LA Herbs & Acupuncture is your resource for Classical and Integrative Chinese Medicine. We offer acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, therapeutic massage, craniosacral therapy, doula and labor support, IVF transfer acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, laboratory diagnostics and nutritional/lifestyle counseling. We also have an extensive referral network with area doctors and specialists to ensure that you receive the very best in health and wellness care.
The Human body is made up of many systems, including the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems just to name a few. Each of these systems contributes to the functioning of the organism as a whole. When the systems are in balance, the body will function in harmony. Often, illness in one system will lead to disharmony in the others. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), another vital system serves as the primary diagnostic tool, as well as the main avenue for treatment: the meridian system.
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Imagine the meridian system as the body’s energetic circulatory system, whereby qi, the body’s vital energy, travels. Each of the meridians intersects with one or more of the vital organs, as well as the other major systems throughout the body. When a system suffers imbalance, illness ensues, with symptoms ranging from muscle pain or headaches to infertility or autoimmune conditions. TCM practitioners are able to evaluate imbalances in the body by checking the state of qi within the meridians to determine whether the qi is deficient, excess, or blocked.
Once the imbalance in qi has been determined, small, disposable acupuncture needles are placed strategically along the meridians that correspond to the system that is experiencing disharmony. Each of the more than 350 acupuncture points has its own therapeutic value, and is selected as part of an acupuncture point prescription intended to treat the overall health of the patient. The acupuncture needle serves as a conduit to either tonify a deficiency or disperse an excess of qi from a particular point or meridian. Acupuncture needles are sterile and stored in unbroken packaging until just prior to use. They are discarded in a secure “sharps” container immediately upon extraction.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese medicinal herbs can be used to effectively and safely treat a large number of conditions. The Chinese herbal formula is a balanced blend of herbs from a pharmacopeia of more than 500 single herbs. Each herb is imbued with the qualities of taste and temperature, such as hot, cold, bitter, and sweet. Within the formula, the individual herbs are assigned a role, such as deputy, assistant, and chief. Some formulas have been in use for as long as three thousand years.
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The classic herbal formulas are modified to suit the needs of each patient by adding or subtracting ingredients. Formulas are carefully balanced in order to alleviate any side effects. The herbal formula can be administered in the form of pills, powders, or teas. When creating your personal formula, your practitioner will consider the most effective and manageable method of delivery for you. To avoid potentially harmful herb/drug interactions, it is important to inform your practitioner of any medications you are taking.
Phone, Skype, Email Consultation
Depending on your condition, you may be eligible for a remote consultation. The best and most responsible medical care is rendered with the patient present, so the practitioner can perform a thorough examination and evaluation. If your condition can be managed via phone, Skype or email, you will be required to sign a waiver of physical exam, and provide our office with information regarding your most recent physical exam.
If you have a brief question, your practitioner will address your concerns by phone or email at no charge. If you require additional discussion or re-evaluation of your condition or a redesign of your treatment plan, and you cannot come to the office, you may set a phone, skype or email appointment.
Massage therapy is more than relaxing me-time. Studies continue to prove the physical, and emotional benefits of even a single massage therapy session.
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Some of the many benefits of therapeutic massage include:
- Improves circulation: The pressure created by massage therapy moves blood through congested areas. This causes new blood to flow in, resulting in improved body function.
- Encourages relaxation and relaxes muscles: Relax. Reset. Repeat. Massage has been shown to help the body enter a relaxing rest-and-recovery mode: an effect that lingers long after the massage is over. Got neck, back or muscle pain? Odds are, sitting all day at the office is the culprit. Massage gets to the root of persistent pain by relaxing tense muscles
- Improves flexibility and range of motion: As we age, joints tend to tighten, making range of motion more restricted. Massage helps keep joints more fluid, making you more flexible and less prone to injury.
- Promotes deeper and easier breathing: One of the telltale signs of anxiety and stress is constricted breathing. Massage can play an important role in relieving respiratory issues and training the body how to relax.
- Relieves stress: Stress relief is key to achieving a healthier lifestyle. Even a single massage session can significantly lower heart rate, cortisol and insulin levels, all of which help reduce daily stress.
- Relieves headaches: 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches and migraines. Massage helps ease the pressure and pain, which can also reduce the chance and frequency of headaches.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST)
CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. This technique is extremely soothing, nurturing and relaxing.
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CST was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician Dr. John E Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics. Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
Cupping is the application of small cups on the skin surface via suction. This therapy is said to enhance the superficial circulation, and is particularly useful in treating pain associated with arthritis or minor sprains. Cupping is also indicated in some cases of lung disease, such as cough and asthma. Although the procedure itself is painless, please be advised that cupping therapy will leave a mark resembling a bruise on the skin for a period of time ranging from three days to two weeks.
Gua Sha is a method of scraping the skin with a special tool. Gua Sha can be used to reduce fever, and is quite effective in alleviating muscle stiffness and certain types of headache. Please be advised that gua sha will leave a red, rash-like mark on the skin for up to five days.
Learn more about Gua Sha here
IVF Transfer Acupuncture
LA Herbs and Acupuncture offers onsite acupuncture for the day of embryo transfer during an IVF cycle. While this procedure is typically combined with in-office care, it can be provided as a stand-alone treatment. All of our practitioners are highly trained in the protocol pertaining to IVF transfer, known as the Paulus Protocol, a landmark 2002 study which demonstrated increased pregnancy rates among the group who received acupuncture before and after embryo transfer.
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You can read the full study here.
- A 2002 study, led by Dr. Wolfgang E. Paulus and documented in the journal Fertility and Sterility*, compared women undergoing IVF with and without pre/post transfer acupuncture.
- As a result of this study’s outcome, acupuncture has become commonplace in Fertility clinics on transfer day.
- Result(s): Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas the pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.
- Conclusion(s): Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rates after ART.
You can also view two of our practitioners, Dr. Yvonne Farrell, LAc, and Clinic Director Laura Erlich, LAc, teaching a group of acupuncturists about the Paulus Protocol and our unique approach to this treatment. This class is offered to acupuncturists around the world through Pro D Seminars (www.prodseminars.net)
Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling
Nutrition and lifestyle counseling is a vital component of holistic healthcare. At LA Herbs and Acupuncture, we incorporate recommendations for diet, supplementation, exercise, sleep and other health oriented lifestyle habits into all of our clinical care. Our practitioners are current on the most up to date nutritional and dietary recommendations and regularly attend classes and summits to maintain and grow our knowledge base.
Nutritional and lifestyle counseling is included in our initial and follow up visits. Phone or Skype consults may also be arranged.
Laboratory Diagnostics (blood work)
In order to provide the very best in integrative Chinese medicine, LA Herbs & Acupuncture has state-of-the-art laboratory diagnostic services at our disposal. Comprehensive blood and saliva panels are sometimes used to track absolute results when managing hormonal, inflammatory, or food sensitivity conditions.
Continuing Education for Acupuncturists (CEUs)
For the past six years, LA Herbs & Acupuncture has been a continuing education provider for California-licensed acupuncturists. We take pride in providing unique programs for professional development in our field.
Community Lectures & Classes for the Public
In addition to our continuing education classes for professionals, LA Herbs & Acupuncture is now offering a series of lectures and events for our patients and friends.