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Essential Oils for the New Year

To be used alone or together; diffuse, smell, or place a diluted drop on the chest.
  • Frankincense – heal emotional wounds, let go, move the blood so emotions can be released
  • Pine – strengthen the will (to move forward into the new year as well as get motivated), open the chest and lungs 
  • Patchouli – let go of ruminating thoughts and obsessive worries, let ourselves be transformed
  • Grapefruit – uplift, connect to childlike innocence (for fresh perspective to go hand in hand with a new year) — If making a blend, the addition of a top note like grapefruit will be nice to perk the blend up and activate it quickly


It’s a new year — but a change in calendar year will not magically transform how we feel or wash away the challenges we are facing in our everyday lives. Changes like this need to come from within! 

If you feel like you could benefit from extra support, call (843) 937-6890 to schedule a treatment. ❤️

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Get to know our team | Sarah Dufresne

We are so excited to welcome Sarah to our Blue Heron family! Sarah just moved here from Massachusetts in order to be closer to the ocean. She is a licensed acupuncturist with a mixed background in all things relating to finding balance in the body. 🧘🏻‍♀️ We hope this interview with Sarah helps you get to know her little better!

How did you become interested in acupuncture?

It was a natural discovery. The medicine intrigued me because it looked at the whole picture, the whole body. Traditional Chinese medicine is very much the answer to many riddles and puzzles that a patient presents with. When looking at a patient, taking into account the physical body, mental body and energetic body, a practitioner of Chinese Medicine can see patterns, and those patterns bring you closer to the root of the disharmony that a patient may be experiencing. I love being able to integrate all of my previous studies to reinforce and share this amazing medicine.

Can you tell me a little about your background?

I studied nutrition & dietetics to find harmony with food. Food is medicine, and examining the relationship of how food plays a role in shifting how you feel, how you fuel your body and, show up in the world, feels like an opportunity because we do this three times a day. I have also studied yoga and meditation, becoming a teacher of both in order to deepen my practice was one of the best decisions of my life. I learn best by teaching. Movement and stillness came to be another way in which I could find balance in my body. I further studied Ayurveda, energy medicine, as well as the essence of essential oils to fill my arsenal with all the tools of our ancestors. Old medicine is old medicine for a reason, it has worked for years, and is still around because of that.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The patients! I learn so much from them.

What is your favorite acupuncture point?

As of late, anything on the ear!

What are your hobbies?

Sunrises and writing. I just published my first book.

What is your favorite health/wellness tip?

With every season of your life there comes different challenges and celebrations, remember that we are constantly changing and adapting, as is the world around us.

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How to Boost Your Immune System This Season

With the holiday season ongoing and Covid cases on the rise, we wanted to share with you some of our best tips to give your immune system a much-needed boost.

First and foremost, do what you can to support your overall health. This includes getting lots of sleep, staying hydrated, and trying to fit in some exercise.

Eat real food! Nourish your body with cooked vegetables, soups, stews, and foods that are warming. This is not the season for salads. This is especially important if you feel a cold coming on. The winter months are hard enough on our bodies as it is.

Consider adding some immune strengthening supplements – Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Elderberry are especially beneficial.

Schedule a Treatment – Acupuncture and herbal medicine can work to strengthen your immune system, boost energy, relieve stress, and resolve dampness and phlegm.

Some of our favorite products you can pick up today:

  • Immune Tonic Tea (Yu Ping Feng San) – This preventative herbal formula strengthens your immune system, expels wind, and boosts lung qi.
  • Cold and Chills Winter Blend (Gui Zhi Tang) – This healing herbal blend helps to treat the common cold, warms the heart, and balances yin and yang.
  • Elderberry Elixir – Elderberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that your immune system loves. This syrup also contains chaga mushroom, raw honey, raw apple cider vinegar, and warming spices that encourage circulation. Elderberry Elixir decreases inflammation and strengthens your body’s detoxification abilities.
  • Chinese Herbal Chicken Soup – One of our favorite ways to nourish the body with warm foods and extra hydration is to cook up some chicken or vegetable soup with this tonifying herbal blend. These herbs will enhance digestion, nourish your blood, and strengthen your immune system.
  • Immune Essential Oil Spray – This spray includes eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, and other oils with antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

As with all medicine, everyone is different, so feel free to ask your acupuncturist to recommend some immunity boosting foods or products that will work best for your own specific needs.

Please call (843) 937-6890 if you would like to schedule an appointment.

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Give Thanks

As we approach what may be an unconventional Thanksgiving holiday, we wanted to take a moment to discuss gratitude.  Studies have shown that people who live with a sense of gratitude tend to live happier lives, form healthier relationships, and maintain better mental and physical health overall. Showing gratitude can promote better sleep, enhance self-esteem, decrease aches and pains, and even aid in overcoming trauma. Here are a few of our favorite ways to express gratitude: 

✍️ Write it down – Keep a journal, send a “Thank you” note, or just take a moment to list a few things you feel grateful for each week.

🎨Share your talents – Art and Music can bring such joy to others. If you are an artist, consider creating something for a friend or family member. Creativity and Gratitude are both great tools for our health and wellbeing. Look for ways to combine these acts.

🎉 Share their Joy – Celebrate in the accomplishments and joys of your friends and family as if they are your own.

🗣Provide encouragement – Sometimes the world can be so critical. Take some time and check in with your friends and family and be a voice of encouragement. Our words can be so powerful.

🧘🏽Meditate – Meditation can provide a wonderful space to express gratitude. If interested, check out this Supported Chest Opener for Gratitude, adapted from www.yogajournal.com.

What you’ll need: Floor space or yoga mat, a thickly folded blanket or foam roller or yoga block, a small pillow, and three-five minutes.

Get into position: Lie on your back with a thickly rolled up blanket, foam roller, or yoga block placed vertically to your spine and directly under the shoulder blades. Place a small pillow under your head, for support. Your head should be at about chest height. You can keep your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor or straighten your legs. Bring your arms away from the sides of your body, palms facing up, to make a “T”.

Pay attention to your breath: Allow your head, neck, and collar bones to relax, as your upper back arches and your chest opens. Breathe deeply through your diaphragm, and feel your ribs expand. Allow the breath to fill your chest. Exhale. As you relax into this chest-opening pose, you can quiet your mind and focus on your breath, or, think about the things, people and relationships in your life for which you feel gratitude.

We get it, this year has been rough, and expressing gratitude isn’t always easy, but trust us, it’s worth it. We hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday. 

Stay well. ❤️

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Welcome in!

Have you had a chance to see our new lobby yet?

Due to Covid-19, we are still having patients wait in their cars, but we are so excited to share this new waitingspace with you!

Please note that our retail store IS open! We have gotten lots of new goodies in recently, and you are welcome to shop before or after your appointment. 

In the spirit of Fall – the season of gratitude – we want to express how grateful we are to you all for your kind words, reviews, referrals, and appreciation of the work we do. 

Thank you so much for your continued support during this time!

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Thank you, veterans

Today we honor those who served and who continue to serve. Thank you so much for your courage, service, and dedication. 🙏🏼

One of our longstanding goals is to make acupuncture and holistic medicine affordable and accessible to everyone, including our Vets. In recent years, we have had the privilege to work with the VA and help bring wellness and healing into the lives of our local Veterans. It has been an honor to serve this community.

We are so happy the VA has recognized acupuncture as a reliable treatment for chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, injury recovery, headaches and more. 

Veterans, for more information on how to get your treatments covered, inquire with your primary care doctor at your local VA office.

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Get to know our team | Dana Bufalino

Dana is a certified holistic health coach. She received herhealth coaching training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and received her board certification by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches. Through her education and years of research, she has found that we can heal ourselves from the inside out.

We sat down for an interview with Dana! We hope this post will help you get to know her and inspire you to seek out foods that will help you heal from within. Get ready for some #foodspiration! 

What got you interested in nutrition?

In high school, I suffered from acne (who didn’t, amiright?) and my mom, who has always been a fan of Eastern / holistic medicine, suggested I take flax oil to treat my acne. Not only did it clear it up, but my hair grew thicker, my nails grew stronger….and it happened so quickly. I was amazed at how fast and efficiently food can impact our bodies. I was hooked!

What are some of your favorite go to meals?

• Breakfast: whatever fruit is in season + overnight oats. Babas on Cannon has THE very best overnight oats. I’m constantly trying to recreate it.

• Lunch: whatever local veggies that I received from Community Supported Grocery sautéed in garlic with a fried egg or two (Storey Farms are my favorite local eggs) + a drizzle of Red Clay Salsa Verde.

• Dinner: tacos are always a favorite – easy to make healthy with lots of veggies + a big spoonful of guac. My husband just started making his own tortillas and they’re so delicious. They’re only two ingredients (simply masa flour and water!), so easy to make and SO tasty.

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

It actually depends on your body! Some bodies thrive eating first thing in the morning; other bodies thrive waiting a bit. However, ALL bodies thrive by drinking a big glass of room temperature water first thing in the morning.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Nothing makes me happier than seeing the genuine shock and joy on my clients’ faces when they quickly see results after a few simple changes to their diet. 

What are your favorite health and wellness tips?

• Eliminate processed foods.

• Move every day in whatever capacity feels right

• Prioritize sleep

• Switch to nontoxic skincare and household cleaners.

What are your hobbies?

I love practicing yoga, going for walks with friends in Hampton Park, beach walks with my family on Sunday mornings, baking refined sugar free sweets and reading biographies about musicians or VIPs of our time….usually a hand me down from my dad.

To schedule a nutrition consultation with DanaBufalino, please call (843) 937-6890, or email info@blueheroncharleston.com!

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This one’s for the guys! 🧔🏻👨🏾👴🏼🧔🏽

We have been talking a lot about women’s health recently, but men can benefit from acupuncture and holistic medicine, too! It’s a huge misconception that acupuncture is only for women. We see a great deal of men in our practice and we really enjoy helping them correct imbalances in their bodies and take ownership of their health.

So many men live with chronic pain and other health disorders because they feel a misplaced need to be “strong” and often avoid asking for help — it’s time to break this habit!

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer so many benefits for men’s health, including pain management, stress reduction, sleep disorders, digestive issues, high blood pressure, and headaches.

Men need self care, too! Call or email us to help us set you on your path to greater wellness. 🙌🏽

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How to Boost Your Fertility and Increase Your Chances…

There are so many factors in play when we discuss a woman’s fertility: hormones, diet, stress levels, emotions, genetics, having an adequate support system, the list goes on. We love working with women who are trying to conceive because we have seen huge success from the addition of acupuncture and herbal medicine. If you have decided to pursue IVF, we cannot stress enough how important it is to prepare your body. Ideally, we want to start early, but even just ONE acupuncture treatment before IVF can substantially increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

Our success rate for IVF patients is over 80 % – this is close to double the success rate of IVF without acupuncture. We have successfully supported patients with hormone imbalance, luteal phase defect, PCOS, amenorrhea, recurrent miscarriages, endometriosis, fibroids, poor egg quality, premature ovarian failure, hypothyroid, and unexplained infertility to become pregnant and have healthy babies – whether undergoing IVF or trying to conceive on their own.

Our treatments will promote the health of your reproductive system by balancing your hormones, nourishing your body, increasing circulation to the reproductive organs, supporting your endocrine system, improving your thyroid function and adrenals, and decreasing stress and anxiety.

Women who are trying to conceive are always told not to stress but never told how – this notion can often create more stress. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can calm the sympathetic nervous system, allow the body to relax, and encourage feelings of security.

                                “I’m safe.”

                                “I can let this happen.”

                                “I can become pregnant now.”

What seems so simple is often substantial in how our bodies respond to the potential of becoming pregnant.

When the body’s cortisol levels are high, it is hard for the body to produce progesterone – a hormone crucial for fertility and pregnancy. Progesterone causes the uterine lining to thicken and accept a fertilized egg. It also helps prevent uterine contractions that could cause the body to reject the egg. 

There is a strong emotional component to fertility as well. Trouble conceiving or sustaining pregnancy can take a huge emotional toll; you may experience grief, a sense of inadequacy or feeling betrayed by your own body, anger, anxiety, or depression. Fertility struggles are a world unto themselves because you often grieve for something that has yet to exist. In our practice, we have seen over and over that a woman’s path to fertility is often her own healing journey. This very often encompasses easing judgement on yourself, softening, and letting go of self-criticism and perfectionism. 

It can be easy to feel trapped by some of these emotions and feel defined by words like infertility. We want to help you embrace your fertility, take ownership of your health, and provide the warmth and vitality that your body so desperately craves.

We understand your struggle, and we want to support you wherever you are in this journey. 

Let us be your village.

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How to Manage Stress in Pregnancy or While Trying…

Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive are constantly being told not to stress but never told how – this notion can often create more stress. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are so beneficial for reducing stress and calming the sympathetic nervous system, but why is this important?

When your body’s cortisol levels are high, it is hard for your body to produce progesterone – a hormone crucial for fertility and pregnancy. Progesterone causes the uterine lining to thicken and accept a fertilized egg. It also helps prevent uterine contractions that could cause the body to reject the egg. 

In addition to nourishing the uterine lining, acupuncture encourages feelings of security, “I’m safe. I can let this happen. I can become pregnant now.” What seems so simple can be significant in how our bodies respond to pregnancy.

We are so passionate about the work we do with women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, whether it relates to stress and anxiety, balancing hormones, nutrition guidance, or even working around a diagnosis of PCOS or Infertility.

For more information on Fertility and Pregnancy, please visit our website at blueheroncharleston.com.