New Office Location

I’ve joined Heidi Kao’s Integrative Healing Clinic in Glen Park. Monday’s through Wednesday’s, I will be offering services in this wonderful, large, well-lit space. Saturday’s will also be available on and on-call basis. Thursday’s, Friday’s, and Sunday’s I will continue to be available out of my home.  The clinic is easily accessible to Bart, Muni, and the freeway.

Integrative Healing Clinic
30 Monterey Blvd (at Joost Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94131

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A friend in the news

Acupuncture clinic helps night owls mellow out

By Trey Bundy, San Francisco Chronicle, May 18, 2009

It’s called a wince point. When Deb Follingstad runs a little metal rod along someone’s outer ear, she often finds a spot that makes the person grimace, which tells her whether the lungs or liver could use some TLC.

As an acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese medicine, Follingstad has great faith in wince points – tongues and pulses, too.

“They’re kind of our eyeballs on the body,” she says, “our X-rays.”

A longtime denizen of San Francisco’s music scene, Follingstad has started a Monday afternoon acupuncture clinic in her Bernal Heights flat to help bartenders, cocktail waitresses and others who spend their weekends working late hours in nightclubs detox from what can be a booze-fueled grind. Pitting 5,000-year-old techniques against 21st century toxins works well, she says, and the group setting feels more like a day off than a trip to the doctor.

“It’s me giving back to my music people who work really hard and party really hard,” she says. “I don’t want to see them hurt.”

Congrats on the great article, Deb! Best of luck in your practice!

Emotional Fitness

Emotional Fitness: Life presents difficulties, so learn ways to overcome them

By Barton Goldsmith
Ventura County Star, Sunday, April 26, 2009

When emotional pain hits, one of the best ways to deal it is to meet it head on and talk out the  feelings. That’s why good support from another human being helps our hearts. If there’s no one to talk to, writing also is a great way to release some of your inner anguish.

The point here is that the one thing you don’t want to do is hold your pain in. You need to find constructive ways of releasing your hurt without injuring yourself or anyone else.

For some, taking a drive, exercise, reading or meditation is helpful. Others need to process their pain verbally. Whatever way works for you is the one you want to try, but if it doesn’t do the trick, it’s OK to try something different.

There are numerous methods. Some are new, like visualization, positive psychology or guided imagery, and some are ancient, like acupuncture and massage. All have helped millions of people.

Over twelve years in health and fitness, as a massage therapist and during my experience as an acupuncture intern, many of the clients and patients I have seen have been seeking something to address emotional pressures in their lives. Some have been able to articulate this well, while others have struggled to define what led them to seek treatment other than some form of discomfort. I have come to believe that as a society, we have made a habit of overlooking and ignoring physical or emotional pressures in our lives in order to accomplish some goal, be it personal or professional.

I believe that one of the most helpful things we can do for ourselves is open ourselves to awareness not only that there are significant pressures influencing our daily lives, but acknowledging what those pressures are at a given moment. Through this acknowledgment, it is then possible to flow through the pressure and allow it to strengthen us in body, mind, and spirit; take steps to reduce the pressure; or seek help to face it as appropriate.

From personal experience, I know I do not always have the solutions to every challenge inherently within myself, and sometimes need to cultivate and seek the help from an extended personal network. I find this both from a personal perspective as well as a professional one addressing the needs of clients who come to me for treatment. I feel networking for health is every bit as vital, perhaps even more vital, than networking for business. Thus, I will always welcome new friends, clients, and colleagues into my network, and try to help others shape a network that is best to meet their needs.

Rethinking Massage

From Barbara Brody, Women’s Day Health Editor, in Daily Dose April 24th

When I got a massage for the first time about a decade ago, I was under the impression that it was something you did to pamper yourself when you had a little extra cash to burn (or better yet, a gift certificate). Now I’m beginning to think it’s a medical necessity.

Medical necessity might be a little strong, but as a massage therapist I certainly agree with the sentiment, especially with regard to health maintenance. Her post is short, but perhaps you’ll find some of your own issues reflected in what she writes.

Interesting news for runners

By Amy Norton, Reuters
Weakness in the muscles that support the hips may be a common contributor to many overuse injuries in runners, a new research review suggests.For most runners, overuse injuries occur at or below the knee — including chronic knee pain, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis and pain in the sole of the foot. The new study, a review of previous research findings published since 1980, found that weakness in the hip muscles may translate into a higher risk of these lower-leg injuries.

The findings are published in the journal Sports Health.

This is an article I read and thought, “Oh wow, that exactly describes some of my running experiences.” On the other hand, stretching works wonders for me in extending the time I can comfortably work out and reducing my recovery time.

Arizona State University opens Wellness Wing

From the ASU Web Devil
By: Rheyanne Weaver
Published On: Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A new Wellness Care Wing that includes massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic services will open today at the Campus Health Services building.


Dr. Allan Markus, director of Campus Health Services, said that Campus Health Services, Undergraduate Student Government and the Health and Counseling Student Action Committee decided to create the new wing because it would be best to put all the alternative services that students want in one place.


He said ASU is the first campus in the nation he knows that offers comprehensive wellness care in the nation, and that Campus Health Services is also working to create a wellness care package for the fall.

“Students will be able to pay one price and get a free first nutrition visit, a wellness profile and significantly discounted rates for massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic services,” Markus said.

He said that acupuncture has been available on the Tempe campus for three years, massage therapy since the spring 2009 semester and chiropractic services since last fall.

Here’s hoping that more wellness centers of this type develop across the country, that costs are reasonable for the clinics, and that they can help bring down overall health care costs through more preventative health maintenance.

Acupuncture Proven to Prevent Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

Acupuncture Proven to Prevent Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

Natural Thursday, May 07, 2009 by: Dave Gabriele, citizen journalist

According to a 2009 review from The Cochrane Collaboration, an international not-for-profit and independent medical organization, stimulation of the acupuncture point P-6 (Pericardium-6) significantly reduces the symptoms of nausea and vomiting after surgery. The review was published in the second 2009 issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration. The review, led by Dr. Anna Lee of the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, is an update of a previous 2004 Cochrane review, which fostered similar results.

This is a nice and brief article by a student of Chinese medicine. It includes source links as well as links to other research on the P-6 acupoint.

Online Scheduling now available

I am pleased to announce that I have added online scheduling via Genbook. This will allow scheduling 24 hours a day. In addition, following an appointment scheduled via Genbook, clients may fill out a review of their experience.

For anyone concerned about submitting information online for any reason, you may still make an appointment by calling or using one of my email addresses listed on my Contact page or

Why not give this new tool a try and give your body a treat as well.