Cold And Flu Season Is Upon Us

I often say when explaining Qi to a patient, Qi is unseen but so is the wind, we do not see it move the trees but we know it is doing just that. Qi acts the same way in our bodies. It is unseeable but it moves within us and subsequently generates movement. We can feel it through tremors and convulsing, which are both signs and symptoms of wind. It produces change and speed when things would normally be calm and motionless. Parkinson’s and Arthritic symptoms which wonder and move from body to body part would be considered a wind bi. Wind Pain.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine wind is considered the main culprit in cold and flu. Pernicious wind can enter the body through the skin as an exogenous pathogen (a virus). Wind attacks the upper body and cold symptoms often appear in the head with stuffiness and cough. I would remove an exogenous pathogen with an acupuncture point prescription geared at pushing the virus out of the body, and I would use points to help with a cough and congestion.

Cold and flu medicines sold over the counter dry up the fluids and suppress a cough, but the root cause is not treated and in the end, you end up becoming too dry inside.

Cold and flu are virulent and once inside the body it can interiorize further causing a worsening of symptoms. Acupuncture and Herbs can help with the symptoms of running nose, postnasal drip, headache, congestion, cough, and fatigue.

I tell my patients that the quicker they get in when they catch a cold the quicker I can push out the virus so it does not interiorize, causing a worsening of symptoms.

Come in for treatment of Cold and Flu. Call 802-859-8900

310 Pine St. Burlington Vermont.


Acupuncture For Stress In A Changing World

I see many people for Anxiety and Depressive fatigue. Acupuncture has become a very sought out modality for those who suffer from stress and anxiety. Young people, especially seem to suffer from anxiety the most. The daily pressures. Difficulty in connecting with peers due to the age of the internet, people are feeling much more isolated and working very hard. The economy is not propagating confidence and young and old alike feel that their futures are precarious. The planet’s demise is on all of our minds.

Acupuncture and herbs help curb stress. How? It works on both the Heart and the Liver meridian. The heart is responsible for Shen, Spirit. The Liver is responsible for how we take in stress and move it thru our bodies. Liver Qi can become stagnant when too many stressors are presented to the body. Stagnant Qi causes outbursts and crying jags and rage. A woman who becomes moody and low due to PMS is a perfect example of stuck liver Qi.

You can liken the blocked Liver meridian to a swampy stuck bog and the meridian needs to be cleared allowing vital energy to flow and help that particular organ, the liver in this instance, to work better. The emotion associated with the liver is anger. Anger turned inward is depression.

The Heart Meridian needs to be calmed and in this instance, it is about calming spirit. As mentioned before the heart is directly related to the well-being of the Spirit.   

When a patient receives a treatment there is often an immediate calm felt on the Acupuncture table, a hormonal shift. A slowing down. The whole system is very much affected by acupuncture

There is a 2013 article in the Journal of Endocrinology of a study done at Georgetown University Medical Center which showed that “ Rats who endured stress conditions and then received acupuncture had lowered blood hormone levels secreted by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis which controls reactions to stress and regulates processes like the immune system, digestion, emotions, sexuality, and moods.”

So many symptoms arise from stress, anxiety, and low-grade depression. TCM can help with the symptoms that are by-products of anxiety, such as, digestive issues, PMS, insomnia, and rage.

Try Chinese medicine and see if it works for you.

Call for an appointment. 802-859-8900



Using Acupuncture for Sinus Relief



Anyone who suffers from chronic sinusitis would  tell you that it is miserable. The symptoms include  headaches, facial pain and pressure and an inability to breathe, dizziness, sneezing, and an upset stomach.

Sinusitis  is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection. If the mucus is green or there is fever there is likely an infection, which should be looked at by your MD in case a course of antibiotics are needed.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for over 3000 years, successfully treating this condition. The underlying cause of Sinusitis in Chinese Medicine is directly related to the Spleen Meridian. The Spleen’s  function according to acupuncture theory is instrumental in dealing with body fluids. One of the Spleen’s jobs in Traditional Chinese medicine is to transform and transport fluids in the body.  The spleen transforms food into Qi (vital energy) and the Spleen transports fluid throughout the body. When the transformation and transportation become impaired, fluids can accumulate and cause a buildup of damp and phlegm. If a patient has an underlying Spleen Qi deficiency and is predisposed to eating spicy and fatty foods and/or alcohol,  that patient then introduces an external heat to the equation. When you introduce heat, the fluids in your body dry up a and become stuck in the sinus cavities, this is known as damp heat. The build up of fluids in turn causes more pain and swelling in the mucous membranes of the sinuses.

A patient who presents with more cold damp symptoms presents differently. They may have more cold signs and symptoms such as chills, sneezing and coughing. In both instances either, damp heat or damp cold,  the chief organ system treated is the Spleen meridian. The Spleen points are located on the legs.  I would also use local sinus points on the face for localized pain and stuffiness. Strengthening the Spleen meridian with acupuncture and Chinese herbs will help the spleen do its job of managing the damp in the body and moving the fluid through the sinuses.

Patients often claim to feel relief after the first treatment and usually experience nasal drainage immediately, which aids in relieving painful pressure and helps with their ability to breathe.

Schedule an appointment call 802-859-8900




Turning A Breech Baby with Moxibustion

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses moxibustion in combination with acupuncture. Moxibustion is  a technique which involves the burning of mugwort, a spongy herb shaped like a cigar and smokeless. The moxa stick is shaped like a cigar and is held just  a couple of inches above the major acupuncture point on the pinky toe which is specifically used to turn a breech presentation. The patient just feels a warm glow on the little toe which is soothing and relaxing. It is said that the moxibustion can relax the uterus and allow more room for the fetus to turn around.

The herb (Artemisiae argyi) , is used to move and strengthen Qi, which can in turn facilitate the turning of the baby into a downward position. In China, where this practice is common, there is a 75 percent success rate in turning breech babies. The highest success rate is when moxibustion is performed in the 34th week for a period of 7 to 10 days.

 Breech presentation is very common up to about 28 weeks but most of the time there is nothing to worry about because  the baby will turn head down naturally. Only about 3% of babies are breech by the end of a pregnancy. Very seldom is a woman allowed to birth a breech baby and about 90% of breech presentations result in a Cesarean section.

I myself experienced the turning of a breech fetus first hand with my third baby. I was in Acupuncture school at the time and had already had two caesareans with my boys. I was a pregnant with my daughter who was also breech. My teacher told me of the very high success rate that they have in China. I had tried an external version, a process where the obstetrician manually tries to turn the baby with my first son and found it stressful and was not going to try that again. I gladly climbed up on the treatment table, and my professor did moxibustion on my pinky toe. While on the table I could feel the baby become much more active.  For me, it worked very quickly. The next day I felt a significant flip in my womb. I called my obstetrician and did an ultrasound and much to my amazement my daughter had flipped and was head down. I was thrilled by the outcome. I had a VBAC, Vaginal birth after (two) caesareans.

Using inversion exercises prescribed by your midwife or OB and receiving acupuncture and moxibustion is a wonderful way to address the malposition of your baby you can also help along a transverse presentation.  The treatment for breech presentation is very soothing and you leave feeling very relaxed and rejuvenated.

Moxibustion should be done by a licensed Acupuncturist and any inversion exercises should be prescribed directly by your midwife or OB. Come into my office on Pine St. and see if it can work for you.

Call for an appointment in Burlington Vermont 802-859-8900.




Acupuncture for pregnancy and post-delivery

Acupuncture has been being used for over 3000 years for women during pregnancy. It is a safe and effective treatment for many of the symptoms that arise during pregnancy. A trained acupuncturist versed in the protocol for pregnancy is imperative. Acupuncture allow’s for women’s optimum health in the most important time in their lives. I see women in my practice often for all sorts of issues relating to pregnancy with much success.

Being pregnant can be difficult, morning sickness, back pain, ligament pain, constipation, heartburn, fatigue and gestational diabetes are problems that women can face in their pregnancy Acupuncture addresses all of the above. I use mainly acupuncture when treating pregnancy, I seldom use herbs during pregnancy, Less is more and Acupuncture is a very safe and effective modality for pregnant women.

The word balance is thrown around a lot but what better time to stop and regroup than when pregnant. We live in a very busy culture where taking the time for ourselves is not done. Pregnancy and post-delivery is the time to just stop, rest, and rebalance; take care of ourselves. There are many symptoms that arise during pregnancy and they are often perfectly normal maladies. They are also very treatable imbalances which acupuncture can help with.

I mainly see women in my office for morning sickness in the early weeks of pregnancy. If one is feeling sick acupuncture can be done once a week in the early weeks of pregnancy to quell nausea. I find once my patient feels better they can come maybe every other week or once a month is fine.

Acupuncture is a good thing to do at the end of your pregnancy when you are getting ready to go into labor. In TCM traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture is used to help with the induction of labor and as a way to just get things moving gently.

Stress is very high when getting ready to deliver a baby and acupuncture is so helpful in bringing about calm as well as more energy so that one can be strong and ready to deliver.

I often do acupuncture post-delivery.  My patients love how rejuvenating it is. My treatment principle would be to strengthen Qi, which is an unseeable vital energy. . This vital energy moves our blood. An ancient saying “Blood is the mother of Qi and Qi the commander of blood.”  Acupuncture can circulate the blood and nourish the blood. Nourished blood in this medicine brings about more energy and clearer thinking, always very good, when taking care of a newborn. Optimally as women, we want to rebuild our strength after childbirth. During post-delivery, women, are very vulnerable due to the loss of blood that happens with childbirth. Blood loss can give rise to the blues or just feeling over-emotional and exhausted.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are excellent methods to prepare for childbirth and rejuvenate after childbirth. Call Optimum Health Acupuncture for an appointment 802-859-8900