Can Acupuncture Help with Type 2 Diabetes? (Yes!)

According to the latest report from the CDC, more than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or pre-diabetes,

As of 2015, 30.3 million Americans (which is 9.4 percent of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Many are reliant on medication and other therapies to continue living healthy lives. But can acupuncture help?

In short, yes!

The latest report from HealthCMI reveals that acupuncture therapy can help with weight loss and to reduce blood sugar levels in adults who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is wonderful news!

In China, researches from the Sanming County Hospital of Integrated Medicine led a clinical trial of obese patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

In short, it was determined that acupuncture treatment, “in addition to routine care is more effective in promoting healthy weight loss and improved blood chemistry than routine care monotherapy.” (Meaning, routine care alone.)

124 obese patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were assigned to receive either acupuncture plus routine care or routine care on it’s own..

Overall, the results of this study indicates that, “acupuncture not only increases weight loss in obese diabetes patients, but also stabilizes blood glucose and insulin levels.”

These new findings further support the notion that acupuncture is an effective, noninvasive treatment for diabetes when used in conjunction with other therapies as directed by your healthcare provider.

Will Medicare Pay for Acupuncture?

As with any medical treatment or self-care endeavor, the issue of cost arises.

Do you have insurance, or are a self-pay patient?

Is your plan in-network, or out?

Do you have a copay?

It’s enough to stress out the best of us. But perhaps, Medicare can change that.

The Washington Post reports that the Department of Health and Human and Services has said that, “in response to the U.S. opioid crisis, HHS is focused on preventing opioid use disorder and providing more evidence-based non-pharmacologic treatment options for chronic pain.”

Acupuncture has long been known for its pain relieving effects, and it’s efficacy at treating chronic pain.

HHS said it hopes “to determine if acupuncture for [chronic low-back pain] is reasonable and necessary under the Medicare program.” They are researching, and a proposal is due this by July 15, with a final decision being made by Oct. 13.

If all goes well, acupuncture for chronic low back pain may end up being a covered benefit, as currently, Medicare covers, “injections, braces, implanted neurostimulators and chiropractic care as well as drugs for chronic low-back pain,” under certain conditions .


Why Acupuncture Will Become Even More Popular For Spinal Issues

It’s likely that you or someone you know, at some point, has or will deal with back or neck pain. Nearly 80% of us will seek medical care because of these types of issues, which all start with one of the most important areas of our body—the spine.

The problem is, the treatment for these types of pain has traditionally been relatively narrow. There’s almost certainly a link between the prevalence of neck and back pain and the growing opioid crisis across the United States. More people are being prescribed addictive, harmful drugs to treat pain, which only creates a negative cycle.

But as Acupuncture Today reports, there’s a good chance that more people will soon be seeking acupuncture to help with spine-related issues rather than turning to medications. That’s partially because as we learn more about the spine itself, the evidence is growing that natural, conservative care can not only be the best form of relief, but is better positioned to help prevent pain from getting worse in the first place.

“Advanced diagnostic imaging will continue to expose new features of pathology associated with neck and back pain,” Acupuncture Today writes. “Greater emphasis will be places on biomechanics assessment, conservative pain management, and biological solutions which promote favorable tissue regeneration, remodeling, and repair.”

Acupuncture, through, harnessing the body’s energy, promotes self-healing. Without the need for any invasive, external chemicals like those found in most medications, acupuncture allows for natural pain management and relief. When it comes to back and neck issues, the root problem is in the spine, where energy is being blocked. Acupuncture opens up the pathways that allow the energy to regulate and flow freely.

As more and more research shows that spinal issues can be better prevented and treated through holistic, biological solutions, acupuncture will continue to grow as the best way to treat back and neck pain.

Struggling with Summer Sleep? We can help.

Summer time and the living’s easy — right?

Well, not exactly.

Many of us find summer to be even busier than before, albeit with fun social events, warm temperatures and hopefully a few trips to the beach.

If you’re feeling summer burnout and are finding it hard to get restful slumber at night, let us help because if your sleep pattern isn’t consistent, it can impact nearly every aspect of your life. So, it’s important to get your sleep back on track, stat.

Acupuncture can help you achieve increased levels of melatonin — the hormone responsible for sleep — and it also works to reduce insomnia and anxiety.

Acupuncture has also been proven to help manage a fairly common culprit for less-than-worthy Zzz’s: sleep apnea. It’s thought that acupuncture can help strengthen the tongue, which can prevent it from dropping back during the night which blocks the airway, resulting in apnea.

There are environmental factors to consider too, when it comes to improving sleep. Here’s what else you can try:

  • Ensure your room is kept between 68-70 degrees

  • Avoid blue light emitting electronics at least one hour before bedtime

  • No caffeine after 3pm

  • Try black out curtains or a sleep mask if you’re sensitive to light

  • Consider trying CBD oil or essential oils to help relax

Acupuncture + Herbs More Effective Than Leading SSRI

Anxiety and depression are, unfortunately, more common today than ever before.

Our busy lifestyles, stressful jobs, hectic personal schedules and the stressors of every day life can lead many feeling a sense of sadness, worry, or inability to focus leading them to head to a physician. In many situations, SSRIs are prescribed.

SSRI's (also known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a class of neurotransmitters that carry signals between brain cells, so this form of medication blocks the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, thus making more available.

Yet perhaps unsurprisingly, the most recent study out of China via HealthCMi reveals that when used in conjunction with herbs, acupuncture is more effective than paroxetine, also known as Paxil.

In the study led by Ganzhou City Third People’s Hospital in Jiangxi, 80 patients who had a clinical diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder were assigned to either receive the prescription paroxetine, or acupuncture and herbs.

The study used the HAM-A (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale), the SAS (Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale), and the treatment total effective rate to analyze the results.

While both groups experienced overall improvement, they rates of improvement were significantly higher in the group that experienced acupuncture and herbs, which produced a total effective rate of 97.5% versus the paroxetine group which had 80%.

Good Morning America Writer Tries Facial Acupuncture (and Loves it!)

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Joining the ranks of mega-celebrities who are turning to acuneedles to maintain their youthful glow, GMA writer Jacqueline Laurean Yates shared her experience this week.

Surprise — she’s a fan.

Yates said, “After noticing celebrities like Ashley Graham, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian posting photos of themselves with acupuncture needles coming out of their faces, I was really intrigued to learn what it was all about.”

So she did.

After a phone consultation with her acupuncturist where she explained her overall concerns consisted of moderate stress, lack of energy, oiliness, some dullness and noticeable inflammation, she was told acupuncture could help.

Nervous and excited, she arrived at the acupuncture center in New York City and felt “instant calm.”

As far as the results?

“Once the needles were removed, I took a look in the mirror and couldn't believe how much healthier my skin looked,” she said, saying there was an instant glow and lift near her cheeks.

In fact, “My husband even wondered if I had secretly done botox. Nope, just acupuncture to the face!”

So if you’re looking to ditch invasive, chemically based Botox or other procedures, it’s time you give acupuncture a try to help reach your skin and anti-aging goals. And we are here to help.

As Yates would tell you, “ it's truly an investment worth the shot(s).”


Psoriasis and Acupuncture

Just last week, Medical News Today released an exciting and confirming article that reaffirmed the belied that acupuncture can help those suffering from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

While we always believed in the power of acupuncture to treat both of these related conditions, examining the literature was quite uplifting.

The multitude of ways in which acupuncture possess powerful healing abilities are seemingly endless, and while science sometimes has a way of making it hard to provide tangible proof, the cited studies are certainly reassuring . while there are still more larger scale, supervised studies to be performed.

Because of how acupuncture can help with inflammation and immunity, it is believed it can help with the skin-based symptoms of psoriasis which can often lead to itchy, peeling, painful and scaly patches of skin.

As if that isn’t enough to deal with, some people with skin-based psoriasis symptoms may also have PsA, or psoriatic arthritis, which leads to joint pain, swelling, stiffness and immobility.

Traditionally, over the counter and prescription medications are often prescribed by physicians as the first line of defense, in addition to steroid injections or pills, and the avoidance of things that worsen inflammation like alcohol, smoking, and certain foods high in acidity.

Medical News Today shared the following breakdown of literature reviews and studies that . are supportive of acupunctures benefits in treating these symptoms.

  • A 2015 systematic review found "some evidence of benefit" in treating psoriasis. However, its authors explain that they based their conclusions on a small number of studies, and that there were some conflicting results.

  • A 2017 overview of the literature on acupuncture for psoriasis was more optimistic. The authors claim that acupuncture treatment for psoriasis is "simple, convenient, and effective," with minimal side effects and little risk of toxicity.

  • A 2017 review of 13 randomized trials states that acupuncture-related treatments "could be considered" as an alternative therapy for the short-term treatment of psoriasis, and that more well designed studies would be helpful.

Measuring acupunctures success is not easy, as each persons treatment and progress is highly individual and personal. However, these studies all seem to be reaffirming and in the right direction.

Acupuncture is an affordable, minimally invasive way to treat your symptoms, so you have quite literally nothing to lose by giving it a try, and quite a bit to gain.

Acupuncture Doesn't Just Help Cancer Patients, But Caregivers Too

Learning that a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer can be one of the most difficult things for someone to experience. It not only changes the life for the person who is fighting the battle themselves, but it can radically alter the life of those closes to them.

Depending on each situation, close family or friends may have to take a lot of time out of their schedule to help care for their loved one. Often times, caregivers can put forth such an effort in taking care of their loved one that their own self-care gets ignored. This can lea to a snowball effect, causing emotional stress as well as pain and discomfort.

The benefits of acupuncture for cancer patients reach far and wide. But it can also do wonders for those who are taking care of cancer patients, whether professionally or for somebody close to them. Tamera Anderson-Hanna, herself a cancer survivor, wrote on CureToday.com about her experiences as a caregiver for family who were also diagnosed with cancer, and how acupuncture became a crucial part of her self-care regimen.

Most of her discomfort was emotional, as she explains, “I was definitely experiencing stress with the news of family members being diagnosed with cancer after the new year and have found acupuncture has helped me to experience improved sleep and feeling less stressed as a caregiver.”

But as we know, emotional stress also takes its toll on the physical body. Tamera’s acupuncturist also treated her neck, which is where she was carrying most of her stress. Acupuncture helped Tamera “sleep better at night, assists in experiencing less pain or tension in my body and allows me to redirect my energy to a more positive focus and perspective, thus having more good energy.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing emotional or physical distress from taking care of someone else, acupuncture isn’t just there for those who have been diagnosed with an illness. Caregivers must ensure they’re taken care of as well.

Arizona Acupuncture Board Tackles Opioid Crisis

We’ve previously talked about how acupuncture can help on the fight against opioid addiction by providing holistic pain relief and helping the symptoms many addicts face, too.

But now, Arizona is doing something about it.

According to TheSentinel.com the State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners has approving chemical dependency programs for a form of acupuncture that involves the outer ear, also known as auricular acupuncture.

This type of acupuncture is known in traditional Chinese medicine to help break the chains of addiction.

A supporter, Dr. Mario Fontes who is the clinic director of Natural Medicine & Detox in Phoenix says, “I don’t think (auricular acupuncture is) the complete answer, but I think it can really help change the tide.”

In Arizona alone, opioids are responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in only the past two years, with over 21,000 overdoses happening concurrently. (This according to dataf rom the Arizona Department of Health Services.)

Auricular acupuncture, also called “acu-detox:” works by using needles in one of 5 points located along the outer ear and is believed to help reduce pain, stress, and PTSD along with opiate withdrawals.

To help make this available to more who are struggling, the Arizona Acupuncture Board is trying to make it easier for auricular acupuncturists to gain certification.

The director of the board is quoted as saying, ““We are hoping that by providing chemical dependency programs, auricular acupuncture will become more accessible to more people and more parts of the state, especially in rural areas.”

With the program approved last year, certified auricular acupuncturists can now apply to work in approved chemical dependency programs as long as they are supervised by a licensed acupuncturist.

*If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid dependency, it’s important to seek treatment right away.

Meet Ani

Owner and lead acupuncturist, Ani Baran, L.ac was born in Yerevan Armenia, and moved to New Jersey at the age of three.

Growing up in Fort Lee, she then attended Fordham University for pre-med studies, and then Columbia University for research — but she knew deep down she wanted to help people more naturally.

As the opioid epidemic and crisis began to peak, her calling weighed heavily on her heart and so she began researching natural pain relief options instead.

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Thus, she took her passion for biology and healing and trained to become an L.ac — a licensed acupuncturist. With these credentials, she gained over 2000 hours of training, passed all necessary exams, studied Chinese medicine theory, and spent over three years honing her clinical skills.

After marrying her husband Mike and moving to Bayonne who was born and raised in town, she opened both NJ Acupuncture Center locations and has never looked back.

Truly loving her job, she says the best part of her job is how, “I get to help others become pain free, assist in their pregnancy goals, manage their stress, all different treatments but the end result is a side effect free therapy for their concerns.”

Most rewarding to Ani, is helping couples achieve their fertility goals through supportive acupuncture. “I love being able to be part of their journey through a very special time.”

While many may seem apprehensive to try acupuncture for the first time, Ani says, “Once you give it a try you'll never want to stop! It's an amazing feeling, your body being recharged and reenergized, you'll always want to feel that way!


Ready To Get Some Sun? Acupuncture Is Here If You Get a Little Too Much

Bust out the umbrellas, bathing suits, flip flops and pool toys—summer is just around the corner! A week from now Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of everybody’s favorite season. But one of the things that can hold you back from enjoying your summer to the fullest is a result of one of the things that makes summer so great.

Getting some sun is great. Getting too much of it is…well, not so great. In fact, it can be downright terrible.

You know the deal. Burning, scratchy, itchy and peeling skin that can take days to heal, all the while any movement or clothing touching the skin causes you to wince. There are some topical remedies that can help, but many of them are chemical based and can even dry out your skin even further.

When you’re sunburned, your body needs to be able to release heat and inflammation. Acupuncture is the best and most natural way to do both of those things.

We can hear you: the last thing I want to do after being badly sunburnt is to have needles inserted into my body!

The good news is that there are many acupuncture points that we can target to treat sunburn, and many are located in areas where sunburn is incredibly rare or not nearly as painful. Specifically to treat sunburn, acupuncturists can utilize the point UB 40, which is located on the back of knee and helps circulate cool blood. Additionally, GB 20 points on the base of the skull also help reduce body heat.

So if you plan on heading to the beach or pool this summer, you should always take the proper sunburn prevention precautions. But sometimes the best laid plans go awry. If you don’t want one fun day to ruin the next few, know that acupuncture can help you recover quickly and safely.

Acupuncture Proven To Beat Drugs For Gout Treatment

One minute you’re fast asleep, and the next you wake up feeling like a part of your body was just lit on fire.

No, you don’t need to douse yourself with a bucket of water, but you may feel like you want to anyway.

What you could be dealing with is gout: a form of arthritis that cause sudden, severe bouts of pain, swelling and redness in particular joints. Often, the big toe is affected, making it very hard to move around since an area affected by gout is often hot, swollen and tender. Gout pain comes and goes, which can make life for those who suffer from it unpredictable.

Gout pain is caused by high uric acid levels in the blood, which causes urate crystals to form in the joints. It’s most often treated with various painkilling medicines like NSAIDs and steroids prescribed by doctors.

One of the NSAIDs that is often prescribed by doctors to treat Gout is indomethacin. Recently, researchers at Dongguan Tangxia Guanhua Hospital in China tested indomethacin treatment for Gout against acupuncture. The study was conclusive: those who were administered acupuncture rather than given the medication reported reduced pain, swelling, and redness, and also noted increased mobility and improved function of the affected joints.

It’s no surprise here that acupuncture is an effective treatment for Gout. Pain is a result of the qi in our body being blocked and out of sorts, and acupuncture promotes self-healing of the body by regulating the qi an helping to open up the pathways that are being blocked during bouts of pain and discomfort.

If you or anyone you know suffers from Gout, be sure to come by and begin the lasting, holistic treatment that only acupuncture can offer!

Acupuncture Can Improve Cataract Surgery outcomes

Surgery is invasive. Acupuncture is not. When used in conjunction with one another, acupuncture can typically help to alleviate post-surgical symptoms and pain, and increase the overall efficacy of the procedure.

This has just been proven once again in regards to cataracts.

And we age, our vision can often get blurry or cloudy due to a cataract. If this happens, an ophthalmologist may suggest surgery to replace your eye’s lens. Incredibly common and reasonably safe, many Americans have this done each year.

As with any surgical procedure, there are some side effects that are possible. These include:

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Detached retina

  • Pressure-type pain

  • Loosening of the new lens implant

  • Fluid buildup

  • Drooping appearance of eyelid

Thankfully, acupuncture can help.

As HealthCMI reports that researches have concluded acupuncture treatment increases positive post-surgery outcomes for those with comorbid glaucoma.

In fact, patients reported, “better intraocular pressure, aqueous outflow (F value), pain relief, and visual acuity when receiving acupuncture and tuina massage.” (Tuina massage is a massage that focuses on a specific problem area and often accompanies acupuncture.)

In the study, one group received acupuncture and tuina while the control group received phacoemulsification monotherapy only.

Acupuncture and tuina started three days before the operation. Tuina was administered by ophthalmologic nurses and acupuncture was administered by licensed acupuncturists. Treatment lasted a total of 60 days.

After the duration of treatment, he number of patients that presented with general clinical symptoms in the TCM treatment group were significantly lower than in the control group.

It’s been well established that acupuncture, when paired with surgical recovery, can be effective. This study helps to, once again, prove the point. (Pun intended.)

Horses Staying On Track Thanks To Acupuncture

It’s the time of year, where every few weeks we gather around the television for a couple thrilling minutes in anticipation of who’s going to win the big race (or have the greatest hat, the best tasting mint julep, and win the most money, of course).

And while this year’s Kentucky Derby ended in bigtime controversy, there’s a crystal clear winner when it comes to treating horses for many of their physical issues.

Acupuncture is one of the best ways to treat equine injuries and illnesses, whether the horse is being groomed for racing or not. One disorder that is debilitating to horses that acupuncture is uniquely suited to treating is laminitis. Laminitis is a very painful hoof disease that can result in lameness—greatly affecting the horse’s mobility and total quality of life.

California-based veterinarian Kevin May conducted a study of 12 horses with laminitis, ensuring their caretakers didn’t give them any other treatments while he administered acupuncture to each horse. Despite the horses ranging in age, condition, and breed, all 12 responded positively to the treatment.

This is important, because while laminitis sounds like it may not be serious, it can often lead to serious outcomes.

According to May, “Thirteen percent of barns and/or owners deal with laminitis each year, with 50% of those referred to hospitals eventually euthanized.”

Thankfully, May seems to have found a way to help horses affected by laminitis stay on their feet, happy, and healthy.

Acupuncture More Effective than Pills for Gout Relief

A unique form of arthritis, gout is most often experienced as a sudden and painful attack of swelling, redness and pain in the joints — commonly the feet. It can appear out of nowhere, and can come and go, only adding to the frustration of the disease.

Thankfully, it has been proven acupuncture can help. In fact, it’s even more effective than traditional medicine in treating gout.

All patients in the study were, “given standardized lifestyle and dietary advice to help them manage their condition. This included reducing their dietary intake of high-purine foods, organ meats, and alcohol. Patients were counseled on avoiding stress, cold temperature exposure, and overwork. All patients were advised to increase water consumption.”

These are healthy habits that can hep to improve anyone’s lifestyle and overall health.

As far as the two study groups, those in the drug group were prescribed indomethacin enteric-coated 75 mg tablets to be taken twice daily for 10 days.

Patients in the acupuncture group did not take the medication, and instead had acupuncture treatment administered at the following primary acupoints:

  • Zusanli (ST36)

  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)

  • Yinlingquan (SP9)

  • Quchi (LI11)

  • Ashi points

Overall, HealthCMI reports that . acupuncture produced a higher total effective rate than the medication, including greater reductions in pain, swelling, and redness.

The study yielded an 86.96% effective rate in improvements in a patients clinical symptoms, as opposed to those who were taking the pharmaceutical. Unsurprisingly, acupuncture also caused fewer adverse reactions, with an incidence of just 2.17% compared with 23.91% in the drug group.

The numbers speak for themselves.

There are ways to prevent gout, too. The MayoClinic recommends:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids

  • limiting or abstaining from alcohol

  • Increasing protein from low-fat dairy . products

  • Limiting intake of fish, meat and poultry

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight

Popular Acupuncture Points and What They Heal

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When you come in for an acupuncture treatment, it can seem at first like your acupuncturist is placing needles in your body seemingly at random. And it can be confusing—if I’m dealing with digestion issues, why aren’t any needles going into my abdomen?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are about 2,000 points on the body which are all connected by 20 paths, which we call meridians. The meridians are what conduct the energy, or qi, between the surface of our body and its internal organs and systems. When that energy gets stifled is when something doesn’t feel right in our body. When that happens, acupuncturists know where the meridian blockages could be.

So that’s why if you come to receive an acupuncture treatment for insomnia or depression, your acupuncturist will treat point HT7, which is located on the outside of the wrist.

That’s just one example. Here are some of the more well known and popular acupuncture points (that you can also try and massage yourself for symptom relief).

Large Intestine Channel LI4 - Treats general pain and inflammation. Located in between the thumb and pointer finger on the back of the hand.

Lung Channel LU7 - Treats mainly upper body issues like headaches, sore throats, and coughs, as well as neck and wrist stiffness and pain. Located on inside of arm, above the wrist.

Stomach Channel ST36 - Treats most digestive issues and anemia, immune orders, and fatigue. It’s located on the back of the neck, where it meets the skull.

Governing Vessel GV20 - Is connected to many mental disorders and also treats headaches and nasal obstructions. Locates at the very top of the head.

Urinary Bladder Channel BL40 - Treats pain in the back, hips, leg and abdomen, as well as nausea. Located in the back of the knee.

There are literally thousands of other points that your acupuncturist knows that will help heal whatever discomfort you’re in. Thankfully, you don’t need to know them all. We’ve got you covered there.

Head Injuries Can Heal Faster Thanks to Acupuncture

Over the past few years awareness around head injuries and concussions has grown, and thankfully. Many of us spend our weekends in the fall and winter watching football, unaware of how common head injuries are for those who are playing the game. It’s easy to see when a player takes one big hit that causes them to lose consciousness—we see that and know that a concussion has been suffered. But we now know that repeated blows to the head which don’t cause unconsciousness add up, and over time, can ravage the brain and cause cognitive problems down the line.

And it’s not just athletes that suffer from head injuries either. Anyone whose work requires physical activity can be at risk, and once a head injury is sustained it can lead to long-term and ongoing problems.

Unfortunately, for concussions and conditions related to chronic head trauma, effective treatment can be hard to come by. Headaches, nausea and other side effects can be hard to predict, and often times narcotic solutions only exacerbate the problem, or stir up other issues.

Acupuncture is unfortunately an under-utilized treatment for head injuries. However, it’s something everyone suffering from post-concussion symptoms should seek out. Licensed acupuncturist Amy Moll writes: “Acupuncture has a regulatory, or modulatory effect on a person’s physiology and is a great tool that can be used as part of a concussion recovery program for many reasons.”

Among those reasons is that acupuncture promotes blood flow to the brain, when a concussion results in the opposite. Rather than treating a symptom of concussions, acupuncture in part addresses the root cause. In addition, acupuncture is well-known for its benefits of treating many of the underlying symptoms of post-concussion life like nausea, insomnia, and depression.

Hopefully you don’t know anyone who is suffering through post-concussion life—but if so, we are here and ready to help as soon as possible.

Recovering Addicts Getting Help For Withdrawal From Substance Abuse

The road to recovery for those who suffer from substance abuse disorder is a difficult one to navigate. Addiction takes a toll on both the mind and the body, and while cutting out the offending drug cold turkey is the most direct solution, it wreaks havoc on the person going through it. When the body is used to ingesting a drug regularly, it gets used to it—and when that substance is no longer entering the body, the reaction is not kind.

In West Virginia, recovering addicts are thankfully now able to use acupuncture to treat their withdrawal symptoms. Particularly, auricular (ear) acupuncture has now been greenlit by the government as an accepted practice for treating recovering addicts.

Points in the ear are correlated to many of the body’s most important energy and self-healing centers. Acupuncturists are able to specifically target the key areas that will alleviate the symptoms the patient is suffering from. “For patients, these simple pricks can help alleviate the physiological effects of withdrawal, such as headaches and nausea, or sedate cravings for those in long-term recovery,” Barbara Werner, a nurse practitioner involved with the passing of the bill says.

The beauty of acupuncture is that it spurs the body on to heal itself. That has a significant meaning for those who are in recovery from addiction. Many mental and physical exercises and treatments can be combined to create a patient solution, and acupuncture is a big piece of the recovery puzzle.

Acupuncture Helping San Diego's Homeless

“I was desperate. My back was so sore.”

The above was said by David Knoles, of San Diego. David is homeless, living alone in a canyon. Being homeless takes an unbelievable toll on the body. Constantly trying to create comfort in the places that most of us use for walking, traveling, hiking or other activities puts tons of strain on the bones and muscles of the homeless. David, in particular, once threw out his back while trying to move a rock that he says weighed about 150 pounds.

When you or I get injured like that, we have the benefit of seeking a number of medical care options. The homeless don’t have that luxury, if they can even receive any care at all.

But at the Pacific Beach United Methodist Church in San Diego, Knoles and the areas other homeless are being offered free acupuncture every week.

“Primarily, it’s for chronic illness and injuries,” Robin Kohler of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and the UC San Diego School of Medicine told the San Diego Tribune. “A lot of them had injuries sustained on a job where there was no insurance.”

Acupuncture is an especially beneficial treatment for folks like Knoles because of its versatility. Acupuncture is well known for it’s effectiveness at treating physical pain, but also emotional and mental conditions like insomnia, stress and anxiety, and depression—which our homeless are unfortunately susceptible to.

“I liked it so much, I kept coming in,” Knoles said, speaking to acupuncture’s wide-ranging benefits. “I wanted to keep doing it. It was not just healing my back, but other pains I was having.”

Hopefully, other locations around the country will follow this community’s lead and help those out who need our help the most.

Acupuncture At The Zoo: The Story of Lottie The Koala

Anyone who suffers from arthritis, or is close to someone suffering from it, knows how debilitating it can be to live with. That isn’t limited just to us humans, either.

Lottie is a Koala bear that has been at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina since 2002. Any mother knows that raising young ones can be a physical burden, and since Lottie arrived at Riverbanks Zoo in 2002, she has given birth to 11 joeys. All that joey-rearing (Koalas use their back to carry their children) and climbing and the physical rigors of everyday life have taken their toll of Lottie, who the staff at Riverbanks found had began suffering from arthritis and muscle tension.

However, Lottie has been showing signs of improved motion and strength recently, and the credit can be granted to the veterinary staff at Riverbanks, who treated Lottie’s arthritis and muscle tension with acupuncture.

“The animal care team at Riverbanks currently performs acupuncture on Lottie once every two to three weeks,” said John Davis, the director of animal care and welfare at Riverbanks told the Free Times. “Each treatment session last about 15 to 20 minutes, with the staff veterinarian inserting at least 10 small needles (about the size of a human hair) into Lottie’s lower back and hip area.”

If you’re wondering how easily a wild animal takes to acupuncture, Lottie has her days.

“We realized that she’s okay with it some days and not OK with it on other days,” Davis says. “If she starts to retreat up the tree in the middle of a session, then we just end the session.”

But based on Lottie’s improvement, it looks like she’s been OK with acupuncture more than not.