Welcome to Acupuncture and Herbs by Karen Vaughan, L.Ac., Registered Herbalist (AHG) A photo of Acupuncturist Karen Vaughan

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EMR Protection

I have been concerned about electromagnetic radiation for some time, long before the cell towers and cordless phones invaded our lives. I live in an old house with unshielded wiring. I have been using MRET technology and tubular cell phone headsets to shield my family and clients.

Read about it on Karen"s EMR Protection Page.

Looking for Acupuncture or an Herbalist?

If you are interested in an appointment or want to know more about my practice, please click on "Appointments" or "My Practice" above. And feel free to explore the blog.

Focus and Dreamwave Entrainment CDs and MP3s

I love these programs which let you use your dreams consciously, develop your insight and improve your focus, all with tones that entrain you and no words.

Dreamwalk Program CD

Insight Program With Gentle Rain MP3

Insight Program With Ocean Sounds MP3

Focus Program With Rain

MP3Writer's Mind CD

Experimental Treatment for Parkinson’s

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatm...

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatment is promising or emerging. (See Wikipedia:Stem cell#Treatments). Bone marrow transplantation is, as of 2009, the only established use of stem cells. Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 6 years ago. I am working as an acupuncturist, herbalist and health writer, which all require a steady hand. I have been helping run free clinics since 9-11 and do a lot of public health education on Facebook and my blog Natural Health by Karen and teach as an adjunct professor at NY College for the Health Professions. My private practice specializes in complicated conditions which is rewarding but not lucrative. At best this is a breakeven proposition so my funding for treatment is limited. I have mastered the art of ambidextrous needling and the tremor only happens at rest but the tremor is starting to spread to the other side and it will eventually affect my ability to treat patients.

I have found a promising experimental stem cell trial by StemGenex in La Jolla, California that has a special affinity for Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases. Unlike most stem cell treatment centers they use an intranasal administration to get stem cells to the brain, either traversing or signalling beyond the blood brain barrier.The treatment was pioneered for Alzheimer’s and works for that disease. They do this along with intravenous and direct injections and their internal statistics on Parkinson’s patients are much better than others since getting the stem cells into the brain is difficult. I would like to participate in the trial for this promising procedure.

I have been pre-approved for treatment but insurance will not cover experimental procedures (and trials on procedures are not covered by drug companies!)

The cost of treatment is $15,900 plus air fare of $800 and $1000 for a course of hyperbaric treatment as aftercare.

I will write in detail about the experience, documenting it with video and making medical information available regardless of outcome. This will help others considering stem cell treatment. I will focus on what can be done to enhance the treatment, based on interviews with patients, doctors and my own experiences.

If you know someone with Parkinson’s, would like to advance the medicine, want to help me or just want to do a mitzvah, I would be very grateful. If you know someone else who might help please pass this on.

Thank you for reading this far. I must acknowledge that I am a bit bewildered by this new way of dealing with health care (and hope it doesn’t sound tacky to ask for help,) but I appreciate your interest.

Donations to Paypal at ksvaughan2@aol.com  or Go Fund Me

See also:

Nutrition for Parkinson’s Disease- Part 1


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How Sunlight Lowers Blood Pressure

Sunshine Coast Sunrise

Sunshine Coast Sunrise (Photo credit: Jiaren Lau)

And this isn’t about Vitamin D.

Lower Blood Pressure: Surprising New Study

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.
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There is now a new natural weapon to combat against the growing population of high blood pressure sufferers.

Now this new weapon is as close as your backyard.

What I am talking about is good old sunlight.

Blood pressure levels are commonly higher during winter months.

The question you may ask is what is the mechanism that allows sunlight to lower blood pressure?

British researchers have figured out why.

The answer is nitric oxide (NO).

Nitric oxide is known to reduce blood pressure by evoking vasodilation either directly by causing relaxation of vascular smooth muscle or indirectly by acting in the rostral brainstem to reduce central sympathetic outflow, which decreases the release of norepinephrine from sympathetic nerve terminals.

Basically, nitric oxide increases the elasticity of the artery walls and helps to normalize high blood pressure.

An increasingly large body of literature suggests that alterations in the NO system may play an important role in the development or maintenance of clinical hypertension. 

What they found is that nitric oxide stored in the top layers of the skin reacts to sunlight and causes blood vessels to widen as the oxide moves into the bloodstream. That, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

According to researcher Martin Feelisch, a professor of experimental medicine and integrative biology at the University of Southampton, exposure to ultraviolet light might help reduce the risk for heart disease.

“This new study finds that UV light exposure to the skin induced nitric oxide release and modestly lowered blood pressure, suggesting that this may play a role in modulating blood pressure,” said Fonarow, a spokesman for the American Heart Association.

In 2009, a team led by the University of Edinburgh’s Richard Weller showed that human skin and the dermal vasculature contain significant stores of NO—much more than can be found circulating in the blood—and that these stores could be mobilized by UVA (long-wave UV) irradiation.

“This study provides suggestive evidence that skin-derived NO metabolites may have a role in modulation of blood pressure upon UV exposure,” Thomas Michel, a professor of medicine and biochemistry at Harvard Medical School.



Donald Liu, Bernadette O Fernandez, Alistair Hamilton, Ninian N Lang, Julie M C Gallagher, David E Newby, Martin Feelisch and Richard B Weller, UVA Irradiation of Human Skin Vasodilates Arterial Vasculature and Lowers Blood Pressure Independently of Nitric Oxide Synthase, Journal of Investigative Dermatology  20 February 2014

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Compliments from Functional Medicine University  www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com

** Read my past articles:

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Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

hydrogen peroxide first aidHydrogen Peroxide does many things and is vastly underrated.  Here are several lifehacks for using it.  But don’t stock up on it because with light and air exposure and even old age, it deteriorates.  When it stops bubbling if you rinse your mouth out, it is too old.

Hydrogen peroxide is the only germicidal agent composed only of water and oxygen. Like ozone, it kills disease organisms by oxidation.  When it reacts with organic matter the free oxygen molecule attaches and water is left.  Your body even makes hydrogen peroxide to fight infection which must be present for our immune system to function correctly. White blood cells are known as leukocytes. Continue reading…

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Herbal Formulas in Common Use

Liu wei di huang wan

Liu wei di huang wan is a traditional formula made from raw herbs or from many manufacturers (Photo credit: SuperFantastic)

‘In Chinese medicine there are hundreds of traditional formulas that belong to the commons. If you buy Liu wei di huang wan (Rhemannia 6) or Bu zhong yi qi tang (Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Decoction) you will find essentially the same formula made by a wide variety of manufacturers under the same name. They may have minor variations but are essentially the same in function and content.Many of the recipes and their names derive from famous doctors like Zhang Zhongjing who wrote the Shan Han Lun or Sun Si Miao. The names of the formulas neither are nor can be trademarked by a single company.  The Bensky formulas book contains over 500 traditional formulas. Continue reading…

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Making Fire Cider

Fire Cider ingredients by Mountain Rose Herbs

Fire Cider ingredients by Mountain Rose Herbs

Fire Cider is a traditional anti-flu, anti-infection medicine made with lots of garlic, horseradish, onion, ginger and optional herbs like chilies, turmeric, oregano, thyme or the anti-infective herbs of your choice, steeped in apple cider vinegar.  For many years I have been making and selling Fire Cider to my patients, after purchasing a bottle from one of Rosemary Gladstar’s students.  Like the vinegar of the Seven Thieves this is one of the medicinal herb-infused vinegars that have existed for about as long as there has been vinegar.  Continue reading…

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New Year of the Trees

English: Dried fruit and nuts on a platter, tr...

Dried fruit and nuts on a platter for Tu B’Shevat.

In Israel’s winter I saw how seasons are not as discrete as in New York.  There were tangerines from the prior year and cherry blossoms from the new year on trees, in the same month.  In Jewish tradition there was a need to divide the fruits of one year from that of another in order to calculate tithes on produce and to calculate the age of trees that could not be harvested before 3 years.  So Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of the Jewish month of Shevat was chosen as the beginning of the new agricultural year, a time when most of the rain had fallen and fruit had begun to form. Over time, the holiday offered a way to renew our connection to the land.  In contemporary Israel the day is celebrated as a combination Arbor Day and ecological awareness day when trees are planted, while fruits and nuts from trees are eaten. Continue reading…

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Digestion and Weight Gain

2014 Year of the Horse

2014 Year of the Horse

I occasionally read through veterinary catalogs for horse supplements.  These animals, worth up to millions of dollars get the best of care and often state of the art medicine before it percolates down to humans. Many herbal and nutritional supplements are described for effectiveness in terms that the FDA would prohibit for people -which tends to prevent good information from getting to us about how to use nutritional supplements.

As I was reading through the catalog it struck me that the weight-gain supplements contain some of the very same ingredients that are touted for weight loss in articles and ads all over the web.  What gives? Continue reading…

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Christmas/ New Years Special

List of species of special concern in Rabun Co...

American ginseng. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am offering $50 off the usual first visit charge of $150 for phone or in-person consultations for a limited time.  Herbal consultations can be by phone or in person and include formulation of a customized tincture as well as a discussion of dietary recommendations and supplements. (Herbs not included.)  Acupuncture or acu-laser needs to be in person.  Give your loved ones or yourself the gift of natural health.  If you want a distance consult I will send you an intake form and ask for photos of your face and tongue and will set up an appointment.

Email me at KSVaughan2@aol.com for details.  Paypal available for distance consults.

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Dealing with Constipation



Constipation refers to bowel movements that either occur less often than expected or with a stool that is hard, dry and difficult to pass.  (Types 1-3 on the Bristol Stool Chart, below.)  A healthy adult should pass one to two stools a day, although some otherwise healthy adults pass a stool every other day.  There are a number of reasons one might not pass feces, including diet, fluid intake, medications, stress, anal pain from hemorrhoids  or fissures, lack of probiotic gut bacteria, laxative abuse, specific diseases, such as stroke, diabetes, thyroid disease and Parkinson’s, change in circardian rhythm (due to irregular sleeping while traveling) and a poor posture while eliminating Continue reading…

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Are Probiotics the New Prozac?

This article, reprinted from Dr. Mercola is very important on the relationship between gut bacteria and the brain:

By Dr. Mercola

While many think of their brain as the organ in charge of their mental health, your gut may actually play a far more significant role.

Do you find my brain? - Auf der Suche nach mei...

(Photo credit: alles-schlumpf)

The big picture many of us understand is one of a microbial world that
we just happen to be living in. Our actions interfere with these
microbes, and they in turn respond Continue reading…

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Why you should taste your herbs

English: tea drinking

Tasting while tea drinking (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who consults with me knows that I always suggest taking herbs in a way that allows you to taste them.  That means that I usually use teas, tinctures, syrups, herbal jams like chayawanprash or turmeric honey, pickled herbs, overnight infusions, herbal decoctions or powdered herbal extracts that are added to water.  The only time I really approve of using capsules is when giving the severely bitter anti-parasite herbs (usually a long term proposition and the bitterness is for the parasite) or when a person is so debilitated that they will miss dosages unless they have pills to tide them over until they can brew up their herbs.  In that case Continue reading…

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Are Herbal Supplements Safe?


The New York Times had an article this week, Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem, that suggested that herbal capsules may not contain what they say, often containing different species in the family or fillers.  The study cited is found here.

The study has major problems and the American Botanical Association has called upon the BMC medicine journal to retract the paper: Continue reading…

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The Prepping City Herbalist

Pickled Jars

Pickled Jars (Photo credit: ZakVTA)

As one of my clients was expressing anxiety about the news I flashed on how I deal with it:  I prep.  Yes,I am a lefty, liberal non-apocalyptic herbalist prepper who thinks guns in cities are more likely to harm innocents than defend families and I think the government wants to help but will be stretched too thin.  But my scouting years suggest being prepared Continue reading…

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Twenty factors that affect male fertility

English: Electron microscope image of sperm.

Sperm entering egg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With so much sperm per ejaculate, it seems that sperm quality would hardly matter in infertility. A healthy male discharges 50 million sperm in one ejaculation. During sexual intercourse, of all those millions of sperm, only a couple hundred will make it to a mature egg that is ready to be fertilized. But 40% of infertility is from the male, including males who passed the semen analysis tests.  The average sperm count today is between 20 and 40 million per milliliter in the Western world, having decreased by 1-2% per year from Continue reading…

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Special issues with Parkinson’s and Nutrition: Part 4

In Part 1 we looked at foods to eat.  In Part 2 we discussed foods to avoid.  And in Part 3 we discussed nutrients and supplements.  There are specific issues for people with Parkinson’s that affect the ability to eat and drink at all which we will cover in this section.

Lift lab spoon counters tremors so food won't spill.

Lift lab spoon counters tremors so food won’t spill.

People with Parkinson’s tend to demonstrate a kind of withering or dehydration which we refer to in Chinese medicine  as yin deficiency. Yet acquiring adequate nutrition in the form of soups, or congees for instance, which would help Continue reading…

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Useful Supplements for Parkinson’s Disease: Part 3


vitamins (Photo credit: shannonkringen)

This is part 3 of my series on nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease.  Part One and Part Two can be  found preceding, focusing on foods to eat or to avoid.  This section is on supplements.

While Dr. Terry  Wahls‘ experience with MS shows food to be more effective than supplements at providing nutrition for neurological diseases, there is a place for supplementation with vitamins and minerals, provided they are taken together with food to make up for deficient nutrients in our foods.  Paul Bergner researched the decline of minerals Continue reading…

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What Not To Eat With Parkinson’s Disease,Part 2

In Part 1 I discussed what to eat if you have Parkinson’s Disease. PD is only partially genetic and can be induced by exposure to pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals, some of which are found in food.

This is what to avoid: Continue reading…

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Nutrition for Parkinson’s Disease- Part 1

Nutrition for Parkinson’s Disease has four components: What to Eat, What Not to Eat, Useful supplements and How to Eat, given symptoms of the disease.  This will be a four piece series.  Some of it is basic: the foods and superfoods that enrich the diet.  Some is specific to the typical complaints from either the disease, the medications and the often restrictive lifestyles that PD patients often adopt.   And the how-to acknowledges that the disease creates some physical problems that adaptive devices might help.


Mucuna in flower, source of L.Dopa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nutrition for Parkinson’s Disease Part 1:  Continue reading…

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Doctors speaking a different medical language with a 70% overlap

posterior tibial nerve stimulation

I spoke with a medical doctor, a women’s urologist, the other day about a mutual client. The discussion was frustrating for both of us, with disagreements about what I thought were perfectly obvious physical characteristics.  Afterwards it hit me that we were speaking different languages with enough overlaps that we didn’t realize there were  two different sets of definitions.  For those of you going between two practitioners with different paradigms or for practitioners of Chinese or Naturopathic medicine who need to communicate with medical doctors, I thought I’d write about this. Continue reading…

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The Newist Magic Bullet

Changing diets and lifestyles are hard work.  Most people want a magic bullet to make their conditions go away, especially with the newest exotic fruit juice from a faraway tropical island.  (Noni, anyone?)  My friend Alan Tillotson wrote this: Continue reading…

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