Services: Naturopathic Therapies and Treatments

Dr Karen Tan offers many services at her Center for Innovative Medicine – here are some examples of therapies and treatments. Please visit the diagnostics page for information about the different testing that may be done as part of your care.


Contact Dr. Tan directly.

Please contact Dr Tan for information regarding these services.

Advance Allergy Therapeutics

Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT)

A HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR THE RELIEF OF SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY ALLERGIES AND SENSITIVITIES Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT) is a non-invasive treatment that effectively addresses the many symptoms caused by allergies and sensitivities. Allergies and sensitivities are caused by an error: the body is responding inappropriately to a harmless substance. AAT treats the overreaction by reducing the stress on the body in relation to the offending substance, creating a positive association so that the body may respond more appropriately. AAT merges 21st century science with 3,000-year-old traditional acupuncture principles in offering an effective alternative in the treatment of symptoms associated with allergies and sensitivities.

  • Non-invasive
  • No needles
  • No herbal remedies
  • No supplements
  • No avoidance

WHAT IS AN ALLERGY? Allergies are a physiological error. The body reacts negatively to harmless substances, foods or stimuli. The word “allergy” comes from the Greek allos, meaning “other”. It was first used in 1906 to refer to an “altered reaction” in the body’s immune system. An allergic reaction occurs when the body comes in contact with the allergen. This can occur through contact with the skin, inhalation, injection or ingestion of the substance. Medical treatment includes: avoidance of the allergen, medications to reduce the symptoms of the allergic reaction, or injections to desensitize the patient to the allergen. The medical classification of a “true allergy” requires an IgE-mediated response. However, there are also non-IgE-immune sensitivities as well as involvement with IgA, IgG or IgG4. The use of the word “allergy” has become a generic term used by the public to describe allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. The distinction of a true allergy based on circulating immunoglobulins is generally unknown. WHAT IS AAT? Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT) is a clinically proven treatment that is highly effective in relieving the many symptoms associated with allergies and sensitivities. It is a therapeutic approach that was developed from over 15 years of clinical research; reconditioning the body to respond more appropriately to harmless substances. The success of the treatment is attributed to the extensive knowledge base and in-depth study of the allergens and offending agents, allowing for the treatment of a broad range of symptoms. The AAT treatment does not rely on the use of medications, herbal remedies or supplements. The treatment is safe, painless and available to all ages including infants. HOW AAT WORKS? AAT treats the symptoms associated with allergies and sensitivities by reducing the biological stress caused by the offending substance. Gentle pressure is used to stimulate points on the back, which correspond with the major organ systems. According to traditional acupuncture theory, this stimulation relaxes the body and temporarily strengthens each of the major organ systems. During treatment, a subtle representation of the substance is introduced to the surface of the skin. Acupressure stimulation is then applied to reduce the stress load caused by the substance. The body associates the enhanced state with the substance, allowing for a more appropriate response. The degree of stress on the organ systems, caused by an allergen, is proportional to the degree of the negative reaction. By easing the stress on the organ system involved, the related symptoms are also reduced, allowing for a positive conditioning effect.

  • AAT does not diagnose allergies, sensitivities or intolerances.
  • AAT does not test for allergies or sensitivities. The AAT system assesses what may be causing a stress to the body.
  • AAT does not cure allergies. The treatment is highly effective in providing long-term relief from symptoms associated with allergies or sensitivities.


A sensitivity or inappropriate reaction may cause symptoms from any organ system in the body. Some systems are prone to reacting to certain families of allergies or substances, such as the respiratory system reacting to pollen. However, a substance may affect any organ system, which could cause a multitude of symptoms varying from case to case. For example, a reaction to wheat may cause hives in one person, digestive issues in another, fatigue, wheezing or Acid Reflux, all in different patients. AAT addresses the specific organ systems affected by the allergen or offending substance. Digestive System Symptoms may include Acid Reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), abdominal and intestinal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting that are primarily caused by food allergens or other ingestants. Respiratory System Symptoms may include hay fever, wheezing, asthma, skin conditions, rashes and itchy, watery eyes. Reactions may be caused by allergies/sensitivities to pollens, dust, food, chemicals and animals (including dog and cat dander and bird feathers), air-borne substances and contactants. Dermatological Symptoms may include eczema, skin rashes, hives, blisters and atopic dermatitis. The main cause of dermatological reactions is allergies/sensitivities to food, but can also be caused by allergies to plants, contactants and chemicals. Headaches and Migraines May be caused by allergies/sensitivities to food such as chocolate and caffeine, airborne irritants such as pollens, and chemicals including household cleaners, perfumes and vehicle fumes. Tiredness and Fatigue Many reactions result in lethargy and feelings of fatigue. Tiredness can also occur at certain times of the day, such as in the afternoon after eating. Multiple Systems Allergies/sensitivities affect multiple systems in the body, resulting in headaches, irritability, hyperactivity, mood swings, fatigue, tachycardia, or inflammation. In children, such reactions can manifest as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is often accompanied with redness around the eyes and nose, and repetitive behavior patterns. General Chemicals – household cleaners, perfumes, building materials, washing detergent, pesticides. Occupational Allergies such as latex or building materials. Animals Heat, cold and humidity/dampness. Many common conditions may be a result from allergy or sensitivity-related symptoms, for example asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). However not all cases involve allergy-related causes. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is primarily caused by sensitivities and affects approximately 15% of the population. Common symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain. Skin allergies/sensitivities are a particularly common allergic reaction and include eczema, dermatitis and hives. PLEASE BE ADVISED AAT cannot guarantee any results. While AAT can provide relief for many symptoms caused by allergies or sensitivities, some cases do not respond. AAT does NOT treat cases of anaphylaxis or life threatening symptoms. Strict avoidance is always advised. POTENTIAL OFFENDING AGENTS Contactants Inhalants Ingestants Injectants Shell Fish Red and White Wine, Beer Chemicals, Latex Fruits Food Components Perfumes Berries Airborne Irritants Herbal Remedies Eggs Dust, Dust Mites Nutritional Supplements Nightshades Seasonal Allergies Environmental Grains Animal Dander Woods, Metals Dairy Fabrics, Upholstery, Plastics Stinging Insects Coffee, Chocolate Detergents, Softeners Sunlight Barometric Pressure HOW MUCH DOES THE TREATMENT COST? Initial consultation: $165 Follow-up visits: $95

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy (CST)

CranioSacral Therapy was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician Dr. John E. Upledger, following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics. CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

Detoxification and Drainage using Homeopathy

Biotherapeutic Drainage

Dr. Tan uses Biotherapeutic Drainage as a modality to detoxify and balance patients. This is a philosophy and healing methodology which has been practiced in Europe for more than 100 years; and brought to the United States in the last 15 years. Dr. Tan has studied Biotherapeutic Drainage extensively with Dr. Gerard Gueniot, MD from France, Dr. Dickson Thom ND and Dr. Mikhael Adams, ND, LAc; and is well versed in this gentle and deep acting healing modality. Detoxification & Biotherapeutic Drainage are used as the environment we live in is increasingly toxic and the number of synthetic chemicals that the body is exposed to increases every year. Almost any chronic disease or endocrine disorder can benefit from drainage, which is a method that helps eliminate toxins from the body. Today, one of the biggest health concerns we face is “toxicity,” the accumulation and storage of environmental wastes in the body.  Many of these chemicals have “biologic action,” which means that they can adversely affect cellular metabolism and interfere with normal bodily functions. Biotherapeutic Drainage utilizes homeopathic formulas that gently activate detoxification at a cellular level, which enhances the body’s normal routes of elimination and can decrease physical, physiological and emotional stresses on organ systems. Drainage is generally well tolerated and a great way to help eliminate toxins that impede health. The process optimizes detoxification and stimulates enzymatic processes in the body. Health and immunity is increased when the body is stimulated to rid itself of naturally accumulating toxins in its cells. Drainage promotes the excretory functions of, as well as balances a particular organ or organs system. The reason this is necessary can be compared to repainting your home. Before you actually paint, you must wash the walls, repair the holes and then prepare the surface to receive the paint. If you paint the walls before removing the impurities, the job will soon begin to break down and will likely have to be redone before long. The same is true in healing the body. This is why Biotherapeutic Drainage is essential in order to help restore your body and maximize your vitality. Drainage is defined as the process of detoxifying the body by opening the routes of elimination and discharging the toxic accumulations. There are two categories of drainage routes: the primary route, which consists of most of the abdominal organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, stomach, pancreas, intestines); and the secondary route which consists of the skin, joints and genitals. These natural routes may not be active and functioning at all times and can lead to an unnatural accumulation of toxins. The toxins may be the cause of many symptoms and diseases. Your present health concerns may be the result of toxic accumulations in your tissues. Drainage also serves to stimulate the proper functioning and balancing of organs in order to improve the person’s overall health.

Hormone Balancing

Coming Soon.

Please contact Dr Tan for information regarding this treatment.

Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a preparation made from a patient’s own blood that is injected back into an injury to strongly stimulate the body’s own healing response. It was originally pioneered by dentists who injected it into the jaw to stimulate healing. Currently, it is gaining media attention due to its use by professional athletes to speed their recovery back to full performance without surgery. This therapy is recognized as the cutting edge of injection therapies available today for severely degenerated joints, significant muscle tearing, and injuries that do not respond to Prolotherapy injections. Platelets are cell fragments that naturally occur in blood. They are very rich in chemicals called “growth factors.” Growth factors play an important role in stimulating all of the processes involved in healing an injury. There are at least 10 different growth factors that are known to be released by platelets in response to an injury.  When the body is injured, platelets in the blood migrate to the injury to form a clot. As the platelets form a clot, they release growth factors into the blood. Growth factors bring the body’s own stem cells to the injury, to kick-start the tissue rebuilding process.

 Natural Surgery Alternative

Many orthopedic doctors are now using this PRP technique as an option before surgery. Studies have shown this to be an attractive option because the procedure is quick, the recovery time is minimal and there is no scarring. Research has shown that PRP injections accelerate the healing in tendon and ligament injuries, which are some of the most difficult injuries to recover from. A quick blood draw starts the process of a PRP visit. The patient’s blood is then put into a centrifuge that spins it at such a high rate that the blood separates into layers. The platelet layer is concentrated through this process by up to 10 times its normal concentration in blood. The platelets are then re-injected into the injured tissue.


What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy also know as regenerative injection therapy, sclerotherapy, (proliferative therapy), ligament reconstruction therapy, and fibro-osseous injection therapy, is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body’s nature healing processes to strengthen joints weakened by traumatic or over-use injury. When ligaments or tendon attachments are stretched, torn, or fragmented, joints become hypermobile and painful. Traditional approaches with surgery and anti-inflammatory drugs often fail to stabilize the joint and relieve this pain permanently. Prolotherapy, with its unique ability to directly address the cause of the instability, can repair the weakened sites and produce new fibrous tissues; resulting in permanent stabilization of the joint. Sclerotherapy can also be used to treat varicose veins, spider veins, hemorrhoids, other vascular abnormalities and other similar conditions.

How does Prolotherapy work?

With a precise injection of a mild irritant solution directly on the site of the torn or stretched ligament or tendon, Prolotherapy creates a mild, controlled injury that stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue on the weakened area. The mild inflammatory response that is created by the injection encourages growth of new ligament or tendon fibers, resulting in a tightening of the weakened structure. Additional treatments repeat this process, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue to restore the original strength to the area. Injection of varicose veins and other similar abnormalities creates a mild inflammatory response causing them to contract so that they become smaller or even vanish.

What is in the solution that is injected?

The Prolotherapy injections contain anesthetic agents and natural substances which stimulate the healing response. The primary agent is glucose, but each treating physician tailors the selection of substances according to the patients’ needs.

Is the Prolotherapy treatment painful?

Any pain involving an injection will vary according to the structure to be treated, the choice of solution, and the skill of the physician administering the injection. The treatment may result in mild swelling and stiffness. The mild discomfort passes fairly rapidly and can be reduced with pain relievers such as Tylenol. However, anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, should not be used for pain relief because their action suppresses the desired inflammatory process produced by the injection.

Can Prolotherapy help everyone?

Each patient must be evaluated thoroughly with patient history, physical exam, X-ray exam, and full laboratory work up, before treatment will be administered. With this information, your physician can evaluate your potential success with this therapy. Success depends on factors which include the history of damage to the patient, the patient’s overall health and ability to heal, and any underlying nutritional deficiencies that would impede the healing process.

What areas of the body can be treated?

This form of therapy can be used to treat different joints such as knee, hip, ankle, wrist, elbow and shoulder. In addition, the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine including the sacroiliac joints can also be treated. Prolotherapy is also successful in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and temporal mandibular joint dysfunction.

How often do I need these treatments?

The treatments should be administered every one, two, or three weeks, as determined by your treating physician.

What’s the rate of success in treatment?

The anticipated rate of success depends on a number of variables, including the patient’s history and ability to heal, and the type of solution used. In patients with low back pain with hypermobility, 85% to 95% of patients treated with Prolotherapy, experience remission of pain. In comparison, the Journal of Bone and Joint Therapy reports on a 52% improvement in patients treated surgically for disc involvement. Varicose veins can usually be 90% to 100% eliminated. Spider veins can usually be improved 70% to 90%.

Is this form of therapy really new?

Prolotherapy has been used successfully as early as 500 B.C. when Roman soldiers with shoulder joint dislocations were treated with hot branding irons to help fuse the torn ligaments in the shoulder joint. Advances in medicines greatly improved on this process, and led to the modern techniques of strengthening the fibrous tissue rather than producing scarring to fuse tissues. In 1926, a group of physicians met with great success using injection therapy to treat hernias and hemorrhoids. Earl Gedney, D.O., a well-known Orthopedist, decreased his surgical practice and began to inject joints with these newer injectible medicines in the 1940s and 1950s. Also, in 1950, George Stuart Hackett, M.D., wrote a book on injection therapy. His work is still used today in training physicians. In the years since this early work, techniques and medications have advanced to move from a scarring or fusing effect to a strengthening effect, which restores the weakened joint to its original level of stability, without loss of flexibility and function.

Center for Innovative Medicine Honolulu

Center for Innovative Medicine Honolulu