Why Acupuncture Is The Best Bet To Beat Tendonitis

Tendonitis is one of the most common injuries affecting both athletes as well as everyday people. Anyone who uses a particular part of the body over and over is susceptible to tendonitis. Repetitive motion causes strain on the tendon—the fibrous tissue that connects our muscles to our bone—which eventually leads to inflammation and in many cases, degeneration of the actual fibers themselves. That’s why the name “Tennis Elbow” has been coined for elbow tendonitis…you can imagine the amount of strain put on a tennis player’s elbow, hitting shot after shot after shot in largely the same motion.

For many, the answer for tendonitis seems to lie in cortisone injections. But these injections bring with them a host of potential side effects, including extra pain and swelling, infection, allergic reactions and in rare cases, even nerve damage. For many, a cortisone shot can temporarily relieve pain—allowing that person to return to work or to the field or court for the time being. But there is no healing being done to the root cause, and more often than not, pain and discomfort will rear its ugly head once again.

That is, unless you seek out acupuncture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been shown to be an effective remedy for healing the pain caused by tendonitis, and also by doing just a bit more. That’s because acupuncture doesn’t just reduce inflammation; in the case of tendonitis, it helps repair the damaged fibers that cause the inflammation and pain in the first place.

As Mark Kastner, LAc writes, “The concept of acupuncture moving the qi and Blood to assist in healing is also not without merit as numerous studies have shown acupuncture does increase vasodilatation around inserted needles, along with the anti-inflammatory molecule adenosine.” This helps regenerate the damaged fibers, replacing them with healthy ones that don’t result in pain when the tendon is being used.

Tendonitis is very common, but you don’t have to make a cortisone shot a regular part of your life. Instead, let acupuncture do the healing for you the natural and holistic way.

Why Acupuncture Should Be Part of Your Wellness Routine

We concentrate here a lot on the many specific healing benefits of acupuncture. To everything from common ailments like allergies or dry skin to more unique and specific ailments like Ankylosing Spondylitis, there is an incredibly wide range of reasons to seek out acupuncture treatment.

But you don’t necessarily have to have something “wrong” to think that acupuncture treatment can benefit you.

In fact, for many people, regularly receiving acupuncture treatment is just a part of their wellness routine, alongside mindfulness and meditation, yoga, exercise, and other types of emotional or physical therapy.

When something specific is ailing the body, acupuncture works to help the body naturally heal itself by opening up the pathways in our body to allow energy to flow freely and reduce pain, inflammation and other causes of discomfort. With that being said, the body is always working, always under some sort of duress along with our minds and emotions. Our day to day lives are filled with the ups and downs of life, and the burden of that rollercoaster is placed on the body.

Consistent acupuncture acts as a stress reducer, keeping the body’s qi regulated and operating at its peak to keep us feeling energized, free and at ease. This helps particularly as the rigors of everyday life—whether it be at work, school, or taking care of a family—unpredictably take their toll. Without a consistent wellness routine, of which acupuncture can be a part of, the impact of stress becomes more acute. An effective wellness routine doesn’t eliminate those things from happening (nothing can!) but it helps our minds and bodies respond in the best possible way so that we can mentally and physically compartmentalize and stay present. Acupuncture helps us recover faster, whether that’s from a medial ailment or from a frustrating day at the office.

And when something does pop up that needs more targeted care, you’ll already have your acupuncture appointment on the books. Just let your acupuncturist know what’s up, and they’ll adjust the treatment accordingly.

So when you’re planning out your wellness calendar, don’t forget to find time for a regular visit to the acupuncturist!

The 4 Proven Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture works. We know it, we believe it, and we practice it every day.

But it’s always great when others recognize the proven benefits of the practice, which is exactly what Real Simple did this week.

Explaining the history of our beloved treatment, Real Simple outlined four proven benefits acupuncture can have on your health and wellness, and they are also among the most common ailments we treat.

Anxiety and Stress

Feeling stressed out or anxious? Acupuncture can help.

The article quotes Shari Auth, a holistic health practitioner in New York as saying, “Acupuncture lowers cortisol levels, ‘your stress hormone,’ and increases your serotonin and dopamine levels, your ‘happy hormones,’ to treat stress, anxiety and depression.”

It also works to balance your nervous system resulting in an overall sense of calm and wellbeing.

Chronic Pain

Pain is more often than not caused by inflammation, which acupuncture can help treat. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory (think Ibuprofen, but not a medication) and can help with swelling and pain, too.

Even the NIH (The National Center for Integrative and Complementary Health) says that acu, “appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider.”

Women’s Health

Whether it’s irregular cycles, painful periods or fertility issues, acupuncture can help restore blood flow by balancing qi while also reducing inflammation and pain. It can also help to balance hormones and restore a more cyclical cycle to the female body.

Mental Clarity

When you’re stressed, tired or distracted, it can seem impossible to focus. Luckily, acupuncture can help with that as well. Auth says, “Acupuncture is a natural nootropic—it enhances cognition to give you greater focus.”

A recent analysis even showed that acupuncture can even more effectively treat Alzheimers than more traditional, Western approaches.

Acu Students Training With Virtual Reality

Virtual reality used to be something you’d see only in sci-fi movies. But now, virtual reality is becoming more and more popular, being used in everything from gaming to marketing to entertainment. And in fact, one of the most effective and popular uses thus far for virtual reality is with training, particularly in the medical field. And if the U.S. follows the lead from China, acupuncturists-in-training may soon be putting on those headsets themselves.

BodyMap is a virtual reality system developed here in the US that is being used at China’s top medicine university to teach students acupuncture. The program is sort of like a Google Maps for the body, showing 3D images of a human body and specifically in the acupuncture training, the different acupoints on the body. The major “qi” pathways, where the energy flows through our body, are illustrated as well, letting students more easily learn exactly where on the body they will need to treat once they become practicing acupuncturists.

Generally, training is done on 2D images or by using real people as models, but that carries both increased costs and potential risks. The software is used for other medical training purposes as well, such as brain surgery.

“There’s a very high level of requirement for precision in acupuncture teaching,” says Cheng Kai, a professor. “For example, there’s an acupoint called jinming, which is situated very near the optic nerve. Needling this acupoint carries a certain danger [if the practitioner does not grasp the precise depth and angle for the insertion of the needle].”

The founder of BodyMap, Sam Jang, says he was inspired to create the virtual reality tool for medical purposes after he received acupuncture treatment that helped cure his chronic pain.

“I met a Chinese medicine practitioner who cured my condition with acupuncture in just over a week,” Jang said. “So I was amazed by acupuncture’s efficacy and started studying it. We are the first company in the world to combine VR and acupuncture training.”

So if your medical professional of the future has been trained in VR, you have acupuncture to thank!

Know the Different Types of Acupuncture

Acupuncture continues to grow across the world as a popular treatment for pain and symptoms of a number of diseases and conditions. Most of the time when you hear that someone has received acupuncture, you have one thing in mind. However, the term “acupuncture” has sort of become a catch-all for many different types of treatments that are available to patients. Since acupuncture is an ancient treatment, there have been updates and iterations over the years. Now, many different forms of acupuncture are out there, with their own strengths at treating different conditions. It’s always good to be informed, so we’ve put together a list for you of the most common types of treatments that often fall under the “acupuncture” umbrella.

Body Acupuncture – This is what likely comes to mind when you hear the word acupuncture. Tiny needles inserted into certain points and meridians along the body that regulate the flow of energy and promote healing.

Ear Acupuncture – Traditional Chinese Medicine says that the ear contains acupuncture points that can heal every area of the body. So, many acupuncturists will focus their acupuncture in the ear, using the same needles as in the body, whether on its own or in conjunction with body acupuncture points.

Electroacupuncture – Particularly useful for treating pain, electroacupuncture uses small clips on top of regular acupuncture needles to send an electric current in between two acupuncture needle points. The extra stimulation can improve the flow of energy between the points, helping heal pain.

Acupressure – Utilizing the knowledge of acupuncture points and meridians, acupressure pinpoints these same areas to heal pain, but uses massage and pressure instead of inserting a needle. Many acupuncturists will teach patients the proper areas, since patients can perform it themselves at home.

Moxibustion – When small amounts of herbs are placed on top body acupuncture needles and then lit, giving the area an extra boost of warmth.

Cupping – Usually done in tandem with acupuncture, cupping uses rubber or glass cups that are suctioned onto specific areas of the body. This can help when traditional body acupuncture needs a little bit of a boost when energy along a certain point has become stagnant. Cupping can leave marks on the body where the cup has suctioned on, but they are temporary.

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.

Making Acupuncture More Accessible

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

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


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


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


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


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

Acupuncture Helping Veterans

We are fortunate to live in a country where freedom rings. For that, we can thank all the incredible servicemen and women who have fought to defend our country.

Whether they are recently back home from duty or served many years ago, many veterans return home having to deal with any number of difficult physical issues that stem from their time serving. Many times these ailments go untreated, which leads to more pain and discomfort, especially as we get older. Often times, unfortunately, veterans are unable to get the medical coverage they need. A Veterans Affairs office in Oregon is looking to change that.

Michael Belliveau served in the Air Force and worked a daunting physical job as a contractor when he returned home. That amount of physical exertion took its toll, especially on Michael’s shoulders. To treat the pain, Michael had been receiving cortisone shots, which worked but eventually wore off, necessitating another shot and so on. But nine months ago the Roseburg VA started offering acupuncture to treat veterans with all sorts of physical ailments. A prime candidate, Michael has been undergoing consistent acupuncture treatment for his shoulder pain, and he says he’s confident he will feel relief when his latest cortisone shot runs out.

Another veteran, 36-year-old Loy Knutzen, originally hurt his ankle and soon found that the rest of his lower body was in pain as a result. For the pain, Loy was initially given Vicodin, then gabapentin, which is usually used to treat seizure disorders. The medications were not working, and a safer alternative became available. Knutzen saw results fast, and will continue receiving acupuncture to treat his pain.

“Some veterans will describe it as a high. A euphoria can sometimes be felt when those pathways are opened,” Marlene McBride, a nurse at the Roseburg VA said.

If you know a veteran who is suffering from physical or mental ailments, let them know how acupuncture is a safe, effective way to treat pain and restore the body. After, of course, thanking them for the service to our country!

 

 

 

 

Can Acupuncture Help Improve Your Workouts?

Working out and physical activity is an incredible way to improve your health, tone your body, and increase your overall sense of well-being. When complimented by a healthful diet, it’s even better. Certain vitamins and nutrients can help your body both prepare for, and recover from, a physical workout.

But what about when workouts are complimented by acupuncture? Can acupuncture improve your workouts? It can. Here’s how.

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According to a recent post on ActiveHealthCenter.com entitled 5 Ways Acupuncture Can Boost Your Workout, “Whether you’re on a regular schedule at the gym, you play recreational sports, or you simply make it a point to get the 2 ½ hours of moderate physical activity Health Canada says you should get every week, acupuncture can help improve your performance.”

It then outlines five ways that acupuncture can improve the quality of your workouts, and your overall health.


The first, no surprise to us, is that it increases blood flow. The author explains, “Acupuncture stimulates the production of nitric oxide in your body. In turn, nitric oxide helps your blood vessels to relax and opens your arteries. Not only will you have more oxygen and nutrients being delivered to your muscles and joints, you’ll enjoy better overall circulation.”

The second benefit?  The promotion of homeostasis, which can, “boost in muscle function, biomechanics and balance” and ensures your system is running properly.

Next up, injury prevention. If your body is running optimally, the likelihood for injury is reduce.

Fourth, most gym junkies know the importance of rest, recovery and stretching. Since acupuncture can help aid in sleep, relaxation and production of feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones, you’ll be able to make the most of your down time and rest-days physiologically, and mentally.

Lastly, the article explains that the psychological benefits of acupuncture can also improve your workouts indirectly. It explains, “The best workouts come from a mind/body balance. If you’re mentally fatigued, depressed or anxious, it can dull your workout focus and energy and affect your performance and results. In addition to helping balance all your physical systems, acupuncture can do the same for mental systems too. The release of endorphins helps promote a more positive outlook, and the balance in energy helps to relieve stress”

If you’re looking for a sixth reason, how about – acupuncture is simply great and can help in most areas, not just workouts and physical activity. So, why not give it a try.

 

 

Overindulge Over the Holidays? We’re Here to Help

Holidays are filled with fun, family, and food. If you’re now finding yourself feeling a bit bloated, exhausted, sluggish, or are even seeing the scale creep up a bit higher than usual, you’re not alone. We can help.

If you’re looking to lose a few unwanted inches or pounds, try our unique trademarked treatment, AcuSculptÔ. Combining acupuncture and massage, it can help you get back to your pre-holiday bod in no time.

A natural, alternative therapy to help in your weight loss efforts, the system was designed by NJ Acupuncture Center’s owner and main acupuncturist Ani Baran L.AC, AcuSculptÔ It’s scientifically targeted and aims to slim and tone using acupuncture immediately followed by a firm pressured massage.

First, acupuncture needles are strategically placed first within predetermined weightloss meridians as they work to stabilize qi, facilitate energy flow, and reduce leptin. Next, electro-acupuncture is used, as micrucurrent stimulation is sent between pairs of needles which targets releasing of accumulated or difficult to target qui.

Next, it's time for the massage.  Instead of a traditional massage, a firm and stimulating massage is performed and helps to release retained gas, fluid and bloat in the abdomen area and the thighs.

When performed over time, it AcuSculptÔ will stimulate metabolism, regulate your bowels and help fight against fluid retention, bloating and gas.  Of course, it’s not a quick-fix, and should be used consistently while being supplemented by a moderate and healthful diet.

You’ll be weight at the beginning of the treatment cycle, as your progress and weight loss will be monitored.

SO if you’ve found that you’ve had one (or ten) too many Christmas cookies or cocktails and are feeling more like Santa and less like Vixen, have no fear. AcuSculptÔ is here.

                                       

Copy of 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.