Q&A Series 3

This week we sat down with our practitioner Stephanie Saffer and answered more of your submitted questions! The first question that Stephanie answers in the video is an area of acupuncture that she specializes in, pediatrics. Did you know that at our clinic we treat a wide variety of pediatric patients? These tiny patients range in age and come in for so many unique conditions ranging from allergies, anxiety, ADHD, and many more!

In the second question Stephanie talks about how we use pulse diagnosis to aid in identifying conditions. Chinese medicine is so vast and the forms of treatment present themselves in many unique modalities. Taking advantage of all of the different branches of Chinese medicine can lead to treatment for such a wide variety of conditions. Pulse diagnosis is simply a branch or modality that we utilize at our clinic to help recognize problems and treat at the root.

Tune into the video for the answer to the ever so popular question, “What if I’m afraid of needles?” Keep submitting your questions and comments! We love the feedback and we love hearing from you. Get a hold of our front office at 503-493-9389 to schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners.

Treat Your Kids to Pediatric Acupuncture

People are very familiar with using acupuncture as adults, but many people don’t realize how beneficial acupuncture can be for their kids. Acupuncture can treat a multitude of conditions for children (more on conditions treated here), and kids can start getting treatment as young as a couple weeks old. Because children are considered to be very yang (active, dynamic, energetic), they respond very quickly to treatment methods, and often recover faster than adults.

Needles can be a part of the treatment….but they don’t have to be. Most often, kids enjoy the idea of using tiny needles to help heal their body. They get excited about learning how acupuncture works and how to take control of their own health. We also have many other tools we use in practice that effectively treat pediatric conditions. Acupressure is great for kids, and pressing on specific acupuncture points is a technique we often teach parents to use at home. Pediatric massage or qigong can be used as well, and helps treat children who are especially sensitive to stimulus and their environments. In some cases, we use a line of pediatric herbal formulas, and they add enormous benefit to the treatment plan.

No two treatments look the same when treating children. It is always about meeting the child where they’re at that day, and we all know that when it comes to kids, you don’t always know what you’re going to get.  We can treat kids on the treatment table, in a chair, on the floor, or in their parent’s lap. Books or toys provide great distractions, and we often make a game out how we are treating that day.

For children, just like adults, you can use acupuncture and Western medicine together, in fact they are very complimentary. We often use acupuncture in combination with other conventional treatments, each method reinforcing the other. For example, we will treat a child for an ear infection or upper respiratory tract infection in conjunction with the child taking antibiotics. Kids see faster healing times, and parents see happier children.

If you have questions about how acupuncture can help your kids, call us anytime. We understand how important health care is for your little ones!

Weather Affecting Your Mood?


It rains in Portland, a lot. Everyone that walks through our doors comments on the undesirable weather and how it makes them feel – tired, unmotivated and depressed. This is not a great way to experience the world or your life. But there is hope! A single acupuncture treatment can make you feel not only relaxed and calm but also energized and invigorated. Our patients feel so much better walking out the door.

A very large percentage of our patients come for treatment of anxiety and depression. Whether they come to us for these concerns specifically, or it comes up down the road, we are all affected. Everyone tends towards different emotional imbalances and acupuncture is a great away to help you find balance, feel more grounded and experience a better quality of life, no matter the weather.

Colds, Flu, and Kids

With this year’s cold and flu season upon us, I am noticing the massive amount of kids coming down with runny noses, sore throats, coughs. although every kid seems susitible, some get hit harder than others. While this exposure to bacteria is important, and allows kids to build up their library of antibodies, there is lots we can do to build up their immune systems, so it can do it’s job of fighting infections quickly, efficiently, and effectively. When kids are hit by one bug, and it knocks them down it can be hard for them to come back to their full strength before another exposure comes along. With just a little bit of support, kids can begin the season ahead of the game, or regain their strength, so they don’t have to spend November to March with a runny nose.There are many tools and tricks you can implement at home to help reinforce the immune system. Making sure that kids have a well-balanced and varied diet can sometimes be a challenge. Working toward a diet full of whole foods will definitely help give kids a leg up with immunity. In addition though, because we can’t always sneak in enough fruits and veggies, there are things we can do to supplement their diet and ramp up the immune system. Sleep is also another extremely important factor in immunity. Most 3-6 year olds still need 11-12 hours of sleep a day. Take advantage of the early sunset and try enforcing an early bedtime.

Another tool to try for your child is acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Acupuncture and/or acupressure can be extremely helpful to your child to fight off infection, both during a cold or sickness and as preventative medicine. Similar to allopathic medicine, in Chinese medicine we look at the common cold as an invasion of a pathogen into the Lung. We view this pathogen as a type of wind. Through a series of questions and inspection of the child, we use to determine if it is a wind-cold or a wind-heat, or in summertime, summer-heat with dampness. Wind-cold is classified by low fever with chills and lots of white thin phlegm; whereas wind-heat usually is exhibited through sore throat, yellow thick phlegm, and high fever with mild chills. Often, a kid will be prone to one or the other, and you might notice that your child’s symptoms when she gets sick often look the same. We then chose acupuncture points which will expel the wind-cold or wind-heat and well as supplementing and boosting “wei” or defensive qi, otherwise know as the immune system. To read more about this syndrome you can visit: http://acupuncture.com/conditions/commoncold.htm.

In my practice, I tend to use a combination of acupressure and acupuncture with most kids. We always start with the pressure, just pressing the points, and then I gauge the child’s comfort level. Most kids will allow me, even in that first session, to do at least one or two needles. I always make sure the kids feel very comfortable and they know that I would never sneak up on them. They are so relieved after the first needle, realizing they don’t even feel it, and so proud of their bravery. And the results continue to amaze me. Kids are so quick to respond, and usually their coughs and runny noses taper off and quickly go away. Often parents will come back saying that their little one’s cough stopped in the car and didn’t come back, or that everyone has been sick at their school, but not their child! And the best is that the kids feel the results, they feel better and then are even more willing to be brave for more needles. It is so neat to watch them come back, excited to report their results and ready to feel better!