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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Thaw Out Your Frozen Shoulder With Acupuncture

It’s getting dark earlier, and winter and all the colder weather that follows is on its way. When things freeze over, you’ll need a little help thawing out—while acupuncture can’t help you clear your steps or driveway, it can certainly warm things up for those suffering from frozen shoulder.

What, exactly, is frozen shoulder? You may not have heard of this ailment, but it affects over 200,000 Americans each year. It’s more common in women than men, and usually affects those aged 40-60. Additionally, those who suffer from diabetes are more susceptible to it. Frozen shoulder is when the shoulder capsule becomes so thick and tight that the shoulder becomes incredibly painful and can be difficult or even impossible to move.

If not treated, frozen shoulder can heal on it’s own…but it can take a very long time. The frozen stage, where the shoulder is very limited in movement, can last anywhere from 4-12 months, while the thawing stage, the gradual return of movement and elimination of pain, can last 6 months to 2 years. That is far too long.

Thankfully, acupuncture is known as an effective holistic remedy for speeding up the thawing process and healing frozen shoulder. An study conducted in Guangdong, China, revealed that acupuncture alleviates pain and restores range of motion to the shoulder for patients with frozen shoulder. Subjects receiving the local acupuncture points had a 71.8% total effective rate, showing improved pain and better range of motion in the shoulder. Patients receiving abdominal acupuncture had a 92.4% total effective rate. 

Specifically, the study concluded, “This underscores acupuncture’s ability to provide anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and recuperative effective actions.”

So if you or someone you know is suffering from frozen shoulder, let them know that cozying up to the fire this winter won’t help them out. Acupuncture will!

Kick Motion Sickness to the Curb With Acupuncture

If you’re susceptible to motion sickness, you know how rough it can be. Sometimes the simple experience of riding in a car, bus, or train can trigger headaches, sweats, feelings of nausea and at worst cases, vomiting. The unpredictable nature of motion sickness can really put a damper on one’s life, when not knowing how you’ll deal with a car ride can affect whether or not you enjoy your night out.

There are medications available for folks who deal with motion sickness to take, but they often come with their own host of side effects. And like most medications, symptoms are treated and temporarily improved, while the root causes of the issue remains. In 2017, researchers in China found that the treatment those who suffer from motion sickness should seek out is none other than acupuncture.

A group of 20 men were studied, broken into three groups: one that received electroacpuncture (Group A), one that received sham acupuncture (Group B), and one group that received no therapy or treatment at all (Group C). The acupuncture group received treatment in three acupuncture points: Pericardium 6, Stomach 36 and Large Intestine 4. After the treatment, all of the subjects were put into a moving chair that is meant to bring upon many of the symptoms of motion sickness. Before and after the session, the subjects’ motion sickness symptoms were checked, and compared.

The study found that: “The volunteers in Group A mentioned less sweating or cold sweating symptoms, as well as less flashing and heat sensations in comparison to their Group C counterparts. Given that peripheral symptoms are attributed to sympathetic nervous system activation, it is possible, that acupuncture alters autonomic nervous system activity in a certain way.”

Those who suffer from motion sickness know what it’s like when things are thrown just a little bit off. We know that acupuncture helps treat root causes of pain and discomfort because it targets and regulates the body’s energy flow. If you’re fearing your next car ride, perhaps you should make a pit stop here and kick motion sickness to the curb for good!

Acu Students Training With Virtual Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Acupuncture Grew in the US

October 24 is National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day. We all know that acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that has been utilized to treat pain and illness in the far east for thousands of years. Acupuncture is now popular all over the world, including here in the US, and it is continuing to gain a foothold as a safe, effective way to treat myriad forms of pain.

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But how did acupuncture make its way to the US?

Some believe that acupuncture’s rise in popularity can be traced to the 1970s, when President Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was in China on a diplomatic trip. Kissinger fell ill and was treated at a Chinese hospital where he received acupuncture as part of his treatment. A journalist for the New York Times was covering Kissinger’s trip and reported on the Secretary’s hospital stay. This was the first exposure in the popular press for acupuncture for many people, and soon after the practice started gaining traction. In 1972, shortly after the publication of the story, the first legal acupuncture center in the country was established.

But acupuncture had been around long before the 1970s. Back in the beginning of the 20th century, acupuncture-like tapping treatments were being used. In the 1950s, some treatments were occurring where needles were being kept in place for up to a week! But soon, practitioners were using correct techniques, and acupuncture started becoming more and more accepted. After the Times article, things really took off.

Fast forward to today, and acupuncture is popular all across the US. There are over 18,000 licensed acupuncturists operating in the country. So while acupuncture can and will still grow even more, now you know that it has a long and interesting history here at home!

Acupuncture for the Aging

One of the inevitable, often dreaded but yet beautiful aspects of life is the physical process aging and the gift of getting older.

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Though it means we’ve been blessed with the gift of longevity, there are some inevitable aches, pains, physical changes and other maladies that can come along with it, too.

Luckily, acupuncture can help.

We’ve already outlined how acupuncture for anti-aging beauty can be powerful here.  Considered an all-natural facelift of sorts, it can take the place harsh chemicals and restore your skin to a more youthful state. But what else can it do for the aging? 

Acupuncture can actually help with most complaints from seniors, including sleep issues, muscle pain and tension, arthritis, energy, mobility and mood.

Explained in this article on Chinese Medicine Living, as we age we see a gradual decline in our “Jing” which is considered to be the vital energy, or life source we all embody. It is believed that we are only born with a finite amount, and lifestyle can impact how and when it is used, and whether it’s used “wisely.”  Acupuncture treatment can help to reduce the loss of Jing which can cause symptoms of premature aging, thus potentially improving your vital energy.

Additionally, acupuncture is considered extremely safe in the aging.  Many senior citizens may find themselves taking various medications to treat medical conditions that have arisen through the years — but unlike other conventional or pharmaceutical interventions, you don’t have to worry about any potential interactions when it comes to acu.

Unfortunately, many seniors are often finding themselves alone, with feelings of loneliness or isolation. So, an acupuncture regimen with a friendly practitioner can also help to provide a bit of the social and emotional connection they have been longing for.

If you are or happen to know a senior who might benefit from acupuncture to help improve their daily life — call to schedule an appointment today!

 

 

 

 

 

Yep — Acupuncture Can Help That, Too.

Nothing is worse than a pain in the butt. Literally.

Though often not discussed, hemorrhoids are a problem that are believed to affect at least 50% of the US population at some time in their adult life. While most people keep them private, if you’re suffering — you’re far from alone.

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Hemorrhoids can range from being itchy, to being extremely painful depending on the type (internal or external) and the size. Those who suffer from them are eager to find relief and treatment, and fast.  While conservative treatment is always recommended initially, unfortunately many patients need to undergo surgical treatment or repair known as a hemorrhoidectomy.

But before taking any of those steps, acupuncture can help.

Because a leading cause of hemorrhoids is inflammation and swelling (something acupuncture combats quite well) a simple, noninvasive treatment may be all you need for relief.

In fact, according to AcupunctureToday.com, in addition to the traditional approach of acupuncture treatment for hemorrhoids  —while utilizing one, or a combination of the Du Mai points 1 ,2 ,3, 4, 5 and 6 is effective, there is also a “One-Point, One-Minute Acupuncture” method that might do the trick, too.

Developed by Carolina Beth, LAC, the Dua Mai 4 point (also known as Mingmen or Life’s Gate) is utilized. Located within the lumbar region near the second lumbar vertebra, it’s a powerful point also known to be used for importance, menstruation issues, diarrhea, and back pain. Manipulation of this point via acupuncture “increases the vital Yang energy of the patient, a therapeutic effect, which is very useful in this treatment of hemorrhoids,” says Beth.

Using her technique, the point is manipulated for one minute only, with the needle being stimulated by steady movement back and forth for the entire sixty seconds.  Beth shares two case studies that demonstrated the reported effectiveness, including a 62 year old woman who struggled with hemorrhoids  since pregnancy at age 26. With only one session, she reported being free of any symptoms over the course of the next seven months.

If you are suffering from hemorrhoids, give us a call and make an appointment. While our approach might be a bit different — we are eager to help restore health and happiness to all our clients.