Chinese Acupuncture Testimonials

Here are some patients’ testimonials, in which they openly discuss their own experience in Chinese acupuncture and Chinese medicine. You may contact them for further information. If you have your own experience which you would like to share with others, please contact our center, thank you.

Cancer & Chemotherapy
Male & Female Infertility
Pain Management


I hate needles. I can't help it. I absolutely hate them. Nevertheless, I have been seeing Dr. Ian Lin several years now for my allergies. I get horrendous seasonal allergies. Spring and summer are miserable for me. Medications only give me modest relief and make me loopy.

That all changed when I started acupuncture. I only need one or two treatments a year, at the beginning of the allergy season. Then I am good for the whole year. I don't even need medications anymore. And take it from someone who really hates needles: Dr. Lin is very gentle and skilled. Most of the time, I don't even feel the needles go in! Over the years, he also took care of my chronic neck pain and digestive problems. I am so glad I found him. I recommend him to all my friends. --- Melissa S.

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For 13 long years I, like many other Californians, suffered horribly from seasonal allergies. Only my “season” was not just 3 months long, beginning in April. In fact, it started March 1st, and ran into October! It got so bad in May and June, that I had to give up my favorite form of recreation, as I would be sneezing so badly that I couldn’t see clearly enough to finish a round of golf. So there was some emotional torture, to go along with the physical problems.

I was lucky to get 4-5 hours’ sleep. My performance during the day, for the worst 6 months of the season, was at 70-80%. I was constantly worried about not being able to keep up with my demanding, high-tech job.

I tried all the cures. The antihistamines made me very sleepy while driving, so I couldn’t use them during the day. I tried one expensive prescription medicine, with some success (but never total success). It has since been pulled from the market due to side effects. I was lucky not to have suffered from them. But suddenly it wasn’t available.

I took annual shots of depo-medrol, which block the allergy symptoms effectively for 6 weeks. The doctor would only give 2 shots per year, so I saved them until I was almost dying from frustration: the 3rd week of May, like clockwork. I wasn’t happy taking them, though, as it’s a steroid--and we now know what they can do to us.

In May of 1996, I was in terrible shape. My wife dragged me to an acupuncturist, Dr. Daren Chen, in San Jose. He was educated in China, and taught at Beijing University for years.

I asked “Can you cure allergies?”. He said, “Yes”. I said “For how long?” He said “Forever.” I said “You’re on; let’s give it a try!”

Despite my enthusiastic reply, I frankly didn’t believe him for a minute. Although I had lived in Asia for 12 years, and several American friends had been treated successfully there, and I had seen the TV specials on the subject, I just couldn’t believe acupuncture would work. I did the treatments (1) to humor my wife, and (2) because I was desperate, as I didn’t want to get the steroid shots for the rest of my life. I also didn’t want to move away from the area. These seemed like the only alternatives available to me. So, I tried acupuncture.

Dr. Chen put needles in my legs and arms, and connected some of them to a small battery. After the 3rd treatment, he added one in my chest, and one at the top of my head. None of them hurt, either going in, or with the small electrical signal applied to gently stimulate the nerves. The signal came from the battery only, so there was no chance of injury from a power spike on the main lines.

In fact, that stimulation was so relaxing that I fell comfortably asleep for a half hour.

After the first treatment, my sinuses drained like mad. The day after I felt much better. I went again, 2 days later--same treatment, same results: lots of drainage, then feeling better the next day.

I noticed there was less drainage after each treatment. After 3 visits, I noticed a significant decrease in allergic symptoms. And, I noticed my energy level was up, dramatically. I thought most of that was because I was able to sleep at night.

After 5 visits, the symptoms were almost gone. After 8 visits they were really gone. It was the peak of my season, and I had stopped sneezing, coughing, and draining all night. I went back to golf, and had no problems. My friends all think it was a miracle.

I dropped off to visits once a month, and felt better and better. Finally I asked Dr. Chen “Why does putting needles in my legs and arms fix my lungs and sinuses?”. He said, “I’m not treating your lungs or sinuses; I’m treating your spleen. Your body was out of balance. I’m putting it back in balance, and you are fighting the allergies off, yourself.” I was a little dubious, but I knew better than to doubt him by now. The results spoke for themselves.

In 1997, I went back for treatments in early March, as I was feeling the symptoms again--though much less severe than in years past. After 4 treatments, they disappeared again, not to return for the whole year.

When the flu hits me, I go for 1-2 treatments, and it goes away much faster than ever before.

In march of ‘98, we faced the all-time allergy season. I sneezed a few times only. I went for 4 visits, and felt fine. I have been for 4 more, just to be sure--and besides, I feel great after that nap.

Ask me now, do I believe in acupuncture?! I’m telling everyone I know--especially those friends who have allergy problems. There’s no need to suffer for the rest of your life, or to take dangerous medicines. If you are suffering like I was, I urge you to try acupuncture.

If you’d like to write or email me, care of Dr. Chen, he will forward correspondence to me. I will contact any allergy sufferer personally, to swear to the truth of the above. I know what you are going through, and I think it is a wonderful miracle that I won’t have to. --- KM.

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Cancer & Chemotherapy


by Norman C

May 2000

At the end of July, 1997, I was diagnosed as having cancer of the islet cells of my pancreas. I was told that the cancer had spread to my liver and spleen and possibly to more organs and was inoperable and incurable. The only treatment that was possible was chemotherapy. I was fortunate in that the cancer that I have is relatively slow growing and can have periods of little or no growth. Since I was having few symptoms at the time, my oncologist recommended that we wait for a few weeks and repeat the CT Scan that was used for the original diagnosis. If there was no growth after that time, we could wait a while longer to begin treatment. Apparently, the chemotherapy could be worse than the cancer and by waiting I could still live a relatively normal life for a while longer.

While waiting, my wife and I began to learn as much as possible about my type of cancer and the possible treatments. The more that I learned, the more that I began to dread the time when I would start the chemotherapy treatments. Some of the drugs are pretty nasty. We also looked into alternative treatments. I was told that only about 40% of cancer patients respond to chemotherapy. If that was all that I could expect then I wanted to increase the odds by trying other alternatives. Most of the alternatives that we found were focused on repairing the immune system. We found some books by cancer survivors and they described various regimens which usually had the effect of helping out the immune system. They also described various forms of meditation and visualization which were an important part of their therapy. While we were beginning to change my diet and parts of my lifestyle, my son asked whether we had investigated acupuncture. We thought, “why not?” Upon the recommendation of a friend, I made an appointment with Dr. DaRen Chen.

On my first visit with Dr. Chen, we brought the diagnosis and x-ray films for him to see. He recommended starting acupuncture immediately, even though I would not be starting chemotherapy for a while. That would allow my body to gain strength and would make it easier to get through the chemotherapy. I started acupuncture treatments three times a week and began to take the Chinese herbs that Dr. Chen recommended. This was approximately six weeks before I eventually started chemotherapy. I started right off using the time during my treatment to meditate and to visualize the cancer going away. I would come out from the treatments feeling very relaxed and I believe that the acupuncture did work to get me ready for chemotherapy.

Eight weeks after my diagnosis of cancer and six weeks after starting acupuncture, I had another CT Scan. This one showed that there was continued growth in my cancer. I started chemotherapy the next Monday. Most people loose their hair after two weeks of the drugs that I was getting. I lasted about four weeks before I gave up and shaved my head. Most people become nauseous and miss work or change their daily routine because of the chemotherapy. I started a new job. While at the oncologist’s office getting treatment I hear other cancer patients say how they can’t eat anything but donuts or sweets while they are getting treatment. I do have to be careful to avoid some foods that I now find unappetizing, but I have continued to eat well and have even gained weight. I see some cancer patients who can barely walk after their chemotherapy treatments but I continue to feel as strong as usual and can go back to work. What am I doing right? I suspect that it is a combination of things, an important part of which is the acupuncture. The acupuncture is keeping me from feeling weak and nauseous, providing the strength that I need to live a mostly normal life.

After starting chemotherapy, Dr. Chen had me cut back to only two treatments a week. I have now been taking chemotherapy for about six months and am getting acupuncture treatments once or twice a week. The latest CT Scan showed some reduction in the size of my cancer but I will be on chemotherapy indefinitely and plan to stay on acupuncture the whole time.

I had asked my oncologist his opinion about various food supplements and about acupuncture. He acknowledged that there was some evidence that there was value in acupuncture for reducing nausea and other side effects of chemotherapy, but stopped short of recommending it. He had no opinion of various supplements except that Chinese green tea also might be of value. He did caution against trying any of the off-shore miracle cures. Since then, the AMA has made a positive statement about the therapeutic effects of acupuncture for, among other things, relief from the effects of chemotherapy. I hope my insurance company is watching. --NC

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Acupuncture Helped Me Get Through Chemotherapy

Heidi Young

Acupucnture protected me from the side=effects of chemotherapy.

ACM Health Center Note: Heidi is a Chinese female in her fifties, has been suffering from breast cancer for five years and had undergone chemotherapy. But the strong chemical agent seriously damaged her bone marrows and her white cells count has been very low, sometimes to the point that she cannot continue treatment because of this.

Under the referral of her friend, this patient decided to try acupuncture to overcome this severe side effect of chemotherapy. As a result, acupuncture has dramatically changed her blood pictures. With the integration of acupuncture treatment, patient has successfully completed her entire chemotherapy program.

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Male and Female Infertility

acupuncture and infertility


by Deborah Mokris


Little is written or known about Acupuncture in connection with Fertility in the U.S. No one I have talked to ever heard of such a thing. No one in the western medicine field ever recommends Acupuncture to patients with low sperm counts. I could not find any formal studies published in the U.S. on the topic. However, from my husband’s and my own experience, it’s an effective, safe, natural, cost efficient and virtually painless, method of treatment for infertility.

I was 32 years old when I married Pete, who was 37. We were in love and wanted to have children together. We waited one year after the wedding before we terminated the use of contraceptives. Six months passed. In came the boxer shorts. Out went the Jacuzzi’s. After one year, no baby.

The testing began and I tested normal. Pete’s sperm count was 4 million with low motility for approximately one million motile sperm. One doctor told us we had better start thinking of adoption if we wanted children, but we were not to be discouraged. After all, it only takes one healthy sperm to make a baby.

Over the next two years I took my temperature and we planned intercourse around ovulation. Pete sat on ice to cool his testicles. We tried zucchini flour pollen, vitamin C, standing on my head after lovemaking, and every old-wives tale we came across. We tried Chinese herbal tea. Pete’s sperm count and motility remained low—about 7 million to 14 million motile sperm. We did intrauterine insemination twice. Our hopes rose and fell as the negative results persisted. I began to notice my temperature was not as stable as it was the first year. At that point, we filled out the necessary papers for adoption.

On a whim, we called an acupuncturist who practices in the Fremont and San Jose, California, area, Dr. Daren Chen. We thought we might try the Chinese herbal tea again, but Dr. Chen recommended that Pete try acupuncture first, and Pete complied. After two months of treatment, we had another semen analysis done. The sperm count had skyrocketed to 117 million with a 65% motility! We went for one more intrauterine insemination and again it was unsuccessful. It was then I decided to try acupuncture. Within three weeks of treatment, I conceived.

Our baby is due the first week of March, and we are thrilled beyond belief. We are at least the fifth couple treated by Dr. Chen who has become pregnant, and we are convinced that the acupuncture treatments were instrumental in increasing our fertility. We are very grateful to Dr. Chen for enabling us to experience this miracle of life. For other couples who are struggling with infertility as well, acupuncture presents another option.

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Acupuncture Improved Sperm Count

Mr. P.R., San Jose

We are so happy for our new baby boy!

ACM Health Center Note: This patient is in his early thirties, has been married for three years and actively tried to have a baby but failed. Urologist’s examination had found out that his sperm count and mobility were insufficient. After year long conventional medical treatments, including some surgical interventions, the condition remain unchanged. He decided to come to ACM Health Center to try acupuncture. After six months of acupuncture treatments, his sperm count dramatically increased, from 0.8 million to 3.7 million, and then 13 millions. The couple eventually have a healthy baby boy in November 2002.

Patient’s sperm analysis proved noticeable improvements and allowed for a successful pregnancy.

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Pain Management

Back Pain

Wow! Just Wow! Three years my back has been bothering me. Doctors say I have sciatica. The pain is terrible. I had physical therapy, chiropractic, cortisone shots. Nothing worked. I was at the end of my rope. Then a friend suggested this place. The doctors there fixed his tennis elbow. So I thought, what the hell, might as well try it.

The first meeting went well. The doctor is a MD as well as an acupuncturist. He explained my condition and what he can do. He was very calm and easy going. He told me I don't have to decide right away, I should go home and think about it and gave me some material to read. He didn't charge me for the first meeting.

So, after some thought, I decided to try it. After the first treatment, my pain was 30% reduced. After three visits, it was 50% better. Ten visits later, I am pain free. Why did I wait so long to try it?? --- George L.

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Acupuncture Saved My Voice


I am a singer, actress and storyteller. My voice is the most important tool that I use for my work. Without my voice ... well I am not sure I would have much of a career.

On the morning of Sunday Sept.29, 1996 I woke up and began my day as if it were all other days. While I was doing the breakfast dishes I noticed my voice seemed a little odd but assumed it was a momentary thing, or a cold coming on. A little while later my 5 year old daughter began to sing a very simple song. I joined in with her and discovered that I could not sing. On the piano I saw that I could sing only about as high as the C above Middle C. (under normal conditions I am a High Soprano) Above that, it felt as if my vocal chords lust became paralyzed. It felt as if nothing was moving. No sound came out. I also realized I had no ability to project my voice at all. All I could do was talk within a few notes. I could not even raise the pitch of my speaking voice very much at all. Like I said, nothing above about a C.

I went to my internist. She in turn sent me to an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor who said: "It appears to be a weakness in your vocal chord. See a neurologist."

I went to a neurologist. He found nothing that could lead him to believe it was neurologically induced.

I went to see ANOTHER ENT doctor for a second opinion. He took videos of my vocal chords. He also said see a neurologist. I told him I had already. He and the neurologist spoke. Same story. So now this ENT decided it must be something called REFLUX. That is, gastric juices coming back up and harming my vocal chords.

Yes I did have reflux. I knew this. Ever since the birth of my 2nd child I'd had it. But how come this loss of voice came on so suddenly! Why had there not been any other signs of it... if it was reflux?

Well I was put onto medication for Reflux. I did all the suggested remedies for reflux. Amazingly.... The reflux got WORSE! And my voice still was non-existent.

About 3 weeks after I lost my voice I decided to try something I had only heard of - acupuncture. What did I have to lose, was my feeling.

A close friend recommended Dr. DaRen Chen. She was a storyteller herself and had been seeing him for a variety of things.

The first thing that I became aware of was that only 2 days after my first treatment my energy level suddenly increased amazingly. I had been fairly depressed I realized. And although the depression did not completely vanish ... suddenly people I knew were making comments to me about how much happier I suddenly seemed. And I was.

A week after my first treatment I returned to my piano and checked my voice again as I did every week or so. I was able to now get to A! I was very pleased even with this small amount of progress.

I was doing treatment now 2-3 times a week. Each week I checked my voice and found another 1 or 2 notes had returned. During the first few weeks of this I was still on the reflux medication and feeling worse on it than I had felt without it. Dr. Chen mentioned that he could help my reflux condition. So I decided to take myself off the medication. I started to feel better, but I still had bouts with reflux.

By the end of November a great deal of my voice had returned. I felt so good that I decided to perform a short 10 minute storysong for my daughter's class. I had a great time... but by the end of the story my voice felt horrible and by the next day I had lost almost all that I had gained.

I called my ENT and told him. He said 'Maybe you're getting a cold.'

I told Dr. Chen. He looked at me, shook his head and said: "A 10 minute story? You are not ready to do something like that yet."

I thought to myself. Obviously Dr. Chen is right ... why didn't my University trained, AMA doctor see that?!

Despite my desire to perform ... I held myself back and continued to give it a rest. I vocalized gently every few days.

By the end of December most of my voice had returned, and my reflux was almost non-existent! I was as pleased and startled as anyone. I must admit I still was not certain if the acupuncture REALLY had had anything to do with it at all though.

So in January I went to see a 'famous' Otolaryngologist in San Francisco. He is known for treating President Clinton, Luciano Pavarotti among others. I decided I needed to see the best as well. I spent an hour and half with him.

He reviewed the video that had been done in October, and he did his own as well. What we saw was that my right vocal chord did indeed appear to be very weak. I describe it as looking like a 'couch potato'. It's not all pulled up and taut like it ought to be. The weakness that was present in October was in fact still present in January.

So how did my voice come back?

This doctor explained to me that he thinks it is in fact a neurological problem between my brain and my right vocal chord. But it is so minor that a neurologist could not pick up on it through the routine office check. The reason my voice had come back, he felt, was because I was a professionally trained singer. My body and my brain know what it needs to do to produce sounds and therefore my brain has been REWIRING itself to accomplish this task. He felt that all my recovery had been done by me, myself and I. And as for the idea that reflux could have been a cause, he said 'Absolutely not.'

Upon hearing that my brain had been 'rewiring' itself I suddenly remembered that a week after beginning acupuncture my voice had begun to return. I also remembered that acupuncture is based on meridians that run through your body. I personally am convinced that the acupuncture treatments opened up blocked pathways that then allowed my body to heal itself in the best possible way that it could.

As I write this it is the end of April, 1997, exactly 7 months since I lost my voice. I would say that I have 97% of my voice back. All the notes to my range have returned, and I have full projection again. I can call across a noisy room and be heard. I began performing about three months ago. Very slowly at first ... but I have just finished 4 days of performances and do not even feel a weariness in my voice as I had been feeling in January.

I am very grateful for my open-mindedness to seek acupuncture. I am very grateful to Dr. Chen for not pooh-poohing my problem and giving me some bogus education, but rather really trying to find the cause.

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This place is fantastic. It's part of several offices around the Bay Area owned by an extended Chinese family of doctors, with the older generation educated in China and their sons (and daughter-in-law) educated in the west. One of the younger doctors is a chiropractor while the one who treats me, Dr. Ian, is an MD, educated at Tufts.

Ian is fairly young, in his 30s, but when you are raised in a family of acupuncturists it becomes as instinctual as breathing. He needs all of two minutes to diagnose me at most. Every now and then I'll notice he looks me up and down with his eyes slightly defocused, making me wonder just what the heck he's seeing.

I initially went for a bad shoulder injury, which cleared up after two treatments. I've had other problems treated and they are all clearing up with great rapidity. I don't know the other doctors in this practice but as long as I live here I will seek treatment from Ian. --- Andy P.

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