Meridian Point: Large Intestine 4

Large Intestine 4 is one of the most important and influential acupoints in the entire body. The Chinese name for Large Intestine 4 is “He Gu” meaning union valley or converging valley. The point is located on the hand in the web between the thumb and index finger, also described as the depression where the index finger and thumb bones part. This area of the hand is often described as “valley like” hence the name converging valley. continue reading »

Germ Theory: 101

Why do some people always catch a cold, and others don’t?
Viruses, germs, and bacteria are everywhere. They are in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, but not all of them are bad or harmful.

Think of the immune system as your body’s security detail. The cells, tissues, and organs that comprise it help repel foreign invaders like harmful bacteria, parasites and other microbes that can cause infections. Disorders of the immune system range from everyday annoyances like mild seasonal allergies to serious illnesses like leukemia. Stress, lack of sleep and other common conditions can contribute to a weakened immune system, which can make you vulnerable to infections. continue reading »

Herbal and Health Consultations Only

In order to assure your safety, we will temporarily suspend all acupuncture and Energy Light Rejuvenation treatments at Acupuncture & Herbal Answers at the end of today, April 17, 2020.  Of course, we are carefully monitoring the Corona conditions and our local limitations. At this time, I am eyeing a potential date to reopen in one month, which would bring us to Tuesday, May 18th.  An email here and listings online will indicate the actual date whenever it becomes clear.


Our shelves are full of Chinese herbs and supplements, and I am happy to offer in-depth telephone or Zoom health consultations during the business week.  These can include custom herbal formulations, supplement and dietary suggestions, meditation and acupressure lessons, as well as connecting you with resources which might be of help.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield covers tele-medicine time with me, so consider this if you are in need.  Phone if you would like my help.  As always, there is no charge for brief telephone consultations.


Call with any questions.


I am always happy to help.  I will be standing by the phone, and responding to all voice and email messages within 24 hours.  Pick up times can be set, items left out for you, prepaid by phone, or checks can be dropped in our mail slot.  The front door will remain locked.


For those of you who have had recent success here with acupuncture, please consider continuing herbal treatment, so that your benefits will not be lost.  I will be phoning some of you in the next couple of weeks to check on your progress and state of mind.


Most of us are now living in a heightened state of stress and may be suffering anxiety or insomnia.  Chinese herbs can do a world of good.  Future emails will cover specific ways to calm us, and to boost our immunity.


I will miss seeing you, but believe this will be the safest way for me to help you at this time.  This time can be a blessing, and I hope we can all find some benefit amidst our modern chaos.  Thank you for bearing with me.


Remember to get outdoors (though our walking areas have been limited) and witness spring pushing through the gloom.  The bright green grass and wagging daffodils can help fill our hearts.  Breathe deeply: open the lungs to fresh, healthy air, free those tight spaces.


Stay well.


Until next time,



Acupuncture: The Original Biohack for Migraines

Having recurring migraines is similar to parenting a temperamental toddler. When they go from being annoying to actively disruptive and mildly infuriating, there is often little one can do but grit your teeth and persevere. The helpful suggestions for managing this occurrence involved a mixture of expert opinion, anecdotal hearsay, individual tinkering and a big dose of patience. So where does acupuncture fit into this picture? continue reading »

Now is the time to support your immune system

COVID-19, 3/24 Newsletter


Acupuncture and Herbal Support:

Now is the time to support your immune system

Here’s how


We are still here.  Our doors are open, our phone is on.  We are clean, and calm, and we welcome you.


We are very happy to leave prepaid herbs outside for pickup, or mail them directly to you.


We are here for acupuncture treatments, and are separating appointments and opening our porch to maximize social distance.  You will be able to enter directly into your treatment room without delay. We are sanitizing after each individual’s visit.


Stay home if you believe you have respiratory symptoms, or if you suspect you may have been exposed to any virus.


Please phone us with any questions you may have about what we can do for you today.


Each of us is in serious stress.  Most of you have had the pleasure to feel the deep relaxation that comes with an acupuncture treatment.  Traditional Chinese Medicine can return you to balance, so you can better take the daily challenges that life throws your way.  I have a full shelf of herbal pills to help just with that, a wide variety to calm your specific complaints, help you sleep. As we are re-balancing, these herbs will help both in the short term, and reduce these tendencies over the long term.


We are concerned about our immunity, and want it as strong as it can be right now.  Acupuncture and herbs can help.  I have been adding immune boosting acupoints into most of my treatments, and ordering immune focused herbs from across the country these past weeks.


We want to know we are safe, and that, should this virus descend upon us, or our family, we will be able to fight, endure, and prevail.  You can keep herbs on your shelf to help strengthen your body, and ease symptoms.


If you want to be healthy, reduce your inflammatory and allergic loads.  For many of us, this means avoiding those comfort foods.  Any food that makes you feel stuffy, runny, bloated, heavy, foggy, or tired, is slowing down your immune system.  I included more in the last email, and will write more about this in the future.


Keep your colon clean: this is the opposite end of your Chinese Medicine Lung system, and an important part of your immune system!  If you tend toward constipation, take laxatives. We stock various alternatives.

Stay hydrated!  Keep drinking lots of water and unsweetened beverages.  Hot is better, as COVID-19 is destroyed in temperatures over about 78 degrees Fahrenheit, so stay warm!



Stay home, stay warm, well, and hydrated.

Meditate.  Take a walk in the springtime.

Reach out to those you love.  

All of us are together in this.


I’m here when you need me.



How to Stay Healthy As Winter Changes to Spring

For most people, the change of seasons from winter to spring is something to look forward to. But it also means a time when people tend to get sick or seasonal allergies start to flare up. This can make things miserable for a lot of people. As the weather fluctuates between freezing cold and warmer, sunnier days, it also wreaks havoc on our immune system and our sleep. Frequently, our bodies can’t keep up with the constant changes and we get physically run down. But there are some things everybody can do to help during the time of transition from one season to the next. continue reading »

Acupuncture for Boosting Your Circulation

Healthy blood circulation is a vital component of life for human beings. Without proper blood flow, life would cease to exist. Blood isn’t the only thing that’s important, it’s what the blood is carrying that makes circulation so important. Blood carries fresh oxygen, hormones and nutrients that we absorb from our food. Without these components, the organs and tissues of the body become depleted, weakened and eventually stop functioning. Any blockages in the veins and arteries can deprive the brain and the rest of the body from the needed oxygen, which can then lead to a plethora of other medical issues. continue reading »

5 Acupoints to Help You Navigate Your Stress This Winter

There are several acupressure points that are known to treat stress and stress related symptoms. It’s important to understand that acupressure is not the only form of treatment and having a balanced diet, exercise regime and lifestyle will also decrease the chances of stress being a factor in your life. continue reading »

Changes on Insurance Coverage for 2020

Yes, we DO accept insurance!

People ask every day, but of course the answer isn’t so simple.  Every insurance company has different plans, providers can be in or out of network, there are deductibles to be met, and limits applied.  Acupuncture, one facet of Traditional Asian Medicine, is relatively new in the United States, having only officially arrived in 1971, though Asian practitioners entered this country more than a century earlier.  Some specific insurance plans have covered acupuncture for over a decade, but with the recent outcries around the opiate crisis, a growing dissatisfaction with the current medical model, and the steadily amassing scientific proof of efficacy, our healthcare system as a whole is coming to embrace, if not yet the whole of Traditional Asian Medicine, at least acupuncture.  2020 is shaping up as a definitive year of change.


We have been an insurance provider for 4 different companies over the years, but have been accepting only Blue Cross/Blue Shield Rhode Island for the last decade or so.

Through them, we can also submit to any other Blue Cross, though they are separate companies, with their own restrictions.  Information on coverage for each of these companies must be obtained directly by the insured, as we do not have access. The FEP (federal Employee Program) is fairly liberal in their acupuncture coverage. 


We have received word that some BC/BS RI Medicare Plans, including at least BlueCHIP for Medicare Value (HMO-POS), BlueCHIP for Medicare Extra (HMO-POS), and HealthMate for Medicare (PPO) now cover acupuncture.  We will be able to submit these claims for you directly.


BC/BS Massachusetts has begun covering acupuncture this year.  Up to 12 visits per year, no referral required, normal specialist copay.  Check online or phone their office if you have a plan through them. 


For the past few years, acupuncture has been offered at various VA hospitals, Department of Defense Facilities, and in some battle zones.  It is clear that the military understand the value of this medicine.


We have been informed that TRICARE will likely be adding acupuncture coverage sometime early in 2020.  9.4 million uniformed servicemen, retirees, and their families may imminently be eligible for acupuncture and chiropractic care.  There will likely be limitations, such as those conditions listed below for Vets.


We are in the process of applying for providership to the US Veteran’s Non-VA Care Office via the Veteran Affairs (VA) Patient Centered Community Care (PC3) / Veteran’s Choice Program (VCP), and will definitely expand into TRICARE through this avenue.  So, US Vets, service people, and retirees should soon be able to utilize acupuncture as a resource for pain relief due to illness or injury, of the low back, of osteo-arthritic knees; nausea and vomiting after an operation or chemotherapy; mental health concerns including depression, and substance dependency.

Currently, a referral is required to take advantage of this service.  


One day they may expand this to also cover illness, fertility, and wellness treatments, paving the way for a happier, healthier service population.  I have had the pleasure of treating (and helping) a large number of our service people and their families, and I cannot imagine a more effective and economical health alternative for our hard working military.


Also starting This month, Tufts Health Plan’s (available in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire) fully insured commercial plans, including employee-sponsored plans, now allow for unlimited acupuncture treatments with one of Tufts network of acupuncturists: unlimited access, no authorization or referral required, for their standard specialist copay.  Plans previously offered 20 visits per year. Reimbursement for Out of Network providers can be gained through Tufts Health Forward.


Times are changing for insurance coverage of acupuncture, and this seems to be the year for a big surge!  The Opiate Crisis and active military use of the medicine have no doubt contributed. 

Medicare has only recently begun to consider acupuncture coverage, but reformation is on its way.  SO, call your insurance company, ask if they have made any changes to your plan, or whether there may be a more progressive plan for you.  While you are at it, check:


If acupuncture is covered

How many visits are paid per year

What your copay is

What your deductible is, and when it has been met: in network, and out of network limits may well be different.

Whether your provider needs to be in network, or whether further restrictions apply

(We are a BC/BS in-network provider)


Then schedule your appointments for a healthy 2020!  


You might consider regular visits to take advantage of this healthy option, keeping on top of illness and injury.  Schedule once a month, or quarterly, to stay balanced.

Stay Healthy This Winter with a Balanced Qi

Winter’s element is water and is associated with the kidneys, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered the source of all qi and energy within the body. Winter is also associated with the bladder and adrenal glands.

Focusing on inner reflection, rest, energy conservation and storage during the winter months is when it’s most important as it helps us to properly nourish our Kidney Qi.

Below are a few methods you can learn about and apply during this season in order to maintain a balanced qi. continue reading »