My Approach

Blog posts in: My Approach

If you’re looking for an acupuncturist, the most important step you can take is to find an acupuncturist who’s the right fit for YOU.
We’re all very different, with varying specialties, bedside manners, and styles of practice.
So along with clicking the Conditions Treated tab above to see if I specialize in treating your condition, check out these blogs which help illustrate my approach to the medicine, and give you a taste of what you can expect if you start acupuncture treatment with me.

If you’re open to learning more about yourself in the treatment process, and to be a partner in your own healing, then you’re probably a great fit for our practice! Women who come in excited and open to addressing whatever is discovered in treatment are the ones who typically benefit the most from our work together; finding it not just relieving of their symptoms, but transformational as well. Acupuncture that’s transformative while relieving symptoms You...

As acupuncturists, we frequently use the very vague word “balance”. Because this word can mean so many things, I find it helps my patients if I can explain what this means. Acupuncturist’s Balance = Doctor’s Homeostasis Western medicine actually has a very similar concept, science calls it “homeostasis”. Humans have homeostatic functions happening throughout their body, constantly. When we get too hot, we sweat to cool off. Too cold and we start trembling to warm...

Some years ago, something “horrible” happened in the life of myself and my Significant Other (SO): his eyes one day got wonky, and long story short when he went to the doctor that week for an elbow injury and mentioned his eye symptoms, the doctor immediately walked out of the room, made a phone call, and within 2 minutes my SO was on his way to a specialist. Within hours, we found ourselves in the...

Does Every Hormone Imbalance or Menstrual Problem Require Herbs for Successful Treatment? I get this question frequently enough that I thought I’d take the time to answer it in writing. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is usually. Treatment of Women’s Health in China Historically, if you were to enter a clinic in China complaining of irregular or problematic periods, you would be sent to the herbalism wing. When I lived for a...

My experience using acupuncture for endometriosis A very common ailment I treat in my acupuncture practice is endometriosis. Sometimes women come in with an actual diagnosis based on a laparoscopy; other times it’s just suspected based on their severe pain which might be just around their period, or in bad cases commonly causes various symptoms throughout their cycle. It’s a condition for which unfortunately western medicine just doesn’t have great treatment options. I’ve seen women...

Teach, don’t just heal with acupuncture and send women on their way One of the guiding principles in my acupuncture practice is teaching women how to care for their own health, so that they don’t have to rely on me or anyone else to maintain basic wellness. Of course I expect women to need my help and support at the beginning, usually with a combination of Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and maybe nutritional and/or emotional guidance....

In the last several years I’ve become fascinated with the condition of Chronic Parasitism causing chronic inflammatory conditions.  Chronic inflammatory conditions are often combined under the term “knotty diseases” in Chinese medicine acupuncture theory, illustrating that they are difficult to unwind or untie…they are so deeply imbedded in the system that to get rid of them is like untying a tight knot, difficult and slow. Chronic Multi-Organ Symptoms In my acupuncture clinic I see these...

The Change from Classical to Traditional Chinese Medicine While Chinese medicine has been around for several thousand years, it underwent a dramatic change in the last century. This created massive changes in the effectiveness and scope of the medicine, which we still experience today. In an effort to modernize and standardize the medicine, bringing it “up to” the level of western bio-medicine, the communist government made sweeping changes in what was considered orthodox, or acceptable,...

Most new Lyme diagnoses are communicated to me through tears. It’s a condition that in my experience, terrifies people more than any other diagnosis out there, with few exceptions. The reasons are understandable as the symptoms can devastate lives, leaving people a fragment of what they once were. For this reason, it’s one of the conditions I continue to grow more and more passionate about treating, since I see such great results with Chinese medicine...

In Chinese medicine, there’s no such thing as a “menopause” treatment. There are no acupuncture points or herbs for hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, or brain fog. What there ARE acupuncture points and herbs for are all the various underlying reasons for those symptoms. Unique patient, unique menopause treatment The entire basis of Chinese medicine rests on analyzing each patient as an individual. Unfortunately, in modern times – in an effort to standardize the medicine...

In Chinese medicine, each patient as seen as an individual. Whether they come in for migraines, IBS, vaginal discharge, or endometriosis; we can never make assumptions about what imbalance is causing their symptoms or disease. To relate this to candida, for the sake of this post let’s say that all I treated all day long, every day, were patients with the diagnosis of candida. Every single one of them would still get a completely different...

Natural Fertility vs. ART/IVF If you’re hoping to get pregnant naturally, feel better than ever once baby comes; and you’re willing to potentially make some necessary lifestyle changes to bring that about, then you’re probably a great fit for our practice! For three reasons, I have chosen to focus my fertility/infertility work specifically with women who are trying to get pregnant without the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Before I get into those reasons,...

Every so often a new patient will arrive at my clinic with a fresh diagnosis of Epstein-barr. In their head it explains all the symptoms they’ve been suffering from: namely including chronic fatigue and constant flu-like symptoms. They’ve usually been to many doctors, and finally someone tests for this virus and viola! They have the explanation to their symptoms! But I take a different perspective. My view is that their Epstein-Barr levels are inflated BECAUSE...

More and more patients have been coming in over the last couple years reporting that reducing FODMAPS in their diet has really helped them feel better.I first learned about these potential problem foods when I switched to a more Paleo-TCM-fusion way of eating, and I remember thinking “oh great…yet ANOTHER thing that people are supposed to eliminate!?” But is there something we can do to increase the likelihood of being able to eat these foods...

The past few weeks I’ve been focusing on our Jing, which is stored in our Kidneys, and is related to the Water Element in Chinese Medicine. This week, I’m going to teach you a simple, pleasurable meditation exercise that you can do outside the acupuncture clinic, to increase your kidney function, build your vital Qi to enhance health and immunity, and connect back into your peaceful center. This peaceful center is known to acupuncturists as...

I promised in my last post on the Wood element that I would write on the cellular affects of meditation, and why it is such an important practice for all of us to be doing. Especially as we begin to head into wood element season — the element notorious for, shall we say, being a little temperamental – it’s even more important that we have some tools to counteract the heightened stress that may happen...

It’s the beginning of the year and just about the time when the motivation to keep New Year’s resolutions is wearing off fast. While I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions (mostly because I’ve never really been successful at keeping them, and as an acupuncturist prefer instead to just keep myself on track and balanced in smaller increments all throughout the year), there is no denying that many people feel that the beginning of the...

Well we have finally reached the end of our article series on the immune system.As an acupuncturist, in the process of writing and doing the research for this series, I am even more convinced than before that it is vital, and becoming more and more so, that we do everything possible to keep our immune system functioning at its highest states.As resistant bacterial strains stop responding to antibiotics due to their rampant overuse, and stress...

After a short break to welcome in Spring with my article on the Wood/Spring season of acupuncture's 5 Element theory, it’s time to continue our discussion on the immune system and how we can best take care of it using nutrition. (see recent blogs for the complete series)   As those of you  who have been following this series know, it was prompted out of my concern over the frequency of common colds that I...

This article continues my series outlining what we can do to boost our immune system here in CO where our weather patterns change frequently. From an acupuncturist’s perspective, these sudden changes cause imbalances in our system that weaken our defenses and make us more susceptible to common colds.    East meets west for a comprehensive approach to boost immunity My articles in this series are attempting to bridge the gap between both acupuncture and western...

What perfect timing.  I had barely clicked “publish” on my last blog entry about nourishing up the immune system to ward off common infections, when I saw an article on Yahoo news on the topic of bacteria that are “shrugging off” antibiotics. Acupuncture theory states that prevention, through keeping the body balanced, is the best way to take care of ourselves, and true “health care” – rather than the “sick care” that many have come...

Welcome back to our discussion of the immune system, and how we can increase it using the wisdom of both acuncture and modern western medicine.  If you’re just tuning in, please update yourself by checking out my last two blog on this topic, starting with the first one. Last week, I encouraged people to start thinking about how well they’re doing with following the dietary guidelines that have already been laid out for them during...

If you read my article last week, then you know my focus over the next several weeks is going to be about the issue of the constant common sicknesses I see affecting people in Colorado, and what we can do to prevent this.   This week, I’m going to go into more detail on how vital it is to build our immune Qi or energy with the food we eat, why I suspect that even...

Since moving to Colorado, as an acupuncturist I’ve encountered a phenomena that I never saw in California: constant colds and upper respiratory infections (URIs).   All it will take is one person coming in for their regular acupuncture appointment saying they have a cold, and the next thing I know, almost everyone is coming in fighting something as well.  Patients I haven’t seen in several months suddenly pop up on the schedule to get treated...

“The sages of antiquity did not treat diseases that had already manifested, but diseases which had not yet manifested. When you wait until a disease has broken out to treat it, is that not like waiting to be thirsty to dig a well, or until you’re in battle before casting weapons.“ – Chinese medical Classic This is an ancient saying in one of the Chinese medical “classics”. While strict proponents of modern medicine look down...

Last week I started comparing the way our body reacts to imbalances of yin and yang, to how cars react in a similar manner.  I promised that this week I would drive this point home (no pun intended!!!) :-) even more, to help you understand how the same energetics that happen in our body, play out similarly in the world around us. Often, acupuncture patients don’t understand why they’re having symptoms, but when I can...

Acupuncture in ancient China It is fascinating to learn how the medical system, and payment of acupuncturists and herbalists in ancient China, operated. It is so vastly opposite from our current system, where doctor’s compensation increases directly proportional to how sick the population is, that I think just understanding the difference can help us gain a perspective that might help us to improve our health. Many acupuncture books tell the story of how, before modern...

Last week, I wrote about the connection between random pains that we get throughout our body, and the potential connection with our liver.   This week, I will focus on fibromyalgia, which unfortunately is becoming more and more common. Fortunately though, acupuncture and Chinese medicine in general excel at treating this condition. While there is not much that western medicine can do for fibromyalgia, using acupuncture, I see complete turnarounds in the condition time and...

Liver related symptoms get exacerbated in the Wood Element Season of acupuncture theory As I wrote about in my “chive” blog, it is common as an acupuncturist to see an increase in each season of symptoms related to the organ that is associated with that current season.  According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is associated with the Wood Season.  Therefore, many patients begin seeking acupuncture in the spring for increased or exacerbated symptoms related to Wood...

Many people coming for acupuncture suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise appropriately known as SAD. For people with SAD, cloudy days bring cloudy emotional states, including depression, low energy, and fuzzy thinking. For those people, dark days can literally be dangerous…places like Seattle, where there are an unusually high number of dreary days, have some of the highest suicide rates. Luckily, acupuncture can help! Every year, I typically blog about this early in the winter,...

As we’ve hit cold season full-force, the past couple weeks I’ve been focusing on what we can do to keep our immune systems strong, as well as herbs we can take if we’ve come down with a cold. Today I’d like to share another tip, which can be used right when you first feel the cold symptoms coming on. Sweat! Many of the herbs we give to knock out a cold, are diaphoretics. Or in...

  The most frequent imbalances I treat in my acupuncture practice are those due to stress. More accurately, these imbalances are not just due to stress – stress IS the imbalance. In other words, stress is both the cause and result of, liver imbalance.  Which means that it’s not sufficient to just “handle the stress well” and write it off as not a big deal, because it’s inseparable from the body imbalances which come with...

A curious thing is happening this season. Many people I know, just when they’re finally over their last cold and ready to start getting out there and exercising again, back into normal life, etc… are finding themselves sick AGAIN. Soooo frustrating! I hear people getting down on and judging themselves, wondering what they’re doing wrong. While it may be true that these colds can be clues that we’re not caring for ourselves, I’d like to...

At some point in the course of most patient’s treatment with me, I typically get the question, “How did you get into acupuncture?”.  So I thought I’d answer that question here and share my acupuncture story openly.   While my story is pretty typical, I believe the most interesting thing about it is that I know it’s not my own; it’s shared with thousands of other people who had the same beliefs, dreams, or struggles,...

Would you go to a French language teacher who had taken a short course in German to learn the German language? Would you go to an auto body specialist who had dabbled on a few engines, to get your car’s engine fixed? Of course not!  But this is exactly what people are doing when they see a chiropractor, MD, osteopath, or anyone else besides a Licensed Acupuncturist, for acupuncture. Many health care providers, including MD’s,...