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Acupuncture in the Community


Acupuncture in Nepal: World Premier of Compassion Connects in Portland

Compassion Connects Marquee 


Acupuncture Relief Project presents a world premier screening of

Compassion Connects: Ancient Medicine for Modern Health Care

Hollywood Theater, Portland Oregon, June 13th 2012, 7:30pm


Free Admission • Donations Appreciated

In 2011, film-maker Tristan Stoch followed a team of Acupuncture Relief Project volunteer practitioners during their stay at the Vajra Varahi Clinic in Chapagaon, Nepal. In this short film he successfully illustrates many of the complexities of providing primary medical care in a third world environment.

Since 2008 Acupuncture Relief Project has provided over 100,000 treatments to patients living in rural villages outside of Kathmandu Nepal.  Acupuncture offers an inexpensive, sustainable method of providing communities access to medical evaluation and basic care.


Please join us Wednesday, June 13th for a celebration of Acupuncture Relief Project’s work in Nepal.  Between the two screenings of the film, Project Director Andrew Schlabach will give a brief talk about the organization’s accomplishments.

7:30 pm :Premier Screening of Compassion Connects

8:00 pm: Presentation by Andrew Schlabach: Acupuncture as Primary Care in the Third World

8:45 pm: Second screening of Compassion Connects


Compassion Connects: Synopsis

Against tremendous obstacles of poverty, in regions where the struggle to survive often usurp basic medical needs, five volunteer  acupuncturists, set up a health clinic in Nepal. Through providing basic primary health care, a connection emerges between patient and practitioner that act as a vehicle for exploring fundamental questions about what it means have compassion, and elementarily, what it means to be a good human being. These relationships have long-lasting effects both personally and socially, bringing waves of compassion to all communities, at home and in Nepal, creating meaning, changing lives, changing communities.

For more information please visit:

Click here to watch the Compassion Connects theatrical trailer: How far would your go to inspire hope?



Acupuncture Relief Project 2011

A colleague and friend of mine, Andrew Schlabach, LAc, started the Acupuncture Relief Project project several years ago, and has taken many practitioners to Nepal for thre experience of a lifetime. Watch the video below to see what it's been like for them, and then please take the time to look through the ARP site. [vimeo][/vimeo]



March 28-Acupuncture for Japan Earthquake Relief

On Monday, March 28, acupuncture practitioners all over Portland and the nation will be donating a percentage of their fees to different Japan earthquake relief funds.

On Monday, March 28, 2011, acupuncturists nationwide will join together to help Japan.  We will donate 10%, or some other specified amount, of our proceeds for that day to Japan.  Here is a link of reputable organizations that the Huffington Post has suggested people donate to:,b=facebook.

We will choose, individually, which organization we want to support and donate to them.

Cita Oudijk, L.Ac.(of Open Gate Acupuncture)

A good time to get acupuncture AND support a good cause.



9000 Needles Documentary

Whether you are an acupuncture practitioner, a stroke victim, or just interested in seeing the amazing effects of acupuncture, I recommend you watch this documentary. The story of Devin Dearth, a bodybuilder who had a stroke at 40 years of age. The failure of the American health insurance is what takes Devin on a journey to China for a twelve week treatment plan. I won't spoil it with all of the details, but I will say that there are some heart-wrenching moments in this documentary, and the results of the acupuncture therapy are absolutely amazing. You can find more dates for screenings on the 9000 Needles website, and there has been some talk about another screening in the Portland area in the near future. Keep checking back on the OAAOM website for details!




Chinese Medicine in the Spring

Spring is back , and even though it's (still) raining here in the great Northwest, it's time to at least start acting like summer is on it's way! Spring cleaning season is a great time to clean out your closets, prepare for the potential summer abundance from our gardens by caring for the soil and planning gardens, and everything else that's been put off due to winter weather. Get outside and enjoy the vitamin D when the sun shines for a few minutes!

Here are some  posts from acupuncture blogs around the US with tips on a healthy spring, and just a little inspiration to get you motivated.

Lynn Jaffee, LAc of the Acupuncture Twin Cities Blog gives us ten easy ways to improve our health this spring, including eating more green vegetables, getting your eyes checked, and making time to stretch and exercise.

Lorne Brown of Acubalance wrote a great post with stories of hope for couples and women dealing with fertility. There are touching stories of people who are discovering the amazing effects of acupuncture. Even when the immediate results aren't what you expected- often patients will begin treatment for fertility, then suddenly their cramps disappear, energy and digestion improve, and they are sleeping better. The body needs to find a balance first, and these are all signs that the body is working towards balance of the mind and body.

Adam Kuby, the artist in residence for the Portland Acupuncture Project, continues with the project to heal the city of Portland by inserting needles throughout the city in the most needed places. Read about the history of the project and Mr. Kuby's vision here. More needles are sure to be popping up all over Bridgetown!



Acupuncture Weekly Roundup

Here is a quick "roundup" of a few things that are happening in the acupuncture world (plus a good demonstration video).

  • Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, wrote a great article about how acupuncture helps with pain in breast cancer patients who are undergoing hormone therapy. Read the excerpt below, then check out her blog post for more information.

    The study found that the true acupuncture group had significant improvement in joint pain and stiffness as well as an improved sense of well-being. Furthermore, 20 percent of the patients taking pain relief medications did not need them after receiving acupuncture. This benefit was not seen in the control group.

  • A study came out that shows how acupuncture helps calm anxiety before dental work, and may even help with preoperative work. For more information on dental procedures in acupuncture, check out this post on dental procedures during acupuncture.
  • The Acupuncture Relief project is looking for volunteers! This great project that provides thousands of acupuncture treatments and a wonderful opportunity for practitioners to treat a lot of people and spend time in a beautiful place. There is also a need for donations to this great project- take a look at a previous post here.
  • Still a little scared of getting that first treatment? Watch this acupuncture for back pain video to get a taste of how relaxing, safe, and comfortable acupuncture is.

Acupuncture Therapy : Acupuncture Back Pain Demo



Happy Year of the Tiger!

It's now the Year of the Tiger, according to the Chinese calendar, and the Year of the Ox has moved on. I'm posting this late as I spent today preparing for the New Year by cleaning and painting a room in my house- whew! Tradition is that you do these things before the New Year begins, but we had a last start. On the topic of traditions for a proper Chinese New Year Celebration, read some great posts for ideas on the new year - it's not too late to celebrate!

Kim Knight, LAc wrote a post about the traditions of this New Year on her blog:

It is traditional that the New Year be celebrated with a lot of the color red. Lamps, costumes and other items will be flashed red today. The deities of the Heaven and the Earth will be welcomed, after cleaning the house and it is traditional to exchange gifts in the form of a red envelope containing money, generally in amounts of even numbers and giving the amount of 8 is considered particularly auspicious because the word for eight is a homophone for “wealth”.

Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc wrote about the characteristics of Tigers-they sound like fun people to spend time with! In the spirit of Valentines Day, here is a section from her post about Tigers as partners:

Tigers make interesting partners – they are creative, passionate and will never bore their mates. They’re expressive, polite and trustworthy, but watch out. Partners need to have a high energy level and a sense of adventure to keep up with a Tiger.

A few colleague's sent me this 2010 forecast from Dr. Maoshing Ni, complete with exercise and diet tips!

I wish you a safe, happy, and most of all healthy year of the Tiger.



Acupuncture Making a Difference in Haiti

Acupuncturists Without Borders, a non-profit group that travels to places where disasters have occurred and treats those in need at no cost. The most recent group traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to help with pain management, stress, and emotional and physical trauma. Watch the video below to see the work they are doing over in Haiti with great results.

To help out, donate, or for more information, go to This is a great organization who is doing important work all over the world!



Acupuncture in the media

Carved Buddha The global spread of Chinese Medicine is taking place before our eyes! Acupuncture is becoming more accepted into the mainstream every day - it's a great time to be an acupuncturist, and I can't wait to see where we are in 10 years.

*If you are interested in more acupuncture articles, go to and look in the 'News' section. WellWire has a stream of new articles and ideas posted daily on the site, written by naturopathic doctors, acupuncture practitioners, top herbalists, and a lot of other amazing authors! I'm honored to be a part of this project and be connected with other practitioners who also love what they do.

*The economy needs acupuncture to heal itself. Well, not exactly in those words, but pretty close! The New York Times posted this article discussing how we need to prevent instead of treating the symptoms of the problem, which is exactly what Traditional Chinese Medicine does. We help prevent injuries to that already unstable knee, take care of the imbalance within the body that is causing digestive problems or difficulty getting pregnant, and preventing colds and coughs. Prevent the crisis you see coming BEFORE it happens!

*I know this has been in the news for a while, but women who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer and are using the drug Tamoxifen often suffer from hot flashes as a side effect. Acupuncture has proven to help with these side effects safely and effectively - read more about the study in which two treatment groups were divided into either the anti-depressant drug Effexor (the standard treatment) or acupuncture alone. The results were that the women in the acupuncture group experienced less side effects and had relief from the hot flashes.

Acupuncture is becoming more widely used, it prevents problems we can't foresee, and it really works! These are just three great reasons to give acupuncture a try this year!



Acupuncture Relief Project: The First Year


I can't say enough good things about the Acupuncture Relief Project.

The project, which just celebrated it's one year anniversary, has finished the first six weeks of practitioners in Nepal, and now a new group is on the way in to treat. Acupuncturists from all over the US are taking time out of their lives and practices to come to Chapagoan, Nepal and treat at a free clinic.

Here is a short excerpt from the blog:

One year ago, November 11th 2008, the Acupuncture Relief Project (ARP) helped open the Vajra Varhi Natural Healthcare Clinic, in Chapagoan. The day before the doors opened we sat around wondering if anyone from the village would even show up to our clinic. How would this community embrace us and our strange medicine? Now a year later the ARP has provided over 10,000 acupuncture treatments to this rural Newari and Nepali village. The clinic continues to grow and serves upward of 400 patients per week. Some walking up to 5 hours to reach the clinic. In addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, the clinic now has practitioners who practice Tibetan herbal medicine and homeopathy. The clinic has also hosted two dental camps.

Recently, ARP has joined up with Saathi Samua Care House and is now treating people with HIV and those who are trying to rehabilitate from drug use. Check out this short video of practitioners in action in this clinic:

Saathi Samuha: Acupuncture Relief Project Partnership

ARP is open to practitioners, and is always in need of donations, no matter the size. Go to their blog and have a look at the beautiful photos and see the faces of people they have helped.



Regina Dehen, ND, LAc radio interview

Traditional Chinese Medicine discussed on Portland radio!

Regina Dehen, ND, LAc a naturopathic physician, acupuncture practitioner, and instructor at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Regina is a wealth of information and and incredible instructor, as you will see when you listen to the whole interview.  Regina and Ted Douglass discuss what TCM is, Chinese Medicine in research, and how it all works together in the Western world today.

There are two parts to the interview, so be sure to scroll down to the "Oregon College of Chinese Medicine" inside the Metroscope box and listen to both!



October 24 is National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day

Happy Oriental Medicine Day on Saturday!

Hug an acupuncturist, or try a delicious (?) Chinese herbal tea! They taste odd, but are oh-so helpful for the body.

If you are fortunate enough to live in Portland, Oregon (my beloved city), then get out there and take a look at the massive acupuncture needle in our beautiful, if not a slightly damp city!

According to Acupuncture Today, the informative new source for all things acupuncture,

October 24, 2002 marked the first annual observance of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day. Conceived of as part of a national campaign to educate the public about the benefits of acupuncture and other forms of Asian healing, many of the leading national acupuncture and Oriental medicine member associations, research organizations and educational institutions lent their support to AOM Day, in the form of open houses; lectures and demonstrations; free acupuncture treatments; and educational seminars.

A lot of cities are signed up with special rates on Saturday as well as other events- check out the homepage for the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine site, and don't forget to check out the Acupuncture Today article that lists schools around the country that are celebrating National AOM day in style!

We should celebrate this day as a time when we are able to choose what we want in terms of our own healthcare, and take matters into our own hands by using preventative medicine. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, naturopathic medicine, massage, reiki, and all of the other wonderful techniques are treatments that do so much more than "fix us." They heal us!

I still remember my personal experience with acupuncture - which is the reason I practice this amazing medicine. I was living in South Korea, where the pollution was so bad you could see and taste it! I was taking extra medications to try to control my  allergy symptoms and wheezing, but it wasn't enough. Just as I was about to throw in the towel and leave, a family member suggested acupuncture. So I walked into the nearest clinic where no one spoke English (and my Korean was very poor), but doctor was surprised to see a foreigner but was very nice. He patted my arm and said "it's okay!" He then felt my pulse, looked at my tongue, then gave me my first acupuncture treatment. It  was incredible- I still remember how much better I felt after that first treatment, and went back three times a week for four months. By the end of that treatment regime, I was off all of the medications, and was feeling great. I've been a firm believer in this medicine ever since, and started school at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine two weeks after we arrived home.

See what you can find in your city at the sites listed above, and enjoy the day!



Babies and Birthing Naturally

Pregnant Belly by kellyandapril

When the words "It's time!" are spoken by a pregnant woman, panic will often follow. But it doesn't necessarily have to! That is, if the baby decides to take a little time for the mother to be where she planned....

The ideal situation for an expectant mother is to make a birth plan, and to then be able to let her plan unfold completely. But babies don't always know our plans, and they sometimes have a sweet little agenda of their own.  There are some great websites for you to check out if you are looking for some advice on a birth plan, or are still deciding how you would like to deliver your baby.

A new site to check in with regularly is Natural Baby Pros. They also have a great article for the birth plan called " The Essential Birth Plan," which discusses things you may not have thought of, like epidurals, pitocin drips, and Hepatitis B Vaccines. Go to the site to read more about why they bring these topics up for parents-to-be.

My Best Birth is a site where women can share their birth experiences, read about other births, and join discussion forums.  They also have a link to a movie called "The Business of Being Born." This is definitely a movie to watch if you are seriously considering a homebirth. The film follows a midwife through several pregnancies and homebirth, and details the interesting (if not horrifying) history of birthing.

If you are considering a homebirth but want a little more information on the statistics, check out the result of this study from Birthing Spirit. The study found that birth at home with a midwife was as safe as birth in hospital and homebirth was associated with fewer adverse outcomes for mothers and babies! Two books that divulge first-hand experience and advice about homebirth are: Ina May Gaskins "Spiritual Midwifery," and Peggy Vincent's "Baby Catcher." I found both of these books to be incredibly empowering in terms of women who had many successful homebirths.

Lucky for those of us in Portland, we have Birthingway, where midwives learn their skills. Choosing midwife (or an obstetrician) is a decision that should be given careful thought. Interviewing is a great way to see if you will be able to feel comfortable with a practitioner, and if they will be able to meet your needs. Also, if you decide to have an acupuncture practitioner to help with labor, it's also a good idea to set up an appointment and see how you feel about using needles during labor.

-The Birth of an eco-mom- the story of a mother who, after the birth of her third child, realized that she needed to become a little more "green" to make a difference in the world of her children. Very inspiring!

Happy Birth-day :)

Sleep Like A Baby by peasap



H1N1 and Traditional Chinese Medicine

I wasn't planning to write a post about the flu, but the H1N1 'situation' is still around, and I wanted to spread some of the good information I've been looking into. The H1N1 flu (we'll just call it "the flu") has a lot of people talking and a good deal of media coverage (EVERWHERE!).

Now that school has started up again, parents are worried about having their kids exposed to thousands of colds and sniffles, and the hype of the flu is lingering into the fall and winter seasons. UrbanMamas blog has a good discussion going about kids and the flu- check it out if you have little ones in school. It's hard to decide if a vaccine is in your future or not. Regardless, it's best to get as much information about options before you make that decision.

Chinese Medicine: Natural approaches are great and effective options to combat influenza- there are very powerful herbs we use to treat the symptoms. Herbs are being used all over China to treat the symptoms of the flu with great success!

A good list of formulas listed on this site are:

  • Gan Mao Ling: This is definitely one of the most widely utilized Chinese patents to treat flu related fatigue, headaches, sore throats, swollen lymph glands, high fever, chills, and back and neck aches.
  • Yin Qiao: In a very similar fashion to Gan Mao Ling, Yin Chiao is generally prescribed for the same set of flu symptoms.
  • Zhong Gan Ling: This medicine is indicated for more severe conditions such as sudden, high fevers with sore throats and coughing, swollen lymph nodes, aching limbs and headaches.
  • Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan(Correct the Qi Pills): Primarily prescribed for stomach flus with digestive difficulties of diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence, nausea and for chills, fever and headaches.
  • Yu Ping Feng Wan (Jade Screen Pills): This medicine is prescribed primarily for insufficient immune system in the presence of frequent colds and flu, sore throat, swollen face, sinus congestion and inflammation, and sinus pain headaches.

Depending on your symptoms, the practitioner may make you an individualized formula if you are experiencing a combination of these symptoms.

Vaccines: It's completely your choice if you choose to get the vaccine- every individual has their right to choose. But I am a firm believer in knowing the facts and researching what our options are. Liz Richards, LAc of Blossom Clinic posted a note about pregnancy and the H1N1 vaccine for expectant mothers concerned with mercury in the vaccines. Liz clarifies that the single dose does not contain mercury, but the 10 vial dose does. She also has a link to a video about the vaccine.

Prevention: Treat the swine flu as you would treat the regular ol' flu, which means you must take care of yourself!!

Here is a good list of strategies to prevent spreading sickness from Dr. Lorne Brown of Acubalance:

  • wash your hand frequently
  • avoid sugary foods
  • get adequate sleep
  • reduce alcohol
  • eat a whole foods, mostly plant based diet
  • reduce stress

Nutrition: posted a delicious recipe for an immune-boosting soup- I'm definitely making this tonight! Remember to drink plenty of clean water, and eat lots of garlic and ginger!

Anti H1N1 Soup for 2

1 handful dry shiitake mushrooms, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced, 1 onion thinly sliced, 1 small piece ginger thinly sliced, 3 cups pork stock (lol kidding, this is hard to find – any stock will do), 4 glugs of sake, 2 spring onions.

Soak the mushrooms in boiling water until tender.  Remove the soaking liquid.  Saute the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a tablespoon of oil until tender but not browned.  Add the stock and the ginger and simmer on low heat for about ten minutes. Season to taste and just before serving add the sake and spring onions.

Whatever route you choose is up to you. Just make sure you have all of the correct information before you take action.

Stay healthy!

(Photo by kozumel)


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Acupuncture Relief Project in Nepal

The practitioners for the Acupuncture Relief Project Leave for Nepal this Saturday!

We are busy checking last minute arrangements and packing our bags for Nepal. Team A leaves Saturday September 26th and our clinic in Chapagoan will begin treating patients again on October 4th. Please stay tuned for updates and stories of our progress.

In the meantime please enjoy this short "kick off" documentary. If you appreciate the work we are doing please forward this video to your colleagues, friends and family. Please ask them to sign up for our news blog at


Safe travels to the group- we look forward to hearing about your journey!

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Acupuncture in Oregon: Kam Wah Chung

ph.KamWahChung360.jpg by oregonianphoto
Photo by oregonianphoto

Seeing that I am an Oregon native, I was surprised to hear of a Chinese medicine apothecary in Eastern Oregon that I didn't know about (I'm usually up on these things...). The herbal clinic, which has been restored and is now a museum called Kam Wah Chung, where Ing "Doc" Hay had his herbal clinic. Ing Hay left John Day in the early 1900's, but left behind his various Chinese medicine tinctures, herbs, and tools he used to distribute the herbal remedies.

Watch the video of how this clinic came to be in John Day at the Oregon Public Broadcasting website - I am amazed at how well this herbalist worked the ancient medicine, and how the people of John Day appreciated him and his medicine. You can also read about it here.


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Having a Baby in Portland

megkids Portland was voted best city to have a baby! (Okay-I know it's been a few years , but I still think Portland has a lot to offer new parents and babies). Check out these Portland-based sites for new moms, moms-to-be, and parents with toddlers:

Urban Mamas is a site that "strives to create a dynamic online community for mamas who want to share tips, advice, reviews, ideas, fun, challenges, and more." A great site for all!

Moms Like Me - The network where Portland Moms meet ask questions, learn about local events, and plan activities with kids of all ages.

My Portland Baby is a site that lists several places to find organic foods, clothing and activities (if you

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TCM and Research

Photo by Snapjlr.

This weekend, I attended the 2009 Symposiun for Portland Area Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (SPARC). SPARC is a yearly event where all Complementary and Alternative medicine come together to listen to new research presentations, view posters, and discuss research in the field of alternative medicine. The Helfgott Research Institute is the organizer of this event - you can check out their blog here.

Dr. Josephine Briggs, the director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) gave a great presentation on how alternative medicine is changing in the west, and how it is sought out now compared to several years ago. For example, in a 2007 survey, the top three reasons patients seek acupuncture was for back pain, neck pain, and joint pain. Compare this to a 2002 survey where the common cold was the reason (now it's down around #7!). It's good to see that people are realizing the all-encompassing healing that is Traditional Chinese Medicine, and I can't wait to see what comes up in a future survey.

For a list of more research articles, check out Barbican Acupuncture's research page, or Chinese Medicine News.



Therapeutic animal massage by Rubi Sullivan

[youtube][/youtube] Last week, I attended a talk at Rose City Veterinary Clinic where Rubi Sullivan, CSAMP owner of Heal animal massage therapy discussed the benefits of massage for animals. Rubi is certified by the Northwest School of Animal massage in Washington, and works in the Portland area. She

She explained that massage can help animals heal faster after surgery or anesthesia, as the techniques she uses help with lymphatic draining. It also calms the dog and helps to 'initiate' a faster recovery time. Massage for animals affects them in a similar way it affects humans: it helps to reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and increases range of motion in arthritic joints.

Rubi  treats the animals in the comfort of their home, and while she usually treats dogs and cats, she has treated rodents as well.  The techniques used for each animal are similar in effect, but the style will vary depending on the size of the animal and their personality. Rubi contacts the veterinarian of each animal she works with be sure the dog is able to receive treatment.

You can find Rubi here:

Heal Animal Massage Therapy 503.380.4487

p.s.  If your dog enjoys massage, consider a yoga class.....



New places for healing around Portland

547px-pakua_with_namesvg Ba Gua from: Wikipedia

The Taoist Center in Southeast Portland is open for classes and treatments. The Taoist center is a space for the study of the Dao, but also hold classes, provides acupuncture treatment, and offers bodywork. I'm looking forward to watching the growth of this wonderful place. They also have a blog - check it out!

Working Class Acupuncture will be opening another clinic in Southwest Portland mid-April! So for those of us who don't seem to make it over to Northeast as often as we'd like, keep checking back here for more info about the opening, or check their blog.