What CBD is right for you?

You’ve heard they hype, you’ve tried some drops, you’ve visited the dispensaries, but how do you know you are getting the best quality the market has to offer?

I’ve had so many patients and friends approach me about selling CBD oil. I know that many people are getting great benefits, from better sleep to more comfort in their body.

Because I investigate so thoroughly when I dive into a subject, I knew I couldn’t form an opinion for some time. Time after time I’d refer people to our local dispensary or a practitioner I know who specializes in medical marijuana.

This week I was blessed by a colleague in my acupuncture and Chinese medicine community. She took on the investigation and came up with a list of criteria to consider when looking at suppliers of CBD oil. Here is what she came up with. I think its a great list!

“9 Important Tips For Purchasing High Quality, Uncontaminated, Potent CBD Oil From A Reputable Company”:

✅ 1. Make sure the company posts independent (3rd) party lab testing ON their website for every batch verifying the amount of CBD and that it is free of contaminants. 

✅ 2. Make sure each batch is verified to have less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive compound) complying with Federal Law. 

✅ 3. Make sure they use a C02 extraction method (which is more expensive) without chemicals and solvents that can DESTROY the CBD and HARM your body.

✅ 4. Make sure you are buying a “full spectrum” extract of the hemp plant and not an isolated component. The WHOLE PLANT contains many beneficial cannabinoids and phytonutrients that work together in an “entourage effect”.

✅ 5. Make sure the potency is at least 10 mg CBD per serving. Anything less than a 500 mg bottle of full spectrum CDB oil is not going to be enough for most people with chronic and severe issues. (Note: the size of the bottle has nothing to do with the concentration of CBD. In fact often the bigger bottles have LESS CBD.)

✅ 6. Make sure the hemp plants come from an FDA compliant farm using organic processes and there are no chemicals, GMO’s or other harmful agents in the soil that will end up in your CBD oil and your body. (Many companies get their hemp from China.)

✅ 7. Make sure that in the manufacturing of the CBD oil that no molds start growing before or after the processing of the hemp plant.

✅ 8. Make sure there aren’t any added fillers or unnecessary ingredients added just to make it look like there’s more in the bottle. (This includes, coconut oil, MCT oil, glycerin, water, etc.)

✅ 9. Make sure the company that sells you the CBD oil is so confident in the purity and potency of their product that they offer you a money back guarantee.

Hempworx has this.  Check it out!

Bye Bye Back Pain

Chances are… you or someone you love and care about is suffering from back pain RIGHT NOW. Sciatica – Arthritis – Herniated Disc – or even worse… the DREADED Degenerative Disc Disease
 Let’s be frank… ALL back pain sucks.
There is no “getting up on the right side of the bed”, because just getting out of bed hurts.
There is no “good night sleep” because you’re either tossing and turning all night trying to get comfortable, or you get woken up with sudden pain.
There is no “not tonight dear, I have a headache”, because your partner is so “understanding” they have probably stopped asking.
You just don’t enjoy the things you used to.
And that sucks.
Are you ;
~leaning heavily on pain medication, which doesn’t work so well?
~needing sleep aides for sleeping more than one night a week?
~considering antidepressants because this pain is sucking the life out of you?
Being dependent on medication sucks, too.

Imagine healing your pain and being able to live with vitality and comfort in your body!


Why is it important to address and heal your pain? If you don’t, it can get worse and get stuck in your body. When you are in pain and you aren’t doing anything to heal it you body is actually learning how to compensate for it, and that creates even more aches and pains. Your fascia gets solidified into behaving a different way accommodate the pain. Think “knots”, decreased flexibility and headaches. The longer you are in pain the harder it is to get out of it.

Its like an oil change… sure you can put it off, but you risk doing more damage to your car the longer you delay.

I remember when I herniated my neck in 1996. I was so scared. I couldn’t get out of bed without crying out. I was self employed as a massage therapist. My livelihood  depended on my body being strong and flexible. I had to devote hours every day to self care… chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, yoga, I even did one session of acupuncture.

I eventually got better and learned the tools to stay well but I was impacted for 3 months. I lost a lot of income and it put a huge strain on my relationship.

The best way to start dealing with your back pain is to find a practitioner that you trust and resonate with. The healing relationship is intimate and you want to feel comfortable with your practitioner from the get-go. You may get the best referrals from your friends but if you get on the phone to interview them and their office and you get a red flag, you’d be well advised to keep looking. Trust your intuition.

Once you find someone you feel comfortable with, consider their WHOLE treatment plan for you. Its rare that your pain is going to be healed in one session. Yes, sometimes that happens. I’ve gotten people out of pain with ONE NEEDLE. But usually takes a series of sessions.

The most common mistake I see when people are in acute and chronic pain is that they want to use several modalities at once. Chiropractic on Monday, Acupuncture on Tuesday, Massage on Wednesday, Physical Therapy of Thursday and Yoga on Friday. Maybe even two modalities on the same day.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are a COMPLETE system of medicine. People need time to integrate between session. Remember that bumper sticker? “TO REST IS SACRED”? Resting is an important part of the healing process. You can’t be resting if you are running around to appointments every day.

My recommendation is that you pick one modality, interview a few practitioners, trust your gut and schedule your sessions in advance and give your body time to heal.

  1. Pain SUCKS.
  2. Not addressing your pain now will create more pain down the road.
  3. Find someone you trust and feel safe with, be ready to take on THE PLAN.
  4. Don’t try to do too many modalities at once.
  5. Get started today!

To learn about how I can support you in healing your back pain at a HUGE savings:

Vitamin K2 and D for Bone and Heart Health

Vitamin K2 for Preventing Atherosclerosis and Building Bone
November 23, 2016

In “The Role of Vitamin K2 in Bone and Cardiovascular Health,” published in the Journal of Restorative Medicine1, author Tal Friedman, ND discusses the more recent revelations about the importance of K2 and its significant differences from the role of K1. K1 is best known for facilitating clotting. But K2 (menaquinone) has been found to be far more important for its role in preventing osteoporosis and atherosclerosis. Based on the results of a comprehensive review and analysis of both observational studies and randomized, double-blind clinical trials, he further makes the case for Vitamin K2 supplementation, particularly MK-7.

Causes of K2 Deficiency
As Friedman notes, Vitamin K is a generic term for a collection of fat-soluble nutrients widely known for its role in healthy blood coagulation. The most common, non-synthetic vitamers are K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone) — the latter of which comprises a number of compounds with varying side chain lengths, known as MK-4 through MK-13. The longer the side chain, the more lipophilic — and bioavailable — K2 becomes, generally at MK-7 and above.
Most dietary intake of Vitamin K is through K1, which is present in dark, leafy green vegetables. But, as Friedman argues, the human body also needs Vitamin K2 — present in cheese, curd and fermented soy. Although evidence suggests that most individuals do not consume enough K2, their deficiencies may go unnoticed in the clinical setting due to its less obvious effects.

Vitamin K2 and Bone Density
Observational research reveals that individuals with the lowest Vitamin K2 intake have significantly lower bone mass than do those with the highest — suggesting an inverse relationship between K2 and osteoporosis.
Citing several prominent studies of osteopenic and osteoporotic women — as well as men, women and children with drug-induced secondary osteoporosis — Friedman finds that K2 exerts a net positive effect on bone mineral density (BMD), especially in the presence of Vitamin D.

This occurs primarily through the activation of osteocalcin, a Vitamin K dependent protein (VKDP) essential to bone metabolism and overall calcium homeostasis. Compared to control groups in each study, individuals taking MK-4 experienced fewer clinical fractures, and were able to sustain or increase measures in distal forearm radius. Further, in patients having undergone lung or heart transplant, he discovers that MK-7 supplementation mitigates against the expected post-operative loss of BMD. (Notably, he also suggests that “MK-7 is superior at carboxylating osteocalcin than an equal dose of MK-4”).

Vitamin K2 and Heart Health
Another VKDP, Matrix Gla protein (MGP), plays a crucial role in the negative regulation of vascular calcification — a known contributor to atherosclerosis.

Citing the Rotterdam study, in which 4,809 Dutch men and women were evaluated for risk of coronary heart disease, Friedman finds that individuals consuming a diet high in Vitamin K2 suffered significantly fewer fatal heart attacks, and experienced a lower risk for both aortic calcification and all-cause mortality. Additional studies show slowed progression of coronary calcification and decreased arterial stiffness in subjects taking Vitamin K2. (In these and other observational studies, K1 intake did not confer the same benefits.) Interestingly, the MK-7 to MK-9 forms of K2 proved most effective, while MK-4 did not impact outcomes.
In conclusion, given the demonstrated benefits to bone and cardiovascular health, Friedman advocates for K2 supplementation in adults. Those taking anticoagulants or other Vitamin K antagonists should consult with their physician and may need to adjust their dosage.

Friedman, T. The role of vitamin K2 in cardiovascular health. Journal of Restorative Medicine. 2016

In-Network Provider

Make the most of your health insurance.

Make the most of your health insurance.

We are happy to announce that we have jumped through all the hoops and are now in-network with the major health insurance providers in the area: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, Sutter Health, United Health Care, American Specialty Health and Kaiser. We are on the MPNs for Workers Comp insurance for Republic Indemnity, Liberty Mutual and Corvel. Most other Workers Comp insurance is accepted.

With the Affordable Care Act in full swing you should be happy to know that your insurance policy should have some acupuncture coverage. We are happy to check your benefits and talk to you about what those benefits are. Not all conditions are covered. We know what questions to ask and how to bill to get the most benefit from your policy.

Please call Debra Gorman Acupuncture Clinic at the Optimal Health Center in Santa Rosa today so we can get you on the road to feeling better as soon as possible. 707-284-1402

What About Cancer?

I have received 3 calls in the last month from people who are interested in my perspective about cancer. The short answer is, acupuncture and chinese medicine treat the person, not the disease. What about functional medicine? Same thing. I work to identify the dysfunction in your system then get you as strong and balanced as possible. I work in conjunction with other therapies, both western and alternative to give you the best possible support as you move through this process.

A blood marker that has recently come to my attention is CEA.  This test is limited in scope, but it may be worth talking to your doctor about it and how it applies to your specific case.

Our Santa Rosa Acupuncture Clinic is now offering functional medicine testing to look for underlying imbalances in the digestive system, detoxification system,  immune function and hormone metabolism.

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