in promoting absorption and motility in simpler cases of constipation and diarrhea.
Other cases caused by food allergies and sensitivities are treated using SAAT (see our Allergies section for discussion of SAAT).
Urinary problems such as incontinence, frequent urination, bed-wetting, and incomplete bladder emptying can be a result of weak muscles or poor nerve signal to the muscles that control these functions. Chinese medicine views these kinds of problems as a weakening of the kidney energy. Some symptoms that can accompany these kinds of problems are changes in hearing, tinnitus, weakness and soreness in the low back, and changes in libido or sexual performance. Acupuncture works with the nervous system to try to strengthen these areas of the body. We also focus on strengthening the kidney energy to correct the other symptoms mentioned above.
Other disorders such as interstitial cystitis involve inflammation in the tissues of the bladder that lead to pain. Acupuncture can help these tissues to heal and remove this painful inflammation.
Cases of urinary tract infections frequently respond well to treatment with herbal medicine. Many useful herbs contain antimicrobial substances, such as arbutin, that are filtered out by the kidneys and concentrated in the urine. These substances kill the bacteria in the urinary tract to eliminate the infection.
Insomnia, Anxiety, Depression
These conditions are uniquely suited to acupuncture and herbal treatment. These are disorders of the nervous system being out of balance. Often these conditions are causes by sympathetic dominance – or being stuck in a fight or flight mode. We feel stressed, under attack, and are unable to turn off and rest. Other times chronic stress causes our cortisol (stress hormone) levels to affect our circadian rhythm (day night rhythm). This leaves us constantly feeling on edge and unable to relax and get the deep restful sleep we need. Acupuncture can relax the physical body and mind by placing the body in a parasympathetic state. This restful rejuvenating state allows deep healing. Used with lifestyle change, proper exercise, diet, and beneficial herbs these problems can be overcome giving you a balanced calm mind, and a rested body.
Cardiac, High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol
Blood pressure is a product of several factors. How hard the heart is contracting, how much volume of liquid is in your blood stream, and how much resistance there is for the blood to flow. The nervous system sends the signal to the heart to contract. Calming the nervous system can reduce the intensity of contraction lowering the systolic blood pressure (first number in your blood pressure reading). Acupuncture can also cause the body to release chemicals that cause blood vessel dilation, opening blood flow and reducing the diastolic blood pressure (the lower number). Relaxing tension in the body can also reduce both numbers by relaxing the heart muscles, calming the production of adrenaline from the sympathetic nervous system activation (fight or flight), and opening the chest for deeper, more relaxed breathing. Acupuncture can balance vagus nerve activity to calm the body and decreasing the blood pressure.
Cholesterol is synthesized by the liver. Heat in the liver (inflammation) can cause the liver to produce excessive cholesterol. By calming the liver function, dietary modification, and the use of herbs we can greatly reduce the blood cholesterol. Herbs like hawthorn can decrease the cholesterol while improving heart function.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are complex disorders that are often difficult to treat with conventional medicine. Utilizing a holistic approach to examine how the body systems work together to balance metabolism and regulate the nervous system can lead to effective treatments that relieve pain and help you get your energy back. I target digestive system function, cellular oxygenation, and proper blood flow. I also utilize French Auriculotherapy to test the state of the autonomic nervous system to promote proper homeostasis in the body. This allows me to diagnose imbalances in your nervous system and correct them so that the body can more readily regulate its systems to maintain proper function.
Many of my fibromyalgia patients have reported that when they try to give blood, or have blood drawn at the doctor’s office their blood flow is sluggish and takes a long time to flow. Often, after only a few treatments their doctors are amazed how much easier their blood flows during these procedures. Proper oxygenated blood flow reaching the body’s muscles and organs can greatly increase your energy and relieve your pain. Acupuncture also causes dilation of the blood vessels that aids in this effect.
Acupuncture can also relieve tight muscles whose tension causes pain and constricts blood flow. After we break the pattern of tension in an area, proper circulation and relaxation usually lead to long-term relief.
Cancer Patient care
Acupuncture is very beneficial in helping with the side effects of conventional cancer treatments. I routinely see patients increase their energy, increase their blood cell counts, and increase their appetites. Acupuncture can also decrease nausea and correct the sense of taste-making eating more pleasant. I frequently see success in correcting the metallic or unappealing taste food can take on during chemotherapy. Other side effects like neuropathy are improved or resolved when treated early. This varies from case to case and the type of chemotherapy the patient receives.
Anything we can do to make the experience of battling cancer more comfortable will increase the chances that the patient can complete their course of care and increases their odds of beating cancer. Acupuncture can also help strengthen the body’s natural reserves to aid in these efforts.
Herbs and other supplements, such as turkey tail mushroom, and modified citrus pectin can aid the body in regulating the immune system and help the body rid itself of cancer. Always inform your doctor of any supplements you are planning to add to your routine.