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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 Joint Pain: Benefits, Information, and More


Undergoing acupuncture for joint pain can be a good alternative for those who are for any reason unable or unwilling to take pain medication. However, acupuncture isn’t just an alternative. It also works very well as a complement to Western medicine, as long as you consult with your physician first before booking an appointment with the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic.


acupuncture for joint pain
Photo by Ant Rozetsky/


Our joints are particularly important part of our body. They allow for different types of movement, such as bending, walking, and kneeling. While joints are essential to efficient movement, they can also be where various types of pain can occur. Joint pain can impede movement and thus make even the simplest daily tasks more difficult. This means that finding ways to help treat joint pain is essential.



The nature of joint pain

Joint pain is actually quite common, and many of us experience it at least at one point in our lives. Usually, injury and arthritis are the causes of joint pain, though there are other possible causes as well. As we age, pain in the joints can become more and more common, especially for those who develop osteoarthritis.



Common causes

We put our joints through quite a lot. For one thing, we use them every day — basically every time that we move. When we walk, reach up to a shelf, type on our phones, grab our keys, we use our joints. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of things that can cause our joints pain, other than injury or arthritis.


Things like inflammation, the overuse or over-exertion of a joint, or cartilage damage behind the kneecaps can cause joint pain as well. Inflammation in particular can result from an injury that has healed, but has suddenly become painful again.


Injuries such as fractures or torn ligaments can cause bleeding in the joint, especially if the injury is to the knee. If the joint begins to swell, feel warm, and develops stiffness soon after the injury occurs, you may be experiencing something called haemarthrosis. It’s important to keep in mind that if one of your joints begin to swell too much, you have to see your doctor and get it checked out.


There are also certain viral infections that can lead to joint pain. Viral hepatitis and rubella are both infections that can cause joint pain as well as fever. While viral infections necessitate the use of medication, you can undergo acupuncture for joint pain itself.



Pain relief

When you’re experiencing pain in the joints, you can take pain relieving medication such as NSAIDS, which can also help reduce swelling. Rest is also vital, though it’s also important to have the appropriate amount of exercise. Stretching, massages, and even warm baths can be helpful to painful and swollen joints as well.


Remember that acupuncture can also be a viable option that can work well with other types of pain management techniques. As a bonus, acupuncture for joint pain also has other benefits aside from pain relief.



Acupuncture for joint pain

Photo via Pixabay


Acupuncture has been around for millennia, though it’s only recently that science has turned its lens to the centuries-old practice. There is still a lot more to explore about the scientific workings of acupuncture, though it has been practiced for a long time to help treat a variety of symptoms.


The human body has over 2,000 acupuncture points, all connected to the body’s life energy (called qi). The stimulation of these acupuncture points with the use of acupuncture needles can redirect the qi and help alleviate pain. Other than that, it can also help stimulate the production of endorphins, which can help relieve pain the natural way.



Acupuncture basics

Acupuncture entails the insertion of fine needles into your skin at the acupuncture points where your qi may be out of sync. After you speak to the acupuncturist about your symptoms, he or she will be able to identify the acupuncture points that need simulation.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you’ll be treated by our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham. Tram has years of experience under her belt, as well as a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University. She’ll be able to evaluate your symptoms and come up with an effective plan for you.


The difference between traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medicine is that TCM bases treatments on the individuals themselves, not the particular ailment they have. When you make an appointment with us, you’ll be in good hands.




Acupuncture is definitely worth a try, especially in cases such as pain relief. It’s basically something that can help you relieve pain without the need for medications that can be addictive and can have harmful side effects. Of course, like most other treatments, acupuncture has possible side effects as well. However, the most serious of acupuncture’s side effects are very rare. Other side effects, however, may include headaches, slight dizziness, fatigue, and “emotional release.” Usually, the side effects should only last for about two days.

At least, however, your reactions to acupuncture will likely be immediate, and will occur with your acupuncturist in the room with you. Thus, you will likely be taken care of right away, and the side effects will likely be dealt with right then and there.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

In 2016, Tram took over the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, some time after the untimely and tragic death of Dr. Henry Han. Dr. Han bought the clinic in 1991 from its founder, Dr. Jean Yu, who opened the clinic in 1986. Tram is continuing the clinic’s 30-year tradition of providing Santa Barbara with acupuncture services and more. The can provide acupuncture for joint pain as well as for other issues.


Call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at to make an appointment. You can come in any time on Mondays to Fridays, between 9am to 5:30pm. Proximity is also not a problem when it comes to consultations, since Tram can do them over the phone or over video calls. Make an appointment today and get on the road to all-natural holistic health.





Acupuncture for Back and Neck Pain: An Uncommon Treatment for a Common Ailment


Have you ever considered acupuncture for back and neck pain? It may not be one of the more common pain treatments, but acupuncture does have a lot to offer. If you’re a little intimidated by the prospect, or you want to learn more about how acupuncture can help you with neck and back pain, read on to find answers to your questions.


back and neck pain
Photo by Chris Slupski/


Back and neck pain: What you should know

Literal pains in the neck can be just as bothersome as the metaphorical ones. Some causes of back and neck pain can be obvious, but some can surprise you. The sensation of pain also isn’t the only thing that you can expect to feel, as there are other sensations that may accompany it.



The usual causes

It can be difficult to determine the cause of back and neck pain, even with the technology available to us now. It also doesn’t help that there is a plethora of possible causes. This kind of pain can result from things like overuse, lifting heavy loads, and improper posture while sitting down for long periods. Arthritis can also affect your back and neck, aside from other joints.


Injury, muscle tension, sprains and strains, and a pinched nerve can also be the source of pain in the area. The effects of a poor lifestyle, such as obesity, can also put a strain on the back and neck. Smoking, while not as obvious as the other causes, can also lead to pain.




Aside from pain, there are also other symptoms that may arise from back and neck pain. If the pain is in your back, you may also experience some tingling or numbness in your leg. You may also feel shooting pains go from your back all the way down the back of your thighs, calves, and even toes.


As for neck pain, you may also experience headaches, numbing or tingling in your arm, and shoulder pain.


However, there is also the possibility that the symptoms won’t simply stop there. If your life is significantly affected by pain, or if that pain is accompanied by other symptoms, please consult with your doctor before seeking out alternative and complementary treatments like acupuncture.



Acupuncture for back and neck pain

There are a number of ways to treat back and neck pain, including the use of hot or cold packs, exercising, stretching, medications, and braces. While these solutions can be effective, you can also consider undergoing acupuncture. After all, acupuncture doesn’t just just relieve pain. It can also help you improve your health from the inside out.


The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic can provide you with acupuncture as well as other services. Our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has been running the clinic since 2016. She also has years of experience in the long-standing practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine, and has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University.


acupuncture for back and neck pain
Find all-natural pain relief in acupuncture. Photo by Jon Flobrant/


How acupuncture works

Acupuncture is quickly becoming more and more recognized in the US for its abilities to help treat a variety of ailments. However, it’s been practiced in for thousands of years in China, where it originated. The rest of the world is catching up, though perhaps just a tad late to the party.


So how does it work? Basically, an acupuncturist inserts fine needles into the patient’s skin. However, these needles have to be situated in acupuncture points for them to be effective. Licensed and experienced acupuncturists will be able to have the skills necessary to pick out the correct acupuncture points based on the patient’s individual needs.



Massage vs acupuncture

When it comes to back and neck pain, we can’t say that acupuncture is the only option. But is it the best option? There are other things you can do to relieve back and neck pain, and most of them don’t include needles. A common way to deal with body pain is massage, which can also be quite effective. The question is, which is one is better? Acupuncture or massage?


This, actually, is probably an unfair comparison. Both can be effective in relieving back and neck pain. Research on which one is more effective than the other has mixed results, and it may be safe to say that both options can be equally viable. Those who have a fear of needles, or have health conditions that may make undergoing acupuncture impossible, can experience pain relief through massage.



The acupuncture points for back and neck pain

Tram practices the balance method of acupuncture, also known as distal healing. She learned it from its creator, Richard Tan, during the last years of his teaching. Distal acupuncture never involves putting needles where the pain is. Thus, your acupuncturist will insert needles into the  dorsal aspect of your hand and along your forearm to treat back pain, and in the ankle and wrist to address neck pain.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been providing Santa Barbara and nearby areas with holistic health care since 1986. Customers can come to the clinic for acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other treatments that fall under traditional Chinese medicine. Tram, our owner and licensed acupuncturist, has experience in various holistic and age-old therapies that can help with a number of ailments.


If you want to make an appointment with the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at Tram also offers consultations over the phone or via video call. Contact us now and begin your journey to better health.





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!





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.





Acupuncture For Kids | Children’s Health Team – Cleveland Clinic,


Is Acupuncture Safe For Kids? Catherine Pearson –


The Benefits Of Acupuncture For Children | PCOM –




Acupuncture for Muscle Strain and Other Injuries

acupuncture for muscle strain
Photo by Hanna Postova/


Muscle strain is a common occurrence. It’s almost an accepted reality with athletes. It can also result from everyday activities, like lifting heavy objects or simply sitting on an office chair for hours on end. As such, most people think that they should just endure mild to moderate pain. If the pain becomes too great, some people also think that simply popping painkillers will erase the problem. However, acupuncture for muscle pain may be a more viable option.


But the latter only deals with the symptom, it does nothing for the root cause of the condition. For example, pain killers don’t directly address the internal tear or the overstretched fibers within the muscle. Thus, the inflammation which painkillers or other first aid methods like RICE alleviated can return. If a person persists on using that body part despite the injury, it could only worsen the condition and may result in chronic strain.



Muscle strain: can acupuncture help?

Pain management and relief is one of the top reasons why more and more people worldwide seek out acupuncture. In China, however, traditional healing modalities have been an integral part of medical practices for several millennia already. It’s what martial arts practitioners have been employing for the aches and injuries they accumulate from their respective disciplines. Acupuncture has also been known to help improve their body’s movements and thus can enhance their performance. Acupuncture for muscle strain, meanwhile, can help with more specific issues.


Traditional Chinese medicine and, in particular, acupuncture’s momentum couldn’t have lasted to this day and age if it didn’t deliver a measure of the results that people hope for, and those who want more tangible evidence would find no shortage of research conducted on the efficacy of acupuncture, not just for managing pain but also for a whole range of physical, mental, and emotional concerns.



A brief on using acupuncture for muscle strain

How exactly can acupuncture for muscle strain help you? Generally speaking, the licensed acupuncturist would first need to perform a thorough consultation and examination in order to pinpoint the nature and location of the injury. Tram Pham, L.Ac., the clinic’s owner and lead acupuncturist, performs acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic. She practices the distal healing system known as the Balance Method, which she learned directly from its pioneer, Master Richard Tan, during the last years of his life. This distinct acupuncture system is then what the acupuncturist would employ, along with a seamless blend of other traditional healing modalities, to commence treatment.


Acupuncture can help you restore balance in your body. Photo by Patrick Hendry/


The Balance Method involves inserting ultra-fine needles in acupuncture points that seemingly have nothing to do with the injured site. For instance, if the injury is on the right elbow, the Balance Method practitioner would stimulate the distal points of that injury. This often means that the needles could be inserted anywhere on the left side of the body.


This can indeed appear counterintuitive to the layperson. However, distal healing puts a heavier emphasis on holistic healing. The more common acupuncture technique of inserting needles in or around the actual injury isn’t as important. This is largely because the Balance Method of distal healing seeks to treat not just the specific injury. It also seeks to treat other possible issues within the body.



How acupuncture works

What happens next may be familiar to most. Stimulating acupuncture points would activate the flow of “Qi” throughout the body’s meridians or energy pathways. Qi blockages may be the root of muscle strain and other things that cause injuries. Practitioners open up these blockages in order to restore proper energy flow and return balance throughout the body. Having this happen can result in the promotion of the body’s own self-healing mechanisms. Other than this, acupuncture can also directly improve the patient’s mental and emotional states.


That last benefit might just prove invaluable for professional athletes who have suffered critical injuries that may require surgery. Acupuncture for muscle strain can greatly aid in the rehabilitation process by speeding up recovery and giving a much-needed boost to the athlete’s morale. Fortunately, the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has vast experience in this issue. Our lead acupuncture practitioner has treated many athletes, both on the local and the international stage.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

People seeking relief from pain might find the prospect of having multiple needles pricking their skin more than a little daunting. This type of pain might be nothing for athletes who accept pain as a regular part of their regimen. However, it’s a different story for children and perhaps the elderly as well. Acupuncture treatments here in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic use premium Japanese acupuncture needles which are sharper and thinner—patients would feel them a lot less than they would regular needles, and their use comes at no extra cost.


The clinic also offers other traditional Chinese therapies, including fire or dry cupping, moxibustion, and tui na or acupressure. You can experience all these along with acupuncture for muscle strain, the clinic also operates an Herbal Pharmacy which stocks a wide range of powders, pills, teas, and therapeutic herbs. Herbal remedies are highly recommended for recovering patients and athletes as well, and the clinic offers the options of receiving your prescribed herbs through mail and of consultation via phone or video calls for those living outside the Santa Barbara and Goleta areas.





Acupuncture for Managing Pain and Treating Sports Injuries

acupuncture for sports injuries
Photo by Braden Collum/


Most types of sports involve strenuous physical activities on the pitch, ring, court, track, and even water. As such, injuries can happen anytime, whether during a competition or while training. It’s also not limited to professional athletes. People who run regularly or lift weights as part of their regimen can also develop chronic pain or suffer an activity-related accident. Even with great care, repeated movements using specific parts of the body could still result in problems. These can include strain, sprain, inflammation, and at times outright injuries. While an athlete battling through pain might still be able to perform well, it comes at the cost of aggravating the condition.


Often enough, the pain could become simply too great to be endured, and it’s imperative that professional and amateur athletes alike take time off from exertion until they recover. For such driven and competitive individuals, that can be yet another blow altogether—this time to the mind and spirit—because taking too much time off could mean sacrificing some of the strength and skills they’ve already earned through sheer persistence.



How acupuncture can help with sports injuries

In sporting circles, managing pain and treating sports injuries using acupuncture has become increasingly popular over the decades, but the practice has actually been around for centuries already. Acupuncture is what martial arts practitioners have been employing not only to reduce pain and to facilitate a faster recovery but also to help improve their performance. Modern-day professional sports clubs, and even national teams, have warmed up to the idea of drug-less pain management through traditional Chinese healing modalities, many of whom have an acupuncturist as an integral part of their staff.


There are instances wherein the exact nature of their sporting injury isn’t clear to the patient; they only know that they’re in pain. After a thorough consultation, the acupuncturist would make a diagnosis and proceed to stimulate oxygen flow through the body by inserting ultra-thin Japanese acupuncture needles into specific distal points. Santa Barbara Herb Clinic and its lead practitioner Ms. Tram Pham, L.Ac. specializes in the acupuncture system known as the “Balance Method” which was pioneered and taught by Dr. Richard Tan.


Distal points refer to areas which are seemingly unrelated to the points of pain or injury, with heavy emphasis on “seemingly.” These points are all interconnected through the body’s pathways. Distal healing through the Balance Method focuses on achieving results by correcting the balance of a person’s body. It also improves blood circulation which could lead to reduced inflammation and a faster recovery.


Learn about how acupuncture can help relieve pain in the joints.



acupuncture for sports injuries
Photo by Mitchell Hollander/


Promoting mental and physical harmony

Aside from helping promote quicker healing of sports injuries, acupuncture can also have a direct effect on an athlete’s mentality. Acupuncture can induce the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating mood, sleep, and pain. Thus, acupuncture could simultaneously relieve possible side effects of a given injury, including insomnia and emotional disturbances. It also releases endorphins and other chemicals that are the body’s natural pain killers. Unlike taking medications for managing pain and treating injuries, athletes won’t have to risk an increased tolerance and other adverse side effects from this traditional treatment.


Managing pain from sports injuries using acupuncture can prove especially beneficial, and the Balance Method can be more so. Often, it’s possible that a particular body part is responsible for the chronic pain in another body part. Leg injuries in a runner, for example, can trace its origin to an ineffective posture or the misuse of the hips. Acupuncture can thus not only target the injured areas. It can also stabilize the functions of different body parts and harmonize the body as a whole to enable it to perform to its fullest potential.


sports injuries


About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Tram Pham, L.Ac. is one of Master Richard Tan’s last students. She has taken over the practice and ownership of the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic from the late Dr. Henry Han. She has performed acupuncture on many professional athletes, including some of the most prominent ones on the international stage. She combines a highly effective and fast-acting system of acupuncture techniques with a range of other traditional Chinese therapies, including fire cupping, also known as dry cupping, and tui na, which is more commonly referred to as acupressure.


The clinic’s Herbal Pharmacy also offers a substantial range of medicinal herbs, powders, teas, and pills. These offer holistic wellness while also helping to target specific types of pain and ailments. You can experience the clinic’s exceptional services even if you live outside Santa Barbara. Set an appointment and you can consult with us through a phone or video call. We can even mail prescribed herbal remedies to your door.






How Acupuncture Can Help with Migraines and Headaches


Around 12% of the world’s population suffer from migraines. Many more experience frequent headaches that range from mild to severe. There are various factors, symptoms, and indications that differentiate headaches from migraines. Migraines typically occur at least five times in a given month and last for hours or for days. They can also involve a “trigger,” which sufferers can recognize and feel on localized parts of the head. Headaches, meanwhile, have a frequency and intensity that can be just as terrible as or sometimes even worse than migraines. There is usually no perceivable pattern to when they occur or why.


Photo by Joanna Nix/


How acupuncture could help relieve migraines and headaches

The medical community hasn’t yet arrived at a consensus on what truly causes frequent headaches and migraine attacks. Its opinion is divided as well on whether or not sufferers should seek alternative treatments like traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, which might better serve their situations. On the other hand, there are organizations made up of people dealing with migraine on a monthly basis who advocate acupuncture. The Migraine Trust and the American Migraine Foundation in particular recommend that members and non-members alike should try acupuncture for their migraines and headaches. These treatments can be an alternative or complement to conventional treatments.


Research results back this up. There had been many clinical trials conducted over the years on whether acupuncture for migraines and headaches could be made an option for sufferers. Several researchers conducted a systematic review of these separate studies. What they found was that making acupuncture an integral part of treatment could significantly reduce the attacks’ frequency per month. As a bonus, there are also fewer side effects, and acupuncture’s overall impact is at least as effective as conventional medications.



The mechanics of acupuncture

It is thought that stimulating the body’s immune and circulatory systems could help root out the main cause of migraines and headaches. Acupuncture can help the body find the source of the pain and could eventually enable it to release natural painkillers. There’s a theory that one of the reasons people suffer chronic pain is that it is unable to perform that painkilling function properly, perhaps because of blocked signals in the brain and body’s pathways.


traditional Chinese medicine
How can acupuncture help restore the balance in your body? Photo via PxHere


You can choose to subscribe to the “meridians” and “energy” concept of acupuncture popularized in the West. You can also subscribe to the more medical Ancient Chinese understanding that these energy pathways are actually the blood vessels, and that this energy is the chemicals being transported through the blood. Whichever one you believe, it doesn’t affect the bottom line. Stimulating specific and individually relevant points along these pathways could have major effects on the human body as a whole.


Pain is the brain’s signal that something is wrong somewhere in your body. While it may manifest as headaches or migraines, the root cause could be another thing altogether. Because of this, holistic healing through acupuncture can prove crucial. It can reduce the pain felt during an attack as well as shorten its duration. It can also address the possible underlying issue that causes these attacks.


Learn about how acupuncture can help treat other common types of body pains.



About Acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic



Tram Pham, L.Ac. is the lead acupuncture practitioner and the owner of the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, formerly run by Dr. Henry Han. She is a proponent of the distal healing technique known as the Balance Method, which she learned from its pioneer and Master Dr. Richard Tan during the last years of his life. In order to help patients achieve their optimal health, she combines this highly effective acupuncture system with other traditional Chinese medicine modalities (such us moxibustion, tui na or acupressure, and fire cupping), as well as with herbal remedies, which are readily available in the clinic’s Herbal Pharmacy.


The clinic also offers long-distance consultations through telephone or video calls. Whether you’re in Santa Barbara or Goleta area or farther away, you can benefit from the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic’s range of herbs, teas, powders, pills and more. We can mail all of these straight to your doorstep.