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Dear patients and our community,

As you already know, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is very real and it is everyone’s responsibility to help keep our community safe from the rapid spread of Coronavirus.  To help slow the spread of this virus, it is now more important than ever to take an abundance of caution to help protect you, your family, our community and our healthcare system. 

Because there are many unknowns about Coronavirus and things can change rapidly, we believe using common sense is the best measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. continue reading »

Sciatica #186


male, age 60, TV producer

Complaints: Chronic left sciatica with pain in buttock and leg due to lumbar arthritis since 1983. The pain was worse with sitting and prolonged standing, occurring almost daily for the last 3 years. He played tennis despite the pain because it was one of his favorite hobby. But he stopped recently because the pain was becoming severe.

Acupuncture: Left-side yang horary points in Metal-Order of LI1, UB66, GB41, SI5, and ST36.

Treatment process: He had 11 acupuncture treatments so far at twice a week visit. The improvement was immediate and linear with less intensity, less frequency, and shorter in duration. He played tennis after the 9th visit, with minimal aggravation and quicker recovery than the ever before.

Discussion: Exercising and working with minimal distraction indicate a higher quality of living.

Neck & Knee Pain, Depression, and Migraine. #188


Neck & Knee Pain. Depression & Migraine. 

Bisoma& Tetrasoma Acupuncture, Case 188

female, age 45, human resources

Complaints: Constant left neck and shoulder pain for 2 years after a vehicular accident. Left shoulder range of motion was limited and worsening. She fell with her right knee onto a hard floor a few years ago, resulting in persistent inflammation and fluid retention. Finally, she had chronic 20-year anxiety and depression, which had worsened after a miscarriage 5 months ago. Moderate to severe migraine occurred at least once a month.

Acupuncture: Left-side yang horary points in Metal-Order of LI1, UB66, GB41, SI5, and ST36 with fire points LI5, GB38, and UB60, which are central element points for this constitution with Lesser Yin and Greater Yang combination (aka Kapha-Vata in Ayurveda, Phlegmatic in Unani, Soeumin in Sasang, and LinGang in Tetrasoma). Sasang herbal formula Xiang Fu Ba Wu Tang (Xiang Fu, Dang Gui, Bai Shao Yao, Bai Zhu, He Shou Wu, Chuan Xiong, Chen Pi, and Zhi Gan Cao).

Treatment process: She had 14 treatments at twice a week in the initial 4 weeks and once a week thereafter. Each treatment was helpful for the pains. The weekly improvement rate was significant with less intensity, less frequency, and shorter in duration. In addition, the Asian herbs were instrumental in improving her mental state and mood. From the 6th visit, she was able to taper down and get off Wellbutrin for depression with only withdrawal symptoms. In addition, she has mostly eliminated the usage of NSAIDs. She currently has almost no complaint.

Discussion: In addition to reduction of pain, Asian medicine is great at helping the body to self-heal by promoting recovery, which chemistry-language medicine cannot do.

Dr. Lee’s Case Study #29: Menopause and Spasms

Patient: Female, age 51, artistLady with Hot Flashes
Complaints: Menopausal symptoms and spasms in the left side of body. Since the full hysterectomy 3 months ago, after removal of fibroid cysts of 2.5 pounds, she developed unpleasant psychological and physical symptoms. She bursts into tears just with the thought of her child. She has not undergone a hormone replacement therapy. Hot flashes are four times during the day. She wakes up every morning at 6am with a hot flash and mild dampness on skin. She has a gurgling/fluttering sensation in the upper left chest. She has painful muscle contraction in the left arm and left leg.  

Treatment process: After the first treatment, the uncontrollable tearing of the eyes immediately ceased. On the second visit, the patient reported no more tearing. The left side chest gurgling, arm pain, leg pains were less by 50%.  After 7 acupuncture sessions in 4 weeks, the patient reported overall improvement of 90%.

Discussion: Acupuncture treats subjective and undiagnosed conditions even when the patient’s reports are difficult to objectively verify.

Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.

Dr. Lee’s Case Study #27: Foot and Pelvic Pain

Patient: Female, age 33Pelvic Pain

Complaints: As an avid athlete and trainer, she broke her right pelvis and right foot on two separate occasions. There was also tearing of the right upper leg sartorius and rectus femoris muscles 4 years ago.

Treatment process: The patient came in twice a week for acupuncture treatments. The patient left for an international trip after 4 treatments within a 10-day period. On the 4th visit, the patient reported no pain in the leg and foot even with long airplane flights and much walking. But as soon as she arrived back home, she developed a pelvic floor inflammation. Same acupuncture treatments on the 5th and 6th visits did not relieve the pain but worsened. But the leg and foot pain were still better. On the 7th visit, a different acupuncture point combination was administered. Within 30 minutes, the patient noticed a significant reduction of 50% of pain.

Discussion: It is important to keep an open mind to other options that may have even better result. We should not be satisfied by the initial relief alone. An assessment of its efficacy over time should be observed to ensure the most optimal treatment.

Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.

Dr. Lee’s Case Study #26: Shoulder Adhesive Capsulitis

Patient: Female, age 47shutterstock_129509480

Complaints: Adhesive capsulitis in the right shoulder. The pain began 2½ months ago. She cannot sleep on her right side. Therapy helped to increase the range of motion but the pain was persistent.

Treatment Process: There was no significant improvement with the first two visits although some pain was temporarily relieved. Since the third visit, using a different acupuncture point combination, the patient began to notice dramatic improvement in intensity, frequency, and duration. The recovery was clearly noticeable on a weekly basis. The patient was able to sleep on her right side after the third visit.

Discussion: She is an artist by trade, using her arms most of the day. Without interrupting her daily work schedule with rest, her pain gradually lessened and the range of motion further increased.

Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.

Dr. Lee’s Case Study #25: Cervicalgia with Radiculitis

shutterstock_128576078Patient: Female, age 65, retired

Complaints: X-ray showed bone spurs impinging on a nerve at cervical vertebrae C6 causing neck stiffness and radiating nerve pain down the left arm into the hand. The symptoms began 5 months ago after waking up with a stiff neck. Prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and therapy temporarily helped but the symptoms were increasingly persistent and frequent.

Treatment Process: The patient came in twice a week for acupuncture treatment. On the second visit, three days later, the patient reported immediate and significant reduction of left arm nerve pain. The improved state was maintained but the pain had significantly increased after the third visit. A different acupuncture point combination was administered. The patient had incremental and consistent improvement in the next 6 visits with 97% improvement overall in frequency, duration, and intensity of the symptoms.

Discussion: Some patients notice significant improvement compared to prescription medications even with less optimal acupuncture points. It is a healthcare provider’s job to continually look for better treatments, especially when the pain comes back prematurely. In this case, the second option was better than the first, allowing the patient to achieve a level of improvement where she can complete her normal daily activities.


Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.

Dr. Lee’s Case Study #23: Cervical Herniated Discs

Neck PainPatient: Female, age 51

Complaints: Cervical herniated discs at C5-T1 with nerve impingement causing radiculitis down the left shoulder, arm, and hand.  Much physical activity at home two months ago caused left side neck pain and nerve pain radiating down to left hand. The pain was so severe that it mimicked heart attack symptoms. MRI shows 3 minor herniated discs. There is a recurrence of pins and needles in the left arm and hand at half hour intervals followed by brief numbness. 

Treatment process: On the first day of treatment, the patient was given an acupuncture treatment and acupressure devices were placed on the same points. The patient was instructed to leave them on for at least 8 hours. On the second visit 3 days later, the patient reported less intensity and less frequency of sensation of pins and needles at 1-2 hour intervals. On the third visit, another 3 days later, the patient reported even more reduction of intensity and frequency of pain. On the fourth visit, the patient reported an overall improvement by 50-60% in frequency, intensity, and duration.

Discussion: The patient came in for acupuncture treatments after trying the obvious medical routes. Acupuncture is a viable option in addition to many medical choices.  

Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.

Dr. Lee’s Case Studies #3, #4, and #5


Below are three patient cases, detailing pre-menopausal anxiety, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and chemotherapy side effects. The intention of sharing these cases is to increase awareness within the local community about the benefits of acupuncture.


Patient #3: Female, age 46, homemakershutterstock_130152032

Chief complaint: Pre-menopausal anxiety and migraine.

Complaints: The patient recently had a uterine ablation for excessive and frequent periods occurring every other week. She was experiencing fatigue and emotional depression,  possibly from excessive bleeding and hormonal imbalance. Severe anxiety began two months ago. She also complained of her habit of biting nails under stress. Migraine headaches began 6 days ago. Mild hay fever symptoms throughout year, increased during spring season.

Treatment progress: The first visit immediately reduced anxiety and the patient was able to sleep better for the next 3 evenings. The patient came in twice a week in the first 5 weeks and then once a week. Each acupuncture treatment gradually decreased the anxiety, sinusitis, migraine, and biting of nails. She was able to do a strenuous work out with sustained energy and less muscle aches afterwards. After the 7th visit, her period came without the usual intense anxiety. Anxiety was minimal or absent in the following two periods. The patient came back 7 months later with a stress headache and anxiety related to a law suit. She reported an immediate elimination of both sharp forehead pain and anxiety at the following visit 4 days later.

Discussion: In addition to pre-menopause, the patient was going through stress of dealing with personal matters. With acupuncture, she was able to confidently deal with stressful situations without her mind and body over-reacting. Also, interim issues such as cold/flu and leg injury from a work out were successfully addressed.


Patient #4: Male, age 15, studentTripping Guy

Chief complaint: POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)

Complaints: Dizzy spells daily, especially on turning of head and getting up from sitting position. Hay fever, necessitating regular allergy shots. Frequent stomach cramps and diarrhea. Low appetite and tendency to skip meals.

Treatment progress: From the first visit, the patient noticed lessening of POTS symptoms in intensity, frequency, and duration. After 10 acupuncture sessions, the daily occurrence of dizzy spells had reduced to two to three episodes per week, lasting only 1-3 seconds at a time. By the 20th acupuncture session, POTS symptoms were mostly gone. He was able to participate in strenuous sports activities with his peers at a 4-day long camp. Other symptoms related to hay fever and indigestion were also much better. With Chinese herbs, his appetite and digestion improved. He often asked for extra servings, which was rare in the past.

Discussion: Acupuncture relieved most POTS symptoms, which encouraged the patient to follow through with dietary and acupuncture regimen. He performed better at school and was physically able to catch up with peers. The hay fever, tearing of eyes, and swelling of face since age 3 were successfully addressed. Intolerant foods, which caused cramps and discomfort in the digestive system, were identified. Now he feels he is close to putting all these issues behind and able to go forward.


Patient #5Bald Lady

Below is a personal statement from the patient, who was mentioned in the last newsletter, with side effects from chemotherapy. Although English is her second language, her words were not edited to preserve integrity of her statements.

“When I had the second chemotherapy I began to see Dr. Lee. I had many side effects: headache, bone pain, chest pain, heart beated very fast and difficulty sleeping etc. Dr. Lee only used a fewer acupuncture needles on several acupuncture points, this is totally different experience compared which I had before during my 20 years. I felt more comfortable than before during the treatment. The second day I felt that I was getting better than before, everything was improve. I had more energy and less pain. I had regular the treatment twice a week and drunk the herbs every day. I am very appreciative Dr. Lee of his professional skill and patience. When I had the sixth chemotherapy I found I only had the stomach ache side effect and didn’t need to take many medicine to kill pain and uncomfortable feeling.”

Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.




David Lee

Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine

Licensed Acupuncturist


Click here to schedule an appointment online.

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Dr. Lee’s Case Studies #1 and #2


Below are two patient cases detailing the treatment of side effects from chemotherapy and musculo-skeletal injuries. The intention of sharing these cases is to increase awareness within the local community about the benefits of acupuncture.


UntitledPatient #1: Female, Age 48, homemaker

Chief complaint: Chemotherapy side effects

Complaints: The patient was experiencing side effects from chemotherapy. Her treatments were scheduled every three weeks for a total of six sessions. In addition to this treatment, she also had a left breast mastectomy. The side effects of chemotherapy were numbness in the hands and feet, aching throughout the body, twitching of the lower eyelids, fatigue, tension headaches, discoloration of skin on the limbs, and difficulty sleeping. Unrelated to chemotherapy and possibly from anxiety, the patient also experienced symptoms of heart palpitation and a fast resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute occurring several times a day, necessitating an electronic monitor placed on her chest for data collection. In relation to this condition, the patient experienced a sensation of arterial throbbing in the head and a sound of arterial pulsing in the ears.

Treatment Process: The patient began acupuncture treatments twice a week after her second chemotherapy. From the first visit, the patient immediately noticed significant improvement of the symptoms and an increased sense of well-being. By the fourth visit, most of the symptoms were gone until the next chemotherapy. Although each succeeding chemotherapy brought on pain and discomfort for several days, acupuncture quickly eliminated significant portions of the side effects. Some symptoms such as palpitations and fast heart rate were practically gone after the initial 6 visits. She has had 23 visits so far with one more chemotherapy left.

Discussion: Acupuncture has consistently exhibited its reliability to provide significant improvement with each visit. Not only was it successful in reducing aches and pains, it also promoted healing of the body while the chemotherapy targeted the fighting of cancer. Her stabilization of both red and white blood cell count at or slightly below the normal range objectively reflected the protection of her body globally as a result of acupuncture. Finally, the patient’s anxiety reduced dramatically, allowing her to have better sleep and a higher quality of life.


Untitled1Patient #2: Female, Age 49 physical education school teacher

Chief complaint: Multiple musculo-skeletal injuries

Complaints: Neck pain 8/10 persistent for 6 months with radiating pain down right arm due to a herniated disc in the neck impinging on a nerve. Minimal relief with cortisone shot. Diagnosed with mild osteoarthritis in the right knee and had surgical meniscus repair 3 years ago with current knee pain at 7/10. Plantar fasciitis in both feet for at least 10 years, especially on the right medial foot. Right big toe swelling. Night sweats due to pre-menopause 3-5 evenings a week since 9 months ago.  Cold/flu symptoms. Fracture of left ankle. Broken ankle and pinky due to a fall. Falling from bicycle, injuring hip and sacro-iliac joint.

Treatment Process: The patient was treated for various problems over a 9 year period, totaling 144 acupuncture visits. She came to the clinic twice a week for acupuncture treatments for the first 18 visits, which had eliminated her initial complaints of neck pain with radiation and plantar fasciitis. The right knee pain was much better and she was able to compete in a 10 kilometer run without significant pain afterwards. Another right knee surgery and proper rest had allowed her to be continually active using minimal knee impact sports such as bicycling and swimming. Hot flashes and big toe swelling resolved incrementally over a two year period. With the continuation of bi-weekly acupuncture visits, her aches and pains were minimal except when she had new injuries. When she was injured, her visits were at once or twice a week for several weeks. Such injuries were falling off a bicycle landing on her buttocks resulting in a large contusion, breaking of an ankle due to a fall, tearing of ligaments and tendons in the other ankle due to another fall, pinky finger break, low back pain, hips pain, and cold/flu. Her improvement rate was at least twice as fast as expected.

Discussion: This is a long term patient who decided to utilize acupuncture as part of her medical regimen after seeing significant improvement of previous neck pain and menopausal symptoms. The body type acupuncture was effective in treating problems of a different nature at different periods. With acupuncture, her body only needed to be supported to enhance its job of healing itself. Over a 9 year period, her various musculo-skeletal injuries had recovered fast, allowing her to be athletically active.


Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.



David Lee, Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine

Licensed Acupuncturist

166 N. Moorpark Road, #201

Thousand Oaks, CA

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8054976200 Contact/Schedule