RedWood TCM
RedWood TCM
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Roland Sieracki, RedWood TCM

TCM my foot

On Halloween I had a significant foot surgery. It had been getting increasingly difficult for me to run without foot/knee/hip pain. A bunion that had had several decades of growing time had been eroding the structural integrity of my right foot. I’m not ready to hang up my running shoes, so I opted to have the bunion removed and the foot remodeled.

Dr. Rex Smith here in Eugene performed the surgery. It was done in his office complex with a local anesthetic. This allowed my to watch as he worked. The procedure took about an hour. I walked out on crutches and with a boot on the foot carrying a very specific schedule of post-surgery directions from Dr. Smith. I also had a prescription for pain medication.

It was my idea to use all of my TCM tools to manage the post-operative pain and to speed the recovery process. I had been universally advised by Dr. Smith, Dr. Zhaoxue Lu of OCOM, and friends who had had similar surgeries to take the pain meds as the anesthetic wore off. I did. I took the generic Norco three times, four hours apart, after arriving home. I also kinesio taped my leg to alleviate any possible swelling in the foot and ankle. The morning after I began taking an herbal formula that Dr. Lu had recommended to me.

It consisted of Dang Gui, Chuan Xiong, Chi Shao, Tao Ren, Su Mu, Ze Lan, Ru Xiang, Mo Yao, Wu Yao, Chen Pi, Xu Duan, Gu Sui Bu, Mu Tong, Gan Cao. These were granules. I religiously drank the two cups per day as directed.

I also treated myself with acupuncture whenever I felt a pain surge in my foot. Points used were SP5, ST41, GB34, ST36, SP10 (right) and LV3, Ling gu, Da Bai (left). I am trying to “get into” the Master Tong point system, so I threw in Ling gu & Da Bai for possible insurance as a pain control point combination. On day three post-op I stopped needling LV3 on the left foot and the Ling gu, Da Bai points because they weren’t needed. As soon as SP10, GB34, and ST41 were inserted any hint of pain and discomfort was gone. Retention time was 45 minutes.

It was observed that on the fourth day after surgery that there was no swelling. I was not having any pain issues. There was minimal bruising at the base of toes 2,3,4, & 5.

I have been applying a dit da jiao that I get from Red Blossom Tea in San Francisco. I started doing this on the exposed toes and along the sides of the ankle posterior to the malleoli. I am looking forward to being able to work on the entire foot with both liniments and moxa.

On day 14 the stitches were removed. The pin is scheduled to be removed on Nov. 27th. I have used up the first batch of formula. I have not needed to use acupuncture for the past three days.

I am doing my best to strictly follow Dr. Smith’s guidelines to recovery. I hope for the same kind of compliance from my own patients.

I have had terrific support from friends with rides (no driving until the pin is removed), and running errands. The surgery itself took about an hour. The anticipated rehabilitation period before I can put a shoe on the foot is three months.

I’ll keep you posted on my upcoming New Year’s Eve run at the South Eugene track. Meanwhile I will try to make the best of the situation.

Be Well.


China Travel Journal

Yesterday evening Dr. Jin saw patients at De Ren Tang, one of three clinics he visits each week. His hours are from 5:30pm to 10:00pm. He saw 67 patients who came alone or with family and friends.

I am taken by the undeniable commitment of the Chinese people to their traditional medicine. Entire families fly down to see Dr. Jin from as far away as Beijing. The patients know many of the herbs that the doctor prescribes for them. Preparation options are discussed as to which will be most effective. When the father is ill his wife and children will accompany him. Mom and grandmother come in when the child is ill. In short, TCM is a family affair. Some have tried Western medicine treatments only to return to TCM when these have not helped them. In the office Dr. Jin is the authority, but all participate during the visit. Even next and last patients who the doctor has seen or will see next contribute to the conversation. The small office is often a free for all of people discussing the patient's condition. In a city of twenty million people the concept of privacy and privilege is quite different than it is in a small US city like Eugene, Oregon.

Wishing you all Health and Happiness,



China Travel Journal

While at the herb market on Sunday I met Richard Hong, President and CEO of Sanherb Biotech. This is a company that uses both extracts and whole herbs to produce products for neutriceutical companies in the States. Hammer Nutrition is one of the companies that uses Sanherb products. They buy herbs from around the world, including Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, and China. Mr Hong invited me to visit his company and that is what we did this morning. An amazing operation. They process, refine to up to 100% purity using sigma standards. The next part of the business is Comfaith, a partner company that works on product packaging strategies to get the herbs to the customer in a way that allows easy access to the product whether at home or while traveling. Lastly we visited the Chengdu clinic of Dr. Xia. He's a doctor, a pediatrician of TCM, strongly committed to educating his patient base to maintain good health practices. His clinic is Zen Healing. Dr. Xia uses the Sanherb concept of delivery system of herbals with his patients. He hope some day in the future to see the Zen Healing clinic concept spread to other countries around the world. 

It was another whilrwind morning with much exciting information about Traditional Chinese medicine combined with modern, high-tech delivery systems. 

The afternoon was was filled with the smell of moxa smoke. A friend of my translator was in Chengdu to be treated at the acupuncture clinic of Chengdu University of TCM. The room was filled with ongoing activity for the entire afternoon. The clinic is supervised by Dr. Hu. He's universally well-liked by his students who have learned to treat patients with confidence and efficiency. The photos of this event can relate my experience of the afternoon better than my writing about it. 

Yesterday evening I was with Dr. Jin at yet another clinic across town. (My translator, Michelle, and her roommate Annie are teaching me how to navigate the wonderful public transit system of Chengdu.)  This clinic is De Ren Tang; 6:00pm to 10:00, 55 patients. Professionally and efficiently diagnosed and treated by Dr. Jin. Mouth cancer, HPV, lobular hyperplasia, common cold, amenorrhea, arthritis, diabetes, Wist syndrome were some of the challenges brought to the doctor's table this evening. The doctor has no favorite herbs, but is always deciding which are the correct herbs for each patients presenting pattern. Hope exhausted.

Tomorrow will be the real challenge for me. 9:00 am to 6:00pm with Dr. Jin at the Tong Ren Tang.

With the temperature in Chengdu hovering around 100 degrees with 87% humidity this is as taxing as any marathon could be. 

Wishing you all Health and Happiness,




China Travel Journal

This was the second day of being with Dr. Jin in the clinic. Yesterday we were at the Xinlin Chun Tong clinic across the street from the Sichuan Provincial Hospital. Working from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm he saw 42 patients. It was very much a family affair. Dr. Jin, the master, in his chair behind the big desk. Three student helpers and observers, my translator, her roommate, and me all surrounding the doctor eager to watch him work and to comment to us on his treatment strategy.

Add to that four or five patients and their family members crowding into the small room before their scheduled appointment times and, finally, the patient sitting on a stool at the end of the doctor's desk. That was the scene for three and a half hours of nonstop Chinese herbal medicine. Xinlin Chun is a neighborhood type clinic. Today we were with Dr. Jin at the Chengdu Tong Ren Tang. It is in the middle of the city and has been in the middle of the city for four hundred years. It is a very prestigious place to work as a Chinese Traditional doctor.

Dr. Jin spends an average of about 7 minutes with each patient. Some require more time. Some are long standing patients of his who come in for a modification of their previous herbal formula, or a new formula based upon any change in their presenting pattern. 

I arrived in Chengdu late Friday night, August 9th. I'd made a reservation to stay at a hostel in an ancient part of the city that is now a historically preserved neighborhood of restaurants, pubs, boutique shops, and entertainment venues for tourists  and locals out-on-the-town. The hostel was not the best stay-over decision. Funky, moldy, extremely negligent in enforcing both its no smoking policy and its quiet after 10:00pm posted policies. I would discourage any travelers from choosing to stay at the Dr ag on Town Sichuan-style Hostel.

I moved out on the third morning and into the Matilda Hotel. A gambling center to be sure, but so far an OK choice. Only a few dollars more per night, the hotel has great air conditioning, clean rooms and working hot water.

Wishing you all Health and Happiness,



RedWood TCM Newsletter

Hello folks,

It has been some time since the last newsletter, and it has certainly been a busy year. RedWood TCM continues to grow. The practice is a happy part of the 5th Street Market family of businesses located in downtown Eugene. I continue to provide herbal formulas from Blue Poppy, and have expanded the prepared medicinals to also include The People’s Herbs and Evergreen Herbs. Experience shows that combining acupuncture treatments with effective Chinese medicinals improves outcomes for patients.

My running activities have been limited to the occasional recreational run. Miles have been replaced by academic rigor as I am currently part of the doctoral program (DAOM) at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM), which is located in Portland. It is a challenging and wonderfully positive experience. With a graduation date of August, 2014, I am looking forward to the opportunity to make a larger and farther reaching contribution to the field of Traditional Chinese medicine, and to health care in our country.

A reminder that we are in the Willamette Valley’s allergy season – grass pollen is on the way. Using acupuncture and herbal formulas is a time tested way to avoid the activity limiting discomfort that effects many at this time of the year. If you are not sure that acupuncture can help you in this situation you can call and make an appointment to come in for a consultation.

The Running Ducks are into the outdoor season. And it looks like Oregon Track Club will have another banner year. Good luck to our world class Track and Field community.

Chinese Medicine is a complete health care system. I enjoy speaking to groups who have an interest in knowing more about the subject. I am available to share information on the subject, and on my approach to the practice of Chinese Medicine with church groups, substance recovery groups, and retirement community groups. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested in hearing about this medicine.

Hammer Nutrition products and Kinesio Tape packets are available at the RedWood TCM office. Hammer Nutrition has been keeping runners and cyclists happy and healthy in their recreational and performance pursuits for many years. I have used their products in my training for marathons and found them second to none. Products like Tissue Rejuvenator have proved invaluable to patients suffering from arthritis and joint pain. As a certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner I recommend this product for rehabilitation of musculo-skeletal injuries. While hastening recovery it also protects against re-injury of the damaged joints and muscles.

Wishing you all Health and Happiness,


5th Street Market, Eugene OR

University of Oregon, Running Ducks

Hammer Nutrition, Tissue Rejuvenator


Roland Sieracki
L.Ac., Dipl.O.M., CKTP


p:  541.556.9786

296 E. 5th Ave., Ste. 314
Eugene, OR, 97401


treating sports injuries, stress, pain, and
internal disharmonies



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