While listening to https://lnkd.in/d3-5kcQ and doing my routine workout at Peterson middle school, I saw a few students walk up to me for a push up contest before the bell.
It was quite interesting to be caught in action while Reid Hoffman was talking about how the Olympians training disciplines at young age contribute to their success in later life as sales.
I'm not near that level of success, but it wouldn't hurt to continue to work hard toward it. All I can say is that being an ever growing athlete helps me to become a better doctor or a role model for some patients...
Practitioner Leia Sutton-Barnes shares pictures from her recent sky-diving adventure in Santa Cruz country with Skydive Surfcity. Here's a reminder to all of us to enjoy the thrills of life and the outdoors!
2017 was a wonderful year in which I experienced two exciting and life changing events. The first, I married the most fantastic man with whom I have shared life, laughs, and adventures for the last six years. The second, the two of us for our honeymoon were fortunate enough to visit for two weeks a magical place home to the most flightless birds in the world and more recently fabled to inhabit Hobbits, Orcs, and Elves, a country that has been on my bucket list for many years -- the beautiful island of New Zealand, plus an additional week in yet another beautiful island, Fiji.
It was summer during our December visit, as New Zealand is south of the equator, and we filled our vacation with outdoor adventures, including ice caving, heli-touring glaciers, laying in geothermal beach pools, boating through infamous Milford Sound, white water rafting, wine tasting, and sky diving, to name a few. In this thread we opted to get a sleeper van equipped with a kitchen so we could drive and camp all over the north and south islands. Between our activities we made time to prep our own meals.
As an acupuncturist who specializes in Chinese diet therapy and has some personal dietary restrictions, I always find it a challenge to travel. However, since New Zealand is widely known to have the best lamb in the world and more sheep inhabitants than people, I was willing to let my digestive system take a hit and I did not hesitate to announce that I would be eating lamb every single day. I had yet to discover that New Zealand’s standard of high quality grass-fed meats and produce does not stop at lamb and that their food is enough to make any California Bay Area health nut or foodie’s mouth water.
My first visit to the grocery store was not so different than shopping at a Safeway or Save Mart, nothing special. I purchased marinated lamb, eggs and some rice pilaf. We found a small health food store afterward which had some lovely greens, which was such a relief, as well as avocados, avocado oil, and even gluten free bread, hurrah! At this point I was relieved to have food I could eat and be happy to cook with. The real surprise came when I began cooking. When I cracked open the eggs, again nothing special when purchased, I saw they had orange yolks!
Orange yokes is a sign of a very healthy egg and is typical of grass-fed chickens that feasted on bugs. These plain store-bought eggs had a caliber of orange yolks only acquired in the states if you raise your own grass fed chickens or have a good friend that does. Not even the eight-dollar eggs or farmers market eggs compare. Grass-fed pasture raised chickens or any livestock also means no crowding, which in turn means less to no antibiotics, hormones, and an all around happy animal.
It turns out that all livestock in New Zealand is, as a standard, grass fed and pasture raised. You can really taste the difference -- the lamb was tender, not gamey at all, and as our trip went forward we found the same was true of the beef, chicken, and, yes, venison. We drove past hundreds of miles of fields covered with happy four legged animals grazing lazily. Even their dairy milk, which I usually don’t drink much, just enough to make my coffee golden brown, is rich with real flavor, almost like a very mild cheese. In addition, all the restaurants had gluten-free, even vegetarian and vegan options, not just in New Zealand but in Fiji too.
It is very important to me to eat a healthy and balanced diet, especially for as long as three weeks of time. However, since I was going to some of the most beautiful places on earth and having the time of my life, I was willing to make a dietary compromise. Turns out I was ate just as well if not better than at home, putting even California Bay Area fresh meats and produces to shame. New Zealand and Fiji, I love you, and I will be back to feast on your bounty.
-- Angelica Campanale, L.Ac
Is your condition related to food and environmental sensitivities? Come in for a comprehensive diagnosis and find out.
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple” -- Dr. Seuss
My name is Neta Shani and I’m a pediatric acupuncturist at HeCares Integrative Medicine Center specializing in pediatrics prenatal and postnatal care. I’ve been practicing for over 10 years and throughout my career I’ve sought various continued education trainings to hone my tools as a clinician. My latest tool, the Namburdripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET),came after a long search for treatment for my own children, my four year old twins. In my experience the NAET Allergy Elimination technique has proved to be very effective in helping many kids in their journey to better health. You can read about my personal story below.
What is NAET?
Namburdripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) is a no drug, non-invasive natural solution to alleviate allergies and sensitivities. It can address sensitivities to basic foods, vitamins and minerals, as well as different chemical, environmental allergens and more. NAET uses elements of acupuncture, chiropractic, nutrition, and kinesiology to treat the patient so their body will recognize allergens as non-threatening, giving the body the ability to process them in a healthy way. If a person is tested positive to 5 different allergens, assuming it takes one treatment per allergen, there would only be a need for 5 sessions. If a person is found sensitive to 15 allergens, it should take at least 15 sessions. After each session, the practitioner tests to see whether the previous allergen treated has been cleared or whether there is need to repeat.
What cases do we treat with NAET?
NAET can successfully treat patients suffering from a wide range of allergen sensitivity symptoms including Eczema, Acid Reflux, IBS, leaky gut, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, sleep disorders, upper respiratory issues, and more.
The NAET treatment is gentle requiring very few points, making treatment a welcome relief for pediatric patients and their parents.
Commonly treated pediatric issues include:
Twin Success Cases
A Case of Chronic Congestion
My first NAET patient was my four year old son. He had been suffering from chronic ear fluids that got him waking up tired, cranky and affected his behavior at school. Knowing that children who suffer from a chronic pathogen are more prone to ADHD, I treated him as I would any of my pediatric patients with acupuncture, herbs, massage. But to my surprise and frustration, his condition remained the same. His pediatrician recommended ear tubes, but I was determined to find out the cause before turning to an invasive treatment.
I first suspected allergies, as he was congested almost all the time. Visits to an allergist concluded there was nothing wrong regardless of the obvious symptoms and suffering. As previous eliminations of certain suspect foods had positive effect, I started suspecting the presence of further food sensitivities.
I had heard about NAET and sought out an acupuncturist specializing in this treatment.We had an in depth conversation about the foods I had already eliminated,and discussed my suspicions that something we love so much that appears at almost every meal and every snack may be causing my son’s symptoms - gluten. Indeed, gluten was found as the guilty culprit. In addition he was found to have sensitivities to some other basic nutrients such as calcium, yeast and grains. The treatments for these food sensitivities helped his immune system recognize these nutrients as friendly and healthy. And after just a few weeks of treatment his ear fluids were completely gone! He wakes up in a great mood and has no signs of ADHD.
A Case of Failure to Thrive
His twin sister proved an even greater challenge: She was born prematurely due to Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) that had her at a mere 3.9 lbs at birth. While her brother was gaining weight at a pace that kept his doctors happy, she kept her own petite curve. Her eating habits were a challenge; she wouldn’t eat much and complained frequently of belly aches. She had so many bowel movements that it seemed like her body was expelling more than it was taking in. Though I was open to any test the doctors suggested, nothing was conclusive. We saw more specialists and went through more tests and much to our chagrin, we just became more exhausted and further away from a solution.
As a mother and a clinician, I was so frustrated that my decade of experience with acupuncture and herbs was not helping. She was not the first case of FTT I saw, but she was definitely the only one that drove me to seek other tools. I decided to try NAET and to my delight, we finally discovered that she was sensitive to. Her stomach aches were very real, foods and basic nutrients such as eggs, vitamin C, yeast, animal fat, vegetable fat, dairy, glute. These were causing digestive upset to the point that very little nutrients were absorbing properly. It was then I decided to become a NAET acupuncturist, so at the very least I can fix my own kids and hopefully save many other parents the heartache we endured.
-- Neta Shani, L.Ac
HeCares Integrative Sports Medicine Center is honored and excited to welcome our newest associate and team member Leia Sutton-Barnes LAc, MTCM.
Leia brings to our team a well rounded practice in all things TCM as well as passion for orthopedics and sports medicine and a thorough knowledge of Chinese herbs and formulas.
Leia Sutton-Barnes is available by appointment at all three HeCares locations Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz and Los Gatos
I've taught hundreds and thousands of students over the last 30 years. Joel stands out as an intern for his exceptional passion and professionalism. More importantly he taught me a lesson through his journey to board certification-Never Give Up! I think his story could hugely benefit my children, friends, students, colleagues, etc. Is it possible to study Chinese medicine being a western medical practitioner? Is it possible to study Chinese medicine while working full time? Is it possible to fail a few times before succeeding? Joel says Yes!
Let me begin with a congratulatory card I received from my family that read on the cover, “Success takes . . . perseverance, ambition, passion, courage, heart, humor, talent” and on the inside: “You’ve proven you’ve got what it takes to meet challenges, overcome obstacles and pursue excellence to fulfill a dream.” My name is Joel Smith and I began my studies at American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco, CA. and graduated from Five Branches Institute, in Santa Cruz, CA in 2008 while working full time as a registered nurse. I met Frank He teaching an orthopedic acupuncture class at Five Branches and later became an intern working at his clinic in Sunnyvale, CA. I learned a lot from Frank that I could apply immediately with my family and friends with fantastic results. I am forever grateful for obtaining the knowledge and forming a lasting friendship.
I wanted to take you on a journey of the challenges I had to overcome to finally reach my goal of passing the CA Acupuncture Board exam and becoming a licensed acupuncturist. I always kept a positive attitude about things. My initial challenge began with graduating with my class in 2008 after we all completed our requirements and passed hour final exams. However, I was told that I couldn’t receive my diploma until I satisfied a mid-cum exam that I had not taken when I transferred from ACTCM. However, other mid-level requirements were met. So I arranged to take the exam and I failed it. I was of course disappointed because I routinely received high scores on my previous exams. I was trying to figure out what areas I was weak in and strengthen those areas before trying again. I studied and took the exam again a couple of weeks later and failed again. I couldn’t understand what the issue was. They suggested I take a review course which I did and still failed the exam. At this point, I had to take a break and put it on the shelf until I could figure out why I couldn’t get pass this exam. During the interim, I had an established profession as a registered nurse for 18 years. In the meantime, I kept elevating in my nursing career with concentrations in worker’s compensation as a nurse case manager learning how to coordinate care with M.D.’s, P.T’s, psychologist and others for various work related injuries including catastrophic injuries. Other areas of experience I obtained as a nurse included common ailments of hypertension, diabetes, sprain/strains and substance abuse withdrawals as a nurse manager in a correction facility. About 2 years had passed and I took the exam a few more times before I had enough becoming frustrated. I met with the administrator at Five Branches. I plead my case that it didn’t make sense to withhold my diploma for not passing this mid-cum exam having satisfied all of the other requirements including the final cumulative exam. She later agreed, stating that it was their error that this issue should have been brought up at the time of me transferring to Five Branches and not holding me responsible for their error at the end. This caused a huge strain on my family who shared in my frustration. I finally received my diploma in December of 2011. I applied to CA Acupuncture for my first exam in the spring of 2012. I took a review course to prepare for the exam. I received my initial results missing the passing score by 14 points. On my second attempt, my results were within 11 points of passing score. I remember speaking to my minister at church about not being able to pass my state exam and explaining how I sacrificed time with my family and friends and not understanding how I was not able to overcome this. After feeling that God had gave me a green light to study acupuncture, why would he now tell me no? He told me, that sometimes, the Lord may not tell you No, but say, ‘Not yet’. So, I put taking the exam on hold for about year and a half. In 2014, I tried a different review course and I took the exam for the third time and got within 9 points of passing the exam. It was now 4 years since graduating from school and most of my classmates had been practicing for a few years. A few classmates that were behind me in school graduated, passed the exam and started According to the school statistics, retaking the exam and passing the exam 4 years out had decreasing odds of success. I thought to myself, at least my scores were getting closer toward success than going the opposite way. At this point, my family began giving up hope that I would eventually succeed in my endeavors. I again put the exam on the shelf while continuing working as a nurse. I still had the same passion that TCM worked so much better than our current western model of medicine. Surprisingly while watching TV nowadays there are commercials about a drug to treat depression or other ailment and you hear the announcer describe the side effects being far worse than taking the actual drug. I was able to recall many TCM classes where I recall formulas to easily treat these common conditions without side effects. I continued to feed my passion of acupuncture and herbs by attending various seminars, for example, Acupuncture 1, 2, 3 with Dr. Richard Tan or purchase a series of books on Tung points. Often I got criticized from family members that it was a waste time and told that you are not an acupuncturist. Inside I told myself that I was an acupuncturist and that it was not time yet to pass the exam. During the interim period, I usually had friends and family that often consulted my knowledge as a nurse to help them with various conditions. I often gave suggestions for them to go to a local herb store to pick up a formula for various conditions that had great results. Specifically, when my god-daughter was born, her mother was having post-partum depression. I suggested that she take a common formula of Gan Mao Da Zao Tang that worked wonders for her. Others that back conditions, I was able to relieve their back pain from a level of 9-10 to 0-1 within a few minutes. It was thrilling how well our medicine works. In 2016, I took a review class from a popular and sought out teacher, Dr. Choi who was teaching at Five Branches. I had great hopes this time because his review course was about 6 months long and he had thousands of questions to study from. I was still working full time while studying. I took off two weeks from my job to study for the exam. I took the exam again for the fourth time and got within 8 points of passing the exam. My family again was devastated with the results, saying “This is the last time, right?” I just smiled and kept silent. As you know, when you study each time you put your family on hold for the duration. Especially, my wife who often wanted to go on weekend trips or hangout, I had to tell her no. You know how that went over. In my mind, I kept thinking, “Not yet, but when?” I reflected back that after the third exam attempt, that I didn’t have a complete buy in from my family while studying. I found in your pursuit of any major exam that if you have any negativity in the household or a lack of support it will affect your outcome. So again, I put the exam on the shelf.
In December of 2016, my wife came to me while at home sitting on the couch one day, ‘out of the blue’ saying she wanted to talk to me about something. I lowered the sound on the TV while she spoke. She told me that, “I know I haven’t been fully supportive of you when you took the acupuncture exams in the past and I know it is your passion. If you want to try again and take the exam, I will fully support you in any way I can.” I was shocked. I replied, “Really?!” “Wow that is wonderful.” In January 2017, I immediately signed up with a 6 month subscription with TCM tests. My plan was to take the August 2017 exam since I was too late to begin studying for the March exam. I contacted Dr. Choi who provided with a video series review course that I started in January 2017. Also, I signed up with TCM Review with the taped course that included a two week intense review. One of my past classmates who took the review, highly recommend it. I had taken this review course before; but they had revamped the content and teaching process. I saw a TCM Review clip on YouTube on how to dissect questions using various methods. I was very impressed and it made so much sense this time. By the time TCM Review course started my subscription with TCM tests ended. I began my quest again by submitting my $75.00 application fee for the August exam. About a month later, I got a letter from the Acupuncture board returning my application fee, stating that it was not needed. I was surprised and thought it was odd because that never happened to me before. I thought the state never returns money, what is going on? I was diligent again in my studies while preparing for my fifth attempt at the exam. I took the mock exam and this time, I scored like 78% which never happened before. At that point, I was told by Bina the instructor you are in good shape at this point. Usually student who fall below 70% at this point are not likely to pass. So needless to say, I felt excited. I thought of, the saying of ‘Not yet’ was changing to ‘Now is the time’. I sent my wife a famous acupuncturist in Oakland, CA. Dr. Lam Kong for a particular condition. We later met and he told me to come see him two weeks before the exam for a treatment. He said that he has had acupuncture and bar exam students who failed multiple times come see him for treatment. His acupuncture and herb treatment helps lock in all of the content studied, he said. After my treatment, I walked back to his office where he gave me my herbs to take for five days prior to the exam and to use ear seeds taped on various PC and HT points on my forearm. I asked him how much for the treatment, he said, No charge as he extended his hand to shake mine. He said, let me be the first to congratulate you on passing the exam. I smiled, thanking Dr. Kong for his treatment and positive thoughts.
I again took about 10 days off before the exam to have concentrated, uninterrupted studying of about 8-10 hours per day. I checked into the Hyatt Regency hotel on August 20th 3 days before the exam. The night before the exam, you always get butterflies thinking, did I study enough, do I know enough for the exam. I had requested prayer from all my friends and family. On the day of the exam, I felt such a peace and confidence covering me. I finished taking my herbs while daily pressing on my forearm points from Dr. Kong. I walked into the exam with my bottle of water while going through security checks. Of course, I had to remove my ear seed points on my forearm; but I had what needed. I noticed that on the morning portion of the exam, I finished early before time was called on the last 30 minutes of the exam. I was thinking, maybe I had the easy portion in the morning and the afternoon section will be harder. This was typically what I encountered in the past. During the break, I ate lightly so I wouldn’t be tired during the exam. In the afternoon, I found the second part just as strangely easy. No question on the test I found was a surprise. All the content of the exam, I had seen before while studying. Afterwards, I congratulated my classmates of the review class of being successful. I departed for home. Now it was the waiting period of 30 days. In the past, I was told to look for 8x11 brown envelopes from the CA Acupuncture board that contained a congratulatory passing notification, congratulatory certificate along with the application for licensure. If you didn’t pass the exam you would get a regular business envelope with your failing score along with an application to re-take the exam. So each day after the 16th of the month, I would be looking for that ‘brown envelope’ in the daily mail. My family, friends and neighbors were anxiously waiting with me for the news. On day, 27 and 28th there was still no news from the daily mail. I didn’t remember having to wait this long for results. On the 29th day which was September 22, 2017 while at work, I received an email from American Acupuncture Council titled, “Life after CALE, Now What? The email started off, “As you start your new journey as a practicing Acupuncturist. . .” I was grinning surprised with a surge of excitement asking myself what does this mean. Could it be that I PASSED!? In the past, I never received or heard of such an email from a malpractice insurance company. I thought does the CA Acupuncture board make the insurance companies aware of the results before the candidates or was it purely coincidental. I sent the email to my wife, asking her what you think. She was very excited to say the least. I then emailed Bina at TCM Review asking her opinion. She replied that results were not out yet and we should know by the weekend. I think, she thought it was odd too. Finally, Saturday, September 23, 2017 (30th day) I attended a wedding that day. I called my wife while travelling back home. It was about 3:45pm that afternoon. I asked her did the mail come. She replied, I checked the mail about 5 times today, there is nothing. I finally arrive home about 4:45pm. I walked into the house. I asked again, did the mail come yet. She said again, no.
I thought that was strange. So I walked to the mailbox and found it full of mail. It must have been delivered moments before I arrived home. I pulled out the mail. I frantically was looking for that large brown envelope in the pile of mail and I didn’t see it. I only found that same business envelope that I had received before. My heart sank, I said, “Oh No, This is Not Good!! I walked back into the house and showed my wife the envelope saying again, “This is not good, look at the envelope”
My wife said, give me the envelope, I just know you passed. She took the envelope from me, tore it open and began reading the following words aloud, “Congratulations you have passed the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam. . .” She began screaming, jumping up and down. My eyes widened as she read as I exclaimed, “Really, I can’t belief it?!!” Of course, I began shouting jumping up and down thanking God, which got the attention of the rest of my family and neighbors who all joined in the congratulatory celebration. My wife handed me the letter and as I read my score, it was identical to the score on my mock exam. It was a great surprise because the envelope threw me off. The following Monday, I notified, Dr. Frank He and his staff that I passed the exam and to give me a call. My next call was to Dr. Lam Kong that I had passed as both he and his son; Howard congratulated me again on my accomplishment. Word quickly spread to my friends and extended family as I received well deserved congratulations and acknowledgements of completing what I started, having a never giving up attitude.
Thanks for taking this journey with me. My time finally came and now the journey begins.
Joel Smith, L.Ac.
This past Monday morning my staff handed me a phone message between patients. I usually return phone calls after I am done with all patients in the morning unless it is an urgent matter.
The message was from Joel Smith, one of my former interns, who graduated 10 years ago. He was breaking the great news that he has just passed the most recent board exam and become a newly licensed acupuncturist. I knew it wasn't an easy job for him after so many years while all of his classmates have already been in practice. To me, this message was more exciting and urgent. I immediately called him back to congratulate him and also scheduled a lunch the next day to celebrate.
During our lunch, I could not help but ask why it took so long for him to take the test as I did not feel comfortable to ask how many times he had attempted to pass the exam. Joel smiled and slowly opened his right hand while uttering, "This was my fifth time to take the test." As soon as I heard his answer, I immediately froze for a moment while thinking loudly, "Don't we always say third time's the charm?
During my twenty plus years of teaching in the US, no one student has ever even tried three times on the test before giving up, but this gentleman has had the gut to try five times and succeeded. While he was still holding his right hand in the air, I quickly came back and gave him a big high five. I have no doubt that with his passion and perseverance, Joel will soon become one of the best acupuncturists...
Today, I gladly paid for the lunch and learned a new phrase from my student and teacher: "FIFTH TIME'S THE CHARM!"
Frank He, L. Ac, QME
Kindly edited by Ben Lee, L. Ac.
All day long we are treating patients with headaches, neck and back pain, scoliosis, upper extremity tendonitis, etc due to repetitive stress. Proper exercises are part of our treatment protocols. Here is an example we often recommend to patients, of course, modified according to individual conditions.
A patient broke her wrist last November and had it surgically treated with a plate and a few screws. Noting her bone was not healing well about two months later, her surgeon prescribed the use of a bone growth stimulator twice a day, for 20 minutes each session. Subsequent x-rays taken on May 10th, however, did not show any sign of healing.
Concerned about the non-union of her left radius fracture, Annie began exploring alternative medicine. She came in to see me for her first appointment on June 19th. Based on my previous experience with other patients, I recommended acupuncture, in particular, MCT twice a week for 2 weeks then once a week for two more weeks followed by a re-evaluation with imaging tests.
Time flew! Over the last few weeks, she felt better with reduced pain and swelling, and, happily, also returned to her yoga practice. On July 17th, she had a follow-up visit with the surgeon, who was not aware that I was treating her with acupuncture. Upon reviewing her x-rays taken that day, her surgeon was surprised to see that her fracture was healing up. Happy and excited, Annie blurted out, "Acupuncture really works!" "What?!" the surgeon exclaimed. Then Annie disclosed that she had been receiving acupuncture treatments for her non-union.
Her surgeon shook his head in dismay and said, "No, no, no, it was the bone stimulator that helped." Annie brought in her x-rays to share with me and said she stopped using the bone stimulator that day after she saw the surgeon.
This is yet another case of bone non-union that improved within weeks with the help of MCT acupuncture. I was very excited for Annie and her rapid healing. However, Annie was very disappointed as was I that her surgeon remained in denial of acupuncture's effectiveness in promoting her rapid healing.
I could not help but ask myself, “When will we see more doctors accept acupuncture as an effective alternative to traditional treatments…and seek win-win-win outcomes in our health care system?”
Frank He, L. Ac., QME, DAOM
Edited by Tom Rigoli
It was a Wednesday evening around 8:30 pm that I took a call from a patient of mine. She said her six year old daughter had been experiencing severe abdominal pain for about 20 minutes and wondered if she could bring her in to see me for urgent care.
I asked if her daughter ate or drank anything cold with dinner and she said her daughter did drink a glass of cold milk. After learning that her daughter was not running a fever and that the pain was in her lower left abdomen, not the right, and thus eliminating the possibility of appendicitis, I told her to try something simple that might relieve her daughter's pain and save her the trouble of driving to my house or office.
I told her to measure out a bowl of rice, put the rice in a sock, and heat it up in a microwave for two minutes. Then apply this rice bag over her abdomen where it was hurting for five minutes and call me back to report the outcome. She called me back in about 20 minutes and said her daughter's pain went away completely. She was so happy, thankful, and surprised a bowl of rice could provide this miracle remedy.
Yes, a bowl of rice can do a lot for our health. When cooked it gives us energy. When heated it can help relieve bruises and joint pains. And in this case, a bowl of rice relieved a patient's abdominal pain and saved her a trip to the emergency room, an unknown amount of waiting time, and a stack of medical bills.
Frank He, L. Ac., QME, DAOM
Edited by Sarah Tang, MTCM Intern at HeCares
Acupuncture Specialists at Integrative Medicine Center