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A Natural Way to Deal with Irregular Menstruation

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A Natural Way to Deal with Irregular Menstruation

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ullamcorper definitiones qui an, dicat ubique recteque an pro. Sea et iuvaret democritum....


A Natural Way to Deal with Irregular Menstruation

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ullamcorper definitiones qui an, dicat ubique recteque an pro. Sea et iuvaret democritum....


Santa Barbara Herb Clinic’s COVID-19 Safety Protocol and Additional Information

The safety of our staff and patients is top priority as we fully reopen our clinic on June 25th, 2020. Here are the new safety protocols implemented at the Clinic, pertinent to COVID-19:

  • Staggering and limiting the number of patients seen on a daily basis. Additional time will be added to each treatment to decrease the number of people in the clinic at any given time
  • All herbal consultations will continue as tele-health video chat to limit the amount of patients in our clinic.
  • When scheduling and/or having acupuncture appointment confirmed, patients will be asked if there have been any recent or current symptoms of illness such as a cough or fever. We ask that patients experiencing fever and/or COVID symptoms do not come in and late cancellation fee will be waived. Virtual herbal consultations are available for them.
  • Patients over 65 years old or those who have pre-existing health conditions are advised to schedule appointment times in the morning or beginning of the day. Times have been blocked out for them accordingly.
  • Patients will be asked to arrive at their appointment time with a mask and to wear it as much as is practical during their visit.
  • There will be a check-in area at the front desk counter. Each patient’s temperature will be taken and a COVID-19 survey will be given. Hand sanitizer will be available and patients will be asked to sanitize or wash their hands on arrival.
  • When possible, we will put patients directly into the room where their treatment will be done. If not possible, patients will be able to wait in their cars until their treatment is ready to begin. Seating in the lobby room will be situated at least 6 feet apart, so any patients who choose to wait in the waiting area will be able to be socially distanced.
  • Only a patient with an appointment is allowed in the treatment room. No additional visitors or children.
  • Practitioners and staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment at all times. This includes KN95 mask, face shield, lab coat, and gloves.
  • Enhanced disinfection procedures along with frequent wipe downs of counter tops and other points of contact will be maintained. We only use hospital grade disinfectant.
  • Pens and payment processing pad at front desk will be sanitized between every use.

We understand the experience at the Clinic will be a bit different than it used to be (at least for a period of time), we are confident that these protocols will allow us to safely and effectively provide treatment and care for our patients.

We are now ready to book all returning and new patients, so please call us at 805-563-0222. The Clinic will open from 9 AM to 6 PM, Monday to Friday.

Thank you again for your continued support throughout this uncertain time. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Acupuncture for Depression: Achieve Wellness Through Holistic Healing

acupuncture for depression
Photo by Eli DeFaria/


According to the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Furthermore, there’s a staggering 450 million people around the world who suffer from mental health disorders. Thus, it’s one of the leading causes of ill-health and disability. In the US, about 42.5 million American adults suffer from some mental illness every year. These conditions include depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.


One of the major concerns of patients suffering from these conditions are the continual use of synthetic drugs as maintenance. There are also side effects to these drugs that can affect a person’s well-being. Prescription drugs only target a specific issue, or have a singular therapeutic effect, that may not address other issues which a person needs to treat. However, mental health disorders affect an individual’s entire being – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. If you’re looking for a treatment that will address all health concerns connected to your mental health, acupuncture for depression can provide a way for you to achieve holistic healing.



Studies on Acupuncture for Depression

There have been studies from around the world that confirm the positive health benefits of acupuncture for mental health disorders. John Allen from the University of Arizona and the acupuncturist Rosa Schnyer conducted one such study. They studied the effect of acupuncture for depression on patients for a period of eight weeks. The findings consequently suggested that using acupuncture alone could be effective as other treatments for relieving symptoms of depression.


Photo via Pixabay


How Acupuncture Can Help You Achieve Better Mental Health

Each person suffering from a mental health issue will have a specific treatment method uniquely catered to them. For example, not all patients are the same, as they have different physiologies and unique concerns. If there are 20 people suffering from anxiety, each one of them will have their own customized treatment of different acupuncture points, prescription of different herbs, and different recommendations for diet and lifestyle. This is because Oriental Medicine doesn’t see a mental disorder as just one syndrome to address, it aims to treat various symptoms that affect a person.


Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses five elements when it comes to helping a person achieve wellness. These are the following:


Water (Kidney) – Connected to feelings of depression and lack of will

Metal (Lung) – Related to sadness or grief

Earth (Spleen) – Correlates to worry, anxiety and pensiveness

Fire (Heart) – Related to over-excitation and mania

Wood (Liver) – Can be connected to stress, anger, bitterness, resentment, frustration and jealousy


Your treatment plan will target an imbalance of these elements. In this case, Acupuncture can help treat the root cause of the problem by rebalancing the body’s internal environment. Needles will be inserted at specific points to remove blockages and promote better energy flow in the body. It can then help alleviate symptoms associated with the disorder.



After an Acupuncture Session

There will be a brief moment of discomfort when a needle is inserted on certain body points. While the needles are there, you will barely feel anything. Some could feel an immediate effect after a session, while people with more chronic ailments would require regular follow-up treatments. The best thing about acupuncture is that it has virtually zero side effects. Those that receive acupuncture for their anxiety see results after just one session. The restoration of balance within the body provides many physical, mental and emotional benefits.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Book A Session with a Licensed Acupuncturist Now

Santa Barbara Herb Clinic offers a wide variety of holistic healing treatments for modern-day ailments. Here, you can also seek out acupuncture for depression and other similar issues. Your session with our licensed acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner will include a thorough assessment and unique treatment specifically catered to your health concerns. Book a session now and start your journey towards holistic health and wellness.




5 Ways Acupuncture Benefits Your Mental and Emotional Health | Botanica Wellness –


Learning & Resource Center Articles | Acufinder –


Mental Disorders Affect One in Four People | World Health Organization –

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Suffers From Mental Illness Each Year
Victoria Bekiempis –

Acupuncture for Regulating Bowel Movement: Studies, Treatment and Benefits

regulating bowel movement
Photo by Tom Rogerson/


The condition of stool and bowel movement show tell-tale signs on the overall health of the body. Diarrhea happens when stool passes through the large intestine at a faster than normal rate. If it passes too slowly, constipation is a primary concern. Bowel incontinence would be the main issue if a person has a problem regulating bowel movement. Other abnormalities in bowel movement might be signs of digestive problems.


Statistics show that 15%, or 63 million, of the U.S. population suffer from chronic constipation. When it comes to diarrhea, there are 179 million cases affected from this disorder in the U.S. each year. Digestive problems are prevalent due to several lifestyle factors such as diet, related diseases, and level of physical activity. Most of these are preventable with the right treatment, proper diet, and healthy lifestyle changes.



Studies on Acupuncture Treating Digestive Disorders

Researchers have confirmed that acupuncture, together with a moxibustion treatment, significantly reduced diarrhea, abdominal pain, and the ratio of abnormal stools. In a study conducted on patients with irritable bowel syndrome, the total effective rate was 65% as the patients experienced complete recovery with no relapses. This study, together with the analysis published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, support the idea that acupuncture can be implemented in the primary healthcare treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.


Other studies show positive results in treating digestive disorders with acupuncture. The Mayo Clinic confirms that researchers have found acupuncture to help improve symptoms for people with irritable bowel syndrome. Several small studies also suggest that acupuncture provides significant relief from chronic pain, relax muscle spasms, and improve bowel function.


Researchers from the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine also confirm that acupuncture can provide relief from constipation. Another study also found that acupuncture combined with prescribed herbal medicine can relieve constipation in the elderly. Acupuncture, together with herbs, produced a higher total effective rate with very low relapses when it comes to this digestive problem.


acupuncture needles
Photo by Antonika Chanel/


Regulating Bowel Movement With Acupuncture

There are certain acupuncture points that can help in bringing back balance to your gastrointestinal motility. Treatments would be done to either stimulate peristalsis or relax a spastic colon. Acupuncture helps with regulating bowel movement, reduce or eliminate pain, and help calm emotions that are associated with digestive disorders.


Traditional Chinese Medicine has a holistic approach in assessing and treating digestive disorders. For example, when someone has a dry stool and it’s difficult to pass, long-term treatment can help make the digestive system less dry and herbs will be provided to moisten the intestines. When a patient has diarrhea, acupuncture will calm the large intestine and herbs can also help detoxify the body. As for patients experiencing chronic, watery but painless diarrhea, acupuncture will strengthen the digestive system and herbs will help improve digestion.


Acupuncture, as a natural healing modality, can complement a healthy diet and some lifestyle modifications. Bowel movements will positively improve with better eating habits. A licensed acupuncturist will discuss these changes or improvements in diet that will best suit your health concerns.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Book a Session with a Licensed Acupuncturist Now

Acupuncture is a natural, effective and safe treatment that will bring a healthy balance to your digestive system. It will not only help with regulating bowel movement, but also treat the root cause of the problem. Start your way into holistic healing by setting up an appointment with our licensed acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner. Your consultation will involve a thorough assessment of your symptoms and a customized treatment plan that will address all the related factors of your digestive issue. If you’re in the Santa Barbara or Goleta area, visit us in our clinic for a consultation and treatment. We also do phone and video consultations, and shipping of herbal prescriptions to your area.




Acupuncture Moves Stool, Relieves Constipation | HealthCMi –


Acupuncture Soothes Irritable Bowel Syndrome | HealthCMi –


Epidemic Numbers of People Suffering From Constipation | Mercola –


179 million cases of acute diarrhea in U.S. each year | ScienceDaily –

Acupuncture for Arthritis: Benefits and Treatments

acupuncture for arthritis


Arthritis getting you down? You can try a new solution and consider undergoing acupuncture for arthritis pain relief. It can be a great option for those who want to try a medication-free way to manage pain, or those who are looking for natural complements to their usual treatment regimen.


The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic can help you manage pain and other issues related to arthritis. Arthritis is something of a common disease, though it can also be quite complicated. There are more types of arthritis than one might expect, and the disease can also affect different people in different ways.


What’s common in the different types of arthritis is that they all cause swelling, stiffness, and pain. Acupuncture can help patients manage these symptoms in a natural, medication-free way that has benefits beyond pain relief.



Arthritis: An overview

Arthritis affects 53 million adults, as well as 300,000 children, in the US alone. It is also one of the leading disabilities in the US. Though it is more common in women and the elderly, it can affect people of any age, sex, or race.



Common symptoms

In general, arthritis hits the joints. People with arthritis may experience swelling, stiffness, and pain in their back and neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, hips, knees, ankles, feet, heels, or toes. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can also get worse as the years pass. Arthritis can also cause permanent changes to the affected joints, including permanent stiffness and swelling, which can cause difficulties in mobility.


Primary physicians are typically the ones to make a diagnosis for arthritis. They make the diagnosis by performing physical examinations as well as blood tests and imaging scans to figure out what specific type of arthritis they’re dealing with.



Types of arthritis

There are over a hundred distinct types of arthritis known today, from Adult-Onset Still’s Disease to Wegener’s Granulomatosis. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which affects about 31 million people in the US. Arthritis is also a symptom in diseases such as gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease (CPPD), Kawasaki disease, and Lyme disease.


Photo by marniejoyce on BY


Acupuncture for arthritis

It seems that scientific research hasn’t yet come to a consensus about how acupuncture can benefit those with arthritis. Some studies have found that acupuncture can relieve pain due to arthritis to a limited degree, but not enough to recommend acupuncture as treatment for arthritis pain.


However, this doesn’t mean that acupuncture is conclusively not that effective. There is still a dearth of high-quality research into the subject, which means that the information we may have is still incomplete. There are also suggestions that acupuncture may have a placebo effect. Even so, some doctors say, it still means that it can help stop pain signals from reaching the brain.


There seems to be little to no risk if you undergo acupuncture for arthritis as a way to alleviate some of the symptoms of the condition. Thus, it’s definitely worth trying.



How does it work?

Acupuncture has been an important feature of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. According to TCM, an individual’s wellness and health are governed by his or her life force, or qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi flows through 20 meridians in the body, and when this flow is blocked or disrupted, it results in pain, illness, or other problems. Acupuncture seeks to help treat these issues by restoring the proper flow of the individual’s qi.


So how does acupuncture work? Simply put, it involves the insertion of fine needles into your skin. The needles are inserted at specific acupuncture points and are meant to restore the proper balance of qi in the patient’s body. It’s also possible that acupuncture is able to divert pain signals, as well as induce the production of endorphins and other pain-relieving hormones.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, we have Tram Pham as our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist. She has a Master’s in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University and has a wide scope of experience.



Does it hurt?

The needles used in acupuncture are very fine, and it’s rare for them to cause pain. However, you can expect to feel a tingling sensation or a sensation of heaviness in the spots where the needles are inserted. This isn’t a cause for alarm; in fact, it’s taken as a good sign that the acupuncture is taking effect. Undergoing acupuncture for arthritis is actually quite low-risk, but the payoff can be more than worth it.



Is acupuncture right for you?

Before you book an appointment at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you should first consult with your doctor. It’s also best if you have the details of your medical history as well as the medication you take on hand. Acupuncture is tailored to the individual, not the specific condition. This means that our Licensed Acupuncturist will need details of your medical history to be able to tailor a regimen to your needs.


Nearly anyone can undergo acupuncture for arthritis. However, if you have blood disorders or are taking blood thinners, you should avoid acupuncture. Acupuncture is also generally safe to undergo during pregnancy, though there are certain acupuncture points that your Licensed Acupuncturist should avoid. Thus, if you are pregnant, you should definitely make it known to the clinic.


If you are unable to take medication for your arthritis, acupuncture is a good alternative that can help you alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Dr. Jean Yu founded the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic in 1986. Since then, the clinic has been serving Santa Barbara’s acupuncture and all-natural healing needs. Our Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram, has years of experience in addressing various health issues, not just arthritis.


Get in touch with us to make an appointment and experience acupuncture for arthritis in Santa Barbara. You can call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at If you’re not in the Santa Barbara or Goleta area, that’s not a problem! You can also call us to schedule a video or phone consultation with Tram.




Goodbye, Hay Fever: The Benefits of Acupuncture for Allergic Rhinitis

allergic rhinitis
Photo via Pixabay


Undergoing acupuncture for allergic rhinitis may not be the usual way to deal with seasonal allergies, but it’s certainly worth considering. For one thing, not only can it help you deal with allergic reactions, but it can also restore the balance of your health in general. Thus, clear sinuses aren’t the only thing you’ll be able to get out of acupuncture.


The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic can help you with a myriad of issues and health problems, including allergic rhinitis. The fact that acupuncture can help people deal with allergies may be surprising, but scientific research has found that acupuncture can indeed help resolve allergies at the source and even decrease your reliance on antihistamines.



What is allergic rhinitis?

Do you, without fail, get a runny nose and other symptoms that resemble the cold in certain times of the year? If your answer is yes, then you’re likely suffering from allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is actually somewhat common, affecting up to 60 million Americans. It refers to a group of symptoms that act up when you breathe in certain allergens like pollen, dust, or animal dander.


There are medications that can help manage these symptoms and effects, but these medications also have some side effects. However, acupuncture for allergic rhinitis is also a viable option. It’s an all-natural and low-risk way to manage these allergy symptoms and reap other health benefits as well.



Symptoms and triggers

Allergic rhinitis manifests in symptoms such as a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy ears, itchy mouth, fatigue, watery or itchy eyes, a headache, and sneezing. You may also experience wheezing, a tightness in your chest, or shortness of breath if you happen to also have asthma.


It may feel like allergic rhinitis is somewhat similar to the cold, but while the cold only lasts up to two weeks, the effects of allergic rhinitis can last for months.


At the heart of allergic reactions, we have the body having an immune response to things that are usually harmless. For example, in the case of allergic rhinitis, the body’s immune response is triggered by irritants such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, cigarette smoke, laundry detergent, and strong odors.



Types of allergic rhinitis

Those with allergic rhinitis can experience two types: seasonal rhinitis and perennial rhinitis. Seasonal rhinitis means that you’ll likely experience symptoms in the spring, summer, or fall, with the worst of the symptoms occurring sometime between May and September. Triggers for seasonal rhinitis are pollen or mold spores.


When it comes to perennial rhinitis, however, there isn’t really a time frame. Symptoms can be triggered all year long, regardless of the season. Triggers can also include dust mites, pet dander, mold, and even cockroaches.


acupuncture for allergic rhinitis
Photo by Brooke Cagle/


Acupuncture for allergic rhinitis

It may be easier to list the things that acupuncture can’t do instead of the things that it can. Acupuncture is known for being able to benefit health holistically, but its specific benefits may be surprising at times.


People usually deal with allergic rhinitis by taking antihistamines, nasal sprays, or decongestants. While these medications are generally safe, they may have inconvenient or undesirable side effects, such as drowsiness. Acupuncture, however, may be more time-consuming, but it has a low risk of side effects. It can also have more benefits other than providing a solution to the specific problem you have at the moment.



The basics of acupuncture

People have been practicing acupuncture for thousands of years. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture is meant to restore the balance in a person’s life force, or qi (pronounced “chee”). According to TCM’s age-old principles, when the flow of qi is disrupted, it results in an illness. The insertion of fine needles into the necessary acupuncture points pushes qi back into its normal flow.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can take full advantage of this millennia-old practice. Our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine. She also has years of experience in acupuncture and other TCM treatments. With her as your Licensed Acupuncturist, you’ll have a far better chance to overcome the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and many other health conditions.



How it works

Though TCM and Western medicine have very different principles and ways of looking at the world, they’re not mutually exclusive. In fact, various studies have shown that Western medicine and acupuncture in particular can complement each other quite well. This is true in terms of treating allergic rhinitis as well.


There is evidence that acupuncture for allergic rhinitis can be quite effective. Research has shown that acupuncture can suppress the production of the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE). This antibody is involved in the body’s hypersensitivity to otherwise harmless things, which is basically what an allergy is. According to the research, acupuncture can help decrease your sensitivity to dust mites, which can be good for those with perennial allergic rhinitis.



Acupuncture vs antihistamines

There is also evidence that acupuncture can possibly be more effective than antihistamines. It can also possibly reduce the need for medication during allergy season. This means that acupuncture can help improve the quality of life for those with seasonal allergic rhinitis and reduce their reliance on antihistamines and other types of medication.


Of course, you can choose to use antihistamines and undergo acupuncture, since the two are not mutually exclusive. You may still need to use antihistamines once in a while, but perhaps not as often as you would during allergy season.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been serving the Santa Barbara area since 1986, when the clinic was founded by Dr. Jean Yu. Our current owner, Tram, took over the clinic in 2016 and has been continuing SBHC’s work in providing holistic and all-natural care for Santa Barbara’s residents. She can also provide you with acupuncture for allergic rhinitis.


If you want to book an appointment with the clinic, you can call us at 805-563-0222. You can also email us at The clinic is open from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5:30pm. You can come in during these hours, or you can also have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call. Start your journey to holistic health with the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic today!




Acupuncture Needles: Why You Shouldn’t be Afraid of Them

acupuncture needles
Photo by Antonika Chanel/


Many people may find acupuncture needles to be somewhat intimidating or maybe even terrifying. After all, for those who are not familiar with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), these kinds of treatments may seem outlandish. However, there is actually nothing to fear from these needles, and you’ll find out why.



What acupuncture needles are for

To understand the function of the needles used in acupuncture, you first need to familiarize yourself with the principles of TCM. According to the principles of TCM, good health results from the balance in the life force that flows through each individual, called qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi flows along markers called meridians. When the flow of qi is disrupted, or is blocked in certain meridians, ill health can occur.


There are a number of ways that a TCM practitioner can help a patient restore the normal flow and balance of their qi. One of these ways is acupuncture, a practice that’s thousands of years old. Acupuncture entails the use of needles, which a practitioner inserts into the acupuncture points related to the patient’s symptoms. The needles are meant to correct the flow of qi by stimulating the right combination of acupuncture points.


Photo via Pixabay


Are the needles safe?

Generally, yes. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds acupuncture needles to the same standards that it holds medical equipment like syringes and surgical tools like scalpels.


Acupuncture practitioners should sterilize their needles and use them only once on a single patient. There is very low risk of infection, but you have to make sure that you go to a licensed acupuncturist with a good reputation. There are probably unlicensed acupuncturists that sterilize their needles and use them only once, but you can never really be sure. Licensed acupuncturists, at least, are bound by safety standards. They ensure that their needles are clean and disposed right after use.


It’s important to be discerning about the acupuncturist you choose. Research has found that acupuncture and the needles themselves are generally safe. However, the side effects related to the treatment seem to have something to do with the lack of hygiene and care by the acupuncturist. Even so, side effects are rare, and often occur accidentally or due to careless or unskilled practitioners.


Tram Pham, a Licensed Acupuncturist, owns and operates the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic. You can expect safe and effective treatment in her hands. She has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles, and she also has years of experience that have helped her hone her skills and techniques.


If you’re unsure about acupuncture and would like to learn more about TCM, you can schedule a consultation with Tram and get a feel of acupuncture as a practice. However, before you make an appointment for acupuncture, make sure to consult with your doctor first. You should also bring your medical records to the clinic so Tram can figure out the best way to help you.



What to expect

Your first acupuncture session may yield some surprises, but there are some things that you can expect to happen. The acupuncturist will likely ask you to lie on your back, stomach, or side, depending on which acupuncture points need stimulation. The needles generally don’t hurt or prick like other needles, but you may feel a stinging or tingling sensation when your acupuncturist inserts the needles into your skin. You can have anywhere between 5 to 20 needles in one session.


It’s also possible that you’ll feel some numbness in the insertion sites. You may also feel a sensation of heaviness after the session, but these are normal. Even so, try to communicate the things you feel or experience to your Licensed Acupuncturist. This way, in the off chance that something has gone wrong, your acupuncturist can fix it right then and there.


Once the acupuncturist has inserted the needles into your skin, you can expect them to stay there for 5 to 30 minutes. However, just one session is also usually not enough to address symptoms. You may need to come back for several more sessions until the treatment is over.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Acupuncture needles are nothing to fear as long as they’re in the right hands. At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, they are. The clinic has been around since 1986. It was founded by Dr. Jean Yu, and grew for many years under the lat Dr. Han’s care. In 2016, ownership passed to Tram, and she has been continuing the clinic’s good work ever since.


You can get in touch with us and book an appointment by calling us at 805-563-0222. You can also email us at Our clinic is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm. For your convenience, you can also have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call. Contact us today to learn more about acupuncture by experiencing it yourself!




Acupuncture for the Flu and Its Symptoms: A Guide

acupuncture for the flu
Photo by Brittany Collette/


Acupuncture for the flu may not be the most popular or common flu treatment out there, but it’s definitely worth a shot. Medications, chicken noodle soups, and bed rest are all great treatments for flu symptoms, but acupuncture for fever, body aches, and more can be just as effective as the usual remedies.



The flu: What you need to know

The flu is caused by a virus, and the type of flu differs based on the type of protein that the virus carries. You can catch the flu virus by touching your nose, mouth, or eyes, which is why keeping your hands clean and sanitized is vital to keeping yourself healthy.


Common wisdom says that if you do catch the flu, the illness will stay until it resolves on its own. The best you can do is to deal with the individual flu symptoms, such as fever and headache. However, acupuncture for the flu can not only help you with these symptoms, it can also help you shorten the span of the illness and even build up your immune system against it.



Flu symptoms

If you’ve ever had the flu before, you’ll probably be familiar with the symptoms. When the virus takes hold, it will result in common symptoms such as a dry cough, fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, and malaise. Other less common symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat, which are more common with the cold.



The difference between colds and the flu

The cold and flu actually have some pretty similar symptoms. However, the flu is generally worse than the common cold. For example, if you have a cold,you might have a mild fever. If you have the flu, however, your fever will be higher in temperature and may last up to four days.


Fatigue is also something that doesn’t usually happen with a cold, but it’s one of the hallmarks of the flu. Body aches are also mild when it comes to a cold, but if you have the flu, the aches can be quite severe.




Usually, you can expect the flu to go away on its own after a certain period of time. However, in rare cases, the flu can become fatal. In fact, the flu can lead to 10,000 to 50,000 deaths a year. Because of this, making the effort to keep the flu from spreading can be important.


Even when the flu doesn’t become fatal, it can still lead to worse medical conditions. It can lead to complications like bacterial pneumonia, and it can also worsen illnesses like diabetes, asthma, and congestive heart failure.


If you believe you have the flu, please consult with your doctor before scheduling an acupuncture appointment. This is especially important if you have an otherwise compromised immune system due to age or pre-existing condition.


acupuncture for the flu
Acupuncture is safe to experience alongside taking flu medicine.


Acupuncture for the flu

You may not think of acupuncture as something that can be effective against the flu, but this millennia-old practice can surprise you. Acupuncture is a good way to not only ease the severity of flu symptoms, but it can also help you strengthen your immunity to the virus.



How acupuncture works

Basically, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture involve the flow of life force, called qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is supposed to to flow through points in the body called “meridians.” However, if the proper flow of qi is disrupted or is concentrated in a single area, illness can occur.


Acupuncture, in a nutshell, restores the flow of qi and thus restores good health. This way, acupuncture isn’t a forceful treatment; it simply nudges the body to the right direction. To redirect the flow of qi, a licensed acupuncturist will insert fine needles into the necessary acupuncture points.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you’ll be in the care of Tram Pham, our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist. She has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University, and has years of experience in providing acupuncture for the flu and other age-old remedies for various health conditions.



Western vs traditional Chinese medicine

Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) look at health in different ways. For example, Western medicine formulates treatments based on the particular ailment. TCM, meanwhile, formulates treatments based on the individual experiencing the symptoms.


In terms of the flu, Western medicine and TCM look at things differently as well. For Western medicine, illnesses such as the flu, polio, and the measles are caused by various corresponding viruses. However, for TCM, these illnesses are caused by a single reason: a factor called “Wind-Heat.”


Even with these differences, Western medicine recognizes the benefits and effectiveness of acupuncture, though there isn’t much research into the practice yet.



Fighting the flu with acupuncture

Even with the dearth of research, what we already do know about acupuncture is that it can increase the production of hormones that improve the immune system. If you feel that you’re about to get the flu or a cold, you can make an appointment at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic to prevent the illness from taking hold.


If you already have the flu, acupuncture can help you get over it sooner than can be expected. It can also help alleviate symptoms such as body aches, fever, sore throat, and a stuffy nose.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been serving the city of Santa Barbara and nearby areas since it was founded by Dr. Jean Yu in 1986. Tram, our current owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, took over the clinic in 2016. She continued the tradition of providing holistic and all-natural health care to the residents of Santa Barbara.


Want to book an appointment? Call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at and see what it’s like to experience acupuncture for the flu. While coming to the clinic for a consultation is a common practice, we can also be quite flexible. If you’re not in the Santa Barbara or Goleta area, you can call us for a phone consultation, and Tram can also hold consultations via video call.






Fire Cupping: What You Need to Know

fire cupping Santa Barbara Herb Clinic
Photo by the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic


Fire Cupping or Dry Cupping might trendy nowadays due to some star athletes in the Olympics and health buffs swearing by its benefits. But this traditional healing method dates back to ancient Chinese, Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures. There are old medical textbooks dating back to 1550 B.C. which describe how Egyptians used cupping therapy.


There are many benefits that come with this type of traditional healing technique. It mainly helps with inflammation, pain, relaxation, blood flow, and well-being. This kind of deep-tissue massage will invigorate your mind and body.



What is Fire Cupping?

Fire Cupping involves the use of small glass cups or bamboo jars that are placed on the skin. Placing these inverted cups over a small flame before placing them on the skin creates suction. The cups are left in place, usually on your back, and are gently moved across the skin. The suction in the cups causes the superficial muscle layer and the skin to be lightly drawn into the cups. This creates a gentle pressure to pull your muscles upward. It can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and calm the nervous system.


Just like acupuncture, fire cupping follows the lines of meridians, or specific points in your body. Based on these points, cupping can thus target specific health problems and align your energy flow. It detoxifies your body, clears blockages, and refreshes your arteries and veins.


fire cupping
Fire cupping can leave marks like these on the skin, but they go away after a short while.


Fire Cupping Benefits

Here’s a list of the common health benefits of fire cupping that can promote overall health.


  • Relieves pain, especially back and neck pain, or stiff muscles


  • Helps decrease anxiety and depression


  • Helps improve blood pressure


  • Treats fatigue


  • Heals migraines


  • Helps treat rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia


  • Helps improve symptoms of colds


  • Targets breathing problems


  • Helps treat blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia


  • Assists in fertility and gynecological disorders


  • Helps treat skin problems such as acne and eczema


  • Lessens bronchial congestion caused by asthma or allergies


  • Helps heal varicose veins


  • Supplements weight loss and cellulite treatments



During a Fire Cupping Treatment

While the cups are on your body, you will barely feel anything but the cups suctioning your skin. As a result, some might feel some pain while the therapist glides the cups over their back. You can let the therapist know about it and he or she can use a different-sized cup that is more preferable. The sensation of pain doesn’t last long, and it would give way to a relaxing feeling that invigorates you.


The red marks from the suction marks would usually be gone after a few days.

There are some patients that experience a great clarity of mind the next day after a treatment, and their back pain is no longer there. If you experience back pain that can’t be easily addressed through various massage methods, try fire cupping as another treatment that can relax and revitalize you.



Fire Cupping with Acupuncture Treatment

You can consult with your therapist if getting an acupuncture session with your fire cupping therapy would be best for you. Acupuncture can release blocks in the energy flow of your body and treat the root cause of health issues, while Fire Cupping improves circulation and promotes relaxation. Getting a fire cupping treatment alongside acupuncture can rejuvenate your well-being.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Book a Session with a Chinese Medicine Practitioner Now

Santa Barbara Herb Clinic offers fire cupping as one of its specialties in a long list of natural healing treatments available. Our Chinese Medicine Practitioner and licensed acupuncturist will make a full assessment of your health and create a customize treatment plan for your specific health needs. Book an appointment now and experience the wonderful benefits that come with natural and holistic treatments.





3 Reasons Everyone Should Try Cupping, Jennifer Dubowsky –


8 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Cupping Therapy | Positive Health Wellness –


Cupping Therapy | WebMD –


The Many Benefits Of Chinese Cupping | PCOM –

Acupuncture for Hypertension: Studies, Treatment and Benefits

acupuncture for hypertension
Photo via Pixabay


High blood pressure, or hypertension, puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke if it stays too high for a long time. It is also one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, 75 million American adults, or 1 in every 3 adults, have high blood pressure.


Meanwhile, only half of the people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Prehypertension and diabetes symptoms also put people at risk for high blood pressure. This disease also costs the nation $48.6 billion each year, which includes the cost of medications, missed days at work, and health care services to treat high blood pressure.


There are studies that show that acupuncture for hypertension can be helpful in more ways than one. In acupuncture, practitioners work on meridians, or the invisible pathways that connect one body part to another. These meridians are along major nerve pathways that are the main points where needles will be inserted into. Consequently, stimulating the pathway activates different areas by sending impulses to the brain. There are various benefits that come with this, including the regulation of the cardiovascular system.





Studies About Acupuncture For Hypertension

Researchers at the Jiaozuo Tongren Hospital have found that acupuncture is as effective as nifedipine for hypertension treatment. They compared the blood pressure reduction effects of acupuncture and nifedipine in a group of hypertensive patients. Acupuncture induced a homeostatic regulation of blood pressure. It significantly reduced diastolic and systolic pressures in patients with extremely high blood pressure, and it moderately reduced diastolic and systolic pressures for patients with moderate levels of high blood pressure. In such cases, acupuncture provided a regulated lowering of blood pressure according to the clinical needs of patients.


Acupuncture therapy for hypertension also does not produce side effects such as hypotensive reactions, unlike other pharmaceutical drugs.


Initial studies are being done with animals, which show positive results in treating ischemia, high blood pressure, irregular heart beats, or heart arrhythmias. Researchers aim to know more about acupuncture as an alternative treatment to reduce the medication needed for patients with cardiovascular disorders.



Acupuncture Together With Other Medical Drugs

There’s promise in the study of integrative medicine. Integrative medicine is where eastern and western medical principles are combined for a deliberate approach in treating diseases. In a study conducted by the Shanxi College of Traditional Medicine, it showed that acupuncture plus taking the drug felopidine produced an 86.7% effective rate in treating primary hypertension. This integrative medicine method of approaching hypertension improves results by 13.4%.


As with everything, we can achieve optimum treatment with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and taking prescribed medications. Acupuncture complements these healthy lifestyle habits by maintaining low blood pressure and a healthy balance in the body.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Start Your Treatment with a Licensed Acupuncturist

Santa Barbara Herb Clinic offers natural holistic healing treatments, including acupuncture for hypertension. Your session with our licensed acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner will include a thorough assessment of your symptoms and health concerns. A unique customized treatment follows which is specifically catered to your health needs. Book a consultation now to start your treatment. If you’re in the Santa Barbara and Goleta area, visit us in our clinic which you can find on this map. We also do phone and video consultations, plus shipment of medications to your area.




Acupuncture Can Lower High Blood Pressure | WebMD –


Acupuncture Matches Drug For High Blood Pressure, Alex Wang –


Acupuncture Might Help Ease High Blood Pressure, Randy Dotinga –


Division For Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –

Acupuncture for Quitting Smoking: Why You Need to Quit and How Acupuncture can Help


Breaking a bad habit can be tough, but acupuncture for quitting smoking can be helpful in getting you to say goodbye to nicotine once and for all. However, it’s important to remember that acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) modalities are not a cure or a surefire way for you to stop smoking. They can help you withstand cravings and deal with withdrawal symptoms, but at the end of the day, it is still up to you to make the necessary lifestyle changes.


acupuncture for quitting smoking
Photo by Thomas Bjornstad/


Quitting smoking

Smoking is addictive and is the result of habit, so quitting can be difficult. Some people can quit with little to no issues, but if you’re having a tough time, it’s important to not be too hard on yourself. You may experience cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms, but there are things you can do to help yourself through the worst of these cravings and symptoms.


One thing you can do is undergo acupuncture for quitting smoking. It may take a few acupuncture sessions for it to be effective, but it’s a time-honored and all-natural way to take back control of your health.



How smoking affects you

Is quitting smoking worth going through the lifestyle changes and withdrawal symptoms? That’s an unequivocal yes. Smoking can harm just about any organ in your body, and it can cause various diseases, including cancer.


In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the US. Smoking causes more deaths than those caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents combined.


Smoking can greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, lung diseases, and cancer in the lungs, esophagus, cervix, liver, stomach, pancreas, and many other organs. It can also affect fertility in both men and women, cause birthing complications, reduce bone health, and many more.



What it’s like to quit smoking

Quitting smoking won’t necessarily reverse the damage that smoking has done to your body, but quitting can still greatly improve your health. Just a year after quitting, your risks of developing cardiovascular disease drops significantly. Within 5 years, your risks of developing mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer is reduced by half. Within 10 years, lung cancer risk is cut by half as well.


However, quitting smoking can be easier said than done. After all, it nicotine doesn’t just affect the lungs and other organs, it can affect the brain, too. Nicotine can help reduce feelings of depression, enhance focus, and improve your mood. Of course, there are much healthier ways to achieve these effects as well. However, these effects may make it difficult for some to simply throw out their cigarettes and retire their lighters.


When you quit, you may still experience cravings for nicotine. You may also experience sweating, insomnia, irritability, headaches, depression, weight gain, and other symptoms. The silver lining here is that these symptoms often go away in a couple of weeks — as long as you don’t give in to them, of course. Fortunately, the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic can help you deal with these symptoms in a healthy, all-natural way. We can also help you reduce cravings and finally quit smoking once and for all.


acupuncture for quitting smoking
Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie/


Acupuncture for quitting smoking

There are nicotine gum and patches that can help you through the worst of these withdrawal symptoms, and your doctor can also give you a prescription for nasal sprays and inhalers that act as nicotine replacements. However, there’s a chance that these won’t be 100% effective, and they also have possible side effects.


Of course, that doesn’t mean that you still shouldn’t try these remedies. However, you can also enhance their effects with acupuncture. One of the upsides of acupuncture is that it doesn’t just help you with the specific problem you came into the clinic with. It can also help boost your general well-being as well.



Acupuncture in a nutshell

According to the principles of TCM, an individual’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being is governed by a life force called qi (pronounced “chee”). Our qi flows through a body along markers called “meridians.” When the flow of this life force is disrupted, thrown out of balance, or gets concentrated around certain meridians, an ailment may occur.


Acupuncture is a treatment that seeks to restore the proper flow of qi. It entails the insertion of very fine needles into spots on the body that are considered to be acupuncture points. When these acupuncture points are stimulated by the needles, the qi will begin returning to its normal flow.


The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic provides acupuncture treatments and more. Our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Los Angeles’s Yo San University. She also has years of experience in treating people with acupuncture and other TCM practices.



How acupuncture for quitting smoking can help you

Acupuncture isn’t a magic cure that will get rid of your cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms just like that. The treatment focuses on helping treat the specific symptoms that the specific individual patient experiences. Thus, it will be able to help you deal with the physical, emotional, and mental effects of quitting smoking.


However, you will still carry much of the burden of disciplining yourself and making the necessary lifestyle changes that will help you quit your bad habits. Still, acupuncture can help ease that burden somewhat by helping ease symptoms like nicotine cravings, irritability, anxiety, and restlessness.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been serving the people of Santa Barbara since Dr. Jean Yu opened it in 1986. In 2016, Tram took the reins of the clinic and continued its tradition of providing all-natural and holistic healthcare to those who seek it. Tram can provide you with acupuncture for quitting smoking as well as for other issues.


Get it touch with us to schedule a consultation or make an appointment. You can reach us at 805-563-0222 or email us at It’s also possible to have consultations with Tram over the phone or via video call. Contact us today and begin your journey to good health!