What You Should Know About Acupuncture and Low Back Pain

Back pain is, unfortunately, something that affects so many of us — specifically low back pain.

It can range from an annoying ache to debilitating, mobility limiting pain that seems to flare up at the worst times. And if you’re suffering, you’re not alone.

In fact, here are some alarming statistics from the American Chiropractic Association:

Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.2

  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. In fact, it accounts for 264 million lost workdays in one year—approximately two workdays for every full-time worker in the country.

  • Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.

  • Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.

  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.

  • Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year and when you factor in lost wages and decreased productivity, that figure rises to more than $100 billion.

Shocked?

We aren’t. We treat back pain every single day, and we can help you too.

With proper treatment, acupuncture can trigger the release of endorphins and other pain-relieving hormones (endorphins) to help calm the nerves. It can also help to calm and relax you, thus relaxing any tense muscles or spasms that are caused by the pain.

Acupuncture will also rebalance your qi, and promote healthy blood flow to the areas of your body that need it the most.

Come in today for a free consultation, and be on your way to improvement in no time.

How Acupuncture Can Help Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful, often life-altering condition that is suffered by far too many.

According to The Arthritis Foundation (Arthritis.org), conservative estimates say that about 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Of these, 300,000 are babies or children with arthritis or rheumatic condition, babies and children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition, and the most common type of arthritis — osteoarthritis, affects an estimated 31 million Americans.

Thankfully, like many other conditions, acupuncture can help.

By reducing swelling, restoring blood flow, balancing qi and releasing pain-relieving hormones called endorphins, regular acupuncture treatment can help to reduce pain and increase mobility. Research supports this, too.

A 2012 study sought to provide supportive research, as acupuncture is often a bit controversial among eastern medical professionals — unfortunately. Researchers said, “We aimed to determine the effect size of acupuncture for four chronic pain conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain.”

The results? Exactly what we’d predict. Acupuncture was, “superior to both sham and no acupuncture control for each pain condition.”

Researchers added, “We believe that our findings are both clinically and scientifically important.”

We also know that acupuncture and herbs is actually more effective than prescribed pharmaceuticals in treating spinal arthritis, and how it helped Bubba the Komodo Dragon restore mobility and reduce pain, too!

(Yes, acupuncture really does help animals just as much as humans!)

Acupuncture is a minimally invasive procedure that is certainly worth trying for anyone suffering from an arthritic condition.

How Acupuncture Can Help Relieve Tendonitis

Acupuncture is one of the most well known and well studied natural remedies for pain relief — including for pain related to tendonitis.

Known as more of an umbrella term for pain radiating from tendons without any other verifiable diagnosis, tendonitis can be extremely painful; limiting mobility and quality of life. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and redness, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tendonitis causes more than 70,000 people to miss work per year.

It’s also starting to manifest in new ways, and for different reasons than before. We are all using our hands more than ever before — but not in the most natural ways. Texting and typing are leading to more and more cases of tendonitis, as a hand and orthopedic surgeon explained, she has been seeing a rise in patients with tendonitis, especially in the wrist and fingers. She attributes a lot of this to tablet and smartphone habits.

Luckily, we can help.

Pain is the result of blocked or imbalanced qi along your inner meridians, which acupuncture can help to restore. By renewing the blood supply around the injured area and restoring the proper flow of energy, acupuncture also will trigger the release of pain-reducing endorphins, so swelling and pain will be reduced as mobility is increased.

A trained and licensed acupuncturist can help you to find relief.

Depending on the area of concern (the wrist and elbow are most common) acuneedles will be inserted in targeted acupuoints as you sit back and relax, enjoying the warming sensation of an infrared heating app as the work begins to set in. You may experience relief in just one session, though consecutive appointments are necessary in the beginning for maximum benefits.

We look forward to serving you along your journey to better health.

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!

How Acupuncture Can Help Migraines

Anyone who has ever suffered from a migraine knows how painful and debilitating the pain can be. Pressure, pain, nausea, and aversion to light can keep you in the dark, both physically and mentally.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, a migraine is, “an extraordinarily prevalent neurological disease” and they affect nearly 39 million people in the U.S. and 1 billion people across the world.

Here in the states, 18% of women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines. That’s far too many people that suffer from the all-encompassing pain that is much more than “just a headache.”

Luckily, acupuncture can help

While the root cause of migraines varies from patient to patient, the fact that acupuncture can help remains steadfast. Before you opt for prescription medications, give acupuncture a try.

One of the easiest ways to explain how acupuncture can help is through the release of endorphins. When inserted into the proper meridians, the acuneedle then stimulates nerves that in turn release endorphins (feel-good, pain-relieving hormones.)

Acupuncture also will help to balance qi, and improve circulation which will help to reduce inflammation and pain, too.

If you or someone you know struggles with migraines, let our trained and licensed acupuncturists help. We will work with you closely to formulate a treatment plan that is specifically targeted to treat your unique needs —while helping to reduce both the pain intensity and frequency of migraines and headaches.

Sneezing? Coughing? Itchy Eyes? We Can Help!

Though it’s not official for a few more days, the crisp temps are here to remind us that fall is (almost) here in full force. Bring on the colorful leaves, apple cider, chunky sweaters, boots and pumpkin spice lattes! But please, leave the allergies behind!

If you’ve already begun suffering with your seasonal allergies, we’re here to tell you it will probably only get worse as the temperatures continue to drop. But have no fear — acupuncture is here to help!

Traditional acupuncture is a restorative, much more natural way to have you feeling much better, quickly.

So while your friends may be keeping Zyrtec or Claritin in business, why not consider acupuncture? Here’s how it can help.

Allergies are often the result if inflammation, which acupuncture is known to help remedy. By restoring the flow of Qi, it ca also help to alleviate congestion and any associated sinus pain and pressure, too.

So if you’re sneezing, itching and watery eyes and overall feelings of discomfort are bothering you, head on in for a session today. You have nothing to lose - except your sniffles!

Can Acupuncture Help with Chest Pain in Cardiac Patients?

While you may know by now that acupuncture can help treat a variety of pain and other ailments, one specific pain may surprise you — chest pain.

The Philadelphia Enquirer reported today on a new study examining angina (AKA chest pain) that cardiac patients can experience. The highly regarded study utilized, “rigorous scientific methods including randomization, careful patient selection, blinding, and a placebo group to show a significant improvement in the chest pain (angina) that cardiac patients experience.”

There were a total of 404 patients in the study which was conducted in China, and all received standard cardiac medications for their stable angina for four weeks before the trial began, and continued to take them throughout the 16 week study. Then, they were divided in to four groups, three of which received acupuncture treatment.

One group received needling, but not real acupuncture, while another received traditional acupuncture therapy along meridians known to treat heart disease. The third group received acupuncture but in arbitrary meridians, and the final group received no acupuncture, just medication.

The article explains," “Participants in the three active treatment groups received 12 sessions of treatment lasting 30 minutes each. Licensed acupuncturists used disposable steel needles and electroacupunture (the needle was hooked up to a nerve stimulator) was used as it has been shown to relieve pain and prevent heart injury in other studies compared to manual acupuncture.”

The results were very promising.

The group that received traditional acupuncture along cardiac meridians had, “significantly fewer attacks of angina during the 16 weeks after randomization.” And, “other measures such as quality of life and intensity of attacks also were significantly improved.”

The reporter reflected on a possible hypothesis of acupuncture efficacy in the study, saying, “Acupuncture seemed to help the autonomic nervous system by improving the balance between the vagus nerve and sympathetic nervous systems, and targeting to the specific area used in traditional acupuncture made a significant difference.”


So, it seems that angina is yet another ailment we can add to the long list of issues acupuncture can help with!

Have You Ever Heard of Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis is quite a long name for a condition. And while you may think you haven’t heard of it before, chances are you actually have.

Also known as Bechterew's disease, it’s essentially a form of arthritis of the spine. And it was just discovered that acupuncture can not only help, but is actually more effective than prescription medication, too.

Those with Ankylosing Spondylitis causes inflammation of the spinal joints, AKA vertebrae, and can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.ms Symptoms typically begin onset in early adulthood and can quickly lead to immobility and postural issues, eventually leading to a hunched over position.

HealthCMi just reported that according to their research, the combination of acupuncture and herbs actually outperforms the commonly prescribed Sulfasalazine (a prescription anti-rheumatic medication) in alleviating symptoms of those with ankylosing spondylitis.

Some patients in the study received the prescription drug while others received acupuncture and herbs over 60 consecutive days.

The acupoints used for the acupuncture group included the following:

  • GV6 (Jizhong)

  • Extra points (Huatuojiaji)

  • BL23 (Shenshu)

  • GV2 (Yaoshu)

  • GB34 (Yanglingquan)

  • Extra points (Ashi)

  • GB33 (Yangguan)

  • GV14 (Dazhui)

  • GV9 (Zhiyang)

  • GV8 (Jinsuo)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the group receiving herbal medicine plus acupuncture achieved the highest positive patient outcome rate of 52.8%, with only a 2.8% adverse effect rate. The drug therapy group had an adverse effect rate of 38.7%. I

Therefore, the researchers concluded, “laboratory and clinical data indicates that acupuncture plus herbal medicine is more effective for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis than sulfasalazine. Acupuncture plus herbs improves symptoms and disease related biomarkers. Given the results of this investigation, additional research is warranted.”

Bubba's Arthritis Helped by Acupuncture

Sure, we know acupuncture helps humans with all sorts of ailments, including the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. But did you know it works on animals, too?

It does. Especially in Bubba’s case.

The 25-year old Komodo Dragon who calls the San Antonio Zoo home was suffering from arthritis that left him with mobility issues along his lower extremities, so the veterinary staff decided to help via acupuncture treatments.

Lasting about 20 minutes each session, Dr. Rob Coke, head veterinarian and adviser for the Komodo dragon Species Survival Plan, provides the treatment, with assistance from other staff. Bubba also receives medications and B-12 shots, too.

You can learn more about Bubba’s journey and treatments here!

Acupuncture for Alcoholism? It Works for Rats!

Adding to the long list of ailments and disorders acupuncture helps to treat? Alcoholism.

Well, at least in rats it does — which is at the very least, a bit promising for humans, too.

A recent article in Gizmodo reports, that in both the United States and Korea, researchers forced rats to be addicted to alcohol and then tried to help with their withdrawal symptoms by utilizing traditional acupuncture. The result? A success.

While this doesn’t mean acupuncture can cure alcoholism in humans, even knowing it helped with withdrawal is positive.

Published this past Wednesday in Science Advances, a control group of rats were not addicted to alcohol while the experimental group were trained to use a lever that fed them water mixed with alcohol. In 16 days, they were hooked. On Day 17, they were not given alcohol for two hours and began to experience typical withdrawal symptoms including tremors and anxiety.

Acupuncture treatment was given at the Shen Men or Heart 7 point, located on the wrist.

The authors of the study, “found that the alcohol-dependent rats given acupuncture at HT7 were less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms than those not given it; they also fed themselves less alcohol when they later had the opportunity to do so.”

Furthermore, based on research conducted separately form this experiment, the same researchers also theorized that, “HT7 could treat alcohol dependence by affecting neurons in the brain that produce beta endorphins, a natural opioid and “feel-good” chemical. Beta endorphins likely play an important role in alcohol dependence.”

Interestingly, the rats who received acupuncture at the HT7 point, “seemed to have their levels of beta endorphins rebound during withdrawal, specifically because of neurons activated in the hypothalamus, a region linked to alcohol dependence. “

The conclusion?

“These results suggest that acupuncture may provide a novel, potential treatment strategy for alcohol use disorder by direct activation of the brain pathway,” the authors wrote.

While there is a lot more work and research to be done, this is a promising finding and we hope research continues to be supported to find out how else acupuncture can help.

One of the Best Treatments for Knee Pain? You Guessed It — Acupuncture.

Knee pain plagues millions of Americans, and it can seriously effect mobility and quality of life.

Regardless of the cause — arthritis, aging, or injury — acupuncture, especially when paired with chiropractic care, can truly help relieve pain and increase mobility.

Those with chronic, debilitating knee pain may struggle with aspects of daily life, and be prescribed pain relievers and/or anti-inflammatory medications to help. Though, the Journal-Advocate explains, “when the medication wears off, the individual’s only option is to take another pill — and another, and another.”

But instead of traditional pharmaceuticals, acupuncture and chiropractic care can help and can serve as a holistic option to heal.

The Journal-Advocate says, “a chiropractic acupuncturist is an excellent choice for those suffering from chronic, debilitating, degenerative knee pain. The type of care you’ll receive will go beyond hoping something works to relieve your pain. They will consider your whole body and how it is functioning — not just your knee.”

In fact, acupuncture and chiropractic care will also target hybrid issues that often occur in conjunction with knee issues including back or hip issues, and even emotional health disorders that may arise from being in a state of constant pain.

“When each area of the body that is failing to function properly is addressed, the patient can begin to heal and experience real relief from pain,” the article explains.

With acupuncture combined with chiropractic treatment, “mobility can be maximized. The ability to function normally in everyday life can be dramatically improved.”

Here at NJ Acupuncture Center, we are happy to help.

Acupuncture is Successful in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

In yet another example of how acupuncture can be even more effective than traditional pharmaceuticals, a recent study carried out by Gansu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated Hospital concluded just that.

In the trial, as reported by HealthCMi, patients were randomly selected and placed in either the acupuncture or control group. Sixteen males and 18 females participated and the severity of their arthritis was assessed using the Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS-28) and medical imaging, physical examination, pain scores, questionnaires and inflammatory markers were all considered and recorded.

Patients were were also required to be between 40–70 years old and have had a diagnosis for at least 5 months through 80 months with a DAS-28 score below 2.6.

The patients in the acupuncture group received treatment at the following primary points:

  • Hegu (LI4)

  • Zusanli (ST36)

  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)

  • Guanyuan (CV4)

  • Qihai (CV6)

The results?

Overall, there were, “12 recovered patients, , 13 markedly effective, 6 effective, and 3 ineffective cases in the acupuncture group, giving a total effective rate of 31/34 (91.2%). There were 8 recovered, 7 markedly effective, 11 effective, and 8 ineffective cases in the control group, giving a total effective rate of 26/34 (76.5%).”

It’s important to note that at the 3-month follow-up, “there were 9 recovered, 14 markedly effective, 7 effective, and 4 ineffective cases in the acupuncture group with a total effective rate of 30/34 (88.3%). There were 5 recovered, 8 markedly effective, 11 effective, and 10 ineffective cases in the control group with a total effective rate of 30/34 24/34 (70.6%).

Therefore, the results of this study clearly illustrate that acupuncture was effective not only at relieving pain in those with rheumatoid arthritis, but also in relieving pain and biomarkers as well. It was, “more effective than conventional, pharmacological treatment.”

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.

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

facial

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

Surprise — she’s a fan.

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

So she did.

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

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

As far as the results?

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

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

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

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


Acupuncture More Effective than Pills for Gout Relief

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Zusanli (ST36)

  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)

  • Yinlingquan (SP9)

  • Quchi (LI11)

  • Ashi points

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

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

The numbers speak for themselves.

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

  • Drinking plenty of fluids

  • limiting or abstaining from alcohol

  • Increasing protein from low-fat dairy . products

  • Limiting intake of fish, meat and poultry

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight

MRI Anxiety? Study Proves Acupuncture Can Help

It’s a cold, hard fact that nobody in the world enjoys getting an MRI — a procedure used for diagnostic imaging that involves immersing yourself in a well, cold and hard machine.

 

For people with claustrophobia, it can be a real nightmare.  

 

Yet thanks to a recent study published by HealthCMi, acupuncture can help.

 

Researchers at the Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that true acupuncture proved more effective than “sham acupuncture” (the control group”) in treating those who suffer f claustrophobia during an MRI.

 

Claustrophobia can be extremely problematic for both the patient and the imager. The patient may begin to feel panic attacks o extreme nervousness, and unable to continue with the procedure — leading to inconclusive results.

 

So researches set out to treat the nervousness and fear by, “soothing the liver qi, tonifying the kidney qi, and stabilizing the spirit and mind.”

 

Those who received that treatment achieved a 92.5% effective rate. Those who did not? Twenty-five percent and 17.5 percent, respectively.

 

So, acupuncture clearly worked.

 

For one session with a 30-minute needle retention rime, the rotating and twisting technique of acupuncture was performed at the following acupoints:

 

  • KI6 (Zhaohai)

  • LV3 (Taichong)

  • HT4 (Lingdao)

  • PC6 (Neiguan)

  • HT7 (Shenmen)

  • CV17 (Danzhong)

  • GV20 (Baihui)

  • GB20 (Fengchi)

In the sham group, they were inserted elsewhere, at irrelevant points.

 

After the treatment, the patients were evaluated using the SAI, or State Anxiety Inventory which assessed their emotions and anxiety. When, “fear and relevant symptoms showed improvement, and a patient could complete an MRI examination,” it was considered effective — which was 92.5% of the time.

 

The bottom line? Acupuncture before an MRI just might make a world of difference.

Using Acupuncture to Treat Trauma

The mind/body connection is truly undeniable. When one isn’t working properly, you can bet the other isn’t either. This is perhaps nowhere more complicated than in individuals dealing with trauma.

  

Trauma is a multifaceted word that embodies so much. Pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, memory issues, terror, difficulties adjusting to post-trauma life — it’s almost endless. But if you work to heal the mind, you can often heal the body. And you can use the body to heal the mind, too.

 

But with what, you might ask? Acupuncture, of course. In fact, it’s a proven way to help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep, which naturally lends itself to improved mental health. In dealing with something as serious as trauma, the smallest improvement can mean a world of difference.

 

As reported on Rfi News, acupuncturist Elise Boghossian packed up her acuneedles and headed to Iraq, leaving her lie behind in Paris and setting out to bring healing to kidnapped and enslaved women in northern Iraq.  

 

She told the site, ““The first time I went to Iraq I was completely alone. I didn’t have colleagues or work with a specific organization. I just had my acupuncture needles to offer people pain relief.”

 

Through her experiences, she eventually founded NGO EliseCare, an organization with six sites throughout Iraq that offer free medical consultations, continuous psychological care to patients, and medical training in acupuncture, emergency medical care, gynecology, radiology and biology.

 

You can watch her story, here.

Acpuncture For Bell's Palsy? Just Ask Angelina Jolie

422px-Angelina_Jolie_2_June_2014_(cropped).jpg

Bell’s Palsy comes without warning. One day, one side of the face becomes weak and/or numb, and within a few days the affected person may experience severe drooping and temporary paralysis. It can last up to six months, depending on the severity.

The cause of Bell’s Palsy is still not totally known, though experts have an idea—that the seventh cranial nerve, the nerve that is responsible for allowing us to make the facial expressions that we do, becomes afflicted with swelling or inflammation.

As we know, swelling and inflammation are a result of blockages in the body’s meridians, causing energy, or qi, to become stagnant. Acupuncture is uniquely suited to regulating the body’s energy by opening up the blockages, resulting in lessening of inflammation and thus the pain and discomfort associated with it.

While there is no recognized cure for Bell’s Palsy, acupuncture can help ease the symptoms and speed up the recovery. But don’t just take our word for it. Actress, director and philanthropist Angelina Jolie told Vanity Fair about how a number of stressors affected her health. “Sometimes women in families put themselves last,” she said, “until it manifests itself in their own health.” One of the conditions that Jolie got? Bell’s Palsy. However, she credits acupuncture for “her full recovery from the condition.”

While acupuncture is only a part of a healthy routine and treatment for various disorders like Bell’s Palsy, it’s a big piece of the puzzle that’s always there to help.

How Acupuncture Can Help Those With Diabetes

Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes every year, with about 30 million people suffering from it across the country. Chances are we all know somebody directly or indirectly who is living with diabetes.

For those who are unaware, diabetes is a disease that causes the body to be unable to properly process food to be used as energy. The result of this inability is a buildup of sugar in the blood. These high glucose and low insulin levels can lead to a number of symptoms that affect daily life, like fatigue, frequent urination, frequent hunger and thirst, and weight loss.

There are medications available that diabetics can take to help ease the burden brought on by these symptoms, but there’s also a holistic, safe and effective way to treat many of the side effects too—acupuncture.

A study in Beijing found that consistent acupuncture lowers glucose levels, increases insulin levels, and improves glucose intolerance, which all combines to keep symptoms in check. In particular, “low intensity and low-frequency electroacupuncture could help in reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity,” says Medical News Today. And, in 2015, a study showed that acupuncture treatment combined with an anti-diabetic medication called metformin produced better results for patients than just taking the medication alone.

Of course, there is no cure for diabetes, and those who live with it will always have to consider the best diet and treatment options for their specific case. But acupuncture can play a role in making dealing with diabetes just a little bit easier.

Acupuncture Can Reduce Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause.

It’s something every woman must face, eventually. And it’s a solid guarantee that nobody looks forward to it.

A time of great change and transition, it’s a milestone that comes with the aging process and can be quite difficult on the female body.

But what if we told you acupuncture can help?

It can.

In a recent article from Medical News Today, it was revealed that just a short time spent with acupuncture treatments could significantly reduce some of the harshest symptoms of menopause.

Researches of this study decided to focus on one of the most common complains — hot flashes.

Here’s how the study went down.

Of seventy women experiencing menopause, half were given a 15-minute acupuncture session once a week for 5 weeks. All were given a questionnaire about their menopause symptoms and it was filled out at 3, 6, 8 11 and 26 weeks. In only 3 short weeks, the group receiving acupuncture noticed a decrease in their hot flashes.

Even better?

After six weeks, EIGHTY percent of the women receiving acupuncture believed it had helped. And, they also experienced relief in severity and/or frequency of sweating, sleep issues, emotional and mood problems, and their skin nail issues.

We also know that it can help with reduction in anxiety, depression, weigh management and anti-aging, too.

Though the study has faced some criticism, largely due to the ambiguity surrounding what’s called the “placebo effect” of acupuncture, it’s evident that a large number of women were left feeling better after just once weekly acupuncture. And that’s good enough for us.

So, what are you waiting for? Give acupuncture a try today.