Chinese Herbal Medicine is a major aspect of traditional Chinese medicine, which focuses on restoring a balance of energy, body, and spirit to maintain health as well as treating a particular disease or medical condition. Herbs are used with the goal of restoring balance either by nourishing the body or clearing toxicity.
What does it involve?
In China, more than 3,200 herbs and 300 mineral and animal extracts are used in more than 400 different formulas. Herbal formulations may consist of 4 to 12 different ingredients, to be taken in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups. Chinese herbal remedies are usually made up of a number of herbs and mineral and animal extracts. Typically, 1 or 2 herbs are included that are said to have the greatest effect on the problem being treated. Other ingredients in the formula treat minor aspects of the problem, direct the formula to specific parts of the body, and help the other herbs work more efficiently.
With the increase in popularity of herbal medicine, many Chinese herbs are now sold individually and in formulas. In the United States, Chinese herbs and herbal formulas may be purchased in health food stores, some pharmacies, and from herbal medicine practitioners.
Before choosing a mixture of herbs for a patient, the traditional Chinese practitioner will typically ask about symptoms and examine the patient, often focusing on the skin, hair, tongue, eyes, pulse, and voice, in order to detect imbalances in the body.
Are Chinese Herbs Safe?
Chinese Medicine has been used as front line medicine by the majority of the world’s population since before recorded history and is still the most widely utilized medical system in the world today. Adverse reactions to Chinese herbs are extremely rare and are negligible when compared to those commonly produced by pharmaceutical drugs.
What are the Herbs like and How Much Will They Cost?
Herbs are now available in a number of formats, both traditional and modern. The herbs will taste unusual at first to anyone who has not tried them before, but most people will get used to the taste very quickly. There are no standard prices for treatment or herbs. This will depend on the individual practitioner and the part of the country you are in. You should inquire about charges when making your appointment. Many private health insurance companies are now covering acupuncture and a few will also covers herbal treatment. Contact your insurance company to check.
Who Can Have Treatment?
People of any age or constitution can employ Chinese Herbal Medicine. Your practitioner will take any previous or current illness or medication into account before providing treatment. Children and pregnant women can be, and commonly are, cared for by Chinese Herbal Medicine.
What our Patients are Saying
“I found Dr Soto when I moved to Columbia several years ago. I'd been going to acupuncture for several years, but this was a much different experience. She really spent the time to go through my history and complaints to get to the root of my problems and provide a more comprehensive treatment. I was a little hesitant on the herbs at first, but what a difference they made! Ive recommended her to my friends and my patients, as she's the best I've ever been to! I still come to see her despite moving 90min away- worth the drive every time!”
“Blew me away!! I heard about Blue Root and Dr. Soto from my wife. I went to check it out as a pretty big skeptic. The main problem that I had was a tingly aching feeling in my hand and forearm, I was sure that I had carpal tunnel. After the consultation, Dr. Soto told me she did not think I had carpal tunnel and she was sure that she could fix me up quickly and make that feeling go away. Within my first week of my treatment, I no longer had that feeling. This was after a few months of taking anti-inflammatory pills and wearing a carpal tunnel brace! My 2nd time in, I went with a cold or a bug(I was sure it was the flu) and I got the treatment, this time on a different part of my body and she prescribed me some herbs which I purchased. I took them as prescribed and I beat the cold in 3-4 days. My wife got the same cold as me and was down for the count for like 2 weeks(I tried to send her in for acupuncture lol). My next project to tackle with Dr. Soto will be the back pain which has been a constant in my adult life. I am pleased to say that my experiences with Dr. Soto and her staff have been extremely pleasant and I would happily refer any of my friends or neighbors to her!”
“I only wish I had gone here sooner” is the main thought I have regarding Blue Root Acupuncture,. I’ve struggled for years with back pain that would never let up. I’ve received other treatments and taken a lot of pills down through the years which had little long-term effect. I am now pain free, and it only took a few months with Dr. Soto to experience a complete turn around in my health. I received all the help I needed with pain relief and discarding the long list of pharmaceuticals I was taking, but I’ve also received so much more. Dr. Soto has treated the true cause of my ailments (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more). I wasn’t fully aware of some of the issues she knew needed correcting, but I feel like I’m half my age after her treatments and following her advice. I can easily recommend Dr. Soto at Blue Root Acupuncture to anyone who wants to take charge of their health!
“I LOVE Dr. Soto!!! She truly cares about her patients, making you feel like a member of her extended family, not just a name on a chart. I enjoy my sessions so much. I've had the gua sha and cupping. But my primary reason for going was acupuncture. I feel so much better after my treatments. Truly one of the best things I have done for myself.”
“I saw Dr Soto for neck and shoulder pain. She used needles and cupping and it was wonderful. I had a second treatment and my pain has been gone for over two months. She also has helped with pain in my knee using acupuncture. Acupuncture has worked much better than massage (which I used to get on a regular basis) and lasts much longer. I can highly recommend Dr Soto. She and her staff are professional, friendly and caring.”
I've had a laundry list of health issues for the last 5 years. Blue Root has helped me with all of them, namely IBS, chronic knee pain, low energy, spasms and cramps. I began seeing results after the first few visits and no longer need to take Nexium daily. My wife is also seeing great results. I submit all my bills to my insurance company and they actually reimburse me. I was paying out of pocket at first and it was worth every penny but now that I've found out that my insurance covers acupuncture it's even better. Try it, especially if you have a chronic condition. I never liked the idea of taking a pill for the rest of my life.”
“Four generations of my family use Blue Root because Dr. Soto is excellent! Have you been to countless doctors? Is your insurance expensive but you don't mind paying for relief? Does a massage help but you need more results? Are you allergic to pain medicine? Are you wanting a real solution? GO, Dr. Soto does her research and can help! Dr. Soto treated my 90+ year old grandmother for pain in her back and then went on to treat her for cancer pain since my grandmother was allergic to pain medicines that caused vomiting, therefore intensifying her long suffering. My mom has been to Dr. Soto for pain in her wrist and hip, and allergies. After years of having trouble breathing (from congestion), my mom is able to breath and live a more active life. I have personally traveled thousands of miles to utilize her proven relief and results. Dr. Soto has stopped my tennis elbow flair up ( I couldn't brush my teeth with my right hand), and she has worked diligently on the disks in my back. I travel to get treatments and the relief is immediate. My daughter has also been and found immediate relief from her ailments. Dr. Soto is passionate about her work, thorough in finding a way to heal individuals and provides lasting results!
One year ago, I came to Blue Root Acupuncture with a major health concern, and as a doctor of Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, Dr. Soto completed my "dream team" for integrative healing: two Medical doctors, Symptometry (scientific Homeopathy), Chiropractic care, deep-tissue massage, Yoga, daily infrared sauna therapy, and a regimen of vitamin supplements... What makes her practice unique (found with only one of my healers) was her commitment to treating the root cause(s) of my condition--- Drugs and surgery primarily address the relief of symptoms and may cause secondary health issues, so discovering Dr. Soto was indeed a giant step to holistic and integrative treatment. A serious medical condition threatens the whole body, all systems are stressed and suffer. Unlike other doctors, her first appointment was like a camera with different lenses: Dr. Soto did a c o m p r e h e n s i v e medical intake where she observed and listened to what my body was saying and showing through physical and emotional symptoms; through colors of skin and tongue; through the sound of my voice; and the feel of my pulse. Out of these snapshots, along with the more standard medical history, she put together a treatment plan which consisted of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. In order to support the main concern, she had to first understand in great detail what was out of balance. The Treatment Plan ( and Lessons in the Relationships between Body, Mind, and Spirit )- Dr. Soto treated the Liver, seat of the emotions, which, if out of balance, creates stress which in turn erodes the body's ability to heal and repair. She treated my Kidneys in order to help the bone marrow get healthy again. She treated the Lungs and Digestive System to strengthen my body's immune system and blood, the first lines of defense. Dr. Soto's work moves stagnant energy to calm both the mind and spirit; when the spirit is happy, and the mind is grounded--- healing and balance of the body will occur more rapidly. Thus. the WHOLE body and spirit is given attention, healing entering side doors... our health is the sum of its parts. I had already addressed specific therapies for healing the whole body, including a deep spiritual life. Under Dr. Soto's care, I expanded my understandings of the inner physical body and increased the power of my mind's role in healing. Special mention must be made of the treatment process itself. Dr. Soto can explain the science of acupuncture; I wish to underscore is on the table... 1. Her hands... hands which place each needle with intention and energy, when the channels of energy are opened. 2. Thirty minutes of silence, a meditative state where mind is at rest and the body regains strength to restore and heal. And last... "but by no means the least" is an understatement here, a very significant part of the healing process for me was the visible passion and joy Dr. Soto brought to each appointment. And make no mistake, I said every appointment. It's alive and real and contagious; and it could only come from a deep belief in her work. If I could only have one quality in a healer, it would be that passionate belief.
My favorite things about going to Blue Root is Dr. Soto is awesome, and has extensive knowledge in her specialty. She takes the time to listen to what is going on with your entire body, including mind, in between each session, and will adjust each treatment to fit your needs at each visit. She has plenty of resources to help get you better and the quality of her care is top notch. Here's my story... I've been going to Blue Root Acupuncture for 2 1/2 years, for chronic sinusitis, allergies, asthma, COPD and a chronic ear infection. After my 2nd sinus surgery, my ear would still not clear up, despite antibotics and prednisone. I had a fresh start with the 2nd surgery, but needed something more than just the medications (as they didn't work alone after my first surgery). With my lengthy background, Dr. Soto took a few hours to go through my first appointment (mine was a complex case), but she was very thorough, discussed a plan and options for acupuncture, herbs, diet, and exercise. After my 2nd or 3rd acupuncture treatment, my ears opened up completely for the first time in over 6 months (before that day, they were mostly swollen and full feeling), and I knew I was on the right track. On and off, my ears would feel full, but gradually the would be less full longer and longer. My health continued to get better and better with each treatment. My breathing improved, and side effects of my (western) medications decreased dramatically. My quality of life improved significantly- my chronic cough- instead of being daily, only happens in heavier pollen seasons, and it's much more manageable. I have more energy and have been able to take up running (5k and half marathon running- I'm not fast, but I'm moving)! About two months ago, I was able to come off almost all of my herbs, as my body has been healing. I just use them as needed when I go outside for extended periods on heavy pollen days. My ears are open on the regular now. I'm in the process of cutting back on my treatments because I'm not needing them as much any more. I am so grateful to Dr. Soto and her staff for helping me feel and be healthy again, more than words can describe.
As a RN, I was skeptical about acupuncture even though our daughter was a big proponent of it as an alternative way to heal the body. After seeing the positive results Dr. Soto had with my husband, I decided to go to Blue Root Acupuncture because of pain in my left shoulder and neck. She did acupuncture and cupping on my first visit. The pain was immediately gone and lasted almost a week. After my second treatment, the pain was gone from my neck and shoulder and I have much better movement of my neck. I also saw Dr. Soto for knee pain later on. She did acupuncture and prescribed two herbal teas to reduce edema in my lower extremities. I will continue to see her for stress related aches and pains. I have found acupuncture to be better than massage. Whenever I had a massage and drove home in traffic the massage was almost undone. Driving in traffic doesn’t seem to undo acupuncture treatment. I have recommended Dr. Soto to friends and family as someone who genuinely cares about her patients and their journey to healing.
“After being accidently poisoned I suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed into the emergency room of a nearby hospital. When I entered the ICU my heart rate was dangerously high, the medical staff attempted to force a breathing tube into my throat so that I would have more oxygen. Due to my difficulty breathing I became very restless during this procedure, which scratched the inside of my throat badly. When I had my first session with Dr. Soto I was suffering from multiple symptoms, such as strong wheezing, night sweats, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, body temperature changes, anxiety, restlessness, and some headaches. Awakening from my first session, I was already feeling better. I sat still for a while, and slowly took some time realizing the way my body was feeling, and how much more at peace my mind was. It was a significant difference, and it was that night I finally got more than 3 hours of sleep since the accident. My second treatment made me feel stronger, my wheezing was getting better, and most of the symptoms had wither faded away completely, or there wasn’t much left of its side effects. During the afternoon, on the day of my third treatment, I was coughing strongly, and I felt something stuck in my throat, I then coughed it out, I began speaking clearly again, and the wheezing was gone. It was a piece of flesh from inside my throat where the breathing tube had torn some tissue. During the time I was visiting Dr. Soto I was drinking herbal remedies for the symptoms. My experience with the herbal treatments was amazing.”
"Just wanted to let Dr. Soto and staff know that my polyp has almost disappeared and sinus is now unblocked - per my ENT follow up. They were amazed. I am elated. Dr. Soto said she could do it and she did. My symptoms have completely resolved. Dr. Soto I thank you so much. You saved me from surgery. Kudos to you and staff."
“I came in with a very severe case of eczema that I thought would never go away. I tried everything in the book to get rid of it and all the doctors I visited just said all I could do was buy lotion to help ease the symptoms. I decided to try acupuncture after finding out that it could aid in getting rid of my eczema. I visited Dr. Soto and after she examined my eczema she put the needles in and told me everything that was going on with my body. Why the eczema was flaring up and how my diet could be a culprit as well. I got the treatment, purchased some vitamins from her and followed the diet plan she gave me and I've been eczema free ever since. I give her a 10/5. I would go everyday if possible but my work/school conflicts with my schedule. I recommend Dr. Soto and her acupuncture to everyone!”
"I feel that I now know a good alternative to many of the drugs that I relied on before. "
Acupuncture works. I have had great results, both with a frozen shoulder and help in my breathing, due to COPD. I also would say, if you like having a caring person, who really puts her all into helping you get well, do go to Blue Root Acupuncture Clinic. One month ago, I was taken off oxygen during the day. I called her my angel then, I still feel she was sent to me as an angel. She can help you, her herbs and her teaching along with her healing hands in acupuncture. Not only a new person in how your body feels, but a new thinking about how to live a more healthy life. Dr. Soto is very very good. She is more then a Dr.--She cares about you! Dr. Angela Soto, I Just wanted you to know how very special you are to me. You are a great and caring Acupuncturist- who has helped me so much - so compassionate and caring in your work. Dr. Soto, Angela, you are the best, and I feel I have a great friend.
Where to begin.... I had my first visit with Dr. Angela Soto in January of 2014. The reason for my visit was sciatic pain in my legs, the majority in the left leg. I suffered from acute attacks of shin splints after minimal exercise. My overall walking ability for short distances was compromised. I have neuropathy that affects sitting comfortably for any length of time and is also a contributing factor to the problems with my legs. In addition to these problems, I have suffered from upper respiratory allergies for years. As a consequence of multiple maladies, my energy level has been well below normal. Since January I have been receiving acupuncture treatment once or twice a week and have been on a regimen of Chinese herbs that Dr. Soto prescribed to specifically address the root of my problems. The results have been wonderful. My energy level has increased substantially; my leg pain is at a minimum; the shin splints are rare; and my allergies are totally under control! With the encouragement of Dr. Soto, I have also made lifestyle changes that include a healthier diet and exercise. My treatment is not over, but my progress has been remarkable. Thank you Dr. Soto! Your loyal patient,
Highly recommend. I've seen Dr. Soto for allergies, hormonal issues, and UTI's that wouldn't go away no matter how many courses of antibiotics I took. Chinese medicine used to be my last resort, when Western medicine had no answers for me. Now, it's my first resort, because I've been so pleased with the results. I'm someone who gets every single side effect when I take a medication. The herbal formulas are so gentle, and work over time to heal the issue, rather than treat only the symptoms, and Dr. Soto is very knowledgeable about herbs, and how to safely take them.
I would like to tell you about one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences I've had in my life. It has been quite an adventure for me. The very first appointment and treatment I had with my acupuncture doctor, Dr. Angela Soto, was a wake-up call. I had been ill, run down and in quite a lot of pain for some time dealing with a number of medical issues including fibromyalgia, arthritis, esophagus and digestive problems, chronic fatigue and more. I went to see Dr. Soto for help with two broken arms I had suffered that had not been identified at the time of the fractures. In addition, I felt terrible. I was so tired all the time and had no energy. I slept less than 4 hours a night. I was taking 23 pills a day to keep me going. I switched to healthy herbs under her direction. After my initial consultation, I realized she could help me with all the medical issues I had, much to my surprise. After only a few treatments, I began to feel like a different person. She was addressing all of my concerns. I started sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night. I began to feel more energetic and was out of pain. As I continued my treatments, I realized I hadn't felt so good in years. I was healthy for the first time since I could remember. I feel like a whole new me, now, and I will be eternally grateful to my Doctor "Angel" for creating a miracle in my life. LIFE IS GOOD.
Where to begin.... I had my first visit with Dr. Angela Soto in January of 2014. The reason for my visit was sciatic pain in my legs, the majority in the left leg. I suffered from acute attacks of shin splints after minimal exercise. My overall walking ability for short distances was compromised. I have neuropathy that affects sitting comfortably for any length of time and is also a contributing factor to the problems with my legs. In addition to these problems, I have suffered from upper respiratory allergies for years. As a consequence of multiple maladies, my energy level has been well below normal. Since January I have been receiving acupuncture treatment once or twice a week and have been on a regimen of Chinese herbs that Dr. Soto prescribed to specifically address the root of my problems. The results have been wonderful. My energy level has increased substantially; my leg pain is at a minimum; the shin splints are rare; and my allergies are totally under control! With the encouragement of Dr. Soto, I have also made lifestyle changes that include a healthier diet and exercise. My treatment is not over, but my progress has been remarkable. Thank you Dr. Soto! Your loyal patient, Barbara Antley
I went to Dr. Soto, when I was first put on oxygen, 24/7 Beside treating me with acupuncture, herbal medicine and cupping -- and may I say she was the best one I found here in this area, she told me right off, any form of dairy is not good for your condition. She explained why. I stopped dairy, and soon no more bad mornings. She suggested I think positively, that was a little harder but she made me understand the mind is a powerful thing to have in your favor. Then she also suggested, a better diet that was going to help my medical condition. That was even harder than all the rest but it made a difference in the way I felt immediately. One month ago, I was taken off oxygen during the day. I called her my angel then, I still feel she was sent to me as an angel. She can help you, her herbs and her teaching along with her healing hands in acupuncture. Not only a new person in how your body feels, but a new thinking about how to live a more healthy life. Dr. Soto is very very good. She is more then a Dr.--She cares about you! Acupuncture works. I have had great results, both with a frozen shoulder and help in my breathing, due to COPD. I also would say, if you like having a caring person, who really puts her all into helping you get well, do go to Blue Root Acupuncture Clinic. Dr. Angela Soto, I Just wanted you to know how very special you are to me. You are a great and caring Acupuncturist- who has helped me so much - so compassionate and caring in your work. Dr. Soto, Angela, you are the best, and I feel I have a great friend.
“I’ve been a patient of Dr. Soto for 7 months. During this time she has treated me for various health problems such as poisoning, tendinitis, migraines, stress, muscle spasms and mainly because of problems of pain and radiation brought on by a surgery that I had 16 years ago due to a herniated disc in my lumbar spine. All her treatments have been very effective. I feel like a different person. I have suffered from chronic pain for a long time without getting any relief. I was taking high dosages of painkillers to be able to function in my life. Since I’ve been coming to get Acupuncture from Dr. Soto, the pain has disappeared almost immediately after the treatment session. My stress level has considerably reduced, I feel good. I also been taking herbs for a poisoning that I had with termite venom, I had severe rashes all around my body, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, red eyes, headaches, and pain on my lower back. Since I started with the Herbal treatment, all the symptoms are gone. I had a very positive outcome. I surely recommend and thank Dr. Soto. Everything you have done has been so effective. Anyone interested in trying the alternative to western medicine should try working with Angela. You will love her!”
“Western doctors have diagnosed me with untreated chronic sinusitis and told me that the only solution for it is to have surgery. This is an aggressive procedure. A lot of people recommended me to not get it done, since the sinusitis will come back afterwards. I turned to Eastern Medicine 3 months ago. I’ve been getting Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Treatments from Dr. Angela Soto. My results have been amazing! I have been releasing all the phlegm since, the headaches and facial pain are gone, my energy level has picked up so much and the nasal congestion and nasal drainage stopped! “Seeking out Angela has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I highly recommend Dr. Soto acupuncture and herbal treatments!”
“I am a 55-year-old female who was diagnosed with breast cancer stage II in January 2008 at age 53. In February 2008 I had surgery performed to remove the cancerous tissue from my left breast and also various nodules were removed from under my armpit in order to make sure no cancerous cells had traveled to other parts of my body. Many tests were consequently performed in order to determine what type of treatment I would receive after my surgery in order to eliminate any possibility of the spread of the disease. What followed after was 7 months of chemotherapy and then 34 rounds on a daily basis of radiation. Finally by May 2009 I had finished my ordeal with the toxic treatment that eliminated any trace of cancerous cells but left me with many side effects that were quite painful. I am a firm believer of alternative treatment in order to cleanse the body of the toxins that were injected and radiated into my body after the fact, and was looking for some type of healing form that would alleviate the pain. I was blessed to find a friend who extended her knowledge in Chinese medicine and herbs to me in order to help with the after effects and side effects both physically and mentally. While I had already finished with chemotherapy and radiation, now I was immersed with a daily pill that is also chemotherapy for five (5) years. Needless to say, the year and a half of treatment left my body weary, the five-year oral medication had also taken a toll on my wellbeing. Bone and muscle aches and pains became a daily routine for me. Getting up in the morning was a tedious affair since every morning I would wake up stiff and with difficulty in moving around. Having been blessed with the presence of Angela who extended her desire to help me, she proceeded with an intense round of acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help me in my journey to wellness. I was amazed at how the process took immediate effect on my body. Slowly but surely I was able to open and close my hand, I was able to wake up each morning afterwards with just a hint of discomfort and amazingly enough was able to go on a long needed vacation in which I was able to walk, run and enjoy fully and completely. The treatment was and is effective, I am living proof of this fact. I will eternally be grateful first because of having amazing people in my life with the willingness to take the time to look deep into what I was feeling and then taking action with the right treatment. Angela, you have been blessed with the knowledge of healing through your hard work and effort and the heart to help those in need. The experience was incredible and I will be forever grateful and your friend……Nilsa Alvarez”
“Growing up, I had heard about the wonders of eastern medicine. Its origins are from so long ago, and from so far away. Its treatment seemed so far fetched, and out of reach to me. I was so fortunate to have come across Angela at a point in my life when I needed healing the most. I was suffering from palpitations, anxiety, and extreme body heat. My eyes would burn from dryness. At night my temperature would rise. I would constantly sweat through my shirt in my sleep as if I had run a marathon. From the first acupuncture session, I felt I healed about seventy percent. The other thirty came in time gradually with more acupuncture sessions, and proper intake of herbs. I am now healthy, and feeling the best I have felt in years. I am now exercising, and getting back to life to the fullest. I am grateful, blessed, and a believer due to the fact that I have lived the healing from acupuncture myself! Thank you so much Angela!”