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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....


Acupuncture for Orthopedics: Common Orthopedic Issues Among the Elderly and How Acupuncture Can Help


Aging isn’t a walk in the park, but you can help yourself age more gracefully with acupuncture for orthopedics. When our golden years hit, our bodies just won’t work as well as they used to. Our hearing and eyesight will worsen, our hair will turn gray, and our skin will wrinkle and sag. Aging can also be quite hard on our bones, making it more difficult to move around and go about our business.


Luckily, however, acupuncture can help with orthopedic issues related to aging. While acupuncture will not be able to reverse the aging process, it can help make it so much easier.


acupuncture for orthopedics
Photo by Val Ves/


Common orthopedic issues in aging

There are a number of orthopedic issues that may arise as we grow older. The elderly are more prone to medical conditions like osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, as well as issues like fractures and dislocations. In the case of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, acupuncture for orthopedics has been found to be an effective aid in managing and even possibly preventing the two diseases.

Osteoarthritis can hit you in the joints, while osteoporosis weakens your bones and makes them more susceptible to fractures. Both can be manageable, though once they develop, the process can no longer be reversed.




As the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is known to affect millions of people across the globe. It is common among the elderly, especially among women. Risk factors such as genetics, obesity, injuries in the joints, bone deformities, and having an occupation that puts stress on particular joints can all make you more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis.


You may have osteoarthritis is you have pain and stiffness in any joint. The joint may also feel tender and inflexible, giving off a grating feeling when try to flex or bend the joint.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, which means it can get worse as time passes. Unmanaged osteoarthritis can cause pain and stiffness in the joints, eventually preventing people with the disease from working or accomplishing many daily activities.



Osteoporosis is quite different from osteoarthritis. Where osteoarthritis affects the joints, osteoporosis affects the bones themselves. Another difference is that osteoporosis doesn’t have telling symptoms; people with osteoporosis may only discover the disease when their bones experience a fracture.


This is a disease that causes bones to weaken and lose density, thus making them more susceptible to fractures and breaks. A doctor can take x-rays of your bones and measure their density to figure out if you do indeed have osteoporosis.


As in the case of osteoarthritis, women are more prone to developing osteoporosis. However, there are also other risk factors. Genetics, a history of fractures during the adult years, a history of rheumatoid arthritis, and a family history of osteoporosis are all risk factors. Things like smoking, high alcohol consumption, a low birth weight, a sedentary lifestyle, and a lack of calcium and vitamin D can all increase the risk of osteoporosis as well.


acupuncture for the elderly
In what ways can the elderly benefit from acupuncture? Photo by Lukas Budimaier/


Acupuncture for orthopedics

For many people, acupuncture may not be at the top of the list when it comes to remedies for the symptoms of various illnesses. This may be because people don’t know much about acupuncture, or they haven’t heard about it much. They may also feel intimidated by the use of multiple needles, or maybe the procedure and the principles it’s based on are just too unfamiliar.


However, acupuncture isn’t difficult to understand, and it’s also generally painless. Acupuncture needles don’t prick the way that other needles do, since they’re very fine and aren’t meant to pierce through veins. At worst, you may have some bruising around the areas in which needles are inserted, but acupuncture is generally low-risk if you go to a licensed and skilled practitioner.



Acupuncture in a nutshell

Acupuncture is an integral component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which views health and healthcare differently from Western medicine. According to the principles of TCM,  our physical emotional and mental health is governed by an energy source called qi (pronounced “chee”).


Qi should flow through the body along markers called meridians. However, when this flow is disrupted or gets bunched up around certain meridians, it can result in symptoms of ill health.


TCM practitioners use a variety of techniques to restore the normal flow of qi, and these techniques include acupuncture. Acupuncture entails the use of needles, which the practitioner inserts at acupuncture points relevant to the symptoms of the patient. These needles simulate the acupuncture points and induce qi to return to its healthy flow.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can learn more about how acupuncture works from Tram Pham, the clinic’s owner and resident Licensed Acupuncturist. Tram has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles. She also has years of experience patients using the principles of TCM.



How acupuncture can help

Scientific research has shown that acupuncture for orthopedics can be quite effective, and can help manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Studies have shown that acupuncture can help reduce pain in the joints, thus helping patients become more mobile. Acupuncture can also have advantages over nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and other pain medications. Acupuncture is all-natural and low-risk, while NSAIDS and other types of medications can have a plethora of side effects.


In the case of osteoporosis, studies have also found that acupuncture and herbal medicine can make drug therapy for pain relief more effective. A combination of calcium carbonate, vitamin D, and Calcitonin-Salmon was 80% effective in managing pain. However, a combination of electroacupuncture, herbal medicine, vitamin D, and Calcitonin-Salmon was 92.5% effective.


Acupuncture for orthopedics can be an alternative treatment, but it can also work quite well with Western medicine. Make sure to consult with your physician first before you book an appointment for an acupuncture session.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been providing the city of Santa Barbara with all-natural and holistic healthcare since 1986. With us, you can be sure that acupuncture for orthopedics is safe and effective.


You can book an appointment 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. The clinic is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm. Contact us now and start your path to natural and low-risk pain management.





Acupuncture for Menopause: The Symptoms of Menopause and How Acupuncture Can Help


Acupuncture for menopause can make this natural part of aging less uncomfortable and more manageable. Menopause is an inevitable part of a woman’s life — unfortunately, it doesn’t just come and go without making waves. It has a variety of symptoms that may have a significant impact on a woman’s life.


Though menopause is a natural part of life, that doesn’t mean that you simply have to endure the symptoms until they go away. There are things you can do to lessen the impact of menopause on your life, and one of those things is acupuncture.


acupuncture for menopause
Photo by Adarsh Ik/


Menopause: What you need to know

In the US, the average age of the onset of menopause is 51. Menopause is the natural end of your menstrual cycle; it therefore marks the end of your fertility. Usually, if you’re in your 40s or 50s and haven’t had your period in 12 consecutive months, then you’re likely starting menopause.


Menopause comes naturally with age, but there are also other things that can trigger it. It can also cause some health complications, but fortunately, acupuncture for menopause can help you manage many of menopause’s effects.




Perhaps the most well-known cause of menopause is age. When a woman is in her late thirties, she begins to produce less and less progesterone and estrogen, which are hormones that regulate menstruation and fertility. A woman in 40s will begin experiencing changes in her menstruation, and by her late 40s or early 50s, her ovaries will stop producing eggs.


A total hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy, or the total removal of the uterus and both ovaries respectively, can also result in immediate menopause. This will also likely be accompanied by severe menopause symptoms, since the changes are immediate and do not happen over the course of years.


Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can also cause temporary menopause. Another cause of menopause is primary ovarian insufficiency, in which a woman experiences menopause before the age of 40. This condition is quite rare, and only affects about 1% of women.



Symptoms and complications

Perimenopause refers to the span of time that leads up to menopause, typically lasting months or years. During perimenopause, a woman may begin to experience irregularities in her menstrual cycle. She may also begin to experience changes to her body such as vaginal dryness, weight gain, dry skin, thinning hair, and a reduction in breast fullness. She may also experience things like hot flashes, chills, sleep issues, and mood disturbances.


However, that’s not all that may happen. With the onset of menopause also comes an increased risk for many illnesses. Menopause can put a woman at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, heart disease, and depression. You may also be more prone to urinary incontinence as well as urinary tract infection.


Menopause is a big change, and its symptoms and effects can be difficult to handle. There are some lifestyle changes that women can make so these symptoms can be more manageable, but you also have the option of acupuncture to help you.



Acupuncture for menopause

Photo by marniejoyce on / CC BY


It’s important to remember that acupuncture will not be able to reverse the aging process, nor can acupuncture stop it. However, acupuncture will be able to help you manage symptoms and make them less severe.


While acupuncture can be helpful, you should still see a doctor when you’re in perimenopause and actual menopause. Your doctor will be able to help you with preventative screening for various health conditions, and they’ll also be able to help you with any questions you may have about acupuncture.



The basics of acupuncture

Acupuncture is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The principles of TCM state that an individual’s well-being is heavily influenced by a life force called qi (pronounced “chee”). When qi flows normally along parts of the body called meridians, it leads to good health. However, when the flow of qi is disrupted, or is concentrated around certain meridians, it can lead to disruptions in physical, mental, and emotional health as well.


However, acupuncture can restore the normal flow of qi. Acupuncture entails the use of very fine needles, which a licensed acupuncturist will insert into acupuncture points relevant to the specific symptoms the patient is experiencing. The needles can stimulate these acupuncture points and push qi into its proper flow.


While acupuncture is usually low-risk, it can come with some side effects especially if it’s practiced by an unlicensed and inexperienced practitioner. Fortunately, at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can be sure to receive safe and effective care. 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 in treating patients under the guidance of the age-old modalities of TCM.



Benefits for menopause

Acupuncture may not be able to help you with each one of the possible symptoms of menopause, but it can help you manage some of the more common symptoms. It can also help you deal with some of the changes that your body may undergo during menopause.


Hot flashes are one of the more common hallmarks of menopause. It can be quite uncomfortable, but acupuncture for menopause can help reduce the frequency of hot flashes, as well as their intensity.


Acupuncture has also been found to be effective in helping with a slower metabolism, as well as weight gain. However, in terms of weight gain, acupuncture is more effective when done in conjunction with lifestyle changes and a better diet.


There is also evidence that acupuncture can induce a better balance in hormones, but more research about this is necessary.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been providing acupuncture for menopause and other issues since 1986. The clinic was founded by Dr. Jean Yu, and it passed to Tram in 2016. Tram has since continued the clinic’s tradition of providing Santa Barbara with all-natural and holistic healthcare guided by the principles of TCM.


To book an appointment or schedule a consultation, you can call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at You can also have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call. Contact us today to begin your journey to better health!






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