Asthma: Your Need To Know!

Dr. Brian Grosam
Definition: Asthma affects approximately 25+ million Americans today. It’s a pulmonary disorder characterized by wheezing and dyspnea due to obstruction and inflammation of the airways. Asthma may be triggered by allergy, exertion, irritant particles, weather, psychological stress, etc.
Etiology: There are many causes of asthma. Allergens such as pollens, smoke, molds, house dust and animal hair may trigger an asthma attack. Asthma may also be induced by non-allergy related factors such as exertion, cold air, stress, anxiety, crying, hearty laughing, and viral infection. Common morbidity associated with asthma includes sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, gastroesophageal reflux, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and hyperthyroidism.

Clinical Manifestations: In an asthma attack, there will be a combination of spasm of the bronchi, inflammation of the airways, and increased mucous secretion. In mild to moderate cases, the patients will experience shortness of breath, wheezing, hyperpnea, and use of accessory muscles (such as neck and chest muscles) to facilitate breathing. Anxiety and sweating are commonly seen in asthmatics as they struggle for air. In severe cases, the patients will experience marked respiratory distress, cyanosis, use of accessory muscles, wheezes, lethargy and possibly confusion. Patients with severe asthma may not have any wheezing, as there is very little air moving in and out of the lungs.

Diagnosis: Asthma is diagnosed based on the characteristic episodes of wheezing, coughing, dyspnea or chest tightness interspersed with asymptomatic intervals. Objective confirmation is made with repeated spirometry tests performed over symptomatic and asymptomatic periods. Spirometry is a device that measures the breathing capacity of the lungs and is helpful in making the diagnosis, assessing the severity of the illness, and monitoring the effectiveness of the treatment. If the asthma is allergy-induced, identification of the allergen is very important. Skin […]

How Well Do You Sleep?

The key to better night’s sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and full of energy is easily remedied!!!
A conservative average of 15-20% of the population suffers from problematic sleeping. It is commonly recommended for adults to get 7-8 hours of sleep to maintain health, live happier, perform well, and feel great. Less sleep gives rise to a weakened immune system, fatigue, and a less fulfilling life. Sleep problems and irregularities over time can lead to more problematic and possible severe concerns such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, cancer, and a reduced quality of life and productivity.
At this event you will learn more about your sleep routine, the make up of good sleep habits, and simple ways to improve your sleep. Whether you have challenges falling asleep, staying asleep, chronic waking during the night, or early waking – you will get tips to help you immediately!
Some of what you’ll learn:

How stress from both your professional and personal life can affect your sleep.

Easy exercises to calm your mind by regulating brain chemistry and the nervous system.

The home environment: How it can affect your rest.

Hormones balance & sleep – OH BOY!

How digestion and eating habits are linked to your sleep.

Simple tips for winding down at night.

And what therapies can and will bring your sleep back on track!

Only 10 SEATS Available!!!
Reserve your spot now and take action to feel your VERY BEST.  Register Here! Or call Sun Acupuncture at: 952.935.0600!

Your Speakers:

Dr. Brian Grosam has his PhD in Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. He is a professor at the American Academy of Oriental Medicine and serves on the Minnesota Board of Acupuncture. He is an expert in treating menopause and lectures around the world on his research. Dr. Brian Grosam is a member of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive […]

Better Sleep!

Let’s face it, sleep is what most of us enjoy and look forward to after a day of hard work. Curling up in a comfortable bed and sleeping is a daily ritual. Everyone needs quality sleep too, not only because it is amazing, but also it is beneficial for our overall physical and emotional health. So when we cannot fall asleep easily, or we are waking at night, or simply waking early without getting enough sleep, these patterns over time will influence our wellbeing.
Many of you who’ve been in to our clinic know I will always ask you about your sleep, whether you are having trouble in any of the abovementioned categories. In Chinese medicine, we look for the root cause of our health issues and often times there is a simple solution. Our example here is sleep: Why are you not sleeping well? Stress, overthinking, working long hours, digestion, exercise routine or lack thereof, diet, and so on, are the first places to look for the disharmony and can often be remedied in a short period of time.
You may be wondering, “but what about more complex issues, such as hormone imbalances, women’s issues, disease, pharmaceuticals, acute or chronic pain, or other long standing problems?” Insomnia and trouble sleeping caused by these issues, although seemingly more complex, are still treatable.
The treatment of sleep issues is not difficult, but does take some time for some people. Trust me though we can help you. The use of acupuncture can help on many levels. It will retrain your brain and regulate neurochemicals, relax the body and muscles, and overall balance all of the body systems. Separate or in conjunction with acupuncture, herbal formulas too, help support the […]

The Insomnia Cure?

I’ve been treating a LOT of insomnia cases over the past several years. I have had excellent results with acupuncture. People having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or not able to sleep at all, in MOST cases, are now sleeping very well and without difficulty.
However, there are some people who do not want acupuncture. In these cases, herbal formulas are best. It’s more than merely taking a single herb or product such as melatonin, which helps only temporarily in many situations. We need to use a well designed, but simple, formula that is almost 2,ooo years old.
Gan Mai Da Zao Tang is a classic formula from the “Essentials from the Golden Cabinet,” a classic Chinese medicine herbal prescription text. It has only 3 herbs in its formula: Wheat, jujube, and licorice. This doesn’t mean that one can stop down at their local market and whip it together. The essence and sprit of Chinese herbal medicine is in the use of specific parts of each botanical supply, in the measurements, and in the preparation. Nowadays, we can simply buy the formula already made and in pill form, so don’t worry!
The formula is used for many common symptoms including:
Restless or Difficulty Falling Sleep
Frequent Yawning
Disorientation & Neurosis
We have many patients who have chosen the herbal formula route to treat their sleep and with great results! We do recommend an herbal consult first, so we can rule out other possible problems causing insomnia that may be treated better with another herbal formula or therapy, including diet, exercise and stress management.
Here is a complete guide as to how the formula works based on Chinese medicine:
Gan Mai Da Zao Tang
Licorice, wheat, & Jujube Decoction
Actions: Nourish heart, calm spirit & harmonize the […]

Treating PCOS with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common ovulatory disorder we see in the clinic. Although sometimes multifaceted and complex, it is oftentimes easily treatable with the acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas.

PCOS is a diagnosis made in the clinic based on manifestations. A woman with at least two of the following symptoms meets the diagnosis: 1.) Ultrasound showing polycystic ovary morphology; 2.) Infrequent, irregular or no ovulation, cycles longer than 35 days, or fewer than 9 periods per year; 3.) Hirsutism or unwanted hair growth, acne, male pattern hair loss, or high androgen levels from blood tests.

In the clinic, it is very important to look at many aspects of PCOS to gain a better understanding of the individual and to tailor proper treatment, including: Genetics, epigenetics, uterine and early life factors, androgens and folliculogenesis, insulin resistance, stress, age, and metabolism.

Your Western medicine practitioner will treat PCOS from these few common angles, including: Weight loss, oral contraception, metformin, clomid, gonadotrophins, statins, or surgery. Different approaches will be taken based on the individual and what the health goals are, for instance: regulating the period, fertility based, or if there are more serious health risks.

In Chinese medicine, our treatments are focused on a holistic approach. From a full intake and based on past and present symptoms, we treat PCOS from a variety of angles to help regulate the menstrual cycle and promote healthy ovulation. The main goal is to eliminate the cause of cyst formation, promote healthy egg growth and ovulation, promote healthy blood flow for a regulated period, while at the same time, reducing stress, and strengthening the metabolism.

Whether you are in the category of PCOS with weight gain, or the category of PCOS without weight gain, if you have irregular periods, […]

Stop Acid Reflux and Heartburn for Good

Pinellia Decoction to Drain the Epigastrium
Problems with chronic acid reflux and heartburn? You’ve tried modifying your diet and still have problems? Cannot seem to be able to quite over the counter medications to help the problem?

The answer is in this formula: Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang! It is a classical Chinese herbal formula to help treat heartburn and acid reflux. It works so well with so many patients, that many are able to stop OTC medications all together and even add some of their favorite foods back into their diet.

Below is how it works based on Chinese Medicine. It may not make sense at all to you, but once you try the formula you will see the difference.

Actions: Harmonize the stomach to lower rising Qi, open the stagnancy & dissipate obstruction.

Indications: Disharmony of stomach Qi. *Due to cold/heat complex or improper purging of half interior, half exterior pattern with stomach deficiency. (Purging aggravates the stomach deficiency to cause pathogen to go deeper).

Herbs in Formula:

Ban Xia 9g (monarch): Pungent & bitter enter stomach channel, disperse clumps, stops nausea, vomiting or heartburn & eliminates focal distention.

Gan Jiang 6g (adjuvant): Pungent & warm expel cold.

Huang Qin 6g (adjuvant): Bitter & cold drain heat.

Huang Lian 3g (adjuvant): Bitter & cold drain heat.

Ren Shen 6g (assistant): Benefit the middle jiao & prevent the dispersing action of other herbs to injure normal Qi. Helps Ban Xia to stop vomiting.

Da Zao 4 pieces (assistant): Same as Ren Shen.

Zhi Gan Cao 6g (guiding): Help tonify middle Qi & harmonize herbs.


*Focal distention: A localized sensation of discomfort, blockage & distension.

*Clumping in the epigastrium: Produce a sensation of fullness. Soft, no mass or hardness.

*Slight pain or no pain.

*Cold-heat complex:

Excess & deficiency brought by clumping & […]

Your Monthly Health and Wellness News


Prenatal Vitamins

Besides a sound, well-balanced, and clean diet, proper exercise, rest, and mind/body balance, vitamins are a necessary requirement for women wishing to conceive and who are already pregnant.

Optimal intake of: Zinc, selenium, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine, calcium, chromium, boron, vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, folic acid, and essential fatty acids are essential.

Most OTC prenatal vitamins have these essential components, however, choosing the best one for you can be overwhelming. I suggest visiting a local co-op or natural food store to purchase vitamins in general. The quality and manufacturing can be more trustworthy. The downfall is they may be more expensive, but it’s good to spend for quality when it comes to healthy babies.

The three main prenatal vitamin lines sold in our area are: Rainbow Light, New Chapter, and Garden of Life Vitamin Code. Within these lines they do have sub-brands or specialty brands of prenatal vitamins. We cannot discuss all of the subtleties here today.

Here are four important factors to consider:

Are you looking for any of the following: Untreated and unadulterated, organic, 100% natural, free of preservative & additives, fillers, binders, colors, flavors, and sweeteners, and free of gluten, soy, dairy/lactose, yeast, eggs, nuts, fish or shellfish or 100% vegetarian.

What additional components are you seeking? Many prenatal vitamin lines include many helpful herbs and supplements to their formulas including: Antioxidants, enzymes, fruits, vegetables, and other western and eastern medicinal herbal products.

Manufacturing Practices: Purity, certified organic, allergen free, high packaging standards.

How well does your body handles the vitamins? If your digestion becomes disrupted from prenatal vitamins, including gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea or morning sickness, you can try taking them on a full stomach, try a different time of day, or switch brands. You should […]

Acupuncture in Minnesota

The latest Minnesota Physician Magazine has a great article about the use of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic pain and its utilization in integrative care. Use this link and you can read it on pages 26-27.

Treatment Plans

Here is our brochure explaining the typical acupuncture treatment plans.