Autoimmune Talk (AIM)

I gave a talk at the Colorado Counseling Association about autoimmune diseases. I wrote and presented the talk with my colleague, Katie Mason. It was a wonderful experience. 


Katie and I collaborate with nutritionist, Robin Hutchinson on a program designed specifically for people diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. The program called, AIM Autoimmune Mastery can be found at: 

I am developing a CEU webinar about autoimmune diseases for acupuncturists. I will have more information about the webinar in the next few weeks. 

Katie, Robin and I are doing presentations at a variety of locations about this work. If you know a group or organization that would be interested in having us speak, let me know! 

☯ Two Rules of Thumb to Remember When Locating Sacral Foramen

Finding the points located in the sacral foramen (UB 31- 34) can be challenging. When I began studying acupuncture I found locating these points maddening. Because of my experience I spend a lot of time working with students to help them demystify these important points.    

To locate these spaces one needs to palpate through layers of tissue. The foramen feel like soft depressions or "holes" in the bone. The trick to remember is the holes are not similar from one to the next. 

Two good rules of thumb to remember are: 

  1. They are not perfectly evenly spaced. Some are close together and others are further away. 
  2. The size of the foramen change from one to another. 

It is good the remember that the foramen are not equally sized and equally spaced. The size and space can vary considerably. Remembering the likelihood of the size and spacing varying will make finding and needling these points much easier. 

☯ My Favorite Email Tool (Great for Acupuncture Practices)

Writing and answering email is part of running a successful acupuncture practice. It can be overwhelming and maddening at times. There are amazing tools out there which can make the whole process much easier and effective.

One of my favorite tools is Boomerang for Gmail. I think everyone should know about it. I want to share how useful this tool is with other practitioners. 

Boomerang is an add-on for gmail which offers a number of powerful functions. These features can give working acupuncturist invaluable tools for practice management. 

Scheduling Email 

Boomerang adds an extra button when composing email titled, “Send Later”

This button gives you the option to send email in the future. You can choose the day and time the email is sent. 

Scheduling email is powerful and can be used to: 

  • Check in on a client after a scheduled medical test
  • Remind a client when an herbal product will need refilling
  • Wish happy birthday or congratulations on a graduation 



No Reply - Boomerang it!

One of the most challenging things to track is email conversations in which there is no reply. It is easy lose track of critical conversations with clients, vendors, or networking opportunities when the other party does not reply when you expect. 

Boomerang offers a simple check box to solve this problem. Composing any email and marking it to be “Boomeranged” - returns the email to your inbox if there is no response in a given time. The email returns to your inbox reminding you of the unfinished conversation.

I have found this simple reminder of unfinished conversations incredibly helpful. It has reminded me of countless details and conversations I otherwise would have lost track of in the course of a busy day.


Clean Your Inbox with Reminder Email

Boomerang also offers the feature to take an existing email in your inbox, remove it, and resend it to yourself at time you specify. This acts as a reminder and gets the clutter out of your inbox. 

The most obvious use of this feature is with bills. You can receive a bill due on the 30th of the month and have it resent to yourself a few days before it needs to be paid. However I use it in my practice to remind me of conversations and recent happenings with clients. 

If a client emails me saying, “I have to reschedule because I was invited to meet the governor at the art museum.” I can resend this email to myself the day of the new appointment – reminding me to ask about meeting the governor. 



I have been using Boomerang for years now. It is simply invaluable.

The website makes it super easy to set up in your browser. They also offer YouTube videos explaining how to use each function.

There is a free version of Boomerang and a tiered pricing for more expanded service.

Given that you can try it for free, check it out. 

☯ One Trick to Counting Spinal Vertebra

One of the frustrating aspects of point location is counting the vertebrae. We need to do this when locating the Back Shu points or the Du Mai points.  

The difficulty is created by the fact that the spinous process of each vertebra is at a different angle. There is a natural tendency when counting the vertebrae to imagine each spinous process lying at a 90 degree angle to the body. However, these bony protrusions do not all each lie at a 90 degree angle. 

Dinosaur Spinous Process

Many spinous processes emerge from the body at sharper angles, sometimes as much as 45 degrees. When this occurs the spinous process will partially cover the body of the NEXT vertebra. 

counting vertebra image.jpg

This overlapping most often occurs in the midback between T6 and T12. (Right at the levels of the Liver, Gallbladder, Spleen, and Stomach Back Shu points!) 

I have found one technique to counting vertebrae useful in both my personal practice and teaching students. Rather than only looking for the pointy spinous process — palpate the sides of each vertebra with a finger on each side. 

This technique allows you to feel the bodies of each vertebra. It keeps you from being thrown off when the spinous process is overlapping with the body below it. If you use this technique, and also count the spinous processes, the two techniques together make counting the vertebrae and finding the Back Shu Points much, much easier.