It Seems Spring has Sprung!
Oh the back and forth!!! There is one thing for sure.......change! It doesn't look like we can stop it or avoid it, so we might as well embrace it and enhance our amazing capacities of adaptation.
Been seeing a lot of complaints for balance, dizziness, tinnitus, queasy feelings and digestive upset. One thing I admire about Chinese medicine is its unfailing ability account for the effects of mother nature on our systems. It's really so smart. Here in Jax, it's like a moldy wet bathroom - not such a great environment for healthy mammalian living.
Often times the above listed conditions can be caused by
1. Climatic factors, and/or
2. Improper western medical treatment of the common types of respiratory and immunity issues we see in this region.
Most treatment for the above complaints involve suppression of the immune system. While it can help temporarily relieve the uncomfortableness of a symptom of illness, if no other action is taken to make the correction in the body and lifestyle, then the natural immune system will eventually wither and your body becomes susceptible to more illness and disease, with very little ability to respond effectively.
Now that Spring is springing, it's time to deal with the allergies and the immune system in a way that enhances your health. Chinese Medicine physicians know how to do that well. Let me show you how.
Treatments Available at the Center:
Sterile, disposable needles are used to activate communication between
stimulate circulation of hormonal messaging within the Bonghan Channels.
blog for information on the newly discovered Bonghan or acupuncture Channels)
kinds of styles and points are selected based on your needs and budgetary
Pain Relief Acupuncture: The Balance method acupuncture
introduced in the USA by Dr. Richard Tan works extremely well for chronic and
acute pain. After the initial pain consultation, balance method
acupuncture is used to neutralize pain signals in the body & increase
circulation in problem areas. A 50% reduction in pain can be expected in
your first visit. Our ultimate goal is to get you off any pain medication
and get you back to the active lifestyle you enjoy. Discount Packages available.
Parasympathetic Retraining Treatments:
The ultimate in relaxation, usually done in a series of 4-6
acupuncture treatments because we are training your brain to respond to stress in a more effective, controlled manner. These unique and
specialized treatments are designed to activate and secure your body's ability
to counteract and recover from stress signals brought about by day to day exposure. Many modern day diseases are
caused by being in a constant state of stress. Our bodies forget how to
relax. This treatment activates the para-sympathetic nervous system (see my
blog) and keeps it working so you can feel more in control and recover from
stress quicker. These treatments
have been proven to be clinically effective for many types of conditions
including: PMS, fertility, PCOS, endometriosis,
weight loss, chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, high blood pressure,
migraines, headaches, digestive disorders, IBS, constipation, hyperacidity,
insomnia, allergies, skin problems, anxiety, & depression.
Economy Acupuncture: Sessions designed to introduce the
community to the general benefits of acupuncture without incurring a lot of
costs or spending a lot of time. For those on tight budgets. Can be
useful to generally improve almost any kind of condition.
Packages available Sliding scales offered at all times to anyone
who wants to see me, but can't afford the economy rates. Please call to
Natural Fertility Acupuncture For Women: For those attempting to start a family
naturally without the assistance of pharmaceutical drugs and hormones.
After the full initial consult we determine a plan to improve your
chances by fixing the underlying problems associated with infertility - namely
endometriosis, PCOS &/or poor egg quality. We determine the course
based on what we find. These are very in depth sessions designed to fix
problems and get to the root cause of your issues. During the course of
therapy, we develop a close bond. Where 2 or 3 are gathered
together.........miracles happen. On average women receive 2-6 months of
weekly treatments. Some more, some less. It depends on where you
are in the process. The first few months are necessary to determine
your menstrual pattern, the next few months correct any problems we
find. After the initial course of treatments, chances for getting
pregnant improve by 30-35%. Not bad! On average, my clients get pregnant
during the 4th or 5th month of treatment. I have been specializing in
these treatments for 18 years. Experience matters in these cases. Packages Available.
IVF/IUI/ART Enhancement for Women: For those working with a local
reproductive endocrinologist. Acupuncture has been shown to increase IVF
success rates by up to 26%. These once weekly sessions improve egg
development and help you feel more relaxed and in control of your cycle. This has been a specialty of mine for 15 years. Packages Available:
(I have practice privileges in most of the RE's
Call for more information about scheduling -
notice to general target transfer date required)
Just for Men: Acupuncture has a long, rich history in
improving men's strength, health and well being. Recent research proves
its effectiveness in improving hormonal levels for conditions like Low T or
E.D. It will also correct and greatly improve sperm count, motility and
morphology in fertility cases. After the full initial consult, we utilize
Chinese herbals, dietary changes and acupuncture therapy to help improve these
5 Element Rebalancing Therapy: Acupuncture became popular in Europe long
before Americans discovered its benefits.
German and English acupuncture physicians developed traditions and
styles of acupuncture for more western type diseases brought about by
industrialization and our hectic modern lifestyles. Using ancient body typing and a regime of
acupuncture that diminishes excessive influences and supplements deficiencies,
certain types of modern diseases can get better and eventually go away. This therapy is a favorite for those
suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia, bi-polar disorders, ADD/ADHD,
chronic fatigue and control issues.
After the full initial consult, as series of 10 treatments are given to
rebalance the limbic system and relieve more mental and emotional kinds of
Weightloss & Addiction Auricular Therapy:
Treatments designed to curb cravings, reduce appetite, help your
metabolism run more efficiently, balance the chemicals in your brain and increase
your will power by reducing adrenal fatigue.
It’s an interesting and effective resolution to those ready for a change
in their eating and relaxation habits.
Qigong Therapy: This very special healing method is as
secret as it is effective. Many people have yet to hear of it's
miraculous ability to heal difficult and chronic illnesses. A god send to
chronic pain sufferers, cancer prevention, metabolism disorders and chronic
depression this life changing treatment is getting ready to be the next big
thing. Move over yoga. Qigong is spreading fast. Usually done
one session a month. Must apply for acceptance into qigong therapy
Starving Students: I was there. Call me to discuss some affordable options for your care.
Consult for Herbal Therapy without Acupuncture: Some people just want to use herbs. No problem. A short evaluation allows me to make the proper herbal prescription.
Herb costs: Varies depending on form we use – herbs are
generally less expensive than prescription medication
Herbs forms available: tea pill, extract tea, raw herb tea, & tinctures
Thanks Richard Nixon & Bill Clinton!!!! (oh boy) Acupuncture goes Mainstream
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has been gaining popularity in the USA after the famous 1971 trip to China by then Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. A US reporter, James Reston, who was with Henry Kissinger fell ill with appendicitis and was successfully treated for pain with acupuncture by Chinese doctors. Both Kissinger and then president Nixon became fascinated with acupuncture after that trip. The NY Times reporter published an article about his favorable experience and Kissinger mentioned it in a press conference. Both sparked public interest in the strange "new" form of medicine. Little by little, people started trying acupuncture out with the Chinese doctors here in the US. Slowly, Americans received training and began to practice acupuncture. Their patients' positive experiences with Chinese medicine caused them to recommend it to friends and family and request its approval with insurance companies. Over time, western trained doctors and nurses noticed more reports of patients receiving "alternative" medical services and the industry grew in leaps and bounds.
Public demand for Chinese Medicine spurred the development of trade school around the nation. Slowly, state legislatures developed practice acts allowing for the regulation and licensing of Chinese Medical practices.
In the 1990's under the Clinton administration - the NIH - (the federal government's National Institute of Health) received federal funding to research effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for treatment of many diseases and found it to be very useful. This led to more discussion in medical journals and the release and adoption of the World Health Organizations (WHO) list of conditions that can be helped by Chinese Medicine.
News outlets started reporting the success. Business leaders noticed the industry gains. In 2007 a landmark report by the CDC show that 40% of the population sought treatment by acupuncturists and other alternative practitioners and paid $12 billion out of pocket to do it. The CDC admitted that this trend showed the effectiveness of these therapies. No doctors were referring to alternative medicine. No insurance companies were paying for it. People do not pay out of pocket for medical services that do not work. Then came the internet and as information about acupuncture became readily accessible, it's popularity exploded. It is the oldest, most widely used form of medicine in history.
More people have been helped by acupuncture & Chinese herbs than any other modality of medicine combined. Whew!
Information about Chinese herbology has remained intact and consistently utilized for over 3,000 years. They invented the printing press in the 400's & have been researching and cataloging herbal information since then. The herbalists were elite scholars. They could read and write. Much of the information about European traditional remedies were only known by uneducated midwives who passed knowledge down verbally, only to be killed en mass by the church. That was beneficial. NOT!
So, besides thousands of years of well documented, printed clinical history, what's the big difference between herbs and western drugs?
First of all, Chinese herbs are not molecularly changed or adulterated for patent or profit purposes. Because they remain in their natural molecular state, your body can easily recognized and utilize their healing properties without side effect. These herbs are from nature's intelligence. In Chinese medicine, we believe nature is smarter than man. What nature makes for us is better than what we can make for ourselves. The rebalancing, healing, restoring function inherent in nature is also inherent within us. We have yet to truly understand the long term effects of what molecular modification to our elements and to our environment is doing. But, we've endorsed it for ease and greed. BPA in plastics having an estrogen effect on us and other wildlife is a recent example. Fish genes in your strawberries. Oh, Boy!
Next, Chinese Medicine has a very sophisticated method of diagnosis. You are visiting me here today because you have a problem. Your doctor has probably named your symptom for you. But, has your doctor told you WHY you have this problem? Do you know what is causing your issue? It is extremely easy to get your doctor to say "I don't know." Just ask him or her why you have a problem. It's almost funny - give it a try. Conversely, good luck trying to get an "I don't know" from your acupuncturist. "I don't know" really isn't an option. Every disease has a cause. We'll be happy to tell you how you got your problem. We'll also be happy to tell you how to get rid of your problem and improve your health and well being.
Because of this ability, there is no guess work in Chinese medicine. Chinese herbs are NOT given for symptoms. Chinese herbs are prescribed to heal the underlying problem causing the unwanted symptoms of illness - unlike medications and western herbs which are only given to relieve or arbitrarily stop symptoms. This difference accounts for the amazing success, effectiveness and lack of side effects when taking Chinese herbs correctly under the supervision of licensed acupuncture physicians.
For example, if you have the symptom of anxiety, most likely you and everyone else with the same symptom of anxiety will be prescribed the same drug to stop your body from producing anxiety like symptoms. You will be diagnosed with "anxiety" although you will not know why you have it, nor will your doctor be able to tell you why you have it. If you stop taking the drug, the symptom of anxiety returns. Since the drug for anxiety, just like the drug for pain relief, or the anti-inflammatory, or the anti-hypertensive only works to stop the symptom, doing nothing to cure the underlying problem that was causing the symptom, you must take the drug forever or just suffer. They gotcha! On the other hand, if you go to a Chinese herbalist for help with your symptom of anxiety, before you can be prescribed anything, the physician must first determine WHAT is CAUSING your symptom of anxiety. In Chinese medicine, you can feel anxiety for a variety of reasons.
The herbs you would take for anxiety would be different depending on which of those factors are causing it. So, no two anxiety patients would receive the same prescription herb. We are all individuals; unique and different in our own special ways.
- You can have digestive problems that cause anxiety.
- You can have metabolism issues that cause anxiety.
- You can have a cardiovascular source for your problems.
- Even pathogenic factors like excessive heat can cause anxiety.
For this reason, Chinese herbs are only supposed to be available by prescription from a licensed acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist. However, many diet and vitamin companies take advantage of lax regulation of herbs and have made them available without prescription. It is very unwise to take Chinese herbs without knowing your CHINESE MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS first. If taking the wrong thing, which can easily happen if you are taking herbs based on a symptom, you can make yourself sicker. I've seen many cases where people have messed themselves up with herbs they got online or at health food stores and not even known that it was the herbs that harmed them. They can be dangerous when mixed with prescription drugs and should be taken with caution and respect. Herbs are not always appropriate. Sometimes, it's just best to change your diet or only do acupuncture. Chinese diagnosis speaks in terms of functioning of the internal organs and whether there is deficiency or stagnation. (For example: Liver Qi Stagnation or Kidney Yin Deficiency.) You must know which internal organ is causing your problems and how - before you take Chinese herbs. It is best to consult a qualified practitioner.
Most importantly, because the Chinese herbs are working to change the way your body functions - you only take herbs for short periods of time, until your functions improve. Then you STOP taking the herbs, because you are better. (getting better- another novel Chinese medicine concept!!) I offer several different forms of herbs depending on what best suits your lifestyle and health goals. We have a full line of herbal teapills and capsules, the easiest way to take Chinese herbs.
Additionally, for our OB/GYN patients, we offer raw herbs that are boiled into a tea for drinking and extract formulas which are put in to hot water and taken like a tea. This method allows for individual customization and rapid delivery which is necessary in pregnancy and/or some fertility treatment protocols.
Most of the bottled herbal formulas I prescribe are American manufactured for your peace of mind. The raw herbs are non-sulfured, organic and 1st grade where available.
Please Note: Patients of JCRM, FIRM and Dr. Brown areNOT given herbal therapy while undergoing IVF cycles out ofrespect for their doctor's wishes.
Living close to nature, ancient cultures had a very deep and profound understanding of the laws governing nature. Their lives depended on knowing the cycles or laws of nature. These laws are the re-occurring patterns within nature. In ancient China it was called the "Tao" or "The Way of Nature." (ie.Spring follows Winter, night follows day. . )
If they knew that winter was approaching, ancients would need to move and concern themselves with finding and storing food for the season.
Now if it's cold, we flip a switch and open the fridge. Although more convenient, we've lost sync, not with our I phones, but with the laws of nature within us. We are living beings. The same forces of nature that govern the working of the universe govern us. We are natural. We are not man made.
The moon influences your mood and monthly cycles (yes, guys too) more than you realize. What if you remembered that? What if you could harness the power of nature and use it to improve your lifespan? We've become so busy at manipulating nature and creating our own elements and artificially propping ourselves up for convenience that we've forgotten the obvious. And that's what Chinese medicine does. It puts you back in touch with the power of nature within you so you can work WITH the forces of nature, not against them. Your body is not broken. It's tired and most likely hungry. It's lost touch with its source. Time in nature can heal this. So can a visit to your acupuncturist!
We had an ongoing joke during acupuncture college in our Pathology/etiology classes. We took two classes of each, one set of classes for western medicine and another for Chinese medicine. The differences between our understanding of what CAUSES disease is the core difference between these two VERY DIFFERENT forms of medicine. It's the main reason integration of the two has been so difficult.
In our western medical Etiology class, the book we studied from was so thick and fancy with really thin pages, crammed full of big long, difficult to pronounce words. It was quite intimidating. However, we were struck by the overwhelming number of times we read "etiology unknown." To be honest, I was shocked at how very little we know in western medicine about what causes us to be sick. We can name the symptoms. We can develop chemicals that cancel the mechanism of the symptom, but we have very little idea about the causation of disease. Seriously, the overwhelming majority of the time, "etiology unknown" is the answer given in our fancy schmaney medical books.
On the opposite end of the scale, the number one cause of disease listed in Chinese medical etiology was "menal irritation." Every disease we studied - mental irritation, mental irritation, mental irritation. Those words struck me. Not very fancy. Or Latin mind you. But it struck a deep cord of truth that has been proven over and over to me while working with thousands of patients over the last 17 years.
The negative effects of stress on our bodies regulatory systems is just now being researched and "discovered" in the west. When you stress out, whether it's because Jason is chasing you with an ax or your boss just gave you an unrealistic deadline or your 3 year has other plans for your morning, your body's main life promoting mechanisms are shut down. It takes hours and sometimes even days, before your body recovers. That's if you don't get stressed again by something else before that happens. Recovery from stress is further hindered by poor sleep habits and poor nutrition. (your body doesn't have what it needs to recover- and without adequate sleep - it doesn't have time to recover.) The buzzer rings, you pop or crawl out of bed and it all starts over again. It took me years to adopt the "it's just pre school" mentality to trying to get my kids to school on time. I was wrecked every morning trying to get my 2 year old to pre school on time. It just set the whole tone of the day wrong. The stress hormones where pouring out and it never stopped. Then I noticed all the grey hair and the sore low back. My body was saying," Hey - I'm wearing out here. Can we try a little opposite to stress monkey??" Now I have no excuse. I know the key to the universe. But, it takes some skill at doing what you know.
When you stress out, chemicals are released in your brain and adrenals. They spill out into your body causing:
1. Your digestive system to stop. Sluggish digestion. Poor nutrient absorption. Interference in your menstrual cycle, endometriosis, PCOS, constipation, IBS follow depending on your body type.
2. Your breathing becomes rapid and shallow and your heart rate increases so you can run away from Jason. Trouble is, your sitting in your car or at your desk. The diaphragm does not squish your liver to release fresh purified blood into your cardiovascular system. Your blood flow is directed to your arms and legs instead of staying in your torso to nourish your internal organs. The blood stagnates around the liver causing chemical imbalances throughout the body. This causes, PMS, Hyper-acidity, Gas, Bloating, Irritability, metabolism and immune sluggishness. No good.
That's where acupuncture, which stimulates your PARASYMPATHETIC nervous system, comes in super handy. The relaxation response cancels all of the stress triggers and allows your body to recover, heal, nourish and regulate itself. People are yabbering about the trouble with regulation. If it was so bad, your body wouldn't have regulating capabilities. All kinds of trouble comes when the regulators go on vacation.
When I rest on the table with needles, stress relieving endorphins spill forth from my brain. My breathing becomes normal. My heart rate goes down. I can even feel my intestines start to move and work again. My mind becomes clear. The way opens up before me. Afterwards, I find I have the energy and will power to do what I know I should do, but couldn't motivate myself to do before acupuncture. It's amazing. Additionally, through regular treatment, the relaxation brain response becomes stronger and I notice I can maintain patience and control. Handy skill with kids.
While acupuncture can do much more than just counter act stress - considering how much stress we're all under, especially in this fast paced industrialized society - that alone is enough to make acupuncture a vital therapy for survival in the modern world. No kidding. Week after week, year after year, patient after patient tells me they look forward to their stress recovery naps every week. They can't live without them. None of us can. None of us should. Get your stress levels down with a relaxing acupuncture session and see what everyone is raving about. It good stuff.
Besides, we're the only doctors who can tell you WHY you have your symptom. More on in depth Chinese diagnosis later.
A mummy, named "Otzi the Iceman" was discovered in northern Italy in 1991. He lived over 5,300 years ago and was found to have tattoos along the known acupuncture channels, leading scientists to postulate about a significantly earlier and worldwide use of medicinal practices similar to Chinese medicine.
Here's a picture of one of his tattoos. Scientists found that he had scoliosis through xray imaging. These tattoos are points that would be used to treat back pain. He also had a pouch of herbs known to treat digestive disorders.
You can learn more about "Otzi" and other acupuncture mummies found in South America by clicking below.
Am enjoying my morning in Dr. Lee's office. Every now and then he attempts to go home to Singapore only to be foiled by volcanic ash and killer storms -
(let's hope he makes it this time despite the bombing in the Moscow airport where he changes flights - oh boy!)
I'm always honored to stand in for him while he's away. Lovely, kind patients and helpful staff. His office filled with Chinese culture and mysterious Kung Fu paraphernalia. I LOVE IT! At lunch time we all sit down and eat together - usually Chinese take out. Very nice to share and fellowship with like minded peoples. I have lots of wonderful memories of Dr. Lee's DoJo over the years: Tai Chi seminars with Kung Fu Hollywood type superstars, many joyful Chinese New Year celebrations, Tai Chi tournaments, relaxing acupuncture treatments,
(even though he kills me with the extra thick needles ;) - Being in his office is always like coming home. We are very fortunate here in Jacksonville to have him and his family living here. Access to world class tai chi/kung fu with a true, wise, kind hearted master. Ok ok. Is everyone getting how great this guy is.......????
Alright. Back on topic. I've got some information on my site about the recent scientific confirmation of the discovery of the acupuncture meridians. For the past 3,000 years, the theories of "pathways of chi" have been just that. Theories. Back in the 60's a north Korean researcher Kim Bong-han, (gotta love the name) found the meridians and issued an abstract. His claim however, could not be retested because he wouldn't share his formula for the dye he used to find the channels. So his theory was just that. More theory. Well, recently, a new dye was discovered that could be used to test out Bonghan's theory and it worked! The pathways have been found, and they correlate directly to the ancient acupuncture channels mapped out by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Pretty cool. In the past few years, research has exploded in both Koreas and in Europe. The implications of this find for bio-engineers is astounding to say the least. Here's what else they've found so far -
The official names for the channels are
Bonghan Channels (BHC) or
Bonghan Duct (BHD) or
Novel Threadlike Structures (NTS) ------ Really? how medical!
1. The channels wrap around all the internal organs and go into the brain.
2. The channels contain Hyaluronic Acid which contains DNA & hormones.
3. Hyaluronic Acid is a popular anti aging tonic. You can take it in pill form to help with lubrication for your joints or you can rub it on your face to get rid of wrinkles.
4. The channels have a peristaltic action - similar to your intestines.
5. Fluid in the channels moves at .3mm per second and travels 12 cm per cycle.
6. Magnetized nanoparticles injected at Liver 3, an acupuncture point on your foot, will travel up the channel to points further along the Liver channel, proving the channel connection between the points. Researchers are injecting nano herbs and nano drugs into them to see what happens now. Oh Boy. Here we go..... Gotta love being a guinea pig.
7. The DNA cells in the channels release bio photons (light) that transmit volumes of information from one part of the body to another. This confirms the acupuncture theory that needle or laser stimulation on the points control other parts of the body - particularly through the limbic and endocrine systems.
8. There is not much research going on this in the US. And we're so smart and cutting edge huh?
So - onward and upward. Any time an old doctor says they think acupuncture is a bunch of bahooy - we can now tell em to catch up on their research journal reading!!! Get with it everybody. Acupuncture ain't no ancient old timey medicine anymore. It's cutting edge. It's quantum charged. It's the future of medicine. And you heard it here. ;-) Bahooy this!