Acupuncture for Pelvic Floor Pain


What is the pelvic floor?

The "pelvic floor” refers to the muscles and ligaments that attach on the pelvis and support the abdomen. These muscles control bladder and bowel function.  



What is pelvic floor dysfunction?

The symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction vary for different people.  They often include pain in the perineal region, pain with sexual intercourse, tail bone or groin pain.  Pelvic floor dysfunction can also be linked to issues such as incontinence, constipation and infertility.  



What causes pelvic floor pain?

Pain and dysfunction in the pelvic floor is a common occurrence.  The National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate the one quarter of all women experience some type of pelvic floor dysfunction.  

Pelvic floor dysfunction can result from a perfectly normal pregnancy and childbirth.  It can also be related to pelvic infections, low back pain, surgery, weakened pelvic muscles or over tight pelvic muscles. 



How does acupuncture help pelvic floor pain?

The great strength of acupuncture in treating pelvic floor pain is our ability to directly access the muscles of the pelvic floor.  The same way acupuncture needles help calm over-used, shortened and tight muscles in the shoulder it relieves pelvic muscle pain.  Similarly, weak and inactive muscles can be activated with gentle acupuncture stimulation. 

These techniques create direct communication between the pelvic floor muscles and the central nervous system, allowing for the readjustment of muscles and reducing pain signals.



Do I need a referral?

Although many patients who come to us for pelvic floor pain are referred from medical doctors or physical therapists you can see us directly without a doctor's referral.  

If we determine that your dysfunction is beyond are scope of our practice we have many doctors and specialists we can refer you too.  


Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow


What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is know medically as lateral epicondylitis. It is pain located at the at bony prominences of the elbow.  It is often the result of repetitive activities that cause the tendons in your elbow to become overused and inflamed.

Do only tennis player's get tennis elbow?

The name tennis elbow is misleading.  While tennis players can get this type of tendonitis so can everyone from rock climbers to office workers.  In fact, people who use computer mouses on a daily basis are often prone to tennis elbow! Any type of repetitive activity that puts stress on the elbow can cause tennis elbow.  

What causes tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is caused by any repetitive over use of the elbow.  It can be related to poor posture, over use, muscle weakness or imbalance between the flexor and extensor muscle groups in the forearm.  Those who perform manual jobs or sports like tennis that require lots of grip strength are more prone to this disorder.  



How can acupuncture help with tennis elbow? 

If you are experiencing pain at the elbow it's time to come in for some care and get the issue resolved before it becomes chronic. 

Acupuncture can help by relaxing the shortened tight muscles that are pulling on the elbow.  By reducing the pressure on the tendon bone junction the body can begin to repair the damage. At the same time treatment promotes circulation directly over the inflamed tissue allowing blood to nourish and repair the elbow.  

We can help you understand posture and correct use of the joint while advising you on proper home strengthening and stretching exercises.  Correct posture and home care are essential for making sure that tennis elbow doesn't recur.  

Understanding Low Back Pain


Low back pain at the Iliac crest is a common condition.  

As Sports Medicine Acupuncturists® we are well equipped to diagnose and treat this type of back pain.

The iliac crest is the top of the ilium or "hip bone" in the low back.  It is the highest portion of the pelvis. It is the bone that your hands land on when you put your hands on your hips. Pain in this region is referred to as iliac crest syndrome.

There are several muscles and muscle groups in this region.  Two of the groups which are particularly important for treating this syndrome are the iliocostalis and the quadratus lumborum.  

The iliocostalis is the more superficial of these two muscles. It is the most lateral of the erector spinea muscles. This muscle extends the back, the motion we do when arching backward.

The quadratus lumborum is a deeper muscle. It connects the iliac crest to the 12th rib, the lowest rib. This muscle bends the trunk to the side. 

As you can see in the image both of these muscles are attached to the iliac crest.  They both also become pain-producing sites. 

Hip imbalance is often involved with iliac crest syndrome. Hip imbalance occurs when the hips are tilted forward or backward increasing or decreasing the back arch. It could also mean the hips are unevenly rotated or elevated where one hip would be higher than the other hip.  

When treating iliac crest syndrome, it is essential to treat the pain producing muscles but the muscles involved in hip imbalance muscle also be treated. Acupuncture and manual therapy, when correctly applied, are great treatments for this type of pain.  

At Inner Gate Acupuncture we understand how to diagnose and treat this common type of low back pain.

Five Ways to Reduce Your Allergies


Acupuncture reduces allergies by calming and regulating the immune system and opening the respiratory tract.  Precisely placed needles dilate and expand the lungs allowing you to breath more fully and open up sinuses to resolve congestion and itching.  Acupuncture also calms the immune system making you less reactive to allergens in the air.

Chinese Herbal Medicines work by reducing mucus production and calming the mucosal linings in the respiratory tract.  We have several formula options based on your symptoms and body type.  These herbs are a natural alternative to over the counter pharmaceuticals, which can leave you excessively dry, or amped up. 

Probiotics help protect and vitalize the digestive tract.  Maintaining a healthy digestive tract is essential to a healthy immune system.  Probiotics supply the digestive tract with healthy bacteria that aid in proper digestion and absorption.

Nasal Irrigation is a somewhat awkward a but simple and inexpensive way to reduce sinus congestion and exposure to allergens.  Washing the nasal membranes flushes away the substances that cause your allergies and diminishes their effects.  There are many easy ways to learn this technique and with a bit of courage you can be cleaner in just a few minutes. 

Allergy Elimination Diets are short-term diets prescribed to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and detoxify and soothe the immune system.  These diets impact the entire immune system and down regulate your reaction to allergens. 

These techniques not only reduce allergy symptoms they also improve the entire immune system.   

Top Docs 2018!


Inner Gate Acupuncturists Oliver Leonetti L.Ac., Erik Isaacman L.Ac. and Casey McGuire L.Ac. were honored to be listed again as Top Docs by the Portland Monthly magazine! 

The care provided at Inner Gate Acupuncture is exceptional.  We work hard to provide the high-quality care you've come to expect.  

By attending many hours of continuing education and fostering a supportive and collaborative environment we work hard to make sure you're getting the best acupuncture care possible every time you come to see us.  

Please continue to see us for all your aches and pains, digestive troubles, or stresses.  And please continue to refer your friends and family for care.  

Your referrals are the best compliment!


Spring Mediclear Sale!


Save $5 on Mediclear
March Thru May

Why Use Mediclear?

In the last 100 years our environment has become more polluted. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of toxic chemicals have been introduced into our environment. No matter how careful we are or where we live, we all have some level of exposure. Add to this the use of alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs and you can see that this has created a challenging task for our bodies to get rid of these substances.

What Is Mediclear?

MediClear is a rice and pea protein powder with many vitamins, minerals, and specialized nutrients that support the liver and aid in the detoxification process. 

MediClear contains a high concentration of protein and amino acids to aid in tissue repair and regeneration. These proteins also assist in detoxification and elimination of harmful substances in the body. Green tea extract provides potent antioxidant and liver-protecting activity, and MSM helps detoxification and joint function.


Just Ask Your Practitioner Today to Get Started!

A Mediclear cleanse is easy.  It consists of taking the Mediclear powder while doing a three-week allergy-free diet.  We have a booklet explaining the diet that also contains recipe ideas for the three weeks. 

Acupuncture for Persistent Headaches

Acupuncture is a proven treatment for headaches


At Inner Gate Acupuncture we have treated hundreds of headaches over the past 13 years with great success.  Our treatments are designed specifically for your headache history and symptom patterns.  We combine both western and Chinese diagnostics to evaluate muscles, stress levels, posture and your specific symptoms to determine the best treatments and herbal formula for your headaches.

How Acupuncture Treats Persistent Headaches


Acupuncture relaxes muscles, reducing tension and areas of discomfort.  This is especially important at the back of the neck and in the shoulders. Acupuncture also reduces stress hormones and promotes a more balanced emotional state.  In our clinic Traditional Chinese Medicine is incorporated with Western Medicine. We use our deep understanding of anatomy and physiology to make sure acupuncture is treating both the Chinese acupuncture points for headaches but also the trigger points of muscles associated with headaches.  

Understanding Headaches

Chronic headaches are highly disruptive to our lives. Headaches occur when brain, blood vessels, head muscles, and surrounding nerves send pain signals to the brain. The pain from headaches can range from mild to severe.  These signals can be interpreted as throbbing, sharp, dull or stabbing pain.  Headaches are classified by their frequency, sensation, and associated symptoms.  

Types of headaches:

Tension: Tension headache pain can radiate from the neck and shoulders to multiple parts of the head. These headaches are on both sides of the head and they account for nearly 90% of all headaches.

Cluster: Cluster headaches are a neurological disorder with recurrent, severe headaches on one side of the head, typically around the eye. Often these headaches are associated with eye watering, swelling, or nasal congestion on the affected side. Symptoms typically last from 15 minutes to 3 hours.  Attacks often occur in clusters which typically last for weeks or months rarely more than a year

Migraine:  Migraine headaches are characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to very severe. Typically, the headaches affect one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from two to 72 hours. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.  These headaches are often triggered by several conditions including alcohol consumption, loud noises, or hormone changes. 

Spring Time!

After the depth, introspection and hibernation of Winter, Spring is always a welcome sight. Although this year winter seems to have finally shown up in February.  Despite the beauty of the late snows many of us look forward to the longer days and warmer weather of Spring. 



In Chinese Medicine, the spring is associated with the Wood element. The Wood element embraces the idea of upward and outward growth, of sprouts shooting from the soil and seeds breaking their slumber for growth.  A tree is a great representation of the Wood element.  A healthy tree has it's roots grounded firmly in the earth, and draws water from deep in the earth to nourish it's expanding crown of leaves.


Each element in Chinese medicine governs an aspect of the emotional component of human nature. The positive emotion associated with Wood is benevolence and the negative emotion is anger. Benevolence is the capacity to act for the greater good without need for personal reward.  Anger is anger.  Sometimes anger is born from frustration and personal greed, other times it is born from injustice. At times, anger may be necessary to create the momentum for transformation.  Spring time is a good time to focus on understanding and releasing past pent up frustration and anger and to prepare for new growth and exploration. 


  • Chronic tendon and ligament problems

  • Tension headaches and migraines

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Menstrual irregularities and PMS pain

  • High blood pressure



The Wood element represents growth and renewal. Wood is associated with the liver and the gallbladder in Chinese medicine. The Liver is referred to as the general of the body. The myriad functions it performs include cleansing the blood, regulating blood sugar, manufacturing various proteins, regulating the balance of hormones and the generation of cholesterol. The Gallbladder is responsible for the storage and secretion of bile which is necessary for digestion.  

From a more spiritual perspective these two organs have an important role to play as well.  The Liver, the general, is in charge of strategic planning. As a general it is the Liver's job to insure that the other organs of the body are working in harmony with one another.  The Gallbladder is in charge of actualizing the liver's plan into action.  

The Liver's gift is vision and planning. The Gallbladder provides direction and stimulation. When these two organs are in harmony and well nourished they work together to insure that our visions and dreams become reality.  

From this perspective our focus in Spring should be growth, planning and the preparation to take our plans to fruition.  

Year of the Earth Dog

Chinese New Year 2018


February 16th, 2018 marks the first day the the Chinese new year. The year will shift from the fiery and aggressive rooster to the driven and intelligent dog.  In light of all the intense media focus on political craziness of the past year this shift from fire to earth and rooster to dog could be a deeply refreshing change. 

Every two years the element dominating the year shifts.  This year we will see a switch from the element of fire to the element of earth.  While fire is expansive, transformative and destructive, earth is grounding, nourishing and supportive.  This year we begin to harvest the fruits of our labor from the past few years. 

The dog is loyal and honest.  We are hopeful that 2018 will shift significantly in the direction of honesty and integrity. This is a good time to strengthen our bonds and relationships with friends and family.  Our loyalty to our deeper truths will be important to respect and nourish.  However, the dog is know to be a poor communicator struggling to express itself effectively.  As we continue to grow as conscious beings this year, it is good to remember to listen and speak more clearly.

Acupuncture and Dry needling


What is Dry Needling:

Dry needling is a form of acupuncture made popular by physical therapists.  It involves the insertion of acupuncture needles into trigger points.

Trigger Points are described as hyper-irritable areas in the muscles that are tender to pressure. Some trigger points correspond exactly with acupuncture points while others are considered extra points in acupuncture.

If you are looking for dry needling ask an acupuncturist. 
We are the experts in the use of needles. 

Acupuncturists are the experts of dry needling. We receive over 2000 hours of training in the safe and effective use of needles. We are trained to identify and treat trigger points, motor points, and acupuncture points.  We study both western anatomy and Chinese medical philosophy.  Like physical therapists, we are trained in anatomy, biometrics of injuries and muscle imbalances. 

The difference lies in the amount of training we receive. Acupuncturists receive extensive training in the safe use of needles while, physical therapists are also highly trained clinicians, but receive minimal training for dry needling. Rather than being part of their core education, it is taught to them at weekend workshops.



·      Trigger points are sensitive areas in the muscle or connective tissue that becomes painful when compressed. Pressing on a trigger point can cause referred pain and can help identify the external area in the body generating the pain.

·      Motor points are elecro-physiologically defined, as the point with the highest excitability of the muscle.  It is thought to be the area where the motor neuron innervates the muscle. 

·      Acupuncture Points are any of the specific locations on the body that in the practice of acupuncture and acupressure are stimulated to produce beneficial health effects, such as the relief of pain or promotion of healing. 


Aristolochic Acid

Over the last fifteen years a clear link has been observed between Aristolochic Acids (AA) and liver damage and cancer.  In the past, herbs containing these acids were regularly used in Chinese herbal medicine.  As early as 2002, while still students at The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, we learned about the mounting evidence and were taught never to use these herbs.

In North America responsible practitioners of Chinese Medicine no longer use any of these dangerous herbs.  In fact, with the FDA’s help most of these herbs are very difficult to find. 


Herbs containing Aristilochic Acid:
Guang Fang Ji
Xi Xin
Guan Mu Tong
Qing Mu Xiang
Ma dou Ling
Tian Xian Teng 

Inner Gate Acupuncture carries no formulas that contain any of these herbs.  Regular continuing education keeps us on top of new developments and we have always erred on the side of safety and caution.  None of these herbs have ever been sold at our clinic. 

20% off Vitamin D Supplements this December

Vitamin D is naturally produced in our skin when we are exposed to sunlight.  In the Pacific Northwest, dark, overcast days cause many of us to become deficient in vitamin D during the winter months.   In this enviornment It is crucial that we supplement with vitamin D.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency:  

  • Fatigue
  • Generalized aches and pains
  • Sense of not feeling well
  • Weight gain
  • Slow recovery from colds or flus
  • Restless sleep

Benefits of Vitamin D:  

  • Preventing seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Strong bones and teeth
  • Healthy immune response to colds and flus
  • Supports healthy brain and nervous system
  • Supports lung and cardiovascular health
  • Deep sleep

We carry a high quality 5000 iu vitamin D pill.  We feel that 5000 ius of vitamin a day is a safe dosage to be used throughout the dark months of the year.  Please consult with one of our practitioners about supplementation of vitamin D.  

5 Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress


For many of us the holidays are a difficult time. Family expectations, uncomfortable political conversations, endless meal preparation, and mandated shopping all contribute to the overwhelming chaos.  

In the midst of the holiday fury, it's important that we all find windows of time devoted to relaxation and "me time."  Finding just 15 minutes a day can be a greatly regenerative to your system.  Reducing and managing our stress will lessen the likelihood of us getting sick during the holidays. 


This is of course an acupuncture clinic's newsletter! We see everyday how the stress relief associated with acupuncture improves people's lives.  With your phone off and an hour to yourself you can completely recharge here with us. Click here is contact us!

Daily meditation with Binaural beats:  

This relaxing music is scientifically designed to help our brains relax. These beats can be easily found on youtube, just search "binaural beats".  To get the effect you will need to listen with headphones.  Each ear will each hear a slightly different frequency of music. Reportedly, this can hep produce a more relaxed brain.  Or you can just meditate!  Click here to try a free binaural beat at

Try a float at float on: 

There are several facilities here in Portland where we can enjoy a relaxing "float." These float tanks are designed  to isolate the participant from sound and light.  The warm, highly salivated water makes you float high in the water.  Many people report that while floating time goes by quickly and that they leave feeling relaxed for days.  Click here for more information from Float On.

Put some hours into the gym:  

Exercise is always a great way to burn calories and change how to mind is processing. Stepping out of the daily routine for 45-75 minutes can greatly reduce stress and leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.  Check put classes at you local gym as these can be a great way to stay motivated and interested in workouts.  Click here for a local SE Portland gym that might have some classes that work with your schedule.  

Create some art or music:

If you're the creative type be sure to put some time aside to honor that aspect of yourself.  It may also help you get out of your home and connect with friends.   Making stained glass or soap, dance classes or jamming with friends are all great ideas.  

Volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen:

Volunteering can make us all feel better.  Connecting with those in need can give us a greater sense of community, involvement and accomplishment.  If you have a few free hours check out one of Portland's shelters and see how you can help out.  Click Here for info from the Union Gospel Mission


4 Things to do with Halloween Candy


Did you and your kids end up with too much halloween candy???

Here are 4 ways that you can make good use of that candy and not eat it! 


  1. Make a ginger bread house!  
    Gingerbread houses are fun, but they require a fair amount of work.  They are good way to use up a lot of candy and express your creativity.
    For a great recipe from Heidi at Happiness is Homemade. Click Here

  2. Donate to the homeless population.
    Local homeless Shelters are always in need of supplies.  You might have to check and see if they are accepting candy.  Due to it's lack of nutritional value some shelter might turn candy away after a certain point. 

    1. Here are four local homeless shelters: Portland Rescue Mission on Burnside, and at the Harbor, Transition Projects Willamette center, Shepard's Door and Day Break Shelter.

  3. Donate the candy to the troops!  
    There are several organizations that accept candy donations and send them to troops deployed overseas. Operation gratitude, Soldier's Angels, Operation Shoebox, and Operation Stars and Stripes.

  4. Make Ornaments:
    Holiday ornaments can be a great way to turn hard candies into pretty decorations.  They can be placed in your windows, on your tree (if you do that), or given away as gifts. Here is a recipe. 
    1. You will need to have metal cookie cutters, hard candies such as lollypops and lifesavers, vegetable spray, aluminum foil, cookie sheet and ribbon or yard to hang them. 
    2. The instructions are easy. Preheat oven to 350°. Place the aluminum foil in the cookie sheet, place the cookie cutters on the foil. Then spray the cookie cutters and aluminum foil with vegetable cooking spray. Fill the cookie cutters with a single layer of candy using as many as will fit. Be sure to think about your color patterns! Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until candies are melted.

      Remove from oven and allow candy to cool about 2 minutes. While still in the cutter Make a hole in each with a chopstick or straw.  Thread the ribbon or yarn through for hanging then continue cooling until the cutters can be handled. Carefully pull cutters away from ornament.

Summer Watermelon Idea

Gazpacho and Mojitos!


Watermelons are know as Xi Gua in Chinese.  In Chinese medicine they are eaten to protect against heat stroke and to maintain proper hydration and electrolyte balance during the hot summer months. 

Of course, watermelons can be enjoyed simply by slicing them into wedges and serving them chilled.  But there are many other fun ways to enjoy watermelons and benefit from their hydrating properties. 

Try this amazing Watermelon Gazpacho from Happy Kitchen Rocks. 

This easy recipe is created simply in a blender, saving you lots of dish washing time.  It's also a great way to use up the extra watermelon that won't fit nicely into the refrigerator.  


6 slices ciabatta bread
1 pound of tomatoes
1 red bell pepper seeds removed
1/2 peeled cucumber
1 1/2 lbs watermelon with the seeds removed.
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoon tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Roughly chop all the solid ingredients except 4 slices of ciabatta bread.  Place them into a food processor or blender.  Add the lime juice, white wine vinegar and the extra virgin olive oil.  Blend until smooth and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with basil leaves.

Grill or toast the ciabatta bread, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and serve.  

Thanks for the recipe!

Inner Gate Acupuncture is Excited to Welcome Sun Yun to Our Team!


Sun is a graduate and teaching assistant at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM). He began his journey into the medical field by pursuing and obtaining a doctorate in pharmacy.  He practiced for 10 years as a pharmacist before shifting gears to pursue traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).  Burdened with multiple knee surgeries for sports-related injuries, he set out to explore less invasive options to the western medical paradigm of pharmaceutical and surgical interventions for pain relief and recovery.  With TCM, he discovered a path leading to a more natural, holistic, and balanced state of well-being and healing. He decided to forego practicing pharmacy to pursue his life’s calling. After graduating from OCOM, Sun spent two months volunteering in Nepal with the Acupuncture Relief Project, providing primary care and medical support to those with limited access to immediate and reliable healthcare. He has now joined our team of passionate and dedicated healers to address a wide array of ailments and conditions.  
Combining both his western and eastern medical knowledge, Sun incorporates the “best of both worlds” in his approach to healing and recovery.  He addresses all conditions and disease states and has a keen interest in physical assessment, orthopedics, and sports/work-related injuries, and musculoskeletal disorders.  He utilizes acupuncture, herbal medicine and a wide array of auxiliary healing modalities – Tuina massage, cupping, Gua Sha, moxibustion, and electro-stimulation – to effectively address the root cause of the condition.  

In his free time, Sun enjoys sports, exercise, martial arts, reading, and traveling to faraway destinations. 

Pinched Nerves

Pinched Nerves are also know as radiculopathy.  Radiculopathy refers to a condition where a nerve root is compressed by some other tissue, which leads to pain, abnormal sensations, weakness and/or loss of muscle control down the course of the nerve.
Radiculopathy refers to the impingement of a nerve root or Radix at or near the spinal cord. However, there are other conditions that can mimic radiculopathy.  These occur when a nerve root is entrapped further from the spine by a muscle, bony structure or another tissue.  Examples of these include piriformis syndrome in the hip, or carpal tunnel in the hands. 
There are many other factors that lead to radiculopathy, these include degenerative disc disease, facet joint arthropathy, and arthritis. 
A skilled clinician can diagnose a pinched nerve in the exam room and MRI's are used for confirmation.  Symptoms originating in the neck or cervical spine can often be uncovered using compression tests such as Spurling’s test.  In the low body clinicians use straight leg test and slump test to look for low back nerve impingement.  Radicular problems are less common in the middle portion of the spinal column. 
Acupuncture treatment reduces radicular pain by alleviating pressure on the nerve root.  Accurate diagnosis, pin-point acupuncture treatment, and home exercises cure many pinched nerve situations!
There are situations where the degeneration is too advanced, or a spinal disc is too damaged to be managed with acupuncture and clinicians are trained to make referrals to appropriate doctors for these situations.


We are excited to announce we’ve produced a new t-shirt to sell in support of the Oregon Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (OAAOM) legal fund. 
The OAAOM’s mission is to advance our profession and honor the tradition of acupuncture and oriental medicine in Oregon.  They work to keep acupuncture safe, legal and accessible in Oregon. 

The OAAOM is currently working to:

Guarantee that insurance companies don’t cut off access to care: Working directly with legislators and insurance companies to combat the new pre-authorization systems used by insurance companies to cut off patient benefits.

Protect patients from unsafe practitioners: Fighting hard to keep untrained chiropractors and physical therapists from practicing unsafe acupuncture

Insure that acupuncturists earn a fair wage: Making sure insurance companies can’t limit reimbursement and unfairly discriminate against acupuncturists.

Provide quality continuing education: Advancing knowledge, techniques and ethics through education. 

The shirts are preshrunk cotton and come in a sizes S to XL. 
The Shirts cost $17 and are available now at the front desk.