Happy Chinese New Year! Subscribe to Our Seasonal Newsletter!

We are so excited to announce our brand new seasonal newsletter which contains business announcements, facts about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), health and wellness tips for the season, and our favorite herbal formulas, supplements and maybe even a few recipes. This year there are 5, Chinese New Year, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The photo below is a sneak peak of our 2022 Chinese New Year Newsletter!

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Photo-Therapy – it’s like Acupuncture without needles!

Finding ways that patients can enhance their treatments and their health effectively at home has become more important in the last several months as we prefer to stay home.

We’re pleased to have become a distributor for Lifewave – a company that produces small patches containing no medicine that can be used to treat the body through the same meridians we access using acupuncture or herbal medicine! These patches reflect the body’s own light-waves back on itself in order to stimulate the acupoints and produce the desired result.

It’s really quite simple. They recommend certain locations for each patch and show you where to put them on a picture of a human form. You stick them on like waterproof bandages. It couldn’t be easier and the results are astounding! If you like more in-depth information, studies have been done and can be seen via the link below.

Patches names and functions are as follows:

  • X39 – Reduce the signs of aging
  • Energy Enhancers – Increase energy, can be used like moxibustion to tonify/strengthen a specific meridian!
  • Icewave – Relieves pain, can be used to sedate/calm an overactive meridian!
  • Silent Nights – Improve quality and length of sleep
  • Aeon – Decrease inflammation and stress
  • Glutathione – Increase Glutathione for improved detoxification and immunity
  • Carnosine – Increase Carnosine for improved muscle recovery, strength, stamina, flexibility
  • SP6 – Reduce appetite and cravings for weight-loss
  • Nirvana – Improved endorphins for mood enhancement
  • Alavida – improves the hydration and appearance of skin
  • Aculife – because your horses need pain relief too!

Click here for links to purchase, see studies or learn more! Photo-therapy: No-Needle Acupuncture !

Six things you need to know about Acupuncture

  • What is it good for? Absolutely Everything!

Since traditional medicines predate modern medicine, they had to treat everything.  Our modern scope includes using our modalities, “to prevent or modify the perception of pain, to normalize physiological functions, or for the treatment of diseases or dysfunctions of the body…” (Acupuncture Practice Act, 2018).  Common conditions treated include: coughs, colds, flus, indigestion, hair loss, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, menstrual disorders, fertility, symptoms during pregnancy or postpartum, menopausal symptoms, urinary dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, chronic conditions and so on.  Any indication of imbalance in a body system can be addressed!

For more details, see our blog “Acupuncture it’s NOT Just for Pain.”  At Herb & Tao, we prefer to treat the underlying cause of pain which especially in chronic cases is an inability to heal damage. 

  • Acupuncture is not about the needle

Treatment focuses on manipulating the life-energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”) that runs through channels in the body called meridians.  (The existence of these meridians has since been proven using many biophysical markers*).  When the Qi moves incorrectly or becomes blocked, it leads to imbalance in the body causing discomfort and disease.  Incorrect movement or blockage can be caused by many things including emotions, diet, lifestyle, trauma, etc.  At Herb & Tao, we use your signs and symptoms to figure out which of your meridians need treatment. It’s a process that requires involvement from the patient, but when something improves that they thought they had to live with, it’s so worth it!

  • Acupuncture doesn’t hurt!

Compared with most forms of medical treatment, acupuncture is minimally invasive.  Most patients are surprised the first time they receive acupuncture that oftentimes they don’t feel it at all!  This is mostly due to the tiny size of the needles which are about the width of a cat’s whisker, significantly thinner than what most people think of when they think of a needle!   

The feelings of wellness combined with progress made in treating a patient’s chief complaint far outweigh any minor discomfort experienced during treatment.  In rare instances a patient’s energy is concentrated on the surface of their body and they feel too much sensation, it is usually an indication that an underlying issues would benefit from herbal treatment.

  • Acupuncturists are Practitioners of East Asian Medicine

The “secret” to the success and efficacy of Traditional East Asian Medicine is the preservation of  4 – 5,000 year old texts that document how the body becomes diseased, the signs (such as pulse quality and tongue appearance) and symptoms that patients report to recognize the cause, and the myriad of ways it has been clinically treated.  It seems the human body hasn’t changed much in those years as we can see and treat the same signs and symptoms today.

In Illinois, currently the scope of practice of an acupuncturist includes treating not only with acupuncture needles but also by application of heat or cold, electricity, magnets, cold laser, vibration, cupping, gua sha, manual pressure, moxibustion, herbal medicinals, natural or dietary supplements, exercise, and diet.  Practitioners may choose to specialize and treat using any of these modalities in which they are trained.  It is so important in times like now where people can be nervous about leaving home that many of these methods can be continued at home! (Acupuncture Practice Act, 2018).

  • Acupuncturist is a regulated profession

In most states, the practice of acupuncture requires a state license.  In order to receive a license in Illinois, a person must attend and graduate from an accredited 3-4 year full-time master’s or doctoral program in traditional east asian medicine, pass board exams covering acupuncture, oriental medicine, western biomedicine, and *herbal medicine given by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), and apply to the state of IL for a license.  The state requires renewal every 2 years including 30 hours of continuing education credits to maintain licensure.  Licensed acupuncturists like other health care professionals are subject to rules regarding ethics and are mandatory reporters.  Acupuncture is the only regulated traditional medicine in IL.  We have professional organizations including the Illinois Society of Acupuncturists (ILSA) and the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA).

  • Chinese Herbal Medicines are regulated, safe, and effective

Herbal medicine is regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994.  All manufacturers of herbal products are required to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which are more strict than the GMPs required for food items.  This process includes positive identification of each ingredient, purity tests, source-tracking, documentation, training of personnel and hygiene. (“Legal and Regulatory”, 2020).

At Herb & Tao, we specialize in providing herbal formulas as an individualized and needle free treatment.  Currently, we outsource compounding of custom formulas to GMPs certified herbal pharmacies.


American Herbalist’s Guild. (2020). Legal and Regulatory FAQs. Retrieved from https://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/legal-and-regulatory-faqs

Acupuncture Practice Act. Ill. Stat., § 225 ILCS 2/10 (1997). Retrieved from http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1290&ChapAct=225%C2%A0ILCS%C2%A02/&ChapterID=24&ChapterName=PROFESSIONS+AND+OCCUPATIONS&ActName=Acupuncture+Practice+Act.

Li, J., Wang, Q., Liang, H., Dong, H., Li, Y., Ng, E. H., & Wu, X. (2012). Biophysical characteristics of meridians and acupoints: a systematic review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 793841. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/793841

Acupuncture, it’s NOT just for Pain!

Acupuncture is a part of a complete health system mostly known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or more politically correct, Traditional East Asian Medicine.

TEAM is a great acronym since a practitioner and his or her patient act together as a team to bring balance to the patient’s body thereby decreasing or alleviating symptoms of dis-ease.

TCM gives practitioners tools to diagnose and treat the body as a whole.  Rather than focusing on one or two symptoms, we look for overall patterns by taking into account not only symptoms, but also signs such as tongue appearance and pulse quality, as well as general functioning of the body’s systems (i.e. digestive, respiratory, etc.). 

Through this broad view of the body, TCM is able to treat a wide range of imbalances such as emotional, reproductive, hormonal, digestive, etc.  This allows us to work on imbalances that manifest as all types of disorders such as fatigue, insomnia, restlessness, palpitations, anxiety, depression, infertility, constipation, indigestion, diarrhea, skin conditions, and more.  When one aims to strengthen the body itself, it can begin to correct things we just thought we had to live with and even things we weren’t even “trying” to treat!

The body is constantly trying to heal itself.  When we support these efforts, we recover. If we don’t support the efforts, the problems persist and even worsen.  TCM treatment modalities; Chinese herbal medicines, acupuncture, heat application, eastern nutrition therapy, movement therapies, and lifestyle changes are aimed at supporting and boosting the body’s own healing efforts.  

Healing takes persistence and patience. As the body heals itself it may decide to eliminate toxins or require more rest. Your acupuncturist can help you understand what your body is trying to tell you and how to assist it to aid in a quicker smoother recovery.

At Herb & Tao, we specialize in treating internal conditions such as those listed above. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in your search for wellness at info@herbandtao.com!

Our relaxing treatment area!

Chinese Medical Nutrition: Bone Broth

What is Bone Broth? Who needs it? What should I look for in my Bone Broth? Why do we eat/drink it? What does that have to do with Chinese Medicine? 

Bone broth is simple, bones cooked in water for a long period of time ranging from 4-36 hours.  Why would anyone want to do this? As it turns out, this is an herbal decoction!  The two main macronutrients obtained from doing this are marrow and gelatin (which contains collagen) which the body can use for healing and repair.  In addition to these, small amounts of synergistic micronutrients including minerals and trace minerals are also present.

What does this have to do with Chinese Medicine?  Everything!  As a traditional medicine built over thousands of years, Chinese medicine has retained the knowledge of our ancestors on what to eat to attain and maintain health and how to prepare food for maximum digestibility and assimilation.   There are entire books which describe the eastern nutrition properties of foods and how to use them for medicinal purposes! TCM suggests these ingredients for certain conditions and some Chinese Medicine herbal formulas contain these ingredients as well.

Marrow is known to replenish the Jing or Essence, a yin substance located deep in body structures such as the brain, bone marrow, and reproductive organs.  Jing is associated with growth and development. E Jiao is a type of gelatin traditionally used as a blood builder and should be used whenever there is a situation where the blood or blood vessels are damaged or healing is not taking place somewhere in the body.

Who can benefit?  People with pain and injury including athletes;  those trying to conceive or pregnant; those with digestive difficulties such as indigestion, gas, constipation; people with chronic illness or low body weight and children.  Organic and fresh as possible bones and meat are recommended especially when there is compromised health.

If you research traditional cultures around the world, you’ll find bone broth has been used in other cultures as well.  Some notes about bone broth:

  • Your bone broth should turn to gel when refrigerated, the more solid it is, the more gelatin it contains
  • Some sources of gelatin are ham hocks and bovine hooves
  • Some sources of marrow are large bones such as short ribs or oxtails – cook a long time until the marrow falls out
  • Bone broth protein powder is an awesome digestible protein powder, but it is not bone broth
  • If you find it difficult to digest your bone broth, try adding ginger to the recipe 

If you still have difficulties with digestion or healing, you should be assessed for other issues that may be preventing your healing.  Contact us for an acupuncture or herbal appointment today!

A final note:

There has been controversy on the treatment of animals for medicinal use.

  • Most herbal medicinals are not animal based products and are vegan
  • Use of animal products is indicated for more serious illness
  • You can avoid the use of animal products IF you can eat a significant amount of fresh raw fruits and vegetables – herbal formulas can help you do that too
  • You can use your own bone broth or gelatin to mix in your herbal formula from your acupuncturist

Sources and Favorite Books on Nutritional Health:

Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary Enig, Ph.D.

Chinese Natural Cures by Henry Lu

Wishing you the best in health!