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.

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.”

Side Effects of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an extremely minimally invasive treatment with little side effects.

However, The Times of India reports there are five relatively common “side effects” of the treatment that you may want to be prepared for. Though it’s important to note that none are severe, they don’t happen to all, and they are all signs the treatment is working.

Fatigue

Your acupuncture session can be relaxing and comforting, so don’t be surprised if you feel a bit sleepy after your session.

Soreness

Most often this happens at the most sensitive areas of the body like your hands, feet, certain areas of the abdomen or the ears, and it’s totally normal. It can last for a few days, and heat may help soothe the slight soreness you may feel.

Bruising

Slight bruising at the site of acuneedle insertion is fairly common and is not a cause for alarm. “This happens due to the collection of blood at the site where the needle punctures the skin,” says The Times of India.

Lightheadedness

This isn’t common, but some people may feel a bit dizzy after treatment. Often this is because treatment requires laying still, and patients may simply get up too quickly instead of relaxing and taking it slow. It’s also important to eat something light and healthy before treatment to prevent low blood sugar, etc.

Feeling Emotional

Acupuncture can sometimes cause a release of emotions, which is a great thing! Sometimes you may feel teary eyed as pent up energy is released and you’re cleansed of anything you may have been holding on to or repressing.

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.

Why Acupuncture Will Become Even More Popular For Spinal Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psoriasis and Acupuncture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horses Staying On Track Thanks To Acupuncture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acupuncture More Effective than Pills for Gout Relief

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Zusanli (ST36)

  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)

  • Yinlingquan (SP9)

  • Quchi (LI11)

  • Ashi points

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

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

The numbers speak for themselves.

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

  • Drinking plenty of fluids

  • limiting or abstaining from alcohol

  • Increasing protein from low-fat dairy . products

  • Limiting intake of fish, meat and poultry

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight

Acupuncture At The Zoo: The Story of Lottie The Koala

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Spring! Beat Your Allergies With Acupuncture

Spring has sprung! You know what that means. The arrival of warm weather, new spring threads, trees budding, flowers blooming, the return of baseball season. But unfortunately, for many of us, that also means the return of dry, itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, runny noses—all that comes with seasonal allergies.

Nothing can be more frustrating than when allergies hit at an unexpected time and interfere with enjoying the newly arrived nice weather and all the opportunity it brings. The good thing is, there’s time to prepare before the worst of allergy season arrives. And we’re not talking about stocking up on the over the counter allergy meds you see in those lame commercials.

This year, prevent and treat your allergies with the holistic approach of acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a reliable and lasting remedy for allergies because it does two concurrent, crucial things. 1) It treats the symptoms brought on by allergies (those runny noses and itchy throats, etc.) and, 2) it addresses the imbalances in the body’s energy that lead the body to be susceptible to seasonal allergies in the first place. Diet, exercise, pollutants, stress and more can effect the Wei Qi in our body, which is our cellular and molecular defense system. As Dr. Maureen Lamerdin writes: “Wei Qi's function is to protect and defend the body against foreign substances. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes inadequate attacks from bacteria, viruses and allergens get through our Wei Qi's defense system thereby producing symptoms.”

So this year, make sure your Wei Qi’s defense system is operating at its optimal level. An acupuncture regimen will ensure that it is, and that you can enjoy all this coming spring has to offer free from allergies.

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.

Acupuncture In The Media: GQ Covers Acu!

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It’s always good to see when a big media outlet takes a deep dive into the wonderful world of acupuncture. Though acupuncture has been on this earth for thousands of years, and in the United States for around a half a century, there still remains plenty of room for awareness around acupuncture to grow. So we were encouraged to come across a new article in GQ by Emily Abbate that breaks down how acupuncture can help folks manage pain avoid injury.

One of the interesting notes in the article is, indeed, how popular acupuncture is becoming. More than 14 million people in the US have tried acupuncture, and while we’d love to see that number go up, there’s reason to believe that it is. The article notes how the number of Veterans Health Centers that offer acupuncture has nearly doubled over the past seven years. As opioids and other potentially damaging drugs are too often prescribed to veterans, seeing that more will have access to acupuncture is a welcome sign.

The article highlights that acupuncture is effective at treating “chronic pain, including back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as conditions like chronic headaches and osteoarthritis,” as well as helping athletes’ bodies recover quicker from soreness and improve range of motion. That’s all true, but a quick look at our blog shows that acupuncture is an effective treatment for so much more, too. It’s always worth asking us if we can help you with your specific pain management issues; acupuncture can address just about any issue in the body where the energy is out of whack.

Finally, it’s good to see that the article also took a little bit of time to speak to the preparations that a new patient should take before their first visit. Since acupuncture is foreign to many people, it’s understandable to be intimidated. But as the article states, there isn’t much one needs to do before coming. Wearing some comfy clothes and coming in with a positive attitude and ready to relax is pretty much it. Leave the rest up to us!

Acupuncture = Less Opioid Prescriptions?

The opioid epidemic our country is currently facing takes the lives of 130 Americans each and every day.

 

In 2017, overdose death counts were six times higher than those of 1999. And since then, more than 700,000 people have died due to overdosing on the potent prescription pills.

 

Unfortunately, often the people we trust the most — our physicians, can put people’s lives at risk by over prescribing these pills as a means of pain management. But, acupuncture can help.

 

How?

 

The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that recent results from a survey of Uniformed Services AFP members revealed that, ”family physicians who received training in acupuncture prescribed fewer opioids for patients, especially ‘strong’ opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.”

 

 

As part of the survey, doctors were asked questions investigating their prescribing habits when it comes to opioids including the frequency they use nontraditional therapies, “such as nutrition, acupuncture and massage.”  

They were asked to estimate the number of patients they had written a prescription for “weak” and “strong” opioids for chronic, noncancer  pain.

The difference lied in the those that prescribed strong opioids — like morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl.

 

“More than 5 percent of family physicians with no training in acupuncture reported that on average, they wrote prescriptions for strong opioids for 11 or more chronic noncancer pain patients each month.” But of those family physicians who are trained in auricular acupuncture, only two percent wrote that many.  

 

The bottom line?

 

Though not a scientific study, it’s promising to know that those doctors who are familiar with the power of acupuncture are writing less prescriptions for such dangerous drugs.

 

Being aware of nontraditional therapies is important for all who are seeking pain relief, as these types of pills should be considered a last resort in most cases.

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Weight Loss? Six Ways it Can Help

Falling a little short on that New Years Resolution to lose weight?

Or, are you realizing that summer is fast approaching (woohoo!) and you’re looking to shed a few more pounds?

Let acupuncture help.

There are a myriad of ways that acupuncture can assist you towards reaching your weight loss goals, and just last week, US News and World Report covered six of them.

Here’s how.

  • Acupuncture may affect your hormones.

    • “"The researchers concluded that acupuncture may help people with pre-diabetes lose weight by reducing their insulin and leptin resistance; both insulin and leptin are appetite-regulating hormones that can play a role in long-term weight-loss.”

  • Acupuncture promotes healthy digestion.

    • By restoring qi, acupuncture can provide improved blood flow to your stomach, hereby improving digestion.

  • Acupuncture can relieve stress.

    • Acupuncture can help to release endorphins, which are stress reducing. The article explains, "no matter how you choose to manage stress, though, doing so effectively is critical for weight loss and maintenance.”

  • Acupuncture may reduce cravings.

    • Reducing your cravings leads to healthier food choices, and weight loss will typically follow. The article quotes family physician Dr. Wayne Jonas as saying, “We know that food addictions can lead to weight gain…Acupuncture might alter brain chemicals associated with these addictions and, in this way, help with weight loss.”

  • Acupuncture can lead to better sleep.

    • By lowering stress levels and promoting relaxation, acupuncture helps restore sleep. Sleep is essential to weight loss for many reasons, including the need for proper rest to facilitate digestion.

  • Acupuncture can boost your energy.

    • “For relatively healthy folks just trying to drop a few pounds, though, an acupuncture-related energy boost can support diet and exercise behaviors that may lead to weight loss.” More engery AND weight loss? Sign us up!

What To Know About Acupuncture and Your Face

Acupuncture is a holistic method of healing and restoring the body, and that goes for the outside of it, too. After all, what’s going on inside can greatly affect how we project on the outside, and vice versa.

So it’s no shock that acupuncture can be used for cosmetic reasons. And one shouldn’t feel ashamed for seeking out acupuncture to eliminate wrinkles, dry skin and other on-the-surface issues. As with any other ailment that acupuncture treats, acupuncture is natural, safer than many medications or over the counter options, and the results are lasting.

But there’s a point of confusion for many people when it comes to acupuncture and our faces. Sometimes, facial treatments do not require any needles in the face,. And sometimes the opposite is true, too—treating a different part of the body, or trying to treat an internal issue, may require an acupuncturist to stimulate qi in the facial region.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the difference between facial acupuncture and cosmetic acupuncture. Cosmetic acupuncture refers to receiving acupuncture in order to address surface level issues. Acupuncture can be incredibly effective for conditions like rosacea or general dryness, as well as wrinkles and other aging signs.

"Cosmetic acupuncture aims to treat the imbalance of physiological conditions that may have an effect on your appearance by using both body and facial acupuncture points, says licensed acupuncturist Stefanie DiLibero in Town & Country. For instance, body acupuncture points can be stimulated to try and alleviate wrinkles, targeting areas that cause stress.

But facial acupuncture can occur even when the problem the patient seeks to remedy has to do with somewhere else in the body. Treatments for issues with the jaw, allergies, and gut and stomach issues can include facial points as well.

Whether it’s to treat a cosmetic skin issue or something internal, acupuncture has you covered.

Pregnancy Acupuncture Fit For A Princess

If you don’t fancy yourself much of an Anglophile, you may not know that Prince Harry of Great Britain and his wife, the American actress Meghan Markle, have broken from royal tradition in many ways. The couple is expecting their first child, and the pregnancy and birthing process is no exception. One way in which the Duchess of Sussex is differing herself from past princesses is opting for a natural and holistic birth process. One of the key aspects of Markle’s pregnancy and birth plan has been regular acupuncture.

“Meghan has been having regular acupuncture sessions to help her unwind and relax,” someone close to the couple’s acupuncturist told Vanity Fair. “It’s brilliant for the blood circulation and boosting blood flow to the uterus. She plans to use acupuncture right up to her due date.”

Markle may be breaking from royal tradition, but from where we’re sitting she’s making a great call. One of the smartest things a mom to be can do throughout her pregnancy is receive acupuncture treatments regularly. While the above quote is accurate, acupuncture does far more than merely help circulate blood. It does that for sure, but so much more.

Pregnancy can place an incredible burden on a woman’s body. Not only is her reproductive system experiencing changes like never before, the rest of the body has to compensate for these drastic changes. Weight gain, body temperature changes, nausea are unavoidable. When we treat pregnant women, we’re not only helping the qi in their body flow freely to help with general stress and anxiety, but with all of the other side effects that this wonderful experience unfortunately also brings.

Acupuncture during pregnancy is fit for a princess…but it’s also fit for every pregnant woman, too.