Acupuncture is an ancient treatment modality that is backed by thousands of years of documented success. Unfortunately, it is often used as a treatment of last resort. This is because our education is grounded in western science, which has no clear explanation for why or how acupuncture works. It is unfortunate because, in comparison to surgery and prescription painkillers, acupuncture is virtually painless, side-effect free, and imposes zero additional recovery time on the patient after each treatment session is completed.
When people do eventually come to acupuncture, they find it to be as, or more effective than other treatments they have tried so far. This is especially true for the treatment of chronic pain, inflammatory disorders, addiction, and more.
Acupuncture in Pain Management
Where this treatment modality shines is in managing pain. Acupuncture alters the way the nervous system functions, by allowing it to send fewer unnecessary pain signals to the brain. It does this by tapping into the ability of the brain and the nervous system as a whole to manage pain in healthy ways.
Consider the way a small child reacts to pain compared to an adult. When children get a bump or scrape, they often cry bitterly as if they have been badly wounded. An adult’s pain response will tend to be less pronounced. This is because an adult will know on an experiential level and an intuitive level that superficial damage is not a threat to her or his existence.
In short, our nervous systems mature as we do. Therefore, it can be said- based on long experience with the practice- that acupuncture can help our nervous system to develop more refined responses to pain.
Common Types of Painful Illnesses That are Successfully Treated Using Acupuncture
You will find that the types of pain acupuncture is best at treating are the ones that are caused by a disproportionate response of the body to injury or illness. Inflammation, for example, is what happens when the body responds to a perceived threat. But that response can be harmful if it is not properly regulated.
Many have heard the question posed what came first, the chicken or the egg? But how does that concept apply to depression? It’s well-known that when we’re depressed, our motivation and interest in maintaining a healthy and balanced diet subsides in the same way our energy does. Harvard Medical Students positioned that same question in relation to depression; what came first, depression or a poor diet?
Thankfully, researchers have addressed this question and found that a healthy diet was indeed associated with a significantly decreased risk of developing depressive symptoms. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, patients were treated for two years with antioxidants or placebos. After two years, those who were treated with antioxidants had a significantly lower depression score.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Eating healthy foods gives you a better chance to reduce your depressive symptoms than eating a diet of processed food that may be high in sugars and fats.
Additionally, it’s known that there are approximately 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells in the body. These bacteria serve many purposes including the curation of Vitamin K, digesting the food we consume and even regulating our immune system.
This implies that maintaining a healthy gut bacteria and overall diet can improve your mood.
SO, WHAT SHOULD I EAT?
Suggested foods to eat are lots of green leafy plants (including fruits and vegetables), whole unprocessed grains, seeds & nuts, and lean proteins such as yogurt or fish. To break them down even further, take note of the following foods and their purpose (all of which fight depression):
WHICH FOODS SHOULD I AVOID?
Avoid foods made with added sugars or flours such as baked goods (donuts and pastries), breads, pastas and cereals. One should also minimize the consumption of animal fats, processed meats such as bacon, and even butter.
OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER
It’s important to remember that health starts from within. Maintaining a healthy balance of self-care, such as providing yourself with adequate sleep, hydration and physical activity is just as important as eating well.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that supports the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Having balanced health helps with everything from cardiovascular disease, dementia, cancer and even mental health disorders including- you guessed it - depression!
Don’t forget! Schedule an acupuncture appointment with us if you have any questions about depression and how traditional chinese medicine can help.
A study published by the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and conducted by the West China Center of Medical Sciences, found acupuncture treatments can be effective in the treatment of patients suffering from depression.
According to the study, 163 participants were divided into three groups. Each group received differing forms of treatment utilizing acupuncture or acupuncture and other accessory modalities, twice a week, for a total of 12 weeks. The scale of life was used to evaluate the results at four different times, which allowed for the patients quality-of-life to be objectively followed and determined.
There were eight specific items that were evaluated after each acupuncture treatment, thus leading to the overall quality of life score. The items evaluated were physical function, bodily pain, physical role, general physical condition, social function, energy, mental health and emotional function. The study showed the overall quality of life score was improved significantly in all three groups.
BACKGROUND ON DEPRESSION
Worldwide, nearly 350 million people suffer from depression and nearly 16 million of those are in the United States alone. Statistics show women tend to be more likely to experience depression and young adults between the ages of 18-22 are also at a higher risk. Symptoms of depression include extreme irritability over minor issues, anxiety, restlessness, irrational anger, lack of interest in everyday activities, thoughts of death, insomnia, severe fatigue, weight gain/loss, difficulty concentrating and unexplained aches and pains. When these symptoms occur for more than a few weeks, depression may be the reason behind them.
ACUPUNCTURE AND DEPRESSION
As shown in this study, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be very effective in treating depression, not only short-term, but also long-term.A TCM practitioner makes a diagnosis based upon each patient, on an individual basis and treats according to the root cause(s)of the illness - treating the “whole” person, holistically, taking into account a person's physical and emotional well-being. TCM incorporates multiple modalities such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, tuina massage, cupping and exercises like qigong to help restore balance to the body.
The theory behind treating depression using TCM, all revolves around the concept of Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is considered the vital energy that flows through the body and animates everything. When Qi is blocked or stagnant, it will affect all aspects of a person's health. The goal of TCM is to locate and correct the imbalances which exist.
With all of this information on depression and TCM in mind, the results of the study concluded that the overall quality-of-life score was improved significantly in all three groups. The items evaluated were physical function, bodily pain, physical role, general physical condition, social function, energy, mental health and emotional function.
Acupuncture releases endorphins and activates natural pain killers. By doing so, it improves the flow of Qi throughout the body while eliminating blockages and bringing balance to the mind and body. Endorphins counter the symptoms of depression and allow the person to resume a normal life.
If you are suffering from depression and are looking for a natural way of dealing with it, give us a call, we may be able to help you navigate the waters of depression without the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals, while helping you get back to a happier life.
Now is the time of year when we want to soak in the sun and take advantage of the nice weather. Although it’s tempting to bathe in the warmth of our giant star, there are a few precautions to take to prevent skin cancer as one in five Americans are likely to get skin cancer by the age of 70.
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body and reflects our health and age? In today’s world, there’s more concern around sun bathing potentially leading to an increase in skin damage and skin cancer, and rightfully so! Excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays can increase the production of free radicals that can adversely affect the integrity of collagen in the skin. Over time with this type of exposure, our skin becomes wrinkled, cracked, aged, and brittle (and for smokers, the effects are multiplied).
Research suggests that skin cancer is cumulative over a lifetime and begins with over-exposure throughout one's life and even serious sunburns during childhood.
We can’t live without the sun - our bodies require sunlight in order to manufacture Vitamin D needed for calcium absorption, amongst other important things. As with all matters, everything is healthy in moderation, and this applies to sun exposure as well. Here are a few helpful tips and precautions to take when you’re soaking in the summertime sun.
TIPS FOR SAFE SUN EXPOSURE
If you want to have fun now, and not worry later, practice good sun sense. You and your skin deserve it.
Large Intestine 4 is one of the most important and influential acupoints in the entire body. The Chinese name for Large Intestine 4 is “He Gu” meaning union valley or converging valley. The point is located on the hand in the web between the thumb and index finger, also described as the depression where the index finger and thumb bones part. This area of the hand is often described as “valley like” hence the name converging valley.
The large intestine has many important functions in the body. Connected to the Western medicine function of the large Intestine, it is vital in digestion and bowel regulation, but it also has many functions above and beyond that in Chinese medicine. The large intestine is associated with the emotions of sadness and grief, it can help build immunity as it works as a paired channel to the lung meridian and has a big effect on the flow of Qi and blood in the body.
Large Intestine 4 is a strong point for building the immune system and can be used for when someone has a cold or a virus like the flu. It can be used to treat febrile illnesses, rashes from wind or heat, allergic reactions causing rhinitis, as well as sore throat and difficulty swallowing. It is the command point of the face, nose, jaw and mouth and can be used to treat many problems associated with those. Toothaches and TMJ can be painful, but Large Intestine 4 can reduce the pain without even going near the affected areas. It is one of the main points for headaches and many people instinctively press it on their hand when they have a headache, without even realizing it is an acupuncture point. If someone has suffered a stroke, this point can help with paralysis and aid in recovery.
The large Intestine has a great effect on the flow of qi and blood in the body and Large Intestine 4 is a very strong point to get everything moving. Pain, according to Chinese medicine, is often described as Qi and blood being stagnant or “stuck” and Large Intestine 4 is critical to move this stagnation, especially when coupled with another point called Liver 3. Together, this pair of points is called The Four Gates and together they are a powerhouse in getting the Qi and blood circulated. They can effectively treat pain, depression, constipation, promote labor, expel retained placenta and help alleviate menstrual disorders caused by stagnation such as endometriosis.
Large Intestine 4 is contraindicated in pregnancy because it is so powerful and moving, but it can be effectively used to induce labor. Used in conjunction with another powerhouse acupuncture point Spleen 6, these two points are commonly used together to start labor, often with electroacupuncture to stimulate the points even more than needles alone.
Once labor has started, Large Intestine 4 can be used if labor is stalled or prolonged as well as used after childbirth to expel the placenta, decrease postpartum bleeding and decrease the time between childbirth and the discharge of the placenta.
Large Intestine 4 is an exceedingly influential point and one of the most commonly used points in acupuncture treatments. It can also be effective in treating a range of emotional issues such as depression, insomnia, stress, irritability and severe PMS. This point should not be underestimated and its alternative name of Tiger's Mouth is barely descriptive of its strength in acupuncture treatments.
Neck pain ranges from being a slight nuisance to debilitating. There are a few different ways you can ease neck pain, especially with the help of acupuncture. Below you’ll find more information about what this holistic medical treatment is and how it can help heal your neck pain.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain can be the result of numerous things. This includes muscle strain, sleeping in an incorrect position, or even leaning over your phone or computer for too long. Sometimes neck pain can also be a sign of an underlying problem, like arthritis, a herniated disc, or whiplash. While rare, neck pain could also be an indicator of a hidden infection.
Common Side Effects of Neck Pain
This pain not only can cause excruciating sensations around your neck, but can affect many other areas of your body as well. Some of the most common side effects of neck pain are:
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine that applies needles in trigger points throughout your body to help relieve pain. By pushing the needles into these areas, it’s believed to help stimulate them so that blood circulation increases. This can calm tingling nerves and decrease pain caused by them.
Is Acupuncture Painful? Is it Safe?
While it might seem like poking needles into your skin might hurt, acupuncture rarely causes discomfort. In fact, most people who undergo this treatment barely notice when the needles are inserted. At most, you’ll more than likely feel a dull sensation where the acupuncture is performed.
Acupuncture is safe to do. The disposable needles are sterilized before being used on your body. The main side effects of it are slight bruising and swelling near the area where treatment was done.
While generally safe for most people to use there are a few conditions that might not react positively to it, such as if you suffer from bleeding disorders.
3 Ways Acupuncture Helps Relieve Neck Pain
It Calms the Central Nervous System
The central nervous system connects the brain to the spinal cord. It’s composed of numerous tissues that control various bodily functions. If you damage your neck, it will affect how well the central nervous system works and could lead to serious health concerns, like multiple sclerosis and neuralgia. By using acupuncture to release tension and pain in your neck, it will calm the central nervous system.
It Releases Stiffness
A stiff neck is usually caused by overexertion or extreme tension. This can make it difficult for you to turn your head. Acupuncture can release tension in your neck and slightly improve neck functioning.
An acupuncturist will feel around your neck to identify areas of tension and pain. A few might massage the area before they apply the needles as a way to warm the spot up.
It Invigorates Your Blood Circulation
If you have poor blood flow in your neck, it could result in neck pain. The techniques used for this medical procedure increase nitric oxide in the areas where the needles are placed. This encourages the development of oxygen which can boost blood circulation.
How is Acupuncture Done for Neck Pain?
For neck pain, most acupuncturists will require you to either lie on your stomach or back. Some might also request you sit in a chair for treatment.
An acupuncturist will examine a handful of pressure points around your neck. In acupuncture, the main pressure point near this area is known as Jian Jing. This point contains muscles situated near your shoulders. By focusing on this point, an acupuncturist will be able to release tense and stiff muscles and calm tingling nerves.
If your neck pain is caused by swollen lymph nodes or congestion, they might instead look at the Heaven's Pillar point. This is situated on the base of your neck and close to where your head and spine connect. By pressing on it, an acupuncturist can relieve congestion and encourage drainage.
After asking you a few questions about your neck pain (such as where it usually occurs or how long you’ve suffered from it) they will begin the treatment. The acupuncturist will press on the trigger points and gently insert the needles into them. Once they have used as many as they believe is necessary, you’ll need to relax with them in your body for about 15 minutes. After this time has passed, the acupuncturist will then quickly remove them.
Does Acupuncture Only Use Needles for Neck Pain Relief?
Acupuncture mainly uses needles to provide relief, but acupuncturists might also suggest some diet options. By fixing your diet to be high in anti-inflammatory food, it can help the acupuncture session work faster at relieving pain.
Some of the most common food that will be suggested to consume include:
How Often Should These Sessions Be Held?The number of treatments you need to help alleviate neck pain will vary depending on the intensity of your pain. Most of the time, acupuncturists will recommend anywhere from one to two sessions per week over the course of six weeks.
What Should I Do After Having Neck Acupuncture Done?
After you have acupuncture done on your neck the best thing to do is rest. You don’t want to overexert it just because you feel a little better. This can ruin any positive changes the acupuncture treatment made and intensify the pain.
You might also want to apply heat to your neck. This can help soothe any lingering soreness. It will also encourage the area to heal faster.
Acupuncture is a helpful method to use if you want to holistically treat your neck pain. While it might take a few sessions before you start to see results, the wait is definitely worth it.
Dr. Brent Wells founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. He is currently leading 10,000 Alaskans to more active and pain-free lifestyles without drugs or invasive surgeries. He brings a progressive and highly innovative approach to chiropractic care. Dr. Wells continues to further his education with ongoing studies in spine conditions, neurology, physical rehabilitation, biomechanics, occupational ergonomics, whiplash, and brain injury traumatology. He is also a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians.
Background On The Common Cold
Given the nature of the common cold and that it’s primarily caused by a viral infection, no antibiotic or western medicine has yet been able to cure it. Therefore, it’s a cold that we must suffer through until our bodies have healed itself and the symptoms have subsided and usually take 7-10 days to do so.
Nearly 30-50% of all common colds are caused by the rhinovirus followed by a slough of other viruses that may also hinder our health.
Taking special precautionary steps, such as washing your hands, taking vitamins and even receiving frequent exercise are all ways that you can prevent the onset of such an illness. The process of using Acupuncture treatment to fight the effects of, or even treat the common cold has been studied several times. Below, we will briefly look at one of those studies and their findings.
The Purpose Of Research
A team of Acupuncture students and staff members across five different Japanese Acupuncture schools chose 326 patients to be a part of the research group. A specific needling (the “Y Point”) was used bilaterally on the neck in order to determine the preventative and curative effects of manual acupuncture in relation to symptoms of the common cold.
Of the 326 students and staff to originally partake in the study, five had dropped out meaning that 321 total individuals finished the 2-week, 4 treatment studies. What they found was that statistically “significantly fewer [common cold] symptoms were reported in the questionnaire group than the control group.”
Each person’s body is different and so are their symptoms. Those that were involved in this study made mentioned that additional research should be done before any claims are made under this topic.
How does Acupuncture Affect the Body In This Study?
The point of the study was to see if acupuncture could decrease the symptoms of the common cold that were seen and felt by those being studied. Certain acupuncture points can help boost the immune system which is what this study was trying to induce.
If you find yourself unable to see an acupuncture specialist, you may be able to try acupressure at home! The following pressure points may aid if you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms:
● Lung 7 - Broken Sequence
○ Relieves Chills, Fever & Cough
○ Soothes Sore Throat
○ Releases exterior wind-heat and wind-cold
○ Relieves Headaches
● Large Intestine 4 - Union Valley
○ Relieves Headaches
○ Clears Congestions
○ Clears Lung Heat
Other Ways To Stay Healthy
Acupuncture can be a great way to get your immune system flowing as it should be. Other ways to stay healthy and keep your immune system in tip-top shape is to take Vitamin C, get plenty of sleep each night, avoid alcohol and other hindering depressants.
We often say in Traditional Chinese Medicine that the liver is the system most easily susceptible to stress. Stress knots the Qi (energy) and makes its flow stagnate - this happens most quickly in the liver energy system. The liver, in TCM, is in charge of the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. This means that if Qi flow is impaired (ie, by stress), the liver system will suffer. Likewise, if the liver energy system is weak or stagnant (from lifestyle choices, diet, trauma, emotional stress, illness or genetic factors), Qi flow throughout the body may be impaired.
Common symptoms of liver Qi stagnation include irritability, anger, tension headaches, migraines, trouble sleeping, PMS, irregular menstrual cycles and just a general stagnation of feeling stuck or blocked.
Chinese herbs can be a very useful treatment for moving stuck liver Qi and helping it to flow smoothly, to reduce these sorts of symptoms. Chinese herbs are safe and effective when prescribed by a licensed practitioner. To effectively treat liver Qi stagnation, other supportive energy systems must also be moved or nourished, depending on the person. For this reason, these herbs are almost never taken alone, but rather as part of a formula targeting liver Qi stagnation as well as the backdrop on which is occurs.
Chai Hu (Bupleurum): Chai Hu is one of the most commonly used herbs to regulate the liver Qi and treat Qi stagnation, so it can be used in formulas targeting depression, stress, tension headaches and menstrual pain. It also has a function of harmonizing the liver and the spleen energy systems, for treating indigestion, bloating and flank pain. It has a rising action, so needs to be used cautiously in patients with high blood pressure, but making it ideal for patients with sinking energy causing issues such as prolapse or hemorrhoids.
Xiang Fu (Cyperus Rhizome): Xiang Fu directly spreads and regulates liver Qi, for treating symptoms such as hypochondriac pain, menstrual pain, irregular periods, epigastric pain and stress. Xiang Fu moves the Qi but is said to “move the blood within the Qi,” meaning it can move stuck blood by moving the Qi, and that it is a powerful Qi mover. It is an excellent herb for gynecological issues stemming from liver Qi stagnation.
Bo He (Field Mint): Bo He is an herb for “releasing exterior heat,” which means fighting off acute infection with symptoms such as sore throat, fever, cough and headache. However, it has a secondary function of mildly soothing the liver Qi. As such, it can be a great supportive herb for liver Qi stagnation. It can therefore be used to treat menstrual issues, emotional issues, PMS, temporal headaches or pain along the sides of the body.
Yu Jin (Turmeric Tuber): Yu Jin is an herb used to move stuck blood. It is therefore frequently used in formulas to treat pain following traumatic injury to an area. However, it also has the function of moving liver Qi, so it can be added to formulas for symptoms such as chest and flank pain, muscle pain or menstrual pain.
Fo Shou (Finger Citron Fruit, “Buddha’s Hand”): Fo Shou is another herb that directly regulates the liver Qi, specifically for symptoms such as rib pain or belching. It also strengthens the digestive system through tonifying the spleen and stomach, as well as drying dampness and transforming phlegm to treat chronic wet coughs.
For the most effective and safe treatment, consult a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Safe home treatments for liver Qi stagnation include mint tea, turmeric tea and exercise.
Having recurring migraines is similar to parenting a temperamental toddler. When they go from being annoying to actively disruptive and mildly infuriating, there is often little one can do but grit your teeth and persevere. The helpful suggestions for managing this occurrence involved a mixture of expert opinion, anecdotal hearsay, individual tinkering and a big dose of patience. So where does acupuncture fit into this picture?
We'll start with expert opinion. Consider a 2013 systematic review that compared actual and placebo effects of several interventions for the treatment of migraines (1). The study showed that sham acupuncture had a stronger placebo effect than the oral pharmacological placebo, and furthermore the placebo effect of acupuncture was shown to be as strong as the true, active-drug treatment. So the research currently suggests even if one were to receive only the placebo benefit of acupuncture, it may still be as effective as taking a pharmaceutical for the treatment of migraines.
That is promising research, but let's add anecdote for good measure. It is possible to stop a migraine in its tracks if one is able to see an acupuncturist during the acute stage of migraine. The release of endogenous opioids, the body's natural pain-relievers, combined with the stimulation of endorphins, can turn the worst headache into no more than a mild annoyance within that hour-long session. Acupuncture also treats nausea and vomiting, and it balances the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (2), which is implicated in migraine pathology (3).
Now for individual tinkering. Acupuncture is hyper-individualized, with each treatment responding to your body's symptoms at that exact moment, in a way specific to only you. Coming in for acupuncture during the acute stage provides the acupuncturist with valuable information about how your body is experiencing the strongest symptoms of migraine attack. This informs the treatments given afterward to prevent or reduce the severity of the next migraine. Weekly treatments downregulate stress hormones and create a more clear baseline from which to observe physiological patterns such as dietary and environmental triggers. This can help make your individual-lifestyle adjustments more effective in reducing migraines.
And finally, patience is still the key when treating migraines. Acupuncture must be used regularly for an individually determined period of time in order for its full benefit to become apparent. In the same way that eating one kale leaf will not make one a beacon of health, neither will having just one acupuncture treatment. The goal is to set up and then reinforce a pattern of signaling in the body that is closer to the “rest and digest” mode of existence and further away from the “fight and flight” mode that governs our modern lives. Each acupuncture treatment helps reinforce the beneficial relaxing mode that reduces the prevalence of migraines.
1)Meissner, K, et. al. Differential effectiveness of placebo treatments: a systematic review of migraine prophylaxis. JAMA Internal medicine. 2013 Nov 25;173(21):1941-51.
2) Wang, S-J, Zhang, J-J, and Qie, L-L. Acupuncture relieves the excessive excitation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis function and correlates with the regulatory mechanism of GR, CRH, and ACTHR. Evidence based complementary and alternative medicine. 2014; 2014.
3)Tietjen, G. and Peterlin, B. Childhood abuse and migraine: epidemiology, sex differences, and possible mechanisms. Headache. 2011 Jun: 51(6):869-879.
Acupuncture is an ancient medical practice that has been delivering documented and positive results for a multitude of conditions. This practice has taken place for thousands of years and has been a reliable source of treatment for many ailments. Acupuncture is done by inserting needles into the skin at specific points on the body helping to correct imbalances and restore the natural flow of the body's energies, thus returning you to a more natural state of well-being.
Evidence for the Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Back Pain
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has published a number of studies that show acupuncture is quite effective as a pain management therapy. They have demonstrated that it is effective in treating neck, back, and joint pain in a multitude of studies.
In their examination of treating chronic pain using acupuncture, the NIH concluded that, “Acupuncture appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider.” They found that those undergoing treatment during the study had positive results and subsided pain. According to PracticalPainManagement.com, “A review article found pain relief using acupuncture comes from deactivating the source of pain, modulating endorphin levels.” Even WebMD.com writes that, a “[…] recent review of 22 acupuncture studies showed that it provided short-term relief from chronic back pain.”
This implies that alongside acupuncture treatment, eating well and taking care of your body in other ways such as eating well and exercising regularly can help your back pain.
Pain Relief is Just One Benefit of Acupuncture
For those suffering from long term, chronic pain - only one thing matters: relief. Chronic pain can degrade the quality of a person’s life, and make day to day activity unbearable. Those who suffer from it can lose their ability to work, and often lose the desire to do the things they enjoy.
Effective pain management can absolutely improve a person's quality of life. While western pain relievers do work, the side effects and risk of addiction make them sub optimal. The job of the acupuncturist is to address chronic pain and offer a non-addictive, non-westernpain relief option. Acupuncture is safe, natural and drug-free.
When we consider the ability of acupuncture to decrease the need for opiates and other dangerous painkillers, it’s easy to see how acupuncture not only relieves pain, but also saves lives.
Give us a call today if you or a loved one is suffering from back pain.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.