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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 Menstrual Cramps: Causes, Symptoms, and Acupuncture Benefits


Acupuncture for menstrual cramps may be a new and effective way to help women with menstrual troubles. Unfortunately, a majority of women experience menstrual pain and discomfort. However, there aren’t many long-term treatments with low risk of side effects. However, acupuncture may be helpful in providing relief from menstrual pain and other related symptoms.


menstrual cramps
Photo by Pablo Guerrero


An overview of menstrual cramps

A whopping 9 out of 10 women experience pain, also known as dysmenorrhea, and other symptoms during menstruation. Many women have normalized experiencing dysmenorrhea and discomfort during their periods, basically treating it as something that is as much a fact of life as having periods. However, painful menstruation, period cramps, and other forms of discomfort don’t have to be something that you just have to power through.


You can always deal with monthly period cramps by taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and/or one of the various forms of birth control. However, you also have the option of undergoing acupuncture for menstrual cramps, which has been proven to be effective in helping ease the dysmenorrhea and other symptoms.



Menstrual cramps and pain can range from mild to severe, and usually occurs in the lower abdomen and lower back. It can last for two to four days, though if the pain lasts longer and becomes extreme, you should seek medical attention right away.


Pain in the lower abdomen and lower back isn’t the only symptom that you may experience during menstruation. Other symptoms such as constipation, loose bowels, bloating, dizziness, nausea, a general feeling of discomfort, and headaches are also common. Normally, these symptoms won’t lead to complications, but they can make things inconvenient and can disrupt your school, work, or personal life.



Menstrual pain is common largely because of the mechanism that enables menstruation to happen. During menstruation, the contraction of uterine muscles enables the expulsion of blood and excess uterine lining. When this happens, it involves a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins, which are associated with pain.


However, there are also other conditions that may cause dysmenorrhea. Endometriosis, uterine fibroids, cervical stenosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and adenomyosis can also lead to menstrual cramps.


Other than these conditions, there are risk factors that can make it more likely for you to experience dysmenorrhea. If you smoke, get stressed a lot, have a family history of dysmenorrhea, have a heavy period, or have an irregular menstrual cycle, you’re at a higher risk of menstrual cramps.


When to see your doctor

Menstrual cramps can be a normal thing for many women — a natural consequence of a natural process. However, when menstrual cramps become severe or extreme, they can be indicative of an underlying medical condition that will likely need further treatment and medical attention.


It’s normal for women who began having their periods at an age younger than 11 to experience dysmenorrhea. However, if you’re over the age of 25 and you only just started having menstrual cramps, you may need to see your doctor to see if there’s anything wrong. Also, if your cramps have begun to get progressively worse, you should undergo medical examination.


If your dysmenorrhea isn’t caused by an underlying symptom, it tends to lessen in severity as you age. It’s also likely to get better once you have given birth.



Acupuncture for menstrual cramps

acupuncture for menstrual cramps
Let acupuncture help release you from discomfort during your period. Photo by David Hofmann/


While it may seem like NSAIDs and contraceptives are the only effective ways to deal with menstrual pain, there are actually other changes you can make to make your periods somewhat easier to endure. There are certain lifestyle changes you can make, like quitting smoking or eating healthier. However, acupuncture is also an effective way to make menstrual cramps a thing of the past.


The basics of acupuncture

Acupuncture is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It works on the premise that each individual has a life or energy flow called qi (pronounced “chee”). When the flow of qi is disrupted, or is concentrated in certain areas of the body, it can result in various kinds of illnesses.


Qi flows through points in the body called meridians. To restore the natural flow of qi, acupuncturists insert fine needles into acupuncture points known to be related to the specific symptoms the patient is experiencing.


While having needles inserted into your skin can be intimidating, you actually have very little to fear from acupuncture. When side effects occur, most of them are due to careless or untrained acupuncturists.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can rest assured that we take utmost care in treating our patients. We use only single-use, sterilized needles. Our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University and has years of experience in TCM. With us, you’ll be in good hands.


How acupuncture can help

Researchers have found that acupuncture for menstrual cramps can be effective at providing relief that can last for a period of 12 months. Multiple acupuncture sessions may be necessary, but this is something that you can discuss with your licensed acupuncturist. There is evidence that the more sessions you undergo, the more significant the improvements will be.


Thus, acupuncture can be a new form of treatment that can help women relieve menstrual pain. Researchers have also found that women have normalized menstrual pain perhaps too much. Women actually consider even severe or abnormal symptoms to be something they shouldn’t worry about. Even so, going to your doctor and to the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic for a consultation may be worth the trouble.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been providing the Santa Barbara and Goleta areas with holistic and all-natural health care since 1986. Our Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram, took over the clinic in 2016. While she has extensive experience in treating various kinds of ailments, she also specializes in women’s health. Thus, you can trust her to be skilled in providing you with acupuncture for menstrual cramps and other symptoms.


You can call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at to make an appointment or schedule a consultation with Tram. Tram can also conduct consultations over the phone or via video call. Contact us now and begin your journey to holistic health.




Acupuncture for Morning Sickness: What You Need to Know


Acupuncture for morning sickness may be a little intimidating, especially if you’re not all that familiar with acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine. However, acupuncture has a lot to offer, and it has been found to be generally safe to experience during pregnancy.


acupuncture for morning sickness
Photo by Xavier Sotomayor/

While morning sickness can be unpleasant, it’s rarely dangerous for the baby and the expectant mother. There’s even evidence to suggest that morning sickness may actually be an indicator of a healthy pregnancy. Even so, it’s probably something that pregnant women won’t mind doing away with. There are a number of remedies that can help ease the symptoms of morning sickness, and acupuncture may be quite helpful to you.



Morning sickness: What you need to know

Morning sickness seems to one of the more prominent features of pregnancy. In fact, up to 80% of pregnant women to experience morning sickness in the early stages of their pregnancy. Though it’s called “morning sickness,” the nausea and vomiting can actually hit at any time of the day.


Because morning sickness doesn’t pose much of a threat on the pregnant woman and her baby, treatment isn’t necessary in most cases. However, there are some remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness, like consuming more food, drinks and ginger. You can also consider acupuncture for morning sickness, which researchers have found to be effective in helping lessen nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.



Causes and risk factors

Scientists still don’t actually know much about what causes morning sickness, though they have some ideas. It’s possible that increased estrogen levels, increased progesterone levels, a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), or a heightened sensitivity to smells can all contribute to nausea.


Though morning sickness affects a majority of pregnant women, some women may be more at risk than others. If you’ve experienced nausea due to motion sickness, contraceptives, or certain smells before pregnancy, you’re more likely to experience nausea during pregnancy. Meanwhile, if you experienced morning sickness during your first pregnancy, you’re more likely to experience morning sickness in your subsequent pregnancies.


Nausea and vomiting are also more likely if you’re carrying multiples.



What you can do

There are number of things you can do to make yourself feel better or lessen the occurrences of morning sickness. Getting plenty of rest can be effective, since tiredness can make nausea worse. You can also try eating something, like crackers, in the morning about 20 minutes before you get up. Medication like B6 and doxylamine or Diclegis are also safe and effective against morning sickness.


Acupuncture is also a viable option. Just make sure to consult with your doctor first before booking an acupuncture appointment, and make sure to inform your acupuncturist that you’re pregnant.



When to call your doctor

Though morning sickness is generally harmless, there are some instances when it will need medical attention. Hyperemesis gravidarum, which affects about 1-2% of pregnant women, is a severe form of morning sickness that typically goes away by the fifth month of pregnancy. While hyperemesis gravidarum won’t cause harm to the baby, it can result in a low birth weight if it causes the mother to lose too much weight during pregnancy.



Acupuncture for morning sickness

Photo via Pixabay


Acupuncture during pregnancy has been found to be safe and effective against morning sickness and a number of other issues that may arise during pregnancy. It can help reduce the pain you may experience during labor, and it can also help reduce pelvic girdle pain.


Other than its effectiveness against these issues, acupuncture is also a safe alternative to medication. It’s possible that for certain reasons, you may be unable to take certain medications or remedies that can help you with morning sickness. Acupuncture is makes for a great alternative or complementary treatment.



How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to TCM, we all have a life or energy force flowing through us, called qi (pronounced “chee”). When qi flows as it’s supposed to, we’re healthy physically and mentally. However, when the flow of qi is disturbed or concentrated around certain acupuncture points, it can result in illness.


To restore the flow of qi, an acupuncturist will insert fine needles into the relevant acupuncture points. This stimulates the body into restoring health and and its natural equilibrium.


Western medicine and TCM are complementary, and both disciplines can work together to your benefit. This is why it’s best to consult with both your physician and a licensed acupuncturist to figure out the best course of treatment. It’s also best if you bring your medical records when you come in for a consultation with your acupuncturist.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, we’ll make sure to pay utmost attention to your needs and provide you with effective acupuncture for morning sickness. 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 providing patients with all-natural healthcare.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Is acupuncture during pregnancy safe?

There are scientific studies that have investigated the safety of undergoing acupuncture during pregnancy. While side effects can occur, they are rare and and are not severe. At worst, the side effects are moderate, and no severe or fatal side effects have been associated with acupuncture during pregnancy. Side effects may include light dizziness, headaches, fatigue (usually after the first session), and some light bruising on the needle insertion sites.


At most, these side effects will last 24 to 48 hours. However, if they last longer than that time frame, make sure to consult with your practitioner.


Some acupuncture points are known to be “forbidden” for pregnant women. Thus, you should make sure to mention your pregnancy when you come in for a consultation with an acupuncturist.



Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jean Yu. In 2016, Tram took over the clinic and continued its tradition of providing age-old treatments to the residents of the Santa Barbara and Goleta area. Here, you can experience acupuncture for morning sickness and other pregnancy-related issues.


To schedule an appointment with Tram, you can call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at If you’re not within driving distance, that’s not a problem. You can also have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call. Consider the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic to be your first stop on the road to all-natural and holistic healthcare.




Acupuncture for Fetal Malposition: What You Need to Know


Studies have found that acupuncture for fetal malposition can be quite effective in helping turn fetuses for safe and healthy vaginal birth. When the head of a fetus isn’t in the optimal position for vaginal delivery, it’s considered to be a malposition or malpresentation. This can lead to a difficult labor or other complications, and it can also interfere with a woman’s wishes for a natural delivery.


If your due date is looming close and you’ve found that your baby isn’t in the right position yet, acupuncture can help you and your little one get to the right place. Acupuncture, as well as a practice called moxibustion, can be effective in making birth easier and safer.


acupuncture for fetal malposition
Photo via Pixabay


Fetal malposition or malpresentation

The top of the head of a fetus should normally be positioned toward the mother’s vagina to make vaginal delivery easier and safer. However, there are instances in which a fetus still has not turned right up to the moment of delivery. This is what doctors consider to be fetal malposition, the most common type of which is breech. A fetus in breech position has its legs or buttocks, instead of the top of the head, positioned toward the vagina.


There are other types of malposition or malpresentation as well. A fetus may lie sideways, and though it will still be born with its head first, it will still be in an improper position. Sometimes, the fetus’s may come out first instead of the top of the head, or it may come out with its shoulder in the mother’s pelvis.



Usually, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of fetal malposition or malpresentation. However, malposition may have something to do with factors such as placenta previa, multiple gestation, or preterm pregnancy. A short umbilical cord, pelvic tumors, uterine anomalies, fetal anomalies, and other issues may also factor into fetal malposition.


Effects of malposition or malpresentation

Fetal malposition carries with it some risks. For one thing, it can prolong labor and make it more difficult, leading to stress for both the fetus and the mother. It can also make a caesarian section more likely, since the surgery can reduce the risks of complications.


A caesarian section is a major surgery, and it takes a longer time to recover from compared to natural vaginal birth. Still, it does make birth safer for both the mother and the baby. However, it’s also an additional cost, and has its share of complications as well.


The best bet, therefore, is to induce the fetus to turn to its proper position. Of course, this is easier said than done. However, acupuncture for fetal malposition can be helpful, thus reducing the risk of complications during birth.


Acupuncture for fetal malposition

There is research that acupuncture can help reposition fetuses in breech or other types of malposition. Acupuncture may seem quite daunting or intimidating. It’s especially more so if you’re not familiar with it or if you haven’t really heard much about it. However, acupuncture is relatively low-risk. Many in the medical community have also recognized acupuncture to be safe for a variety of issues.


Acupuncture is a good alternative or complement to Western medicine. However, you’ll need the advice of your physician before undergoing acupuncture treatments, especially if you’re pregnant. Make sure to consult with your obstetrician first before you make an appointment for an acupuncture session.


acupuncture for fetal malposition
Photo by Camila Cordeiro/


Acupuncture in a nutshell

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture is considered to be an effective and important way to restore the normal flow of qi. Qi (pronounced “chee”), is an energy force that flows through every individual. When qi flows normally along markers in the body called meridians, it results in good physical, mental, and emotional health.


However, when the flow of qi is disrupted, blocked, or concentrated around certain meridians, it can affect a person’s well-being.


A licensed acupuncturist inserts very fine needles into certain acupuncture points to deal with and manage certain symptoms. The needles stimulate these acupuncture points and push qi back into its normal flow.


Acupuncture for fetal malposition is at its safest at the hands of a licensed and experienced acupuncturist. Luckily, the owner of the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, Tram Pham, is a Licensed Acupuncturist with a deep knowledge and understanding of TCM. She has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles, as well as years of experience in treating patients in accordance with the principles of TCM.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara



Acupuncture isn’t the only way to stimulate acupuncture points. When it comes to the correction of breech malposition, an acupuncturist usually uses moxibustion instead of acupuncture. Moxibustion involves the use of heat generated by burning herb preparations containing an herb called moxa. The most common moxibustion technique is lighting a moxa stick on fire and bringing it close to the skin at the relevant acupuncture points. Tram will also teach you how to do this during your appointment, and send you home with moxibustion to continue your treatment at home.


Moxibustion has been found to be safe for both women and fetuses, and it does not cause burns.


Of course, acupuncture can be effective as well. In fact, practitioners have been using acupuncture to turn breech fetuses for about 1,000 years. Studies have shown that acupuncture is effective in helping correct fetal malposition, thus helping reduce complications and reduce the likelihood that a caesarian section would be necessary.


It’s possible, however, that successful moxibustion may render acupuncture unnecessary in cases of fetal malposition.


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

If you need moxibustion or acupuncture for fetal malposition or other issues, come visit the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic. Dr. Jean Yu founded the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic in 1986, and the clinic has been providing Santa Barbara with all-natural and holistic health care since then. Our Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram, has years of experience in TCM and specializes in women’s health.


Get in touch with us and make an appointment to address your various health needs. Call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at to schedule an appointment. However, you can also have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call. Contact us today to learn more about how you can take control of your health!





Acupuncture for Fertility: How Acupuncture Can Help

acupuncture for fertility
Photo by Ignacio Campo/


Many couples struggle to conceive, which can impact their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Repeated failure to conceive can increase stress, which can in turn further reduce the chances of conceiving. While acupuncture for fertility might draw contrasting opinions from the medical community and the general population alike, few could deny its efficacy for inducing relaxation and promoting general well-being. This would be the first order of business for any condition that seeks help from alternative healing methods like acupuncture. When it comes to aiding conception, reducing stress might even prove to be all that is necessary to achieve success.



How acupuncture works

In general terms, one of the primary goals of acupuncture is to restore the balance and proper flow of energy in a person’s body. Practitioners to this by inserting long, ultra-fine needles into specific locations or points along the skin. These points all correspond to different body parts, both external and internal. Meanwhile, these points are also interconnected through pathways known as meridians.


The stimulation of points along these pathways can generate a response within the body site they’re connected to. This can unblock possible obstructions in energy flow that might be making those sites malfunction. Ideally, restoring and maintaining this stability throughout the body’s systems would give it the means to heal and continually renew itself.



Factors that affect fertility

Many factors can affect fertility. These factors include PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), hormonal imbalance in females, and low sperm count for males. One example of hormonal imbalance in particular is when the female body has too much of the hormone prolactin. This hormone gives the signal to produce breast milk while also disallowing ovulation as a natural form of birth control.


Another example is when the female body has less than optimal amounts of progesterone. Progesterone is crucial because, among other things, it is responsible for allowing an embryo to safely attach to the uterine lining.


Learn more about how acupuncture can help resolve hormonal imbalance.



Acupuncture can help restore balance in your body.


When high levels of cortisol cause stress, this can also be a factor for female and male infertility alike. Among other things, cortisol can disrupt the process of ovulation. In men, it can cause impotence, affect sperm motility, as well as have an impact on sperm count. Acupuncture can induce relaxation of both the body and the mind by promoting the production of chemicals such as endorphin, which helps lower cortisol.


For men dealing with infertility, there is also the option of herbal therapy, which is also often used as complement to acupuncture for fertility. Many people have also found that treatments involving Chinese herbs for fertility can be helpful.



How acupuncture for fertility can help

As stated above, acupuncture promotes balance throughout the body, but it’s not just the balance of energy it seeks to restore but also of the blood’s circulation. Acupuncture can restore stability to all the body’s systems, especially the ones integral to fertility, like the endocrine. It can also improve blood circulation, with particular attention to the supply of blood to the reproductive organs. Thus, acupuncture for fertility can dramatically increase the likelihood of success. Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be especially successful especially when used in conjunction with traditional treatments.


You can undergo acupuncture treatments at any given point during the process of your conventional infertility treatment. This can take place in the period when drugs and injections are promoting fertility. However, this phase typically has undesirable side effects like nausea and anxiety. Nausea and anxiety, in turn, might get in the way of success. Luckily, acupuncture can readily address this.


Acupuncture for fertility can also function as complementary therapy during the first few critical weeks of pregnancy, or even much later. It can help deal with the accompanying stress and anxieties that come with the whole procedure.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Acupuncture for fertility and other female reproductive health concerns are some of the specialties of Santa Barbara Herb Clinic and its owner and lead practitioner, Tram Pham, L.Ac. She has inherited the clinic’s operations from the late Dr. Henry Han and seeks to continue its deep-rooted legacy of holistic healing here in Santa Barbara. One of the last students of the Balance Method pioneer and Master, Dr. Richard Tan, she effectively and harmoniously combines distal healing acupuncture with other traditional Chinese medicine techniques such as tui na (acupressure), gua sha (scraping), fire or dry cupping, moxibustion, and many others to suit a patient’s needs. The clinic also has an extensive stock of herbs, powders, pills, teas, and other remedies in its Herbal Pharmacy, and it delivers wherever you are in the country.


Contact us to set an appointment, and we shall accommodate a consultation either in person if you could come to the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic or through a phone or video call if you live farther away.





Inducing Labor Through Acupuncture: How It’s Done

inducing labor
Photo by ethan.john on / CC BY-NC-ND


Why is it necessary to induce labor?

Sometimes, a woman’s pregnancy may reach the full term of 40 weeks with no signs that she’s going to give birth soon. When this happens, her doctor may give her the option of inducing labor using artificial means. In dire situations, pregnant women are sometimes heavily encouraged into giving their consent to a set of procedures. Doctors cite dangers to the mother’s life and/or the infant’s if labor takes any longer. These dangers include pre-eclampsia and stillbirth.


However, artificial means of inducing labor, such as using the drug pitocin, are not without dangers of their own. In fact, it can sometimes be more dangerous than waiting a few more days for natural labor, and it causes labor pain to be that much greater in many women. More often than not, agreeing to one intervention would precipitate the necessity for more, including but not limited to needing an epidural and having to go under the knife for a C-section delivery.



Why choose acupuncture for inducing labor?

For thousands of years, traditional medicine practitioners in China have been using acupuncture to induce labor naturally. Since the introduction of traditional Chinese medicine in the West, its methods of healing—primarily acupuncture—have been seeing a steady rise in proponents and patients alike. This is also true in the arena of women’s health. In terms of women’s health, it’s not just the overall balance of the energy in the body that acupuncture seeks to restore but also its reproductive function.


Acupuncture is highly ideal as a complement or alternative to conventional medicine. Not only does it help promote fertility and induce labor, it also poses very little risk.


Learn about how acupuncture improves fertility.


acupuncture for labor
Acupuncture can help expectant mothers prepare for giving birth.


When inducing labor using acupuncture, the use of very thing needles stimulate several key points in the body. Among other things, doing this promotes the production of hormones needed to signal the body to prepare itself for giving birth. An example of such a hormone is oxytocin, the very same one that makes up the drug pitocin, which is the chemical that induces contractions. Another group of hormones that acupuncture can stimulate is prostaglandins, which trigger the softening of the cervix. This, in due time, may allow a less painful and completely natural delivery.



The effects of acupuncture

But how quickly do the effects set in? While it may greatly differ from case to case, it almost certainly doesn’t happen during the acupuncture treatment, and most women would require getting multiple treatments before there are results. Sometimes, when the fetus or the mother is under stress, the induction of labor at 37 weeks is recommended. In these cases, the mother may have to undergo up to four acupuncture treatments in total.


Acupuncture works more as a preparation for the mother’s body to reach the ideal state for giving birth. It can also serve as a therapeutic measure to lessen anxiety and stress. That said, there have been instances when birth occurred just a few hours after one treatment. If for nothing else, the benefit to their mental and emotional state could already mean so much for a woman who’s expecting a blessing to arrive any day and would wish for no harm to come to them.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

One of the main specialties of the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic is women’s health, particularly  female reproduction. As one of Master Richard Tan’s last students, Tram Pham, L.Ac. is a proponent of the Balance Method of distal healing which she harmoniously combines with other traditional Chinese medicine’s modalities such as herbal medicines, moxibustion, acupressure or tui na, and fire cupping in order to effectively address diverse types of conditions. Tram uses premium Japanese needles for acupuncture, which are finer than other kinds and thus offer minimal pain.


The clinic also operates an Herbal Pharmacy that offers many other all-natural remedies. These include herbs, powders, pills, medicinal teas, and other all-natural remedies. You can set an appointment and visit us at the clinic, or schedule a consultation via video or phone call. We also offer the service of mailing your prescribed herbal medicines if you live outside of the Santa Barbara area.





Acupuncture for Hormonal Imbalance: Treatment Method and Benefits


There’s a myriad of health conditions that acupuncture can treat, and one of them is hormonal imbalance. Hormones help control many processes in the body, including reproduction and metabolism. Therefore, hormonal imbalance may be related to a variety of organ conditions or health issues in the body. It may also be caused by toxins or an unhealthy lifestyle. Whatever the causes are, acupuncture for hormonal imbalance can help with resolving the symptoms.


Acupuncture is a healing modality that promotes natural holistic health and wellness. Basically, it is based on the premise that the body has patterns of energy flow (Qi) that determine a person’s health. Practitioners believe that blockages to this flow are responsible for disease. Acupuncture, therefore, corrects the imbalances of this flow at certain points close to the skin. Over the years, this traditional healing method has gained popularity, with 10 million acupuncture treatments done in the United States alone in 2014.


acupuncture for hormonal imbalance
Photo Source: Andressa Voltolini, Unsplash


Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms


Here are some symptoms of hormonal imbalance affecting men and women:


  • Fatigue
  • Blurred Vision
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Muscle Pain, Stiffness or Tenderness
  • Joint Pain, Stiffness or Swelling
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Abnormal Bowel Movement
  • Increased Hunger
  • Increased Thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Abnormal Heart Rate
  • Weight Gain
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Increased Sensitivity to Heat or Cold
  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Purple or Pink Stretch Marks
  • Infertility
  • Thinning Hair
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability or Nervousness


Hormonal imbalance can also lead to insulin resistance, obesity and breast cancer risk.



How Acupuncture for Hormonal Imbalance Can Help

Chinese Medicine, through the therapeutic benefits of acupuncture, can help resolve hormonal imbalance. This is because it supports the normal functioning of different organ systems to bring back a healthy balance in your body. It also helps regulate hormonal levels, energy levels, sleep cycles, digestion and mood. Your licensed acupuncturist will take a look at your various symptoms and determine which areas of your body are not functioning properly. The treatment, meanwhile, will address the root cause of the problem. For example, the root cause might be the liver not functioning well as it plays an important role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and emotional shifts.


The body thus regains a healthy balance as these causes are treated. Hormones begin to normalize and consequently, your symptoms will decrease. Consequently, with regular treatments, the body’s hormonal imbalance will usually improve and can often be resolved completely.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture and Holistic Healing

Here are some of the common hormone channels that acupuncture can address


  • Ren/du channels: These are unrelated organs, but they are good for balancing the body


  • Liver/Gallbladder: This is referred to as the “Yin and Yang” pair that can aid in balancing gonadotropin-releasing hormone.


  • Kidneys: In Chinese Medicine, these are referred to as the “Source of Life.”


Acupuncture paves the way for holistic healing, since hormonal imbalance affects different parts of the body. Hormones are difficult to target in because they are ever fluctuating and work in a non-linear way. Thus, for those who have used conventional medicine and found that nothing worked for them, try acupuncture for hormonal imbalance and Chinese herbs which have holistic healing effects and target the root cause of disease.


As with other healing methods, it is best to complement your acupuncture treatment with a healthy diet, daily exercise, regular sleep-wake schedule, and staying hydrated. These can certainly ensure optimum healing for your body and maintaining it in a healthy state.



Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture patients are usually surprised that the treatment doesn’t hurt. It is relatively pain-free. Thus, the most that people will experience after an acupuncture treatment is a dull ache or slight tingling feeling around the base of the inserted needle. While the needles are inserted on specific points of your body, you’ll notice that you’ll barely feel them at all. There are times that a few points would feel numb, but these are manageable. It is also recommended that you get a massage such as ventosa or fire cupping after acupuncture to complete your detoxifying and balancing treatment.



Start Your Journey Towards Better Health Through Acupuncture

Santa Barbara Herb Clinic offers holistic healing treatments, including acupuncture for hormonal imbalance. 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 to start your consultation and treatment. We also do phone and video consultations, plus shipment of medications to your area.





Acupuncture Can Help With Weight Loss | PCOM –


Ask an Expert – About Acupuncture – Does It Hurt? | British Acupuncture Council –


Hormone Imbalance Causes | Women in Balance –


How Does Acupuncture Work? Points, Benefits & Needles | MedicineNet –




A Natural Way to Deal with Irregular Menstruation


If you’ve been experiencing problems with irregular menstruation, getting acupuncture in Santa Barbara may be able to help you. Whatever the nature or cause of your issues may be, there’s a large possibility that acupuncture can help you out.


Menstruation looms pretty large in the life of a woman. After all, it does come every month — or, at least, it’s supposed to. While many women have regular menstrual cycles, there are also those who get irregular periods. This can be a problem in itself, since an unpredictable period has the potential to give rise to a number of issues.


An imbalance in the body’s sex hormones can lead to irregular menstrual cycles. Acupuncture is a natural and healthy way to help the body stabilize the production of hormones and thus increase the chances of regulating the menstrual cycle.


irregular menstruation
Photo by Alex Blajan/


An overview of irregular menstruation

A menstrual cycle begins on the first day of the period and ends on the day before the next period starts. A regular menstrual cycle is about 22 to 35 days long, and each cycle’s length should be in that range. Periods, meanwhile, normally last five to seven days.


Women with regular cycles can predict when their periods will come — some can even nail down the exact day of their next period. However, for some women, things may not be as cut and dry. Their cycles can last longer than 35 days, and they may not get their periods on some months.



The causes of irregular periods

There are several reasons why a woman has an irregular cycle. Some may not be a cause for worry, while some may require more attention.


A young girl that has just started her period has a higher chance of having an irregular cycle for up to the next few years. A woman who is also about three to five years away from menopause may begin experiencing irregular periods. In these cases, it’s likely that the irregular cycles are nothing to worry about.


However, an irregular period can also be an indicator of another health issue. There are a number of things that can cause irregular menstrual cycles, like stress, medications, and medical conditions.


Certain kinds of medical conditions and medications have been found to be able to cause irregular menstruation. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, eating disorders, and medications for epilepsy and mental illness can affect the hormones that regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle.


Oral hormonal contraceptives can cause issues as well. In fact, irregular menstrual cycles have been cited to be the leading cause in women deciding to stop taking oral contraceptives.


Things such as extreme changes in weight as well as excessive exercise can also affect a woman’s cycle. Stress can also be one of the culprits. Fortunately, the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic can help you relieve stress as well as help you have more regular periods.



Why irregular periods can be a problem

Girls who are still going through puberty or women who have always had slightly unpredictable periods typically don’t have to worry about irregular menstrual cycles. However, irregular cycles may also be symptoms of an underlying medical condition that needs medical attention. Sudden changes in a previously regular menstrual cycle, periods that last over 7 days, and having overly long or short menstrual cycles are indications that a checkup may be in order.


Irregular menstrual cycles can also make things more difficult for women who are trying to get pregnant. This is because it may be more difficult to tell when you’ll be ovulating.


Learn about how acupuncture can help improve fertility.



Acupuncture and menstrual health

Photo via Pixabay


Acupuncture can work very well with Western medicine in the treatment of irregular menstrual periods. You can undergo certain treatments to address the specific causes of irregular periods, and in the case of irregularity caused by oral contraception, changing contraceptives can be an effective solution. However, acupuncture can complement and enhance these treatments, and it can benefit you in other ways as well.


Traditional Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture, has been helping treat and maintain women’s health for millennia. When it comes to reproductive health, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic’s owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, can take into account your individual issues and provide you with a treatment program that fits your specific needs.



How acupuncture works

One of the foundations of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which includes acupuncture, is the presence and balance of a person’s qi. Qi (pronounced “chee”), according to TCM, is the life force that flows in each of us. When this flow is disrupted or thrown off balance, illness, pain, and other issues can occur.


Acupuncture helps restore the proper flow of qi by stimulating the various acupuncture points on the human body. To stimulate these acupuncture points, your Licensed Acupuncturist will insert fine needles into your skin.



Possible side effects

Generally, acupuncture is safe and low-risk. The worst of the possible side effects of acupuncture is due to unsterilized needles and unqualified practitioners. Even so, very few side effects have been reported.


We at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic also make sure that the needles we use for each patient are new and properly sterilized. Tram, meanwhile, has years of experience under her belt, as well as a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University.


You may feel a tingling or heavy sensation in the needle insertion spots, but that’s to be expected. In fact, it’s considered to be an indicator that the treatment is working.


irregular menstruation



Restoring the balance

There is currently a growing body of research on the ways that acupuncture can help treat irregular menstrual cycles and infertility issues. Generally, research shows that there is evidence that acupuncture is indeed effective in helping treat irregular menstrual periods. However, it’s important to remember that you should not postpone going to your general practitioner or gynecologist in favor of acupuncture.


Before you book an acupuncture appointment, you should also prepare details of your medical history, as well as the medications you’re currently taking. TCM and acupuncture don’t design treatment regimens based on the particular health issue, but on the individual instead. Thus, it’s best to be informed about your medical history to make sure that the acupuncture treatment is fitted to your specific needs.



Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Tram took over the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic in 2016, but the clinic has actually been around since 1986. Since it was founded, the clinic has been Santa Barbara’s prime go-to spot for herbs, acupuncture, and natural healing. Tram specializes in women’s health, but she can also help you with a other health issues beyond irregular menstruation.


You can make an appointment and make your inquiries by calling us at 805-563-0222 or emailing us at If you are not in the Santa Barbara or Goleta area, but you still want to have a consultation with Tram, you can do so over the phone or a video call. No need to drive long distances for a consultation! We at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic want to provide you with stress-free, all-natural healthcare as well as we can.






Irregular periods


Heavy, Prolonged or Irregular Periods — Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery


When Should You See a Doctor for Irregular Periods? – Penn Medicine


Acupuncture: In Depth


Acupuncture and women’s health: an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women’s reproductive health

Suzanne Cochrane


The effect of acupuncture treatment on female infertility : an evidence-based literature review

Monique Marie Abela


Fertility Enhancement


Weight Loss & a Late Period

Michelle Zehr