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1. Who come to use our services as patients?

1) Those who do not respond to certain medications and/or surgeries. Many patients come here after trying everything as the last result. Our services provide a second chance for the patients and in most cases it changes someone’s life. Everyday, I treat all kinds of pain, including migraines, nerve pain and joint pain not responding to medications and even surgeries. Other common examples are like allergies not responding to medications and shots, and incontinence, an embarrassing illness among women, not responding to other therapies. Many patients regard Dr. Li “the miracle worker.”

2) Those who cannot tolerate certain medications/surgical procedures, those who want to avoid/postpone certain medications/surgeries, and those who take too many medications to have room for more. Our services provide natural, non-invasive and effective therapies. Daily examples are acid reflux, migraines, insomnia, sciatica, joint pain, chronic infections, IBS, menopausal syndrome, and pregnant women with fetus in breech position. Once satisfied with the result, they come back for all other illnesses down the road. This population represents the majority of our everyday patient volume.

3) Those who use chemo, radiation, interferon treatment and surgeries. Our services promote and support conventional medicine by minimizing the side effects and strengthening the immune function, improving mental and physical functions, and speeding up the recovery. Among all, immune function is the key, which is the cause of cancer, and eventually the cure.

4) Those who have some rare disorders not understood and not treated by conventional medicine because of lack of studies and treatment protocol. With over 3,000 years of history and accumulated literature, traditional Chinese medicine offers remedies for various ailments, such as numbness (in the head, face, limbs), lack of saliva after surgery/radiation, excessive/drooping saliva, dry skin, over sweating, dry eye, tearing, cold hands/feet, cold abdomen, losing hair, missing sense like taste and smell, facial paralysis post Bell’s palsy or stroke, bitter/metallic taste in the mouth, stiffness in the joints, unexplained skin rash, and etc.

5) Those who are at risk to prevent certain diseases. Traditional Chinese medicine is a holistic form of health care with such an emphasis on prevention. For example, breast cancer is a prevailing disease among women. Once the lump is detectable, the system has been diseased for at least 12 years with energy imbalance (toxin), and signs such as changes with emotions and menstrual cycles. If proper assessment and treatment are given early enough, breast cancer can be kept at bay. Therefore, many women with the family history come here as preventative measure. For another example, most man prostate issue approaching and passing 50. Traditional Chinese medicine helps not only to improve the urinary functions/symptoms, but also to prevent prostate cancer. Very often, many patients come to prevent flu during the season or when close family members have flu.

6) Those who are under extreme stress. Stress is the leading cause to many health conditions. All patients find acupuncture treatments extremely relaxing and refreshing. It helps to relax mind and body so as to strengthen immune function and keep illnesses at bay. Many patients say: “conventional medicine keeps me alive, and alternative medicine keeps me well.”

7) Those women with infertility trying to be pregnant on their own or on fertility treatment like IUI and IVF. Acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine promote fertility well supported by the literature from the past and scientific studies of now days. We often treatment men for infertility as they contribute up to 40% to the entire infertility cases.

8) Those who have dependency and addictions to tobacco and drugs. Acupuncture has been widely used to help addictions in this nation and also the State of Maryland.



2. What are the common indications we treat?

stiff neck,
sore and clicking jaw,
joint pain with pulled muscles, bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis or bone spur,
itchy scalp or skin not responding to steroids,
dry eyes,
twitching eyelids or cheeks,
headaches and migraines,
ear ringing,
declining hearing,
blurred vision,
dizziness or vertigo,
nausea or morning sickness,
food craving,
loose or sluggish bowel,
frequent urination,
low energy,
lack of sex drive,
thinning hair,
desire to quit smoking,
purple veins and poor circulation in legs,
cold or sweaty extremities,
minor facial wrinkles,
early waking and insomnia.
facial paralysis from Bell’s palsy or stroke,
paralysis from stroke and injuries
chronic nerve pain from shingles, trigeminal neuralgia,
functional infertility,
chronic fatigue syndrome,
acid reflux syndrome,
irritable bowel syndrome,
double vision,
irregular menses,



3. Interesting cases:

Case 1. Stroke and vision problem:
Mr. C is a 71-year-old man retired from an energy company. He had a mini stroke, which left him with severe headaches, double vision and loss of some visual fields. Both his neurologist and eye doctor said it was unlikely for him to get substantial recovery as he had made very little progress in the first a few months since the stroke. He drove to my office with one eye taped to avoid seeing double. He got up from the treatment table as the first time and could seeing normal without double vision and headache. He drove home without taping up one eye. He was released after four acupuncture visits. This case was published in "Contemporary Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture" (pp. 167-168, by Claire Cassidy).

Case 2. Sciatica:
Dr. H, an orthopedist, who came with sciatica for a month. He went to a beach where he sprained his back when he attempted to pick up a camcorder in a hurry as ocean water was washing up the shore. As a result, he developed herniated disk at L5 and S1 with severe pain going down from one side of his back through the leg to the toes. His colleagues planned to operate on him. However, he came to my office saying he was a kind of person who never took medications for any reasons although he had severe insomnia for years. He could hardly walk due to the pain at the time but he didn’t consider having pain pills or anti-inflammatory. He said he would try anything to avoid surgery. Fortunately, he became totally pain free after only one acupuncture treatment and resumed his work in operating room after that weekend.

Case 3. Neck pain and frozen finger joint:
Mrs. W, a patient of Dr. H., came with a stiff neck. During the treatment, she mentioned that her right thumb had been locked in a bent position for 2 years. She was scheduled to have an operation, which was cancelled due to family emergency. The operation was rescheduled with Dr. H. in 2 weeks. She worked in a restaurant and often unshelled shrimp in icy water, which was how the thumb arthritis started. She got full motion back in the right thumb from her very first acupuncture session and cancelled her surgery with Dr. H.

Case 4. Pancreatic cancer:
Mr. L, an Annapolis resident, had the most aggressive form of pancreatic cancer 9 years ago and was told to live no more than 3 months. He came for acupuncture and Chinese herbs while going through chemo and radiation. All other 6 patients in his cancer group with the same condition without using CAM died within 6 months and he is the only survivor in the nation, not just in that group. He has been coming for treatment regularly for the last 9 years and is free of cancer at age of 77. It is a miracle in history! He attributes his success to using acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Case 5. Violent hiccups:
Mr. H, a Chevy Chase resident who was referred by Mr. L, who you just read about. He was found to have pancreatic cancer two months ago and had been taking two aural chemo drugs with frequent hiccup attacks when he couldn’t breath due to explosive air rush coming out of his throat, which would last 30 minutes to a few hours each time and attack many times a day. He had two different hiccup medications, which cost $400 each. He didn’t get any relief from the drugs and was forced to quit taking them due to severe side effects after a few applications. He came to my office desperately looking for relief as he couldn’t eat, sleep or do anything. However, hiccups stopped instantly during the first acupuncture treatment. A few times a day, hiccups still tried to come on after initial visit, but went away instantly when he pressed tack needles imbed on his ear lobe. He had only 4 weekly acupuncture treatments and became hiccup free, while he is still taking the same chemo drugs plus a new radiation program.

Case 6. Infertility:
Mrs. B, a writer, didn’t get pregnant after a few fertility treatment attempts with conventional medicine. She came for acupuncture and got pregnant naturally within 4 months. During the treatment, she strictly followed the diet directions from this office. Then, she broke her recommended dietary routine and had a big scoop of ice cream. As a result, she had a miscarriage within the first month of pregnancy. She came back for acupuncture again. To her surprise, I told her that she was pregnant again based on her pulse during her third visit. Soon, it was confirmed by pregnancy test. This time, she had learned from her experience and kept a good diet and daily routine through out her pregnancy. She delivered a healthy baby boy.

Case 7. Chronic injuries and heel pain:
Mr. M was a retired line worker of a utility company and he had sustained all sorts of traumatic injuries over his body through his 30 rough winters and summers at job. He came to my office for chronic pain here and there regularly for five years. One day, he said: “you have fixed me up pretty good now. However, there is one thing left that I’ve had heel pain for some years due to heel spur. Can you treat it?” I said: “It’s something I treat almost everyday.” Shortly after, I was puzzled that suddenly I saw many new patients all referred by him. At next appointment, I joked with him: “what took you so long to refer patients to me? He said: “It just happened as I went back to ballroom dance two weeks ago and surprised the people there. When they heard acupuncture cured all my pains, and especially my chronic heel pain by one session, they all wanted your name.”

Case 8. Incontinence:
Mrs. N was a nurse. She drove five days a week to visit her patients. She had a worsening “pain” physically and emotionally for years. It was her bladder. She had very frequent urination with urgency and little control. Each day, she got very nervous before getting in the car as she was never sure when she need to use bathroom and if she could find one soon enough. Therefore, she came to my office to try acupuncture. After three weeks of treatment, she told me a story: “I went to a show last night with a friend, and she asked me by the end why I didn’t go to bathroom even once before, during and after the show this time. I told her: “it’s a magic.”

Case 9. Impotence:
Mr. T was a 56-year-old retired boxer. He used to use some stimulants to build muscles during his athletic career. He gradually developed impotence with difficult erection. As a result, his wife left him five years ago and he became depressed. Recently, he met his former high school sweetheart and began a dating relationship. Unfortunately, he found himself unable to have an intimate relation and being pressured. He came for treatment with the encouragement and company of his lady friend. Based on the history and assessment, a holistic treatment plan to address both the physical and mental aspects was made. Within three acupuncture treatments, he was able to perform like a normal person. He remained on the treatment for a few months and then went on his own. From time to time, he has stopped in just to say hello for some years without have any problems.

Case 10. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue:
Mr. G. was a 52-year-old public school teacher. Ten yeas ago, he was about to take an early retirement due to chronic muscle pain all over him and extreme fatigue. For many years, he took all kinds of prescription medications without much help. He came to see me for acupuncture as the last result. Based on his long standing history and my assessment, I told him that I might not be able to cure him 100%, but I would probably be able to minimize the pain more than anything he had tried. With weekly acupuncture treatment, he has been working full time as a teacher plus a side job as a photographer and video editor part time all these years. He is able to keep his jobs with no or minimal pain with his weekly acupuncture each Friday. As a matter of fact, he no longer takes any antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, sleeping pills and painkillers while functioning competitively.

Case 11. A “good patient” who learns exceptionally and heals miraculously:
Mrs. C is a housewife who has seen me from time to time for the last several years. Each time, she came with a different heath condition and always had exceptional result without recurrence after limited visits. Lately, she tells me her healing secret: “it is because I’m such a good patient.” She has written down all the health tips from me at the time of visits and has kept in her daily life.” For example, she originally came with a longstanding digestive problem and was cured within a few weeks without any recurrence so far. At the time of visits, she wrote down the foods to avoid and all the other recommendations, and she has been strictly following these. For another instance, she came with severe recurred depression and had no more problems after 3 visits. She attributes the success to the fact she wrote down all the recommendations through the discussion with me at the time, and changed her life style and disposition. The last time she came with joint pain in multiple locations, including neck, shoulder, low back, and knee. She has been cured from just one treatment with no more problems. She got relief from that one treatment, and turned off the ceiling fan in her kitchen and bedroom as I advised that has kept the pain away.

Case 12. Piriformis Syndrome:
Ms. M is a 38-year-old gas station attendant who has been diagnosed as having “piriformis syndrome” with sciatica through her left leg for 6 months. She has had multiple prescription drugs, physical therapy and anesthetic injections with no relief. After the first acupuncture session, she says she feels 75% better. After the second acupuncture treatment, she gets up from the treatment table and breaks into tears. When she was asked why, she says: “I don’t understand why I have been through this hell for last 6 months for nothing. I’ve lost my job on disability, put on 50 pounds, and my boyfriend left me. You have got rid of it just like that. Why none of these educated doctors and nurses have ever told me about acupuncture? Why?

Case 13. Frozen Shoulder:
Ms. J is a 50-year-old X-ray technician who complains of “frozen shoulder” for a year with a great deal of pain and rather limited range of motion. The pain is constant and becomes worse at night disturbing her sleep. She says:“ I have very high pain tolerance, but I can’t take it. It’s much worse than any pain that I’ve had like broken bones, gallstones and labor. However, she does not want to have surgeries. Physical therapy requires six months of treatment, 3 times a week. She quits after a few sessions due to increased pain. During the initial acupuncture visits, she is not able to lie down on the treatment table. It’s truly a challenging case. Therefore, a sitting position with pillows around is designed for her to stay comfortable during the acupuncture treatment. She makes steady improvement through each session and is cured within 6 weeks.

Case 14. Tennis Elbow:
Mr. H does not believe acupuncture and laughs at his wife for going to acupuncture for her knee pain instead of surgery. He has developed worsening pain in the right elbow from playing tennis and doing yard work. He is diagnosed as having tennis elbow, but he does not respond to the cortisone shots given by his orthopedist. Finally, he decides to give acupuncture a try because his wife is able to put off her knee surgery thanks to acupuncture. Lying on the acupuncture treatment table the first 3 times, he says he is not expecting it to work at all. However, he says he is pain free by the fifth visit, although he keeps doing all his activities. When he learns a TV crew is coming to shoot a documentary on acupuncture, he wants to be part of it saying “I want to be a film star.”

Case 15. Squeezing pain in the chest and difficulty breathing.
Ms. M is a 59-year-old retiree who took an early retirement 10 years ago because of her spinal problem. She had herniated disks in the entire spine and had surgeries twice with scars in the front of her neck and along the spine throughout the thoracic and lumbar region. She has had constant pain since and it worsens as the day goes. She feels so tight like being squeezed in the chest and is out of breath all the time. She is referred here by a friend in desperation. During the initial visit, however, she acts very skeptical and rude showing a great deal of frustration and anger towards entire the health care profession. She says: “I’ve gone to so many doctors for the pain and ended up with worse pain and more problems.” Interestingly enough, her rudeness diminishes as the treatment goes on, and she turns out an extremely kind person after a few visits. She speaks in a soft voice and with much smile on her face. She is pain free and breathing freely after several treatments. By the end, she expresses her gratefulness in a very graceful manor.



To be continued…