Know the Different Types of Acupuncture

Acupuncture continues to grow across the world as a popular treatment for pain and symptoms of a number of diseases and conditions. Most of the time when you hear that someone has received acupuncture, you have one thing in mind. However, the term “acupuncture” has sort of become a catch-all for many different types of treatments that are available to patients. Since acupuncture is an ancient treatment, there have been updates and iterations over the years. Now, many different forms of acupuncture are out there, with their own strengths at treating different conditions. It’s always good to be informed, so we’ve put together a list for you of the most common types of treatments that often fall under the “acupuncture” umbrella.

Body Acupuncture – This is what likely comes to mind when you hear the word acupuncture. Tiny needles inserted into certain points and meridians along the body that regulate the flow of energy and promote healing.

Ear Acupuncture – Traditional Chinese Medicine says that the ear contains acupuncture points that can heal every area of the body. So, many acupuncturists will focus their acupuncture in the ear, using the same needles as in the body, whether on its own or in conjunction with body acupuncture points.

Electroacupuncture – Particularly useful for treating pain, electroacupuncture uses small clips on top of regular acupuncture needles to send an electric current in between two acupuncture needle points. The extra stimulation can improve the flow of energy between the points, helping heal pain.

Acupressure – Utilizing the knowledge of acupuncture points and meridians, acupressure pinpoints these same areas to heal pain, but uses massage and pressure instead of inserting a needle. Many acupuncturists will teach patients the proper areas, since patients can perform it themselves at home.

Moxibustion – When small amounts of herbs are placed on top body acupuncture needles and then lit, giving the area an extra boost of warmth.

Cupping – Usually done in tandem with acupuncture, cupping uses rubber or glass cups that are suctioned onto specific areas of the body. This can help when traditional body acupuncture needs a little bit of a boost when energy along a certain point has become stagnant. Cupping can leave marks on the body where the cup has suctioned on, but they are temporary.

A Bite of Acupuncture Helps Soothe Tooth Pain

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It’s a terrible feeling – you take a sip of a nice cold beverage, and all of a sudden a sharp pain bears down on your tooth. It may mark the beginning of a long tough road dealing with a persistent toothache. While a trip to the dentist is certainly in order, you don’t want to reach for the over-the-counter pain medications in the meantime. Instead, there’s a natural way to effectively and safely treat that nagging tooth pain and restore a happy life of carefree eating and drinking.

Pain is a result of the body’s energy being all out of whack. The meridians that course throughout our body, that tell our brain whether or not we should be feeling pain, are blocked. Acupuncture opens up these channels, allowing the body’s energy to balance out, which relieves pain. Treating a toothache is no different than any other pain. When our tooth hurts, the meridians that lead to the mouth are acting up and need to be cleared.

"Treatment is directed toward soothing the circulation and detoxifying the meridians near the affected area,” say acupuncturists from Advanced Acupuncture in Santa Monica, CA.

There are a number of specific points that acupuncturists target when a patient is dealing with a toothache, depending on where in the mouth the pain is being experienced. “Ear gate” is targeted to alleviate upper-jaw tooth pain, while the “jawbone” point, located in the stomach, is more specific to mouth and jaw pain. Another stomach point, “below the joint” treats lower jaw tooth pain.

Of course, if you are experiencing any tooth or jaw pain, it is recommended that you see a dentist, who can assess problems with the teeth, gums or jaw. But the great thing about acupuncture for tooth pain is that it is effective whether the patient is experiencing pain before or after a visit to the dentist. So if you’re feeling some discomfort in those pearly whites, or just got them treated and are recovering, don’t hesitate to see us!

Avoid Bee Sting Acupuncture!

 

Those who turn to acupuncture treatments for their specific goals and ailments are typically open to holistic and creative ways to improve their health and wellness. However, it’s important to be an educated consumer, one that does their own research and only seeks out treatments that are as safe as they are effective.

While you can enjoy acupuncture with confidence in its safety and efficacy, one thing that should be avoided is “Bee Sting” acupuncture, especially after a woman from Spain has recently died as a result.

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As cosmosmagazine.com explains, the death was reported in the Journal of Investigational Allerology and Clinical Immunology, and has raised red flags about the practice. With roots in Korea and China, “Bee Sting Acupuncture” includes, “the application or consumption of bee products such as pollen and royal jelly in a quest to alleviate a wide range of symptoms.” The use of actual bee stings as a treatment method is controversial, and has raised some eyebrows.

A woman earlier this year claimed that the application of bee stings cured her persistent migraine headaches, and while her back was in fact covered in, “scares and lesions from the practice,” the doctors concluded, “any relief gained was psychosomatic, and that the sting applications represented an extension of a long clinical history of self-harm stemming from mental illness.”

However, in the case of the woman. Who passed away in Spain, there was no indication of any mental illness. Unfortunately, she had been receiving bee acupuncture, “every four. Weeks for two years,”  and at her last session, she developed wheezing, labored breathing, and lost consciousness. She died of multiple organ failures. 

It was said, “this is the first. Reported case of death by bee venom apitherapy due to. Complications of severe anaphylaxis in a confirmed sensitized patient who was previously tolerant.”  Doctors advise that bee acupuncture, “is both unsafe and unadvisable.”

The bottom line? Stick to traditional acupuncture, provided by licensed professionals, who only use approved acuneedles.

 

Can Acupuncture Help Your Menstrual Cramps?

Any woman has been there before - the aching, throbbing, crampy pains that come along with the territory of being a woman and having a monthly cycle. No matter which way you choose to think about it, they are never fun to experience. 

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Whether your remedy of choice includes heating pads, Tylenol, exercise, sleep, or curling up in the fetal position until it's all over, acupuncture is something you should definitely consider adding into your bag of tricks to help combat painful periods, also known as dysmenorrhea. 

A HelloGiggles writer who had struggled with cramps and pain for quite some time recently documented her own experience in seeking relief through the alternative treatment. And while she loved relaxing and listening to music throughout her session, what was most notable was that her two subsequent periods following regular treatments were much improved. She explained, "But the two periods I have had since starting with regular treatments have been so much better. Suddenly, I’m not relying on painkillers as often to ease menstrual cramps and headaches, but honestly, the benefits are evident all month long. Acupuncture helps my anxiety and moods, while also helping with my insomnia. I’ve slept better than I have in years."

Her results are not surprising, as many of our clients have found relief from their monthly symptoms via acupuncture.  Yet she set out for more information by speaking with some experts in the field. 

Three experts she spoke to all agreed that acupuncture can demonstrate long-term improvement, with one Dr. Alban explaining, " 'Some people improve and do not need further treatment. Others need ongoing or occasional maintenance,' by way of monthly tune-ups around the start of their cycle."

Her conclusion? "If you’ve been struggling with heavy, painful, and seemingly never-ending periods, you might want to give acupuncture a try. It certainly can’t hurt and just might be the self-care technique you’ve been missing to finally feel better each month."

We couldn't agree more.

Overindulge Over the Holidays? We’re Here to Help

Holidays are filled with fun, family, and food. If you’re now finding yourself feeling a bit bloated, exhausted, sluggish, or are even seeing the scale creep up a bit higher than usual, you’re not alone. We can help.

If you’re looking to lose a few unwanted inches or pounds, try our unique trademarked treatment, AcuSculptÔ. Combining acupuncture and massage, it can help you get back to your pre-holiday bod in no time.

A natural, alternative therapy to help in your weight loss efforts, the system was designed by NJ Acupuncture Center’s owner and main acupuncturist Ani Baran L.AC, AcuSculptÔ It’s scientifically targeted and aims to slim and tone using acupuncture immediately followed by a firm pressured massage.

First, acupuncture needles are strategically placed first within predetermined weightloss meridians as they work to stabilize qi, facilitate energy flow, and reduce leptin. Next, electro-acupuncture is used, as micrucurrent stimulation is sent between pairs of needles which targets releasing of accumulated or difficult to target qui.

Next, it's time for the massage.  Instead of a traditional massage, a firm and stimulating massage is performed and helps to release retained gas, fluid and bloat in the abdomen area and the thighs.

When performed over time, it AcuSculptÔ will stimulate metabolism, regulate your bowels and help fight against fluid retention, bloating and gas.  Of course, it’s not a quick-fix, and should be used consistently while being supplemented by a moderate and healthful diet.

You’ll be weight at the beginning of the treatment cycle, as your progress and weight loss will be monitored.

SO if you’ve found that you’ve had one (or ten) too many Christmas cookies or cocktails and are feeling more like Santa and less like Vixen, have no fear. AcuSculptÔ is here.

                                       

Where Science & Acupuncture Merge

By now you’ve probably heard about the endless benefits of acupuncture, and how sticking tiny acu-needles in specific points throughout the body can help combat or treat a slew of both physical and mental ailments. But have you ever thought about how, exactly, it works on the body?

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In a previous post, we explained the concept of qi, energy that flows through the body. Acupuncture can help restore the flow and rid any qi that is stagnant or stuck – thus helping relieve tons of health complaints from anxiety to pain, depression to trouble sleeping, and much more.

But beyond that, what are the biological theories behind the practice?

First, where the needles are inserted are incredibly important.  In a recent article on Greatist.com entitled “The Science Behind Acupuncture and How it Really Works,” it explains that, “researchers have found acu-points are packed full of neurovascular structures, which means that inserting a small sterile needle into a specific point in your leg actually can trigger a reaction in your eye,” an thus supporting the ancient notion of physical meridians within the body.  

In regard to traditional medicine versus modern medicine, many agree that the merger of idea and supports is finally happening, The article states, “For a long time, acupuncture was the weird thing mainstream medicine gave the side-eye, but deep study of why it works and where it works best has formed a link between the traditional and the contemporary.”

One such example of modern and traditional medicine working together? The use of acupuncture treatment to support in vitro fertilization, or IVF. The post refers to a study from 2012 in which researchers found that using key points throughout the IVD process acupuncture can not only improve clinical pregnancy rates, but also live birth rates, too.  While the science behind IVF is undoubtedly modern, the support acupuncture provides is holistic and traditional. Chris Chen, a licensed acupuncturist, is quoted as saying, “Even if acupuncture cannot be used to plant the seeds, it can be used to create strong soil.” The strong soil he is referring to, can include all the fertility benefits provided by acupuncture that can include an increase in blood flow and nutrients, improvement in digestion, sleep/rest and calming the mind.

Acupuncture as a Possible Solution for Seasonal Allergies

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, it’s safe to say Fall is here – and with it comes all the seasonal allergy symptoms of sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, congestion and headaches. If you find that the beauty of the season gets hidden behind suffering from seasonal allergies, you’re not alone.

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In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nasal allergies affect approximately 50 million people across the country, amounting to nearly 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.


If you’ve tried your fair share of pills, syrups, sprays, sinus rinses and cold packs, perhaps we can help.

A recent article originally published by TIME via CNN reported that of the participants studied in a trial published in Annals of Internal Medicine who tested positive for pollen allergies with nasal symptoms, those who received combined treatment of acupuncture and antihistamines demonstrated a greater improvement in their allergies than those who took antihistamines alone, and those who had “fake” acupuncture.

Additionally, a NPR article cited Dr. Sandra Lin, an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology (an ear, nose and throat doctor)  at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as suggesting, “Acupuncture may help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for people with perennial allergic rhinitis, and may help with seasonal allergies. too, according to several studies. Thus, it could be an option for people looking for non-pharmaceutical treatments.”

As far as allergies and rhinitis are concerned, within alternative medicine they are typically associated with qi within the lung, and spleen. By targeting these meridians, acupuncturists can attempt to target these meridians and help to balance the qi.

Curious to know if acupuncture could help relieve some of your allergy woes? You won’t know until you try – and it can’t hurt (literally) to pay us a visit!

An Argument for Acupuncture use in the Emergency Room

It’s hard to watch the news these days without hearing of the crippling opioid epidemic that is sweeping our nation. With stronger prescription pain medication regulations and the high risk of addiction and/or overdoes, people are swiftly turning to other resources and options when it comes to pain management. While many may already know the benefits of acupuncture for chronic pain, it is now considered an option for acute moderate to severe pain, as well.

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In emergency rooms (where people typically go for sudden or concerning pain) doctors are becoming increasingly cautious about the use of prescription pain medication administered orally or intravenously. Instead, according to a recent article in Forbes, a recently published study out of Australia has found that acupuncture is a safe and alternative option to opiates; depending on the patient, of course.

Dr. Marc Cohen, the lead investigator behind the study, said to Forbes, "Our study has shown acupuncture is a viable alternative, and would be especially beneficial for patients who are unable to take standard pain-relieving drugs because of other medical conditions. But it's clear we need more research overall to develop better medical approaches to pain management, as the study also showed patients initially remained in some pain, no matter what treatment they received.”

Dr. Sergey Motov, M.D, a specialist in pain management, and an attending ER physician at Maimonides in Brooklyn was also quoted in the article as saying, “I am very supportive for use of acupuncture in the ED as an adjunct to opioid analgesics with a hope of opioid reduction and to non-opioid analgesics as a part of multimodal approach.”

We find these results and support incredibly valuable, as holistic methods are often effective yet overlooked.

If you find yourself suffering from chronic pain, acupuncture is sure worth giving a chance. And while acupuncture can provide relief- as always-  any concerning pain or symptoms should be addressed with your physical as soon as possible.

Hate Needles? Here's Why You Should Still Try Acupuncture.

Let’s face it, nobody really likes needles. Really, who would be a fan of sharp metal objects being inserted in your body to either draw out blood or inject a needed treatment? While nobody is really lining up around the block to get poked and prodded, some people hate them more than others. And while that’s all perfectly normal, it shouldn’t get in the way of you trying acupuncture. Here’s why.

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While acupuncture technically involved needles, the approach is considered to be “needling” and blood is very rarely a factor (unless a drop here or there comes up from a particularly congested area.) No Band-Aids necessary, no closing your yes or holding your breath, and no certainly no tourniquets are needed.

In fact, acupuncture needles are also far different from what is considered a traditional needle. Often called acu-needles, they are typically hair-thin and made of surgical stainless-steel wire. Typical acu-needles range between .16-.4mm, whereas needles uses for venipuncture (a blood draw at a lab) are .82. Some have compared the needle size and sensation to that of a cat’s whisker. Feeling a little better already?

As for the biggest component of fear - pain – you can relax. There’s little to no pain involved in acupuncture. The unpleasant sensation and pain of a needle for blood draw or injection is in no way, shape, or form similar to the sensation of an acupuncture needle. Those who have tried the practice liken the sensation to be less of a needle prick and more of a twinge, similar to tweezing unwanted hair. If you can handle tweezing your eyebrows, you can handle acupuncture.

An added bonus, any uncomfortable sensation that you might (but probably won’t) feel will only exist during needle placement/insertion, so think of it as a mere second of potential discomfort in exchange for hours, weeks, or even months of health benefits.