We are beginning to see a number of patients requesting help with post-covid long haul syndrome. Those symptoms may include fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, headache, and more. Acupuncture is being found to be helpful to these people, as is Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements. We are tracking current research in the field of professional Chinese medicine to learn specific techniques and herb formulas that are especially helpful. Laura is available by telehealth for consultation. Call our office to set up a visit by video chat. We do those visits first thing in the morning on weekdays. 319-341-0031
THE HOLIDAYS are here. This is such a stressful time. Holiday stress management is always a challenge. Even when you try to plan ahead, keep it simple, and not add too many obligations, the stress is infectious. I went to the grocery store last night and picked up the feeling of stress, from the music, the crowds, the urgency in shoppers trying to find that special ingredient. In planning my holiday cooking I keep finding myself wanting to add one more dish to the menu and try one more new kind of cookie recipe. And I am not a big holiday person. Our culture has so much impact on us this way.
So we must be sure to build in stress management activities during these weeks. Here is my personal list:
Go to bed early instead of late
Use my SAD light for 30 minutes when I wake up
Don’t forget to walk after work when I feel tired
Be sure to take some time for myself to do something I love, like knitting or photography
Avoid drinking too much alcohol
Let Holidays be about people and relationships and not be about stuff
Listen to a lot of music that I like
Don’t spend hours in front of the computer or TV, find other ways to relax
Don’t worry about what I eat
Appreciate the people that I love, and try to appreciate the people that can trouble me
Remember that THE LIGHT IS COMING BACK soon
Be Thankful when you notice that the days are getting longer!
Consider having a massage or acupuncture for my wellness and stress management
You might find a lot more ideas for your list, but hopefully this one will give you some ideas to begin.
319-341-0031 Call for Appointments
Effective Herbs for fall allergies
This fall we are having amazing results combining acupuncture with our favorite product for sniffles and itching, Rootology.
This effective formula is based on a traditional and very effective herb formula called Bi Yan Pian. The American manufacturers of Rootology have combined the traditional herbs with a couple of additional ingredients to calm the histamine reaction and support appropriate immune response. They have come up with a product that I think is even more effective than the original. You can take this product as needed, or two to three times per day during severe outbreaks. It even works for itchy eyes and even itching all over.
The acupuncture treatment that is working well is one that combines a Master Tung point combination called 4 Horses with local points to open the sinuses and calm the immune reaction. We might vary this combination depending on the exact symptoms you have.
Call for your appointment now for effective herbs for fall allergies. 319-341-0031
Acupuncture Iowa City 52240
Seasonal Affective Disorder alleviate by Acupuncture and light box therapy
Acupuncture can help with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Now that the hours of daylight are becoming so few, it is time for us to get our acupuncture treatment and SAD lights going. Yes. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. These lights that help reduce the effects of the shortened daylight hours. You may have noticed that you begin feeling “blue” or depressed sometime in December or January. This is commonly the result of the reduced hours of light during our day. Using a 10,000 lux daylight bulb light for 20 minutes upon getting up in the morning is one of the best ways to alleviate SAD before it happens. NOW is the time to begin doing this, because by the time you have symptoms, it will not work as well. The light that I use is the Sun Touch Plus from the Nature Bright company. It is a lightweight box that I can place next to me in the morning while I read or do emails first thing. You can even use it during meditation. Just point it toward yourself even with eyes closed, at about 2 feet away. It really helps.
The other thing that can really help is acupuncture. I’m now using an approach called Sa’am acupuncture that is very powerful with just 4 needles. WE can bring you energy, help with conditions worsened by cold damp, assist with craving sweets (holidays are coming up), and help with insomnia. A few sessions of acupuncture at this time in the year can help us get back into balance as the seasons change around us.
Our body is very sensitive to seasons, outdoor temperatures and humidity. However, we can do a lot to optimize our health and comfort during these changes.
Call for your appointment today. 319-341-0031
Acupuncture and herbs improve sleep for children with intractable insomnia. Kaifeng Pediatric Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers find that the An Hun herbal formula combined with acupuncture applied to a single acupoint is effective for the relief of intractable pediatric insomnia. In a randomized controlled investigation, a total of 104 children were recruited for the study and were randomly assigned to a treatment group or a control group. The cured, markedly effective, and effective scores were added together to determine the total effective rate. In the acupuncture plus herbs treatment group, there were 20 cured, 25 markedly effective, 4 effective, and 3 ineffective cases, yielding a total effective rate of 94.2%. 
Acupuncture and Herbs
Participants in both groups were offered guidance in the areas of sleep hygiene, family sleep management, and diet. In addition, participants in the treatment group were prescribed the An Hun herbal formula.
Acupuncture was administered to a single acupoint: Yintang.
The results of this study indicate that a combined protocol of acupuncture and herbs provide effective relief from intractable insomnia in children. The use of a single acupoint proved effective, making this treatment suitable for young children that may have difficulty sitting still.
Retrieved from HealthCMi
1. Zhu Bao (2018) “Clinical research on acupuncture combined with traditional Chinese medicine for children with intractable sleep disorders” Chinese Integrative Medicine Pediatrics Vol. 10 (5) pp. 400-403.
External pastes for the treatment of acne complement internal herbal medicine and acupuncture. A great external paste for the treatment of acne is comprised of Qing Dai (Indigo Naturalis) mixed with either fresh bitter melon or cucumber juice.
Qing Dai enters the Lung, Liver and Stomach channels. Qing Dai clears heat and toxins, cools the blood and stops bleeding. Order Qing Dai in the powdered raw herb form. It is best to avoid raw herbs that have been processed with sulfur and phosphates, please check with your supplier.
The patient takes the paste and generously applies it to the areas where the acne is located. It is best to leave the paste on the affected regions for at least twenty minutes but longer periods are preferred. Next, the patient carefully washes off the paste. It is best to repeat this process everyday until the acne resolves.
Qing Dai imparts a temporary green color to the skin, which is not permanent. The patient should be prepared to wash thoroughly in order to remove all of the green coloring. In addition, the patient needs to know that Qing Dai stains clothing and that it is often best to wear an old shirt when applying the paste. To learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine dietetics and the treatment of acne, visit the blog item on that topic.
Acupuncture outperforms lactulose for the alleviation of post-stroke constipation and the regulation of gastrointestinal hormones. Qujing First People’s Hospital researchers investigated the benefits of a liver-soothing and qi-regulating acupuncture protocol and a drug for the treatment of post-stroke constipation. Acupuncture provided superior short and long-term relief from post-stroke constipation and improvements in relevant gastrointestinal hormone levels.
The treatment group received conventional acupuncture. The control group was given lactulose oral solutions. Both groups underwent treatment for 6 weeks with a 4-week follow-up examination.
One acupuncture session was applied every day, for a grand total of 6 weeks.
Objective and subjective data indicates that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of post-stroke constipation.
Looking at the point selection made by the research team, they chose traditional acupoints often used for the treatment of constipation and then tested it with a modern scientific method. Essentially, the clinical study attempted to adhere to traditional acupuncture techniques within the parameters of a controlled investigation seeking to limit variables.
 Gao YH, Li JM, Su M, Li YL. Acupuncture with smoothing liver and regulating qi for post-stroke slow transit constipation and its gastrointestinal hormone level [J]. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 2017,37(02):125-129.
 Hutson JM, Chow CW, Borg J. Intractable constipation with a decrease in substance P-immunoreactive fibres: is it a variant of intestinal neuronal dysplasia? [J]. J Pediatr Surg. 1996 Apr;31(4):580-3.
 Fahrenkrug J. Transmitter role of vasoactive intestinal peptide [J]. Pharmacol Toxicol. 1993 Jun;72(6):354-63.
 Koch TR, Carney JA, Go L, Go VL. Idiopathic chronic constipation is associated with decreased colonic vasoactive intestinal peptide [J]. Gastroenterology. 1988 Feb;94(2):300-10.
 Chinese Neuroscience Society, Chinese Neurosurgical Society. Diagnostic criteria for various cerebrovascular diseases[J]. Chinese Journal of Neurology, 1996, 29 (6): 379-381.
 The Anorectal Surgery Group of Surgery Branch of Chinese Medical Association. Constipation symptoms and evaluation of curative effects[J]. Chinese Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, 2005, 8(4): 355-356.
Retrieved from Health CMI
Acupuncture: Effective Test Anxiety Relief Confirmed by Research
Acupuncture alleviates test anxiety. Changchun University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers conducted a clinical trial consisting of undergraduate students with test anxiety, a type of performance anxiety. The results demonstrate that acupuncture reduces pre-examination anxiety and reduces sleep disturbances. 
After one week, scores in all groups reduced slightly. After two weeks, scores in the non-treatment control group remained relatively stable, while scores in the traditional and scalp acupuncture groups fell further. After four weeks, scores in the control group were close to starting values, while the traditional and scalp acupuncture groups fell to about 1/4 of starting values respectively. One week post-treatment, respective HAMA scores for the three groups were sustained. The results indicate that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of test anxiety.
Guo-juan Dong, Di Cao, Yue Dong, Jing Zhang, Fu-chun Wang (2018). “Scalp acupuncture for sleep disorder induced by pre-examination anxiety in undergraduates,” World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, vol. 28, pp. 156-160.
I have recently been studying a new method of acupuncture, called Sa’am acupuncture. My teacher is Toby Daly LAc from Northern California, and he calls it “The Acupuncture of Wandering Monks”. He learned this style while traveling in the far east and meeting one such wandering monk, named Doam. Toby traveled and studies with this man for several months, then returned to the US and went to acupuncture school, and then pursued a doctoral degree in Chinese medicine and has now been in practice for over 20 years. He has learned a great deal about the Sa’am system and is now teaching it to acupuncturists such as myself. I was in the first ever class in the US in Seattle in late January of this year.
This style of acupuncture is deceptively simple, using just 4 needles to achieve profound results. For example, this week in my Community Acupuncture clinic I had a young woman seek help for severe cramping pain on the left side of her neck and top of her shoulder. I placed 4 needles on the right side of her body and the pain disappeared. She and I were both very happy to see that.
I’ve been using primarily Sa’am in the clinic since about December of 2018, and am experimenting with how to best apply it, and learning a lot more about what works and what does not.
One of the interesting things about this system is that it treats both “root” and “branch”. I like to call them “the problem that underlies all your issues” and “the pain or other issue that brought you here today”. They also can be called “foundational disharmony” and “presenting problem or symptom”. In a lot of acupuncture systems we treat root and branch in the same treatment, but we’ll do some points for root and some for branch. Here they are the same. Those four points get it all.
Another interesting aspect of this type of acupuncture is that it is based on the use of the 5 Elements or 5 Phases: Wood, Earth, Metal, Water, Fire. Many readers have heard of this. But in Sa’am, this is combined with the 6 conformations or the 6 channels. Those are Tai Yang, Yang Ming, Shao Yang, Jue Yin, Shao Yin, and Tai Yin. No other acupuncture system that I know of is based on the 6 channel theory. We mostly use that theory for the prescription of herbs. And Sa’am acupuncture superimposes these two systems to provide a powerful rubric for the diagnosis and treatment of a patient.
Another interesting thing about Sa’am is that the most powerful treatments will only use needles on one side of the body. Traditionally it is the right side for women and the left side for men. We westerners might think this is kind of old fashioned thinking, but I’ve chosen to practice as I was taught, since that is what works. The idea of only needles on one side, or even just 4 needles is counter-intuitive for our Western minds as well, because most of us subscribe to the “more is better” theory of treatment. However, Sa’am is so powerful and accurate in targeting the best way to balance a problem, that adding more needles actually makes it less effective.
I think this Sa’am acupuncture system is the first one I’ve ever seen that really does the magic that I always I assumed acupuncture could do before I went to school for it. I know that many of my patients are hoping for a miracle, and I’ve tried a number of very prominent systems of acupuncture, testing each one for a few years before moving on to the next. The Sa’am system is the most powerful system I have ever used. And the simplest for me to use. So it will now become my main approach for most patients. There will still be times that I might do some other things, depending on the case, but I’ll use Sa’am as much as I can to help as many people as I can.
I continue to study with Toby in webinars and personal trainings, and I hope to continue to develop my expertise in this powerful system.
The wandering monk, Doam, belonged to a group of Korean monks who wander all the time, helping people using acupuncture. Doam has no monastery where he lives, he moves about all the time, finding people to help at every point along the journey. It was his wish that we use this method to help the most people as possible, and I am honored to find myself in his lineage. As long as I practice acupuncture I’ll use Sa’am to help as many people as I can.
Acupuncture Reduces Post-Stroke Depression, Restores Function
Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers find acupuncture effective for the alleviation of post-stroke depression and the restoration of neurological functions. The research, conducted at the university’s Shuguang Affiliated Hospital, compared outcomes from two groups: acupuncture and control. Both groups received treatment according to the China Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Cerebrovascular Disease. This included medications to control blood pressure, improve cerebral circulation, reduce inflammation, promote neuronal regeneration, and for secondary complications such as respiratory infections and pressure sores. In addition, the acupuncture group received a pre-selected set of acupuncture points.
The incidence of depression in each group was also taken into consideration. At baseline, 22 patients in the acupuncture group and 24 in the control group were classified as suffering from depression. After one week of treatment, these figures fell to 17 and 22 respectively. After four weeks of treatment, just seven patients in the acupuncture group were classified as depressed compared with 20 patients in the control group (p<0.05).
The outcomes of this study indicate that acupuncture reduces both the incidence and severity of post-stroke depression while simultaneously improving neurological recovery, and is more effective than usual care alone. Treatment may be more effective when administered as early as possible once cerebral bleeding has stopped and the patient is in a stable condition.
Chen Aiwen, Gao Yuan, Wang Guantao, Li Jia, Shen Weidong (2018) “Effect of early acupuncture on post-stroke depression: a randomized controlled trial” Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion Vol.38 (11) pp. 1141-1144.