Give Shoulder Pain the Cold Shoulder With Acupuncture

The shoulder is a fascinating, complicated an important area of the body. It has an incredible range of motion and thus allows our arms to movie in many different ways and accomplish a wide variety of tasks. Everything from everyday chores to incredible athletic feats like pitching (Happy Baseball Playoffs!) and hitting a tennis ball are possible because of the little ball and joint located at the tops of our arms.

The problem with the shoulder? Because it’s so amazing and allows us to do so many different things, it is unfortunately prone to many different types of injuries and discomfort. Previously, we covered the condition known as Frozen Shoulder, and how acupuncture can help with the, well, unfreezing return the shoulder to full range of motion without pain. But there are a number of other shoulder conditions, major and minor, that acupuncture can also help with, including bursitis, rotator cuff injuries, arthritis, tendonitis, labrum injuries, and more.

It depends on the specific ailment, so it’s important to see a specialist to determine exactly what type of shoulder issue you are experiencing. However, acupuncture will be able to help in many ways, regardless of the condition, by doing a number of things. First, acupuncture helps regulate the energy in the body, clearing up blockages in the meridians that are helping cause the pain and discomfort at the point of injury. Acupuncture also increases blood flow which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, a holistic and safe alternative to cortisone shots and prescription painkillers and other medication. And finally, acupuncture, particularly electroacupuncture, can actually help speed up the healing and repair of damaged tissues and muscles.

Whether you’re a professional baseball player or just hoping to do household chores like the laundry and grocery shopping without pain, your shoulders are of utmost importance. If you ever have an issue with them, acupuncture is here to help!

Whiplash Is a Common Injury from Car Accidents, Here's How Acupuncture Can Help

Unfortunately, automobile accidents are all too common in our society. And the most common injury from auto accidents is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is jerked forward and/or backward abruptly. It often doesn’t take much; whiplash can occur even in fender benders or thankfully minor accidents. And oftentimes, folks think that they’re okay, only to start experiencing symptoms a day or two after the accident. Of those symptoms? Headaches, dizziness, pain in the neck, numbness in the arms or the hands, difficulty concentrating or remembering, and difficult sleeping and overall fatigue.

There isn’t much that western medicine can do to treat whiplash. Most often doctors will tell a patient to take non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen, and otherwise urge patience to wait it out until the symptoms go away. That’s not a very reassuring plan, particularly when symptoms of whiplash can be severe.

Whiplash is an injury primarily to the spine and neck, which makes it a great candidate for treatment via acupuncture. A traumatic injury like whiplash ultimately results in the blockage of meridians and the stagnation of the body’s naturally healing energy, qi. Acupuncture is able to holistically regulate the body’s energy by opening up the meridians and getting the qi to flow again, particularly to the spine and neck area that are affected by whiplash. That results in a natural anti-inflammation process that helps reduce pain and swelling, as well as the knock-on effects of whiplash that affect other parts of the body.

If seeking acupuncture treatment for whiplash, it’s important to note how long ago the traumatic event was from the beginning of the treatment. Ideally, seeking treatment as soon after the event is helpful—with many injuries like whiplash, the earlier the treatment can begin the better, since this can help keep swelling to a minimum. If the injury occurred a while ago, you can and should still seek acupuncture treatment—the only difference is that the acupuncturist will likely target different meridians, as well as additional parts of the body that have been affected in the meantime.

Ideally, we would never have to treat anyone for whiplash. But accidents happen. Thankfully, we are here to help in case they do.

Why Acupuncture Is The Best Bet To Beat Tendonitis

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

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

That is, unless you seek out acupuncture.

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

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

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

Why Acupuncture Should Be Part of Your Wellness Routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 4 Proven Benefits of Acupuncture

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

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

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

Anxiety and Stress

Feeling stressed out or anxious? Acupuncture can help.

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

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

Chronic Pain

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

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

Women’s Health

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

Mental Clarity

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

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

Dry Mouth or Eyes? It Could Be Sjögren's Syndrome, And Acupuncture Can Help

If you’re a woman in your forties or fifties and, for the first time, you start battling chronic dry mouth or dry eyes, you might have Sjögren’s Syndrome.

And while Sjögren’s is much more prevalent in women around that middle age, it can affect folks of any gender and age group. Anywhere from half a million to 3 million people in the United States are affected by Sjögren’s, and it’s much more serious than simply having a dry mouth and dry eyes (though those symptoms aren’t fun in their own right).

Sjögren’s is an autoimmune disorder, and is often accompanied by other immure system issues like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The disorder is a result of our body’s immune system mistakenly attacking your own cells. The first targets are usually the glands that create our tears and our saliva, thus the first signs being dryness. However, it can also do damage to other parts of the body like the kidneys, joints, thyroid and lungs, and can cause illnesses to those areas.

Many people treat Sjögren’s with autoimmunity medication, but given that the root cause of the disorder lies within our own body’s ability to heal itself, acupuncture is the perfect treatment. And now researchers in Shanghai have conducted a study proving that acupuncture and herbs treat Sjogren’s and reverse the symptoms much more efficiently and effectively than narcotics.

Subjects who were administered acupuncture not only reported that they felt better, but the data backed it up. Blood samples showed that in the patients who received acupuncture and herbs, the proper levels of immunoglobulin and other important factors were met.

Without the need for narcotics, the serve dry mouth and eyes and further complications brought about by Sjögren’s syndrome can be reversed. If you know anyone who suffers from Sjögren’s or any other autoimmune disorders, let them know that acupuncture is here to help.

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.

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.

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.