Seattle Acupuncturist helps with anxiety, depression and stress


It is estimated that at least 17.5 million Americans suffer from depression. As a naturopath and acupuncturist, I am interested in staying on top of research studies and ensuring I can provide my patients with the most up-to-date information regarding non-prescription treatment options. There are some promising, recent studies showing how acupuncture can treat depression, anxiety, and stress.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that “evidence for the use of acupuncture to treat anxiety disorders is becoming stronger.” A study from the University of York in the UK recruited 755 people with moderate to severe depression. Seventy percent of the patients had been on anti-depressants and continued on them throughout the study. The study concluded that acupuncture had a strong, positive effect on depression by lowering the depression scale from an average of 16 out of 27 at the start of the study, to 9. The benefits lasted 3 months after treatment had concluded.

I’ve personally seen patients whose anxiety-induced rashes disappear in two treatments. I have also seen acupuncture significantly reduce anxiety and stress as well as improve depression. It’s important to note that most of these conditions require an initial treatment protocol of eight or more sessions. Once a significant improvement is reached, you can then move to a maintenance schedule. Acupuncture can’t always treat moderate or severe depression alone and you should consult your doctor before going off or reducing any medication. But, the evidence is clear: acupuncture can improve depression, anxiety, and stress.

For more information on how naturopathic medicine and acupuncture can help with anxiety, depression, and stress, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture or call Dr. Lee at 206-319-5322.


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Filed under Acupuncture, Chronic pain, Depression, Insomnia, Pain relief, stress, Uncategorized

Acupuncture and vitamin B12 injections can help alleviate postherpertic neuralgia pain

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a syndrome characterized by pain persisting for more than 3 months following the resolution of shingles. Symptoms of PHN include central pain sensation, unpleasant sensation to touch, and itchiness along the distribution of the involved dermatome. Often times patients are prescribed with anti-viral medications at the initial outbreak of shingles and when the lesions resolved and PHN kicks in, many providers are left with prescribing more medications that may or may not be effective.

The conventional treatments for PHN, such as tricyclic antidepressants, antiepileptics, opioids, tramadol, lidocaine and capsaicin, which are probably effective to relieve some of the pain for a period of time. However, approximately 50% of patients may still not obtain satisfactory analgesia despite treatments with these medications.


Acupuncture, which has a history of more than 2000 years in the prevention and treatment of diseases, plays an important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Different kinds of acupuncture methods such as needling, electroacupuncture, and cupping are in use for the treatment of PHN in hospitals in China. In the past 5 years, acupuncture for treating PHN has been used in more than 137 studies. The benefit of the treatment group was reported between 84.1% and 97.5%.1 The clinical trials indicate that acupuncture could reduce pain and discomfort among most patients and also remove pain and discomfort among some patients.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 has long known has a nerve food. In deprivation of vitamin B12, individuals can experience numbness and tingling. It is an excellent choice in alleviating symptoms of PHN. According to researches, the injection of methylcolbalamin (methyl vitamin B12) significantly reduced continuous pain, paroxysmal pain, and allodynia in the subacute herpetic neuralgia patients2. Thus, methyl B12 may be an alternative candidate for treating SHN.

Acupuncture and vitamin B12 and other naturopathic approaches should be considered at the onset of shingles to help minimize the occurrence or the severity of PHN.

  • Yan, Z. J. Acupunct. Tuina. Sci. (2004) 2: 39. doi:10.1007/BF02848360
  • Neural Plasticity. Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 424651, 6 pages


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Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Headache, Uncategorized

Really? Acupuncture can reduce symptoms of hay fever

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Signs and symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes. Many people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis. Research shows that more than 3 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies every year.

Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and is employed for a wide variety of conditions, including pain relief, asthma, migraines, and arthritis.

A study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, where a team of researchers designed a large trial to figure that out the effects of acupuncture to relieve hay fever. Scientists recruited people with allergies to grass and pollen and randomly assigned them to one of three groups. One group received 12 acupuncture treatments over eight weeks. Another was given sham acupuncture treatments equivalent to placebo, and a third group received no treatment. Each group had access to an antihistamine. After the given time, those in the acupuncture group showed greater improvements in symptoms, compared with the other two groups, and they used the antihistamine less frequently. Another study published in the journal Allergy also found that acupuncture treatments, given three times a week over four weeks, relieved allergy symptoms compared with a sham procedure. Overall, acupuncture can be a great method of relief and even resolution of allergy symptoms when combined with proper attention to the root cause, and continued care for one’s well being. A lot of factors may contribute to symptoms such as lifestyle, environment, diet, and constitution. Once stabilized with acupuncture and/or herbal medicine, allergy patients who are dedicated to self care and lifestyle changes see significant improvement of their symptoms and overall health.

For more information about acupuncture for allergies and other symptoms, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.

Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(4):225-234.

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Filed under Acupuncture, Allergies, Uncategorized

How can acupuncture help with knee pain?

Acupuncture treats various types of pain. This includes mild pain through chronic pain. Acupuncture alleviates pain in areas such as the back, neck, joints, and knee. Acupuncture relieves pain through the release of neurochemicals. It is a process where thin needles are placed in specific areas throughout the body. These areas are acupuncture point which help stimulate the muscles. When these muscles are stimulated, it sends impulses to the spinal cord. The spinal cord then initiates the release of the neurochemicals to block the messages that are causing the pain.

This process is how one can treat knee pain. Acupuncture can help relieve all types of pain in the knee. For example, acupuncture can treat ligament injuries, knee arthritis, jumper’s knee, etc. In order to alleviate the root that is causing the knee pain, one will have the thin needles placed in certain acupuncture points all around the knee.

This will stimulate the muscles surrounding the knee area and send specific impulses to the spinal cord. The spinal cord will then respond with the initiation of neurochemicals. These neurochemicals will discontinue the pain transmitters that are being sent to the knee that is causing the chronic knee pain.

Knee pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. However, acupuncture is an alternative solution that does not just treat the symptoms of knee pain. It goes to the root of the problem and blocks the pain messages from being sent to the knee instead of masking the pain temporarily.

If you are suffering from knee pain and are interested in trying acupuncture, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call us at (206) 319 – 5322 to schedule an appointment.

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Filed under Allergies, Chronic pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis

How can acupuncture help with neck pain?

Neck pain is very common and can originate from various different causes. It can be caused by poor posture, muscle strain, stress, abnormalities in the joints, etc. Neck pain can range of an acute pain to a more chronic type of pain. There are many treatments for neck pain such as massage, pain relieving medication, physical therapy, etc. However, one very effective way to combat chronic neck pain is through acupuncture.

Acupuncture is type of healing technique that has been around for thousands of years. This technique promotes natural self-healing by stimulating certain points throughout the body. These points are referred to as acupuncture points. Thin needles are inserted through the skin various precise point throughout the body. Stimulating an acupuncture point will cause the body to respond to that area. This stimulation relieves chronic pain such as neck pain.

Acupuncture for neck pain is very successful because it uses the body’s self-healing response to combat the pain. The acupuncture points that are stimulated directly affect the area that is causing the pain in the neck. Acupuncture helps restore balance in the body and regulate physiological functions. Therefore, this method is very successful because it relieves pain without the use of pain medications. Pain medications just treat the symptoms for chronic neck pain; however, acupuncture confronts the root of the imbalance in the body that is causing the pain.

If you are experiencing neck pain and want to have acupuncture to help relieve the pain or want to know more about the benefits of acupuncture, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call at (206) 319 – 5322 to make an appointment.

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Filed under Acupuncture, Chronic pain, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain, TMJ

Pain Reduction through Acupuncture Following a Car Accident

Being in a car crash can be one of the most life changing events, and depending on the severity of crash can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain. Whiplash, also known as traumatic cervical syndrome, is one of the most common collision injuries and occurs when the neck is jolted in such a way that tweaks the delicate muscles, tendons and ligaments of the neck and spine.  Some of the physical symptoms experienced from whiplash include neck pain/ stiffness, headache dizziness, back pain, arm/shoulder pain, numbness and tingling, amongst other symptoms. The pain experienced as well as potential bruising and swelling after a car crash is the result of trauma to the tissues of the body that causes stagnation of blood and the body’s vital energy, Qi. 

Acupuncture is a passive yet effective way to activate and increase the body’s circulation of Qi and blood in order to restore damaged tissues. Acupuncture also causes the release of endorphins that block the transmission of pain signaling in the brain. After a car crash, passive treatment may be the best approach immediately following an accident in order to allow traumatized muscles and ligaments time to heal without further strain. Acupuncture is a holistic form of healing and can vastly improve your body’s innate ability to heal itself and therefore increase the rehabilitation and healing rate and reduce the risk of chronic pain long term following a car accident. 

Most auto accident injuries are covered by automobile insurance. We know exactly how to find out what coverage is available for you and how to bill for it. If you have any questions regarding to how acupuncture can help with pain from a car accident or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call (206)319-5322. 

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Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Cupping, Depression, Fatigue, Headache, Insomnia, Jaw pain, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain

Is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture right for you?

In addition to the many health promoting effects throughout the body that acupuncture provides, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture aims to correct the signs of aging by both local treatment and by treating the underlying causes of why an individual is specifically manifesting the aging process the way they are. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is painless and non-surgical. Based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the treatment involves inserting hair-thin needles into particular areas of the face, ears, hands, stomach, chest, and legs along channels or meridians of energy called “qi”. Specific points are chosen to manipulate the movement of energy in the body according to the individual’s needs. Thousands of years ago the Chinese discovered that many meridians either begin or end on the face while some have internal branches that go to the face. Thus, practitioners of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture know how to specifically effect the face while simultaneously treating the underlying factors contributing to the aging process.


Though Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is sometimes referred to as the acupuncture facelift, it is more than a cosmetic procedure. It is a rejuvenation and revitalization process designed to help the whole body look and feel younger.

Benefits of facial rejuvenation acupuncture include:

  1. Improved muscle tone and dermal contraction
  2. Increased collagen production
  3. Helps to eliminate and reduce bags under the eyes, and decreases the tendency toward sagging and jowls
  4. Helps to eliminate fine lines of the face and has a diminishing effect on larger wrinkles
  5. Improves hormonal balance; thus, even those with hormonal acne can benefit
  6. Moisturizes the skin by the increased local circulation of blood and lymph to the face
  7. Reduces or eliminates double chins
  8. Tightens the pores
  9. Helps to lift drooping eyelids
  10. Reduces stress evident in the face
  11. Promotes overall health and well being
  12. Slows the aging process from within

Anyone who is interested in looking and feeling younger is a good candidate for Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture. The decision to begin treatment may be professionally or personally inspired or a combination of both. In addition, those who are considering surgical facelift may want to try acupuncture first, avoiding the cost and discomfort or surgery. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is particularly beneficial for those who have already undergone surgical facelift as acupuncture will promote healthier skin and prolong the effects of the surgical facelift. Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation treats the blood stasis, scarring and potential numbness and pain of surgical facelifts.


For more information about facial acupuncture, please contact Seattle Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.

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Filed under Acupuncture, Cosmetic acupucnture, Facial acupuncture, Facial rejuvenation acupuncture, Fatigue, Headache