Acupuncture & Moxa for Breech Baby: Info & Research

Acupuncture and especially moxa (short for moxibustion) has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine successfully for thousands of years to turn breech babies without negative side effects. Many women successfully try moxa and acupuncture and are able to avoid a cesarean birth. At Downtown Seattle Acupuncture we have seen many babies turn after the mother has received several moxa/acupuncture treatments. For best results, treatment should begin by week 36 or earlier if breech presentation is detected already so there is still enough room for the baby to turn.

Research supporting the treatment of breech baby with moxa and acupuncture:

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Apr;15(4):247-52.

Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomized controlled study. Neri I, Airola G, Contu G, Allais G, Facchinetti F, Benedetto C.


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.



In many Western countries breech presentation is an indication for elective Cesarean section. In order to correct fetal presentation, the stimulation of the acupoint BL67 by moxibustion, acupuncture or both has been proposed. Since no studies had previously been carried out on Western populations, pregnant Italian women at 33-35 weeks gestational age carrying a fetus in breech presentation were enrolled in a randomized, controlled trial involving an active BL67 point stimulation and an observation group.


A total of 240 women at 33-35 weeks of gestation carrying a fetus in breech presentation were randomized to receive active treatment (acupuncture plus moxibustion) or to be assigned to the observation group. Bilateral acupuncture plus moxibustion was applied at the BL67 acupoint (Zhiyin). The primary outcome of the study was fetal presentation at delivery.


Fourteen cases dropped out. The final analysis was thus made on 226 cases, 114 randomized to observation and 112 to acupuncture plus moxibustion. At delivery, the proportion of cephalic version was lower in the observation group (36.7%) than in the active-treatment group (53.6 %) (p = 0.01). Hence, the proportion of Cesarean sections indicated for breech presentation was significantly lower in the treatment group than in the observation group (52.3% vs. 66.7%, p = 0.03).


Acupuncture plus moxibustion is more effective than observation in revolving fetuses in breech presentation. Such a method appears to be a valid option for women willing to experience a natural birth.


Interventions on BL 67 for women with a breech foetus at 33 weeks gestation.

van den Berg I, Kaandorp G, Bosch J, Duvekot J, Arends L, Hununk M. Cost-effectiveness of breech version by acupuncture-type interventions on BL 67, including moxibustion, for women with a breech foetus at 33 weeks gestation: a modelling approach. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2010;18, 67—77.
A modelling approach to evaluate the effectiveness and costs of using acupuncture-type interventions on BL67 (Zhiyin) compared to expectant management for women presenting with a baby in a breech position at 33 weeks gestation.


A modelling approach was used to predict the number of caesarean sections that could be prevented using moxibustion and or acupuncture on BL 67 at 33 gestational weeks. There were two strategies for women presenting with breech presentation at 33 weeks gestation:

  1. Expectant management – a wait and see approach with external cephalic version (ECV) offered if required
  2. Acupuncture-type interventions on BL67

Ten thousand women were accounted for in this model. Also included were the medical costs of two ultrasounds for every woman, ECV treatment if required and costs for pre- and postnatal care until eight days post delivery.

The acupuncture treatment included extra costings for two visits with an acupuncturist and the moxibustion sticks supplied for home treatment.
Both strategies of this modelling included an option for women to receive an ECV at 36 gestational weeks and for all births to occur in hospital. Women refusing the option of acupuncture-type interventions on BL67 or non compliance with using the moxa treatment at home were also accounted for.

Treatment Methods

The probability that women would accept treatment and that babies would remain in a persistent breech presentation were retrieved from a systematic review and meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting on the effectiveness of acupuncture-type interventions on BL 67 versus expectant management. These trials comprised of three RCT’s using moxibustion. The remaining three used acupuncture, electro- acupuncture and a mixture of moxibustion and acupuncture.


Two data analysis were preformed for the women receiving acupuncture type intervention: one with and one without ECV. Both resulted in a decreased breech presentation at term.

To prevent one caesarean section, seven women with breech presentation at 33 weeks gestation would need to be treated with acupuncture-type interventions on BL 67. Sensitivity analysis showed that if 16% or more of the women offered moxibustion treatment complied, it was more effective and less costly than expectant management. The cost difference per woman with a baby in breech position at 33 weeks gestation using the moxa around 33 weeks versus no additional treatment was € 451 (95% CI € 109, € 775; p = 0.005) eight days post delivery.

The authors concluded that offering acupuncture type interventions at BL 67 to women with a breech foetus at 33 weeks gestation reduced the number of breech presentations at term, the number of caesarean sections required, and was cost effective when compared to expectant management.

Clinical Perspective

The lead researcher of this study has published a previous systematic review on the safety and effectiveness of using acupuncture type interventions on BL 67 for women presenting with breech presentation. This recent research approach is timely, enabling acupuncturists to now engage in discussions with medical, midwifery and hospital clinic management staff about of the cost effectiveness of implementing acupuncture type interventions for breech presentation. Being able to enter into such discussions may well be an important factor for acupuncturists to facilitate the integration of acupuncture services within main stream medical care.

Moxibustion use for Breech Presentation

Cardini et al in 1998 [7] had the following randomised controlled trial published in the Journal of American Association (JAMA)


The objective was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of moxibustion on Zhiyin BL-67 to correct breech presentation. 130 women having their first baby (primigravidas) at 33 gestation received moxibustion to Zhiyin Bl 67 while 130 women, also primigravidas, received no intervention.

The moxibustion was administered for 7 days .Women were then assessed and a further 7 days of moxibustion treatment given if the position had not changed.
Outcomes were measured in terms of fetal movements, as counted by the mother for one hour each day for one week and the number of cephalic presentations both at 35 weeks gestation and at delivery.

At 35 weeks gestation 75.4% in the intervention group were cephalic (47.7% in the control).
Women in both groups then had the option of undergoing external cephalic version (ECV). One woman took this option from the intervention group and 24 from the control group

At delivery the presentation of 75.4% of the intervention group were cephalic compared to 62.3% in the control group.
The presentation did not change in any of the groups after 35 weeks except in those undergoing ECV. In terms of fetal movement the moxibustion group experienced a greater number of movements (a mean of 48.45 compared to the control group with a mean of 35.35).


That in prigravidas at 33 weeks gestation with breech presentation moxibustion treatment for 1 to 2 weeks at Zhiyin BL-67 increased fetal activity during the treatment period and cephalic presentation at 35 weeks and at delivery.

Treatment method

The women and their partner (or a person to help with the treatment) were given a treatment and taught how to use the moxibustion in a hospital appointment within 24 hours of the scan confirming the breech position. They then applied the treatment to Zhiyin BL-67 daily at home. Moxa sticks were used with the women sitting or in a semisupine position and the partner delivering the treatment.

Clinical Perspective

As part of this study an attempt was made to assess if there was a difference in delivering moxibustion sessions once or twice a day.
87 women used moxibustion for a total of 30 minutes (15 minutes to each point) while 43 women used moxibustion in the same way but received treatment twice a day.

At the end of the first week 79% of the cephalic versions were obtained in the women using moxibustion twice a day compared to 55.2 % in the daily treatments. But by the end of the second week 15 additional cephalic versions were obtained in the group having moxibustion treatment once a day.
This meant that at 35 weeks the results were termed as a nonsignificant difference (72.4% in the once a day moxibustion group compared to 81% for the women having moxibustion treatment twice a day).

From a safety perspective it was reassuring that no adverse events (such as intrauterine death or placental detachment) were noted in the treatment group. It was also interesting that while the number of premature rupture of membranes was similar in both groups the number of premature births was lower in the intervention group and that the use of oxytocin, before or during labour, was also reduced in the moxibustion group (8.6% compared to 31.3%).

If you have questions about treating breech baby with acupuncture & moxa, acupuncture treatment for pregnancy and post-partum, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, do not hesitate to contact me, Monica Legatt.

Monica Legatt is an acupuncturist in practice at:

Downtown Seattle Acupuncture
509 Olive Way, Suite 1301, Seattle WA 98101
(206) 625-1374

Microsoft Health Insurance Covers Acupuncture in Washington State

Starting in 2014, Microsoft employees will have health insurance coverage for acupuncture! This is great news because in the history of the company, Microsoft has never covered acupuncture before. As a self-insured health plan, Microsoft is not required to adhere to state health insurance mandates, meaning that in the past Microsoft did not legally have to cover acupuncture like other insurance companies in Washington state. Microsoft is still self-insured so it voluntarily chose to finally cover acupuncture for its employees.

If you have Microsoft insurance you will need to find an acupuncturist who is a preferred provider with Premera Blue Cross of Washington. Make sure to call Premera to confirm how many visits you have covered per year and to ask if you have a copay, co-insurance, or deductible.

Acupuncture is a safe and proven treatment for a wide variety of medial conditions:

If you have questions about acupuncture or insurance coverage for acupuncture do not hesitate to contact me, Monica Legatt

Monica Legatt is a licensed acupuncturist practicing at Downtown Seattle Acupuncture, 509 Olive Way Ste. 1301, Seattle WA 98101 (206) 383-9921

Acupuncture Defined as Essential Health Benefit in Washington State for ACA Health Exchange Insurance Plans

Recent legislation passed in Washington state that goes into effect in January of 2014 establishes acupuncture as an essential health benefit according to the ACA (Affordable Care Act). This means that insurance companies operating in Washington state or insurance companies offering insurance in Wa state as part of the health insurance exchanges are required to cover acupuncture. This is great news for residents of Washington state because acupuncture was not included as an essential health benefit in many states across the country in time for the January 2014 deadline when much of the ACA goes into effect.

Acupuncture is an safe and effective medical treatment for a wide variety of medical conditions. See:

One interesting component of the new Washington state law dictating coverage is that unlimited acupuncture treatment is required to be covered for the treatment of addiction and chemical dependency treatment.

If you have acupuncture coverage for the first time now thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there are a few things to think about when looking for a practitioner:

Make sure she or he is NCCAOM certified. The NCCAOM is the national credentialing body that ensures your practitioner meets the highest national and local standards for education and clinical training.

Choose a practitioner who has experience in the medical area that you are seeking treatment.

Call the practitioner and also your health insurance plan before receiving any treatment to confirm that your acupuncturist is a preferred provider for your new health insurance plan so you don’t get any surprise bills later!

If you have additional questions about acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or insurance coverage for acupuncture in Washington State, please do not hesitate to contact me, Monica Legatt:

Acupuncture Testimonial: Acupuncture Alleviates Pain in Neck, Shoulder, Arms, Legs & Hip

Today we received this wonderful testimonial from our patient to put up on our blog and website.  Thanks Pete!  


I had been having lots of symptoms and considerable pain and discomfort for almost a year prior to visiting Monica.  The doctors had been generally confused, unhelpful and expensive.  I despaired that I would ever be 100% again.

 Monica immediately diagnosed my condition, and from the first session I had dramatic improvement.  All my symptoms have been greatly reduced.  Monica is a very good listener and very collaborative in designing the acupuncture treatments.  I am not 100%, because that will take some time, but my condition is greatly improved and I am confident I will fully recover.

 I would recommend Monica to anyone for any condition they think is suited to acupuncture.  She is the only person that was able to help me.

 Pete Sher


Pete is a patient of Monica Legatt who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine at Downtown Seattle Acupuncture





Acupuncture For Sports Medicine and Injuries




For professional and amateur athletes alike, it is important to get back to their peak performance as soon as possible after sustaining an injuryAcupuncture is extremely effective at treating sports injuries and chronic pain.  There is ample research demnstrating the efficacy of acupuncture for pain relief and sports injuries.   

 At your first visit your licensed acupuncturist will assess your condition and prescribe an acupuncture treatment protocol. Acute or new conditions can typically be resolved within three to six acupuncture treatments.  Chronic conditions may require more treatments over time: at each treatment your injury will be re-evaluated to ensure that your recovery is as expedient as possible.

 Many of my patients are amazed at the results they see with acupuncture: it has been used for thousands of years to cure martial-arts injuries in Asian countries.  Today it is used by athletes in virtually every professional sport to treat injuries and to optimize performance. 

Acupuncture Can Provide:

           Alleviation of pain

Reduction of swelling & inflammation

            Increased blood flow to the region

            Faster healing of the injury


Treatment Modalities Used for Injuries:



            Electric-stimulation acupuncture

            Massage with medicated liniment (i.e. Tiger Balm)

            Chinese Herbal prescription for trauma or pain


I have had the honor to have worked with a wide variety of athletes and artists including major league baseball players, soccer players, cyclists, marathoners, triathletes, Broadway singers & dancers, opera singers, professional ballet dancers, salsa dancers, swimmers, professional musicians, tango dancers, a javelin thrower and a professional curler.  I have also worked with many dedicated weight lifters: parents lifting their kids. 

 Click here for a comprehensive list of injuries acupuncture can treat.

For more information about sports injury treatment and Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, please feel free to cotact me:  Monica Legatt, LAC


Doulas For Birth


Photograph courtesy of Wesley Kronick

Have you ever heard of someone employing a doula to attend their birth and wondered exactly what a doula is?  A doula is a trained labor companion who assists her clients in the physical, emotional, and informational aspects of labor before, during, and after childbirth. Doulas meet with their clients prior to the birth to better understand their needs and to discuss options for the upcoming birth.  Doulas provide reassurance and perspective, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with positioning, massage, relaxation and other techniques for comfort during labor. Doulas give advice and resources for after the birth of the baby.  Doulas also provide continuous labor support: they don’t leave until after the baby has been born.   And, doulas are not  just for mothers. Doulas help partners and other family members to understand the labor process and how to best assist in the birth and postpartum period in ways that they feel most comfortable.  Doulas are not there to take the place of a father or partner.  To the contrary, the experienced doula recognizes when to be of strong presence and support as well as when to stand aside.

Why hire a doula? Studies have shown that having a doula present as a part of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, reduction in epidural requests by 60%, and reduction in synthetic oxytocin use by 40%.  Women who used a doula were two times more likely to be breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum than women who choose not to.  A doula works with their client to create the birth experience that the client most desires.  She is aware that no two births are exactly the same and is prepared to handle diverse situations.  Assistance from a doula is beneficial in all birth settings whether it is at home, a birth center, or a hospital.  She helps with all birth scenarios be it a planned, un-medicated birth, a medicated one, or a cesarean birth.

The motivations to become a doula are diverse: it may be a personal birth experience, a passion regarding birthing rights, a desire to nurture, or simply a love of babies.  Doulas are extremely passionate about the work that they do.  So much so that many doulas refer to the profession as a calling.  Doulas come to this road from many different paths. We have different styles, different backgrounds and different personalities, so there is likely the right doula for every woman who wants one.  If you would like to find the doula that is right for you there are many different resources: talk to your midwife, your OB, or your friends; or you can visit Doula Match, DONA International, or PALS Doulas, just to name a few.

 My hope is that your birth reflects you and your desires, and that you always feel respected and heard.  I wish you all the best in this exciting time in your life.


Lisa Shire, Birth Doula

Lisa is patient of Downtown Seattle Acupuncture and has prepared for the birth of two children using acupuncture.  Monica Legatt LAC is honored to have her as a guest contributor to this blog.  She may be reaced for additional questions and for doula services at Hand To Lend.  

References: Mothering the Mother, How a Doula Can Help You Have A Shorter Easier Healthier Birth by Klaus, Kennell and Klaus (1993) and


Steampunk Medicine: An Interview With Artist James Ng by Author Nisi Shawl


James Ng is a visual artist who makes his two homes in his native Hong Kong and his adopted city of Vancouver, BC.  He was the headline artist in the March 2011 Steampunk Exhibition, and he’s the winner of the 2009 Digital Artist Award for Concept Art.  I was introduced to James’s work via postcard-sized reproduction of his Imperial Steam series, and subsequently acquired the use of his painting “Thought Process” for the cover of The WisCon Chronicles 5: Writing and Racial Identity, which I edited.  Later, he agreed to be the featured artist for the inaugural issue of the literary quarterly The Cascadia Subduction Zone.

 Since then I’ve kept up with James’s exciting oeuvre through his website.  His latest painting, “Crystal Herbalist,” moves me in many ways, and resonates nicely with the topic of this blog.  James has allowed us to reproduce the painting here and ask him a few related questions.

 Your Imperial Steam series of paintings, you’ve said, plays with the premise that our last two centuries of modernization could have been driven not by the West, but by China.  Palanquins, pagodas, and other images fill the canvas–how do you use them to evoke an alternate present and future, rather than the past we often associate with them?

 That’s something I ask myself every time I create a piece for my series. I want to make sure that it stems from the idea of “What would be possible today” instead of just painting something from the past and adding futuristic elements to it. I look at my series like a thesis paper; the original question of “What things would look like today if technology was led by another culture” being my thesis, and each painting acting as a supportive paragraph helping the reader ponder the possibilities. To achieve that aesthetic, I do a lot of research on Chinese history to see what was important before western colonization.



In August of 2012, when I first saw your painting “Crystal Herbalist,” you sent it to me with this explanation of the concept:

 “Using the steam-powered alchemical furnace, the Crystal Herbalist fuses ingredients into a powerful, smokable extract. The powdered medicine is burned and inhaled while she measures the potency of each brew using her reinforced lungs and heart. Through the reflection of a mirror she looks within herself, assessing the lights and valves to calculate the effects of each new concoction.”

 Do you have anything to add at this point?

 That caption still tells the story pretty well. Like I mentioned earlier, my series is based on Chinese culture, and herbal medicine plays an important role there. One of the main ideas that came up when I originally envisioned my series was that the technology advanced in the direction the culture pointed. In today’s world, most cultures are catching up to the West, which sets the bar other cultures aim to hit. But what if technology from nonwestern worlds moved forward without the goal of meeting a certain standard? If the Chinese believed in their herbal medicine and wanted to continue to make it more effective, this would no doubt drive experiments and research in creating suitable technology.

 We have made incredible technological progress in the last 200 years, probably more than our entire history as a human race. This progress was driven mainly by western science and belief, which is why western practices are the most effective in the modern world. There is no denying the effectiveness of western medical practice–my father is actually a western doctor in a hospital in Hong Kong. I simply wonder what possibilities there might have been if the massive influx of technology was developed and driven by a different culture and from different beliefs.

 Can you write a little bit about your experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine?  Are there connections between the philosophical basis of TCM and your approach to creativity–balance, harmony, etc.?

 Most of the time I use western forms of treatment, because my father is a western-style doctor, and he has a regular supply of western medicine. However, I am very into combat sports, and sometimes when I suffer injuries I seek out Chinese doctors for sores, bruises, and tears.

 I have not thought about the correlations between TCM theory and my artwork, though if you mention balance and harmony, those are things I take into account for every piece of artwork that I do. Balance–between warm and cool and light and dark–is a very important part of an artist’s train of thought, and harmony between shapes and colors is just as important.

 Are you working on other paintings in the Imperial Steam series?  What can you tell us about them?

 Yes, I am. The series has taken a backseat in the last few months to my commissions, but it is something I will always work on. Currently I’m planning to design a sport or competition that is unique to this world that I’m building. I’m leaning towards something to do with traditional lion dance celebration or martial arts, with the aid of steam technology.

 Interview conducted by author Nisi Shawl who is a long-time patient and friend of Monica Legatt LAC, acupuncturist at Downtown Seattle Acupuncture.  


Going Gluten Free by Melissa McCarty ND

I often recommend patients try a gluten-free diet because it is one of the most inflammatory and reactive proteins we eat. Gluten is found in many grains including:

·         Wheat (durum, kamut, graham, semolina, spelt)

·         Rye

·         Barley

·         Triticale

·         Bulgur

·         Couscous

·         Einkorn

·         Emmer

·         Faro

·         Malt extract, malt flavoring, malt syrup

·         Oats** (Oats are naturally gluten free but they are processed or rolled in the same facilities as gluten products. Gluten is sticky and sticks to the machines and attaches to oats this way.)

·                           Be aware that “wheat-free” does NOT guarantee gluten-free. Breads made from carob-soy flour can contain up to 80% wheat flour.


Grains that are gluten-free and safe to have on a gluten-free diet are: rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, beans, garfava, sorghum, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth, teff and nut flours

 The extreme form of gluten intolerance is called Celiac Disease. In this autoimmune process, the body has an immune response to gluten that causes it to attack it’s own intestinal walls and damages them, making it very difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.  Celiac disease is screened for with a blood test and often confirmed with a biopsy of the intestinal wall. Sometimes if the blood test is negative but there is a high suspicion of the disease, a biopsy will be done anyway.

 If you don’t have Celiac Disease, the best way to know if gluten is a problem is to eliminate it from your diet for a few weeks (I usually recommend 3-4 weeks) and see if you feel any difference. Most people have a symptom (or many symptoms) that is irritating enough to them that they want to give elimination a shot. Some of the more common symptoms I see are:

Skin:  eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, swelling, redness, acne, dark circles under eyes

Gastrointestinal:  diarrhea, gas, nausea/vomiting, cramps, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation

Respiratory:  wheezing, nasal congestion, trouble breathing, asthma

Other:  joint pain, swelling (lips, tongue, face, throat), headache, migraines, brain fog, fatigue, fertility issues

Below is a list of food categories and specific foods that are allowed and ones that should be avoided when going gluten free (abbreviated “GF”). Additional resources are listed at the end of this list.


Allowed:       Specially prepared breads using only these flours: amaranth, arrowroot, bean, buckwheat, chia, corn, flax, Indian rice grass, mesquite, millet, nut, pure gluten-free oats, potato, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy, tapioca, and teff.


Be careful with oat bread (see above)


Avoid:             Breads containing wheat (including einkorn, Durham, faro, graham, semolina, spelt), rye, barley, triticale, Kamut, bulgur, or couscous.


Flours/Thickening agents

Allowed:           Amaranth, arrowroot starch, bean flour, buckwheat, chia, corn bran, corn flour, corn germ, corn meal, corn starch, mesquite, millet, Montina (Indian rice grass, GF oats, potato flour, potato starch, quinoa, rice bran, rice flour (brown, white, or sweet OK), rice polish, rice starch flour, sorghum flour, soy flour, tapioca starch, teff.


Dairy Products

Allowed:       Fresh, dry, evaporated, or condensed milk; cream; sour cream**; whipping cream; yogurt


Avoid:             Malted milk; some commercial chocolate drinks**; some non-dairy creamers**

**Consult label and contact manufacturers about questionable ingredients


Meat, Fish, Poultry

Allowed:       All fresh meats, seafood, poultry

Be careful with some processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meats, cured meats), as well as some fish canned in water, oil, brine, or vegetable broth.


Avoid:             Prepared or processed meats containing grains to avoid, such as: some sausages*, hot dogs*; bologna*; and luncheon meats; *Chili con carne*; bread-containing products, such as Swiss steak, meat loaf, meatballs, and croquettes; tuna canned with hydrolyzed protein*; turkey with hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) injected as part of the basting solution; “imitation crab” or other meat analogs containing wheat starch or other unacceptable filler; quick individually frozen (QIF) seafood ‡


*Consult label and contact manufacturer to clarify questionable ingredients.

‡May be dusted with flour or other starches in processing.



Allowed:       Plain or in cooking.


Avoid:             Eggs in sauces made from wheat, rye, oats, or barley. Wheat flour is often used in white sauces. Note that some restaurants may add a wheat-based filler to scrambled eggs and omelets.


Potato, Rice, Pasta, or other Starches

Allowed:       White and sweet potatoes; yams; hominy; rice; wild rice; special pasta made from rice, corn, soy or other allowed ingredients. Some Asian rice* and bean thread noodles.


Avoid:             Regular noodles; spaghetti or macaroni made from grains not allowed. Most packaged* or frozen rice or pasta side dishes*.

*Consult label and contact manufacturers about questionable ingredients



Allowed:       All plain, fresh, frozen or canned vegetables


Be careful with some commercially prepared vegetables.


Avoid:             Creamed vegetables*, vegetables canned in sauce*, some canned beans*, and commercially-prepared vegetables and salads.

                            *Consult label and contact manufacturers to clarify questionable ingredients.



Allowed:       All fresh, frozen, canned fruits


Be careful with some dried fruits*.


Avoid:             Thickened or prepared fruits, some pie fillings


                            *Consult label and contact manufacturers to clarify questionable ingredients.


To learn more:

o        The Gluten Intolerance Group

o        Celiac Disease Foundation 

o        National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse: Celiac Disease

o        “Is That Gluten Free?” iPhone App (allows you to search ingredients, brands, products and tells you if it contains gluten)

o        Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen blog for GREAT recipes: 



Dr. Melissa McCarty

Naturopathic Physician

Seattle Integrative Medicine

5322 Roosevelt Way NE

Seattle, WA 98105




New Study Suggests Acupuncture May Improve Bell’s Palsy


Each year, about 40,000 Americans get Bell’s palsy, which results in a temporary

facial paralysis that usually affects one side and lasts a few months. A steroid called

Prednisone, along with over the counter analgesics, vitamins, physical therapy, and

acupuncture are often used to treat the condition. However, a new study from

China reveals that a more intensive form of acupuncture produces significantly

better results when added to prednisone treatment than low-intensity acupuncture

for patients with Bell’s palsy.  This more intensive form of acupuncture requires the

acupuncturist to achieve “De qi.”


“De qi” is the term used for the sensation felt when an acupuncturist reaches the

level of qi in the body. Before acupoints are stimulated, they must first be opened to

access the channel passing through it. Acupoints contain the qi, and they allow the

qi to flow outwards to the body’s surface. When correct stimulation is applied, the

qi is activated in the desired channels and areas of the body, offering appropriate

therapeutic results.  Click here for more details on what acupuncture feels like.  


The needle may be twirled, moved up and down at different speeds and depths,

heated, or charged with a small electrical current until the de qi sensation occurs.

Patients have described the sensation in many ways, including warm, cold, tingling,

and heavy. De qi is also felt by the practitioner and can signal that the proper

amount of needle stimulation is being performed. According to one of the study’s

authors, Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the combination of feelings

associated with de qi to provide the best therapeutic benefit.


Dr. Wei Wang at Key Laboratory of Neurological Diseases of Chinese Ministry of

Education in Wuhan, Hubei, conducted a randomized control study to see whether

de qi makes a difference in the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy. He and his

colleagues asked 317 adults with Bell’s palsy to undergo five half-hour acupuncture

treatments for four weeks. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to

receive treatments that would elicit de qi, and the other half received the traditional

acupuncture treatment in which the needle is inserted and left alone. All of the

participants, however, received prednisone.


Using a scale of 200 to rate patients’ facial function, neurologists found that patients

started with scores around 130 to 135. They did not know which treatment

each participant had received, and patients were rated again after six months of

treatment. Those in the de qi group had an average score of 195 while the other

group scored an average of 186. Although a nine point difference may not seem

significant, Wang notes that this would be noticeable to patients.


Although the study did not measure how well people would have recovered without

receiving acupuncture, or with no treatment at all, the researchers found that 94

percent of the participants who received de qi completely recovered their facial

function by the end of six months. Only 77 percent of patients in the other group

experienced a full recovery.


Many Americans are turning to alternative medicine to treat their medical

problems, and nearly half of physicians in the U.S. have either referred patients

to acupuncturists or would be open to making such a referral. Shands Hospital

in Florida is opening a new Center for Integrative Medicine to provide patients

with other forms of healing, such as acupuncture. This shift may be a result of the

prevalence of doctors prescribing pain medications inappropriately. 


Despite its growing popularity, patients should remember that acupuncture also

comes with risks, fraud and misrepresentation. Patients who are interested in

acupuncture should ensure that their acupuncturists are accredited and have a well-

known reputation for providing exceptional standards of care.  Click here for details about the 

licensing requirements for acupuncture in Washington State.  



This blog post was kindly contributed to the Downtown Seattle Acupuncture blog by Ashley Burns.  


For more information on treating bells palsy with acupuncture, contact Monica Legatt, Licensed Acupuncturist