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Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine for Women's Reproductive Health

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Health & Medical > Alternative Medicine > Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine for Women's Reproductive Health


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Chinese Medicine for Perimenopausal Issues

Aug 2010

I'm thinking about consulting a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner for issues related to perimenopause and uterine fibroids. Specifically, I have heavy bleeding, fatigue, depression, irritability, fog-brain, acne, hair loss, and lower abdominal discomfort. My western GYN and primary care doctors don't have much to offer me, but tell me my symptoms are related to hormonal fluctuations due to perimenopause. Has anyone had a successful experience with TCM treatment for these issues? Any recommendations? Someone in the Oakland/Berkeley area would be best geographically, but willing to travel for the right person. Thanks! Ms. Perimenopause


I have had really great success with acupuncture and herbs working with Lia Willebrand in Berkeley, I've also sent a number of my friends to her and they have all been helped as well as some friends who have worked with her on getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture seems to be amazingly helpful in so many female cycle/hormone/life cycle issues --- I for one went from crawling through my days and sweating through my nights to having good sleep and an active lifestyle again. I know that the western drugs help some womyn, and we've all heard plenty about their downside but truly acupuncture and herbs help so many womyn with things that western doctors don't know how to address except throwing a script at you or telling you to accept how miserable you feel. ‘Acupuncture is not an overnight fix, it takes a series of sessions, but now I no longer see Lia regularly and just check in periodically for a a couple treatments if symptoms start to come back. I have Chinese herbs in capsule form that I start to take if my night sweats return, and if I start them early, it eases it back down before I have sleepless nights. I originally cooked the raw herbs because I understand they are stronger, , but I find I can maintain with the capsules of dried herbs (which I love because I am not a fan of cooking herbs!) Lia is very kind and low-key and so easy with folks who might not be familiar with Chinese medicine. She's painless with the needles, and I never feel anything but the slightest prick, sometimes nothing at all. I found there's a pretty broad range of rates among Chinese medicine practitioners, and it can get costly, but I have experience Lia as affordable, I think she's great. . Her Info: www.liawillebreand.com phone is 510-858- 6463 GOOD LUCK You can work this out! LA
I have been dealing with perimenopause mixed with other female ''issues'' for awhile with Abigail Surasky in Berkeley. Don't be put off by the ''awhile'' part ... my priorities regarding what sort of treatment I want/need have fluctuated over the past 6+ years.

Every issue we have tackled, she has been able to come up with something most helpful. Currently I am using her treatments and formulae in conjunction with my western doctor stuff and things seem to be going quite well. If you wish to contact me through the moderator to get more info, please ask if they will do that.

Abigail is tops in my book. Her number is 845-8017. Her office is on Dwight Way near Milvia in Berkeley. got tired of feeling crappy too


I had surprisingly effective relief from perimenopausal symptoms with Chinese Medicine. Specifically the tablets which ow are in place of the dried root concoctions. I got extreme relief from fatigue and hot flashes. Surprisingly the tablets are very inexpensive, my initial consultations were with the chinese medical school and academy on Clay Street in Oakland, so those consultations were low cost as well, and now even the Chinese store- front medical doctor at Ranch 99 knows exactly what to recommend without an exam. I know they are effective because as soon as I run out or forget to take them for awhile, the symptoms return. Relieved
I just went through some similar issues - my doc wanted me to take estrogen but I am 36 and wanted to try another way... I went to the Oakland Acupuncture Center off MacArthur, as I am on a budget and could not afford multiple treatments with most acupuncturists. They work on a sliding scale and so I pay $25/visit, which make it possible for me to try it without stressing a lot about the funds. What a wonderful thing it has been for me. Between the herbs that they have recommended and the treatments I am feeling much better (less stressed, which I think was the cause of the problems) and the treatments have definitely helped. The women who started the business, Whitney and Roselle - everyone there has been wonderful. It is less fancy, you sit in a room with other folks in what are basically patio furniture, and roll up your sleeves/ pant legs for the needles - but the acupuncturists are professionally trained and the place is clean and they really do care. I have come to love this place, and highly recommend it. In many respects my life seems to be going better now, and I believe it is partially due to taking care of myself by going here. The treatments are very relaxing. Good Luck!
I had similar issues a couple of months back. I went to see Bina Jangda, LAc in Berkeley. The herbs and acupuncture were a tremendous help and Bina is incredibly kind and very knowledgeable. The plus is she will bill for insurance and she does lab testing at a fraction of the cost of what my MD charges. Her website is: bina@binajangdalac.com. Phone: 510-393-7565 EC
Hi Ms. Perimenopause, Been there and still dealing with it - the horrid state of not feeling normal at all. I have tried every sort of natural therapy under the sun, and I have to say that Homeopathy is the only one which has actually helped. I used to feel like I was going to fall off the edge some days, but now that feeling is restricted to just a few days of the month. Regular yoga, at least 4 days a week has also helped a lot with the physical symptoms. There are some good homeopaths in the Bay Area, look online. Best of luck and hang in there - you are not alone. Anon
I have been seen by Leah Mazel for acupuncture and herbal medicine off and on since 15 years ago. She is a very gifted practitioner with experience going back to the '70's. She also studied in China extensively! I have never been disappointed. My sister went to her for perimenopausal symptoms. She was also very happy with the results she got. In fact, I have sent many of my friends as well as a few relatives because she has made such a great difference in my health! I have never had one of those people not be thoroughly satisfied with their experiences. She has a great sensitivity, care at listening and, as well, great expertise! There are so many practitioners around these days it's hard to know where to go. But my experiences before seeing Leah were good, but no where near as profound. She really seems to have a very deep level of knowledge and a healing sense above my expectations! Her phone number is 510-548-5676 and her website is: www.holisticchinesemedicine.com. Good luck with your treatment. Happy Patient!
Hi, I saw Lia Willebrand, a Berkeley Acupuncturist and Herbalist (, to treat my perimenopausal symptoms. Prior to seeing Lia, I was experiencing months of daily bleeding (between my weirdo hormones and a clotting disorder, this was not much fun),

Within a week of my first visit with Lia, the bleeding stopped. Little bit o' needles, little bit o' herbs, et voila! What a relief. She also treated me for the attendant depression, brain-fog, fatigue, moodiness, etc,

You can call Lia at (510) 858-6463, or contact her via the net - http://www.liawillebrand.com/berkeley_acupuncture_Lia_Willebrand_.html All the best, Ms. officially menopausal now! Jane


Acupuncture for Ovarian Cysts

Feb 2010

I am looking for an acupuncturist who is familiar with treating ovarian cysts. I have seen some recommendations in the archives for ''women's health'' issues but they aren't so recent. Any suggestions are welcomed. Thanks! anon.


I know of a wonderful acupuncturist. I'm not sure if he deals with Ovarian cysts. If he doesn't he will certainly be able to refer you to someone who does. His name is Jacques Bernou. His # is 925-962-9228 Debbie
I've worked with Adam Wiscomb of Middle Path Acupuncture on a variety of issues (including ''women's'' issues) with great success. He is based in the financial district in SF, which I find easy to get to from Oakland where I live. his contact info is: Adam Wiscomb, L.Ac 115 Sansome Street Suite 807 San Francisco, CA 94104 415.225.4880
Lisa
My Chinese doctor (acupuncturist) is Leah Mazel in Berkeley. She has treated a friend of mine with ovarian cysts. My friend was very happy with the results, which did not necessitate any invasive procedures by her gynecologist; her symptoms diminished fairly speedily. I have seen her myself, as well for several medical issues and have been thoroughly happy with the treatment and with my interactions with her. She is very reassuring and, after several decades of experience, extremely competent. I actually end up using Western medicine on a very limited basis at this point. I am really sold on Chinese medicine treatment and how effective it is. I especially like that there are no side effects from the treatments---and my overall health has been greatly improved. She can be reached at 510-548-5676. S.J.

Accupuncturist for PMS/Hormones

April 2005

After giving birth to my two kids my PMS has gone from a mild 2 to a raging 20 on the PMS scale. I've tried numerous natural remedies (extra Calcium, flax oil, exercise) and am now taking 10mg of Sarafem (Prozac in a pretty purple box)two weeks before my period on the advice of my gyn. It helps a little and I could increase the dose, but I would love to find an accupuncturist to help me stabilize my hormones. Is there an accupuncturist you would love to recommend? anon


you might try using progesterone cream (emerita brand, you can buy it at whole foods). worked wonders for me.
Acupuncturist Katie Mink in Berkeley (849-1809) is a gifted healer who has helped me clear out severe menstrual symptoms and in general, supports my overall good health! She is also an Acutonics Practitioner which uses sound (tuning forks) to heal. Her treatments are extremely nurturing and she listens/hears you on many levels to treat you accordingly. P.S. I also noticed a difference in my hormonal balance when I added Borage oil to my regimen of ''good'' fats. Kamala
I would highly recommend Nancy Rakela. After having my son, I suffered from incredible muscle and joint pain. After five sessions the pain was gone and my hormones seemed to have adjusted much more quickly than prior to treatment. I have been to her for numerous other items and she is truly amazing. I feel she is also very honest about what she/acupuncture may or may not be able to do for you. dolby
I have a fantastic acupuncturist whom I have been using for over 10 years now. I started with her when I was pregnant with my second and constantly nauseated. She has done a lot of great things for me around hormonal issues: the nausea, hormone- related migraines, pms...not to mention other medical/physical issues. She has offices in Oakland and Berkeley and I have always found her prices very reasonable and I believe she can take some insurance as well. Her name is Dr. Mary Curry, and her number is 510.635.8886 Best of luck! nas
Dr. Anita Chen Marshall in Alameda on Clinton Avenue has restored my life to me through her techniques of acupuncture. Joint, heel spur pain, and general overall aches and pains are minimal at best. I have had seven sessions and it is amazing how my mobility and lack of pain has given me new energy. Anti- inflammatories and pain killers gave temporaary relief only. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HER. Avie
June 2004

Re: counseling/perimenopause
With respect to perimenopause, I can highly recommend Jay Sordean, a licensed acupuncturist and naturopath with more than 20 years experience. With the mysterious symptoms I was having due to perimenopausal changes in hormones -- as well as a physical injury of my wrist (carpal tunnel) -- I have had great results with Dr. Sordean. My ''western doctor'' told me I needed a shrink. Jay Sordean helped me balance my hormones and the way my body accesses and uses food -- much better. Thyroid, sugar, and hormone issues are interrelated and he helped sort those out with me. I've referred many others to him for help as his knowledge of acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, western medicine, and homeopathy is integrative. Nancy


Always had irregular periods, want to correct

Feb 2003

I have seen a number of posts recommending acupuncturists for infertility issues. I have always had irregular periods and had been on the pill for years so it wasn't an issue until I wanted to become pregnant. I ended up getting pregnant via clomid and now have an 18 month old daughter. We are thinking about trying for a 2nd child in 6 months or so, but until then, I would like to correct any ovulation problems that are causing the irregular periods. I would love to have a regular cycle so I don't need to go on the pill again. Has anyone used acupuncture to correct irregular cycles and did your cycles become regular on a long- term basis? I realize that alot of people use acupuncture to get pregnant but I haven't heard much about how it helps AFTER the delivery. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. anon


I used acupuncture to help regulate my cycle and lessen PMS. I found it incredibly helpful and the results longterm. My pregnancy and postpartum were healthy and easy as well. I saw Dennis VonElgg in Berkeley, he has an office in Lafayette also. His # is 872-0895 or www.vonelgg.com. He was very compassionate, attentive and aware, I found him to be knowledgeable and easy to talk with. I highly recommend him. cb
I bet that any of the acupuncturists you've seen recommmended for infertility will also be very good to help you regulate your period. Check out the list again. In the meantime, I highly recommend Carla Dalton who works in North Berkeley. Her phone is (510) 524-4812. Carolyn
This is not exactly the same, but I went to see an acupuncturist after I had been bleeding heavily for 8 weeks after a miscarriage. I had been to the doctor and been told that the only way to end the bleeding was to either wait for however long it took or take birth control pills to slam my body into shape, which seemed a bit harsh, seeing as it was struggling so much already. I was also unhappy because I was incredibly anemic and yet the attitude was, take iron pills or do the therapy we recommend. Period.

So I went to see an acupuncturist my mother recommended, a highly- skilled Chinese man in San Francisco named Dr. Lai. He had been working on a family friend's eyes for years, basically keeping her vision going as long as he could (she was becoming legally blind).

He took one look at me, shook his head in distress, and told me I was too weak for acupuncture; instead he prescribed Chinese herbs (which his wife dispenses from the drawers covering a complete wall). I went home, followed the directions, and within 48 hours had stopped bleeding entirely. Within a week I felt better than I had before I was pregnant! I still look back with wonder at the sense of vitality those herbs gave me in such a short time; they really built up my blood quickly.

To make a long story short, he got me back on track and I conceived a child after six more very regular and manageable periods. I cannot recommend Dr. Lai enough; he is an excellent doctor and a very kind man who doesn't see the body as some kind of machine separate from the rest of you.

He is located on Geary Blvd, across from Kaiser near the hill where the old Sears building is. I don't know the address but I believe he is in the phone book. If you can't find him, you can email me and I will find out for you. Heather


I highly recommend my acupuncturist for irregular periods, among many other things, her name is karen Cutler, her office # is 510-654-3873. She is very skilled, and knows a lot about diet and other things that all contribute to the woes of womenhood!! Plus, I love her to death, I think she's great! I started with her last summer, and I have no complaints!! good luck jennifer
I tried acupuncture for irregular periods, and it didn't really do anything to regulate them, but it helped relax me. The best thing I got from it was the nutritional advice. I heartily approve of the whole-body approach to medicine that is offered by acupuncturists. The one I saw made me chart out what I ate for a week, then gave me advice on what to cut down on, eat more of, etc, since the hormonal stuff is pretty closely tied to nutrition. Maybe if I had followed the advice, it would have worked! It certainly couldn't hurt, but wasn't the miracle I was looking for. I ended up taking Progesterone since I can't stand to take the pill (makes me have constant 'morning sickness'). But for the few months I was on Clomid, it regulated my period as well as the Progesterone. Good luck! anon

Help with raging hormones

October 2002

I have been on anti-depressents for years and was doing fairly well until I had a miscaraige several months ago. Since then, it seems my hormones are all the rage. I am looking for a practitioner who is versed in meds and hormones and I am open to non-western therapies (vitamins, herbs, etc.). I have a great therapist and I know about nutrition and exercise, so really am just looking for a practitioner, not advice. Thanks to all.


I would recommend you see Pam Heaton, an Acupuncturist on Park Blvd in Oakland. After I had a child, we realized that many of my mood fluctuations could be attributable to homonal imbalances. She's given me herbs to take that have really helped. She has a long waiting list; so if you're thinking of going this route, get your name on her list now.
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