Tamie Taniguchi Bilazzo, Lic. Ac., M.A.O.M., Dipl. O.M.
Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
I was born in Kobe city Japan. Kobe is famous for Kobe beef, sake factories, and big port like SFO. My undergraduate degree is English Literature at Shinwa College in Kobe. I earned a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine from the NESA, New England School of Acupuncture. I am licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine to practice Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine and have been certified to practice acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine ( www.nccaom.org). At NESA, students are required to have B.A. or B.S. degree along with completion of science prerequisite to study TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and either Japanese Style Acupuncture or Chinese Herbal Medicine. I studied both as a dual major student (180 credits NESA Program) and completed the program in 3 years along with assisting Japanese master twice per week during 3 years to brush up my skill set.
In Oriental Medicine, both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, the correct diagnosis is critical. Therefore the Oriental Medicine practitioner will tend to spend a greater amount of time with the patient than a Western Medical Doctor, especially upon the patient’s initial visit. Once the practitioner determines the diagnosis, a treatment strategy is developed consisting of point prescription and herbal medicine. The CORRECT DIAGNOSIS is the key to the patient’s rapid recovery. I treat each patient with great care using my unique diagnostic style explained below.
I have combined the diagnostic techniques (both abdominal and neck/back palpation) that I learned from the New England School of Acupuncture and various masters I studied with. In 2005, I created “Tamie Style Acupuncture,” which I have found to be a very confirming method of diagnosis. One of the advantages of using this diagnostic method is that both my patient and I get immediate feedback before and after the treatment. I can confirm where most problems (blockages) are located through palpation. Areas of “blockage” are usually tender to palpation, but after the acupuncture treatment, those areas that were tender are usually gone or very minimal. Patients often say they feel something has “shifted” or “moved” just after the treatment.
Growing up in Japan, I had a very different experience with medicine than is typical in the U.S. When I was ill, Oriental Medicine—including acupuncture and the use of Chinese herbs—was usually the first choice of treatment. Sotai and Shiatsu massage were often used as part of the rehabilitative process to treat musculoskeletal problems. Though prescription medicine was available, I do not recall taking any when I was young. Asian culture focuses more on inner strength and using one’s own energy, strength, and immunity to fight against pathogens.
Before starting my studies in acupuncture, I worked as a data network system engineer at various Telecommunications companies in MA, including Shiva Corporation, Intel Corporation, Ascend Communications, Lucent Technology, and Sycamore Networks. Strong in analytical and logical thinking, I now apply the troubleshooting skills I developed in the Engineering field to my Oriental Medicine practice, helping people in the greater Boston area. My goal is to provide the highest level of care to my patients and to educate the public on the methods of Oriental Medicine and Functional Medicine (explained below) to get back to optimal health.
Chronic Problems do not go away:
I have always been in good health, except a sensitive stomach and migraine headaches that I had suffered with for 25 years. After moving to the US, I woke up one day with a severe burning pain in my stomach. I visited my doctor and was told I had a bleeding stomach ulcer. Everybody said it was due to stress, so I took high doses of Zantac for over 6 months, and the burning pain subsided as long as I avoid acidic food (coffee, tomatoes, citrus, etc).
Soon after, all of the fingertips started to having tiny blisters, became very dry, and eventually peeled off. I went to more than a dozen dermatologists, and all prescribed steroid creams. Nothing helped to heal my skin problems; my typical day started with opening up 10 band-aids package and wrap up finger tips. This went on for 10 years.
Then one day, in a biochemistry class at the graduate school studying for acupuncture and herbal medicine, my professor began talking about very toxic bacteria called H. Pylori and its symptoms. All he was talking about was everything I was experiencing at the time! I rushed out from the classroom and called my PCP to get tested right away. The test came back “big time” positive. I took triple antibiotics for 3 weeks. The skin eruptions on the fingertips finally started to subside (I was also seeing a herbalist at that time). Looking back, I wish I knew about the importance of taking the correct probiotics during and after taking this antibiotic but I did not know back in 2002. That triple antibiotic wiped out my gut flora. If you are already my patient, now you know why I carefully check your hands and toes! The skin (especially the extremities) is the mirror of your GI track!!!
When I started suffering from stomach issues back in 1986, I also started having migraine headaches, which often hit before, during, and after my period. I thought it would go away once I hit menopause, but it did not stop. During the 3 years of grad school, my migraines got worse. I thought it must be stress, and once I took a break after school it will get better. After grad school, I opened my first clinic in Lexington Center, and my migraines continued. Since my clinic was originally located on the sub-basement level, I thought the air and moisture on the floor might be causing my pain, so I moved the clinic to the 1st-floor location. This didn’t help, and the migraines continued to worsen, also causing pain in my neck. In an effort to eliminate stress, I cut my hours, took longer breaks between morning and evening shifts, and I decided to come home to eat lunch at home. I did everything I could think of to try to cure severe migraines and stiff neck as follows:
- Eliminated foods are known to cause a headache (red wine, dark chocolate, aged cheese, processed foods, sugary foods, etc…
- Avoid inhaling any strong chemicals from cleaning materials (for example Windex and other cleansers)
- Stopped going hair salons to minimize the exposure to chemicals they use at the shop
- Avoided passing through the fragrance sections of department stores
- Read numerous books on how to treat neck stiffness and headaches
- Listened to relaxing music and visual DVDs
- Took various kinds of yoga, tai-chi classes
- Started to learn meditation
- Took many acupuncture seminars for treating neck pain and migraine headaches
- Posted my problem on and off on acupuncture site and wrote headache blog (to get help!)
- Joined a gym and worked with trainers to strengthen my neck and shoulder muscles
- Treated by more than 3 dozen acupuncturists (one acupuncturist and he was physiatrist needled deep on the back of my neck, I fainted; one acupuncturist did electro-acupuncture on the back of my head and neck – I ended up having cold sweat, vomited, and fainted afterward)
- Treated by many massage therapists (I can not count – so many!) and reflexology therapists
- Treated by many chiropractors (so many… I can not remember how many I saw)
- Treated by a movement therapist
- Treated by three Naturopathic doctors
- Treated by three Reiki masters
- Treated by one Osteopathic doctor (highly recommended from one of my colleagues)
- Treated by two Nutritionists
- Treated by Bi0-Dentist to find out I have mercury filling or not
- Treated by two Dietitians
- Treated by two homeopathic doctors
- Treated by many Western and Chinese herbalists
- My PCP had sent me to get 5 MRI (brain scans) done
- Treated by the highly recommended physiatrist who does dry needling (I passed out at his office.)
- Purchased massage machines and gadgets
- Purchased a lot of supplements
- Treated by aromatherapists
- Treated by a therapist who practices ion water detox therapy
- Took medications my neurologist wanted me to try if I really needed to (this was my the last choice)
- Took many mini vacations
- And even I saw a few psychics
None of these changes helped. My migraines were getting worse, and it has been particularly bad on Saturday afternoon, after seeing more than a dozen patients, one after another. As an acupuncturist, I am pretty good at treating patients for a migraine headache. If it is the acute stage, I can stop their pounding throbbing nature of a migraine headache with 2-3 needles (usually takes only 5-15 min.), if it is already full blown, at least I can calm it down without taking any western medication, but unfortunately, I am NOT able to needle myself. My husband (and other acupuncturists) tried but did not help. I have spent thousands of dollars, going from one practitioner to another. I have suffered from this ongoing pain. What is wrong with me??? Even Maya, my golden retriever, always knew when I was having migraine attack by my behavior when I came home – I opened the front door, immediately grabbed an ice pack, drew the shade down, turned out the light, and put peppermint oil on my temples. She usually brings her toy to play with me but stayed on the floor quietly instead. My husband would turn off the TV and tried to be as quiet as possible. I did not know what to do…
I came across Functional Medicine:
Then, in the fall of 2013, a good friend of mine told me about the book called “Grain Brain” written by the neurologist, David Perlmutter M.D. I always read any health-related books recommend to me. Around the same time, I heard about Food Sensitivities Testing from a colleague. I read the book and took the test. I stopped eating all reactive foods include Gluten and Dairy. The result was astonishing! Week 1 – no migraine. I thought it was the fluke. Then week 2, 3, and 4 passed with no headaches. I was still skeptical because I could not recall the last time I had gone an entire month without a migraine. After eight weeks had passed, I was convinced food sensitivities caused my migraines. My primary “trigger” food was wheat (gluten), dairy (casein – protein) and eggs but the BIGGEST trigger was wheat (gluten). When I come home from long hours on Saturday, I can get a few loads of laundry done, clean the floors, and take Maya out to play at the park. I sometimes can even go out for dinner after a long Saturday at work! I have my energy back!!!!!
After my discovery of food sensitivity, I have learned A LOT about GI Health, toxic chemicals, and sensitivities. I brought all of foods back 6 months later but still eliminating gluten and dairy 100%. Now looking back, my migraine started when I came to U.S. back in 1986. I had a mild headache on and off but nothing compared to the one I started having since 1986. My husband noticed that the fact that I did not have a hint of migraine sign when we spent 3 weeks with my family in Japan even though my sleep pattern was messed up due to 14 hours time differences here and Japan. It was interesting to learn the fact that French bakers in Japan (my hometown is Kobe-city) import wheat from France, German bakers import from Germany etc… The reason I did not get a migraine headache was because I was not exposed to eat in U.S. wheat for 3 weeks. Then boom! My migraine started the day after we came back in the US. I blamed for stress and menopause but I did not know the gluten and dairy were the real triggers in my case at the time. I do not have celiac disease but I am super sensitive to gluten (from wheat harvested in U.S. = heavily sprayed by toxic pesticide and roundup). I found the answer for stomach ulcer, H.Pylori bacterial infection, Blisters on the finger tips (I still do not have finger print on the thumb), Migraine headache but after I had hit menopause, I started having different problems started with Frozen Shoulder (left shoulder 1.5 years and right shoulder 2 years), Weight gain around waist line, Palpitations, Insomnia, Hair Loss, Forgetfulness, and A1c and Blood Sugar has been creeping up. My PCP for ten years had been scratching her head saying that she does not understand why my A1c and Blood Sugar is higher than normal and keep creeping up every year despite my clean eating habit and she also could not explain why my triglycerides and cholesterol are lower than normal. I do know now that I was having adrenal burn-out at the time and my poor thyroid was having a hard time converting T4-> Free T3 but going to Reverse T3 which going to get stored as a fat on the belly. It caused my immune system got low which leads to more frequent yeast infections, sinus infection, intense sugar craving which damaging mucous lining on GI that leads to “not feeling well” syndrome. Live and Learn. I have learned a lot by making a lot of mistakes by myself.
When I was studying acupuncture at the beginning of my practice, I thought oriental medicine would cure most of the illnesses my patients come into my clinic. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine were found in China more than 2000 years ago. They did not have gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance, insulin sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivities, acid reflux, depression, anxiety, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and various cancer and autoimmune disease we have in the modern society. Luckily I studied renowned Japanese acupuncturist who taught me the importance of treating Adrenal, Thyroid dysfunction and Sugar imbalances for every single patient who walks into the clinic. She is totally right on it. Studying TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) that I have learned at the school was not enough to treat patients who come with modern diseases. However, I thought I do need to learn the medicine along with oriental medicine to search for underlying triggers contributing to the patient’s illness. My patients are suffering as I went through for many years. From doctor visit to doctor visit, blood draws to another blood draw, another MRI schedule, another medication on the medicine cabinet and antibiotics. There must be the better way to treat each of my patients come with a laundry list of signs and symptoms. My patients choose to come to see me. They trust me. I need to give the solution. The very best solution.
Since the winter of 2013, I started taking various functional medicine training; I was able to treat each patient more efficiently by looking at both Oriental Medicine and Functional Medicine’s view. The methods to solve their complaints have changed. I have more tools to offer. The more complex the symptoms and signs they have, I am very excited and challenged.
The followings are the training I have taken so far and I will keep learning !!! (I have taken various webinars from Infertility, Diabetes, Hormonal Challenges, Detox, Adrenal health, Alzheimers, Vitamins and Trace Minerals, Anxiety, Depression, Pain Management, Gluten, Autoimmune Diseases, Gut Health, Essential Oils, Homeopathy, Cancer prevention, Bone Health, Nutrition and Diet, Lifestyle Changes, Meditation, Menopause etc… so many I can not count.)
- Mastering Functional Lab Test Analysis (Metabolic Healing)
- Blood Sugar Metabolism
- Ammonia & Urea Cycle Function
- Redox & Detoxification
- Microbial Balance & GI Function
- Neurotransmitter Balance
- Vitamin B-6 Implications
- Thyroid, Viruses & Autoimmune
- Sex & Adrenal Hormones
- Mold Toxicity
- Blood Sugar & Insulin Resistance Mastery Course (Metabolic Healing)
Furthur Studying this year (2017):
- Organic Acid Analysis Testing (Kalish Institute)
- Blood Chemistry Lab Test Analysis (Metabolic Healing)
- Comprehensive Functional Medicine Training (Kresser Institute)
The practitioner training I have taken last two years:
1. Hashimoto Institute’s Practitioner Training run by Dr. Alan Christianson NMD, Dr. Izabella Weintz Pharm D, Andrea Nakayama CNE
2. Hashimoto’s Program by Dr. Jillian Teta ND
3. Banish Brain Fog Brain Rescue Plan by Dr. Datis Kharrazian
4. Gut Thrive in 5 (how to heal from parasite, bacteria, fungus overgrowth) by
5. The Digestive Restoration Plan by Dr. David Jockers DC
6. Food-Based Cleansing and Detoxification by Summer Bock
7. SCD Lifestyle GI Infections and Hormones by SCD Lifestyle