One of the Best Treatments for Knee Pain? You Guessed It — Acupuncture.

Knee pain plagues millions of Americans, and it can seriously effect mobility and quality of life.

Regardless of the cause — arthritis, aging, or injury — acupuncture, especially when paired with chiropractic care, can truly help relieve pain and increase mobility.

Those with chronic, debilitating knee pain may struggle with aspects of daily life, and be prescribed pain relievers and/or anti-inflammatory medications to help. Though, the Journal-Advocate explains, “when the medication wears off, the individual’s only option is to take another pill — and another, and another.”

But instead of traditional pharmaceuticals, acupuncture and chiropractic care can help and can serve as a holistic option to heal.

The Journal-Advocate says, “a chiropractic acupuncturist is an excellent choice for those suffering from chronic, debilitating, degenerative knee pain. The type of care you’ll receive will go beyond hoping something works to relieve your pain. They will consider your whole body and how it is functioning — not just your knee.”

In fact, acupuncture and chiropractic care will also target hybrid issues that often occur in conjunction with knee issues including back or hip issues, and even emotional health disorders that may arise from being in a state of constant pain.

“When each area of the body that is failing to function properly is addressed, the patient can begin to heal and experience real relief from pain,” the article explains.

With acupuncture combined with chiropractic treatment, “mobility can be maximized. The ability to function normally in everyday life can be dramatically improved.”

Here at NJ Acupuncture Center, we are happy to help.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Interested In Acupuncture? Watch These Documentaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vocal Issues? Let Acupuncture Clear Those Pipes

You yourself may not be a singer, actor, or have to speak publicly as part of your career, but our voices are super important to us nonetheless. And one in 10 adults will at some point be effected by some sort of voice disorder caused by overuse. Polyps, lesions and other conditions brought upon by overuse and strain on the vocal chords can be painful to deal with, and also take a toll on our public lives. You don’t realize how essential your voice is to everything until it starts being taken away.

Most voiceover can only be treated through a surgical procedure, which is costly, invasive and can lead to post-operate scarring and other side effects. Thankfully, it’s not quite true that these disorders can only be treated by surgery. That’s just what most folks think.  

A study led by the University of Hong Kong and in collaboration with McGill Univeristy and the University of Pittsburgh explored the use of acupuncture to treat voice disorders rather than the patient receiving surgery.  Specifically, the study says: “…acupuncture has short-term anti-inflammatory effects on patients with vocal nodules – a disease caused by phonotrauma, where the vocal fold is injured due to phonation.”

Unsurprisingly to us, acupuncture was deemed to be effective at treating these nodules and potentially eliminating the need for surgery. Why was this unsurprising? Vocal disorders from overuse are usually caused by inflammation in the vocal chords. Acupuncture is known to be one of the most safe, effective and long-lasting natural treatments for inflammation of all kinds. Just because the inflammation happens to be in the throat doesn’t change that fact. The same can be said for wound healing, for lesions on the vocal chords.

So don’t wait until you’re struggling through your big gig, presentation, maid of honor speech or karaoke night. If you’re struggling with voice issues, think about how acupuncture can help you return to vocal clarity.

Acupuncture Effective For IBS And Other Stomach Issues

They say when you gotta go, you gotta go, but for many people out there this is nothing to be coy about. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a very common disorder that affects the large intestine. Those who suffer from IBS will often feel bloating, cramping and other more intense abdominal pain that can be eased or relived with a bowl movement. But in addition, IBS can cause either diarrhea or constipation, as well as excess gas or mucus in the stool.

What makes IBS difficult to treat for many folks is that there isn’t one consensus cause for the disorder. Among the contributing factors are muscle contractions in the intestine, issues with the nervous system, inflammation and bacterial changes in the gut. Medications can be given to alleviate symptoms and attempt to solve one of these causes, but for most people medication will only be a temporary reprieve.

Thankfully acupuncture is available to treat a condition like IBS. Regardless of the cause in the patient’s body, acupuncture’s ability to regulate the qi in the body and promote self-healing will help an IBS sufferer begin to feel better in a short amount of time. Recently, an independent study concluded that acupuncture in conjunction with herbs and moxibustion has been reliably proven to provide relief from IBS. The study found that this holistic treatment improved symptoms and pain significantly. Umbilical pain, bloating and the frequency of bowel movements all dropped in those studied who received the treatment.

“Participants in the cured group showed a complete resolution of umbilical pain and bloating, and had their bowel movements reduced to once daily,” the study said, while even those who were not fully cured saw marked improvement.

Living with the unfortunately common ailment IBS can really effect quality of life. Acupuncture is uniquely suited to improving IBS symptoms naturally, safely and with lasting effects.

An Acupuncture Skeptic Gets Converted on the High Seas

Cindy Leyland was excited for her vacation. Ten days away with her husband on a cruise was just what the doctor ordered. But unfortunately for Cindy, the day leading up to her vacation were stressful and hectic, and her fibromyalgia and associated pain began to ramp up. Cindy’s heel was suffering from plantar fasciitis, and her right knee was bothering her from a recent hip operation.

Cindy made it on the flight, but she knew her vacation wasn’t going to go as planned with the amount of pain she was in. She tried her best to enjoy herself, but right away she knew her pain was going to put a damper on the proceedings. Luckily, her cruise ship had a solution, one that her husband urged her to try: acupuncture.

Cindy had tried acupuncture once before, a single session many years ago, but didn’t think that it was for her. So while she wasn’t very optimistic, she gave it a shot anyway. After inserting needles into Cindy’s knee and ankle, the acupuncturist followed up. “The doctor declared that my chi was blocked from my waist down in both legs and he put in more needles!” Cindy wrote. “He pounded a bit on the back of my left leg and put a needle in the inside of my right wrist, which he then twisted a bit. YOUCH! It felt like I had been electrocuted.”

Of course, Cindy wasn’t electrocuted, but she was indeed feeling the unblocking of her chi. While acupuncture doesn’t always work immediately and follow up sessions are always recommended, Cindy instantly felt better.

“I walked out of that spa with less pain than I had had in months, if not years. WOW!” Cindy said.  “And the next seven days were seven of the best days of my life.”

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common disorders ailing adult women, and Cindy’s resulting pain is too often treated with painkillers and other medications. These temporary fixes merely mask pain, wile acupuncture creates lasting relief because of its ability to balance the body’s energy. Cindy is just one of many folks who can benefit from consistent acupuncture. And her experience taking one more chance on acupuncture to save her vacation has converted her into a believer.

“I feel like my mind has been opened to an especially helpful treatment that I formerly ignored because of the cost and my own skepticism.”

Losing Weight One Of Your Resolutions? Add Acu To Your Plan

Thanksgiving is upon us, and that means the Holiday Season has officially begun. It’s a time for family, friends, parties and plenty of eating. It’s no wonder that the number one New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight.

Before you head out to the sure-to-be-packed gym on January 2nd, it’s important to know that eating well and exercise aren’t the only things you should do when hoping to shed off some extra pounds. Those are both paramount, but sometimes our getting in shape process need an extra boost.

It just so happens that acupuncture is a safe, effective supplement to eating well and exercising when it comes to losing weight. In fact, a study in China has recently shown that those who receive acupuncture treatment for weight loss in addition to a healthy eating and workout-led plan. Conducted by the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University, the study determined that acupuncture enhances weight loss efforts. Acupuncture “reduces body fat and adiposity, decreases serum triglycerides and total cholesterol, reduces harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and raises beneficial high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.” The study was broken into two groups, with one receiving acupuncture on top of a dietary plan and the other just receiving the dietary plan. The acupuncture group received warm needle acupuncture in 7 distinct acupuncture points. While both groups saw decreases in BMI, body fat and cholesterol, the acupuncture group saw a more significant decrease.

The acupoints are chosen carefully and help open up energy pathways associated with areas of the body that contribute to weight gain. Specifically, these points address the endocrine system and kidneys, which are related to retention and nerve and hormonal rebalance. In addition, the spleen and thyroid gland are also targeted, which will help the body rebalance sugar and hormones, leading to more efficient and rapid weight loss.

Always consult with your doctor to map out a safe exercise and diet plan. But once you do, make an appointment with us to kickstart your weight loss journey!

New Study Shows Acupuncture's Effectiveness At Easing Pain From Cancer and Cancer Treatments

As the medical world continues to research and fight for a cure for cancer, millions of patients around the world have to deal with the daily discomfort of the insidious disease. What makes dealing with cancer so difficult is that not only do the direct symptoms cause pain and discomfort, but so often many of the treatments, like chemotherapy, bring with them a whole other host of side effects.

We don’t pretend that acupuncture is a some sort of cure-all. However, we do know that acupuncture has wide-ranging benefits for all of our health and wellness needs, is non-invasive, and is effective mainly because it naturally spurs the body on to heal itself. While acupuncture will only be a part of any cancer patient’s treatment, we’re learning more and more that it should be a key complementary part of every cancer patient’s treatment, as the recently released results of a new study show.

A 2016 study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas determined that acupuncture “was associated with immediate and longitudinal significant improvement across a range of symptoms commonly experienced by individuals during cancer care.” Among the symptoms that the 375 patients reported the best improvements in after receiving acupuncture were dry mouth, nausea, and spiritual pain. But that wasn’t all — every symptom observed in the study showed some level of improvement, including hot flashes, numbness/tingling, and overall fatigue.

Whether its symptoms from cancer itself or from the direct treatments for cancer, acupuncture proved once again to be an effective way to reduce pain and discomfort. It’s imperative that we get the word out about how effective acupuncture is at helping cancer patients live as best of a life as they possibly can. The fight against cancer is a difficult one, and while acupuncture won’t be a cure all, it will definitely help.

Why Acupuncture Should be Offered in the ER

Chances are that, unfortunately, either you or someone you know has visited the emergency room recently. Visits to the ER have become incredibly common and are continuing to rise. A study released last year showed that in 2014, ER visits spiked to 141 million in the United States, a record-high. And the University of Maryland School of Medicine estimates that nearly half of all medical care in the country is delivered by emergency room departments. That number is even higher for women and minorities.

The stark fact is that ER visits are all too common. And there are a few things that are just about consistent across all emergency rooms—the use of NSAIDs and painkillers, and a lack of choice for patients. Slowly but surely, a welcoming change may be on the horizon.

For 4 years, Adam Reinstein, LAc, has been administering acupuncture in the ER of Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Five days a week, Reinstein operates in the busy, hectic environment that doesn’t seem well suited for acupuncture. But Reinstein, who used to practice communcity acupuncture, has adapted by offering shorter sessions (15-20 minutes), focusing on points in the hands, arms, ears, head, feet, and lower legs, and sees patients only once. The ER can be a stressful place, and Reinstein often focuses on helping patients to feel more comfortable.

"By and large, patients get some relaxation and decrease of anxiety or discomfort. Others get some pain relief or nausea relief...What I do just fits in with everything else that is going on [in the ER],” Reinstein said. “One talks a lot about patient-centered care but usually patients have little or no choice.”

We wholeheartedly agree with Reinstein, and would love to see more emergency departments offer acupuncture to their patients. In addition from it being a better treatment for pain, anxiety, and nausea than medication, acupuncture could also help patients recover more quickly, which allows ER staffs to work more efficiently and cut down wait times.

Acupuncture in the ER? It’s a win-win.

Acupuncture a Great Solution for GERD and Peptic Ulcers

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If you’re feeling a burning sensation in your stomach, heartburn, nausea, and experience discomfort when eating certain fatty foods, you may not be dealing just with your garden-variety indigestion.

While they are fairly rare, you could be dealing with a peptic ulcer. Around 200,000 cases of peptic ulcers are treated a year, and usually only when they cause severe pain. On top of it all, many times, peptic ulcers are caused by overuse of over the counter painkillers and NSAIDs…the medications many use for their pain and discomfort instead of seeking out holistic and natural approaches.

But, 75% of peptic ulcers go untreated, with many people believing they just suffer from heartburn or stomach aches. The good thing is that, regardless of if you’re been professionally diagnosed with a peptic ulcer or do indeed just GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), acupuncture is here to help. A recent study has been done that shows that acupuncture combined with medications was more effective in treating peptic ulcers than the medications alone. According to the study, the drug control group achieve an 82.2% total effective rate, while the acupuncture treatment group achieve a 95.6% total effective rate.

And the acupuncture proved to be a more long-lasting solution to treating peptic ulcers. In a follow up a year after the initial study, patients receiving only drug therapy had a 41.7% recurrence rate of peptic ulcers. Patients receiving drug therapy plus acupuncture had a 15.4% recurrence rate. 

An additional study sought to find out acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating GERD, specifically a subset of the disorder called non-erosive reflux disease. The study concluded: “Acupuncture regulates the following bodily processes: gastric acid secretion, gastrointestinal motility, neuroendocrine related secretions, perceived pain thresholds. Acupuncture increases the concentration of blood motilin (a polypeptide hormone) and gastrin, both of which restore LES motor function, effectively treating GERD.”

So if you or anyone you know is dealing with chronic GERD issues or has a peptic ulcer, be sure to make an appointment and get started on your acupuncture treatment.