Pulse Diagnosis

I am excited to offer pulse diagnosis using the Shen-Hammer pulse system. It is the result of Leon Hammer’s study of the pulse system which he inherited through his 28 year tutelage of Dr. John H.F. Shen. With 80 qualities, 6 Principal positions, 22 Complementary positions, and 6 Depths it offers an in-depth view of a person’s past, present, and future health. It is not simply measuring the rate and the rhythm. I also observe the subtle qualities that are felt at each position and depth.

Pulse diagnosis is an amazingly effective way to understand the person as a whole and to proactively identify even small deviations from health. I will assess strengths and weaknesses, mental/emotional states, effects of lifestyle and environment, the function of the organs themselves …as well as each part’s contribution to the body as a whole. This system is a wonderful diagnostic tool that provides me with valuable information, even in the complex or long-lasting cases that have perhaps not responded to conventional therapies. Discovering the root causes of your symptoms via the pulse helps me plan & prioritize more focused treatment strategies.

This pulse system takes years of instruction and hands on practice to learn and implement. Our lineage can be traced back directly over 600 years to the Ding family in the Menghe region of China. Dr. Hammer has continued to teach and refine this system and its’ diagnostic revelations over the last 30+ years.   My study of this system began in 2009, as it is a cornerstone of the curriculum at Dragon Rises College. I continue my advanced studies directly with Dr. Hammer at Dragon Rises College.

To learn more, please visit the Center for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine website.


Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterile, hair-thin needles at specific points on the body to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal. The needles help circulate qi and blood, as well as redistribute the body’s energetic resources (some areas may have too much energy and some may have too little). When the body is under stress, energy and heat can stagnate in vulnerable areas and create symptoms of disease. My job is to clear this stagnation and treat any underlying vulnerability which is at the root cause of the stagnation. Compared with Western medicine, I am interested in treating the root cause of disease rather than treating only the symptoms.

How does acupuncture work?
The operating philosophy of traditional acupuncture is that disease is caused by interrupted energy flow at specific points on the body’s surface.  Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles at key points in order to stimulate and harmonize qi (energy) flow in the body.

Modern scientific research finds that potential physiological benefits of acupuncture include:

  • Increasing peripheral circulation
  • Augmenting skin and muscle blood flow
  • Decreasing heart rate and reducing elevated blood pressure
  • Regulating autonomic nervous system
  • Normalizing gastro-intestinal motility
  • Boosting immune function
  • Balancing reproductive hormones

Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine can be used in conjunction with acupuncture or on its own.  It is well researched and has been in use for thousands of years. Herbal medicine is a passion of mine and I have created many successful custom herbal formulas. I also work on matching existing patent formulas to suit your needs because it is often that a classic formula has already been created with your condition in mind. These herbs are remarkable in their ability to promote healing. Unlike western medications – which tend to mask symptoms rather than heal – Chinese herbs address both acute symptoms and the underlying state of health. Because each formula can be tailored to individual needs, they are virtually free from unwanted side effects. I have formulas for digestion, infertility, allergies, fatigue, common colds, diabetes, memory, chronic pain…and more.


Moxa, short for Moxibustion, is the burning of Artemisia vulgaris, or mugwort, at specific acupuncture points of the body. It is one of the oldest known medicinal herbs in the world. The moxa is often formed it into a small cone and placed on the tip of a needle or on a clay ring above the skin. Rolled versions of moxa allow for a larger are to be treated at once. The radiant heat produced by moxibustion penetrates deeply into the body to restore balance, promote circulation, and reduce pain. What is it used for?

  • In pregnancy it is used to help turn a breech presentation into a more proper head down presentation for birth!
  • Relieving pain & moving circulation
  • Improving allergies and immunity
  • Alleviating stinging/itching/discomfort from insect bites and many dermatological issues
  • It is quite helpful for those who are weak, fatigued, or chronically ill, and those with menstrual or digestive disorders.

Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture involves the stimulation of the acupoints located on the ear with tiny seeds or pellets. The seeds are no larger than the tip of an unsharpened pencil, do not pierce the skin, and are painless when affixed. The seeds are left in for up to 1 week and the points are activated by massaging the ear several times each day.

There are over 200 acupoints on each ear that represent the anatomical parts and functions of the human body. By observing points of tenderness, coloration changes, protrusions or depressions, and skin variations, a trained practitioner can not only treat a wide range of diseases using only the ear, but can diagnose them as well. When we stimulate these points we access the central nervous system through the cranial nerves on the auricle of the ear. This sends a direct message to the brain that results in a healing response.

This therapy is most often used for addiction, smoking cessation, and weight loss. It is also often utilized for back pain during pregnancy.


Acupressure is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine which involves the stimulation of acupuncture points with finger pressure, rather than inserting needles. This form of healing is non-invasive and gentle. The indications include the vast array of conditions that Chinese medicine has proven to treat effectively. Because acupressure stimulates the body’s natural self-healing abilities, it also works as a great preventative therapy. Generally, the effects of acupressure are less potent than those of acupuncture, and as a result more treatments are needed to get the same results. Acupressure is ideal for children. It is gentle, safe, and effective for many conditions. Parents can also be taught self-help techniques to use on their child at home. Acupressure is also suitable for the elderly suffering from sciatica, arthritis, mobility problems, constipation, and poor circulation. Certain acupressure points must be avoided during pregnancy. Be sure to tell your practitioner if you are or may be pregnant.


Cupping is like a very deep tissue massage.  Heat or fire creates a vacuum effect inside of a glass cup, which draws the skin up into the cup when placed on the body. The result is a movement of fresh blood to the area, release of toxins, acupuncture point stimulation, increased circulation of blood and lymph, relaxation of tight muscles and reduced inflammation. It often leaves circular red/purple marks (sha) on the area treated. These marks should fade in a few days, but it is very important to keep these areas away from the sun, wind and cold.

What is cupping good for?

  • Pain
  • Muscle tension from stress
  • Paralysis
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Gynecological disorders such as cramps and infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Colds and allergies
  • Chronic cough & asthma, lung issues

Gua Sha

Gua means ‘to rub’ or ‘friction’ and is an ancient home remedy still used today in Chinese households. Oils with special blends of Chinese herbs are applied to the area to be treated and a small tool is used to gently rub or scrape the skin, creating friction. This produces the same red/purple marks (sha) produced by the cupping technique but doesn’t take as long to fade.

What is Gua Sha used for?

  • Pain, stiffness and muscle tension
  • Colds, allergies and flus
  • Sore throats and ear infections
  • Paralysis
  • Upper respiratory problems
  • Digestive issues

Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional therapy is a very important element in Oriental Medicine and serves both to heal & to prevent disease.  Many diseases and symptoms can be treated with dietary changes alone; however it often takes longer and requires the utmost compliance and dedication on the patient’s behalf. Realistically, small changes in diet combined with acupuncture and/or herbs can provide remarkable results.

Chinese nutrition uniquely differs from modern Western nutrition in that it determines the therapeutic properties of foods instead of analyzing only the chemical constituents of them. Some foods cool the body, some foods dry out the body and some food even calm the nervous system. The advantage of this approach lies in its ability to customize the dietary recommendations for each individual: what types of foods to add and what types of food to avoid.  Furthermore, Chinese nutrition takes into consideration such factors as method of preparation (raw vs cooked), body type, season, and one’s geographical location in determining the appropriate diet.