Patient Case Histories
1. Stress & Anxiety: "The Constipated Dentist"
2. Fatigue: "The Lethargic Court Stenographer"
3. Pain: "A Tale of a Fractured Hip & Spirit"
4. Trauma: "The Bionic Knee That Never Gave Up"
5. Skin Disorders: "The Comedian with Eczema"
6. Weight Loss: "The Prom Queen Who Loved Cheesecake"
7. Stop Smoking: "The 1 Needle Acupuncture Treatment for the Sea Captain"
8. Surgical Preparation: "The 90 Year-Old Movie Star who Wanted 2 Things for Her Husband's Birthday"
9. Spirit Disturbance: "The High Powered Hollywood Producer Who Became the Buddha"
1. Stress & Anxiety: The Constipated Dentist
Female, 34, complained of nervousness, anxiety, and frequent panic attacks. She sometimes experienced left side chest pain & palpitations. She also suffered from insomnia, waking up usually between 1 AM and 3 AM in the morning. Upon awakening, she was extremely fatigued. She reported that she had experienced the anxiety throughout her whole life, since she was a young girl. She also experienced chronic constipation, and sometimes hemmorrhoids. Her stools were long and thin. The patient had taken on huge responsibilities at a young age, supporting her entire family. She worked very long hours, usually up to 60 hours per week, as a dental hygienist.
She had been taking a large amount of herbal supplements, which were sold to her by a sales rep for a multi-level marketing company. She was taken over 35 pills, three times a day. Included in the 105 pills she was taking each day was: herbal laxatives, purgatives, sedatives, liver cleansers, colon cleansers, kidney detoxifiers, and pro-cognitive herbs. This is an example of taking way too many things at the same time, without any focus. She was misguided by a sales rep that told her more was better and that she would feel better after 6 months of spending over $ 500 per month on herbal supplements and vitamins. When she came in to see me, it had already been 3 months of taking the products. None of her symptoms had improved. In fact, the anxiety, constipation, and insomnia had worsened.
After the detailed evaluation, including ear inspection, pulse palpation, tongue observation, and verbal inquiry, a diagnosis was made. A therapeutic principle to treat both her immediate symptoms, as well as the etiology, or cause of her symptoms was established. Appropriate acupuncture points were selected, in combination with Auriculotherapy was used. A customized herbal formula was written specifically for her, based on all findings. She was instructed not to take the previous herbal supplements that she has been given by the sales rep.
She was also taught meditation techniques, given dietary guidelines to strengthen her nervous system, regulate her bowels, and bring her body & spirit into balance.
After the first Acupuncture treatment, the constipation was gone. She started having regular bowel movements every day thereafter. After she started the Chinese herbal formula that was written for her, her insomnia had been resolved. She reported energy upon awakening, and experienced very little anxiety throughout the day.
After only 1 month of therapy (4 Acupuncture treatments in total), her originally chief complaints of anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, constipation, and fatigue are gone.
One of the keys to her full recovery was her commitment to meditating two times a day. This made a profound impact upon her well-being. The combination of acupuncture, auriculotherapy, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary guidelines, lifestyle changes, and meditation, were instrumental in her success.
2. FATIGUE: The Lethargic Court Stenographer
Female, 78 yrs old, complained of profound fatigue, worse in morning, upon awakening. She also experiences bouts of explosive diarrhea, also in the morning, during the colder months, November thru January. Her husband passed away several years ago and she lives alone. Her body runs cold, and she prefers warm drinks. Her appetite is usually consistent, except after she has a bout of diarrhea. Her Western medicine doctor told her she has IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). She also suffers from frequent insomnia, with difficulty falling asleep. Her memory has been poor recently, and her blood pressure is slightly low. She sometimes report dizziness and fogginess, a few times per week. She has been taking Soma to sleep and help her low back spasms, as well as Neurontin to sleep. She wakes up depressed and lethargic.
Western Patterns: Diabetes Type II, High Cholesterol, IBS
Tongue: Pale, White Greasy Coat, Teethmarks
Pulse: Right Guan: Thready, Feeble, Slow Guan: Slippery Chi: Deep
Left Guan: Thready, Slow Guan: ---, Chi: ---
Diagnosis: Spleen & Heart Qi Xu, with mild Yang Xu
Acupuncture was administered to address her chief complaint of “Fatigue”, utilizing points to support her Spleen, Heart, and Kidney. Also points were used to boost her righteous Qi. Also, her source Qi was strengthened utilized the appropriate points. Moxabustion was used on a few key points, as well as a TDP lamp. She received Acupuncture 2x per week for 1 year, then went down to 1X per week for 2 years.
Ear seeds were employed at sensitive points in both ears, based on her pattern, as well as galvanic skin conductivity tests.
An elegant herbal formula was created for her to address her key pattern of Sp & Heart Deficiency, with some additional modifications to address her Yang deficiencies.
She was also taught how to perform a basic Qi Gong exercise to rebuild her Source Qi, as well as secure her Kidney Jing. Consolidation of her jing is a priority.
After her first month of Acupuncture & Herbal therapy, her energy levels rose. The accompanied symptoms of insomnia, dizziness, cold, diarrhea, started to decrease also, within several weeks of treatments. We would estimate that after 6 treatments (3 weeks of therapy of Acupuncture & Herbs), most of all her symptoms waned.
After 3 months of treatment, we focused on maintainence.
After 1 year of treatment, we moved on to anti-aging, prevention, and longevity treatments, securing her essence, and boosting her righteous Qi.
Coming from a southern Baptise upbringing on a dairy farm in Tennessee, she originally thought Acupuncture was voodoo.
At first, she refused to admit the therapy was working. We only knew it was working from her pulse & tongue. A great example of the importance of pulse & tongue in patients that may not be able to clearly express their progress.
She feels wonderful, has a new lease on life, and is praising Chinese Medicine for how much it was changed her life.
3. PAIN: A Tale of a Fractured Hip & Spirit
Female, 62 yrs old, complained of pain in left leg, thigh and hip. She had the knee pain for 10 years, the thigh pain for 5 years, and the hip pain 2 years. The pain degree varied from practically no pain to incapacitating pain, especially in cold and damp weather.
She had fractured her hip 3 years earlier, and had hip replacement surgery. Some of her other surgeries include gall bladder removal 3 years earlier, and a petellaectomy 10 years earlier. She also had arthroscopic knee surgery 12 years earlier.
When she came in the office, she was taking the following western medications: Celebrex, Zestril, Restoril, Excedrin, Prozac, and Hydroclorathiazide.
From her medications, it became clear that as a result of her chronic pain, she had developed depression. In addition to her pain, she endured a difficult bankruptcy 4 years earlier, in which she lost her house.
She also had hypertension, which she was taking medication for.
After a comprehensive evaluation, which included, pulse palpation, ear inspection, tongue observation, and verbal inquiry, as well as knee, thigh, and hip palpation of both sides, a diagnosis was reached.
Acupuncture points were selected to treat her chief complaint of pain, as well as to address the emotional component, anxiety & depression. Also her insomnia, which she had been taking Restoril for, would be addressed as well. In addition to the body acupuncture, Auriculotherapy was applied to both her ears, with a combination of needles and ear seeds. She was also given a combination of herbs to address both the symptoms she presented, as well as the underlying causes. Both were addressed in her herbal protocol.
She was given specific meditation techniques, dietary guidelines, and was also instructed to replace her ritual of Coffee consumption with Lung Ching Green Tea.
She left the office with ear seeds on her right ear, and her herb formulation.
After four Acupuncture treatments, she was able to walk, without her crutches, as she had been using previously. Her pain had improved to the point where she was considering exercise, however this idea waa quickly discourages, until she was fully recovered. Her insomnia had improved greatly, to the point where she only took Restoril once a week. This was quite impressive, since she had been taking Restoril for almost 5 years, which can be a highly addictive sleeping medication. She reported that her quality of sleep was deeper, and she felt more rested. Her energy levels increased during the day, and her anxiety & depression had been reduced.
She reported that her coping mechanism overall had greatly improved. She looked forward to life, and was able to experience joy, which had not been the case for quite some time.
She continued regular acupuncture visits for the next 4 months, as well as consumption of her Chinese herbal formula. She meditated on a regular basis, and slowly began walking, as an exercise on a daily basis.
Over time, she experienced increased strength, range of motion, and mobility in her knee, hip and thigh area. She was very pleased with the results.
“The Bionic Knee that Never Gave Up”
Male patient, 68 years old, had suffered a traumatic hit and run car accident some 12 years earlier in his life. He entire right patella has been reconstructed, and replaced with a combination of of implant material, blended with a small amount of bone fragment that he had left from the devastating blow.
He had been walking around for 12 year, knowing that he would need a revision surgery, since his bone was rubbing on the metal implant material, creating friction. This caused tremendous & excruciating pain for him.
The revision surgery would take 9 hours and consist of remodeling and modifying his knee, and cleaning up the friction between his own bone material and the implant material. Screw would be fixated in during the healing process.
He payed me a visit 10 days after he modification surgery, wishing me to help him “heal faster.”
Upon examination, it was clear that qi & blood stagnation were the primary pattern, based on his recent surgery. Pulse & Tongue readings were taken to understand his preexisting patterns.
Tongue: Red, thin coat
Pulse: Right: Guan: Weak, Cun:---, Chi: Deep, deficient
Left: Guan: Fast, thready, Cun: Choppy Chi: Deep
Diagnosis: Blood Stagnation, with Liver Qi Stagnation
Lung Qi Xu
Underlying Kidney Yin Xu
We were surprised to feel that his Lung pulse was feeble. After further inquiry, he told us he had many surgeries in his life with General Anaesthesia. This explained the weakened state of his Right Guan position.
His tongue and Kidney Yin position in his pulse reveal a Kidney Yin & Jing Xu, which he most likely had before the most recent surgery.
We treated him with minimalist style acupuncture, using distal points, Master Tang acupuncture. This system is dynamic in that it often will use 1-3 needles only, usually in completely different regions than the pain it is treating.
We provided the patient with a classic herbal formula that has been employed for thousands of years for trauma. This formula is very special, and it’s ingredients remain an enigma.
We also gave him something topical to put on his incision, once his sutures had dissolved.
This is a great example of the integration of Western & Eastern medicine in the area of trauma.
The initial life-saving surgeries were performed in a state-of-the-art Western hospital, which enabled the patient to not lose his limb.
However, the need for a revision surgery to eliminate the friction of the bone to implant material created the need for a way to accelerate the healing process, and reduce pain, and minimize inflammation: Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Acupuncture was given to the patient 2 weeks after his revision surgery, along with internal and topical herbal medicines that were specifically selected for not only his presenting pattern of blood stagnation, but also to be in harmony with his underlying constitution, and preexisting patterns.
This is the biggest difference between Eastern & Western medicine. Both treat the symptoms of a patient, however Eastern medicine treats the symptoms with the knowledge of all the other things that are going on with the patient, PRIOR to the acute situation, especially their pre-natal constitution. Their eccentricities, sensitivities, predispositions, likes, dislikes, vulnerabilities, etc.
We call this the root & branch. We treat the branch (symptoms), and also address the root which perhaps gave way to the branch in the first place.
The patient was able to gain mobility within 1 week after beginning Acupuncture. This was miraculous, as the Western Physician had advised him that he may not walk for 3-6 months, due to the nature of the revision surgery.
5. THE COMEDIAN WITH ECZEMA
Male, 29 yrs old presents chief complaint as Eczema. He was suffered from this condition since he was born, and it has been difficult due to the nature of his job, since he works in the public eye as a stand-up comedian in Hollywood, and travels the world entertaining thousands of people every week.
Upon further inquiry, he revealed that he also has anxiety, insomnia. His blood pressure upon my reading was 135/98, which I considered high, especially with his age.
His complexion appeared to be ruddy, and sweaty. He had a damp texture to his skin, especially on his face, ears, and forehead.
He also admitted that being Italian, he loves sausage sandwiches, and lots of Mozzerella and Provolone Cheese ! His diet was based on greasy and fatty/oily foods.
His pulse and tongue revealed:
Tongue: Red with Yellow Greasy Coat, with red dots
Pulse: Left Guan: Rapid, Sl. Thready Cun: Wiry, Slippery, Chi: ---
Right Guan: --- Cun: Slippery, Sl. Wiry, Chi: ---
This was almost a textbook case of Liver Damp-Heat. The symptoms and the tongue & pulse all point to this pattern of disharmony.
We began Acupuncture treatments once per week, modified his diet to a cleaner diet with more grains, fruits, and veggies. Also an herbal formula was employed both internally & topically for his skin. He would bathe in the herbs at least 2X per day.
Within 1 week, his face started to change color. After 2 weeks, his blood pressure was measured at 130/89, which is considered a normal reading.
After 4 weeks of consistent treatment, the itchiness, inflammation, and heat in his skin started to dissipate.
The totality of the treatment helped bring his eczema under control, which allowed him to pursue his dreams without any fear of breaking out.
This is an example of skin condition which is very difficult to treat, from any perspective.
Diligence and commitment to get better led the patient to wellness.
6. WEIGHT LOSS: The Prom Queen who loved Cheesecake
There isn’t a week that goes by that I do not receive a call about someone who want to lose weight, and asks if Acupuncture & Herbs can help. The most direct & honest answer to this question is ‘NO’
Weight loss is a life-style commitment which requires a multi-faceted attack from many angles. Diet, heredity, activity levels are the major components in this situation.
Single handedly, Acupuncture is not a cure for weight loss. Nor is any type of herbal remedy.
It is pitiful that Western medicine is attempting to engineer pharmaceuticals that can give us a quick fix, and make us shed those extra pounds.
Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine are potent weapons, as part of a greater arsenal. Diet, exercise are the habits through which one creates a truly permanent change in one’s inner being. This ends up manifesting outwardly eventually, leading to overall wellness.
Here is an example of a case I choose to take, which is the exception to the rule I generally have about treating Weight Loss with Chinese Medicine:
Female, 25 yrs old. 1 year earlier, she just loss her best friend to a car accident. She started to grieve through food, using Cheesecakse and Ben & Jerry’s as sedative to her inner sadness & turmoil.
She had been a Prom Queen in High school, and was used to always being very skinny, according to her. She said she was always the ‘pretty girl’, being very popular, and never having any self-esteem issues.
She came to me with the hopes that I would ‘jump start’ her metabolism with Acupuncture & Herbs.
This led to something extraordinary.
I explained to her that she needed to perhaps see a Mental health professional and address her grief, as this was the cause of her sudden weight gain.
She agreed. After 1 month of seeing a Professional, I agreed to start giving her Acupuncture to help inspire her to change her diet, and start exercising at the health club.
I used Acupuncture as a ‘catalyst’. In no way did I give her any herbs whatsoever. She asked for ‘Ma Huang’, which is the plant version of an Amphetamine. The Chinese have used ‘Herbal Ephadrae” as a Diaphoretic (something that makes you sweat), to help sweat out a cold / fever. However, it tends to curb the appetite, constrict the blood vessels, dilate the lungs, and overall, give’s the illusion of energy. It’s not really energy. Simple, it steals energy from the adrenal glands, and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. I refused to give this to her for weight loss. And cite examples of athletes that had died from taking ‘Ma Huang’ as a performance aid.
We focused on Acupuncture. And little by little, her energy changed. She started to laugh again as she used to. She started going to the health club with her friends. Working out became fun for her. And the weight strarted to come off.
The Acupuncture had simply activated her qi (energy), which allowed her to move through the blockages which she had created from her loss. We call this ‘Qi Stagnation’. And with a simple 4-5 needle Acupuncture treatment, she rediscovered her happiness.
7. Stop Smoking
“The 1 Needle Acupuncture Treatment for the Sea Captain”
My position on addicition is very simple, especially cigarette smoking. When the will is strong, anything is possible. This has been my motto for many years, and I still feel it holds true today.
I often get calls from prospective patients who wish to stop smoking. The key word here is ‘wish’. They dream of it, but sometimes do not bend it to their powerful will.
I ask one vital question when considering to treat a potential stop smoking patient: “Is your will ready to stop smoking ?”
If they do not hesitate for even a second, and answer “Yes”, then I accept them as a patient.
In my professional career, I have treated easily over 50 patient who have successful stopped smoking from Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine.
The reasons for my 50/50, perfect success record, is one reason. I only take on the cases that are ready to stop. And often, one (1) acupuncture treatment, and an herbal prescription for 10 days is about all it takes.
This has been my unique experience.
Here is a typical example:
Male, 33 yrs old, Sea Captain
Mr. Sea Captain was my neighor, and heard that I was an Aucpuncturist. He knocked on my door one day, and asked if I could “please put a needle in’ to help him stop smoking.
I laughed and said I had a few questions to ask him. This was my first stop smoking patient I ever had.
I asked him if he was ready to stop, and he said “yes”.
I said “okay”.
I put one needle in his hand. That was it. The one needle Acupuncture treatment.
He immediately started to relax. And said he could feel the cravings leaving his spirit.
This may have been an example of someone who was destined to succeed, and just happened to cross paths with me on the way.
He retained the needle for 35 minutes. One needle Acupuncture treatments are not that common. Often times, several points are used.
Mr. Sea Captain left feeling like a new man he said.
He reported to me every day for the next few weeks, that he hadn’t smoked even 1 cigarette.
Those weeks became months, which became years of being smoke-free.
No herbs were used in this case. Just one Acupuncture treatment, with one needle.
And success came easily from one place. Mr. Sea Captain’s will.
8. Surgical Preparation:
“The 90 Year Old Movie Star who wanted to 2 things for her husband's birthday”
Every so often, god graces us with extraordinary people in extraordinary situations. And I felt as though I was a simple person in an extraordinary situation.
Female Patient, 90 Years Old. Movie Star of the Silver Screen
Mrs. Starlet was a cheerful lady who wanted nothing more than to please her husband on his 96th birthday. Her gift to him was going to be “DOUBLE D” breast implants. This is something she wanted to do for him.
She came to me with a very specific intention. She wanted me to strengthen her body before the surgery, so she could get through the General Anasthesia, and the surgery without any complications.
She also wanted me to take care of her after the surgery, and help accelerate her healing process with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine.
This was all in the realm of possibility, and I was ready for the challenge.
We treated her 2X per week with Acupuncture for 6 weeks before surgery, and I created an original herbal formula for her specifically, based on my findings in her Tongue & Pulse.
I was extra careful to not use any herbs that could possibly interfere or compromise with her platelets, which control bleeding.
I basically supported her righteous Qi, and promoted good qi and blood flow in her body.
The day came and she had the surgery. Everything went great. And it looked like she was on her way to recovery. The plastic surgeon had told her that for her age her skin tautness was way above average, and that she seemed to be in great shape, even better than many of the 30 year olds that he performs surgeries on.
He was impressed with our pro-active plan to get her though this, both pre-surgical, and post-surgical.
We continued our Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine after her surgery.
After a matter of 10 days after her surgery, she was spritely. The tenderness and pain in the local area seemed to be getting better everyday.
The plastic surgeon saw her at various intervals after the surgery, and commented on how fast she appeared to be healing.
We had given her the support she requested, and allowed her to heal faster than usual from a plastic surgery.
Somehow, she had kept this a secret from her husband, and had plans to unveil it on his 96th birthday. The surprise was for her to pop out of a cake just wearing a black top hat, and the rest of her body being exposed.
The big day arrived, and her husband almost had a heart attack himself. He was delighted at the surprise.
9. Spirit Disturbance: "The high-powered Hollywood Producer who became Buddha"
Male, 61 Yrs Old. Big-time Hollywood Producer. Had 3 assistiants, each with an assistant. Never spoke to him on the phone, until he showed up for his appointment on that rainy monday. He immediately informed me that he thought Acupuncture was 'voodoo' but he was desperate. He said he had High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, High Heart rate, and a very High sex drive. He smoked Marijuana every day since he was in college. He had insomnia, and liked to sleep with a different woman every night. He had been married for 32 years to the same woman. He had other compulsions besides sex such as gambling, and loved to shoot guns. His main reason for coming to see me was he thought that maybe the needles could make him a better man. A nicer and gentler person.
He also mentioned he had herpes, and that depending on his stress levels, it would flare up from time to time.
When he drove, he suffered from road rage. He even served some jail time from due to 'assault & battery'.
Pulse: Left: Rapid,, wiry and flooding
Right: Slippery, wiry, and choppy.
Tongue: Red with thick yellow coat.
My diagnosis was simple: Heart & Liver Fire.
The appropriate Acupuncture points were employed. Meditation was advised, and taught to the patient. Dietary adjustments were made, and a classic herbal formula was administered.
The patient was extremely compliant and had Acupuncture 2x per week for 3 months.
He drank his special herbal formula 3x per day.
After even 3 weeks, his facial color, which used to be red, was pink. His blood pressure normalized. Blood tests confirmed that his HDL/LDL, Triglycerides, were all now in normal range.
He began a passion for meditation, tai-qi, and qi-gong. We went into therapy to address his compulsions, and addressed his infidelities with his wife.
This was a success. He continued Acupuncture 1x per week on-going for several years.
He loved to call himself the "Hollywood Buddha" since he feel he evolved so far from where he came.