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A Natural Way to Deal with Irregular Menstruation

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A Natural Way to Deal with Irregular Menstruation

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A Natural Way to Deal with Irregular Menstruation

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Acupuncture for Children: Is it Safe and Reliable?


Acupuncture for children may not seem like the best idea at first. After all, a lot of children aren’t all that good at holding still for too long. However, you may be surprised at how acupuncture can help your kids. You may also be surprised at how well your kids can take to this ancient healthcare practice.


acupuncture for children
Photo by Delfi de la Rua/


Childhood ailments that acupuncture can help treat

There is a variety of things that can affect our children’s health and impact their everyday activities. Some ailments and symptoms can make your child miss school or keep them from extracurricular activities and socializing.


Other than that, of course, we don’t want to see our children ailing or in pain. Fortunately, there are many ways to help children who aren’t feeling well, including acupuncture. There are certain medications and remedies that can help treat children’s issues, but some parents may choose not to let their children undergo these treatments for different reasons. Acupuncture for children can be a good alternative as well as complement to these treatments.


Researchers have found evidence that acupuncture can be effective against certain illnesses and afflictions in children:


  • Colic
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Endometriosis
  • Sleep problems
  • Joint pain
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Asthma and other respiratory problems
  • And more


Acupuncture for children

It may be surprising, but acupuncture is actually child-friendly. There is a respectable body of research that has found that acupuncture is safe and effective for children, and can help them maintain their health as well as their scholastic performance.


Of course, like any other kind of treatment, acupuncture is at its safest and most effective when it’s done by trained and experienced practitioners. Thus, if you want your child to undergo acupuncture, make sure that you seek out a practitioner that you can trust.


The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been in the business of providing healthcare guided by the age-old principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for over two decades. Our current owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has extensive training in acupuncture and other treatments under TCM. She has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles, as well as years of experience that have honed her skills and expertise.


The basics of acupuncture

Acupuncture is an important part of TCM. According to the principles of TCM, our health and well-being is governed by our energy force, called qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi flows through the body in channels called meridians. When qi flows normally, it results in good health and a good disposition. However, when this flow gets out of sync or gets concentrated in certain meridians, it can result in illness or other disturbances.


To restore the proper flow of qi, an acupuncturist would insert very fine needles through the skin in specific parts of the body called acupuncture points. Each acupuncture point corresponds to a certain symptom, and the stimulation of these acupuncture points can result in the alleviation of those symptoms.


Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, and it has developed over time. In more recent years, scientists have been more interested in this ancient practice. Through numerous studies, scientists have found that not only can acupuncture for children be effective, it also has minimal side effects when trained and skilled professionals administer it.


Usually, acupuncture can result in tingling or a feeling or heaviness in the body. This is a common effect of the treatment, and some even consider it to mean that the treatment is working. Numerous studies on acupuncture have found that side effects are minimal and are very rarely severe, and that these side effects are usually the result of an inexperienced and unlicensed acupuncturist or unsanitized needles.


However, at reputable practices with licensed acupuncturists, you can be assured that every needle has been sanitized and will only be used once and on a single patient. Even so, before you book an acupuncture appointment for your child, make sure to consult with her pediatrician first.


The effectiveness of acupuncture

acupuncture for cihldren
Babies can receive acupuncture treatment with little issues. Photo by Colin Maynard/


Babies and children can actually benefit from acupuncture, just like adults. For one thing, acupuncture for children can help reduce the number of times that you take your child to the hospital.


While TCM and Western medicine can complement each other extremely well, they also look at things quite differently. Western medicine bases treatments on the ailment itself, while TCM bases treatments on the individual patient and his or her symptoms. Thus, one visit to an acupuncturist can help address several symptoms at once.


It’s also possible that your child may be allergic to or otherwise unable to take necessary medications or undergo necessary treatments. Acupuncture can be a helpful alternative, and it can also be an effective complement to existing treatments.


Acupuncture treatments for babies and children also don’t take as long and aren’t as intensive as treatments tailored for adults.


You may be thinking, however, how babies can stay still long enough to endure the process of acupuncture. According to researchers, acupuncture can help colicky babies calm down. An experiment revealed that practitioners can administer acupuncture while babies are asleep, and that the treatment rarely wakes babies up.


One thing that you need to remember, however, is that acupuncture is not a replacement for medical treatment. If your child has a disease or health condition that needs to be managed, like diabetes, acupuncture is not a cure and will not make the condition go away.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


How to deal with fear of needles

Some children may have a fear of needles. Some may also be uncomfortable with the idea of having multiple needles piercing their skin. However, there are ways you can help your child get over this fear or discomfort.


It’s important to make it clear to the child that the needles will not be like the needles for giving shots or taking blood. Acupuncture needles are much thinner, and they don’t prick the way other needles do.


It’s also important to make sure that you introduce acupuncture to your child gradually. This will help her get used to the idea of the treatment. You can also let your child undergo acupressure first to help her understand how the treatment works.


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can be sure that acupuncture for children is safe and that we keep our equipment and instruments clean and sanitary. The clinic has also has a three-decade long tradition of providing the Santa Barbara and Goleta area with the ancient and time-proven practices of traditional Chinese medicine.


It’s never too early to start experiencing holistic and all-natural healthcare. You can make an appointment with Tram, our Licensed Acupuncturist, by calling us at 805-563-0222 or emailing us at You can also have a consultation over the phone or via video call.





Acupuncture for Chemotherapy Side Effects: An In-Depth Look


While it’s not the most common of remedies, acupuncture for chemotherapy side effects is worth considering. Chemotherapy drugs can be save lives, but they can also have very difficult side effects that can have quite an impact on the quality of the life of the patient.


That’s where acupuncture comes in. Acupuncture itself is generally low-risk, and it can help ease the burden of the side effects of chemotherapy.


chemotherapy side effects
Photo by Ken Treloar/


Chemotherapy side effects: An overview

Cancer cells spread quickly, which is one of the things that make them so dangerous. When cancer spreads, it becomes more difficult to treat. Chemotherapy drugs, therefore, need to be powerful enough to kill these fast-growing cells. However, chemo drugs can also affect fast-growing but healthy cells as well.


The damage to healthy cells can cause chemotherapy’s side effects. The cells found in your your hair follicles, mouth, digestive system, and bone marrow are the most prone to the ravages of chemo drugs. There’s also a chance that the chemo drugs can reduce your white blood cells, which can make you more prone to contracting infections.


There are certain medications that can be taken along with chemo drugs to reduce the effects of these side effects, but acupuncture can also be effective and helpful.



Common chemotherapy side effects

In films and TV shows, chemotherapy patients are often depicted to be losing their hair, losing their strength, and generally just very ill. While this depiction can be accurate in many cases, it’s a little too much for other cases. Some patients experience many side effects, some patients experience only a few, and some experience almost none at all.


Side effects can also differ. Hair loss may be one of the more well-known side effects, but not every patient undergoing chemo loses their hair. However, they may develop other side effects such as anemia, extreme weight gain or loss, and nerve and muscle issues.


Patients may also experience side effects such as dry or discolored skin, as well brittle or flaky nails. Other than that, there’s also the possibility of experiencing problems with the kidneys and urination, as well as the patient’s hearing.


If you are experiencing bleeding and bruising, make sure to immediately report it to your doctor. It may also be inadvisable for you to undergo acupuncture while you are going through bleeding and bruising.


Learn more about how cancer itself affects the body, and how acupuncture can help.



Side effects that can be relieved by acupuncture


A near-constant feeling of tiredness and weakness can also result from chemo drugs, though it can also be an effect of the cancer itself.


Digestive issues

Healthy cells in the digestive tract are also some of the more common types of cells that get caught in the chemo drug net. Thus, you may experience vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation as a result.


There are also medications that can help you deal with digestive problems that may arise from chemo drugs. However, there’s a chance that these medications may not work, and they may have side effects as well. In this case, acupuncture can be a good complement for this kind of treatment regimen.


Fertility issues

Some chemotherapy drugs have been found to be able to negatively impact a patient’s fertility, temporarily or even permanently. It’s therefore important to discuss all the known possible effects of chemotherapy drugs with your doctor as well as your partner.


Other than fertility, chemo drugs can also affect a patient’s libido.



How acupuncture can help

chemotherapy side effects
Find a natural remedy for chemotherapy side effects. Photo by David Cohen/


Acupuncture can be a good complement to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. However, it’s important to remember that acupuncture works best as a complementary treatment, not as an alternative to chemotherapy. While some of the effects of chemotherapy drugs can seem quite devastating, the drugs are vital to beating cancer. Acupuncture does not offer a cure to cancer, but it does offer relief and reprieve from the side effects of chemo drugs.


The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic can help you get back on your feet with the use of acupuncture. Tram Pham, our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, has years of experience providing all-natural and holistic care for those who seek it. She also has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University.



Acupuncture basics

According to traditional Chinese medicine, we all have an energy force called qi (pronounced “chee”) flowing through our body. When the qi is blocked or isn’t flowing through the body properly, it can lead to illnesses and pain. Acupuncture can help restore the flow of qi and restore the body’s good health.


Modern science has found that acupuncture does indeed have medical benefits, though researchers have not yet fully explored these benefits. We still have much to learn about the scientific workings of acupuncture, but the practice does have thousands of years of history behind it.


Acupuncture entails the insertion of fine needles into your skin at specific acupuncture points. These needles stimulate the acupuncture points, which results in the restoration of the balance of qi.


Before you make an appointment

While acupuncture has few side effects, you should still consult with your doctor if you intend to undergo acupuncture for chemotherapy side effects. Acupuncture can function quite well as an effective complementary treatment for Western medicine, but ensuring that they work well together does take some effort.


When you decide to book an appointment with the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, having your full medical and drug history ready will be essential. For acupuncture to be able to work well with your chemotherapy, your acupuncturist should be able to take your medical history into account when planning your treatment.



The benefits of acupuncture

Acupuncture can help with those experiencing some of the more common side effects of chemotherapy. If you’ve been experiencing fatigue, hot flashes, nausea, vomiting, and pain due to chemotherapy drugs, acupuncture can help relieve these side effects. The treatment can also help you feel generally better when you haven’t been feeling all that good due to the chemo drugs. There is also the possibility that acupuncture can help with regrowing hair that’s been lost in the course of chemotherapy.


If you’ve been looking for a natural, low-risk way to help you deal with chemotherapy-related symptoms, acupuncture for chemotherapy side effects can be effective. Medications that treat the side effects of chemo drugs can have side effects themselves. With acupuncture, you’ll be reducing the risks of experiencing more negative symptoms.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jean Yu. Tram took over the clinic in 2016 some time after the tragic and untimely death of Dr. Henry Han, who bought the clinic in 1991. With the reopening of the clinic, Santa Barbara residents were able to once again enjoy the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine.


Making an appointment with the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic is easy. You can just call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at We are open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm. If you’re not within driving distance but would still like a consultation, you can speak to Tram via phone or video call.


Get on the road to recovery with the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic!





Acupuncture for Cancer: The Effects of Cancer and How Acupuncture Can Help You


It’s true that acupuncture for cancer and its effects on the body won’t actually be able to cure the dreaded disease. However, it can make things easier and make the road to recovery a lot less bumpy. In a nutshell, acupuncture can make you feel better and perhaps even help give you the morale boost to keep fighting.


acupuncture for cancer
Photo via Pixabay


The effects of cancer and cancer treatments

Cancer can be a deadly disease, and fighting it can be harrowing and difficult. The disease develops when the body fails to recognize and correct genetic mistakes in the body’s cells. These mistakes can give rise to mutations that develop into cancer.


These cancer cells themselves can affect the body in different ways, but even the process of fighting the disease can take its toll. Cancer treatments are also notorious for being difficult to go through, with side effects that can weaken a person and affect their day-to-day life.


How cancer impacts the body and mind

When cancer cells spread, they begin to affect the body’s different systems. Cancer can alter the way that the body works and influence the effectiveness of the circulatory system, lymphatic system, immune system, and hormone system.


Other than these, cancer can also make the body lose both fat and muscle mass, resulting in unhealthy weight loss. Because some types of cancer compromise the immune system, you’re also more prone to infections borne by pathogens like bacteria and viruses. The skin and the lungs are particularly vulnerable, with pneumonia being a possible and sometimes fatal infection.


However, cancer doesn’t just affect patients physically. It also has a significant emotional and mental impact. Getting diagnosed with cancer, even when it’s in still in its early stages, can be a terrifying experience. This can lead to stress, which can affect sleep, which can also worsen your health.


Side effects of cancer treatments

While cancer treatments can and have saved lives, they are definitely not a walk in the park. There are a lot of adverse reactions associated with various cancer treatments, and it’s best to be fully up to speed about how each treatment suggested by your oncologist can affect you.


Hair and weight loss are perhaps the best known effects of cancer treatments, but there several more. Treatments can cause anemia, changes in eating habits and appetite, and pain. Fatigue is also perhaps the most common side effect, and it can result from anemia or the emotional toll of coping with treatments.


Patients may also notice many other changes in their body. Sores may appear on the skin, cuticles may turn red, and nails may crack or turn a dark yellow. Patients may also experience nausea and vomiting, urinary issues, constipation, diarrhea, and fertility issues in both men and women. There are other issues that can also occur, like lymphedema, nerve problems, delirium, and neutropenia.


Learn more about the effects of cancer treatments and how acupuncture can help patients.


Acupuncture for cancer

Photo via Pixabay


It’s important to reiterate that acupuncture is not a cure. It’s not an alternative to chemotherapy or to any other treatments for cancer. If you choose to undergo acupuncture, it cannot replace cancer treatments planned by your oncologist. Acupuncture can help make you feel better and healthier, but that doesn’t mean that you actually are getting better. However, acupuncture can help make beating the disease easier on you.


Acupuncture for cancer has also been found to function well as a complement to Western medicine. Before you book an appointment with an acupuncturist, however, make sure to discuss your options with your doctors first. That way, you and your medical team are all up to speed.


The basics of acupuncture

Acupuncture is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The principles of TCM state that a life force called qi (pronounced “chee”) circulates through the body along markers called meridians. Qi is believed to regulate a person’s well-being, and when it goes out of balance, it can result in illness.The simulation of meridians of acupoints through various methods, like acupuncture, can restore the balance and the normal flow of qi.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can experience the different modalities of TCM and get help restoring your qi to its normal flow. The clinic’s owner and resident Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, can help patients with a wide variety of issues. She has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University, as well as years of experience dispensing all-natural and holistic health care to numerous clients.


How acupuncture can help

Acupuncture for cancer can help support you during your treatment and recovery. Cancer and cancer treatments have a variety of negative impacts on your body, which can not only weaken you and make you susceptible to other diseases, but can also affect you emotionally and mentally.


An important benefit of acupuncture is pain relief. Studies have found that acupuncture can be effective in helping reduce and relieve pain caused by a variety of issues. This means that acupuncture can help reduce the amount of pain medication you take, which means there are fewer side effects that you’ll have to watch out for.


Cancer treatments can also cause vomiting and nausea, which acupuncture has also been found to be able to reduce nausea and incidents of vomiting among cancer patients. The treatments can affect digestion in various ways as well, including making eating difficult due to swelling and reducing appetite.


Other than that, acupuncture can also lift your mood and improve your outlook. It can help relieve stress and make you feel happier and more relaxed, thus making you more emotionally stable.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Dr. Jean Yu founded the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic in 1986, then sold it to Dr. Henry Han some years later. After Dr. Han’s tragic demise in 2016, the clinic was closed for a few months. However, in the same year, Tram Pham re-opened the clinic and continued its tradition of providing the people Santa Barbara holistic and all-natural healthcare.


If you would like to experience acupuncture for cancer treatments or other health issues, you can book an appointment by calling us at 805-563-0222 or emailing us at Tram also offers consultations over the phone or via video call. Contact us today to begin your journey to better health!





Acupuncture for Anxiety: How Acupuncture Can Help Calm You Down


Finding ways to improve your mental health can be tough, but acupuncture for anxiety can be a viable option. About 44 million adults in America suffer from an anxiety disorder — disorders that can impact a person’s life in various ways. However, it can be difficult to find the right medication or the right therapist that can help you with your issues. Fortunately, acupuncture can help you take back control of your life.


acupuncture for anxiety
Photo by Sydney Sims/


What is anxiety?

Anxiety was actually instrumental in the survival of our species. Our ancestors developed mechanisms that protected them from potential danger. In dangerous situations, such as the approach of a predatory animal, the body would sound the alarm in the form of an increase in adrenaline. The adrenaline would, in turn, cause an increase in awareness, sweating, and a faster heartbeat.


This is what we call our “fight-or-flight” response. It allowed our ancestors to think and act quickly in pressing situations, which allowed them to increase their chances of survival. However, most humans in modern times don’t have to worry about outrunning and escaping large predators. Even so, this fight-or-flight instinct has not left us.


Anxiety in a nutshell

We all experience anxiety in varying degrees and varying situations. You may feel anxiety because you’re late for class for the nth time this semester, or because your boss has called you into their office. You may feel anxiety over an ailing loved one, or because you’re entering an unfamiliar, potentially dangerous place.


Feeling anxiety is normal — to a certain extent, that is. However, when your anxiety becomes persistent, becomes more intense that it should be in a given situation, or begins to affect your daily activities, you may have an anxiety disorder.


When anxiety becomes a disorder

There are many stressors around us that can trigger anxiety. However, when your anxiety seems disproportionately intense compared to its trigger, or you experience physical symptoms such as nausea or dizziness, it’s possible that an anxiety disorder is in the works. It’s also possible that an anxiety attack may occur without an obvious trigger.


There are different types of anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and phobia. All these types are different in nature, but at they can all affect the way you function in your everyday life.


How anxiety can affect you

Anxiety can affect you in a variety of ways. You may experience sudden but passing feelings of fear and terror, accompanied by physical symptoms such as breathing issues, increased heart rate, dizziness, and shakiness. It’s also possible that you begin changing your behavior or avoiding certain things or situations to avoid panic or anxiety attacks.


These symptoms can have a significant impact on your everyday life, and you may feel compelled to take drastic measures to avoid triggers. Going through an anxiety attack can also be extremely unpleasant, and finding ways to avoid it is vital to your physical, mental, and social well-being.


There are certain medications and techniques that can help you deal with anxiety, but you can also turn to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for relief.


Acupuncture for anxiety

acupuncture for anxiety
Can acupuncture help you with anxiety? Photo by Dingzeyu Li/


Acupuncture is one of the most important components of TCM. While there is still a dearth of research on the subject, studies have found that acupuncture can potentially be helpful in dealing with anxiety. At worst, it will have no effect on your anxiety, but at least it can benefit you in other ways.


While acupuncture has not been scientifically proven to cure anxiety disorders, it does provide relief from the symptoms during the treatment. It can be an important component of a multi-part treatment plan to help cope with anxiety. If you for any reason can’t take medication for your anxiety, or if you’re struggling with therapy, acupuncture for anxiety can help you keep your fears and worries in check.


Acupuncture basics

TCM bases its techniques on principles that differ from the principles of Western medicine. For one thing, in TCM, treatments are based on the symptoms experienced by the individual. In Western medicine, however, treatments are based on the nature of the ailment itself.


Acupuncture and TCM are also based on the principle that a life force called qi (pronounced “chee”) governs our health and emotional well-being. Qi flows through different parts of the body along markers called meridians. When the flow of qi is disturbed or becomes concentrated around certain meridians, it can result in an illness.


The flow of qi can be corrected with the use of hair-thin needles that are inserted into specific acupuncture points. These needles stimulate these points and push the flow of qi back into its normal path.


How acupuncture helps with anxiety

Scientific research on acupuncture for anxiety is still limited, and the results are somewhat mixed. Some studies claim that acupuncture can indeed reduce the symptoms of people with generalized anxiety disorder. However, later studies also claim that the previous research had been designed poorly.


Still, a more recent study on rats concluded that there is a possibility that acupuncture may be able to affect a person’s fight-or-flight instinct. There is also evidence that acupuncture may be able to help reduce the body’s stress response by regulating the production of stress hormones and inducing the production of endorphins.


Even though the research on acupuncture for anxiety isn’t comprehensive yet, it does show promise. However, this doesn’t have to stop you from undergoing acupuncture, since there’s no evidence that the procedure could worsen anxiety. Thus, there is very low risk but there can also be significant reward.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture has been found to be generally safe, with very low risk of side effects. You may feel some tingling or a feeling of heaviness after a session. However, practitioners consider this to be a sign that the treatment is working.


Usually, when acupuncture has negative effects, it’s not related to the treatment itself. A possible side effect is due to the use of unsanitized needles, which can cause infections.  However, licensed and experienced acupuncturists take care to sanitize their needles. These needles are only used once and only on one patient.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you won’t have to worry about infections or inexperienced practitioners. Our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles. She also has years of experience with acupuncture and other practices in TCM. With her as your Acupuncturist, you’ll be in good hands.


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Dr. Jean Yu founded the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic in 1986. Since then, it has been providing the people of Santa Barbara with holistic and all-natural healthcare. Tram took over the clinic from its second long-time proprietor, the late Dr. Han, and has been continuing to provide the clinic’s services since then.


Interested in acupuncture for anxiety? You can call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at We are open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm. You can also have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call.





Acupuncture for Acne: How Acupuncture Can Help Your Skin


You may wish that you had known about acupuncture for acne when you were in your teens, but it’s not too late to start. If you’re experiencing problems with your skin, or you’re a teen still in the thick of puberty, acupuncture can be effective in helping you clear your skin right up. It may not be the most common or well-known of acne remedies, but it’s definitely worth trying out.


acne solutions
Photo by Scott Webb/


Acne in a nutshell

Acne is more than just something that can make or break school pictures. Some people may stop getting acne as much as they grow into adulthood, while others may still have bad acne even as adults. Acne has a lot of causes, and for some, it can be difficult to get rid of.


Pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, nodules, and cysts are all considered to be acne. There are various treatments that can help manage acne, such as specially formulated facial washes or medication. However, acupuncture for acne has also been found to be quite effective, and it’s something that you may want to consider if you’ve exhausted all the usual remedies without much luck.



We have hair follicles all over our skin. When these hair follicles get clogged with dirt, dead skin, sebum, they form a sort of plug. When this plug is infected by bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes, acne is more likely to occur. Acne most commonly shows up on the face, chest, back, and shoulders, and can also vary in severity.


There are a lot of things that can make you more likely to develop acne. Hormones can cause breakouts, and so can menstruation, stress, medications, a hot and humid climate, and oily cosmetics. If you pop pimples, you’ll also be more likely to develop more acne.


Usual remedies

Many people have that one acne remedy that they finally found after a long time of battling acne and that they swear by. For some, all it may take to prevent acne is sticking to a hygiene regimen. For others, their acne may flare up at a certain point during their menstrual cycle and clear up in a week or so.


A lot of factors can come into play when it comes to acne, and sometimes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to preventing breakouts. A proper diet, a hygiene regimen, frequent hand-washing, avoiding stress, and taking measures to prevent sweating can all help prevent and clear up acne.


If your acne is severe, you’ll need to see a dermatologist or skin specialist who can prescribe antibiotics, topical remedies, or medications that can help you manage your acne. However, you can also undergo acupuncture as an alternative or a complement to those remedies.



Acupuncture for acne

Acupuncture probably isn’t something you’ve considered when it comes to acne treatment, prevention, and management. Even so, there is compelling evidence that acupuncture can help you when many other acne remedies and treatments have failed. This may seem like acupuncture for acne is a last resort, but you can definitely undergo acupuncture before you run out of remedies to try.


Of course, you may have some misgivings about acupuncture, especially since it entails the use of multiple needles. However, acupuncture is generally safe and low-risk, and the insertion of needles doesn’t usually hurt. Acupuncture needles are finer than needles used for injections and other similar purposes, so they won’t cause much pain when inserted.


The basics of acupuncture

acupuncture for acne
Photo via Pixabay


Acupuncture is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to TCM, a life force called qi (pronounced “chee”) flows through every individual along markers called meridians. When the flow of qi is disrupted, it can result in physical, emotional, or mental problems.


To restore the proper flow and balance of qi, a licensed acupuncturist inserts fine needles into acupuncture points. Each acupuncture point is tied to an organ in the body as well as specific symptoms. The insertion of needles stimulates these acupuncture points, which in turn stimulate qi into returning to its normal flow.


Acupuncture is generally safe and low-risk. Most of its risks are related to unlicensed and inexperienced acupuncturists, as well as the improper use of needles. However, a licensed acupuncturist will make sure that you receive proper care.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about. Tram Pham, our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles. She also has years of experience in treating patients using acupuncture as well as other TCM modalities.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


How acupuncture can help you

Acne has been in the crosshairs of TCM for a long time. In fact, an ancient Chinese medical document called Huangdi Neijing mentions acne and concludes that it’s the result of “heat, toxicity, and dampness.” (Note that “heat” in TCM seems to be equivalent to “inflammation” in terms of biomedicine). According to this document, excess heat in the stomach and lungs can swell up into the face and result in acne.


The stimulation of specific meridians or acupuncture points can remove and regulate this heat, thus helping you manage acne. Other than that, acupuncture can also affect the activity of hair follicles. Hair follicles in acupuncture points stimulated by needles may also be induced to produce less sebum, thus reducing the chances of acne developing.



Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, we provide a variety of treatments and remedies guided by the principles and age-old modalities of TCM. This includes acupuncture for acne and other ailments and issues. The clinic has been serving the Santa Barbara area since 1986, and it is carrying on that tradition under the guidance of Tram, our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist.


You can schedule an appointment of consultation with us by calling us at 805-563-0222 or emailing us at You can also have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call. Contact us today and get started on your journey to clearer and healthier skin!





Acupuncture for Acid Reflux: Information on Acid Reflux and the Benefits of Acupuncture


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you’ll have the opportunity to undergo acupuncture for acid reflux. Acid reflux can be somewhat common, and it can range from uncomfortable to potentially cancer-causing. Thus, treating it is of utmost importance. However, treatment isn’t always easy or simple, and that’s where acupuncture can come in. In the case of acid reflux, acupuncture can function both as an alternative treatment as well as a complementary one.


acid reflux
Photo via Pixabay


What you need to know about acid reflux

Acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, acid indigestion, or pyrosis. The condition manifests as a burning pain in the lower chest — a pain that results from stomach acid moving up into the esophagus.


This is a somewhat common issue that many people experience once in a while. However, when acid reflux starts occurring more than twice a week, it has likely developed into a disease such as GERD. There are also certain foods and habits that can increase the likelihood of you experiencing acid reflux.


You can take medications such as H2 blockers, which are formulated to help reduce acid production in the stomach, as well as reduce the potential damage that acid can cause. However, you can also undergo acupuncture as a complement or alternative to these medications.



Our stomachs have hydrochloric acid, which can be quite strong. It helps the stomach digest food and protect from bacteria. The stomach has a protective lining that keeps the negative effects of hydrochloric acid at bay, but this lining doesn’t extend into the esophagus. Thus, when acid reflux occurs, there is a painful burning sensation involved.


One cause of acid reflux is the failure of a muscle called the gastroesophageal sphincter to perform its function properly. The gastroesophageal sphincter allows food to enter the stomach and keeps the food from making its way back into the esophagus. When this muscle fails, however, acid reflux can occur.


Another possible cause is a hiatal hernia. The hiatus is a wall of muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest cavity. Normally, the esophagus goes through the hiatus and connects to the stomach. However, when a hiatal hernia occurs, the stomach intrudes into the chest instead. This can cause acid reflux, let small bits of food back up, and even cause bad breath and difficulty swallowing.


Risk factors

Unfortunately, if you have a hiatal hernia, there’s not much you can do to solve the problem at the source. However, if it’s your habits that are causing your acid reflux, some lifestyle changes may be in order. Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and eating habits may all increase the risk of developing acid reflux.


Acid reflux may also occur due to pregnancy, certain medications, certain foods, or eating large meals.


When to see a doctor

If you’ve made the necessary lifestyle changes and taken the necessary medications, but you’re still experiencing symptoms, it may be necessary to see a doctor. You should also go see your doctor if you’ve been losing weight for seemingly no reason, getting food stuck in your throat, and having heartburn for three or more consecutive days.


Your doctor may prescribe medicine for you, but if the symptoms come back after you’ve finished your medication, you may need long-term prescriptions. You also have the option of acupuncture if it seems that nothing is working, or if you simply want the experience. Before you book an acupuncture appointment, however, make sure to speak to your physician about your options.


acupuncture and medical advice
Talk to your doctor first before booking your first acupuncture appointment. Photo via Pixabay.


Acupuncture for acid reflux

There may be a chance that you won’t be responsive to medications prescribed to you for acid reflux. Fortunately, researchers have found that acupuncture is an effective alternative for when medications aren’t working. There is also evidence that acupuncture can help improve the function of esophageal muscles that regulate the flow of stomach acid.


Acupuncture is generally safe, though it may result in some bruising at the needle insertion sites as well as a feeling of heaviness. However, these side effects go away shortly, and more severe side effects are very rare and are usually the result of an inexperienced or unlicensed acupuncturist.


The basics of acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the most important components of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to the principles of TCM, our health is governed by the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”), an energy force that flows through points in our body called meridians. When this flow gets out of sync or is concentrated around certain meridians, it results in ill health. Acupuncture is meant to restore the flow of qi and thus restore good health.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can expect all-natural and holistic healthcare, including acupuncture. Our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University. She also has years of experience providing treatment based on the age-old principles of TCM.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


How acupuncture can help treat acid reflux

There is evidence that acupuncture can help improve your body’s mechanisms against acid reflux. Studies have found that acupuncture can help improve the function of the lower esophageal sphincter, which can help keep stomach acid out of the chest area.


Also, a type of gastroesophageal disease called refractory GERD does not respond to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are medications that decrease the production of stomach acid. However, research has found that acupuncture, can help improve refractory GERD. There is also research that has found that acupuncture can be more effective than a type of PPI called omeprazole.


While acupuncture can be an alternative to PPIs, it can also work well with the medications. It’s best to consult with both your doctor and your acupuncturist to find the exact root of your acid reflux and come up with the best way to address the issue.



Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been around since 1986, providing the Santa Barbara and Goleta area with treatments grounded in TCM’s age-old principles. Tram, our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, took over the clinic in 2016. With her skills and experience, you can trust the clinic to provide you with effective acupuncture for acid reflux.


Call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at to book an appointment or schedule a consultation with Tram. Even if you are not within driving distance, you can have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call. Contact us today and begin your journey to holistic health.





Acupuncture and How It Could Help Deal with Puberty


Acupuncture and teens’ reproductive health

Acupuncture and reproductive health often go hand in hand when talking about women’s health. However, did you know reproductive health is also an important factor for young girls? According to statistical data, the age at which females today have their first menstruation is progressively getting younger. In fact, some girls reportedly get their periods as young as seven or eight. This is largely attributed to the kind of nutrition that children today are getting, which is heavier on fat than in previous decades. Consequently, their bodies not only grow faster physically but also to mature more quickly internally.


However, this does not automatically mean that their minds are also prepared for such transformations. Rapid changes to their body can lead to fear and confusion. These changes can also lead to anger, depression, and body-image disorders in the worst case. For girls, there’s also the issue of dealing with the symptoms that usually come with puberty. These symptoms include acne, PMS, cramps, and other stressors.  



Can acupuncture help children with puberty?

Yes, it can. Acupuncture could prove especially helpful with children’s issues. It seeks to bring back balance to all the systems in the body that adolescence can throw out of order. Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that the root of many ailments is blockages in the body’s “meridians.” These are energy pathways that every person has running throughout the body. Specific ailments arise when blockages form in specific “points.”


These points and meridians have corresponding terms in Western medicine. They are part of a system of healing that is incredibly complete and comprehensive because it has been in practice for several thousand years. Fortunately, younger people have repeatedly shown themselves to be more responsive to treatments like acupuncture. This is mostly because their energy has not yet “set in.” It is still malleable like clay, and whatever issue may be present is easier to correct.


It is also not just the physical ails that come with puberty (like growing pains and acne) which acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine’s modalities seek to treat. The first thing that many patients remark on after receiving acupuncture is how much more relaxed they feel and how lighter and brighter their mood has become. Acupuncture triggers the release of “happy hormones” in the brain, contributing greatly to a patient’s emotional and mental wellbeing. This is greatly invaluable for adolescents who already have a cocktail of issues they have to deal with socially and interpersonally—without puberty making things even more difficult.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The clinic’s owner and lead acupuncture practitioner is Ms. Tram Pham, L.Ac., and she takes pride in having women’s and children’s health as two of her major specialties. She took over the clinic from the renowned Dr. Henry Han who has passed in tragic circumstances and had studied under the late Dr. Richard Tan, who was Master and pioneer of the Balance Method of distal acupuncture. She combines all the knowledge and techniques under her belt with the vision and values that Santa Barbara Herb Clinic is known for in order to serve each and every patient in the manner they most need.


For instance, we can reassure needle-phobic children that they won’t feel much pain, if any at all, during treatments. This is because the clinic utilizes premium Japanese acupuncture needles that are sterile, longer, and thinner. Patients will feel little sensation from these needles, and in most cases for children, the needles won’t need to stay in for long.


Please give the clinic a call if you’d like to set an appointment. If you live outside the Goleta or Santa Barbara area, you may also have the option of getting a consultation via video or phone call. We can also prescribe herbal remedies prescribed from the clinic’s Herbal Pharmacy and mail them right to your doorstep.






Acupuncture For Teenagers | Lion’s Heart Wellness –


Why the Age You Get Your Period Matters – For the Rest Of Your Life. Taryn Hillin –

Pediatric Mental Health: The Benefits of Acupuncture

pediatric mental health
Photo Source: Sathyatripodi, Pixabay


For parents, it could come as a devastating shock to learn that mental illnesses can also develop in children. Thus, pediatric mental health is a serious matter. However, if we look back to when we ourselves were at that age, the reality could become clearer. There’s a good chance we too had gone through the same emotional and mental difficulties. These difficulties may include low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and anger. In fact, it’s fair to speculate that some, if not most, adults with mental health issues might be able to trace the roots of their condition back to their childhood.


It is no easy matter to address, but address it we must. Because if ever there’s a time when mental illness might possibly be reversed, it is during the person’s early years when they are still undergoing rapid and fluid transitions and their course through life, health, and happiness could be more readily adjusted for the better.



Do children and acupuncture mix?

Some of you might be thinking that the first question that needs answering is “How can you get children to agree to an acupuncture treatment?” and you’ll be correct. Most older children would need little encouragement, especially after trying it out once and feeling little to none of the pain they might be expecting. Most younger children, on the other hand, have a deep-seated fear of needles. In order to convince them that acupuncture needles are vastly different from those of syringes, they might need to see needle insertion being done to their parents or guardians and to be given reassurance that it doesn’t hurt and could barely be felt at all.


That doesn’t even have to be a white lie. Acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic uses thinner and sharper Japanese acupuncture needles that enter the skin’s surface with far less resistance and with even lesser sensation. These premium needles are highly ideal for use in children, and they come at no extra cost. Because children’s acupuncture is one of the clinic’s specialties, we make it a point to only use this type of needle for all our patients in order to create an acupuncture experience that they would not only benefit from but also highly enjoy in the moment.



How can acupuncture improve pediatric mental health?

One example is when Tram Pham, our licensed acupuncturist, uses ear seeds for children experiencing anxiety. These are like stickers that she places on pressure points in the ear. The ear seeds have bumps on them and they stay on for several days. Children can press these bumps to release a pressure point that helps them feel calmer. Tram also prescribes custom herbs for patients who are seeking emotional balance so that they can continue the healing process between acupuncture treatments.


It may also come as another surprise that once children get over their apprehensions, acupuncture treatments can and do become pleasant and something they’d look forward to. As mentioned before, growing children are still highly adaptable both emotionally and mentally. And while this is good news in terms of the desired outcomes for traditional Chinese medicine modalities, this is also the main reason they’d need to get treatment like acupuncture in the first place. Growth hormones, along with the pressures of their environments, could throw the healthy and roaring flow of life energy in their bodies out of order. This can manifest as illnesses of the mind, spirit, and sometimes the body.


Acupuncture for children seeks to correct these imbalances. One of the ways that this can happen is through promoting the production of “happy hormones” like endorphins in the brain. This and acupuncture’s other holistic effects can induce relaxation. It can also ease tensions and anxieties, lift mood, and calm anger, among many other things. The welcome benefits might also be observed quicker in children than in adults, and this is also owing to their more open and adaptable nature.




About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Our clinic’s owner and lead practitioner, Tram Pham, L.Ac., is both a mother and a medical practitioner. Tram thus strongly advocates the promotion of pediatric mental health and children’s wellness.


She studied the distal healing technique called the Balance Method under its late pioneer and Master, Dr. Richard Tan. She also took over the ownership and practice of Santa Barbara Herb Clinic from the late and renowned Dr. Henry Han.


To help adults and children alike attain their optimum health, she combines traditional Chinese healing modalities like fire cupping, tui na or acupressure, moxibustion, and herbal treatments with a highly effective acupuncture system. You can set an appointment for yourself or your child and visit us at the clinic. You can also opt for a remote consultation via phone or video call.


The clinic’s Herbal Pharmacy houses powerful and therapeutic herbs, teas, pills, and formulations. These can also serve to improve pediatric mental health and other conditions. We can mail herbal remedies straight to your door whether you live in the Goleta and Santa Barbara area or farther away.






Acupuncture and Mental Health in Teens | Acupuncture Health Insights –


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Pediatric Pain Disorders: How Acupuncture Can Help


Acupuncture can be an effective alternative treatment to pharmaceutical drugs for a wide range of ailments. This is why parents go for this natural healing method in treating their children. If your child is medication-sensitive, try acupuncture as a treatment for your child as it doesn’t have the side effects of regular medication. Moreover, studies have shown that the adverse effects of acupuncture are mild, and any sensation felt during or after needling are brief.


Parents tend to be okay with the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach of acupuncture to help treat their children’s disorders. However, children need to be primed or convinced that acupuncture can be fine for them. There are also extra gentle treatment protocols that guide children’s acupuncture treatment. At times, all the acupuncturist needs to do is to gently insert the needle in and out, with no need for the needles to stay on the skin for a long time.


pediatric pain
Photo Source: Alexander Dummer, Unsplash


Studies on Acupuncture for Pediatric Pain Management

According to a National Health Statistics report in 2007, there were around 150,000 children in the United States who received acupuncture treatment for cases such as abdominal pain, headaches, migraines, anxiety, and musculoskeletal problems. Another related treatment, which is acupressure, doesn’t involve needles, is often used to help children undergoing cancer treatment.


A study by Dr. Yuan-Chi Lin from the Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital found that children who received acupuncture reported relief from a variety of illnesses such as headaches, back pain, stomach ache, and other chronic complaints. The children experienced less pain after getting acupuncture compared to their condition before the treatment. The children also reported improved sleep, increased school attendance, and more participation in extracurricular activities with the help of acupuncture therapy.


An earlier study at the Children’s Hospital also found that 70% of patients experienced pain relief from acupuncture. The conditions that were treated included endometriosis, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and migraines.


Learn more about how acupuncture can help your child.



Acupuncture Treatment Method For Pediatric Pain Management

Acupuncture for children varies with age. If a child is under 6 years old, the treatment would just be around 10 – 15 minutes. For ages 6 to 12, it would be 15 – 20 minutes. For 12 to 16 years old, the treatment would span around 30 minutes.


Tram Pham, our licensed acupuncturist, would usually ask children to point out where the pain is, and what is the current pain level on a scale of 1 to 10. As Tram puts the needles in, she will ask the child to mobilize the area to help bring back the energy there. She then re-checks their pain level to see if it has moved to any secondary locations. The treatment continues up until the pain level has at least decreased to 50%.


Tram may also prescribe herbal remedies to treat pediatric pain disorders. This can be a tea which they can drink after meals. She can also recommend one of the many topical pain relievers available in our in-house herbal pharmacy. Children and adults find that our affordable and easy to use plasters and oils are of great help in relieving pain.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Is Acupuncture Safe for Children?

An article published by the journal Pediatrics presented peer-reviewed studies confirming that most adverse effects of acupuncture are mild. Dr. Sunita Vohra, director of the CARE Program for Integrative Health and Healing at the University of Alberta, stated that pediatric acupuncture is safe under trained hands.


During an acupuncture session, a practitioner will insert needles into different points on the body. This creates a stimulating or calming effect that can reduce certain symptoms. It can also encourage the release of endorphins in the body, which is why there’s a relieving or relaxing effect after the treatment.


If children are afraid of needles, they can undergo acupressure. Acupressure doesn’t involve needles and only involves applying pressure on certain acupuncture points in the body. The procedure can also be taught by a licensed acupuncturist to children, or administered by parents in cases where there’s a lot of anxiety around needles. Acupressure therapies, when done correctly, can provide relief from certain symptoms.



Does an Acupuncture Treatment Hurt?

Acupuncture treatments are relatively pain-free. The most that children will experience after an acupuncture treatment is a dull ache or slight tingling feeling around the base of the inserted needle. There are instances that a child may cry during the treatment, but the sensation will go away quickly. Your acupuncturist may give a little massage after taking out the needles to lessen the numbing.



Take the Next Step By Consulting with a Licensed Acupuncturist

Acupuncture is a natural, safe and effective treatment for pediatric pain as well as a variety of ailments. It tackles the root cause of your child’s health concerns and holistically heals the body. Book an appointment now by calling 805-563-0222 to get a consultation and treatment which are specific to your child’s health needs. Our licensed acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner, Tram Pham L.Ac, also conducts phone and video consultations. We also ship herbal prescriptions from our in-house pharmacy to wherever you are in the world.





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Postoperative Acupuncture: Aiding Your Recovery

Photo via VisualHunt .com


Multiple studies have shown that getting acupuncture treatments before and after undergoing surgery can reduce pain due to the operation. Postoperative acupuncture can also cut down the amount of painkillers needed during recovery. However, using acupuncture to reduce pain and speed up recovery post-operation is not a new discovery. These results have actually been well-documented and substantiated again and again. Acupuncture has even been historically used to anesthetize patients during an operation.


Acupuncture can also help with issues like lowering the stress levels before and after the operation. It can also reduce the occurrence of scarring. Other than that, it can boost the body’s stamina and immunity before the operation. This limits the chance of succumbing to other illnesses afterwards. Of course, the treatment can help speed up recovery by inducing relaxation and improving blood circulation to promote faster healing.



How can postoperative acupuncture help with recovery?

There’s ultimately little difference to how acupuncture could help treat an ailment and how it could help heal surgery, which are basically injuries that the body has suffered. The body and, in particular, the energy flowing throughout the body’s meridians or energy pathways would look at these injuries and see blockages, barring the way to an effective flow in parts and throwing the entirety out of balance. Acupuncture seeks to unblock these passages and restore the energy flow by stimulating points that are interlinked to each other, and in so doing help relax the body, reduce the perception of pain, draw out inflammation, and help the injured parts knit together and renew itself.


You don’t have to look at the words “energy,” “points,” and “meridians” and take them in their literal sense. Specifically, meridians might as well be describing the blood vessels. The “energy” mentioned could be blood and the energy it actually does carry in each cell. The points, meanwhile, are actual concentrations of nerve endings near the skin’s surface. When ultra-thin acupuncture needles stimulate these points, it can activate certain responses. This can also induce the body to release chemicals that it needs not only to reduce pain but also to begin putting itself to rights.


Learn more about how acupuncture can help you manage pain.



Acupuncture can help keep patients calm before their surgery. Photo by Natalia Figueredo/


Acupuncture before, during, and after surgery

What do all these spell out for a patient who’s about to go under the knife? For one thing, they’d probably be highly anxious about it, and it could cause other symptoms to manifest that are quite outside of the ailment they need to have surgery for. Getting pre-operative acupuncture treatments could help them relax, first and foremost—getting their mind and spirit as prepared as they could be for what’s coming while also preparing their body for the trauma and the coming pain, because acupuncture helps the body release natural painkillers such as endorphins.


Even as soon as the surgery is over, postoperative acupuncture can already help the patient manage the pain through the same mechanism mentioned for pre-operative treatment. It could also possibly serve to boost and strengthen the body’s immunity. Because the body perceives it as a threat, the invasive procedure will have significantly weakened immune system. The reason that acupuncture perceives surgical injuries the same way it would an illness is because the body itself treats them as such.


Acupuncture doesn’t just help the body deal with pain and be less susceptible to other illnesses. It might also be able to help the body heal faster by correcting and improving the flow of energy (or blood and other elements needed for healing) throughout the pathways, strengthening the connections in the process. Helping to lessen the appearance of the resulting scar is yet another way to employ postoperative acupuncture. This might also go a long way in helping ease any psychological or emotional concerns on that regard.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

It may seem counterintuitive that having needles inserted all over one’s skin could help you deal with pain of any kind. However, acupuncture does display surprising results, and patients actually feel very little to no pain during treatments. Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic uses premium Japanese acupuncture needles that are thinner and longer than average. Thus, they can be quite effective though they’re unlikely to hurt. This is highly ideal especially for children and the elderly, but we use them for all our patients at no extra cost.


The clinic also has an Herbal Pharmacy that extensively houses various herbs, teas, powders, pills, and other health supplements. These can also work wonders for those who are going to have or have undergone surgery. For people living outside the Santa Barbara area, we can mail your prescribed herbal remedies after receiving a consultation with our owner and lead acupuncture practitioner, Tram Pham, L.Ac., via phone or video call. Kindly contact us to set an appointment by calling 805-563-0222 or emailing us at