Happy Spring! Beat Your Allergies With Acupuncture

Spring has sprung! You know what that means. The arrival of warm weather, new spring threads, trees budding, flowers blooming, the return of baseball season. But unfortunately, for many of us, that also means the return of dry, itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, runny noses—all that comes with seasonal allergies.

Nothing can be more frustrating than when allergies hit at an unexpected time and interfere with enjoying the newly arrived nice weather and all the opportunity it brings. The good thing is, there’s time to prepare before the worst of allergy season arrives. And we’re not talking about stocking up on the over the counter allergy meds you see in those lame commercials.

This year, prevent and treat your allergies with the holistic approach of acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a reliable and lasting remedy for allergies because it does two concurrent, crucial things. 1) It treats the symptoms brought on by allergies (those runny noses and itchy throats, etc.) and, 2) it addresses the imbalances in the body’s energy that lead the body to be susceptible to seasonal allergies in the first place. Diet, exercise, pollutants, stress and more can effect the Wei Qi in our body, which is our cellular and molecular defense system. As Dr. Maureen Lamerdin writes: “Wei Qi's function is to protect and defend the body against foreign substances. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes inadequate attacks from bacteria, viruses and allergens get through our Wei Qi's defense system thereby producing symptoms.”

So this year, make sure your Wei Qi’s defense system is operating at its optimal level. An acupuncture regimen will ensure that it is, and that you can enjoy all this coming spring has to offer free from allergies.

MRI Anxiety? Study Proves Acupuncture Can Help

It’s a cold, hard fact that nobody in the world enjoys getting an MRI — a procedure used for diagnostic imaging that involves immersing yourself in a well, cold and hard machine.

 

For people with claustrophobia, it can be a real nightmare.  

 

Yet thanks to a recent study published by HealthCMi, acupuncture can help.

 

Researchers at the Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that true acupuncture proved more effective than “sham acupuncture” (the control group”) in treating those who suffer f claustrophobia during an MRI.

 

Claustrophobia can be extremely problematic for both the patient and the imager. The patient may begin to feel panic attacks o extreme nervousness, and unable to continue with the procedure — leading to inconclusive results.

 

So researches set out to treat the nervousness and fear by, “soothing the liver qi, tonifying the kidney qi, and stabilizing the spirit and mind.”

 

Those who received that treatment achieved a 92.5% effective rate. Those who did not? Twenty-five percent and 17.5 percent, respectively.

 

So, acupuncture clearly worked.

 

For one session with a 30-minute needle retention rime, the rotating and twisting technique of acupuncture was performed at the following acupoints:

 

  • KI6 (Zhaohai)

  • LV3 (Taichong)

  • HT4 (Lingdao)

  • PC6 (Neiguan)

  • HT7 (Shenmen)

  • CV17 (Danzhong)

  • GV20 (Baihui)

  • GB20 (Fengchi)

In the sham group, they were inserted elsewhere, at irrelevant points.

 

After the treatment, the patients were evaluated using the SAI, or State Anxiety Inventory which assessed their emotions and anxiety. When, “fear and relevant symptoms showed improvement, and a patient could complete an MRI examination,” it was considered effective — which was 92.5% of the time.

 

The bottom line? Acupuncture before an MRI just might make a world of difference.

Using Acupuncture to Treat Trauma

The mind/body connection is truly undeniable. When one isn’t working properly, you can bet the other isn’t either. This is perhaps nowhere more complicated than in individuals dealing with trauma.

  

Trauma is a multifaceted word that embodies so much. Pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, memory issues, terror, difficulties adjusting to post-trauma life — it’s almost endless. But if you work to heal the mind, you can often heal the body. And you can use the body to heal the mind, too.

 

But with what, you might ask? Acupuncture, of course. In fact, it’s a proven way to help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep, which naturally lends itself to improved mental health. In dealing with something as serious as trauma, the smallest improvement can mean a world of difference.

 

As reported on Rfi News, acupuncturist Elise Boghossian packed up her acuneedles and headed to Iraq, leaving her lie behind in Paris and setting out to bring healing to kidnapped and enslaved women in northern Iraq.  

 

She told the site, ““The first time I went to Iraq I was completely alone. I didn’t have colleagues or work with a specific organization. I just had my acupuncture needles to offer people pain relief.”

 

Through her experiences, she eventually founded NGO EliseCare, an organization with six sites throughout Iraq that offer free medical consultations, continuous psychological care to patients, and medical training in acupuncture, emergency medical care, gynecology, radiology and biology.

 

You can watch her story, here.

Acpuncture For Bell's Palsy? Just Ask Angelina Jolie

422px-Angelina_Jolie_2_June_2014_(cropped).jpg

Bell’s Palsy comes without warning. One day, one side of the face becomes weak and/or numb, and within a few days the affected person may experience severe drooping and temporary paralysis. It can last up to six months, depending on the severity.

The cause of Bell’s Palsy is still not totally known, though experts have an idea—that the seventh cranial nerve, the nerve that is responsible for allowing us to make the facial expressions that we do, becomes afflicted with swelling or inflammation.

As we know, swelling and inflammation are a result of blockages in the body’s meridians, causing energy, or qi, to become stagnant. Acupuncture is uniquely suited to regulating the body’s energy by opening up the blockages, resulting in lessening of inflammation and thus the pain and discomfort associated with it.

While there is no recognized cure for Bell’s Palsy, acupuncture can help ease the symptoms and speed up the recovery. But don’t just take our word for it. Actress, director and philanthropist Angelina Jolie told Vanity Fair about how a number of stressors affected her health. “Sometimes women in families put themselves last,” she said, “until it manifests itself in their own health.” One of the conditions that Jolie got? Bell’s Palsy. However, she credits acupuncture for “her full recovery from the condition.”

While acupuncture is only a part of a healthy routine and treatment for various disorders like Bell’s Palsy, it’s a big piece of the puzzle that’s always there to help.

Acupuncture In The Media: GQ Covers Acu!

151026-F-IF502-028.JPG

It’s always good to see when a big media outlet takes a deep dive into the wonderful world of acupuncture. Though acupuncture has been on this earth for thousands of years, and in the United States for around a half a century, there still remains plenty of room for awareness around acupuncture to grow. So we were encouraged to come across a new article in GQ by Emily Abbate that breaks down how acupuncture can help folks manage pain avoid injury.

One of the interesting notes in the article is, indeed, how popular acupuncture is becoming. More than 14 million people in the US have tried acupuncture, and while we’d love to see that number go up, there’s reason to believe that it is. The article notes how the number of Veterans Health Centers that offer acupuncture has nearly doubled over the past seven years. As opioids and other potentially damaging drugs are too often prescribed to veterans, seeing that more will have access to acupuncture is a welcome sign.

The article highlights that acupuncture is effective at treating “chronic pain, including back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as conditions like chronic headaches and osteoarthritis,” as well as helping athletes’ bodies recover quicker from soreness and improve range of motion. That’s all true, but a quick look at our blog shows that acupuncture is an effective treatment for so much more, too. It’s always worth asking us if we can help you with your specific pain management issues; acupuncture can address just about any issue in the body where the energy is out of whack.

Finally, it’s good to see that the article also took a little bit of time to speak to the preparations that a new patient should take before their first visit. Since acupuncture is foreign to many people, it’s understandable to be intimidated. But as the article states, there isn’t much one needs to do before coming. Wearing some comfy clothes and coming in with a positive attitude and ready to relax is pretty much it. Leave the rest up to us!

How Acupuncture Can Help Those With Diabetes

Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes every year, with about 30 million people suffering from it across the country. Chances are we all know somebody directly or indirectly who is living with diabetes.

For those who are unaware, diabetes is a disease that causes the body to be unable to properly process food to be used as energy. The result of this inability is a buildup of sugar in the blood. These high glucose and low insulin levels can lead to a number of symptoms that affect daily life, like fatigue, frequent urination, frequent hunger and thirst, and weight loss.

There are medications available that diabetics can take to help ease the burden brought on by these symptoms, but there’s also a holistic, safe and effective way to treat many of the side effects too—acupuncture.

A study in Beijing found that consistent acupuncture lowers glucose levels, increases insulin levels, and improves glucose intolerance, which all combines to keep symptoms in check. In particular, “low intensity and low-frequency electroacupuncture could help in reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity,” says Medical News Today. And, in 2015, a study showed that acupuncture treatment combined with an anti-diabetic medication called metformin produced better results for patients than just taking the medication alone.

Of course, there is no cure for diabetes, and those who live with it will always have to consider the best diet and treatment options for their specific case. But acupuncture can play a role in making dealing with diabetes just a little bit easier.

Facial Acupuncture for Migranes

For those who suffer from migraines, the pain is all too familiar.

The pressure, pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light is enough to make anyone seek any treatment that may be able to help.

But before resorting to harsh pharmaceuticals, it’s important to investigate other options that might help.

A writer for Bustle did just that. Just today, she shared her quest to treat her migraines with her readers — 30 days of acupuncture.

While we already know acupuncture can help relieve the pain and frequency of migraines and headaches, her experience was affirming.

For her 30 day experiment, she received acupuncture treatments at least once a week for four weeks. She saw different acupuncturists within the same group, and tried various modalities — but most days, facial acupuncture was the treatment of choice.

Ironically enough, if it was, “a particularly bad headache or migraine day, I opted solely for a headache treatment, which did not include needles in my face at all.”

The writer, Rosanne Salvatore, also monitored skin changes as well while not making any other changes in regards to diet or lifestyle.

The result? Pretty amazing.

She said, "There was one moment near the end of my 30 days where I actually couldn't remember the last time I had a headache. I will think back on that moment fondly, forever.”

After her last session, she went ten days headache free which was, the longest stretch I can remember in a long time.”

She notes that at the time of publication, “it's been about five weeks since my last treatment and I'm back to getting headaches about one to two times a week.”


Acupuncture Can Reduce Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause.

It’s something every woman must face, eventually. And it’s a solid guarantee that nobody looks forward to it.

A time of great change and transition, it’s a milestone that comes with the aging process and can be quite difficult on the female body.

But what if we told you acupuncture can help?

It can.

In a recent article from Medical News Today, it was revealed that just a short time spent with acupuncture treatments could significantly reduce some of the harshest symptoms of menopause.

Researches of this study decided to focus on one of the most common complains — hot flashes.

Here’s how the study went down.

Of seventy women experiencing menopause, half were given a 15-minute acupuncture session once a week for 5 weeks. All were given a questionnaire about their menopause symptoms and it was filled out at 3, 6, 8 11 and 26 weeks. In only 3 short weeks, the group receiving acupuncture noticed a decrease in their hot flashes.

Even better?

After six weeks, EIGHTY percent of the women receiving acupuncture believed it had helped. And, they also experienced relief in severity and/or frequency of sweating, sleep issues, emotional and mood problems, and their skin nail issues.

We also know that it can help with reduction in anxiety, depression, weigh management and anti-aging, too.

Though the study has faced some criticism, largely due to the ambiguity surrounding what’s called the “placebo effect” of acupuncture, it’s evident that a large number of women were left feeling better after just once weekly acupuncture. And that’s good enough for us.

So, what are you waiting for? Give acupuncture a try today.

Acupuncture = Less Opioid Prescriptions?

The opioid epidemic our country is currently facing takes the lives of 130 Americans each and every day.

 

In 2017, overdose death counts were six times higher than those of 1999. And since then, more than 700,000 people have died due to overdosing on the potent prescription pills.

 

Unfortunately, often the people we trust the most — our physicians, can put people’s lives at risk by over prescribing these pills as a means of pain management. But, acupuncture can help.

 

How?

 

The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that recent results from a survey of Uniformed Services AFP members revealed that, ”family physicians who received training in acupuncture prescribed fewer opioids for patients, especially ‘strong’ opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.”

 

 

As part of the survey, doctors were asked questions investigating their prescribing habits when it comes to opioids including the frequency they use nontraditional therapies, “such as nutrition, acupuncture and massage.”  

They were asked to estimate the number of patients they had written a prescription for “weak” and “strong” opioids for chronic, noncancer  pain.

The difference lied in the those that prescribed strong opioids — like morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl.

 

“More than 5 percent of family physicians with no training in acupuncture reported that on average, they wrote prescriptions for strong opioids for 11 or more chronic noncancer pain patients each month.” But of those family physicians who are trained in auricular acupuncture, only two percent wrote that many.  

 

The bottom line?

 

Though not a scientific study, it’s promising to know that those doctors who are familiar with the power of acupuncture are writing less prescriptions for such dangerous drugs.

 

Being aware of nontraditional therapies is important for all who are seeking pain relief, as these types of pills should be considered a last resort in most cases.

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Weight Loss? Six Ways it Can Help

Falling a little short on that New Years Resolution to lose weight?

Or, are you realizing that summer is fast approaching (woohoo!) and you’re looking to shed a few more pounds?

Let acupuncture help.

There are a myriad of ways that acupuncture can assist you towards reaching your weight loss goals, and just last week, US News and World Report covered six of them.

Here’s how.

  • Acupuncture may affect your hormones.

    • “"The researchers concluded that acupuncture may help people with pre-diabetes lose weight by reducing their insulin and leptin resistance; both insulin and leptin are appetite-regulating hormones that can play a role in long-term weight-loss.”

  • Acupuncture promotes healthy digestion.

    • By restoring qi, acupuncture can provide improved blood flow to your stomach, hereby improving digestion.

  • Acupuncture can relieve stress.

    • Acupuncture can help to release endorphins, which are stress reducing. The article explains, "no matter how you choose to manage stress, though, doing so effectively is critical for weight loss and maintenance.”

  • Acupuncture may reduce cravings.

    • Reducing your cravings leads to healthier food choices, and weight loss will typically follow. The article quotes family physician Dr. Wayne Jonas as saying, “We know that food addictions can lead to weight gain…Acupuncture might alter brain chemicals associated with these addictions and, in this way, help with weight loss.”

  • Acupuncture can lead to better sleep.

    • By lowering stress levels and promoting relaxation, acupuncture helps restore sleep. Sleep is essential to weight loss for many reasons, including the need for proper rest to facilitate digestion.

  • Acupuncture can boost your energy.

    • “For relatively healthy folks just trying to drop a few pounds, though, an acupuncture-related energy boost can support diet and exercise behaviors that may lead to weight loss.” More engery AND weight loss? Sign us up!

What To Know About Acupuncture and Your Face

Acupuncture is a holistic method of healing and restoring the body, and that goes for the outside of it, too. After all, what’s going on inside can greatly affect how we project on the outside, and vice versa.

So it’s no shock that acupuncture can be used for cosmetic reasons. And one shouldn’t feel ashamed for seeking out acupuncture to eliminate wrinkles, dry skin and other on-the-surface issues. As with any other ailment that acupuncture treats, acupuncture is natural, safer than many medications or over the counter options, and the results are lasting.

But there’s a point of confusion for many people when it comes to acupuncture and our faces. Sometimes, facial treatments do not require any needles in the face,. And sometimes the opposite is true, too—treating a different part of the body, or trying to treat an internal issue, may require an acupuncturist to stimulate qi in the facial region.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the difference between facial acupuncture and cosmetic acupuncture. Cosmetic acupuncture refers to receiving acupuncture in order to address surface level issues. Acupuncture can be incredibly effective for conditions like rosacea or general dryness, as well as wrinkles and other aging signs.

"Cosmetic acupuncture aims to treat the imbalance of physiological conditions that may have an effect on your appearance by using both body and facial acupuncture points, says licensed acupuncturist Stefanie DiLibero in Town & Country. For instance, body acupuncture points can be stimulated to try and alleviate wrinkles, targeting areas that cause stress.

But facial acupuncture can occur even when the problem the patient seeks to remedy has to do with somewhere else in the body. Treatments for issues with the jaw, allergies, and gut and stomach issues can include facial points as well.

Whether it’s to treat a cosmetic skin issue or something internal, acupuncture has you covered.

Pregnancy Acupuncture Fit For A Princess

If you don’t fancy yourself much of an Anglophile, you may not know that Prince Harry of Great Britain and his wife, the American actress Meghan Markle, have broken from royal tradition in many ways. The couple is expecting their first child, and the pregnancy and birthing process is no exception. One way in which the Duchess of Sussex is differing herself from past princesses is opting for a natural and holistic birth process. One of the key aspects of Markle’s pregnancy and birth plan has been regular acupuncture.

“Meghan has been having regular acupuncture sessions to help her unwind and relax,” someone close to the couple’s acupuncturist told Vanity Fair. “It’s brilliant for the blood circulation and boosting blood flow to the uterus. She plans to use acupuncture right up to her due date.”

Markle may be breaking from royal tradition, but from where we’re sitting she’s making a great call. One of the smartest things a mom to be can do throughout her pregnancy is receive acupuncture treatments regularly. While the above quote is accurate, acupuncture does far more than merely help circulate blood. It does that for sure, but so much more.

Pregnancy can place an incredible burden on a woman’s body. Not only is her reproductive system experiencing changes like never before, the rest of the body has to compensate for these drastic changes. Weight gain, body temperature changes, nausea are unavoidable. When we treat pregnant women, we’re not only helping the qi in their body flow freely to help with general stress and anxiety, but with all of the other side effects that this wonderful experience unfortunately also brings.

Acupuncture during pregnancy is fit for a princess…but it’s also fit for every pregnant woman, too.

Feeling Down This Winter? You May Have Seasonal Affective Disorder...And Acupuncture Can Help

It’s cold. You wake up and it’s dark, you head to work, and before you even leave work it’s dark again. Repeat over and over again.

Depending on where in the country or world you live, the above description hits close to home. Winter can be fun for the holidays and those who like cold weather activities, but for many, the short daylight hours can take a real toll on one’s emotions. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is linked to the seasons, with susceptible people experiencing it most commonly during fall and winter months. Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder include depression, intense fatigue, difficulty concentrating, consistent negative thoughts and decreased social interaction.

Anyone who thinks they may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder should seek out mental health care. But in lieu of any medication, those who are looking for relief should consider acupuncture a major part of your care plan, too. That’s because acupuncture is uniquely suited to treating mood disorders, including depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Through acupuncture, we can address the root causes of SAD, targeting specifically the areas of the brain and body that respond to light and seasonal changes. Alleviating qi stagnation in the liver can also be a priority, as the liver is a key part of the body that acts as a mediator between our internal and eternal environments.

Most medications for mood disorders only temporarily treat symptoms, not root causes, and they do so by inputting potentially harmful chemicals into our bodies. Acupuncture is a natural, holistic and lasting treatment. For those who suffer from Seasonal Mood Disorder, acupuncture can help you get through the doldrums of the winter months and leave you feeling energized, happy, and ready to take on the day!

New Study Recommends Acupuncture as Alternative to Opioids

We’ve mentioned this before, but now even more research has emerged supporting the fact that acupuncture can be so powerful at relieving pain, it may even take the place of opioids in many patients.

In fact, the Joint Commission (an organization that accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States while developing performance standards that address crucial elements of operation, such as patient care, medication safety, infection control and consumer rights) recently released a statement that explained one of the new elements of pain . management performance, “requires that organizations provide non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities.”

This includes acupuncture. But what does it mean, exactly?

Essentially, organizations are now required to provide non-pharmacologic (aka non prescription) pain treatment modalities relevant to its patient population and assessed needs of the patient. Noninvasive treatments, like acupuncture, can be used as a complementary and in some cases, in place of opioid medication in many circumstances. Thus potentially reducing the amount of people prescribed painkillers — which . is great news.
 
The Joint Commission also noted how important it is to have non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities available for patients who refuse opioid treatment, or are deemed ineligible. This population, including recovering addicts, may be able to experience relief without prescription pills.

Aside from acupuncture, they write that recommended non-pharmacologic strategies, “include, but are not limited to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, physical modalities (i.e.: acupuncture therapy, chiropractic therapy, osteopathic manipulative treatment, massage therapy, and physical therapy) relaxation therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.”

While supportive evidence varies by modality and specialty, more research is consistently supportive.

The bottom line? The Joint Commission states, “our standards do not mandate that any specific complementary options are provided, but allow organizations to determine what modality(s) to offer.”
 

How Long Does Acupuncture Take to Work?

When you’re suffering from pain or a chronic ailment, waiting to see results can be frustrating. So often, we’re asked at the center “when will I feel better?” Or, “when will this start to work?”

Often, it depends on the specific concern you’re seeking treatment for, the level of your pain (if it is pain related, of course)

Many times, patients that are seen for chronic pain feel immediate relief when specific acupoints are utilized, and then notice longer lasting relief as days pass, and sessions continue.

Here are some general guidelines in regards to frequency, and when effects can be seen.

  • For fertility patients undergoing IVF/IUI, treatments will depend on your cycle. We recommend coming while taking your medications, before retrieval, and right around implantation. We also encourage treatments at least throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

  • If you’re having terrible pain (like 10/10) daily treatments are possible until improvement is noted. For middle level pain, biweekly treatments are suggested.

  • Chronic issues that are not severe, once a week for 6-8 weeks and then we will re-evaluate.

    Really long term chronic issues, once a week for ten weeks or twice a week for 5 weeks.

  • For PMS, endometriosis, and/or menstrual cycle related issues, having treatments weekly until you have a more manageable cycle is ideal. Then, biweekly to maintain the improvements.

  • For stress or anxiety, once a week works well, but twice a week is better! These sessions will work well combined with meditation, aromatherapy, and massage.

  • For injury/surgical recovery, your practitioner will work with you to devise a plan of healing. It’s important to ensure circulation is restored and qi is balanced as your tissues heal.

Generally speaking, your best bet is to come in at least once a week in the beginning and then for maintenance treatment after that. Your acupuncturist will guide you towards a personalized treatment plan that is uniquely yours.

How Acupuncture Helped Ease A Woman's Anxiety

It is well-established, with scientific backing, that acupuncture is effective at treating anxiety. Acupuncture’s ability to regulate the body’s qi often helps those who suffer from anxiety feel more relaxed, more in control of their emotions, more present and more confident. We can go on in detail about how and why acupuncture is a valuable part of a treatment regimen for those suffering from anxiety, but we love when we come across personal stories of those who are discovering acupuncture’s benefits for the first time.

So when we saw this personal, first-person account on Popsugar from author Alexandra Hubbel the other day, we couldn’t help but smile…and of course share it with you.

Alexandra tells of how she was suffering from a number of symptoms like dizziness and inflammation, stemming from what she believed was her anxiety. When a friend suggested acupuncture, Alexandra was skeptical at first but gave it a shot.

Then comes our favorite part of the story. As Alexandra writes:

The acupuncturist actually listened. She let me cry. She sympathized. She offered advice. And she didn't make me feel crazy or overdramatic or try to blame my physical symptoms on anxiety and depression alone.

This represents something important to us that doesn’t often get talked. We can’t speak for everyone, of course, but we can promise that we’re a judgment-free zone. It is important that every patient feels comfortable coming to us and describing what they are feeling—that way we can accurately treat what is ailing them. It’s understandable that many people are apprehensive about telling an acupuncturist about something like anxiety. But we are here to help with anything you may be going through and build out a personalized treatment plan that will create lasting change.

Alexandra’s acupuncturist told her “that there's a light at the end of this painful, exhausting tunnel.” We couldn’t think of a better way to describe acupuncture’s goal.

Don't Get It Twisted—What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

If you go to an acupuncture session and your acupuncturist asks to look at your tongue, don’t worry. They’re not about to plunge a needle into your mouth! The fact of the matter is that all healthcare professionals should ask their patients the same request. That’s because you can tell a lot about somebody’s health simply by looking at their tongue and knowing what to look for.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a general map of the tongue is drawn that corresponds to different parts of the body, important organs that our health depends on. The very tip of the tongue corresponds with the heart and lung; the two side edges to the liver and gallbladder; the back (near the throat) to the kidney, bladder, and intestines; and the center corresponds to the spleen and stomach. Issues on those areas of the tongue could lead an acupuncturist to treat a specific area of the body that can be the root cause of the pain or discomfort the patient is experiencing—even if it might be different from what the patient is physically experiencing. See the image below via Village Wellness:

download.png

In general, what practitioners would be looking for is the color and texture of the tongue. A healthy tongue is pink with a thin white coating, and should be proportionate to the person’s body. If a tongue is larger than it should be, swollen or puffy, that means there is likely a qi deficiency. A dark or blue/purplish-ish tongue may indicate stagnation as well, from heat or cold, while a reddish tongue indicates the body temperature is running high. A thick coated white tongue, as many people know, usually relates to some sort of cold/sinus/respiratory issue, and likely means there is extra fluid in the body.

While it won’t tell us everything, the tongue gives a good high level indication as to what is going on in the rest of the body. If the body’s energy isn’t regulated, it will show in the most unlikely of places. So if you can’t quite articulate what’s brought you to seek out acupuncture, your tongue can do some of the talking for you.

Got Jaw Pain? We Can Help

Ever wake up with a tight, sore jaw? Heard a clicking sound when opening and closing your mouth? Or, has your partner told you you tend to grind your teeth at night?

We can help with that.

As writer NIcole Hansalik shared in her story for MindBodyGreen, she was struggling with TMD - or, temporomandibular disorder, also known as pain in the jaw that can be felt while speaking, chewing, yawning, etc.

She said,, “TMD has proved to be difficult to treat with conventional medical treatments, but luckily, acupuncture shows a lot of promise,” and she decided to personally give acupuncture treatment a try.

Unsurprisingly, it helped.

How? While we know acupuncture helps to restore proper energy flow, or “chi”, she explains that, “ Modern research also suggests that it ‘reduces pain sensation through direct stimulation of the nerve, which changes the quality of signaling along nerve cells.’"

For Hansalik, the moment the acuneedle was inserted into the ST 7 Xiaguan acupuncture point, she said, “I can feel the relief, almost instantly.” (This goes for many other painful ailments as well.)

All it took was two appointments and she said her, “jaw pain subsided and I even stopped unconsciously clenching as intensely.” Adding, “While every individual reacts differently to acupuncture, for me it's the only thing that has relieved my jaw and neck pain.”

If you’re struggling with jaw pain or have been diagnosed with TMJ, TMD or just tend to hold some of your tension in your jaw (which is super common) don’t delay — schedule an appointment today!

(And while you’re at it, be sure to share any other struggles with your acupuncturist, too. Stress, sleeplessness, anxiety and a host of other ailments can be treated simultaneously.)


What To Expect At Your First Acupuncture Appointment

So…you’ve been dealing with discomfort and pain for too long now, tried every medication and over-the-counter pill and did all the research and reading you possibly could…but still no results. Your friends and family have been urging you to try acupuncture, and you’re finally ready to give it a shot. As human beings we understandably fear the unknown, and one of the main reasons acupuncture is still growing in the United States.

But have no fear. When you’re ready to really solve the root cause of your pain and discomfort with an acupuncture treatment, you’ll have us to thank for getting you prepared. Here’s what you can expect at your first acupuncture appointment.

After you’ve checked in and been brought to your room, your acupuncturist will ask you what brought you in the door. This is the most important step, because an acupuncturist can only reliably and effectively treat a patient if they know what’s ailing them. Be as specific as you can in terms of what type of pain and discomfort you’re experiencing, how long you’ve been experiencing it, and what illnesses and/or conditions you’re battling.

Next, your acupuncturist will determine your treatment, how many needles and where to place them. And here’s one of the most important things to remember: acupuncture needles do not hurt! A fear of needles keeps many folks away from acupuncture, but those who experience the treatment are amazed at how they can barely feel the tiny needles. Once your acupuncturist has finished placing the needles in, it’s time for you to relax!

Your acupuncturist will likely leave you alone in the room for a bit while the needles do their job, opening up your pathways and balancing the energy in the body. Most acupuncturists will put on calming music or ambient noise, and/or calming scents and lights to help you center yourself during your treatment. It’s your chance to lie down and gather your thoughts, meditate, or do whatever makes you feel calm. Put that phone away!

Most times your acupuncturist will come back to check on you and make sure everything is feeling right. Depending on your specific treatment, your acupuncturist may at this time add a warm heat lamp to a certain area of your body. They’ll then leave the room again for the remainder of the treatment.

After a period of time determined by your acupuncturist, depending on your condition, your acupuncturist will return and remove the needles. This final step is a follow up, where your acupuncturist will ask you how you’re feeling and let you know the preferred treatment regimen moving forward. It’s likely that return visits will be necessary in order for acupuncture to have a lasting effect.

But now that you know what to expect, those future sessions will be a breeze.

How Acupuncture Can Help with Your Resolutions

Happy New Year, everyone!

We hope your New Year’s Eve was fun and festive, and that 2019 is off to a great start for all.

One of the most exciting parts of flipping the calendar is setting new goals and intentions for the year ahead. So as you forge forward into 365 new blank pages, we’re here to support you regardless of the resolutions you have chosen for yourself.

Here’s how acupuncture can help aid you in the process of sticking to the four most popular New Year’s resolutions.

Weight Loss

The most popular resolution year after year, weight loss is a challenge many of us have taken at one point or another. Luckily, acupuncture can help by improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and helping to manage your appetite.

Save Money

This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s not. The cost of regular acupuncture (especially if it’s covered by your insurance) is far less than what over the counter remedies, prescriptions and specialist visits will amount to through the year. By taking preventative measures, you can take charge of your health now to prevent costly encounters later.

Stress Less

In this fast pace life where we are connected 24/7, it’s easy to get stressed. And aside from the unpleasant emotional toll stress can cause, it can wreak havoc on your physical body, too. Luckily, acupuncture can help restore the relaxation in your life. By giving you quiet time to yourself, increasing endorphins and aiding in sleep, regular treatments will leave you feeling calmer and energized instead of frazzled and weary.

Be Present

We are all too often distracted from the present moment. But at NJ Acupuncture Center, you can disconnect from everything and just relax during your session — clearing your mind, focusing n your breathing, practicing meditation — whatever helps you live in the “now”, instead of the past or the future.