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.

How Acupuncture Can Help Relieve Tendonitis

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

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

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

Luckily, we can help.

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

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

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

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

Why Acupuncture 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!

Acupuncture for Alcoholism? It Works for Rats!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The conclusion?

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

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

Acupuncture is Successful in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

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

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

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

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

  • Hegu (LI4)

  • Zusanli (ST36)

  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)

  • Guanyuan (CV4)

  • Qihai (CV6)

The results?

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

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

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

Why Acupuncture Will Become Even More Popular For Spinal Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psoriasis and Acupuncture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arizona Acupuncture Board Tackles Opioid Crisis

We’ve previously talked about how acupuncture can help on the fight against opioid addiction by providing holistic pain relief and helping the symptoms many addicts face, too.

But now, Arizona is doing something about it.

According to TheSentinel.com the State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners has approving chemical dependency programs for a form of acupuncture that involves the outer ear, also known as auricular acupuncture.

This type of acupuncture is known in traditional Chinese medicine to help break the chains of addiction.

A supporter, Dr. Mario Fontes who is the clinic director of Natural Medicine & Detox in Phoenix says, “I don’t think (auricular acupuncture is) the complete answer, but I think it can really help change the tide.”

In Arizona alone, opioids are responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in only the past two years, with over 21,000 overdoses happening concurrently. (This according to dataf rom the Arizona Department of Health Services.)

Auricular acupuncture, also called “acu-detox:” works by using needles in one of 5 points located along the outer ear and is believed to help reduce pain, stress, and PTSD along with opiate withdrawals.

To help make this available to more who are struggling, the Arizona Acupuncture Board is trying to make it easier for auricular acupuncturists to gain certification.

The director of the board is quoted as saying, ““We are hoping that by providing chemical dependency programs, auricular acupuncture will become more accessible to more people and more parts of the state, especially in rural areas.”

With the program approved last year, certified auricular acupuncturists can now apply to work in approved chemical dependency programs as long as they are supervised by a licensed acupuncturist.

*If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid dependency, it’s important to seek treatment right away.

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.

Acpuncture For Bell's Palsy? Just Ask Angelina Jolie

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

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

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

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

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

Acupuncture In The Media: GQ Covers Acu!

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

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

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

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