Deborah Graefer, L.Ac.
Owner and Consultant
Licensed Acupuncturist, Masters
Traditional Oriental Medicine
Graduating magna cum laude from Pacific College
of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California in 1994, with a Masters in Traditional Oriental Medicine Debbie was
licensed by the State of California in September of the same year.
Her practice is now devoted exclusively to
gallbladder and related diseases and the underlying causes including hypothyroidism, hashimotos, food intolerances,
leaky gut and toxicity, and to dietary and supplemental recommendations for the above. She helps people with weight
loss assessing the metabolic problems on an individual basis. Although weight loss kits are available on the site,
her preference is to work one-on-one to find problems with metabolism, from lack of fat digestion, slow bile flow,
stress and medications reducing hydrochloric acid, and undetected thyroid problems such as hashimotos or a thyroid
that's being influcenced by too much cortisol. She uses natural products from several reputable companies and manufacturers
and some of her own formulations specifically for gallbladder health.
Deborah spends her spare time perusing gallbladder
and bile research studies and writing newsletters for your enjoyment and edification. Her interest in gallbladder
health was an offshoot of her nutritional studies but more importantly from personal story that began in her childhood
and followed her throughout life, leading her to the study of Chinese medicine. Here is her story.
"I suffered from stomach aches from
early childhood. Trips to doctors had brought no results and so my mother tried some unorthodox methods such as
food combining which resulted in very strange school lunches but none the less gave me some relief. My symptoms
were general indigestion, feeling of fullness following meals or that food was sitting in my stomach for hours,
pain up high above the stomach, below the ribcage in the center and getting worse throughout the day, keeping me
from being able to fall asleep. The pain could get so severe that I would use a very hot water bottle to help to
relax it and after continual weeks of this I would eventually just stop eating for three days to get relief. Doctors
did all sorts of tests, but never any gallbladder tests. And we tried alternative therapies, many of them.
It wasn't until I was in my early 30s that I found any relief at all and that came with a Chinese digestive formula.
I had to take a lot of it to notice a difference at first - 4 capsules before I ate and then if I felt pain afterwards
I would take another 4. But it was so amazing to feel relief from the pain that I didn't care how many I needed
to take. If I kept taking them, the pain would go away. Wow! How could it be that a simple herbal formula could
do what all the medicines couldn't? I began to research all of the herbs in that formula and ended up enrolling
in Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. I suspected that the Chinese knew something that we didn't know. And how
true is that!
What I learned is that nutritive herbs are more respected in Chinese medicine than the stronger more medicinal
ones. They all have their place, certainly, but if you can get results with something nourishing as opposed to
something that forces an action, that if preferable. When you work that way, you are bringing the body back into
balance and allowing it to do the action itself.
What we want to do is to nourish the cells
of the digestive system, from the top to bottom, including the liver and gallbladder, both small and large bowel
and the stomach. So if the cells are in good shape, healthy and in balance, they will do their jobs properly, whatever
the job of that particular cell is. It might be to produce HCl; it might be to signal more or less production of
Hcl. It may be to secrete more bile; it may be to secrete less bile. It may be to produce more or less bile. It
works on a different principal of most supplements which are generally replacing or taking over function. For example,
taking HCl can be helpful. Wouldn't it be better if one could teach one's body to increase its own production?
And the beauty is that the body knows better than our brains what it needs and when it needs it. It knows where
to send the nutrition, what part of the system is in need of the most help. This is the principal of regeneration:
when the body is fed the proper nutrition in the proper (ie concentrated enough) amounts, it has the ability to
correct its own imbalances.
And Chinese formulas inherently address the emotional aspects of the diseased organ as well. Digestive problems
are often accompanied by stresses of one type or another. Much of that is due to our lifestyles; some due to our
genetic or emotional makeup. Children's "tummy aches" are often connected with some emotion that they
are not able to get in touch with or communicate. Adults are often just in denial of the stress. Addressing the
stress at the same time as the organic problem is the ideal way to treat. "
The links below are to the sites of the places where she has garnered much of her professional knowledge:
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
International Foundation for Nutrition and Health
Assisted in teaching health pratitioners Digestion, Blood Sugar Handling, Calcium Balance, Healthy Weight Loss
Studied with Datis Kharrazian, author of Why do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms when My Blood Tests are Normal?
Dr. Kharrizian teaches classes around the country through the Postgraduate Department, University of Bridgeport,
Functional Blood Chemistry
Mastering the Thyroid
Cortisol and Melatonin Circadian Rhythm Physiology
Autoimmune Regulation by the Nitric Oxide and Glutathione Systems
Understanding The Complexity of Gluten Sensitivity
Neuruotransmitters and the Brain
Neurochemistry of Childhood Brain Developmental Disorders
Gluten and Autism Connection
Mastering Brain Chemistry