Monthly Archives: April 2013

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.