Gwyneth Paltrow is a Fan of Facial Acupuncture

Ever wonder how celebrities achieve their glowing and age defying complexions? Us, too. 

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Unfortunately, not too many celebs are eager to spill their secrets to the fountain of youth. But thankfully, Gwyneth Paltrow just did!

This past Wednesday, Paltrow posted a zoomed in selfie of her flawless face on Instagram with acu-needles perfectly placed. The caption read, “Is anyone else into acupuncture? Check out link for a video with master @iloveacupuncture." 

(PS - We're totally into acupuncture too, Gwyneth!)

Her acupuncturist of three years, who US Weekly reports is Paul Kempisty LAc, is quoted by the publication as saying, “facial acupuncture, also known as facial rejuvenation acupuncture, is performed much like regular acupuncture but with a particular focus on supporting connective tissue, circulation and detoxification of the face.”

He further explained, “The local face points also specifically promote wound healing, collagen production, circulation and relaxed and supple muscles on the face and often produces a feeling of deep relaxation and rejuvenation during and after the procedure.”

Here at NJ Acupuncture Center, we take pride in our facial acupuncture services, which are gaining in popularity.

Our acupuncturists are trained to help clients achieve their skincare goals, whether it be anti-aging, improved complexion, acne treatment and more.  We utilize a variety of techniques to help restore your complexion, fight signs of aging, lift and tone the skin, and improve circulation for an overall fresher look.

If you're interested in incorporating acupuncture into your skincare and beauty routine, please call the office at (201) 668-0343 to schedule an appointment! 

Acupuncture for Joint Pain in Cancer Patients

Recent reports from The Washington Times reveal that acupuncture just might be helpful for women going through painful  treatments for breast cancer.

A popular classification of drugs called aromatase inhibitors is often used to treat breast cancer when it’s detected early – but they can also lead to joint pain. SO bad, in fact, that some women opt to discontinue using the medications just for relief.

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Thankfully, a new study from New York Presbyterian, published in the Journal of American Medicine, discovered that acupuncture just might be able to help.

In a study that included research from 226 post-menopausal women who were split into three groups: those who received actual acupuncture, a “fake” treatment, and those who received no treatment at all. The “fake” treatment included needles inserted in their body, but at non-pressure points.

Overall, the group of patients who received true acupuncture reported their pain rating as two full points less than it was prior to treatment starting, while the control group who received nothing had at least .99 less pain.

The Washington Times reports, “researchers called the pain reduction in the true acupuncture group ‘statistically significant but modest improvements.”

Even if only modest, the use of acupuncture to provide any form of relief from women undergoing breast cancer treatments is reassuring.

We have long known that acupuncture can help to provide pain relief and this reaffirms the wide range of modalities as to why patients might seek the holistic treatment.

The use of strategically placed acuneedles throughout targeted acupuncture points can help to restore the flow of “chi” or energy throughout the body – restoring a sense of balance while reducing inflammation and overall pain.

Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce joint pain in arthritic patients, as well as those with injuries or during surgical recovery.

Why Acupuncture is Your Best Bet to Beat That Bad Back

If you’ve felt some back pain recently, you’re not alone. About one in four adults in the US have experienced some sort of back pain over the last 3 months. And many times, particularly as we age, it’s difficult to pinpoint how or why you’ve got that soreness, knot or pulsating pain.

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For years, many of us, whether under the orders of doctors or on our own, have reached for the ibuprofen or acetaminophen bottle to try and relieve back pain. But now, the American College of Physicians is recommending a new first line of defense against back pain before trying any sort of medication—natural therapies, among which acupuncture is one of them.

 

“There’s been a push over the past few years in my practice and in many others to push away from medications ― particularly opioids,” Allen Chen, director of physiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian/The Spine Hospital said to the Huffington Post, adding that this sea change to natural remedies has been long overdue.

 

There are a number of natural, physiological processes that those who suffer from back pain can opt for, including physical therapy, massage, and yoga. Acupuncture, however, is particularly suited to remedy back pain safely and for the long term because of its ability to treat root causes of pain and restore balance in the body.

 

For pain like back aches and soreness, licensed acupuncturists are able to “stimulate the proper points, especially polar points on the hands and feet, that rush blood back to the nervous system to assist the body in inflammation reduction," says Mona Ahdoot Dan, an LA-based acupuncturist. This act is similar to what medications are designed to do, but acupuncture is able to do this without the harmful side effects that painkillers and opioids come with.

 

Thankfully, with the ACP recognizing the benefits of holistic treatments like acupuncture, more and more people will stay away from harmful medications when their back starts acting up.

 

One Woman Shares What Happened When She Tried Acupuncture for PMS

When you’re suffering from a bad bout of PMS, you’re bound to try just about anything to find relief.

 

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But instead of turning towards anti-inflammatories and painkillers, and curling up on the couch with a heating pad, why not try acupuncture? The noninvasive therapy can help to combat the unpleasant exhaustion, headaches, mood swings, cramps and just about every other side effect of your monthly “gift.”

 

In a recent Bustle Article, writer Emma McGowan shared her experience when she turned to acupuncture for some holistic relief.

 

Struggling with suffering from nearly two weeks of both the physical and emotional ramifications of PMS (due to irregular periods) she opted not to go on hormonal birth control, and instead followed her aunts suggestion that she try acupuncture. (Her aunt is an acupuncturist, after all.)

 

With confliction options around the efficacy of acupuncture for PMS (though we’re firm believers in it’s power!) she decided to go for it, and her experience was met with big results.

 

After six months of treatments she shared, “First of all, I can tell you that my physical symptoms pretty much disappeared within the first couple months of doing weekly treatments. No or minimal boob swelling and nipple soreness and I only feel like I want to crawl out of my skin for a day or two, as opposed to two solid weeks.”

 

As far as her emotional issues, she said they did seem to amplify as her physical ones passed, though she acknowledges, “But there was also a lot going on in my life during that time, so it can be a little hard to gauge.”

 

Overall, would she recommend acupuncture to anyone considering it? She says, “Sure! If it’s affordable for you, give it a shot. The risks are low. And it might just make you feel 10 times better.”

 

 

Acupuncture for Natural Skincare

“My idea of a nightmare is someone sticking needles into my face,” Nehdal Stelio writes in the Sydney Morning Herald. Without context, who would disagree? Doesn’t sound very pleasant.

 

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However, Stelio is referring to her journey with facial acupuncture. There is a massive industry built around how we look and choose to view ourselves. The cosmetics industry in the United States in 2016 raked in over $84 billion—with skincare making up nearly 40% of the products in that market. People are spending lots of money on products to try and get rid of wrinkles, sagging skin, and other perceived imperfections.

 

Many times, these products are filled with chemicals and other unnatural elements that consumers should be wary of. But while we look at our skin and think that the solutions to our requests should be topical, our skin is a reflection of the health and wellness of our total body, our internal energy, strength, and balance. Acupuncture is uniquely positioned to help those like Stelio who are hoping for something to help their wrinkles.

 

“It’s the functioning and the energy of the organs that we want to work better. For example, sagging muscles are about the spleen,” Stelio was told by her acupuncturist, Yvette Forbes. “Every treatment is different according to the needs of the client.”

 

So whether the patient is treating generic skin wrinkles brought upon by aging or a dermatological condition like psoriasis, acupuncture is able to treat the root cause, restoring balance to the area of the body that is triggering the condition.

 

“Acupuncture addresses any imbalances in the body,” says Irene Prantalos, a Chinese medicine practitioner. “When someone says they have puffy circles or darkness around eyes, it indicates an adrenal issue, the bags can be about the spleen. If someone has a lot of wrinkles, dullness or dryness, that’s a yin deficiency.”

 

Aging is nothing to be ashamed about. But if you personally choose to fight back, don’t spend your money on expensive creams or serums. That will just be a cosmetic fix.

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture, Electroacupuncture and Ear Seeds, Oh My!

The wide ranging benefits of acupuncture have been covered at length, but more often than not it’s pain relief that has patients turning to the therapy. But acupuncture is for so much more than just pain relief, and we’re thankful that a recent article from Self reminded readers of that.

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Aside from the analgesic effects of acupuncture, Self also outlined nearly all the benefits of acupuncture treatment form stress and allergy relief to calming relaxation. It also introduced two more recent advances in acupuncture treatment – electroacupuncture and ear seeds.

 

Electroacupuncture

Performed in the same way as traditional acupuncture but with one big difference – electroacupuncture also uses a tiny electrical current that helps to augment and enhance the therapy.  It is thought that the use of the current can help to further stimulate the balancing of chi, and needle placement follows the same acupuncture points and meridians as the traditional approach.

 

Self quotes Joseph F. Audette, M.D., and the chief of the department of pain management at Atrius Health in Boston and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School as saying, “There’s a lot of evidence show­ing that electroacupuncture releases endorphins to relieve pain,” Dr. Audette says. “Also, you’re almost guaran­teed a quick response, whereas man­ual acupuncture takes more time and attention.” 

 

Ear Seeds

Essentially, ear seeds are exactly what the name says – tiny pellets placed along the outer ear and along specific acupuncture points. While acupuncture needles are always removed prior to the end of  a session, ear seeds, often the seeds of the vaccaria plant, are stuck to the ear via adhesive tape and can be left on for about five days. Also known as auriculotherapy, it’s said the benefits of ear seed therapy can include addiction and smoking cessation, headache and backpain relief, and more.

 

Acupuncture To Help With Postoperative Recovery

 

It’s no secret that our country is currently facing an opioid epidemic, and among the most common ways opioid addictions begin is after being legally prescribed pain relief for painful conditions, as well as post-operative recovery.

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While surgeries are undoubtedly painful and require rest and treatment to fully recover, more and more patients are turning to alternative therapies as opposed to filling pain killer prescriptions, or to at least lessen the amount of time they require them for.

 

Is it working?

 

HealthCMi reports the findings from a clinical trial performed by researchers out of the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The study followed the recovery of patients who received surgical treatment of intestinal cancer. These patients received both epidural morphine analgesia as well as acupuncture of the scalp  and showed improvement in both the visual analog scale scores as well as the Bruggman comfort scale scores.

 

The article states that gastrointestinal functioning was also improved in those who received scalp acupuncture, for both bowel recovery time as well as anal exhaust time, which were both significantly decreased by many hours.

 

In layman’s terms, this study found, “that scalp acupuncture combined with epidural morphine analgesia into an integrated treatment protocol is more effective than epidural morphine analgesia as a standalone therapy. The researchers conclude that scalp acupuncture is safe and effective for the relief of postoperative intestinal cancer pain.”

 

This doesn’t really come as a surprise to us, though, as it has long been known and studied that acupuncture can both improve pain as well as gastrointestinal issues. My promoting steady movement of Chi, unblocking energy and restoring balance to the body, acupuncture can help to restore many imbalances – and the body is often incredibly imbalanced after invasive surgery.

 

While it’s of course important to speak with your surgeon regarding post-operative pain protocols and acceptable therapies, it’s always a great idea to consider all options and be a well-informed patient.

 

You have a say in your recovery, and often times there are ways to avoid overexposure to opiods.

 

Carpal Tunnel and Acupuncture

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common conditions affecting adults. Over 8 million people are affected by Carpal Tunnel every year. It’s caused by the squeezing or pressing of the median nerve which runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand. When this happens, one can feel numbness, pain, and tingling in the palm of the hand and the fingers, particularly the thumb, index and middle fingers.

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One thing that unites us is that we are constantly using our hands. No matter what line of work you’re in or what you do in your spare time, not having full use of your hands and wrists can be devastating. It’s something we take for granted.

While Carpal Tunnel is treated by medication and sometimes surgery, an article last year from Time got us excited about the effective way acupuncture can treat Carpal Tunnel. Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study of 80 people who suffer from the condition and split them into 3 groups. Two of the groups received acupuncture while one was a placebo group. One of the acupuncture groups received acupuncture on the wrist and the other in points on the opposite ankle.

The results of the study were clear, the groups that received acupuncture saw an a lasting improvement in nerve condition. In a follow up session three months after the experiment, those who received acupuncture reported continued improvement—less pain, more feeling, and indeed a better life!

It’s no surprise to us that acupuncture is effective for treating Carpal Tunnel. The disorder is often associated with changes in the somatosensory cortex which is the part of the brain that is responsible for our sense of touch. Acupuncture, unlike medications, is able to treat root causes by focusing on the energy in our bodies and our brains.

Acupuncture for Pengiuns?

By now we know many of benefits of acupuncture on the human body - increased circulation and mobility, decreased pain, improvement in sleep and digestion , relaxation – just to name a few.

And while humans continue to benefit from the ancient practice, research and experience continues to show impressive results in animals treated with acupuncture, too.

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In a recent article from The Seattle Times, acupuncture was provided as a service to a geriatric penguin named Ernie, who calls the Audobon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans home.

Veterinarian Cyndi Benbow treated 36 year old Ernie, who suffers from arthritis and blindness in one eye, as he was having difficulty swimming in his old age.

While Ernie didn’t appear to enjoy being held, he had his fourth acupuncture center with acuneedles used in his back, and the article reports, “the result was essentially a brand new bird.”  In fact, Ernie apparently dove into the water and swam, “as if he was a 2-year old.”

Experts attribute his improvements  to the carefully placed acupuncture needles being inserted, “into nerve clusters, leading to increased blood flow to the joints and improved circulation,” one of the many, many benefits of traditional acupuncture in humans too.

His first treatment resulted in a bit of a sleepy penguin, with noted benefits within the initial says that followed, with Ernie navigating his environment more smoothly. By the second treatment, he was jumping in the water and swimming, showing signs of an improved appetite, too.

Similar to repetitive treatments in humans, Ernie’s experience demonstrated the benefits of multiple sessions over time.

Even though there have been many examples of the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, similar if not the same as the benefits of  human acupuncture, it’s certainly not mainstream within the world of animal medicine – yet. Though, it seems that more and more professionals are learning and embracing the. Treatments.

 

 

Maya Fertility Massage

Anyone struggling with infertility is likely researching any and everything they might be able to do to improve their chances of getting pregnant. 

While there are fertility specialists, medications, nutrition consultations, and of course acupuncture - there’s another modality that might be able to help - the Maya abdominal massage. 

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This technique is said to help improve fertility, and uterine alignment, helping those with tilted uterus or even uterine prolapse. Here's how. 

Rooted in the ancient Mayan belief of the significance of the reproductive organs, specifically the uterus, being the "center" of the body, it's a gentle and external massage that should only be performed by trained professionals - like those at New Jersey Acupuncture Center. It might even be helpful for indigestion and constipation, too. 

As Daphne OZ reported on Oprah.com of her personal experience with the technique uses a mix of , "anatomy, physiology and herbology. Through noninvasive massage, this technique gently manipulates the muscles and tendons that hold all the belly organs in place to bring all things back into alignment and promote proper functioning."

Of course, proper circulation and alignment is key to fertility function, as well as to overall wellbeing, too. 

It also feels relaxing and therapeutic.  Of her experience, Oz recalled, "t doesn't sound like much, and I'm not doing it justice, but it was one of the most soothing sensations I've ever experienced..."

As opposed to more modern treatments, this is one of the most least invasive, pleasant, and affordable methods you might want to consider if you’re trying for a family. In some cases, it can even be performed during the prenatal and postpartum period as well.

Here are some of the specific benefits of the Maya massage technique:

Before conception:

  • Fibroids, polyps, endometriosis
  • Painful periods
  • Absence of a period
  • Preparation for IUI or IVF
  • Organ prolapse (out of position uterus)
  • Trauma support (emotional and physical)

Prenatal:

  • Maintain positive flow of vital fluids (blood, lymph, oxygen and chi)
  • Establish the “love through touch” connection in utero
  • Ease digestive distress
  • Maintain proper uterine position, setting the stage for easy delivery
  • Ease discomfort from stretching and straining ligaments and muscles
  • Reduce chances of varicose veins

Post-Partum:

  • Reestablish integrity of the pelvic bowl (ligament strength, organ prolapse, pelvic pain, incontinence)
  • Nourish a new connection with the beauty of your post baby belly
  • Maintain balanced hormonal transition
  • Reduce possible scar tissue build up and adhesions post c-section
  • Ease digestive distress
  • Learn simple belly massage for you and baby! (great for colic)

If you’re interested in Maya Massage, call us today to make your appointment. The technique is also perfectly complimented with acupuncture!

 

Breech Baby? Try Acupuncture!

Saying that giving birth can be stressful is a major understatement. An expectant mother will try just about anything do to make the process physically or emotionally easier.

One thing moms-to-be have to worry about is whether their baby is in the breech position when they go into labor.

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Breech position describes when the baby is bottom down. This can be problematic during the delivery, causing a number of potential difficulties. Ideally, the baby will be head down, otherwise known as the anterior position. Many babies will naturally move to the anterior position in the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy, but some finicky holdouts stay breech. Thankfully for mothers of these stubborn babies, there is a natural practice that has been turning breech babies into the preferred position successfully for centuries.

Katie, 34, found out at 34 weeks pregnant that her baby was in the breech position. Luckily, that falls right in the window of time that acupuncture and moxibustion become a viable way to safely turn the baby into the correct position. Katie had undergone acupuncture when trying to conceive, with positive results. So she decided to try again to see if it would help her baby move from the breech position.

Katie saw her acupuncturist who performed both moxibustion and acupuncture.  “The increased placental oestrogen caused by the heat from the moxa stick increases the baby’s heart rate and, in turn, encourages the baby to move around,” said Fiona Wolfendon, the acupuncturist.

As acupuncture helped Katie get pregnant, it also helped her delivery become much less stressful than it could have been.

“The baby stayed the right way round and there were no problems with the birth,” Katie said. “There were no complications and I only had a 12 hour labour.”

Sometimes babies just need a little help to make things a lot easier on mommy. Acupuncture has been providing the gentle but effective nudge successfully for a very long time, and will continue to do so in the future for moms everywhere.

 

 

Trouble Sleeping? Let Acupuncture Be Your Lullaby

You’ve just had a long day. Work was crazy, the kids were a handful, bills are due...all you want to do is relax and get a good night’s sleep. You get yourself all ready for the eight hours of blissful sleep that will regenerate you to take on another day. But you just can’t fall asleep.

Insomnia affects many of us. Thirty to 35% of people in the U.S. experience brief symptoms of insomnia, 15-20% have short-term insomnia, which lasts less than three months, while 10% suffer from chronic insomnia.

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There is no one cause of insomnia, it can be spurred on from various medical and psychiatric ailments, and it can have long lasting and negative effects. Fatigue, the inability to concentrate or focus, low motivation and energy are just some of the side effects that come from lack of sleep. Often, people turn to sleeping aids like Ambien, which come with their own sets of risks and negative side effects.

The reason that acupuncture is safer and more effective than narcotics to treat pain and disorders—including insomnia—is because it doesn’t merely mask symptoms, it attacks the root causes and rectifies them by balancing the body’s energy.

"Acupuncture helps restore the body's natural balance by connecting us more deeply to the subtlety of our own sensory experience,” Aliksandra Keller, Lac, MS, MA, RYT tells PopSugar.com. “In other words, it helps bring a new level of consciousness to what we are truly feeling and sensing, as well as helping us to process our emotions…In the case of insomnia, needles would be inserted to help the body clear its excess and subsequently tonify its deficiency."

When we can’t sleep, it’s because the energy in our body is, in everyday terms, out of whack. Counting sheep, drinking warm milk or—certainly not—sleeping pills treat the root cause of insomnia. Acupuncture does. If you’re in desperate need of a good night’s sleep, acupuncture is there to help.

 

 

 

A doctor comes around on acupuncture

Some folks remain skeptical about acupuncture. That’s understandable. In the western world, and in particular the United States, the practice is still relatively new and its popularity is still growing. Compared to acupuncture’s use in the east, and to traditional medicine’s history in the west, acupuncture here is still in its infancy in some ways.

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Acupuncture is a safe, reliable, and natural way to relieve pain, and in particular, address the root causes of pain and discomfort. But its methods are not taught in western medical schools, so many doctors remain skeptical of acupuncture’s benefits and efficacy.

Dr. Conor Lavelle was one of those doctors. An emergency room doctor, Dr. Lavelle sees many patients who are complaining of chronic pain stemming from diseases like fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and more. Dr. Lavelle refers to the “pain ladder” introduced by the World Health Organization in 1986, as a guide for doctors ascribing pain management to patients. Near the top of that ladder are prescription opioids, which we now know can be damaging. But for years, doctors have thrown medications at pain problems.

“Pain is one of the most common reasons patients come to the ER,” Dr. Lavelle writes in Quartz. “Yet, we as doctors are notoriously poor at managing it. We undertreat it, sometimes sending patients home from the hospital when they’re still very uncomfortable, even to the point of being unable to perform important daily tasks like cooking and cleaning.”

Lavelle had always been aware of acupuncture, but hadn’t tried it and wouldn’t suggest it to patients because of a perceived lack of consensus around its benefits. Over the years, that has changed. Numerous studies have been done showing acupuncture’s ability to treat a wide range of pain symptoms and their root causes. So Dr. Lavelle went to try acupuncture for themself.

“After my acupuncture session, I left the clinic feeling noticeably better than I had before I arrived,” Dr. Lavelle writes. “I felt loose. My head was clear. My shoulder wasn’t sore.”

As the American Pain Society endorsed acupuncture for chronic pain management, and after experiencing the benefits firsthand, Lavelle is no longer a skeptic.

“When a frustrated patient, walking the dark path toward opioid addiction, asks me if they should try acupuncture, at least now I can tell them it’s worth a shot.”

If you suffer from chronic pain, acupuncture is more than just worth a shot.

Acupuncture Effective for one of the Most Common Disorders Facing Men

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is one of the most common health
issues facing men, and it can greatly affect quality of life. Worldwide, it affects anywhere up to
16% of the male population, and it can often go undiagnosed for years. Some men may just think
the symptoms they experience are normal or untreatable—increased urination frequency, pain in
the pelvis, fatigue, and more.

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Making matters worse, many people who suffer from prostatitis only treat the problem with medications, whether it’s antibiotics  (because the cause is bacteria), or alpha blockers and anti- inflammatory medication. But these only treat symptoms. The root causes go deeper. Often prostatitis is brought  upon by stress in the body.


That’s why acupuncture is one of the most effective ways to safely and completely treat
prostatitis. Over the years, a number of studies have confirmed that acupuncture is an effective
treatment option. A study done in Turkey showed that acupuncture was more effective than
narcotics in dealing with acupuncture. But for some people, narcotics are not effective at all. In
Canada, a study was done on 12 men suffering from CP/CPPS who had tried narcotics but did
not find them affective. The men all received acupuncture treatments, and all 12 reported
improved pain and urinary symptoms.


“Acupuncture appears to be a safe, effective, and durable treatment in
improving symptoms in, and the quality of life of, men with chronic
prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome refractory to treatment,” the
study concluded.


Chances are, you or someone you know suffers from CP/CPPS. While
medications can help, acupuncture is the best way to relieve the
symptoms and treat the root causes of this very common disorder.
Anyone who has had their quality of life affected by the pain and
unreliability brought upon by CP/CPPS will find acupuncture as a
lasting solution.

More Evidence Points to Acupuncture Helping Menstrual Cramps

If you’re a woman, you know the feeling. That time of month rolls around, and the cramps start to flare up. Unfortunately, cramps are never convenient, and our lives don’t stop for them. Work, errands, and family still need to be taken care of, causing many women to deal with pain from menstrual cramps by taking pain medication.

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Whether your menstrual cramps are minor or severe, they can take a toll on a woman’s quality of life. Acupuncture is thankfully there as a remedy, and now more evidence is pointing to acu’s viability as a long-term solution for menstrual cramps, not just a temporary fix. One of the reasons acupuncture works as a long-term solution to menstrual cramps is because of its ability to treat the root source of the problem, not just the symptoms, and its versatility in treating other side effects that severe menstrual pain can contribute to.

 “After having my menstrual cycle for twelve years, and feeling like it was an enemy and not a beautiful time for my body, I was really up for trying anything,” Kenslee, a 25 year old told Bustle.com. “My menstrual pain and fatigue decreased immensely, and it also helped with my hormonal acne. I began sleeping better, and my mood swings around my cycle became less severe.”

"[Acupuncture] promotes optimal blood flow to and through the reproductive organs, reduces chronic inflammation, improves hormone balance, and reduces stress,” Merritt Jones, an acupuncturist and founder of Natural Harmony Reproductive Health and Jones Family Acupuncture told Bustle.

Over the past few years, numerous studies have been done that show acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating menstrual cramps and other issues in the reproductive system. Hopefully more and more women come to experience acupuncture as the safe, natural, reliable, and long-lasting treatment option for pain from menstrual cramps that it is.

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture Without Needles?

Some people are scared of needles. While there’s nothing unsafe or painful about receiving acupuncture treatment, some people’s fear of needles is what keeps them away from receiving the beneficial, wide-ranging treatment that acupuncture provides. While there are key differences between the two, there’s an alternative holistic treatment that is growing in popularity that uses many of the same principles that acupuncture does—tapping.

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“Tapping is a meridian-based therapy that releases negative emotions and self-sabotaging thinking,” Joan Kaylor, a Wahington, Pennsylvania based clinical therapist explains. “It employs the same acupressure points of acupuncture, but without needles.”

Tapping was developed in 1993 by Stanford-trained engineer Gary Craig and has increased in popularity as the years have passed. Like acupuncture, tapping centralizes on points in the body that send energy through meridians.

Although it may seem like anyone can learn tapping on their own and do it from home, like acupuncture, it is best performed by a certified practitioner.

“Someone who has watched YouTube, read a book or who has taken one workshop does not have the experience and training to teach tapping,” Kaylor says. “In addition, the more specific a patient can get about their situation, the better the results. But only a trained tapping practitioner knows how to get specific.”

So what’s the difference. While the principles are the same, the effectiveness of acupuncture has been shown to be more pronounced, leading to more permanent results with fewer visits and treatments. That’s because while tapping may apply pressure to meridian points, acupuncture goes much deeper, penetrating the points and more quickly and effectively releasing energy to the correct points of the body.

Tapping is an alternative for those who may have a fear of needles. And when one sees the benefits from tapping, they are getting just a glimpse of how acupuncture can benefit them.

 

Acupuncture and Sports

Athletes have to be in tip-top shape, and a lot goes into maintaining their body’s optimum strength. The daily grind of working out, practicing, and performing takes a toll. And when athletes get hurt, as those in the pro ranks almost inevitably do, the road to to recovery can be long and arduous. Whether an athlete is looking to stay free from injury or recovering from one, acupuncture is one way to keep a leg up on the opposition.

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Peter D’Aquino calls himself a “sports acupuncturist”, and while he admits that that title is a bit made up—as “sports acupuncture” doesn’t truly exist—he has studied the ancient method of acupuncture and has developed a practice to specifically treat athletes.

“Sports acupuncture looks at things like anatomy, movement patterns, gait, posture, and trigger points, so it goes way beyond the old-fashioned ideas,” D’Aquino says. While there’s nothing “old-fashioned” about traditional and effective acupuncture methods, D’Aquino says he tries to look deeper on those ideas so he can better treat issues specific to athletes and the types of activities they partake in.

“I look into traditional TCM patterns that are previously established, but take it a step further and look into muscle testing, posture, and how someone is using their body,” D’Aquino says. “This helps me determine trigger points and where to place acupuncture needles.”

As acupuncture becomes a more popular pain and wellness treatment more broadly, there’s no doubt that more athletes will—and should—seek it out as a consistent part of their training and treatment regimen. The visibility of professional athletes who use acupuncture is growing. A few years ago, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers publicly thanked his acupuncturist for helping him recover quickly from an injury.

Rodgers isn’t alone. Other professional athletes who have publicly praised acupuncture are former NFL players Michael Strahan, James Harrison, James Farrior and Marcus Stroud; baseball players A.J. Burnett and Randy Johnson; NBA players Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley; and professional golfers Fred Couples and Gary Player.

And there are surely many more to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Can Acupuncture Be an Antidote to Addiction?

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Life can be stressful. And when things are a little hectic, it’s understandable to want to unwind a bit with a drink or other substance. But for many among us, the ability to control those impulses is much more difficult. Alcohol and many drugs are designed with addictive properties in mind. For many, a brief dalliance can soon turn into full-fledged addiction. One in seven people in the U.S. will experience a problem with alcohol or drug use in their lifetimes, and approximately 20 million people currently have substance abuse issues. Sadly, 78 people die of overdose every day.

What compounds the problem is that the far majority of people suffering from addiction don’t receive any help towards recovery. Many rehabilitations and recovery centers can be expensive and difficult to access. What if there were a relatively inexpensive, safe, and effective way to treat substance addiction? Recent research from Daegy Haany University and Qiqihar Medical University in China suggests that acupuncture may be just that solution.

They studied acupuncture as a means of suppressing addiction related to self-administration of intravenous methamphetamines. The controlled experiment tested two specific acupuncture points, HT7 and LI5. “Acupuncture at the specific acupoint HT7, but not at the control acupoint LI5, markedly suppressed the methamphetamine self-administration behavior,” the study determined.

The researchers chose these points for a reason. HT7, specifically is a yuan source point for the heart channel and is a target for treatment of many neurological disorders, including addiction. Thankfully, research suggests that treatment of this point has wide-ranging benefits when it comes to misuse of substances:

“The researchers cite eight independent investigations finding HT7 effective for ameliorating the effects of drug addiction. The investigations found acupuncture effective for ameliorating the addictive effects of nicotine, methamphetamines, morphine, alcohol, and cocaine.”

Nobody should suffer from alcohol and substance addiction. Thankfully, it appears as though there’s a safe, effective and accessible step to take in the road to recovery.

 

 

Making Acupuncture More Accessible

The benefits of acupuncture are wide-ranging. It’s one of the safest, most natural ways
to heal pain, discomfort, and symptoms from a number of diseases and disorders out
there. However, there are too many people out there who aren’t able to afford holistic
treatments like acupuncture. And it doesn’t help that many insurance companies have
been slow to respond to acupuncture’s popularity and recognize it as a viable, safe way
to treat pain and cover it in their plans.

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One wellness center in Philadelphia is doing its part to make a difference. At Village
Wellness, the licensed acupuncturists have begun offering a low-cost acupuncture
treatment by treating patients in groups—they’re calling it community acupuncture.
“To make it more accessible for people, the way we do that is we can lower the price if I
can see six people at once, instead of seeing one person at a time,” explained Gabrielle
Geib, an acupuncturist at VillageWellness.


It is worth noting that the the community setting may not be best for every patient, as
Geib notes that during the community sessions she only works on patients’ hands, feet,
and head—though many different conditions throughout the body can be treated
through points in these areas.


Still, the community setting has an added benefit for many of the patients.


“I like the camaradiere even though there’s not talking,” says patient Maryann Schofield.
Group settings can have great benefits for our mental health. Many people who haven’t
tried acupuncture before may be more willing to try it out knowing they will be amongst
others who either have had a great experience with acupuncture in the past or are also
experiencing it for the first time.


While community acupuncture is not widely available and might be limited in its scope of
what it can treat, it’s a great thing when more and more people are able to afford and
experience the amazing benefits of acupuncture.

Acupuncture for Allergies

As we hit the middle of May, we’re right in the middle of springtime and everything that comes with it. Nice temperatures, the blooming of flowers and trees, plenty of sunshine, spring cleaning. All great things, right? But for many, it’s also allergy season.

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You know the feeling. You walk outside on a beautiful day and all of a sudden you’re sniffling and sneezing and constantly pulling from the tissue box. Many people’s first instinct is to pop an antihistamine like Zyrtec or Claritin and go about their day.

Others with more severe allergies take medications consistently to try and prevent the side effects.


But researchers in Germany have found that there’s an alternative for antihistamines when it comes to treating allergic rhinitis and sinus disorders—acupuncture.

All of the patients involved in the study suffered from seasonal allergic rhinitis for over two years and fell within the age range of 16-45. They were broke into three groups—one receiving acupuncture, one receiving dummy acupuncture, and one receiving the antihistamine Cetirizine (in the U.S., commonly known as Zyrtec).

While the folks receiving both the “real” and “fake” acupuncture treatments were encouraged to take antihistamines on their own throughout the 8-week trial period, the study showed that the group receiving acupuncture didn’t feel the need to take their antihistamines as often as the others. That’s because acupuncture was found to be a far better alternative than merely taking medication.


“The researchers add, seasonal allergic rhinitis ‘symptoms decreased significantly in the acupuncture group compared with the other study groups,’" the study says.


When the weather turns for springtime, allergies can really put a damper on quality of life and the ability to live an active lifestyle. If you’re one of the many people who dread the coming sniffles and sore throats, acupuncture can help you get back to enjoying this beautiful time of the year.