Four Reasons Why Acupuncture Makes a Great Gift

As the holiday season is now in full swings, we find ourselves caught up in  the hustle and bustle and, let’s face it, the stress that accompanies it all can be a bit overwhelming.  Between cooking, baking, cleaning, shopping, and tackling your gift list there’s little downtime, which is much needed for our well-being. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.

Let acupuncture can help, and help you conquer the gift-giving game, too. Here are four reasons why acupuncture makes a great gift for both yourself, and anyone on your list.

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1.     It’s the Gift of Self Care

Clothing can fade, gift certificates expire and technology is consistently being improved upon, but the one thing that nobody can take away from you is your health and well-being- which is his is exactly what acupuncture can help to improve.

2.     It’s Thoughtful

Has someone on your list been talking about how they’ve wanted to try acupuncture? It’s a no brainer. If someone has been opening up about sleep, anxiety or depression issues, it’s also a really thoughtful way to help them get back to feeling themselves. Just be sure they’d be open to the treatment prior to gifting, so it doesn’t go to waste.

3.     It’s A Time Out

Relaxation is incredibly important to prevent burnout and a slew of other unpleasant side effects. If someone you know is constantly on the go, gifting them the gift of acupuncture is a forced “time out” of sorts, which is often sorely needed and happily welcomed. Even a short 20-minute session with the lights out and phones away could be all someone needs to recharge and re-center, ready to tackle the new year head on.

4. It's Risk Free

Unlike popular massage club memberships or treatments that come with complicated stipulations, gifting an acupuncture gift card or session comes with no strings attached and no risks involved - just like the procedure itself! While you hope the recipient loves it as much as we do, theres no pressure on them to return or "buy in" to any gimmicks or deals. An extra perk? Even one session of acupuncture can yield results. It's a win/win.

Acupuncture vs. Acupressure

Acupuncture and acupressure are two different practices that sound similar, and yield somewhat similar results. Yet, it’s important to note the similarities and differences within the two healing practices.

Both practices are rooted in ancient Chinese medicine, yet one involves manipulation of trigger points by hand (acupressure) while the other requires slim needles to be inserted at specific meridian points (acupuncture.) Still confused? Think “pressure” meaning to push on, and “puncture” meaning to puncture with a needle.

According to this article by Livestrong, “Acupuncture and acupressure fall under the classification of traditional Chinese medicine or TCM which also employs the use of diet, herbs and mind body techniques, states the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. TCM views the body as an energetic entity that is balanced by two opposing forces called Yin and Yang. It also believes that good health depends on the flow of qi through pathways called meridians. Practitioners of this method aim to restore the flow of qi and the balance of Yin and Yang to improve spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health.”

Acupuncture

With acupuncture, needles are inserted at specific point in body meridians encouraging the flow of qi to be repaired, restored, or improved. Using the slim, tiny needles, they are inserted and left in the specific points for a designated period of time (typically 15-20 minutes) to maximize the therapeutic effect.

Acupressure

Acupressure is, in theory, acupuncture but without any needles. The same guiding principles and philosophies are applied, but with pressure by pressing on targeted points along the body. It is not advised you practice acupressure on yourself, as a trained therapist should perform the treatment on you. Over time, you may be able to pick up on self-treatment methods, but it is best to leave it to the professionals.

What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health

Anyone who has ever been to the center, or to any acupuncture or Ayurvedic practitioner in general has probably been asked to stick out their tongue. No, they weren’t joking or being silly – in fact, it’s a serious question. A little-known fact is that your tongue can tell quite a bit about your health.

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In fact, the texture, color and overall appearance of your tongue can give a professional insight into the state of your overall well-being.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are different meanings for different appearances. If your tongue has a white coating or white spots, for example, it could be a sign of oral thrush (a yeast infection), leukoplakia (when mouth skin cells grow excessively) or oral lichen planus (white lines on your tongue.) On the contrary, if the tongue has a redder appearance, it could signify a vitamin deficiency, Scarlet Fever or Kawasaki disease.

It doesn’t end there.

Sores or bumps can typically show if you smoke, have canker sores, or trauma, too. What else?

According to Ayurveda, the tongue is a strong diagnostic tool with connecting organs. Ayurveda.com states, “The ancient art of tongue diagnosis also describes quite characteristic patterns that can reveal the functional status of respective internal organs merely by observing the surface of the tongue.” For example, the front 1/3rd of the tongue relates to the lungs, heart, chest and neck, so any anomalies found in that subsection is cause for concern in the related body parts. 

Because of these beliefs, keeping your tongue healthy is extremely important. One of the best ways? Tongue scraping. Yep – tongue scarping. The ancient practice suggests using a special scraper (or spoon) to remove the coating, revealing a cleaner and healthier tongue.

We bet you’ll never look at sticking out your tongue the same.

Got PMS? Try Acupuncture

Many women know it all too well: the cyclical bloating, breakouts, cravings and yes, mood swings that strike right around the time your monthly period is due. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, or PMS for short, is a series of symptoms women feel due to the strong hormone fluctuations they experience with their menses.

According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, “Several million women report painful periods, cramps, and PMS that can disrupt life for 7-10 days each month,” with common symptoms include and ranging from bloating, headache, acne, and irritability or severe mood swings.

To help ease these symptoms, a healthful diet, exercise, medicinal herbs, and acupuncture are recommended as they, “can all be used to better regulate these hormonal fluctuations.”

As a form of natural relief, the article explains that, “Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) analyze the flow of energy, or qi, and blood in each patient as a means of identifying imbalances that are to blame for their diseases or medical conditions. Cramping associated with the menstrual cycle or menopause is often due to the stagnation of qi.” Additionally, a deficiency in quality qi or blood flow can also lead to chronic pain.

The most common acupuncture point for PMS is along the liver meridian, or Liver Qi, which is believed to be integral to the overall flow of energy, life force, through the body. By stimulating this point, stagnant blood can be combated, which can ultimately lead to pain relief and restoration of balance.  

The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine states, “While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has no official stance on the efficacy of acupuncture on PMS, many of the professional members recognize that acupuncture helps to regulate our endorphins and other biochemistry.”

In other words, it quite literally can’t hurt to give acupuncture a try in an effort to help combat when PMS rears its ugly head.

 

 

Cant Sleep? Try Acupuncture.

We spend about a third of our lives asleep. This can be music to the ears of many, or a frightful realization for those who struggle with slumber.

We’ve all been there, when you just can’t fall asleep, or stay asleep, due to racing thoughts, stressors, too much caffeine, or lack of comfort. But what about when this continues for days, weeks, even months? Acupuncture can help.

According to sleep.org,  “Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice, has been linked to improved sleep and has also been shown to help treat insomnia.”

While more research is needed to determine exactly how it helps, many people swear by the effects. We know the procedure can help patients to relax and improve their sense of wellbeing, but according to the site it has also, “been shown to help manage sleep apnea, perhaps because it strengthens the tongue and prevents it from dropping back during the night and blocking your airway.”

Furthermore, according to Insomnia.net, there are a few types of insomnia, according to Chinese Medicine, including:

 

·       Sleep onset or difficulty going to sleep

·       Middle of the night, or waking and unable to go back to sleep right away

·       Terminal or late insomnia, or waking in the very early morning and cannot return to sleep again

·       Sleep with vivid and disruptive dreaming

·       Inability to sleep, in general.

It is important to keep in mind that a singular session may help to relax you, but to truly combat insomnia it is important to come up with a treatment plan that will span a period of assigned time. This largely depends on the nature, and cause of your insomnia.

To improve results, there are a few complimentary lifestyle changes that will work in conjunction with acupuncture. These can include restricting caffeine intake, limiting exposure to technology for 30-60 minutes prior to sleep time, breathing exercises, and light stretching.

Sweet dreams!

Beat Holiday Stress with Acupuncture

This time of year is filled with fun get togethers with family and friends, festive happenings, delicious treats and lots shopping. It’s also filled with, sometimes, lots of stress. Often, people also experience the holiday blues, a feeling of general sadness.

Stress, tension and/or sadness shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment of the holiday season, yet all too often it does. Acupuncture is a fantastic option to decompress, relieve muscle stress, and increase endorphins.

If you’re feeling overworked and are having trouble tackling your holiday to-do list with a peaceful mind, acupuncture sessions can help to restore your sense of well-being and relaxation.

In this Psychology Today article, scientific studies that prove the effects of acupuncture as a treatment for anxiety and depression are discussed.

In the article, author of a 2013 study in the Journal of Endocrinology authored by Eshkevari, “showed that rats who endured stress conditions and then received acupuncture had lowered blood hormone levels secreted by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis (which controls reactions to stress and regulates processes like the immune system, digestion, emotions and moods and sexuality.)”

Based on these results, Eshkevari stated, ““We found that electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway…. Our growing body of evidence points to acupuncture’s protective effect against the stress response.”

The article’s author Teri Goetz, MS, LAC, ACC ended the piece saying, “The experience of acupuncture is, for most of my patients, quite pleasant and relaxing. Once the needles are in, the patient lies quietly on the table with low lighting, lovely music playing and often with aromatherapy incorporated into the process. The patients leave feeling “blissed out” — and a new phrase has been coined in my office. ‘Acubliss’ It’s real.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Come and achieve your own “acubliss” this holiday season, and beyond, at NJ Acupuncture Center.

Acupuncture for Anti Aging

Smile lines, crow’s feet and frown lines, oh my! These, and other obvious signs of aging are often something we go great lengths (and expenses) to try to combat, camouflage and prevent.

Often, we will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in our lifetimes for expensive creams, treatments and sometimes even surgery to restore ourselves into an image of younger hears/. But what if we told you that a completely natural and noninvasive method has proven effective, too?

Before opting for injections, fillers, nips and tucks – why not try acupuncture for anti-aging?

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In a 2009 article from Today.com entitled “Facial acupuncture: An alternative to Botox” contributor Marisa Belger shared her experiences with facial acupuncture as an alternative to injections.   

She said, “Most facial acupuncturists recommend a series of 10 successive sessions (every week or twice a week) with monthly follow-up sessions for maintenance. My schedule rarely allowed for weekly sessions — I was on the every-other-week plan — but the one time I went two weeks in a row, I noticed that the wrinkles in my forehead, etched there from more than 30 years of brow arching, were lighter, less significant somehow. And my mommy lines were no longer the focal point of my face, seeming to have softened back into that place above my nose.”

By stimulating blood flow and aiding to release any blocked or stagnant Qi, facial acupuncture can help to fight the tell-tale signs of aging, and help to restore a more useful, plump appearance to the skin.

Before considering costly and / or invasive treatments to fill, smooth or laser, consider trying the most natural and holistic approach. If looking to incorporate acupuncture into your skincare routine, contact the center or make an appointment today for a consultation and appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

Zoo Uses Acupuncture on Arthritic Giraffe

By now it’s commonly accepted that acupuncture can help relieve chronic pain, yet when most of this conversation is had, it’s referring to humans.

What many people might not know about is that acupuncture has also been used with our animal counterparts for quite some time. Most recently, with an arthritic giraffe.

This NBC News video shows Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island using acupuncture on their 2,000-pound giraffe named Sukari. The tall, majestic giraffe is 22 years old, aging, and suffering from arthritis, a painful joint condition compounded by her massive height.

She began to show signs of getting older, and of limited mobility before the zookeepers and veterinarians decided to attempt acupuncture as a treatment.

In this NECN article, Dr. Jeremy Goodman, the executive director of Roger Williams Park Zoo, explained ““There were a lot of things we had to consider,” continuing,  “Will the giraffe tolerate it? Would it be effective? Would the keepers be able to administer it, and how safe would it be?”

And so, a former intern at the zoo who is a certified veterinary medical acupuncturist was brought in to begin treatment. Following a similar protocol to human acupuncture treatment, the 45-minute session used 14 needles around her hips, and received the treatment weekly.

As for results?  NECN states that the zoo believes it is, in fact, working. It quoted, “‘We think it really is keeping her arthritis at bay,’” Goodman said. “‘We know eventually her time will come, but until that point, and we hope it’s not for a while, she’s going to have a great life here.”

Using acupuncture to improve quality of life, control pain, and hopefully increase mobility in animals follows the same beliefs as the practice in humans.

We’d just have to assume the acuneedles used on Sukari are a little bit bigger than those we use at NJ Acupuncture Center.

 

What is Qi?

In Chinese medicine, Qi (commonly referred to as chi) is the central focus of acupuncture. But what is it, exactly?

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In translation, Qi literally means “breath” or “air,” and is often used less literally as “life force” and “energy flow.” Essentially, it’s the vital force behind life, allowing living beings to thrive and live balanced lives.  Acupuncture treatment helps to balance Qi, as an attempt to achieve qigong (balanced chi.) This is important as all living beings within the universe have movements, and changes in their Qi.

According to acuhealing,com, Qi has many bodily  functions including:

·      Promoting Action (vitality, promoting physiological functioning)

·      Warming Action (the main source of heat for the human body)

·      Defending Action (guarding the body and skin from invading diseases)

·      Consolidating and Governing Action (keeping blood flowing, controlling sweat, storing and excretion of bodily fluid)

·      Promoting Metabolism and Transformation (helping us to properly digest and dispose of food waste)

Qi blockages are often the result of emotional problems. In eastern medicine, emotions are energy – and any negative emotions such as stress or sadness can manifest in the body, ultimately causing Qi imbalances.

When there is stagnant, unbalanced or blocked Q, problems, pain and disease arise. This is why acupuncture plays such an important role in maintaining and improving health. By tapping into and stimulating sources and locations of the energy, the fine needles puncture the body to stimulate specific acupuncture points and meridians.

Through acupuncture therapy, the hope is that the Qi will begin to flow more smoothly, improving health, pain, and other problematic symptoms.

 

 

Top 10 Tips for First Time Patients

Trying anything new for the first time can be overwhelming and even a little scary. Pair that with the concept of essentially having a stranger stick “needles” in your body, and it can be downright terrifying – but it doesn’t have to be, nor should it be.

At NJ Acupuncture Center, we fully understand that first time patients may be a bit apprehensive. SO, we put together this handy little guide of the top 10 tips for first time acupuncture patients. You can thank us later.

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1.     Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.

Depending on your needs, you can receive acupuncture treatment from head to toe. Therefore, it is essential to wear loose fitting clothing that is both comfortable, but can also be rolled or pulled up for access to all necessary meridians.

2.     Turn off your cell phone.

Unplug! This is “you” time. To best relax, turn off your phone – don’t put it on vibrate. (You’ll still hear it!)

3.     Be open and honest.

Share any medical experiences and concerns with your acupuncturist. Any emotions you’re struggling with or past experiences can only help you to receive the best treatment.

4.     Write down a list of questions, comments or concerns.

Acupuncture will work best when both you and your practitioner and you are on the same page. If you have any questions, comments or concerns -  as well as treatment goals – write them down so you don’t forget anything during your consult!

5.     Be mindful of scheduling.

It is ideal to schedule your appointment at a time that you can then relax afterwards. Though, if you can only squeeze in lunch-break appointments, any time slot is better than none. 

6.     Eat something light.

You don’t want to be super full, or super starving for your session. Ensure that you’ve eaten something light and healthy prior to your time.

7.     Show up early.

For your first appointment, there will be intake paperwork. Show up at least 10-15 minutes early to ensure you have ample time to thoughtfully and accurately complete any paperwork that is needed.

8.     Avoid caffeine.

You’ll want to be able to lay still and relaxed during your time here. So, chugging a large iced coffee prior to coming isn’t the best idea. (Really, it’s not a good idea at any time, but more on that later.)

9.     Breathe

It’s a human reaction that at times when you’re nervous or anxious, you hold your breath. Remember that breath is your life force! Breathe regularly and consistently. Focusing on your breath can help to deepen your relaxation.

10. Relax and enjoy!

 

Can Acupuncture Help You Lose Weight?

With Halloween just behind us and the winter holidays fast approaching, many of us are entering what is known as “the danger zone,” - AKA the time of year where our indulgences in sweets, comfort foods and beverages at festive gatherings can quickly catch up with us, and our waistlines.

Whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds or to combat any potential holiday weight gain, following a healthy diet and getting proper exercise is key. But, could acupuncture help, too?

According to Women’s Health Magazine, it’s possible. The article stated, “‘Obviously, we have a huge obesity epidemic and we’re trying to find any way to help people lose weight,’ says Reshmi Srinath, M.D. and assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease at Mt. Sinai. Unfortunately, she notes that there aren’t enough controlled, randomized studies proving a direct link between weight loss and acupuncture. ‘I do, however, think there are benefits,’ she says. ‘It certainly can’t hurt.’ “

Acupuncture can help to reduce hunger by controlling appetite, and can also release the feel-good endorphins that may help prevent overeating and overindulging. Typical points that target weight loss and appetite control are located in the ear, as well as in the abdomen, knees, and elbows.

You probably know by now that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, and no quick fixes. (Or quick fixes that are healthy and promote lasting results, at least.) With this knowledge, it is recommended to follow a treatment plan with consecutive treatments – as one treatment is not likely to have any effect on weight.

In addition to acupuncture treatment, Dr. Daniel N. Hsu of New York Acuhealth Acupuncture has said that Traditional Chinese Medicine also recommends patients:

·      Eat small meals

·      Eat warmed, fresh cooked food

·      Avoid cold drinks and frozen food

·      Avoid fried foods

·      Avoid alcohol and caffeine

·      Avoid anything with added sugar

·      Avoid fast food and junk food

 

Can Acupuncture Help to Treat Addiction?  

We know that acupuncture can help with physical pain, ailments, and certain mental struggles. But what about the pain and anguish that comes along with addiction?

While there are many obvious holistic avenues to take in a quest for Wellness, acupuncture is often overlooked in the treatment of addiction. Perhaps it shouldn’t be.

Addiction is comprised of physical and psychological dependence on substances, and is often best treated with dual modalities, and a variety of approaches.

In a recent article out of Manila, Philippines, Dr. Iris Teo Hwee Chin, President of Singapore’s Si En Traditional Chinese Medicine College says, “Ear acupuncture tends to have this effect as pressure points near ear nerves send signals to the brain that switches the thinking and urges of the body.”

The article continued that, “several patients showed signs of getting over their addiction after completing 10 weekly sessions of ear acupuncture.”

The argument in favor of using acupuncture for addiction, in this case alcohol, is further supported by the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.  Faculty member Brian Bender, Lac., who practices 5 Element Acupuncture, uses sensory methods to identify elements in a state of imbalance, and then uses specific points to address the imbalance. Faculty member Donna Keefe, Lac., added that, “When an addict is suffering from an in imbalance, they are using a substance like alcohol to self-medicate.”

Recovery.org, a helpful site that connects individuals and families suffering from addiction to services and programs, outlines the specific acupuncture points that might aid in recovery:

  • Lung Point: improves lung function and alleviates feelings of grief.
  • Liver Point: removes toxins from the liver and blood, and curbs aggression.
  • Kidney Point: repairs vital organs and eases fears.
  • Shen Men: decreases anxiety - also known as the "spirit gate."
  • The Autonomic (or Sympathetic) Point: promotes relaxation and soothing of the nervous system.

While evidence is mixed surrounding the efficacy of acupuncture for addiction treatment, many studies have shown positive effects and correlations.

*If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, please seek professional, medical help immediately. It is important to note that acupuncture as treatment should be sought in conjunction with other, supervised treatments and therapies.

Why IVF Patients Turn to the Practice to Improve Their Chances & Experience

Women struggling with infertility and their loved ones know first-hand how stressful, painful, overwhelming and expensive the process can be. From daily injections and monitoring, endless blood draws and ultrasounds the in-vitro fertilization process is demanding, with of course, the end result hopefully being very much worth the work.

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Those seeking to get a handle on stress stemming from the process, or to possibly improve the chances of a positive outcome are seeking acupuncture treatment more and more.

Stress can significantly impact the IVF cycle, and acupuncture can help to reduce it.

A recent Parents.com article cited Alice Domar, Ph.D., executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health as saying, “We know the number-one reason insured people drop out of IVF treatment is stress, so anything you can do to reduce stress might keep you in treatment longer and help you get pregnant.”

In an article entitled, Does Acupuncture for Infertility Work? Dr. Lara Rosenthal, a licensed acupuncturist who works with patients New York University Langone Medical Center Fertility Center in New York City is quoted as saying, “"Doing acupuncture before trying drugs or IVF might help you avoid those treatments altogether,” while having acupuncture treatment during an IVF cycle may help combat the unpleasant side effects stemming from the added hormones and mediations in your system.

Even Hollywood moms have publicly turned to acupuncture during their battles with infertility. Celine Dion’s reps have confirmed that she sought treatment during her sixth IVF experience which led to her pregnancy with twins Nelson and Eddy.

After suffering a miscarriage, Mariah Carey told Access HollywoodCeline was talking about acupuncture. I used to get acupuncture, and I had never thought [of it] with regards to the trying to conceive situation,” and seems to believe it helped to make her pregnancy with twins via IVF, a dream come true.

Currently, many fertility doctors are now recommending acupuncture to their patients who are trying to conceive. From helping to balance hormone levels, releasing congested qi and helping patients to achieve relax, there are many benefits to giving it a try.

If you are actively trying to conceive or are undergoing infertility treatments, we are happy to try to help you achieve your parenting dreams and to lessen the stress of the process through skilled acupuncture treatment.

Calm the Mind with Acupuncture

In a time where our mind and bodies are forced to constantly be on and connected, its becoming more and more difficult to just relax. With longer workdays, social pressures and increased connectivity, its nearly impossible to unplug which can be especially harmful for those that suffer from anxiety.

Luckily, anxiety is treatable.

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You might have heard that talk therapy, physical activity, and medication are all viable options for anxiety relief, and that’s true for many. Yet often forgotten about is the holistic, natural and ancient approach of combating chronic worry and tension with the art of acupuncture.

If you’re having trouble relaxing or sleeping, are consumed with negative thoughts or are tired of feeling jittery all the time, we can help.

But how, exactly?

Perhaps this recent article from Everyday Health puts it best when it states, “Depending on where the needles go, acupuncture can cause the nervous system to produce painkilling chemicals, jump-start the body’s natural ability to heal itself, or stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions, including anxiety.”

In a personal testimonial found over on You Beauty, writer Avital Norman Nathman shared, “After a month of regular treatments, I couldn’t help but notice a difference. I would always have the best sleep of the week the night after my acupuncture appointment. And I would also feel lighter. My chest wouldn’t be clenched as tightly and the raw current of anxiety that seems to continuously float just beneath the surface of my skin was dissipate for a while, allowing me to experience a semblance of normalcy, if only for a little while. And I’m not the only one finding relief for anxiety with acupuncture.”

The actual acupuncture session itself can be quite calming, too – especially at NJ Acupuncture Center.  At our facility, we provide comfortable and heated beds, soothing music, essential oils for aromatherapy, and infrared heat to help calm the nervous system and encourage pure rest. 

Our massage options are also a great opportunity to soothe and muscular tension resulting from anxiety. 

If you find that fear, worry or anxiety has an unwanted presence in your life, it’s time to calm the mind and consider adding acupuncture into your wellness and self-care routines. We’d be honored to play a role in the healing process.

 

 

 

Celebrities Turning to Acupuncture to Help Relieve Chronic Pain

 In Lady Gaga’s recently released Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two” the star is seen at her most raw and vulnerable, navigating her stardom, personal life, and inner battles. At the forefront of her struggles appears to be her chronic pain stemming from fibromyalgia and a past traumatic injury.

Typically a bubbly, high energy star with dynamic dance moves on stage, Gaga is shown in the documentary writhing in pain, sobbing through spasms and visiting with doctors and other therapeutic professionals. To help combat the pain, she is also seen receiving acupuncture treatment in a teaser for the documentary.

Acupuncture for chronic pain isn’t a new phenomenon, but thanks to celebrities like Lady Gaga and others who are opening up about their own personal and physical struggles, it’s becoming more and more popular, which can only be a good thing.

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In fact, Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker shared a photo on Instagram just this week of himself receiving facial acupuncture for his painful Trigeminal Neuralgia, a condition that affects the nerve responsible for carrying sensation from your face to the brain.

Hollywood star Sigourney Weaver is also quoted as telling the Daily Mail in 2012, “The body is an amazing instrument with great self-healing properties, and things like acupuncture and massage help the body regain strength and health. I’d much rather that than pump my body full of chemicals.”

So, how exactly does acupuncture help provide relief from chronic pain?  In the simplest terms, the insertion of acuneedles in specific meridians and points can help to stimulate secretion of endorphins (natural pain killing hormones) as well as the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter said to help enhance an overall sense of well-being.

Acupuncture also helps to release any blocked qi, which can help to stimulate a natural, internal healing response of inflammation and other pain-inducing physical conditions.

Whether you suffer from headaches or general discomfort from tension, musculoskeletal pain or pain stemming from illness or disease, acupuncture is a holistic and natural method of pain management and relief.

Acupuncture as a Possible Solution for Seasonal Allergies

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, it’s safe to say Fall is here – and with it comes all the seasonal allergy symptoms of sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, congestion and headaches. If you find that the beauty of the season gets hidden behind suffering from seasonal allergies, you’re not alone.

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In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nasal allergies affect approximately 50 million people across the country, amounting to nearly 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.


If you’ve tried your fair share of pills, syrups, sprays, sinus rinses and cold packs, perhaps we can help.

A recent article originally published by TIME via CNN reported that of the participants studied in a trial published in Annals of Internal Medicine who tested positive for pollen allergies with nasal symptoms, those who received combined treatment of acupuncture and antihistamines demonstrated a greater improvement in their allergies than those who took antihistamines alone, and those who had “fake” acupuncture.

Additionally, a NPR article cited Dr. Sandra Lin, an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology (an ear, nose and throat doctor)  at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as suggesting, “Acupuncture may help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for people with perennial allergic rhinitis, and may help with seasonal allergies. too, according to several studies. Thus, it could be an option for people looking for non-pharmaceutical treatments.”

As far as allergies and rhinitis are concerned, within alternative medicine they are typically associated with qi within the lung, and spleen. By targeting these meridians, acupuncturists can attempt to target these meridians and help to balance the qi.

Curious to know if acupuncture could help relieve some of your allergy woes? You won’t know until you try – and it can’t hurt (literally) to pay us a visit!

An Argument for Acupuncture use in the Emergency Room

It’s hard to watch the news these days without hearing of the crippling opioid epidemic that is sweeping our nation. With stronger prescription pain medication regulations and the high risk of addiction and/or overdoes, people are swiftly turning to other resources and options when it comes to pain management. While many may already know the benefits of acupuncture for chronic pain, it is now considered an option for acute moderate to severe pain, as well.

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In emergency rooms (where people typically go for sudden or concerning pain) doctors are becoming increasingly cautious about the use of prescription pain medication administered orally or intravenously. Instead, according to a recent article in Forbes, a recently published study out of Australia has found that acupuncture is a safe and alternative option to opiates; depending on the patient, of course.

Dr. Marc Cohen, the lead investigator behind the study, said to Forbes, "Our study has shown acupuncture is a viable alternative, and would be especially beneficial for patients who are unable to take standard pain-relieving drugs because of other medical conditions. But it's clear we need more research overall to develop better medical approaches to pain management, as the study also showed patients initially remained in some pain, no matter what treatment they received.”

Dr. Sergey Motov, M.D, a specialist in pain management, and an attending ER physician at Maimonides in Brooklyn was also quoted in the article as saying, “I am very supportive for use of acupuncture in the ED as an adjunct to opioid analgesics with a hope of opioid reduction and to non-opioid analgesics as a part of multimodal approach.”

We find these results and support incredibly valuable, as holistic methods are often effective yet overlooked.

If you find yourself suffering from chronic pain, acupuncture is sure worth giving a chance. And while acupuncture can provide relief- as always-  any concerning pain or symptoms should be addressed with your physical as soon as possible.

Hate Needles? Here's Why You Should Still Try Acupuncture.

Let’s face it, nobody really likes needles. Really, who would be a fan of sharp metal objects being inserted in your body to either draw out blood or inject a needed treatment? While nobody is really lining up around the block to get poked and prodded, some people hate them more than others. And while that’s all perfectly normal, it shouldn’t get in the way of you trying acupuncture. Here’s why.

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While acupuncture technically involved needles, the approach is considered to be “needling” and blood is very rarely a factor (unless a drop here or there comes up from a particularly congested area.) No Band-Aids necessary, no closing your yes or holding your breath, and no certainly no tourniquets are needed.

In fact, acupuncture needles are also far different from what is considered a traditional needle. Often called acu-needles, they are typically hair-thin and made of surgical stainless-steel wire. Typical acu-needles range between .16-.4mm, whereas needles uses for venipuncture (a blood draw at a lab) are .82. Some have compared the needle size and sensation to that of a cat’s whisker. Feeling a little better already?

As for the biggest component of fear - pain – you can relax. There’s little to no pain involved in acupuncture. The unpleasant sensation and pain of a needle for blood draw or injection is in no way, shape, or form similar to the sensation of an acupuncture needle. Those who have tried the practice liken the sensation to be less of a needle prick and more of a twinge, similar to tweezing unwanted hair. If you can handle tweezing your eyebrows, you can handle acupuncture.

An added bonus, any uncomfortable sensation that you might (but probably won’t) feel will only exist during needle placement/insertion, so think of it as a mere second of potential discomfort in exchange for hours, weeks, or even months of health benefits.

Introducing AcuScuplt™

For those looking for a natural, alternative therapy to aid in their weight loss efforts, look no further than AcuSculpt . A newly trademarked system designed by NJ Acupuncture Center’s owner and main acupuncturist Ani Baran L.AC, AcuSculpt is leading the way of enabling weight loss through a dual modality approach – combining acupuncture and targeted massage.

The scientifically targeted service aims to slim and tone using a split treatment session of acupuncture immediately followed by firm massage.

The first step of AcuSculpt  involves acupuncture needles strategically placed first within specified weight-loss meridians. Acupuncture is believed to help facilitate weight loss as it stabilizes qi and better facilitates energy flow, while helping to reduce the fat storage hormone leptin. The service can also aid in improving liver function, thus helping the body process waste and properly digest what is consumed.

To further rev up the metabolism, supplemental electro-acupuncture is also used, as micro current stimulation is sent between pairs of acupuncture needles, targeting a releasing of accumulated or difficult to target qi. 

After a 30-minute session, the second portion of the service follows. A firm, stimulating full body massage is performed, helping to release any stubborn or retained gas and/or bloat from the abdomen area as well as fluid retention and accumulation in the thighs.

The combination of services will, over time, stimulate metabolism, regulate bowel movements and help combat fluid retention, swelling, bloating and gas – all while leading to a slimmer and more toned physique.

As with any meaningful health or fitness goals, the key to efficacy is consistency. In regard to expected results, consistent patients can reasonably expect to lose approximately 1-2 pounds per week, when supplemented by a moderate and healthful diet. To monitor progress and weight loss, patients will be measured and weighed upon beginning the treatment cycle.

Added benefits of AcuSculpt  include its potential effect on facial appearance, too. To complement a newly slimmed physique, AcuSculpt  also has demonstrated an ability to target and combat facial bloating, wrinkling and sagging of the skin. Commonly referred to as “cosmetic acupuncture” it can help restore and replenish skin elasticity, bringing fresh healthy blood to areas in need.

The end results? A refreshed and healthy appearance, from head to toe.