Monday, August 29, 2016

Natural Ways to Reduce Stress and Balance Hormones

Dr. Li Zheng will be holding a free seminar about how acupuncture, meditation, acupressure, and herbal tea can help the body produce more happy hormones such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine to reduce pain and stress.  She will use recent scientific research to explain how acupuncture can help the body strengthen its adrenal gland function and balance its immune function so that the body can produce more anti-inflammatory chemicals such as cortisol, progesterone, GABA, and other relaxing hormones.  She will also show you how to combine acupressure points and meditation to calm down the nervous system in order to achieve optimal health.
This event is free but space is limited so register today here.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Weight Loss & Acupuncture

Whether you are cutting calories for health reasons or to fit into a special dress, many patients at my clinics, Boston Chinese Acupuncture and Boca Raton Acupuncture Clinic, ask if acupuncture can help them lose weight on top of resolving their other medical conditions.  Over the years, I have developed 4 complimentary tools to help my patients lose weight and keep it off: weight loss acupuncture, ear needles, Chinese herbs, and nutritional advice.

Although researchers are still figuring out the specific mechanisms of acupuncture, ear needles, and Chinese herbs on weight loss, some preliminary results suggest that these treatments can increase metabolism and decrease your cravings for sweets. One study published in 2014 by a group of Chinese scientists found that electrical acupuncture can induce weight loss in rats potentially by increasing their level of norepinephrine, which helps you feel more energized. When people feel energized rather than lethargic, they tend not only to exercise more but also to eat less junk food.

Electrical acupuncture on the belly area

Furthermore, electrical acupuncture can increase muscle tone and tighten sagging skin.  Thus, after you have lost weight, your body will be firmer rather than having droopy, stretched out skin.  Increased muscle tone can also help your body burn the calories you consume more effectively, rather than converting the energy rapidly into fat to be stored.

In order to speed up the weight loss process and save you time and money, we sometimes combine traditional full body acupuncture with ear needles.  These tiny, intradermal needles are taped to the acupuncture points on your ear that reduce appetite and cravings.  Because they are left on continuously for several days until they fall out, ear needles can help amplify and lengthen the effect of acupuncture treatments.  They can also be used alone if time and money are an issue, although the effect will be slower than combining acupuncture with ear needles.



Of course, no magical treatment will work if your diet is not healthy.  Sometimes, we are not aware that some of our dietary habits can result in weight gain.  I help patients understand the effects of their dietary choices on their health and help them formulate plans to follow to ensure that the weight stays off after all their hard work.

To learn more about weight loss acupuncture in Boca Raton, FL, visit our website at http://bocaacupuncture.org.  For service in Boston, MA, please visit http://bostonchineseacupuncture.org.




Thursday, April 21, 2016

Free Stress Reduction Seminar

If you are someone with work and family commitments, chances are, there are times when the weight  of your responsibilities feel too much to bear.  For example, in the precious two hours I have between waking up in the morning and work, I have to cook breakfast, get the kids and the husband ready, and finish writing my patients' charts all the while making myself presentable to the world.  I think that every working woman with children has probably, at one point or another, sat in the car and cried, completely overwhelmed by stress.



After struggling myself for years, I have finally been able to conquer my own stress and anxiety through incremental changes in three areas of my life: diet, exercise, and meditation.

By making changes like switching out coffee for herbal tea or receiving regular acupuncture from my husband and friends, I have been able to figure out how to run my business, parent my children, and feel fantastic while doing so.

Although there are still times when I wish I had extra help around the clinic or that the floors at home would sweep themselves, I am able to face these problems with a calmness that would've been unimaginable 5 years ago.

On May 15, 2016, I will be partnering with Greenlands Health & Wellness in Delray Beach, FL to give a talk called Stress Reduction through Herbal Teas and Acupuncture.  The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so please reserve your spot today at our Eventbrite page!

If you are in Delray Beach, I hope to see you there!

Stress Reduction Boca Raton Acupuncture Clinic

Stress Reduction through Herbal Teas & Acupuncture
May 15, 2016, 2 - 4 pm
Greenlands Health & Wellness
2000 N Federal Hwy
Delray Beach, FL 33483


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sudden Death

The amazing privilege I've had as an acupuncturist working in Needham, MA for the past 10 years is the ability to follow my patients through long periods of their lives, through happy times such as the birth of a child and sad ones such as the passing of a parent.

As you can probably imagine, after practicing for so many years, I accumulated a lot of medical records and written charts.  With my husband, Changhong Zhou, joining the practice, we've had to make more room, shredding and discarding those records we are no longer legally obligated to retain.

Flipping through each chart to determine which ones we could shred, I could not help thinking that some of the people who had filled out these papers had already passed: patients with terminal cancer, patients already in their 90s when I saw them 10 years ago.  Some family members inform me through email, other deaths I hear about through word of mouth, but most of the time, it is impossible to know who, out of the thousands of people I had the chance to treat, still exists in this world.


To a certain extent, death is expected when someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and in those cases, their loved ones have a little bit of time to prepare to say goodbye.  But what if the death is sudden?  Like a heart attack on the way to work or a freak car accident?

I am reminded of a former colleague and friend from my time as a doctor in Beijing.  About 10 years my senior, she was a kind and generous mentor who was well liked in our hospital.  I would even visit her on the few chances I've had to return to China after emigrating to the US.

Earlier this year, I was shocked to find out that she had passed away suddenly while trying to rise from her bed one morning before work.  For someone in her earlier 60s, she had been quite young-looking and fit.  To think that her heart would stop working so suddenly felt like nearly an impossible scenario.

In my latest video, I speculate on the possible reasons for my colleague's sudden death.  Perhaps the sore, scratchy throat she had pretty consistently for the last 30 years was indicative of underlying, low-level inflammation that made her more susceptible to sudden heart failure?

We will never be able to know for sure, but I think it serves as a valuable lesson for prioritizing the condition of our own body.  It is easy in the hectic pace of our lives to let the small problems slide for a later time.  This story serves as a reminder that no matter how busy we become, it is important to take care of ourselves and our bodies first.

For more videos and information about healthy living, check out my website, Boca Raton Acupuncture Clinic.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Welcome Dr. Changhong Zhou!

This announcement comes a little late but I am very happy to announce that my husband and business partner will be joining Boston Chinese Acupuncture and Boca Raton Acupuncture Clinic as an acupuncturist and herbalist this year!  The two of us met at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and nearly 3 decades later, we are still practicing Chinese medicine together.

boca acupuncture changhong zhou
Dr. Zhou lecturing on acupuncture in China
Dr. Zhou graduated summa cum laude from Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and earned his masters of medicine from the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, specializing in infectious diseases. In the US, he attained his PhD in virology from the Medical College of Ohio and has worked for over a decade in vaccine development in both private sector companies and at Harvard Medical School.

Although Dr. Zhou and I have similar philosophies on Chinese medicine, our practice styles are quite different. Since I have practiced for a longer period of time in the US, my acupuncture style has become more tailored for American patients.  Dr. Zhou, on the other hand, has retained a more traditional style, using longer needles and deeper points, which is especially powerful for suffers of intense, chronic pain.

Because of our differences in style, Dr. Zhou complements and strengthens the variety and breadth of ailments we are able to treat at Boston Chinese Acupuncture and Boca Raton Acupuncture Clinic.  For example, Dr. Zhou specializes in chronic pain management, post-surgical recovery and disorders affecting the elderly.  Furthermore, with decades of experience in pharmaceutical research, Dr. Zhou is well-suited to treat patients taking many types of medications and ensuring that the acupuncture and Chinese herbs complement their other, Western medical treatment regimes.

boston acupuncturist changhong zhou
Dr. Changhong Zhou 
With his ample schooling and apprenticeships in Chinese medicine, Dr. Zhou is especially gifted in the realm of Chinese herbs.  His skill with Chinese herbal formulas, in fact, has made him a minor celebrity in his home province of Henan, China, where villagers come from hundreds of miles for a chance to see him.  Chinese herbal formulas are especially beneficial for people with chronic ailments such as allergies or autoimmune diseases.  Because the herbs can be safely and affordably taken on a daily basis, they can speed up the reduction of symptoms than using acupuncture alone.  Dr. Zhou's experience with Chinese herbs allows him to safely prescribe formulas even for patients with liver and kidney damage.

Inquires about working with Dr. Zhou can be made by emailing changhongacupuncture@gmail.com or by visiting our websites at www.bostonchineseacupuncture.com or bocaacupuncture.org.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pain Management Retreat Next Month!

For the millions of Americans living with chronic pain, treatment options can feel very limited. Long-term use of painkillers may cause irreparable side effects like liver and kidney damage. Surgeries can alleviate certain kinds of pain, but the trauma and resulting scar tissue may result in pain of other types.If you are ready to reduce your pain once and for all, the Pain Management Retreat hosted by my colleague Jing Fan and I may be a great event for you!

boca acupuncture retreat


This 2-day event in Boca Raton, FL will provide not only acupuncture and Chinese massage sessions to instantly relieve your pain, but also teach you techniques you can use at home on your own time to prevent pain before it flares up. For example, Dr. Fan will teach a class on Yijin Jing, a form of Chinese qigong that promotes flexibility and balance by strengthening the muscles and tendons.  Once you learn the basic exercises from Dr. Fan, you will be able to practice at home and build up the strength and flexibility you need to stop pain before it happens. 

The retreat will be packed with events including: 
  • acupuncture treatment
  • Chinese massage
  • herb sampling
  • nutrition lecture
  • qigong class
  • tai chi class

Dr. Fan and I come from very different but complementary backgrounds in medicine. I trained and completed my apprenticeship in traditional Chinese medicine from a holistic point of view while Dr. Fan is an orthopedic surgeon, specializing in osteoarthritis and soft tissue injuries. Though we differ in our mechanistic approach towards treating joint and muscle pain, I was surprised to find that we agree on many of the fundamentals. For example, we both believe that except in very specific cases, electing to do joint surgery often causes more harm than good. Watch a snippet of our conversation about back surgery below!



If you are interested in this one-of-a-kind retreat, visit the official website at bocaacupuncture.org.  For more information about the effects of acupuncture on different kinds of pain, please visit www.bostonchineseacupuncture.com

We are offering a special 10% discount if you register before December 25, 2015 so sign up today!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

More testosterone does not necessarily mean better sexual function

We all know that testosterone level is closely related with a man's erectile function, but it is not the only factor that contributes to impotence. The normal range of testosterone level is very wide: from 300 to 1000 pg/mL. You would think a man with testosterone level around 300 pg/mL would probably have some erectile dysfunction, but that is not always true. Let me tell you a story about a man who came to me for weak erections after turning 45 years old.

This man, who formerly served in the US army, used to have such strong sexual drive and function that when he was in his twenties, he went to a bar, had a one night stand with a girl, and ended up with a child before he even thought about setting up a family. He became more responsible in his thirties, got married, and had two other children. He had been a very disciplined military man and later became a successful businessman.

During his first marriage, he started gaining weight around his middle because he ate more candy than before to make him happy. Due to his unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise, he gained more fat and lost more muscle. He ended up in the hospital for a small surgery and met a beautiful, active younger lady. This new stimulation made his sexual function stronger for a short period of time, but this did not last very long because he did not change his lifestyle.

By the age of 48, he started having knee pain after running for 20 min and noticed that his muscle mass was declining faster then he expected. More important is that although he loves his new girlfriend, his erection still became weaker and he told me he could not have as strong and as long of an erection as a few years ago. On the other hand, his girlfriend, who eats healthy and has a very positive attitude on life, still had beautiful skin and strong sex drive.



My patient did not want to develop impotence and upset his beloved girlfriend, so he did research on the Internet and found that acupuncture can help his knee pain and more importantly, his sexual function. He called me a few months before moving to Boston, and we started treating his knee pain first. Because he still has pretty good circulation and strong muscles due to years of military training and regular sleep pattern, he responded to the treatment very well, and after 6 treatments, he started running again without knee pain.

Then, he brought up his declining sexual function. He told me that he used to have sex with his girlfriend 4 to 5 times a week and their intercourse could last about 40 min. Now, he can barely make once a week, and it only lasted for 10 to 15 min. He told me his first testosterone level was low, around 300 pg/mL. I told him that he needed to build strong muscles and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables to bring up his testosterone level. In the mean time, we started using kidney and liver points to improve the energy flow to his adrenal gland, thyroid gland and testicles.

Within the next 6 months, he lost 40 lbs and gradually gained back his muscle mass.He can have longer and stronger erections and have excellent sex 3 to 4 times a week. He was so thrilled about the changes. However, in a subsequent test for testosterone level, he found that his testosterone level only increased slightly. He is happy with his sexual level, but puzzled by his low level of testosterone.
My answer is that his body may not need that much testosterone to have normal sexual function. Although 350 pg/mL low for other men, it is sufficient for him because acupuncture made his testosterone receptors more efficient. Furthermore, his strong muscle also helps to make his testosterone work better. This phenomenon makes since if we draw an analogy to heart function. A strong heart does not need to beat too fast to provide enough blood and oxygen to your body and brain. From an evolutionary point of view, a lower hormone level can actually protect our body because it allows us to produce less metabolic waste products.

Boston Chinese Acupuncture can help you resume normal erectile function even if your testosterone level is low. Men who a lot of stress from work and high expectations to fulfill may need acupuncture to help them reduce their stress and redirect energy to their testicles, pituitary gland, thyroid gland and hypothalamus every two weeks or once a month. This investment to balance your hormone levels will help you have a healthy and fulfilling sex life through middle age and beyond!