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.

Acupuncture Proven To Beat Drugs For Gout Treatment

One minute you’re fast asleep, and the next you wake up feeling like a part of your body was just lit on fire.

No, you don’t need to douse yourself with a bucket of water, but you may feel like you want to anyway.

What you could be dealing with is gout: a form of arthritis that cause sudden, severe bouts of pain, swelling and redness in particular joints. Often, the big toe is affected, making it very hard to move around since an area affected by gout is often hot, swollen and tender. Gout pain comes and goes, which can make life for those who suffer from it unpredictable.

Gout pain is caused by high uric acid levels in the blood, which causes urate crystals to form in the joints. It’s most often treated with various painkilling medicines like NSAIDs and steroids prescribed by doctors.

One of the NSAIDs that is often prescribed by doctors to treat Gout is indomethacin. Recently, researchers at Dongguan Tangxia Guanhua Hospital in China tested indomethacin treatment for Gout against acupuncture. The study was conclusive: those who were administered acupuncture rather than given the medication reported reduced pain, swelling, and redness, and also noted increased mobility and improved function of the affected joints.

It’s no surprise here that acupuncture is an effective treatment for Gout. Pain is a result of the qi in our body being blocked and out of sorts, and acupuncture promotes self-healing of the body by regulating the qi an helping to open up the pathways that are being blocked during bouts of pain and discomfort.

If you or anyone you know suffers from Gout, be sure to come by and begin the lasting, holistic treatment that only acupuncture can offer!

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.

Popular Acupuncture Points and What They Heal

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When you come in for an acupuncture treatment, it can seem at first like your acupuncturist is placing needles in your body seemingly at random. And it can be confusing—if I’m dealing with digestion issues, why aren’t any needles going into my abdomen?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are about 2,000 points on the body which are all connected by 20 paths, which we call meridians. The meridians are what conduct the energy, or qi, between the surface of our body and its internal organs and systems. When that energy gets stifled is when something doesn’t feel right in our body. When that happens, acupuncturists know where the meridian blockages could be.

So that’s why if you come to receive an acupuncture treatment for insomnia or depression, your acupuncturist will treat point HT7, which is located on the outside of the wrist.

That’s just one example. Here are some of the more well known and popular acupuncture points (that you can also try and massage yourself for symptom relief).

Large Intestine Channel LI4 - Treats general pain and inflammation. Located in between the thumb and pointer finger on the back of the hand.

Lung Channel LU7 - Treats mainly upper body issues like headaches, sore throats, and coughs, as well as neck and wrist stiffness and pain. Located on inside of arm, above the wrist.

Stomach Channel ST36 - Treats most digestive issues and anemia, immune orders, and fatigue. It’s located on the back of the neck, where it meets the skull.

Governing Vessel GV20 - Is connected to many mental disorders and also treats headaches and nasal obstructions. Locates at the very top of the head.

Urinary Bladder Channel BL40 - Treats pain in the back, hips, leg and abdomen, as well as nausea. Located in the back of the knee.

There are literally thousands of other points that your acupuncturist knows that will help heal whatever discomfort you’re in. Thankfully, you don’t need to know them all. We’ve got you covered there.

Head Injuries Can Heal Faster Thanks to Acupuncture

Over the past few years awareness around head injuries and concussions has grown, and thankfully. Many of us spend our weekends in the fall and winter watching football, unaware of how common head injuries are for those who are playing the game. It’s easy to see when a player takes one big hit that causes them to lose consciousness—we see that and know that a concussion has been suffered. But we now know that repeated blows to the head which don’t cause unconsciousness add up, and over time, can ravage the brain and cause cognitive problems down the line.

And it’s not just athletes that suffer from head injuries either. Anyone whose work requires physical activity can be at risk, and once a head injury is sustained it can lead to long-term and ongoing problems.

Unfortunately, for concussions and conditions related to chronic head trauma, effective treatment can be hard to come by. Headaches, nausea and other side effects can be hard to predict, and often times narcotic solutions only exacerbate the problem, or stir up other issues.

Acupuncture is unfortunately an under-utilized treatment for head injuries. However, it’s something everyone suffering from post-concussion symptoms should seek out. Licensed acupuncturist Amy Moll writes: “Acupuncture has a regulatory, or modulatory effect on a person’s physiology and is a great tool that can be used as part of a concussion recovery program for many reasons.”

Among those reasons is that acupuncture promotes blood flow to the brain, when a concussion results in the opposite. Rather than treating a symptom of concussions, acupuncture in part addresses the root cause. In addition, acupuncture is well-known for its benefits of treating many of the underlying symptoms of post-concussion life like nausea, insomnia, and depression.

Hopefully you don’t know anyone who is suffering through post-concussion life—but if so, we are here and ready to help as soon as possible.

Recovering Addicts Getting Help For Withdrawal From Substance Abuse

The road to recovery for those who suffer from substance abuse disorder is a difficult one to navigate. Addiction takes a toll on both the mind and the body, and while cutting out the offending drug cold turkey is the most direct solution, it wreaks havoc on the person going through it. When the body is used to ingesting a drug regularly, it gets used to it—and when that substance is no longer entering the body, the reaction is not kind.

In West Virginia, recovering addicts are thankfully now able to use acupuncture to treat their withdrawal symptoms. Particularly, auricular (ear) acupuncture has now been greenlit by the government as an accepted practice for treating recovering addicts.

Points in the ear are correlated to many of the body’s most important energy and self-healing centers. Acupuncturists are able to specifically target the key areas that will alleviate the symptoms the patient is suffering from. “For patients, these simple pricks can help alleviate the physiological effects of withdrawal, such as headaches and nausea, or sedate cravings for those in long-term recovery,” Barbara Werner, a nurse practitioner involved with the passing of the bill says.

The beauty of acupuncture is that it spurs the body on to heal itself. That has a significant meaning for those who are in recovery from addiction. Many mental and physical exercises and treatments can be combined to create a patient solution, and acupuncture is a big piece of the recovery puzzle.

Acupuncture Helping San Diego's Homeless

“I was desperate. My back was so sore.”

The above was said by David Knoles, of San Diego. David is homeless, living alone in a canyon. Being homeless takes an unbelievable toll on the body. Constantly trying to create comfort in the places that most of us use for walking, traveling, hiking or other activities puts tons of strain on the bones and muscles of the homeless. David, in particular, once threw out his back while trying to move a rock that he says weighed about 150 pounds.

When you or I get injured like that, we have the benefit of seeking a number of medical care options. The homeless don’t have that luxury, if they can even receive any care at all.

But at the Pacific Beach United Methodist Church in San Diego, Knoles and the areas other homeless are being offered free acupuncture every week.

“Primarily, it’s for chronic illness and injuries,” Robin Kohler of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and the UC San Diego School of Medicine told the San Diego Tribune. “A lot of them had injuries sustained on a job where there was no insurance.”

Acupuncture is an especially beneficial treatment for folks like Knoles because of its versatility. Acupuncture is well known for it’s effectiveness at treating physical pain, but also emotional and mental conditions like insomnia, stress and anxiety, and depression—which our homeless are unfortunately susceptible to.

“I liked it so much, I kept coming in,” Knoles said, speaking to acupuncture’s wide-ranging benefits. “I wanted to keep doing it. It was not just healing my back, but other pains I was having.”

Hopefully, other locations around the country will follow this community’s lead and help those out who need our help the most.

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.

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.

Feeling Down This Winter? You May Have Seasonal Affective Disorder...And Acupuncture Can Help

It’s cold. You wake up and it’s dark, you head to work, and before you even leave work it’s dark again. Repeat over and over again.

Depending on where in the country or world you live, the above description hits close to home. Winter can be fun for the holidays and those who like cold weather activities, but for many, the short daylight hours can take a real toll on one’s emotions. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is linked to the seasons, with susceptible people experiencing it most commonly during fall and winter months. Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder include depression, intense fatigue, difficulty concentrating, consistent negative thoughts and decreased social interaction.

Anyone who thinks they may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder should seek out mental health care. But in lieu of any medication, those who are looking for relief should consider acupuncture a major part of your care plan, too. That’s because acupuncture is uniquely suited to treating mood disorders, including depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Through acupuncture, we can address the root causes of SAD, targeting specifically the areas of the brain and body that respond to light and seasonal changes. Alleviating qi stagnation in the liver can also be a priority, as the liver is a key part of the body that acts as a mediator between our internal and eternal environments.

Most medications for mood disorders only temporarily treat symptoms, not root causes, and they do so by inputting potentially harmful chemicals into our bodies. Acupuncture is a natural, holistic and lasting treatment. For those who suffer from Seasonal Mood Disorder, acupuncture can help you get through the doldrums of the winter months and leave you feeling energized, happy, and ready to take on the day!

How Long Does Acupuncture Take to Work?

When you’re suffering from pain or a chronic ailment, waiting to see results can be frustrating. So often, we’re asked at the center “when will I feel better?” Or, “when will this start to work?”

Often, it depends on the specific concern you’re seeking treatment for, the level of your pain (if it is pain related, of course)

Many times, patients that are seen for chronic pain feel immediate relief when specific acupoints are utilized, and then notice longer lasting relief as days pass, and sessions continue.

Here are some general guidelines in regards to frequency, and when effects can be seen.

  • For fertility patients undergoing IVF/IUI, treatments will depend on your cycle. We recommend coming while taking your medications, before retrieval, and right around implantation. We also encourage treatments at least throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

  • If you’re having terrible pain (like 10/10) daily treatments are possible until improvement is noted. For middle level pain, biweekly treatments are suggested.

  • Chronic issues that are not severe, once a week for 6-8 weeks and then we will re-evaluate.

    Really long term chronic issues, once a week for ten weeks or twice a week for 5 weeks.

  • For PMS, endometriosis, and/or menstrual cycle related issues, having treatments weekly until you have a more manageable cycle is ideal. Then, biweekly to maintain the improvements.

  • For stress or anxiety, once a week works well, but twice a week is better! These sessions will work well combined with meditation, aromatherapy, and massage.

  • For injury/surgical recovery, your practitioner will work with you to devise a plan of healing. It’s important to ensure circulation is restored and qi is balanced as your tissues heal.

Generally speaking, your best bet is to come in at least once a week in the beginning and then for maintenance treatment after that. Your acupuncturist will guide you towards a personalized treatment plan that is uniquely yours.

How Acupuncture Helped Ease A Woman's Anxiety

It is well-established, with scientific backing, that acupuncture is effective at treating anxiety. Acupuncture’s ability to regulate the body’s qi often helps those who suffer from anxiety feel more relaxed, more in control of their emotions, more present and more confident. We can go on in detail about how and why acupuncture is a valuable part of a treatment regimen for those suffering from anxiety, but we love when we come across personal stories of those who are discovering acupuncture’s benefits for the first time.

So when we saw this personal, first-person account on Popsugar from author Alexandra Hubbel the other day, we couldn’t help but smile…and of course share it with you.

Alexandra tells of how she was suffering from a number of symptoms like dizziness and inflammation, stemming from what she believed was her anxiety. When a friend suggested acupuncture, Alexandra was skeptical at first but gave it a shot.

Then comes our favorite part of the story. As Alexandra writes:

The acupuncturist actually listened. She let me cry. She sympathized. She offered advice. And she didn't make me feel crazy or overdramatic or try to blame my physical symptoms on anxiety and depression alone.

This represents something important to us that doesn’t often get talked. We can’t speak for everyone, of course, but we can promise that we’re a judgment-free zone. It is important that every patient feels comfortable coming to us and describing what they are feeling—that way we can accurately treat what is ailing them. It’s understandable that many people are apprehensive about telling an acupuncturist about something like anxiety. But we are here to help with anything you may be going through and build out a personalized treatment plan that will create lasting change.

Alexandra’s acupuncturist told her “that there's a light at the end of this painful, exhausting tunnel.” We couldn’t think of a better way to describe acupuncture’s goal.

Don't Get It Twisted—What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

If you go to an acupuncture session and your acupuncturist asks to look at your tongue, don’t worry. They’re not about to plunge a needle into your mouth! The fact of the matter is that all healthcare professionals should ask their patients the same request. That’s because you can tell a lot about somebody’s health simply by looking at their tongue and knowing what to look for.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a general map of the tongue is drawn that corresponds to different parts of the body, important organs that our health depends on. The very tip of the tongue corresponds with the heart and lung; the two side edges to the liver and gallbladder; the back (near the throat) to the kidney, bladder, and intestines; and the center corresponds to the spleen and stomach. Issues on those areas of the tongue could lead an acupuncturist to treat a specific area of the body that can be the root cause of the pain or discomfort the patient is experiencing—even if it might be different from what the patient is physically experiencing. See the image below via Village Wellness:

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In general, what practitioners would be looking for is the color and texture of the tongue. A healthy tongue is pink with a thin white coating, and should be proportionate to the person’s body. If a tongue is larger than it should be, swollen or puffy, that means there is likely a qi deficiency. A dark or blue/purplish-ish tongue may indicate stagnation as well, from heat or cold, while a reddish tongue indicates the body temperature is running high. A thick coated white tongue, as many people know, usually relates to some sort of cold/sinus/respiratory issue, and likely means there is extra fluid in the body.

While it won’t tell us everything, the tongue gives a good high level indication as to what is going on in the rest of the body. If the body’s energy isn’t regulated, it will show in the most unlikely of places. So if you can’t quite articulate what’s brought you to seek out acupuncture, your tongue can do some of the talking for you.

What To Expect At Your First Acupuncture Appointment

So…you’ve been dealing with discomfort and pain for too long now, tried every medication and over-the-counter pill and did all the research and reading you possibly could…but still no results. Your friends and family have been urging you to try acupuncture, and you’re finally ready to give it a shot. As human beings we understandably fear the unknown, and one of the main reasons acupuncture is still growing in the United States.

But have no fear. When you’re ready to really solve the root cause of your pain and discomfort with an acupuncture treatment, you’ll have us to thank for getting you prepared. Here’s what you can expect at your first acupuncture appointment.

After you’ve checked in and been brought to your room, your acupuncturist will ask you what brought you in the door. This is the most important step, because an acupuncturist can only reliably and effectively treat a patient if they know what’s ailing them. Be as specific as you can in terms of what type of pain and discomfort you’re experiencing, how long you’ve been experiencing it, and what illnesses and/or conditions you’re battling.

Next, your acupuncturist will determine your treatment, how many needles and where to place them. And here’s one of the most important things to remember: acupuncture needles do not hurt! A fear of needles keeps many folks away from acupuncture, but those who experience the treatment are amazed at how they can barely feel the tiny needles. Once your acupuncturist has finished placing the needles in, it’s time for you to relax!

Your acupuncturist will likely leave you alone in the room for a bit while the needles do their job, opening up your pathways and balancing the energy in the body. Most acupuncturists will put on calming music or ambient noise, and/or calming scents and lights to help you center yourself during your treatment. It’s your chance to lie down and gather your thoughts, meditate, or do whatever makes you feel calm. Put that phone away!

Most times your acupuncturist will come back to check on you and make sure everything is feeling right. Depending on your specific treatment, your acupuncturist may at this time add a warm heat lamp to a certain area of your body. They’ll then leave the room again for the remainder of the treatment.

After a period of time determined by your acupuncturist, depending on your condition, your acupuncturist will return and remove the needles. This final step is a follow up, where your acupuncturist will ask you how you’re feeling and let you know the preferred treatment regimen moving forward. It’s likely that return visits will be necessary in order for acupuncture to have a lasting effect.

But now that you know what to expect, those future sessions will be a breeze.

How Acupuncture Can Help with Your Resolutions

Happy New Year, everyone!

We hope your New Year’s Eve was fun and festive, and that 2019 is off to a great start for all.

One of the most exciting parts of flipping the calendar is setting new goals and intentions for the year ahead. So as you forge forward into 365 new blank pages, we’re here to support you regardless of the resolutions you have chosen for yourself.

Here’s how acupuncture can help aid you in the process of sticking to the four most popular New Year’s resolutions.

Weight Loss

The most popular resolution year after year, weight loss is a challenge many of us have taken at one point or another. Luckily, acupuncture can help by improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and helping to manage your appetite.

Save Money

This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s not. The cost of regular acupuncture (especially if it’s covered by your insurance) is far less than what over the counter remedies, prescriptions and specialist visits will amount to through the year. By taking preventative measures, you can take charge of your health now to prevent costly encounters later.

Stress Less

In this fast pace life where we are connected 24/7, it’s easy to get stressed. And aside from the unpleasant emotional toll stress can cause, it can wreak havoc on your physical body, too. Luckily, acupuncture can help restore the relaxation in your life. By giving you quiet time to yourself, increasing endorphins and aiding in sleep, regular treatments will leave you feeling calmer and energized instead of frazzled and weary.

Be Present

We are all too often distracted from the present moment. But at NJ Acupuncture Center, you can disconnect from everything and just relax during your session — clearing your mind, focusing n your breathing, practicing meditation — whatever helps you live in the “now”, instead of the past or the future.

Interested In Acupuncture? Watch These Documentaries

Though it is increasing in popularity around the country, awareness of acupuncture and its effectiveness for various pain management and treating illnesses is still a bit lacking. Spreading the word is something we’re deeply invested in, as so many people out there remain who can still discover how acupuncture can safely and lastingly better their quality of life.

Though it’s an endlessly interesting subject with a rich history, acupuncture isn’t too often the subject of much entertainment. However, there are a some documentary films that have been made about acupuncture or feature the treatment in some way that we’d like to highlight.

The brother of documentary filmmaker Doug Dearth, Devin, is a former bodybuilder whose years of competing took a toll on his body—eventually causing him to undergo a massive stroke When he was unable to find proper, lasting treatment in the United States, Devin headed to China to seek out Eastern medical cures—and Devin took his camera along to document the experience. Out of it came the film 9000 Needles; made in 2009, the documentary featured at many major film festivals.

“This is helping to improve awareness in parts of the country where acupuncture is not well known,” Doug Dearth said about his intentions in documenting his brother’s story. “I wanted to open up people's eyes a little bit.” The film can be viewed on Amazon Prime video.

In 2012, the film “Escape Fire: The Fight To Save American Healthcare” came out to very positive reviews. The film largely focuses on the American Health care system, particularly how it seems designed to get people into hospitals and medical facilities and treat them with drugs, not necessarily to cure their illnesses in the best possible ways. One of the stories featured in the film is of a military veteran suffering from PTSD and chronic pain whose conditions improve after he receives acupuncture and other holistic treatments. In his review of the film, the famous critic Roger Ebert notes “We learn that acupuncture has been tested and approved by the Air Force for more than 20 years, though few for-profit hospitals make it part of their practice.” That sad truth remains, although we are now seeing the tides shift slightly.

“Escape Fire” can also be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, and we highly recommend checking out both films to learn more about how acupuncture can effectively treat many ailments.