Monday, November 18, 2013

Acupuncture and hormones

Recently I had the honor of helping my brother and his wife bring their baby girl into the world. No, I didn't deliver my niece, although I have delivered a baby before. I simply helped to initiate the labor process by using acupuncture. Yes that's right. Acupuncture can have a strong and powerful effect on the hormones of the human body, and in this case, the hormones that initiate labor in a pregnancy. I inserted a few needles, left them in for about 30 minutes, and by early the next morning she was having contractions. Later that evening my niece, Grace, was delivered.

At my clinic in Orange, I also take advantage of this principle of Acupuncture to treat migraine headaches. These are often caused by an imbalance of hormones that affect the blood vessels in the head. Sometimes within a matter of 3 visits, patients are free of headaches, or they are drastically reduced. For some women who have them everyday, this is amazing.

In addition to acupuncture, herbal medicine can have a dramatic effect on the hormones of the body, without the side effects that often come with mainstream western pharmaceuticals.

If you live in Orange County and have questions about Acupuncture and what it can do for you, visit or call 714-997-4861.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Acupuncture and Inflammation

A lot of people ask me the simple question, "How does acupuncture work?" And while it is a simple question, the answer is actually quite complicated. As it should be. A 3,000 year old system of medicine that provides side effect free relief from so many different problems cannot be simple. But one method of explaining it that most people can relate to, is by addressing its effect on inflammation.

What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a process that takes place when there is irritation or damage to the cells of your body. Typically, this is in response to an injury, or repetitive stress placed on the body that wears it down. The classic components of inflammation are redness, swelling, pain, and heat coming from the damaged area. These are all designed to isolate and immobilize the damaged area to prevent it from being damaged even further, and to allow for it to heal. Believe it or not, part of the inflammatory response involves the regeneration of the damaged cells.

Why not just take an aspirin?
This is a good question, and it is indeed what most people do. Americans take 29 billion aspirin every year. And this is not a bad solution in the short term. But for the same reason that aspirin blocks the signals that turn on inflammation, it also blocks the signals that promote healing and cell regeneration and can keep people in a chronic state of injury. Most people know that too much aspirin intake is associated with stomach ulcers, but few know why. It's because the signals that trigger the regeneration of cells, part of the inflammatory process are blocked, and so the cells in your stomach are not regenerating. As old cells die off, new cells are not taking their place, and you basically have a hole. This is essentially happening all over your body with long term aspirin consumption.

How is acupuncture different?
Acupuncture promotes the release of internal anti inflammatory chemicals that do not inhibit cell regeneration. We call this the use of the body's internal pharmacy. This anti inflammatory effect can last from a few days to a week. In addition to this, the body also releases internal pain killers, and increases blood circulation to the damaged area. All this combines to create a supercharged pain relieving, healing process that has no side effects.

If you'd like to learn more about acupuncture and how it is practiced at my clinic, visit or call 714-997-4861 to set up a free consultation.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 Tips to Correct Poor Posture and Prevent Headaches

It would surprise you how many times I've advised a patient that the cause of their headaches or neck pain is simply poor posture.

The difficulty with our posture is that it is dependent on so many different factors. Our mood, energy level, stress, phone or tablet usage, chair position, and even the traffic on the freeway.

As with all issues of self awareness, the first step towards correction is checking in with ourselves. I will give you a few tips that will make it easier to figure out when your posture is off, before you start feeling pain.

1. Set a timer. With the popularity of smartphones, everyone has a timer at their fingertips. Simply set a timer to go off every 15 minutes. For the first 3 rings of each hour, stop what you are doing briefly and check in with yourself. Are you hunched over? Is your head protruding towards the computer screen? Bring your shoulders down and extend your neck towards the ceiling as if there were a rope pulling up on the top of your head.

2. Use mirrors. Place mirrors around your house or your office. As you walk by one, pay attention to how you look. The use of constant feedback will help you train yourself.

3. Ask someone. Most people aren't standing around looking for people with poor posture, but they will know it if asked. Ask a coworker, friend, or family member to evaluate your posture periodically throughout the day. Again, check for alignment, shoulder position, and extension of the head.

Also, practicing a system of exercise like Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong helps us learn postural awareness. Visit and click on the "Qi Gong" link, or simply Click Here to view some videos that teach basic principles of proper posture and Qi Gong.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Balance Method

Acupuncture has a varied and rich history, and every practitioner has their own unique way of approaching each case based on their training and clinical history. One of the treatment styles I use at my clinic in Orange is known as the Balance Method. It was pioneered by Dr. Richard Tan and taught to me by Marly Wexler at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. I have recently been using this method of treatment more frequently, and seeing remarkable results in the process, especially for pain.

The basic idea is that by treating areas and correlating channels, and not directly treating the diseased area, the body is allowed to balance itself. So for example, if the patient has pain in their left ankle, I will treat the right wrist. And if the pain is along the Stomach channel in the ankle, I will treat the Large Intestine Channel of the wrist, since these two channels are paired in Acupuncture Theory. 
Without getting too technical about it, my typical clinical experience is that the patient feels immediate pain relief from the first insertion of a needle. And the benefit to this treatment method is that the patient can move their ankle, or back, or neck, or whatever area is painful, during the treatment both to increase the range of motion, and to gauge the pain level as the area is being used.

I can't tell you how delightful it is to have a patient smile and say, "There isn't any pain!" so quickly that somewhere in the back of their heads they believe this is some kind of magic.

To learn more about acupuncture and the Orange County Acupuncture Specialist, visit

Monday, July 15, 2013

Acupuncture and Stroke Patients

Through my years as an Acupuncturist, both in school, out in Temecula, and here in Orange, I have had the opportunity to treat a number of stroke patients, and the results keep me hoping another patient will walk through the door that I can help.

Unfortunately, these patients often show up months and months after the actual stroke has occurred, making it frustrating for me because the most effective way to administer Acupuncture in stroke cases is as close to the actual event as possible. The sooner the treatment is given, the more dramatic and effective the results.

You see, Acupuncture is effective in these cases due to its ability to stimulate specific regions of the brain. MRI studies have shown that when an acupuncture needle is inserted in one part of the body, it will increase brain activity in a certain part of the brain. One instance is the insertion of a needle in a point near the little toe along the channel connected with the Bladder. This increases brain activity in the visual cortex of the brain. It is no surprise then, that the Bladder channel begins near the eye.

The rule of the mind and body is that if you don't use it, you lose it. And so if a part of the brain is damaged due to the stroke, it is less likely to regenerate function if it is not being used. And if it is damaged, it is not being used. But Acupuncture can stimulate that area of the brain and restore function more quickly, so that it can be used, and therefore not permanently lost. Typically after about 6-9 months, he damage can be irreversible, even with Acupuncture.

If you'd like to learn more about how acupuncture works and why it is effective, visit

Friday, July 12, 2013

What makes a good Acupuncturist?

If you've never had Acupuncture before, it may be confusing trying to figure out who to go to, and what they can do for you as a physician. Most people don't even know what is involved in getting the actual procedure of Acupuncture. This blog will attempt to give some guidance about what you should look for before you trust someone to perform Acupuncture.

1. Certification: Like all professional physicians, your Acupuncturist should be licensed to practice by either the State, if they have their own license, or Nationally. In California, this information can be found on the State of California's website by simply typing in the Acupuncturist's name.

2. Specialties: Most Acupuncturists can treat most general disorder, but many have specific specialties that they have developed over the years. If you have chronic back pain, it's probably a good idea to see someone who specializes in pain management and not wrinkle treatments.

3. Communication: Are you comfortable communicating with your Acupuncturist? Can they translate the jargon of Chinese Medical Theory into relate-able information that you can understand? Or do they just have you point at the problem area and stick a bunch of needles in that spot?

4. Accessibility: Are you practically able to see them? Is their office nearby? Do they accept your insurance coverage? Do they have regular office hours? Most Acupuncturists have normal Doctor's office hours and Acupuncture is covered by a large number of insurance providers. If they only accept cash and have limited office hours, find out why.

5. History: What is their history of success? Do they have patient testimonials available?  Have you been referred to them by a friend or by your medical doctor? Often times another person's experience can be expected to be at least a little bit similar to what you can expect, but obviously every person is different, and their problems may respond differently to the same types of treatment.

Hopefully this has given you a good idea of how to approach your first experience with an Acupuncturist, and you can feel confident trying out this safe and effective medicine.

For more information visit

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Acupuncture and Kids

At my Acupuncture practice in Orange, I am often asked by my patients, "How old do you have to be to get Acupuncture?" While this is something that most people might wonder, the motivation for the question is often that their own children are suffering from something that they have not been able to effectively treat using western medicine.

The reality is that I have done Acupuncture on my 3 year old son, and if you could get your kids to sit still, you could do it on them at an even younger age! There is no reason that a child should have to suffer if a solution cannot be found at the general practitioner's office. Chinese medicine and Acupuncture have a long, rich history of treating pediatric problems, using such modalities as simple as applying a slice of raw ginger to a specific Acupuncture point.

You see, because kids have such abundant energy and internal resources, they are able to self correct problems much easier once proper treatment has been given. And if their path can be corrected as soon as possible, then it can change the course of their life and take them to a very different place down the road. That's why it is important to address pediatric issues immediately, and some patient's even bring their children in right away at the slightest hint of a cold or flu!

By correcting health issues early on in life, you are putting your children on a path to success and vitality, one that I assure you they will thank you for one day.

If you live in the Orange County area, and have questions about how Acupuncture can help your kids, please visit my website and click the "Contact us" link.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Acupuncture Points

At my Acupuncture practice in Orange, I often get questions about the different types of points people have heard of. What's the difference between an Acupuncture point, a Trigger point, and a Motor point? They are quite similar in many ways, but there are important differences that should be noted.

A trigger point is a very sensitive section of muscle tissue that is painful to touch. This is often the result of nerve irritation causing stagnation in the muscle that creates inflammation. Many different modalities can effectively treat these trigger points, such as massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture. Often injections are given into these points to reduce inflammation, but the results are often short lived, and too many of these injections can cause more problems.

An Acupuncture point is a location on the body, often along the pathways of nerves and blood vessels, that when stimulated, increases blood flow and regulates nervous function. The effects of Acupuncture points are not just limited to muscles and treating pain, and they can regulate circulation, effect brain function, balance hormones, and improve digestive function, just to name a few things.

Motor points are a newly discovered type of point, and motor point therapy is a cutting edge style of Acupuncture used to manage pain and injuries, old and new alike. Motor points are a very dense section of nerves within a muscle, that when activated with Acupuncture, will cause the muscle to reset, just like doing a reboot on your computer. After the point has been activated, the strength of the muscle will increase, and the range of motion of the joint will improve.

To learn more about Acupuncture and my practice in Orange, California, visit, or visit and like my page on Facebook.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why Do I check the Pulses in Acupuncture Treatment?

Often times when I see a patient for the first time at my acupuncture clinic in Orange, I will spend some time checking the pulses on both wrists in 3 different positions. Most people assume I'm checking to see how fast it is, but that is only part of it. You see, the pulse is checked on the radial artery, which is just another blood vessel. Blood vessels are made out of muscle, and while it is not exactly like the muscles that move your arms and legs, it responds to the nervous system in a similar way. Like when we get stressed out the muscles in your neck and shoulders tighten up, the pulse can do the same thing. Depending on how your body is working, I can detect up to 33 different types of pulse qualities!

And by checking the pulses in 3 different positions on each wrist, I can get information about how the internal organs of the body are working. I can detect sleep problems, heart problems, digestive disorders, adrenal burnout, even if you are getting a cold! That's a lot of information to get just from a pulse.

All of this information helps me decide which acupuncture points are most appropriate to give you the best treatment possible. Since an acupuncturist, unlike many physicians, is responsible for the examination, diagnosis, AND treatment of a patient, it's important to get it right!

If  you want to learn more about pulse examination, or have a problem you want to know if acupuncture can help, visit or call 714-997-4861.

Sports Injuries and Acupuncture

With the beginning of the summer here in Orange County, many people are getting outside, getting to the beach, and getting involved in sports. And while people try their best to avoid getting hurt, jumping into an exercise regimen or a new sport and being a "weekend warrior" can often leave us overly motivated and under prepared for the rigors of these activities. Especially in the summertime, the heat can dehydrate us, and leave our muscles tight due to loss of electrolytes.

Luckily, we can minimize the likelihood of injuries occurring by ensuring that our muscles and joints are properly balanced using stretching, proper body mechanics, and getting regular acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture relaxes muscles, improves strength, and increases range of motion of joints. This will not only reduce the likelihood of injury, but it will improve your performance. Often people only turn to acupuncture once they have been injured, but the smartest and most effective usage of acupuncture is in health maintenance and injury prevention. We all know it is better to tune up your car regularly than to wait until it breaks down. I have worked with a local minor league baseball team in Temecula that regularly utilizes chiropractic, massage therapy, and acupuncture to improve their performance and reduce their injuries, and they are professional athletes. Obviously we should emulate athletes of this caliber if we wish to have success in our own athletic endeavors.

Many people have insurance benefits that cover this routine maintenance for their whole family. If you are making your personal health and fitness your priority this summer, be sure to include acupuncture in your plan to ensure your continued success. Call my office today at 714-997-4861 to make an appointment or visit!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Location in Orange California

I am pleased to announce the opening of the Orange County Acupuncture Specialist in Orange, CA. I am very happy to have the opportunity to practice Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal medicine, massage therapy, cupping, and a host of other healing modalities out of this beautiful new space.

I will continue to specialize in treating Chronic pain, especially low back pain, neck pain, migraine headaches, sports injuries, and of course, the side effects from cancer treatments for which I am so well known.

I have noticed in particular a greater number of patients coming in for treatment for chronic pain due to their office environment. Typically these patients work long hours behind a desk with very few breaks, and compromise their posture for a large part of this time due to fatigue and distraction. After so many hours in a slumped position, or with their shoulders raised, their bodies are misaligned and their muscles go into spasm. Often they will have numbness and tingling in their arms or hands from compression of their nerves by their tight muscles.

In addition to giving acupuncture treatment, I also counsel the patient on the need for proper posture, and teach them techniques to tune into their bodies and be more aware of times they are not using proper posture. In this case an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.