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Posts from the ‘Chinese Herbs’ Category

Upcoming Maternity Leave

Big news!

As some of you may already know, my partner Robert and I are expecting a baby boy in early July 2017!   We’re both very excited to become parents and will be taking some time away from work to focus on our new baby.

When will I go on leave?  And how long will I be out?

If all goes according to plan, I will begin maternity leave June 19th and return to work October 9th.  Of course, babies often don’t arrive on schedule, so I may adjust those dates as needed (I’ll keep you posted if there are any changes).

Continuing care while I’m on leave

I won’t be working for the three months I’m on leave.  If you’d like to continue taking Chinese herbs while I’m away, I would be happy to mix up a supply to last you while I’m out- please let me know prior to June 5, so I have time to mix it up for you.  In addition to not seeing patients during this time, I also will be taking a break from email and voicemail.  In case you would like to continue your treatment with another provider while I’m away, I wanted to provide you with some great practitioner options.  Luckily, there are some wonderful acupuncturists in Olympia who will be available to see you during that time.  Here are the practitioners I most recommend (in alphabetical order):

Michelle Bilodeau, EAMP - Michelle and I were classmates way back during our Chinese medicine training.  Like me, she practices all branches of Chinese medicine: acupuncture, herbs, qigong, and nutritional counseling.  Her practice is located in West Olympia, near the auto mall.  She accepts most major insurance plans.  She works afternoons and evenings during the week. Email:  Tel: 360.754.1396

Rain Delvin, EAMP, LMP – Rain is a fantastic acupuncturist, herbalist, and Thai massage therapist.  Her office is located around the corner from mine, at 2020 Jackson Ave in West Olympia.  She is in-network with most major insurance plans (including Regence/Uniform).  Email:  Tel: 360.754.1823

Denise Robison, EAMP – Denise is a long time practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine.  She specializes in family medicine, women’s health and fertility, and pediatrics.  Her office is located in West Olympia, near the auto mall.  She is in-network with most insurance plans (including Regence/Uniform).  She works evenings, Monday through Friday.  Email: Tel: 360.357.5353

Sarah Tung, EAMP, ND – Sarah is a great acupuncturist and naturopathic doctor.  Her acupuncture style is very similar to my own.  Her office is located in West Olympia, just off 101 on Black Lake.  She is in-network with most insurance plans (including Regence/Uniform).  She works mornings and early afternoons and also has some weekend hours available.  Email:  Tel: 360.350.9014

Scheduling and office hours after maternity leave

Right now, I’m planning to return to work part-time in early October and slowly increase my hours back to full-time over the course of several months.  At this point, I’m not entirely sure what my initial office hours will be.  Some of that will depend on baby’s schedule and some of that will depend on child care.  My plan is to send out another email and post an update on my website a few weeks before I return to work, letting you know about my hours, availability, and scheduling.  So keep an eye out for that update.

Thank you!

Thank you for your understanding and support during this exciting time!  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me (prior to June 19th) :)

China Trip: Guangdong

China Trip Week 4: Guangdong


Week 4 of my China trip brought me to the cities of Guangzhou, Guangdong and Hong Kong.  Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is one of the largest cities in China, with over 44 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area (that’s 9 million more people than the entire population of Canada).  Here, I stayed with a good friend from my college days who has been living in China for the past three years.  After two weeks deep in the Chinese countryside, it was wonderful to spend some time in such a bustling modern city.  I enjoyed too much delicious food, went on a tea shopping spree, indulged in tuina massage, and took in some breathtaking sights.

From there, I headed to Shengzhen for a quick visit with my sister’s sister-in-law and family.  While there, the weather turned as the outer edges of a typhoon started blowing on shore.  Intense wind and rain kept me holed up indoors for the couple days I was there.  And then I headed over the border to Hong Kong.  While still officially part of China, Hong Kong is a bit of a special place.  For one, there is a border crossing complete with customs and immigration (apparently it’s not completely open to all Chinese).  Also, the languages are Cantonese first, English second, Mandarin a distant third.   While there, I braved the wind and rain to explore the city and finished my trip with a visit to one of the outlying islands to check out the giant Tian Tan Buddha.

I had an amazing trip to China: the food, the people, the culture, the scenery were all incredibly wonderful.  Although I spent a month travelling, I hardly scratched the surface of places to go and see.  I’m hoping to return and explore more of the country in the years ahead.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a little of what I was up to last month.  Next post, I’ll be writing about Chinese medicine topics.  Enjoy!


China Trip: Hunan

China Trip Week 2: Hunan


From Beijing, I flew south to meet up with some friends in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province.  I started the week in the incredibly beautiful Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, a stunning natural park area thought to be the inspiration for the floating Hallelujah mountains in the movie Avatar.  The area is full of striking pillar-like rock formations, some reaching over 3,000 feet in height.  It is also a region of incredible biodiversity, and home to many of the herbal species I use regularly in my practice.

From Zhangjiajie city, we took the world’s longest cable car ride to the top of the breathtaking Tianmen (Heaven’s Gate) Mountain.  This mountain reaches an elevation of about 5,000 feet.  The time we spent there we were enveloped in clouds which obscured our view of the mountains and valleys below.  We were just able to make out the outline of the famous Tianmen Dong (Heaven’s Gate Cave), A hollow opening in the mountain, located at the top of an extremely long and steep staircase.

From Zhangjiajie, I headed further south into the Miao minority village of Fenghuang.  The village has an exceptionally well-preserved ancient town situated on the banks of the Tou river.  It’s a beautiful location, and a nice peak into Miao minority architecture and culture.  

I hope you enjoy the photos!


Chinese Herbal Medicine Travel Kit

Chinese Herbal Medicine Travel Kit


A week from now I’ll be in Beijing!  As part of my packing and prep, I’m gathering items for my Chinese herbal medicine travel  kit.  I’ve brought this kit with me all over the US and several second and third world countries, urban metropolises and remote rural spots, freezing mountains and hot tropical jungles.  It has come in handy every trip I’ve taken, so I thought I’d share.  Here’s what I bring to keep healthy while on the road:

What I pack: Chinese Herbal remedies for travel

What I pack: Chinese Herbal remedies for travel

White Flower Oil- This is a topical liniment composed of a variety of essential oils including wintergreen, eucalyptus, lavender, and menthol.  It’s a wonderful topical pain reliever for sore muscles, stiff necks, or achy backs.   After a long day of walking and traveling, I rub this on my legs and feet to rejuvenate and improve circulation.  It also takes the itch out of bug bites and may even repel some insects.  The essential oils have the aromatherapy effects of relaxing and invigorating- so in theory, it could help jet lag, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and home sickness.  I’ve also used it to mask bad ambient odors by dabbing some on my neck so all I smell is minty goodness.  Alternatively, you could sprinkle some oil on the source of the odor (dirty laundry, smelly shoes, etc.)

Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Shui- This herbal liquid  is an incredibly effective remedy for traveler’s diarrhea, food poisoning, nausea and vomiting.  Luckily, I’ve only ever had to take this on a few occasions.  It tastes terrible, but it really works, really quickly.  A couple of years ago I got food poisoning and was so sick I couldn’t even keep water down.  This stuff saved me: a couple swigs and no more vomiting.  It’s a good thing to keep on hand, wherever you are- when you need it you probably won’t feel up to a trip to the pharmacy or doctor’s office.

Bi Yan Pian- This is my favorite formula for most nose, sinus, ear, eye, and throat problems (colds, flu, allergies, postnasal drip, sore throat, cough, sinus headaches, stuffy ears, itchy eyes, etc.)  Many of the ingredients have antiviral properties, and I have found it helpful for both preventing and treating many viral infections.  I even found it helpful when I came down with dengue fever in southern Mexico (dengue is a virus transmitted through mosquito bites).  For prevention, I take a dose before getting onto a plane or other high-germ environment.

Ginger candies-  First off, these are delicious.  They’re also great for treating nausea from motion sickness, soothing an upset stomach, and helping ears “pop” on airplanes during take off and landing.  Ginger is also used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat mild colds and flu manifesting with chills and body aches.  I always have a couple in my handbag for emergencies (or a tasty treat).  I buy mine from an Asian market, but you can also find them at stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Yunnan Baiyao-  This is a very famous formula.  The Chinese government has given it a Class-1 protection status, as status granted to only 2 herbal patents.  Considering there are thousands of different Chinese herbal patents out there,  this should give you an idea of just how precious and important this formula is.  It is an incredibly powerful remedy for stopping bleeding, treating traumatic injuries, preventing and treating infection.  It can be used topically for scrapes, cuts, bruises, even gun shot wounds.  And can also be taken internally for internal bleeding, severe bruising, broken bones, sprained joints, abscesses and infections.  Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it; but it’s good to have on hand in case.

I also bring enough acupuncture needles to treat friends and family on the road (and myself when needed).

And that’s basically it!  This is by no means a complete medical kit, but it does address some of the more common travel health conditions.  Of course, I would recommend bringing all the usual first aid items (like bandages, sterile gauze, alcohol swabs, antibiotic ointment, and pain relievers, etc.)   Get your vaccinations.  And always pack a good supply of prescribed medications, supplements, or herbs.

Wishing you fun and healthy travels!