Kidney Stones: Find relief with Acupuncture & Herbs

Kidney stones are known to be a painful medical event and according to a recent study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings the number of people suffering from kidney stones is on the rise.

The study looked at the prevalence of kidney stones in over 10,000 Minnesota residents from 1984 – 2012.  The findings revealed the over the course of the 28 year study, kidney stone incidents increased two times in men and four times in women.  The highest increase being in women ages 18 to 39 where in 1984 there were 62 cases per 100,000 women and by 2012 it was up to 252 cases per 100,000 women.  ¹

Now in case you are not familiar, our kidneys are small bean shaped organs that are located just below the rib cage in the middle of the back.  Their main job is to filter out the extra water and waste products from the blood which creates urine.  (The average person has approximately five quarts of blood, which passes through the kidneys about 40 times a day for a total filtered volume of about 200 quarts, in turn creating about two quarts of urine.)  Sometimes, as the kidneys filter the blood, specific wastes crystalize and clump together forming stones.

There are a number of different types of kidney stones but according to the study nearly 75% of kidney stones are made of calcium salts, specifically calcium oxalate. 

Oxalates are a natural, and unavoidable, substance found in plants, like spinach, beets, nuts and tea.   When a plant has an extremely high concentration of oxalates it is considered poisonous, like rhubarb leaves.  Oxalates are the plants’ defense system to protect itself from being eaten, but when eaten it prevents proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. (Oxalates bind to minerals in the blood stream and prevent your body from absorbing them.)  Now there is no way to escape oxalates because that would mean you would have to avoid all plant based foods which is just not wise but if you have a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones it is usually advisable to eat a low oxalate diet.

Kidney stones are a common occurrence, but to save oneself from this grueling ordeal, prevention is the best medicine.  Staying hydrated by drinking enough water is key.  According to, Much. Syahbani, head of the renal unit at Sardjito Hospital, “In the early stage, the disease can be cured easily and cheaply by drinking lime (Citrus aurantifolia) juice.”²  The juice of two limes that have a diameter of 4.5 cm each can be mixed with two glasses of water and two tablespoons should be taken daily after dinner for 10 days when acute.  Syahbani stated that regularly adding a squeeze of a fresh lime juice to your water can be a highly beneficial way of disrupting the ability to crystalize thereby preventing the formation of stones.²

Acupuncture and herbal medicines have also proven to be effective in the treatment and prevention of kidney stones.  On the Healthcare Medicine Institute (HealthCMi) site in an article titled Acupuncture and Herbs Force Expulsion of Kidney Stones, it was stated that based on the findings, research confirms that acupuncture and herbal medicine play an important role in the alleviation or elimination of kidney stones and that both should be part of a patients standard of care for best outcomes. ³   

To improve your outcome during an acute kidney stone attack be sure to incorporate acupuncture and herbal medicine into your care.   

If you have a history of kidney stones acupuncture and herbal medicine can help prevent future stones. 

Contact me today to find out more about how acupuncture or herbal medicine can help you overcome future painful kidney stones.



  1. The Changing Incidence and Presentation of Urinary Stones Over 3 Decades

Kittanamongkolchai, Wonngarm et al.  Mayo Clinic Proceedings , Volume 93 , Issue 3 , 291 – 299

  1. Lime juice can wash your kidney stones away, JAKARTA POST. Ridlo Aryanto.  WORLDSOURCES, INC.
  2. Acupuncture and Herbs Force Expulsion of Kidney Stones. HealthCmi. 5 Dec 2017.

Acupuncture – How it works

Acupuncture is a 3,000 year old healing practice that works by stimulating your body’s own resources, maximizing your healing potential, reducing pain & stress.  It benefits all disease, as well as emotional and spiritual imbalances.

Acupuncture works by activating our bodies own healing mechanisms. 

  1.  Acupuncture stimulates the release of powerful pain-killing and anti-inflammatory substances from the brain .
  2. Acupuncture changes the way your brain responds to pain, and can modify internal organ function to treat many health conditions.
  3. Acupuncture has many local effects including relaxation of contracted muscles and increase in oxygen and blood circulation.

Acupuncture can give you back the health you want to enjoy life to the fullest.  It is especially valuable in dealing with the everyday stresses of our modern lifestyle.

Contact me today to get started on a path to less pain and better health!

October 24 is Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day is held annually on October 24 to raise public awareness and support for the use of acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese and Oriental medicine.

Thousands of licensed acupuncturists, government figures, and health organizations use this day to support the practice and its use as a complementary medicine in our modern healthcare system.  AOM Day is sponsored through a partnership of prestigious research, educational and professional institutions, including the Council of State Associations, Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia, and the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles into specific points on a person’s body, stimulating the body’s own resources, maximizing the healing potential.  It is frequently used to treat pain, stress, inflammation, and dozens of different physical and mental conditions. Acupuncture has been used to restore and maintain the health of millions of people for thousands of years.

Newcomers are often skeptical of the effectiveness of acupuncture. However, a survey conducted by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine found that roughly 1 in 10 adults have received acupuncture, and nearly half of those respondents said they were either “extremely satisfied” or “very satisfied’ with the results. The survey also found that 60% of respondents said they would consider regular acupuncture sessions as a form of treatment.

Whether you’re suffering from a particular health ailment, or if you simply want to learn more about the practice of acupuncture, you should take advantage of AOM Day by scheduling an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist. Who knows, you might discover a powerful new way to treat one or more conditions from which you suffer.


6 Reasons You Should Try Acupuncture

  1. It is time-tested. Unlike newer treatments and medicines on the market, you can rest assured knowing acupuncture has been used for thousands of years by millions of people. 
  2. 1 in 3 Americans use some form of complementary/alternative medicine. Why aren’t you?  Remember, caring for yourself is not self-indulgent.
  3. A recent meta-analysis study performed by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York found that Acupuncture was 52% more effective than the Western Medicine “standard of care” when used to treat chronic pain, back, neck and shoulder pain, arthritis, headaches and migraines.   (from NY Times article  dated Sept 11, 2012)
  4. Acupuncture can treat both physiological and psychological disorders. Some of the common psychological disorders treated through acupuncture include stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
  5. Contrary to what some people may believe, acupuncture is virtually painless. In fact, it’s actually quite calming and relaxing, as it activates your body’s natural self-healing-process.
  6. With continued treatment, long standing health problems will slowly resolve as the body heals itself.




3 Ways to Prepare for Seasonal Changes

As the transition from summer to fall begins, changes start to happen externally as well as internally. The days become shorter and the air gets cooler; our bodies change to adapt as well. Here are three ways to prepare for the fall season ahead along with the beginning of the yin cycle.

1. Let go of Negativity

The autumn season represents the time when the lungs and large intestine are of the utmost importance. This season is especially an important time to let of negative energy in your life.

Negativity doesn’t just affect your psychological health but your physical health as well. You can help get rid toxicity in your life by being aware of the causes and surrounding yourself with positive energy and people who make you happy.

2. Spend time Outside

Because fall is focused on the lungs, spending more time outside can help strengthen this organ and increase your immune system as cold and flu season starts to emerge.

Spend time in nature away from city pollution where you can breathe clean, cool air. Autumn time is the perfect opportunity to do this and refresh and strengthen the lungs.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatment can help you physically as well as mentally prepare for the change in seasons.

Some find it difficult to let go of the summer season and transition to shorter, cooler days. Acupuncture can ease this transition and make sure your body and energy are flowing properly.


Dry Needling – What’s all the buzz about?

Recently there has been a lot of buzz around the term dry needling.  What is dry needling and how does it compare to the practice of acupuncture?  Let me lay out some of the facts:

  • Acupuncture is a technique with a 5,000 year history.
  • Written in the 4th Century, the Huang Di Nei Jin, one of the earliest texts on Chinese medicine and Acupuncture, includes a reference to a technique of needling directly into a painful area, called an Ah Shi point.
  • Licensed and Certified Acupuncturists complete over 3,000 hours of training to obtain a Masters. This includes over 600 hours of clinical hands-on training and 700 hours covering theory and treatment techniques. 
  • Dry needling is performed by Chiropractors and Physical Therapists who complete continuing education workshops. The training varies, but in many instances, dry needling can be practiced after the completion of a single 4 day course (36 hours). 
  • Dry needling is a technique that was developed by a physician in the 1970’s who discovered that injections into a painful muscle relieved pain. The physician evolved into using an empty syringe and hypodermic needle to perform what he called ‘dry needling’.
  • Dry needling is now performed using the same exact thin, solid filament needles as used by Acupuncturists.
  • Dry needling utilizes trigger points, which in many instances, match up with traditional Acupuncture points (without knowledge of how these points work).
  • Dry needling focuses on the symptom of pain by exciting the knotted muscle into twitching to relieve pain. The process is usually painful. 
  • Acupuncture not only addresses the pain, but the underlying cause of the pain. Acupuncture is generally less painful, more relaxing and the effects are longer lasting.
  • Acupuncture treats pain, and many other health conditions including headaches, digestive problems, stress, allergies, colds and insomnia; just to name a few.

I am a Licensed and Certified Acupuncturist, and am probably a little biased on the subject, so I am not sure what the hype around dry needling is all about.  Dry needling is really just the most basic form of Acupuncture, being performed by someone who specializes in something else.  Dry needling is usually practiced with minimal training, as an add-on service.  Due to the lack of training coupled with aggressive needling techniques there is a concern for the potential of causing harm to the patient.  I’m not saying that these other professionals are not well trained for the field they are licensed in; they are, but they are not necessarily trained well to practice dry needling or acupuncture.  

I don’t know how you decide what professionals you are using, but I would think most people want to choose a highly trained specialist to perform the services they are receiving.  I know I would! (and do). I have a whole address book filled with contacts of choice professionals for my personal needs. 

My specialty is Acupuncture.  As a fully trained Acupuncturist, there are many pain issues that I can help resolve quickly with just a couple of needles in a distal area of the body, away from where the pain actually is.  This is beneficial because it can resolve pain without a painful treatment or resulting in an inflammation flare-up. And I can also help resolve many other health complaints.   I love working with patients that are seeing other licensed professionals – Chiropractor, Physical Therapist and Massage Therapist, and I often refer patients to utilize these services to assist the patient with issues beyond my training and abilities.    

Our lives are busy so it might seem easier to see just one professional for all of your needs; but is it the best decision?  I hope that I have helped you understand what the buzz is all about when it comes to dry needling and Acupuncture.  All I ask is that you make educated and informed decisions when choosing your services.