Acupuncture/herbs informational video

I recently stumbled upon a very well-made video I felt I should share with my patients. The video explores how the Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques including acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and lifestyle approach may benefit fertility treatments.

I know that a lot of my patients would benefit from a good description of how Chinese medicine helps fertility, and finally there is a well-made, clear video doing just that!

There is a lot of good introductory information on how acupuncture and Chinese medicine may help you in your journey towards building your family!

Acupuncture for Fertility – click image for link to video

The website that produced the video is called 

Acupuncture and herbs gain international recognition

State, federal, and international organizations recognize and regulate acupuncture and herbs after thousands of years of widespread utilization.

Top 5 acupuncture websites

Top 5 acupuncture websites

I have many patients ask where to go online for more detailed information about how acupuncture works and for some further details on what is actually going on when acupuncturists choose points. Here are my top 5 acupuncture website picks for more information on the huge topic of acupuncture.

  1. – This website is a great resource for finding practitioners across the country, but I especially like their informational resources for the public to research how specific conditions are treated and other more specific information on acupuncture.  There are also some great articles on herbal medicine.
  2.– This patient resources section of the American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine website lists a variety of links and other information, including links to current research studies being conducted by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
  3.– Another resource for a basic introduction to acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as detailed information on acupuncture terms, including many articles on treatment of specific conditions and a comprehensive list of links to state organizations and information regarding acupuncture.
  4.– ITM, based in Protland, Oregon,  was founded by and is directed by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D.Here is an informative article, written by him, describing acupuncture and its effects on the body described in both the traditional Chinese medicine terms and from the modern Western medical approach.
  5. – This site lists studies and other information related to acupuncture treatment and its efficacy.  This tends to take a populist approach, but can be helpful in searching for specific information on what acupuncture can treat, through recent studies and many celebrity quotes.

This list may be helpful for further information, but please contact the Natural Health & Fertility Center directly at 612-871-2288 to learn more about how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may help you!

Helpful & healthful TCM recipes: NourishU

Here’s a website with many details about traditional Chinese Dietary principles, recipes, and help with cooking techniques.

PLEASE NOTE:  The author sells herbs from the site, but ask us about the higher quality, pesticide and heavy metals tested herbs we can get for you from a source we trust – Spring Wind Herbs, Inc. in Berkeley, CA.

Fall is typically a dry season.  Here is a sample recipe from the website, to address dryness of the lungs. This recipe uses American Ginseng, which is an expensive ingredient and usually highly treated with pesticides.  A good substitute is dang shen 党参, which we currently have in stock along with the red dates – just ask about it!!!  Add your favorite veggies to make a stew or soup about 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time (step #2).

Herbal soup mix to benefit Qi and Blood
Herbal soup mix to benefit Qi and Blood

Another version of this soup that tonifies Qi, nourishes Blood, and is also moistening to the internal organs is a mixture of dang shen-codonopsis  党参, hong zao-red date 红枣, gou qi zi-lycium (chinese wolfberry)枸杞子, dang gui – angelica sinensis 当归, and shan yao-dioscorea 山药.  We have this herbal soup packet available for purchase for $4.95 – get yours today!!!

Mainstream medicine getting along with “Alternative” medicine: what’s your thought?

I’ve been revisiting a 2005 article by Ted J. Kaptchuk, OMD, and Franklin G. Miller about the relationship between mainstream and “alternative” therapies.  (See the full article)  Their viewpoint article poses the question of how the two groups should ethically interact – should they oppose one another (war), integrate (unite “previously sovereign and hostile states”/groups) or acknowledge plurality (create a “coalition of allies”)?


Being a practitioner in the East Asian medicine community, I am biased towards an approach of coalition, because in my daily clinical life, I see the benefits of both medicines in practice.  The necessity of each as stand alone medicines is clear to me, but perhaps it’s not so clear to practitioners of mainstream medicine or patients steeped in the Western healthcare system.  The usefulness of a medical system that approaches health from a different perspective can only be beneficial to everyone, by providing a perspective from a worldview different  from the culturally dominant view.  A culturally alien experience of the world should not be dismissed simply because it does not fit neatly into the dominant culture.

East Asian medicine takes a more functional medicine approach to health, and its strength lies there.  Mainstream medicine has its strengths and limitations.  Should mainstream medicine incorporate other traditional medicines into its system based on judgements that many times cannot be judged on an even footing?  Does the “gold-standard” randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled testing work for acupuncture, or ayurveda, or other “alternative” therapies?  (They don’t)  Does the fact that it doesn’t fit neatly into the mainstream medical model invalidate whole systems of traditional therapies? (It doesn’t – many have been around for sometimes thousands of years-could they exist that long while being useless?).

For those of you who have experienced an alternative health system like East Asian medicine, Ayurveda, Tibetan medicine, etc, what has your experience been?  Since I think most everyone has gotten past the opposition/war point of view, how do you think “alternative” therapies should interact with mainstream medicine?  Should mainstream medicine adapt these systems into the current status quo, or should everyone acknowledge each other as equals, with strengths and weaknesses intact and try to decide how to support one another?

Leave comments with your thoughts…

Caffeine and miscarriage

The relationship between caffeine and miscarriage:

one reason why I suggest that my patients quit drinking coffee altogether has to do with the effects that caffeine has been shown to have on miscarriage rates. If a woman drinks over 200 mg of caffeine daily, more than about 2 cups of coffee, the miscarriage rate was twice that of women who consumed no caffeine at all. It was This was the finding of a study listed in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  To help give an idea of how much caffeine is in various drinks, foods and drugs, here is a link to a listing of caffeine content in food & drugs compiled by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.