Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine

Class of 2011

East-Asian medicine is a clinical approach to health care that has been refined and honed over thousands of years. For most of that time the focus of its transmission has been the clinic, where knowledge grows organically out of experience as master practitioners pass on what they know to apprentices. We believe that a modern acupuncture program still must be grounded in the clinic.  Read a Message from the Directors




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Clinical Application of the Ten Formula Families with Dr. Huang - Coming to Seattle, March 21 - 22

Clinical Application of the Ten Formula Families with Dr. Huang   SIOM is pleased to welcome back Dr. Huang Huang, author of Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine,  who will be lect [ ... ] READ MORE

Alumna Practices in Nepal

Jacqueline Bailey, class of 2014, has been practicing in Nepal with the Acupuncture Relief Project.  See the following link to read her blog about her experience and access the organization: Acup [ ... ] READ MORE

SIOM's 20th Anniversary

SIOM Marks its 20th Year Anniversary This September will mark 20 years since the first group of students started their SIOM training. The idea for the school started about a year before when two frie [ ... ] READ MORE


Acupuncture Treatment of Migraines using Liver and Gall Bladder Points a clinical study of 207 cases.

Acupuncture Treatment of Migraines using Liver and Gall Bladder Points a clinical study of 207 cases.
From The Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Vol. 43, No. 8; Aug. 2002

Translated by Jennifer Brown

The authors studied liver yang rising patterns and found that migraines from liver yang upwardly harassing, liver depression blood stasis, and liver depression with spleen deficiency were the models most often seen. From 1997 to the present 207 cases of migraines were treated using liver and gall bladder channel shu points with good effect.

Clinical Data

The diagnosis criteria was as follows: 1) Reoccurring headaches, each flare being similar in nature, with es everything normal between flares; 2) Flares may or may not be accompanied by precursor signs and symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus, double vision or mild paralysis; 3) Headaches are mostly frontal, temporal or behind the eyes and typically were one sided, very few individuals had both sides with throbbing or stabbing pain; 4) Headaches continued for 4-12 hours. All participants were ruled out for hypertension, cerebral vascular disease and other organic diseases.

The acupuncture group consisted of 207 cases, 69 males, 38 females; ages 18-65, the average being 31.24 years, with a disease course between 3 months and 37 years, the average being 13.26 years. The western medicine group consisted of 61 cases, 21 males, 40 females; ages 19-63, the average age 30.82; with the disease course between 2 months to 35 years, the average being 12.28 years. The control group consisted of 30 cases, 11 males, 19 females, with the age and sex equal to the treatment groups.

Treatment Method

The acupuncture group was treated with four courses of electro stimulation. Each course consisted of a single treatment every day for six days, followed by a day of rest. The treatments alternated between high(40Hz) and low(20Hz) frequency at 15 second intervals. Needles were retained for 30 minutes on the following points; tai chong(LR 3), xing jian(LR 2), feng chi(GB 20), yang ling quan(GB 34).

Treatment Outcome

Obvious effect dictated that the signs and symptoms rapidly resoled without relapse after one year. Some effect dictated that the signs and symptoms were alleviated but patient had not fully recovered. No effect dictated no change in signs and symptoms. The acupuncture group had an effect rate of 94.7%, with an obvious effect rate of 80.61%. The control group differed with 75.4% and 57.38% respectively.


According to Chinese Medicine, migraines are caused by externally contracted evils that upwardly harass, obstructing the clear yang or from unregulated food and drink, this internal injury causes disease, disrupting the harmony of the zang fu, qi and blood then rebel, causing stasis and obstruction in the channels and the collaterals, the head pain is caused by the brain not being nourished. If the qi mechanism is not harmonious and blood channels are stagnant and obstructed then treatment should course the liver and rectify qi as well as move the blood to stop the pain. If the pattern is deficiency and excess mixed, such as liver depression and spleen deficiency then treatment should course the liver fortify the spleen, regulate qi and move the blood.