5 Busted Myths About Acupuncture

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While acupuncture has been utilized in eastern medicine for centuries, the practice is still relatively new in the United States. Human beings are, understandably, often slow to adapt to change, and we look at new things with a skeptical eye. That goes doubly for anything involving medicine and our health. Why try something new when it involves our body and our health?  

But acupuncture has finally started to gain popularity here as a safe, effective and lasting treatment for a variety of disorders and the pain and discomfort associated with them. Still, some inaccurate myths surrounding acupuncture are out there. It’s important that everyone knows what’s true and what’s not about acupuncture so they can make their own informed decisions about whether or not acupuncture is right for them. Here are 5 of the most popular but inaccurate thoughts about acupuncture:

1 – Acupuncture is expensive

Firstly, many states are beginning to offer acupuncture as part of their medicare plans, and more and more private insurers are coming around to covering the treatment in various plans. Regardless, even if you pay out of pocket, acupuncture is affordable, especially in contrast to the other visits, treatments and drugs people use to treat their pain otherwise.

2 – Acupuncture hurts

It’s understandable that some people think needles equals pain. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Acupuncture needles are very thin, resulting in a calming sensation. Many patients are so relaxed they fall asleep during treatment.

3 – Acupuncture is nothing but a placebo

Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to alleviate pain, through redistributing and restoring the energy in the body, targeted to the specific parts of the body based on the patient’s needs. It is simply not a faux pain treatment.  

4 – Acupuncture is addicting

Acupuncture is not addicting, and ironically, acupuncture is also an effective treatment for addition itself. Although some patients depending on their treatment may need a few sessions before they see results, that doesn’t mean that there are any addictive properties inherent to acupuncture.  

5 – Acupuncture is a miracle treatment

We extoll the virtues and plentiful benefits of acupuncture, its ability to treat pain and other ailments holistically and lastingly. But it is not a magic cure-all. It’s important to remember that while we encourage everyone to seek out acupuncture for their pain management needs, acupuncture is just one important piece of the puzzle that makes up a healthy lifestyle.

Acupuncture Found to be Safest Option for Treating Osteoarthritis

 

Osteoarthitis is the most common form of arthritis, and it can occur and create damage at any joint in our bodies. What happens is the cartilage in our joints that separates bones from one another gradually deteriorates. In the early stages, the cartilage becomes rough, which causes pain and stiffness in joints. But if untreated, eventually the cartilage can be removed completely, causing bones to run right up against each other.

 

This condition occurs most commonly in our major joints, like our hands and knees, and especially our hips. Hip Osteoarthritis affects anywhere from 3 to 11% of the population in Western countries, which means millions of people suffer from this nasty degeneration. Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a number of ways doctors generally treat the condition. Physical therapy is popular, and surgery could be performed in the worst cases, but in the meantime the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs is often prescribed to deal with the pain.

 

Thankfully, studies are beginning to be performed to show what acupuncturists have known for decades—that among all the treatments available for those suffering from a condition like hip osteoarthritis, acupuncture isn’t just on par or superior, but it’s by far the safest, with the fewest potential negative side effects.

 

Researchers in the US and China went back and looked at studies done historically on how to treat osteoarthritis and judged the combined findings. In all the studies, none of the subjects reported any adverse side effects.

 

As for acupuncture’s ability to heal those who are suffering, the strongest of the studies that were reviewed found  “that acupuncture plus routine physician care was more effective than routine care alone at decreasing pain, improving bodily function and increasing physical quality of life.”

 

We know that acupuncture is effective for treating disorders such as osteoarthritis because its goal is not to simply mask pain, but treat the root causes of pain brought about by unbalance in the body. If you think you suffer from any form of osteoarthritis or are beginning to feel pain and stiffness in your joints, we’re here to help.

 

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How To Find Out if Acupuncture is Covered By Your Insurance

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Medical bills and dealing with insurance companies can often be quite stressful, to say the least. When trying to find a holistic treatment that can help solve an array of. Different maladies and symptoms, it can be even more frustrating. To help, here are some helpful tips that can make navigating the process a bit easier, and hopefully lead to a resolution.

Know The Terms

This may sound simple, but so many people are not aware of what. Is considered a covered expense, and what is not. Terms like “in network”, “out of network”, “deductible” and “out of pocket max,” are also enough to make your head spin.

This might help:

In-Network: A provider has agreed to join the network of providers for your specific insurer, and accept their rates/amounts for services.

Out of Network:  A provider who does not accept the plan or insurer and often is not covered, or is covered at a lesser amount that is reimbursable.

Deductible: A deductible is a specific dollar amount that your health insurance company may require that you pay (of your own money) each year before your plan starts to make payments for claims. But, not all health plans require a deductible. Most of the. Time, HMO plans typically do not require a deductible, while most Indemnity and PPO plans do. (So it’s important to know which one you have.)

Out of Pocket Max: A set figure that once. You have met, you no longer have to pay your own money for any covered services within that specific year.

Ask Your Provider & Insurer

Next, what’s most important is to first ask your desired acupuncture provider if they, in fact, even accept insurance. (NJ Acupuncture Center does!) Then, ask if they “take” and are “in or out of network” with your specific plan. If they are out of network, it is then important to call your insurance company (or check your coverage online) to see if they provide any coverage or reimbursement for out of network services. If not, it can never hurt to ask your preferred provider if they offer any special rates or discount specifically for cash-pay, or uninsured patients.

It’s also really  important to know where you stand with your deductible. If it has been met, then your coverage has kicked in. If it hasn’t yet, you might be responsible to pay in full for services until it is met. What’s even better, is if by chance your out of pocket maximum has been met, then you may not have to pay anything for the remainder of the calendar year.

For any insurance questions or concerns, we are always more than happy to help navigate and find out your coverage for you! 

Acupuncture shown to restore facial movement in stoke patients

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. 140,000 people in the US each year die due to a stroke. However, there are many different levels of stroke, and not all are fatal. In fact, stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the country.

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Strokes occur due to restricted blood flow to the brain. When that happens, oxygen is cut off and can’t reach the brain. Depending on the level of the stroke, even a survivor may incur physical ailments as a result of the episode. These include numbness, soreness, muscle weakness and more. One common side effect is facial paralysis, one that can have a very long lasting and difficult, day-to-day impact on health and quality of life.

Thankfully, a recent study shows that one treatment in particular can help restore facial movement in stroke patients: acupuncture.

In fact, it’s a combination of acupuncture treatments that was deemed most successful. Fujian Ningde Hospital in China conducted a study of 60 patients diagnosed with post-stroke paralysis over a two-year period. All patients were administered body acupuncture, while half of the group were administered an additional acupuncture procedure to the scalp.

It’s not surprising that the body acupuncture was found to be quite successful on its own. The results of the study showed a 71% effective rate for those who received only the body acupuncture. But the addition of the scalp acupuncture raised the effective rate to just over 93%. The combination of the two was shown to bring back facial movement in nearly every patient.

“In related findings, laboratory research confirms that acupuncture supports brain repair after a stroke,” the study notes. “Yang et al. note that acupuncture “promote[s] the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in the brain.”

Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive and effective way to treat many stoke side effects, including one of the most common and life-altering.

Aches and pains? Ditch the Ibuprofen.

We all know the feeling. Maybe you slept in the wrong position, or upped your physical exertion in an effort to exercise more. Maybe you banged a knee or elbow playing a sport or stretched too far while horsing around with your kids. Or maybe you’re just getting old (it happens!). Worse off, those who complain about consistent aches and pains may suffer from arthritis.

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It’s almost like second nature for many of us to head straight to the medicine cabinet and grab for the ibuprofen bottle. Pop a few in and go on with your day. The problem is that medications like ibuprofen only address the symptom and don’t have any regenerative ability. While tears and serious injuries may require surgery and/or physical therapy, the root cause of every day aches and pains can get worse if only treated with something like ibuprofen and physician prescribed pain killers (not to mention the addictive properties of the latter).

Thankfully, there is another way—acupuncture. And a recent study performed in China has put some data behind what is becoming more commonly known; that aside from being the safer, natural alternative, acupuncture is more effective at treating arthritis than ibuprofen.

Researchers at Yueyang Hospital sampled 80 patients who suffer from arthritis, administering either ibuprofen or a combination of acupuncture and tui na massage. The second group received acupuncture treatment daily for 20 minutes for 20 days, followed by a 20 minute massage treatment. The acupuncture and tui na treatments were successful in 90% of patients as opposed to 87% in the ibuprofen group – a small but meaningful difference given the safety and holistic differences in the two approaches.

A further study showed that of acupuncture and tui na, acupuncture was the more meaningful and effective of the two treatments for arthritis. We figured!

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Energy

Feeling tired? Acupuncture can give you a boost.

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School, work, kids, family, keeping a home, being constantly on the move throughout all the facets of life. Day after day, all of it can often feel like too much. Sometimes, just getting through a normal day can be a slog.

Fatigue isn’t something to take lightly. It can take a mental and physical toll on us. It’s important that we feel well-rested and energetic as we go through our day. Many people suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a disorder where these symptoms and side effects can be even more severe. Many people who suffer from fatigue try supplements or chemicals like caffeine for a boost, but many of these are mere quick fixes. And the crash afterwards can often be much worse.

One of the best ways to infuse the body and mind with a natural, long-lasting boost of energy is acupuncture. Penka Slavova was suffering from fatigue due to the day-to-day rigors of being a mom on the move. She tried many solutions, but was always curious about acupuncture. She decide to give the treatment a chance, and saw Ian Cyrus of Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Center. Slavova instantly felt that the treatments were helping her relax more, which naturally gave her more energy throughout the day.

Acupuncture helps for fatigue because it stimulates the nervous system, opening up energy and circulation pathways which are crucial for the body and mind to feel more energetic. “After a few treatments, patients' systems learn to develop a different frame of reference,” Cyrus said. “They know the difference between what they've grown accustomed to and what they should feel like.”

In addition, those suffering from the more serious and professionally-diagnosed CFS can benefit from acupuncture treatment. The Shenzen Hospital of Chinese Medicine conducted experiments which showed that acupuncture treatment in the eight influential points showed a 90% total effective rate and a 50% total recovery rate in CFS patients.

If you think you might suffer from CFS, be sure to see a medical professional for a diagnosis. Whether or not you suffer from CFS, feeling tired throughout the day is never fun. If you’re looking to boost your overall energy, consider acupuncture. It might just help you conquer the day, whatever it may bring.



 

Can Acupuncture Help Animals Live Longer Lives?

Traffic the cat once made the daredevil choice to jump out of a car going 65 miles per hour and lived to tell about it. There’s no question that Traffic has gotten the most out of his 19 years on earth, perhaps even using up some of his 9 lives in the process. But those years have taken their toll.

An article recently posted by K5 news entitled, "Animals Living Longer Lives Through Acupuncture," introduced us to Traffic, who a few years ago, was diagnosed with a high level of liver enzymes, among other health issues. The Bradic family sought many treatments for Traffic, including steroids, but nothing seemed to work.

That’s where Darla Rewers stepped in. The Bradics brought Traffic to the Fremont, WA based veterinarian, who runs the Ancient Art Holistic Veterinary Service center where, among other holistic treatments, Rewers specializes in animal acupuncture.

"It's really minimally invasive. There's these little tiny needles that can really affect a lot of change,” Rewers told King5 News.

"The acupuncture points actually communicate with the main part of the nervous system. And all those nerve endings connect and communicate so that the body can restore, repair, remodel and rebuild."

A few weeks ago we talked about the positive impacts acupuncture treatments had on an arthritic giraffe, and Rewers has used acupuncture on all sorts of animals, from dogs to cats and even birds, with successful results. How did the treatments work for Traffic the cat? The Bradics say that after 3 treatments, Traffic’s liver enzymes reduced from a count of 850 to 200. The family also said that Traffic has regained his healthy look and playful nature, and continues to receive regular acupuncture three years from the initial treatment.

There are many times in our lives where physical and mental stress can zap us from our own healthy and playful natures. Like Traffic the cat, acupuncture can often be the key to unlocking a pain-free and overall healthier life. While we won’t recommend leaping out of a speeding car any time soon, we can say with confidence that acupuncture will benefit you just as it did Traffic.

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Acupuncture Use in the Military

 

The Fort Hood Sentinel recently ran an article entitled, “Ancient Chinese Technique Enhances Modern Medicine.” The ancient technique they’re talking about? Acupuncture, of course.

In the article, retired Air Force Col. Arnyce Pock, a board-certified Internist, advocates for the procedure, particularly for pain relief. The article states, “Pock said acupuncture offers pain relief without the costs, potential side effects and addiction and dependency issues associated with opioids, which act on the nervous system to relieve pain.”

While it explains that the medical field still doesn’t have a clear or scientific reasoning of how it works, acupuncture can work in single, or consecutive treatments.

Pock adds, “but it can be highly effective in treating a wide range of conditions,” including symptoms associated with traumatic brain injuries, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and headaches,” which are unfortunately common struggles of military veterans.

Retired Air Force Col. Ricard Niemtzow, is cited in the article as developing a technique known as “battlefield acupuncture” also known as BFA. Within the process of BFA, needles are placed at specific accupoints along the ear, and stay secure there for two – four days. This practice aims to release pain continuously with little interruption to daily routines and responsibilities.

In fact, BFA is now taught to a variety of health care providers through the Department of Defense and Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Additionally, according to the article, “Acupuncture is available in more than 80 military treatment facilities overseas and stateside,” a great achievement for the minimally invasive treatment that is full of health benefits.

The article also quotes a third source, Army Col. Jason Wieman, hospital director at Fort Belvoir and family medicine physician trained in acupuncture as saying, “‘Acupuncture really works,’ he said. ‘I treat an average of a dozen patients per week with acupuncture, and I’ve used it personally. It’s a great tool for pain relief, and a great asset for our providers to have at their disposal.’

 

Where Science & Acupuncture Merge

By now you’ve probably heard about the endless benefits of acupuncture, and how sticking tiny acu-needles in specific points throughout the body can help combat or treat a slew of both physical and mental ailments. But have you ever thought about how, exactly, it works on the body?

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In a previous post, we explained the concept of qi, energy that flows through the body. Acupuncture can help restore the flow and rid any qi that is stagnant or stuck – thus helping relieve tons of health complaints from anxiety to pain, depression to trouble sleeping, and much more.

But beyond that, what are the biological theories behind the practice?

First, where the needles are inserted are incredibly important.  In a recent article on Greatist.com entitled “The Science Behind Acupuncture and How it Really Works,” it explains that, “researchers have found acu-points are packed full of neurovascular structures, which means that inserting a small sterile needle into a specific point in your leg actually can trigger a reaction in your eye,” an thus supporting the ancient notion of physical meridians within the body.  

In regard to traditional medicine versus modern medicine, many agree that the merger of idea and supports is finally happening, The article states, “For a long time, acupuncture was the weird thing mainstream medicine gave the side-eye, but deep study of why it works and where it works best has formed a link between the traditional and the contemporary.”

One such example of modern and traditional medicine working together? The use of acupuncture treatment to support in vitro fertilization, or IVF. The post refers to a study from 2012 in which researchers found that using key points throughout the IVD process acupuncture can not only improve clinical pregnancy rates, but also live birth rates, too.  While the science behind IVF is undoubtedly modern, the support acupuncture provides is holistic and traditional. Chris Chen, a licensed acupuncturist, is quoted as saying, “Even if acupuncture cannot be used to plant the seeds, it can be used to create strong soil.” The strong soil he is referring to, can include all the fertility benefits provided by acupuncture that can include an increase in blood flow and nutrients, improvement in digestion, sleep/rest and calming the mind.

Acupuncture and Endometriosis

Endometriosis has been in the news more and more lately, since celebrities including Lena Dunham, Julianne Hough and Padma Lakshmi are speaking out as both patients and advocates of the awareness of the disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Endometriosis is a problem affecting a woman's uterus—the place where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. Endometriosis is when the kind of tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else. It can grow on the ovaries, behind the uterus, on the bowels, or on the bladder. Rarely, it grows in other parts of the body.”

The painful and potentially debilitating disease can cause, “pain, infertility, and very heavy periods. The pain is usually in the abdomen, lower back, or pelvic areas. Some women have no symptoms at all, and having trouble getting pregnant may be the first sign they have endometriosis.”

Thankfully, acupuncture might be able to help!

Helpful for both chronic pain and other conditions, a recent article from Health CMI entitled “Acupuncture Beats Drug for Endometriosis Relief” explains that researchers have found that acupuncture is more effective than hormone drug  replacement therapy in treating endometriosis and its symptoms.

In the study, “Researchers at Tongji University hospital compared acupuncture with standard drug therapy. Patients receiving acupuncture achieved a 92.0% total effective rate. Patients receiving mifepristone achieved a 52.0% total effective rate.” Essentially acupuncture worked better at reducing pain levels as reported by the patients. 

The study outlined the following acupoints as being the locations of interest: CV6 (Quihai), CV4 (Guanyuan), CV3 (Zhongji), Zigong (Extra), SP10 (Xuehai), SP6 (Sanyinjiao), LV2 (Xingjian) and LV3 (taichong.)

If you are currently being treated for endometriosis, acupuncture is certainly work considering in regard to a pain management plan. It can help to reduce the intensity of pain and cramps, as well as promoting a better sense of overall wellbeing.

 

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.