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Newsletter Spring 2015


Welcome to the Year of the Sheep. The sheep is the eighth animal in the twelve animal zodiac of the Chinese calendar and it is among the animals that people like most. People born in the Year of Sheep (e.g. 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015) are tender, considerate, clever, kind-hearted, and unconditionally loyal. They are gentle on the outside but tough on the inside. They prefer to work in teams and are not crazy about status and power. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty and they are cautious and deliberate with business matters. For a year of peace and good health, the people of the Year of Sheep should avoid pessimism and hesitation and make use of their wit and organization skills.




We had great participation and good feedback from our Exercise and Meditation classes held last November as well as the recent Feldenkrais classes held in February. In April we will be having another series of 4 weekly meditation classes on Saturdays at 12 p.m. at the Ravenswood Family Health Center. The first two weeks will be in Spanish and the second two weeks will be in English. The classes are close to full and require advance registration, but we will be doing them again soon. Please let us know if you are interested. In March and May, we will have yoga classes, specifically geared to short moves that will help people who work with their bodies. Again these will take place at the Ravenswood Family Health Center, and will be at 12 p.m. on Saturday March 28, May 2, and May 23. They also are almost full but we are planning more soon. Please let us know your interest.



Starting in September, we will have an intern from the Art Therapy Master's Degree program at Notre Dame de Namur University who will be offering free counseling both on an individual basis as well as in groups. If you or your organization would be interested in her services, please let us know because we are scheduling her time. She will be offering her services within East Palo Alto community based organizations. We have included an article on what art therapy is in this newsletter.



HAPPY FOOD is a project intended to teach every interested resident in the extended East Palo Alto community ways to prepare and eat food that is nutritious, tastes good according to one's own preferences, and is fast to prepare. We are starting a pilot project where we will be choosing at least three people (Trainers), one from the African American community, one from the Tongan community and one from the Latino community, who will be trained by experts to teach the interested members of their church congregations a three evening class that will then be used as a model for reaching the larger community. The three parts of the training will form the basis for the three parts of each class: 1. How to choose food that meets nutrition requirements but at the same time is food that is readily available such as from Second Harvest; 2. How to find out and work with the barriers that we create for ourselves that make it harder for us to make healthy choices, and 3. How to provide the food that people like to eat in a way that tastes goods according to the culture of the group, including preparing at least one meal every class. If your organization is interested in having access to this information, please let us know.



It may surprise you to learn that art can be an effective tool in mental health treatment. What could art possibly have to do with psychotherapy? As an expressive medium, art can be used to help clients communicate, overcome stress, and explore different aspects of their own personalities. In psychology, the use of artistic methods to treat psychological disorders and enhance mental health is known as art therapy. Art therapy integrates psychotherapeutic techniques with the creative process to improve mental health and well-being. The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as "a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight."



Domestic violence and abuse (DV) can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. DV does not discriminate: it happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships; it occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. These traumatic experiences are overwhelming and can have both physical and psychological impact on a person's health, oftentimes the effect can be lingering even when imminent danger has been thwarted. Since June, 2012, Herban Health has worked with the Support Network of YWCA Silicon Valley   to provide free weekly acupuncture service to the residents at their Emergency Domestic Violence shelter. At the shelter, the residents have access to various types of services including informational resources, counseling services, legal and victim advocacy provided by professionals. Despite the short-term nature of the residents' stay, HH hopes that the acupuncture sessions can help address some of their physical and emotional health issues.



A lively, energetic woman with short hair and an air of determination - that is our beloved Volunteer Acupuncturist, Li Yang. Graduated from the University of East-West Medicine, Li joined our team almost 4 years ago and has been our mainstay ever since! Li works as a full time computer engineer, and yet she still gets up early every Saturday to work with our patients. She has been dedicated to community and volunteer work even before she became an acupuncturist. She has joined Chi Tzi foundation on a number of trips to the Central Valley and around the Bay Area to work with low income communities and special need children. She will soon be joining a team as an acupuncturist to provide service to refugee camps in Northern Myanmar. In addition to her skills in Chinese medicine, her computer expertise has also been indispensable to HH, particularly with her efforts in updating our Herban Health website. We wish her a rewarding trip in Asia and can't wait for her return to our clinic very soon.



Three of our Herban Health volunteers received training in the EFT tapping technique and have started integrating it into treatment for some of our patients at the Herban Health clinics. Kathryn Ryan L. Ac., who received training from Gary Craig, one of the primary promoters of the EFT technique, generously gave her time to give us an introductory training. It is a technique that relies on the tapping of specific acupuncture points, coupled with an affirmation where one declares "Even though I have this (some emotional or physical impediment), I deeply and completely accept myself. "  There are a number of levels of the technique and its application that Mr. Craig has on his website, but we have been surprised by the effect of the technique. Particularly for those experiencing high anxiety, EFT is another tool in helping people to understand themselves better and to get some relief. Check it out at



Spring is here when you notice more people (or even yourself) having symptoms of seasonal allergies (or hay fever) such as sneezing, itchy eyes, tearing, and runny nose. Over-the-counter medications can help reduce some of these symptoms but they may also cause side effects including drowsiness, headache and occasional loss of appetite. Here are some natural and safe alternatives you can try for allergies relief:

1. Garlic, onion, cayenne pepper are a good source of quercetin which can act as antihistamine. Use them regularly in your diet.

2. Thyme can relieve phlegm production during the onset of spring allergies. You can drink tea made from fresh thyme twice a day.

3. Chamomile tea can relieve itchiness and dryness of the eyes. By placing a cold tea bag for five to 10 minutes, you will feel the immediate effects against allergic reaction.

4. Neti pot (nasal saline irrigation) helps to open clogged nasal passages and flush out pollen/allergens. The key is to use sterile saline solution for irrigation.

5. Last but not least, acupuncture helps relieve swollen nasal passages, strengthen the immune system and thus strengthen the body's defense against spring allergies.


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Herban Health
1765 East Bayshore Road #205
East Palo Alto, California 94303

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