Conditions We Treat

Pain Management

Internal Medicine

Reproductive

Mental Health

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Marin Acupuncture Clinic

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Pain Relief and Acupuncture

One of the central missions of Marin Acupuncture Clinic is to alleviate pain. Our founder, Lindsey Hayes Koelman, has an excellent track record treating everything from low back pain to knee and ankle pain, and even neck pain. Acupuncture has a storied history as an effective pain remedy – recent studies and medical journals are concluding that it is a more powerful and better alternative to modern Western drugs and techniques. Acupuncture has even been used as an alternative to anesthesia in some cases.

Acupuncture works by increasing collateral blood circulation to the injured area, altering the brain’s pain perception, reducing inflammation and edema, breaking up scar tissue, relaxing skeletal muscles, and promotingman in pain tissue healing. Biomedical studies have also shown that acupuncture reduces pain by stimulating the secretions of endorphins (the body’s own pain-killers) and neurotransmitters such as seratonin and noradrenaline. Herbal formulas and plasters are renowned for their ability to speed healing of bone fractures, bruises, and torn ligaments.

Acupuncture can also help: reduce dependency on pain medication, prepare for and recover from surgery, manage chronic pain when surgery is unavailable, and increase the effectiveness of other therapies (i.e. physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy). And, of course, one of the best reasons to choose acupuncture care is that it is a safe, natural, drug-free treatment option.

Patients suffering from any of the following pains often find immediate and lasting relief from our acupuncture treatments. The list below shows some of the pains we treat, and is divided into two different types of pain – muscular-skeletal pain, and internal pain (due to cramping, menses, or illness of internal organs). Call or email us today to find out if we can assist with your specific needs. Also see the research page of our website for further information about pain management and acupuncture.


Muscular-skeletal Pain:

Low back pain and sciatica
Headaches and migraines
Arthritis (of hands, knees, and other joints)
Stiffness due to conditions such as Multiple-Sclerosis (MS), Fibromyalgia, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Internal (soft tissue) Pain:

Post-operative pain (including post-operative dental pain)
Carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injuries (RSI)
Bell’s Palsy, trigeminal neuralgia and TMJ
Menstrual pain due to endometriosis, fibroids and other gynecological conditions
Other internal disorders like stomach pain

 

Internal Medicine Disorders & Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors have been studying and effectively treating internal medicine diseases since at least 100 BC with the publication of The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. Our medical system prides itself on the ability to treat the causes of illness as well as the symptoms. It is preventative as well as restorative in nature.

In its wisdom, Chinese medicine is able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of individual patients. Many patients experience sub-clinical complaints, such as fatigue, headache, low sex drive or weight gain. Western medicine often does not recognize the significance of these complaints. Chinese medicine views any observable symptom or sign as related to Internal Organ function. A careful Patient interview and exam reveals to the TCM practitioner which systems in the body are strong and which are weak. This method allows not only treatment of the immediate condition, but also keeps the body/mind strong with preventative care. Chinese medicine can ‘see’ structures and functions that are weakened before they physically manifest. This is perhaps the most significant aspect of Chinese medicine.

Our approach is to access the body’s innate healing mechanisms through the nervous system, the endocrine system and the circulatory system, thereby enabling TCM practitioners to address a variety of complaints. Call or email us if you have questions about your particular condition and what treatment protocol we would recommend.

Internal Ailments that Marin Acupuncture Clinic can help with:

Headaches, Migraines
Sleep disorders
Skin disorders (Acne, eczema, boils)
Constipation or Diarrhea
Ulcers, acid reflux, indigestion
Allergies
Congestion
Common Cold
Asthma
Bronchitis

Please see our Conditions Treated page for a thorough list.

Women's Health

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is extremely effective in treating symptoms associated with women's health conditions. When a woman's body is in balance, the menstrual cycle should be regular with no symptoms before, during or after the menses. Conception should come naturally and menopause is seen as a time of transition but should have no symptoms other than the cessation of the menses. If you are experiencing negative symptoms, acupuncture and herbal medicine can help restore harmony and balance to your body.  At Marin Acupuncture Clinic we have assisted patients with:

Irregular menstruation (late, heavy, no periods, etc)
Dysmennorhea (painful periods)
PMS 
Endometriosis 
Fibroids 
Premature Ovarian Failure (early menopause)
Menopausal syndrome
Hormone/Endocrine imbalances
PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating)
Emotional health
Teen health

Acupuncture and Menopause -- How Chinese Medicine Can Help

First and foremost, Chinese medicine does not treat menopause as a disease. It is a normal physiological change in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, many women suffer discomfort through this transition, some quite severely. There is a long history of Chinese medicine studying and successfully treating menopausal syndromes dating back to at least 100 BC. treatment for menopauseWe employ these protocols at Marin Acupuncture Clinic by using acupuncture and herbs to nourish the liver and kidney systems (said in Chinese medicine to govern developmental and aging processes). We also seek to boost the Qi (energy), moisten the tissues, strengthen and regulate the organs, and nurture the spirit of the heart. These areas are often found to be at the root of menopausal imbalances, from which symptoms originate.

Imbalances often begin to occur during perimenopause and premenopause as hormone levels decrease, causing some women to experience symptoms that can include weight gain, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, insomnia, night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, depression, extreme fatigue, memory impairment, irregular bleeding, and heavy or painful menstruation.

For many years, medical doctors have prescribed synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to combat climacteric symptoms and as protection against heart disease and osteoporosis.  However, HRT has side-effects and many women are searching for an alternative, natural, and safe method of relief. Here’s where Chinese Medicine comes in!

Menopausal discomfort varies in intensity and a woman’s lifestyle can play a major role in the severity she experiences.  Women who regularly exercise, meditate, eat a nutritious diet, do not smoke, as well as limit their intake of alcohol, caffeine, and heating foods usually have an easier time adapting during this phase.  At Marin Acupuncture Clinic we will provide you with customized diet and lifestyle prescriptions. Additionally, studies have shown that acupuncture and herbal medicines eliminate or greatly reduce the irritating menopausal symptoms in the majority of women, especially hot flashes.

Lindsey Hayes, L.Ac, specializes in women’s hormonal imbalances and conducted meta-analysis research projects during her medical schooling on relieving hot flashes with acupuncture. She has a high success rate in treating climacteric symptoms. In fact, it’s one of her favorite health issues to treat!

If you know of a woman struggling with hot flashes or the menopausal transition in general, we would greatly appreciate your referral. Telephone consultations are always free!

Fertility Enhancement Using Acupuncture

pregnancy support through acupuncture

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, it is often said that there is no such thing as “infertility.” That is because TCM is founded on a theory of balance. One's inability to conceive is considered an imbalance that needs to be rectified, not a matter-of-fact condition of infertility.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have recently garnered national attention for effective fertility treatments. Current studies demonstrate that acupuncture modulates hormone levels, increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, as well as enhances uterine conditions, which favor the implantation of a fertilized egg. Chinese medicine is also proven to increase the success rate of IVF and IUI by 40-60%.

Acupuncture, combined with herbal, diet and lifestyle prescriptions can:

Regulate the endocrine system and normalize the menstrual cycle
Stimulate the healthy growth of uterine lining
Improve ovarian blood flow and function, leading to more follicles and better egg quality
Reduce stress and cortisol levels
Increase libido and a general sense of well-being
Improve sperm count, morphology and motility

Treat reproductive issues such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, premature ovarian failure (POF) and autoimmune conditions:

Enhance conventional fertility protocols such as IUI, IVF, ICSI
Prevent miscarriage
Reduce side effects of fertility medication
Accelerate post-surgical recovery time 

Advantages of Our Fertility Treatments:

Safe
Cost-effective
Non-surgical / Non-invasive
Chemical free

At Marin Acupuncture Clinic, our lead practitioner, Lindsey Hayes, provides quality and personalized care to support your family in actualizing your deepest desire---a healthy pregnancy and child. We understand the emotional, spiritual, and physical stressors of fertility struggles. Lindsey has specialized training in Chinese medical fertility enhancement and has studied under two of the top TCM fertility experts in the country (Dr. Robin Tiberi and Dr. Hua Ling Xu).


Lindsey is passionate about enabling children to have a healthy start in life, and according to Chinese Medical theory a child’s health is directly affected by how strong and vital the parents are at the time of conception.  Even if you are not struggling with fertility, Lindsey can help you prepare your body and spirit for conception. Your child deserves the best possible start to life! Call or email us today to set up a fertility consultation.
 
Frequently asked question: How long will it take me to get pregnant if I receive acupuncture and follow your diet and lifestyle instructions? 
Typically 3-6 months, 1-2 weekly visits if both partners are receiving acupuncture treatments. However, prognosis inevitably varies depending on a patient’s constitution and health concerns.

Pregnancy Support pregnancy support

Healthy babies begin with healthy moms:

Pregnancy and childbirth are deeply rewarding life experiences that are very physically demanding at the same time.  From a Chinese medical perspective, it is of the utmost importance for the mother to take time during and after her pregnancy to strengthen and repair her body.  At Marin Acupuncture Clinic we use acupuncture and herbs as well as diet and lifestyle counseling to support the new mother’s healing process.

It has been shown that women who get regular acupuncture treatments during their pregnancy deliver on time, have less health complaints during their pregnancy, have less pain during their delivery and have a shorter recovery time post-partum.

Pregnancy involves great changes in your body and within your life. Acupuncture is a safe and highly effective treatment of various pregnancy symptoms. Our therapies are particularly helpful in alleviating:

First Trimester Second Trimester Third Trimester
Morning Sickness Heartburn Sciatics
Fatigue Insomnia Back, Pelvic & Hip Pain
Headaches Leg Cramps Constipation
Nausea & Vomiting Edema Insomnia
Emotional Changes Poor Digestion Hemorrhoids
Miscarriage Prevention Colds & Flu Stress & Anxiety

Pre-Birth Treatments

Pre-Birth treatments involve a series of treatments from 36 or 37 weeks to prepare for labor. Acupuncture points are used to ripen the cervix, position the baby in the best presentation for labor, and boost the mother’s stamina for labor. These treatments increase your chances of delivering on time and reduce the need for medical inductions.  Acupuncture and moxibustion also effectively turn breeched babies in gentle, non-intrusive ways.  

Natural Labor Induction with Acupuncture

Using acupuncture to induce labor is an ancient tradition. Acupuncture needles are inserted into strategic locations on the hands, lower legs, low back, and feet. The needles open the acupuncture channels involved in childbirth, which gently urges the mother’s body to begin labor. Unlike Pitocin, which forces the start of labor and has many side effects, acupuncture-induced labor is rarely expected to start right away but usually happens within 24 hours to three days of regular treatment. Using acupuncture to induce labor does not push you through the experience prematurely or too quickly.  In our opinion, Chinese medicine’s labor induction treatments are invaluable to the field of obstetrics and we hope that every hospital will eventually utilize them.

The Induction Treatment

Typically a patient who is interested in inducing labor with acupuncture will begin treatment during the seventh month of pregnancy to prepare her body for labor. Ideally an appointment once a week or once every two weeks will give us the time we need to become familiar with your constitution and for you to start feeling the benefits of regular acupuncture treatments. Labor induction starts just prior to or right after the due date. Treatments are scheduled daily for up to three days.  Not all expectant mothers are suitable for labor induction.  The mother must be in good health and the fetus must be of normal development.  We are happy to partner with your OB-GYN or midwife.  Call us for a free consultation. 

Post-Natal Care

Acupuncture is a clinically effective treatment of post-partum depression. Natural and effective, it has no side effects, making it a gentle and safe method especially for breastfeeding mothers. Acupuncture can also help with such post-partum health issues as retained placenta, poor or no lactation, mastitis, caesarian post-surgical pain, deep vein thrombosis, infection of the caesarean scar, and insomnia. It can even be used to stop lactation. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you in your recovery. Your baby is counting on you to be in good health!

 

Eating Disorders and Chinese Medicine

Lindsey is a survivor of a five-year battle with bulimia and anorexia, as well as countless years of compulsive overeating. Chinese medicine helped her put her body back together from the multitude of health complications from her eating disorders. Acupuncture and herbal medicine provide excellent recovery support when used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Below is an article written about how Chinese medicine can be used to aid in reclaiming one’s life from disordered eating:

"In ancient China disease was thought to be the result of ghosts or demons invading the body. Mental or physical illness was the manifestation of another creature inhabiting one’s physical structure. The return to wellness required the expulsion of the ghost so the person could regain control and ownership of her/his body. Certainly the literal presence of ghosts is no longer considered a mechanism of pathology in our time and culture. However, the image of another being taking over a person is a useful metaphor for certain types of diseases such as eating disorders.

To both the person suffering from the eating disorder and the person’s loved ones, the eating disorder can seem like an entity unto itself. The eating disorder seems to take over the person’s mind and personality, and as the disease progresses, the person seems less and less accessible, even to her/himself. The voice of the eating disorder is a constant invasive presence, interfering with fundamental perceptions and decisions. As the disease progresses, not only does the voice become louder and more persistent, the situation becomes increasingly dangerous due to the various physical effects of disordered eating. This physical deterioration compromises mental and emotional health leading to a vicious cycle that, left unchecked, can ultimately be fatal.

Effective treatment for eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder) interrupts this cycle and challenges the “ghost” of the eating disorder. Standard treatment includes psychological therapy, nutritional counseling and medical care. In addition to these therapies, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be invaluable because they uniquely address the emotional and physical discomforts of eating disorders.

The medical complications of eating disorders compromise multiple body systems, including the cardiac, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. The medical problems creating by eating disorders can be life threatening (which is why eating disorders require Western evaluation and treatment). Even those dysfunctions that are not life threatening, however, are uncomfortable and can seriously interfere with efforts to recover.

Primary examples of this are those symptoms associated with the digestive system, one of the most severely disrupted systems of the body. Depending on the specific eating disorder, symptoms of this disruption may include abdominal bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and acid reflux. All of these problems make efforts to normalize eating habits more difficult. Acupuncture has a history of effectively addressing the above symptoms, easing the distress of recovery until the body functions effectively by itself. Other related physical problems treatable with Chinese medicine include headaches, gynecological disorders, and fertility issues.

Besides physical complaints, the mental and emotional distresses associated with eating disorders can be excruciating. These complaints can be both causes and effects of eating disorders and include depression, anxiety, obsessive symptoms, insomnia, irritability, and impulsivity. Acupuncture can help ease these symptoms and increase a person’s sense of overall well-being. A feeling of physical and mental relaxation is often the very first effect of acupuncture a patient notices, and this reduction in stress can offer a reprieve from the constant and exhausting voice of the eating disorder. This decrease in mental and emotional agitation creates space to reconnect with one’s body and learn new ways to navigate everyday situations.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are not replacements for therapeutic counseling and Western medical treatment. Nevertheless, acupuncture and Chinese medicine are powerful tools to help repair physical and emotional damage as well as help relieve the distress of fighting an eating disorder. They support recovery with minimal side effects and offer a holistic dimension that treats body, mind, and emotions simultaneously. There are no magic cures or treatments, but the addition of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to psychotherapy and Western medical care creates comprehensive treatment to help reclaim one’s body, thoughts, and life."

---Norah McIntire, L.Ac, 2010.