Dr. Den Bloome Bremond, DACM, RN, LAc., is a California licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, having received her Master’s of Science in 2002, and then her Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in 2018, both from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. She has completed extensive coursework in the areas of women’s health and pediatrics, including traveling to Japan to study shonishin, a non-needle pediatric style of treatment. Dr. Den is the Founder of The Acupuncture Den in San Francisco, California and has become well known for her pediatric specialty and treatment of whole families.
Patients who take herbs often have more consistent results from their acupuncture sessions. I also find that some patterns are addressed more easily with acupuncture, and others with herbs. It’s another tool we have to help get people where they’d like to be.
I received my first acupuncture treatment out of total desperation. I was in physical pain, and nothing else was helping. I was in my last semester of nursing school, and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete the program due to pain. Whilst I was incredibly grateful that a short course of acupuncture treatments was able to greatly reduce the pain I was having, it was all of the other unexpected changes that happened due to the treatments (better sleep, improved digestion, easier menstruation) that inspired me to enroll at The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, just as I was starting a career in nursing. I became fascinated by a medical system based not only on the interconnection of different organs and body parts, but also the mind, body, spirit connection.
Share one or two memorable experiences where acupuncture made a significant difference in the life of your patient(s).
This is difficult, because while the results of some cases seem to be more profound than others, we never know the true impact small changes can have on individual lives, and the ripple effect this may bring into the world. For me, thinking about this question creates a collage of the many faces and stories in my practice.
So, I’m thinking about the six-year-old girl who woke her entire family multiple times per night due to severe night terrors. I’m thinking about the 45-year-old mother who developed paralyzing arachnoiditis after spine surgery and was told she’d likely never walk again. I’m also thinking about the 4-month-old with her third ear infection, and her desperate parents who couldn’t stand to see their baby in pain, and the tearful teenage girl, hoping to stop menstruating every ten days.
Different modalities from Traditional Asian Medicine have had a profound impact on each of their lives, and I believe strongly that these changes are paid forward into the world at large. This is the idea behind my tagline, “healing the world, one child at a time.”
What do you find most challenging about TCM?
I spend a lot of time and effort educating people about what TCM can bring to their lives, and especially what this has to offer children. In the pediatric aspect of my practice, many parents need a lot of reassurance that TCM will not harm their child. I completely get it, and I’m happy to have parents who ask questions and are looking out for the well-being of their children. But often, the very same parents won’t think twice about giving their child a medication with known side effects and questionable benefits, simply because a MD prescribed it. It can be challenging to work within a culture that doesn’t necessarily see the benefits of TCM and herbs, and is often fearful of it. I do believe this dynamic is shifting, but it will take time and the perseverance of those of us who believe strongly in TCM and herbs.
What do you find most rewarding?
I feel greatly honored to provide a safe and healing space for those who come to me to address their patterns. People often speak to me about the intimate details of their lives, what is causing them pain, and the patterns they are ready to let go of. Sometimes they don’t know that this is what they are doing, but they trust me enough to allow the work to happen.
For my pediatric patients, I find it particularly rewarding to know I am planting a seed they may choose to nurture at any point in their lives. I am letting them know about a way to take care of themselves, and I feel that such experiences have life-altering possibilities. My young patients telling me they like to “play acupuncture” is pure gold.
How often do you incorporate Chinese herbal formulae into a patient’s plan?
I’d say about 70-90% of my patients take herbs. When they ask which form of herbs is most effective, I usually say whichever form of herbs you will take consistently will be the most effective for you. That’s the starting point for a longer conversation, and most of my patients are compliant with taking their herbs.
How do you feel the herbs complement acupuncture?
This obviously varies from one case to another, but generally speaking, I find that herbs bridge the gap between acupuncture sessions. Patients who take herbs often have more consistent results from their acupuncture sessions. I also find that some patterns are addressed more easily with acupuncture, and others with herbs. It’s another tool we have to help get people where they’d like to be. Sometimes I focus on a particular issue with a hands-on session, and then send the patient home with herbs for something else. There is usually some degree of overlap depending on a patient’s pattern, but not always.