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Turning Point Acupuncture Newsletter Vol. 1 Number 1 
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Patients,
Welcome to the first issue of the Turning Point Acupuncture E-mail Newsletter!
The purpose of the newsletter is two-fold:
To keep everyone abreast of changes and developments at Turning Point Acupuncture;
And to use this forum to discuss pertinent health issues.
The newsletter will appear irregularly and shall be interesting!
If you do not wish to receive this newsletter in the future, please hit the reply button and type REMOVE in the Subject box to be removed from our list.
20 years of practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine in New York City has given me the opportunity to develop a successful model for treating the urban disharmonies commonly experienced by harried New Yorkers. Wanting more people to benefit from this style of acupuncture than I alone can reach, I have set about to articulate my philosophy and to find ways to make the work more accessible. To this end there is:
EXPANDED HOURS Each of these areas is described below.
The Turning Point Acupuncture website was launched in 1999.
Authored (and coded by) by Naomi Rabinowitz, MD, it sets forth the Turning Point Acupuncture philosophy (http://www.nycacupuncture.com/essay.html) and gives general information about Traditional Chinese Medicine, reviews recent research, has biographies of the practitioners, describes in detail the staffing and location of the practice, as well as, links to websites of interest.
Turning Point Acupuncture now has three practitioners: Naomi Rabinowitz, MD, Hong Su, L.Ac., C.M.D. and E. Shane Hoffman, MAcOM, AC.
Dr. Hong Su has been with the practice since 1994. Dr. Su was trained in both Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine in China and has been working in the US since 1986.
Our newest staff member is Shane Hoffman. He joins us after working many years in Portland, Oregon at The Institute for Traditional Medicine (ITM), an institute well known for it's innovative work in developing protocols to apply Traditional Chinese Medicine to modern health issues such as HIV and CFS. In addition he maintained a private practice in Portland.
For more details on our practitioners: http://www.nycacupuncture.com/docbios.html
For your well-being, Turning Point Acupuncture is now open Monday through Saturday and has both early morning and evening hours:
Monday 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am -7:00 pm
Thursday 7:30 am- 6:30 pm
Friday 7:30 am- 6:00 pm
Saturday 1:00 pm -6:00 pm
A recent study from The National Institutes of Health demonstrates that St. John's Wort may interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications, in particular Crixivan, a protease inhibitor used for the treatment of H.I.V. infection, as well as, cyclosporine, a drug used in transplantation surgery.
For the complete article as reported in The New York Times see:
The next issue of this newsletter will review the safety of taking Chinese herbal medicine in combination with prescription medication.
A pair of new studies that examine the efficacy of acupuncture for pain relief-- one using "placebo" acupuncture for the treatment of rotator cuff injuries, and another which demonstrates changes in the brain during the use of acupuncture for pain relief by using MRI scans-- show objective evidence that acupuncture works as a form of pain relief and that certain types of acupuncture work better than others.
To schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners or to learn more, call:
212 489-5038
Turning Point Acupuncture
1841 Broadway, Suite 509
New York City, NY 10023
Yours in Good Health,
Naomi Rabinowitz, MD
Medical Director
23 February 2000
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Turning Point Acupuncture Newsletter Vol. 1 Number 2
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Patients,
In the spotlight in this, our second newsletter, is Herbal Medicine.
If you do not wish to receive this newsletter in the future, please hit the reply button and type REMOVE in the Subject box to be removed from our list.
Barely a week goes by when you don't see an article about Herbal Medicine in a newspaper or magazine article or featured on the TV news. Herbal Medicine is big business in America and the widespread use of herbal preparations (and frequent inappropriate use of these products) is attracting notice.
Newsletter Contents:
1. Rational for Chinese Herbal Formulas
2. Interactions between Chinese Herbs and Pharmaceuticals
3. Chinese Herbal Formulas in Pregnancy
4. Turning Point Acupuncture News
5. Contact us

1. Rationale for Chinese Herbal Formulas
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbology has been developed in practice for thousands of years. Well aware of the side effects of individual herbs, all herbs, even Ginseng, are prescribed in formulas. Each formula is designed so that the potential side effect of one herb is offset by the addition of another.
The classic way a practitioner writes a formula is to designate the most important ingredient first ("the Emperor") and then the remaining herbs in descending order of importance (the least important herbs in this hierarchy are "the People"!).
At Turning Point Acupuncture we primarily use classical Chinese herbal formulas that are prepared in pill or tincture form for ease of use. All are prepared scrupulously by U.S. companies that are well known to our staff. Dr. Su and Shane Hoffman may also write prescriptions for raw herbs as part of the treatment when appropriate.
For more information about Herbal Medicine, please visit our Herb Web Page:
Specific advice about how to take herbs is provided here by Andrew Gaeddart of Health Concerns, one of the companies we primarily use:
2. Interactions between Chinese herbs and Pharmaceuticals
In this era of increasing use of Herbal Medicine, an area of great concern for us is the interaction of herbal medicines with western pharmaceuticals. It is very important to discuss all the supplements, medications, vitamins, and over the counter preparations you are taking, with a knowledgeable practitioner. For example, Ginkgo Biloba, which is widely used by the public to aid memory, should be discontinued before surgery as it interferes with blood clotting. Another common error might be to use a Chinese herbal formula with Ephedra (Ma Huang) for a cold, in addition to taking an over the counter cold remedy with pseudoephedrine (like Sudafed). The active ingredients in the two cold preparations perform the same function using the same mode of action and thus the effects are additive. The patient would feel very speedy, indeed-- and in the case of an underlying cardiac condition, the patient would be in some danger.
To read Shane Hoffman's detailed article on this subject and to review the list of what herbs may be contraindicated if taking certain medications:
3. Chinese Herbal Formulas in PregnancyAnother area of concern is the use of herbal medicine during pregnancy. Today, with the high incidence of infertility, and the greater incidence of the high-risk pregnancy, the use of herbs is very controversial.
Some herbalists, notably Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director of The Institute for Traditional Medicine and maker of the Seven Forest herb line we use at Turning Point Acupuncture, take the extreme position that no herbs should be taken in pregnancy and that herbal formulas that the woman might have been taking before she discovered she was pregnant, should be discontinued as soon as possible. He maintains this position despite the thousands of years of experience with herbs in China attesting to their safety, because of the climate surrounding the value of each high-risk pregnancy in the US. The only formula he feels comfortable with is Tang-kuei and Peony Formula (Dang Gui Shao Yao San), equivalent to Health Concern's Women's Balance (with some modifications).
Others, such as, Dr. John Chen, Chair of the Herbal Medicine Committee for the American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM) and an herbal consultant for the California Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CAAOM), take a less radical position and instead prohibit the group of herbs known to cause birth defects and any herb that "moves blood", i.e., increases blood circulation and removes stasis and could thus influence a miscarriage. Health Concern's Eight Treasures, a formula widely used to build blood in anemic women, would be an example of the latter.
To view a list of the Herbs contraindicated in pregnancy, visit our Infertility web page:
To read Dr. Dharmananda's article in Adobe Acrobat format go to this page:
Dr. Chen's excellent article on the Prevention of Herb-Drug Interaction go to:
4. Turning Point Acupuncture News
Summer is in high gear and we want you to know that we will be open our usual hours with the exception of Saturday. Summer hours on Saturday are 10am-3pm with Hong Su. To review hours and staffing click here:
It has been a busy time of community outreach for us. We were sponsors of the GMHC AIDS Walk, now in it's 10th year. Shane Hoffman is doing ongoing work with the Alvin Ailey School faculty and students. Outreach has been done to the social work community involved with the treatment of substance abuse. In that vein, Turning Point staff members are currently doing training at Lincoln Hospital's Substance Abuse Division where acupuncture detoxification techniques for drug and alcohol abusers were pioneered.
To schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners or to learn more, call:
212 489-5038
To comment on our newsletter, email Dr. Rabinowitz at:
Or write to us by snail mail:
Turning Point Acupuncture
1841 Broadway, Suite 509
New York City, NY 10023
We all hope you are enjoying a happy and healthy summer!
Naomi Rabinowitz, MD
Medical Director
19 July 2000
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Turning Point Acupuncture Newsletter Vol. 1 Number 3: Colds and Flus
From Dr. Naomi Rabinowitz
Turning Point Acupuncture
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Patients,
The weather is getting colder and the days shorter. That means it's the start of the Cold and Flu season! The focus of this issue will be on the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the prevention and treatment of these illnesses.
If you do not wish to receive this newsletter in the future, please hit the reply button and type REMOVE in the Subject box.
Newsletter Contents:
1. Theory of Causality of Upper Respiratory Illness
2. Prevention and Treatment: Grandma was right!
3. The Home Pharmacy of Chinese Herbs (at discounted prices!)
4. Chicken Soup Recipe
5. Turning Point Acupuncture News
6. Contact us
1. Theory of Causality
In Western Medicine a cold or flu is considered to be a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. The common cold may be caused by a variety of viruses including the adenovirus, echovirus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus. The influenza viruses A, B or C may cause influenza. Regardless of cause, the treatment is the same: bed rest, hydration, decongestion and analgesia.
Dr. Hong Su describes the Chinese Medicine perspective: The ancient Chinese observed six different environmental conditions, Wind, Cold, Summer Heat, Dampness, Dryness and Fire, generally known as the six Qi. When they cause sickness they are referred to as the six excesses or pernicious invaders. Upper respiratory illnesses is usually caused by the pernicious invasion of Wind when it overpowers the strength of the immune systems and is categorized into two main syndromes:
A Wind Heat invasion usually corresponds to a flu and is characterized by fever, sweating, cough, sore throat, headache, and yellow sputum.
A Wind Cold invasion is characterized by absence of fever or a slight fever, chills, sneezing, cough, white or clear sputum, severe aches and pains, headache, absence of sweating: In short, a common cold.
As indicated by the symptoms, these two syndromes, which would have basically the same Western medical treatment, are treated with different herbal formulas. The different formulas are described in the pharmacy section of this newsletter.
Clearly some further explanation is needed as to how Wind can cause disease: According to Chinese medicine, the healthy Qi (life force energy) has many functions. The protective aspect of these functions is to protect the body from external pernicious influences and is carried out by a specific Qi, called Wei Qi (pronounced way chee). The word Wei demonstrates how this type of Qi acts. Wei was the name given to the soldiers who defended the realm and the Emperor.
The body can be invaded by an external pernicious influence, such as Wind, only if the Wei Qi is relatively or temporarily weakened -- as by overwork, excessive sexual activity, irregular diet and emotional stress or a combination of these, or if the force of the pathogenic factor is greater then that of the Wei Qi.
Once the Wind invasion begins, the body becomes a battleground. Our neck and shoulders tighten to lock out further invaders. Fever and perspiration are the body's attempt to purge the pathogens in the struggle between the body's Wei Qi and the external pathogenic factor. Herbal formulas help facilitate this process. It is recommended that after taking herbs to treat the onset of Wind Heat or Wind Cold, the patient rests in bed under warm covers as the sweat sets in.
Future articles will deal with Chinese Medicine as it relates to weather and the seasons.
2. Prevention and Treatment: Grandma was right!
Usually we postulate that people get a cold or flu due to the following reasons: Exposure to germs, overwork, lowered immune system. Using the theory of causality of disease described above, we see how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be very helpful in the prevention and treatment of these upper respiratory infections, or Wind invasions.
Our own Shane Hoffman makes the following recommendations: Believe it or not, your Grandma wasn't lying. Exposure to the chilled fall wind can cause a cold. The ancient Chinese writing describes the evil characteristics of Wind as a pernicious invader and the human neck as its prime victim. Luckily, we live in New York and have a virtually unlimited choice in scarfwear. Burberry this season is offering its traditional tartan in light pistachio green and sky blue hues. Or the bargain shopper can find a nice nylon faux-mina on St. Mark's Place in every color of the rainbow for about $10. The point is: if you haven't got a scarf, get one! Protect yourself from the brisk winds of the fall with the tools of the season; the coat, the turtleneck, the scarf, even auntie's old stole in the closet. Just think for a second about the neck and head. So much of what we do these days proceeds from this area of the body, perhaps even too much. A huge amount of blood and energy circulate through the body to the neck and head. Unlike some other places on the human body, the head and neck aren't blessed with a nice layer of fat to keep them warm. So it's our job to keep them warm and protected.
Get plenty of rest, daily. Stay toasty warm (not a problem in many New York buildings). Avoid the evil sneezer on the train. Should you find that despite your best efforts, that you still fall victim to what we medically call the crud of cold and flu, here the Chinese medical theory is instructive again as to how to proceed: This system of diagnosing colds and flu describes where the invading pathogen resides in the body. With each increasing symptom and each hour of infection the pathogen can travel more deeply toward the core of the body. The severity of the disease progresses with its depth in the body. For this reason, it's essential to strike and strike fast when that floozy feeling sets in. The sooner you can start to support your body with the herbs listed below and get some rest, the sooner you can clear the infection. Regular acupuncture on an ongoing basis will also help marshal the strength of the immune system, strengthening the Wei Chi.
To prevent excesses evil attack, Dr. Su recommends, Avoid wet conditions: sitting and lying in a wet place; or wearing sweat soaked clothes. Dry hair if wet. Avoid intake of any food that may cause your stomach to bloat, such as raw vegetables.
3. The Home Pharmacy of Chinese Herbs
All these formulas are discounted until New Year's!
In time for the Cold and Flu season we are offering a special on selected formulas that we recommend be in everyone's home medicine cabinet.
Astra C*
Astra C strengthens the body's defensive energy and should be taken whenever one is feeling under the weather during the cold and flu season. It contains tonifying Chinese herbs, as well as, Vitamin C and zinc. It can also be taken preventatively at the same or a slightly smaller dose. Dosage: Three tablets three times a day.
Yin Chao Jin* (and Yin Chao Jr. if there are children in the home).
This formula is to be taken at the very first sign of Wind Heat cold or flu especially when characterized by a sore throat. It is the cornerstone of the treatment of the flu when fever is present.
It is recommended that this formula be taken at least three tablets every four hours. For Yin Chao Jr. the general dosage is 1-3 droppers full every few hours. It may be added to juice for better compliance. The Yin Chao Jr. formula can be used for adults who are unable to swallow tablets. Once the condition has cleared, discontinue taking this product.
Isatis Gold*
Echinacea and goldenseal are combined in this formula with the Chinese herb Isatis, which is known to be powerfully anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Other herbs are present to soothe the throat and promote blood flow to treat headaches. It can be used alone or in combination with Yin Chao Jin or Astra C.
At least three tablets every 4-6 hours.
If there is no fever we recommend Isatis Gold with freshly grated ginger tea. Boil a teaspoon of fresh ginger for five or more minutes and then drink. This will promote sweating.
Note: The use of Echinacea provides a peak benefit during the first two weeks of use. The efficacy then decreases to a lesser plateau level for the full duration of use. To get the greatest immune support, use Isatis Gold when exposed to a cold or when that weak feeling sets in, and not as a preventative.
Some patients who are constitutionally sensitive, or have weak digestive systems, may experience abdominal discomfort using Isatis Gold and should take lower dosages and combine it with Quiet Digestion. Once the condition has cleared, discontinue taking these products.
Quiet Digestion*
For gastrointestinal or stomach flu, this herb is helpful, especially when combined with Isatis Gold. General dosage: two of each formula, 4-6 times per day on an empty stomach.
Quiet Digestion is also a good formula to take when traveling to prevent and treat traveler's diarrhea.
MInor Blue Dragon*
Minor Blue Dragon contains MaHuang (Ephedra) combined for safety of use with other Chinese herbs. It is ideal to treat Wind Cold (the common cold) when the body aches and there is clear or white nasal discharge or sputum. It causes sweating and warms the lungs. Use with caution if hypertension is present.
Dosage: three tablets three times a day (for short term use only)
*All the above formulas are now $15 each instead of the usual $20 .
A powerful antioxidant comprised of quercetin, zinc, pycnogenol (grape seed extract) and some vitamins A, C, E. This helps make sure that your immune system isn't burdened trying to capture free radicals and provides the base support your immune system needs to go on overtime.
At time of onset of symptoms, take 2 tablets 3-4 times daily, discontinue when all symptoms resolve. As a preventive take one table 2-3 times daily. Discounted to $20
This formula combines bee propolis and goldenseal, two natural substances shown to have anti-viral, antibacterial and antimicrobial effects. Use of this supplement also helps strengthen the body's immune system response. Dosage:
At time of onset of symptoms, take 1 tablets 3-4 times daily, discontinue when all symptoms resolve. As a preventive take one tablet 1-2 times daily.
Discounted to $25
For more information about herbal medicine:
4. Chicken Soup Recipe
Of course the best treatment for any impending cold is chicken soup.
Grandma Cecile's Chicken Soup
(Turning Point Office Manager Deborah Pannell's Updated Version...)
4 quarts cold water
1 kosher chicken* (4 to 5 pounds), quartered
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 stalks of celery cut into 1-inch pieces
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1/2 bunch of fresh dill, thicker stems removed, chopped (about a cup)
1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (about 1/2 a cup)
1/2 teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Additional salt and pepper to taste
* If you prefer to use a free range or free roaming chicken, I suggest salting it overnight with coarse sea salt or kosher salt and then rinsing with cold water before you cook it.
1. Pour the cold water into a large pot. Add the chicken and onion, and slowly bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1-1and 1/2 hours, until the chicken pulls easily off the bones.
2. Skim any residue off the top of the soup and discard. Remove all the chicken and set aside to cool.
3. Add the onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, garlic, dill, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper to the soup and continue to simmer.
4. Skin and debone the chicken, then return the meat to the soup, reserving small portions of meat for your cats who have no doubt been going nuts this whole time. Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not too mushy.
5. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste
4. Turning Point Acupuncture News
We will be open our usual hours six days a week during the Fall.
We are closed Thanksgiving Day, but open the Friday afternoon following.
For those of you looking ahead, we will also be open during the Christmas/ New Years holiday week but with slightly curtailed hours.
To review hours and staffing click here:
To schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners or to learn more, call:
212 489-5038
Be sure to visit our web page:
Turning Point Acupuncture
1841 Broadway, Suite 509
New York City, NY 10023
We all hope you are enjoying a happy and healthy autumn!
Naomi Rabinowitz, MD, Hong Su, CMD and E. Shane Hoffman, LAC
11 November 2000
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