What You Should Know About Acupuncture and Low Back Pain

Back pain is, unfortunately, something that affects so many of us — specifically low back pain.

It can range from an annoying ache to debilitating, mobility limiting pain that seems to flare up at the worst times. And if you’re suffering, you’re not alone.

In fact, here are some alarming statistics from the American Chiropractic Association:

Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.2

  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. In fact, it accounts for 264 million lost workdays in one year—approximately two workdays for every full-time worker in the country.

  • Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.

  • Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.

  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.

  • Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year and when you factor in lost wages and decreased productivity, that figure rises to more than $100 billion.

Shocked?

We aren’t. We treat back pain every single day, and we can help you too.

With proper treatment, acupuncture can trigger the release of endorphins and other pain-relieving hormones (endorphins) to help calm the nerves. It can also help to calm and relax you, thus relaxing any tense muscles or spasms that are caused by the pain.

Acupuncture will also rebalance your qi, and promote healthy blood flow to the areas of your body that need it the most.

Come in today for a free consultation, and be on your way to improvement in no time.

How Acupuncture Can Help Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful, often life-altering condition that is suffered by far too many.

According to The Arthritis Foundation (Arthritis.org), conservative estimates say that about 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Of these, 300,000 are babies or children with arthritis or rheumatic condition, babies and children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition, and the most common type of arthritis — osteoarthritis, affects an estimated 31 million Americans.

Thankfully, like many other conditions, acupuncture can help.

By reducing swelling, restoring blood flow, balancing qi and releasing pain-relieving hormones called endorphins, regular acupuncture treatment can help to reduce pain and increase mobility. Research supports this, too.

A 2012 study sought to provide supportive research, as acupuncture is often a bit controversial among eastern medical professionals — unfortunately. Researchers said, “We aimed to determine the effect size of acupuncture for four chronic pain conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain.”

The results? Exactly what we’d predict. Acupuncture was, “superior to both sham and no acupuncture control for each pain condition.”

Researchers added, “We believe that our findings are both clinically and scientifically important.”

We also know that acupuncture and herbs is actually more effective than prescribed pharmaceuticals in treating spinal arthritis, and how it helped Bubba the Komodo Dragon restore mobility and reduce pain, too!

(Yes, acupuncture really does help animals just as much as humans!)

Acupuncture is a minimally invasive procedure that is certainly worth trying for anyone suffering from an arthritic condition.

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.

How Acupuncture Can Help Migraines

Anyone who has ever suffered from a migraine knows how painful and debilitating the pain can be. Pressure, pain, nausea, and aversion to light can keep you in the dark, both physically and mentally.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, a migraine is, “an extraordinarily prevalent neurological disease” and they affect nearly 39 million people in the U.S. and 1 billion people across the world.

Here in the states, 18% of women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines. That’s far too many people that suffer from the all-encompassing pain that is much more than “just a headache.”

Luckily, acupuncture can help

While the root cause of migraines varies from patient to patient, the fact that acupuncture can help remains steadfast. Before you opt for prescription medications, give acupuncture a try.

One of the easiest ways to explain how acupuncture can help is through the release of endorphins. When inserted into the proper meridians, the acuneedle then stimulates nerves that in turn release endorphins (feel-good, pain-relieving hormones.)

Acupuncture also will help to balance qi, and improve circulation which will help to reduce inflammation and pain, too.

If you or someone you know struggles with migraines, let our trained and licensed acupuncturists help. We will work with you closely to formulate a treatment plan that is specifically targeted to treat your unique needs —while helping to reduce both the pain intensity and frequency of migraines and headaches.

Can Acupuncture Help with Chest Pain in Cardiac Patients?

While you may know by now that acupuncture can help treat a variety of pain and other ailments, one specific pain may surprise you — chest pain.

The Philadelphia Enquirer reported today on a new study examining angina (AKA chest pain) that cardiac patients can experience. The highly regarded study utilized, “rigorous scientific methods including randomization, careful patient selection, blinding, and a placebo group to show a significant improvement in the chest pain (angina) that cardiac patients experience.”

There were a total of 404 patients in the study which was conducted in China, and all received standard cardiac medications for their stable angina for four weeks before the trial began, and continued to take them throughout the 16 week study. Then, they were divided in to four groups, three of which received acupuncture treatment.

One group received needling, but not real acupuncture, while another received traditional acupuncture therapy along meridians known to treat heart disease. The third group received acupuncture but in arbitrary meridians, and the final group received no acupuncture, just medication.

The article explains," “Participants in the three active treatment groups received 12 sessions of treatment lasting 30 minutes each. Licensed acupuncturists used disposable steel needles and electroacupunture (the needle was hooked up to a nerve stimulator) was used as it has been shown to relieve pain and prevent heart injury in other studies compared to manual acupuncture.”

The results were very promising.

The group that received traditional acupuncture along cardiac meridians had, “significantly fewer attacks of angina during the 16 weeks after randomization.” And, “other measures such as quality of life and intensity of attacks also were significantly improved.”

The reporter reflected on a possible hypothesis of acupuncture efficacy in the study, saying, “Acupuncture seemed to help the autonomic nervous system by improving the balance between the vagus nerve and sympathetic nervous systems, and targeting to the specific area used in traditional acupuncture made a significant difference.”


So, it seems that angina is yet another ailment we can add to the long list of issues acupuncture can help with!

Have You Ever Heard of Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis is quite a long name for a condition. And while you may think you haven’t heard of it before, chances are you actually have.

Also known as Bechterew's disease, it’s essentially a form of arthritis of the spine. And it was just discovered that acupuncture can not only help, but is actually more effective than prescription medication, too.

Those with Ankylosing Spondylitis causes inflammation of the spinal joints, AKA vertebrae, and can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.ms Symptoms typically begin onset in early adulthood and can quickly lead to immobility and postural issues, eventually leading to a hunched over position.

HealthCMi just reported that according to their research, the combination of acupuncture and herbs actually outperforms the commonly prescribed Sulfasalazine (a prescription anti-rheumatic medication) in alleviating symptoms of those with ankylosing spondylitis.

Some patients in the study received the prescription drug while others received acupuncture and herbs over 60 consecutive days.

The acupoints used for the acupuncture group included the following:

  • GV6 (Jizhong)

  • Extra points (Huatuojiaji)

  • BL23 (Shenshu)

  • GV2 (Yaoshu)

  • GB34 (Yanglingquan)

  • Extra points (Ashi)

  • GB33 (Yangguan)

  • GV14 (Dazhui)

  • GV9 (Zhiyang)

  • GV8 (Jinsuo)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the group receiving herbal medicine plus acupuncture achieved the highest positive patient outcome rate of 52.8%, with only a 2.8% adverse effect rate. The drug therapy group had an adverse effect rate of 38.7%. I

Therefore, the researchers concluded, “laboratory and clinical data indicates that acupuncture plus herbal medicine is more effective for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis than sulfasalazine. Acupuncture plus herbs improves symptoms and disease related biomarkers. Given the results of this investigation, additional research is warranted.”

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.

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.

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.”

Side Effects of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an extremely minimally invasive treatment with little side effects.

However, The Times of India reports there are five relatively common “side effects” of the treatment that you may want to be prepared for. Though it’s important to note that none are severe, they don’t happen to all, and they are all signs the treatment is working.

Fatigue

Your acupuncture session can be relaxing and comforting, so don’t be surprised if you feel a bit sleepy after your session.

Soreness

Most often this happens at the most sensitive areas of the body like your hands, feet, certain areas of the abdomen or the ears, and it’s totally normal. It can last for a few days, and heat may help soothe the slight soreness you may feel.

Bruising

Slight bruising at the site of acuneedle insertion is fairly common and is not a cause for alarm. “This happens due to the collection of blood at the site where the needle punctures the skin,” says The Times of India.

Lightheadedness

This isn’t common, but some people may feel a bit dizzy after treatment. Often this is because treatment requires laying still, and patients may simply get up too quickly instead of relaxing and taking it slow. It’s also important to eat something light and healthy before treatment to prevent low blood sugar, etc.

Feeling Emotional

Acupuncture can sometimes cause a release of emotions, which is a great thing! Sometimes you may feel teary eyed as pent up energy is released and you’re cleansed of anything you may have been holding on to or repressing.

Can Acupuncture Help with Type 2 Diabetes? (Yes!)

According to the latest report from the CDC, more than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or pre-diabetes,

As of 2015, 30.3 million Americans (which is 9.4 percent of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Many are reliant on medication and other therapies to continue living healthy lives. But can acupuncture help?

In short, yes!

The latest report from HealthCMI reveals that acupuncture therapy can help with weight loss and to reduce blood sugar levels in adults who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is wonderful news!

In China, researches from the Sanming County Hospital of Integrated Medicine led a clinical trial of obese patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

In short, it was determined that acupuncture treatment, “in addition to routine care is more effective in promoting healthy weight loss and improved blood chemistry than routine care monotherapy.” (Meaning, routine care alone.)

124 obese patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were assigned to receive either acupuncture plus routine care or routine care on it’s own..

Overall, the results of this study indicates that, “acupuncture not only increases weight loss in obese diabetes patients, but also stabilizes blood glucose and insulin levels.”

These new findings further support the notion that acupuncture is an effective, noninvasive treatment for diabetes when used in conjunction with other therapies as directed by your healthcare provider.

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.

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.

Acupuncture More Effective than Pills for Gout Relief

A unique form of arthritis, gout is most often experienced as a sudden and painful attack of swelling, redness and pain in the joints — commonly the feet. It can appear out of nowhere, and can come and go, only adding to the frustration of the disease.

Thankfully, it has been proven acupuncture can help. In fact, it’s even more effective than traditional medicine in treating gout.

All patients in the study were, “given standardized lifestyle and dietary advice to help them manage their condition. This included reducing their dietary intake of high-purine foods, organ meats, and alcohol. Patients were counseled on avoiding stress, cold temperature exposure, and overwork. All patients were advised to increase water consumption.”

These are healthy habits that can hep to improve anyone’s lifestyle and overall health.

As far as the two study groups, those in the drug group were prescribed indomethacin enteric-coated 75 mg tablets to be taken twice daily for 10 days.

Patients in the acupuncture group did not take the medication, and instead had acupuncture treatment administered at the following primary acupoints:

  • Zusanli (ST36)

  • Sanyinjiao (SP6)

  • Yinlingquan (SP9)

  • Quchi (LI11)

  • Ashi points

Overall, HealthCMI reports that . acupuncture produced a higher total effective rate than the medication, including greater reductions in pain, swelling, and redness.

The study yielded an 86.96% effective rate in improvements in a patients clinical symptoms, as opposed to those who were taking the pharmaceutical. Unsurprisingly, acupuncture also caused fewer adverse reactions, with an incidence of just 2.17% compared with 23.91% in the drug group.

The numbers speak for themselves.

There are ways to prevent gout, too. The MayoClinic recommends:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids

  • limiting or abstaining from alcohol

  • Increasing protein from low-fat dairy . products

  • Limiting intake of fish, meat and poultry

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight

MRI Anxiety? Study Proves Acupuncture Can Help

It’s a cold, hard fact that nobody in the world enjoys getting an MRI — a procedure used for diagnostic imaging that involves immersing yourself in a well, cold and hard machine.

 

For people with claustrophobia, it can be a real nightmare.  

 

Yet thanks to a recent study published by HealthCMi, acupuncture can help.

 

Researchers at the Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that true acupuncture proved more effective than “sham acupuncture” (the control group”) in treating those who suffer f claustrophobia during an MRI.

 

Claustrophobia can be extremely problematic for both the patient and the imager. The patient may begin to feel panic attacks o extreme nervousness, and unable to continue with the procedure — leading to inconclusive results.

 

So researches set out to treat the nervousness and fear by, “soothing the liver qi, tonifying the kidney qi, and stabilizing the spirit and mind.”

 

Those who received that treatment achieved a 92.5% effective rate. Those who did not? Twenty-five percent and 17.5 percent, respectively.

 

So, acupuncture clearly worked.

 

For one session with a 30-minute needle retention rime, the rotating and twisting technique of acupuncture was performed at the following acupoints:

 

  • KI6 (Zhaohai)

  • LV3 (Taichong)

  • HT4 (Lingdao)

  • PC6 (Neiguan)

  • HT7 (Shenmen)

  • CV17 (Danzhong)

  • GV20 (Baihui)

  • GB20 (Fengchi)

In the sham group, they were inserted elsewhere, at irrelevant points.

 

After the treatment, the patients were evaluated using the SAI, or State Anxiety Inventory which assessed their emotions and anxiety. When, “fear and relevant symptoms showed improvement, and a patient could complete an MRI examination,” it was considered effective — which was 92.5% of the time.

 

The bottom line? Acupuncture before an MRI just might make a world of difference.

Using Acupuncture to Treat Trauma

The mind/body connection is truly undeniable. When one isn’t working properly, you can bet the other isn’t either. This is perhaps nowhere more complicated than in individuals dealing with trauma.

  

Trauma is a multifaceted word that embodies so much. Pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, memory issues, terror, difficulties adjusting to post-trauma life — it’s almost endless. But if you work to heal the mind, you can often heal the body. And you can use the body to heal the mind, too.

 

But with what, you might ask? Acupuncture, of course. In fact, it’s a proven way to help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep, which naturally lends itself to improved mental health. In dealing with something as serious as trauma, the smallest improvement can mean a world of difference.

 

As reported on Rfi News, acupuncturist Elise Boghossian packed up her acuneedles and headed to Iraq, leaving her lie behind in Paris and setting out to bring healing to kidnapped and enslaved women in northern Iraq.  

 

She told the site, ““The first time I went to Iraq I was completely alone. I didn’t have colleagues or work with a specific organization. I just had my acupuncture needles to offer people pain relief.”

 

Through her experiences, she eventually founded NGO EliseCare, an organization with six sites throughout Iraq that offer free medical consultations, continuous psychological care to patients, and medical training in acupuncture, emergency medical care, gynecology, radiology and biology.

 

You can watch her story, here.

Acupuncture Can Reduce Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause.

It’s something every woman must face, eventually. And it’s a solid guarantee that nobody looks forward to it.

A time of great change and transition, it’s a milestone that comes with the aging process and can be quite difficult on the female body.

But what if we told you acupuncture can help?

It can.

In a recent article from Medical News Today, it was revealed that just a short time spent with acupuncture treatments could significantly reduce some of the harshest symptoms of menopause.

Researches of this study decided to focus on one of the most common complains — hot flashes.

Here’s how the study went down.

Of seventy women experiencing menopause, half were given a 15-minute acupuncture session once a week for 5 weeks. All were given a questionnaire about their menopause symptoms and it was filled out at 3, 6, 8 11 and 26 weeks. In only 3 short weeks, the group receiving acupuncture noticed a decrease in their hot flashes.

Even better?

After six weeks, EIGHTY percent of the women receiving acupuncture believed it had helped. And, they also experienced relief in severity and/or frequency of sweating, sleep issues, emotional and mood problems, and their skin nail issues.

We also know that it can help with reduction in anxiety, depression, weigh management and anti-aging, too.

Though the study has faced some criticism, largely due to the ambiguity surrounding what’s called the “placebo effect” of acupuncture, it’s evident that a large number of women were left feeling better after just once weekly acupuncture. And that’s good enough for us.

So, what are you waiting for? Give acupuncture a try today.

Acupuncture = Less Opioid Prescriptions?

The opioid epidemic our country is currently facing takes the lives of 130 Americans each and every day.

 

In 2017, overdose death counts were six times higher than those of 1999. And since then, more than 700,000 people have died due to overdosing on the potent prescription pills.

 

Unfortunately, often the people we trust the most — our physicians, can put people’s lives at risk by over prescribing these pills as a means of pain management. But, acupuncture can help.

 

How?

 

The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that recent results from a survey of Uniformed Services AFP members revealed that, ”family physicians who received training in acupuncture prescribed fewer opioids for patients, especially ‘strong’ opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.”

 

 

As part of the survey, doctors were asked questions investigating their prescribing habits when it comes to opioids including the frequency they use nontraditional therapies, “such as nutrition, acupuncture and massage.”  

They were asked to estimate the number of patients they had written a prescription for “weak” and “strong” opioids for chronic, noncancer  pain.

The difference lied in the those that prescribed strong opioids — like morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl.

 

“More than 5 percent of family physicians with no training in acupuncture reported that on average, they wrote prescriptions for strong opioids for 11 or more chronic noncancer pain patients each month.” But of those family physicians who are trained in auricular acupuncture, only two percent wrote that many.  

 

The bottom line?

 

Though not a scientific study, it’s promising to know that those doctors who are familiar with the power of acupuncture are writing less prescriptions for such dangerous drugs.

 

Being aware of nontraditional therapies is important for all who are seeking pain relief, as these types of pills should be considered a last resort in most cases.

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Weight Loss? Six Ways it Can Help

Falling a little short on that New Years Resolution to lose weight?

Or, are you realizing that summer is fast approaching (woohoo!) and you’re looking to shed a few more pounds?

Let acupuncture help.

There are a myriad of ways that acupuncture can assist you towards reaching your weight loss goals, and just last week, US News and World Report covered six of them.

Here’s how.

  • Acupuncture may affect your hormones.

    • “"The researchers concluded that acupuncture may help people with pre-diabetes lose weight by reducing their insulin and leptin resistance; both insulin and leptin are appetite-regulating hormones that can play a role in long-term weight-loss.”

  • Acupuncture promotes healthy digestion.

    • By restoring qi, acupuncture can provide improved blood flow to your stomach, hereby improving digestion.

  • Acupuncture can relieve stress.

    • Acupuncture can help to release endorphins, which are stress reducing. The article explains, "no matter how you choose to manage stress, though, doing so effectively is critical for weight loss and maintenance.”

  • Acupuncture may reduce cravings.

    • Reducing your cravings leads to healthier food choices, and weight loss will typically follow. The article quotes family physician Dr. Wayne Jonas as saying, “We know that food addictions can lead to weight gain…Acupuncture might alter brain chemicals associated with these addictions and, in this way, help with weight loss.”

  • Acupuncture can lead to better sleep.

    • By lowering stress levels and promoting relaxation, acupuncture helps restore sleep. Sleep is essential to weight loss for many reasons, including the need for proper rest to facilitate digestion.

  • Acupuncture can boost your energy.

    • “For relatively healthy folks just trying to drop a few pounds, though, an acupuncture-related energy boost can support diet and exercise behaviors that may lead to weight loss.” More engery AND weight loss? Sign us up!

Got Jaw Pain? We Can Help

Ever wake up with a tight, sore jaw? Heard a clicking sound when opening and closing your mouth? Or, has your partner told you you tend to grind your teeth at night?

We can help with that.

As writer NIcole Hansalik shared in her story for MindBodyGreen, she was struggling with TMD - or, temporomandibular disorder, also known as pain in the jaw that can be felt while speaking, chewing, yawning, etc.

She said,, “TMD has proved to be difficult to treat with conventional medical treatments, but luckily, acupuncture shows a lot of promise,” and she decided to personally give acupuncture treatment a try.

Unsurprisingly, it helped.

How? While we know acupuncture helps to restore proper energy flow, or “chi”, she explains that, “ Modern research also suggests that it ‘reduces pain sensation through direct stimulation of the nerve, which changes the quality of signaling along nerve cells.’"

For Hansalik, the moment the acuneedle was inserted into the ST 7 Xiaguan acupuncture point, she said, “I can feel the relief, almost instantly.” (This goes for many other painful ailments as well.)

All it took was two appointments and she said her, “jaw pain subsided and I even stopped unconsciously clenching as intensely.” Adding, “While every individual reacts differently to acupuncture, for me it's the only thing that has relieved my jaw and neck pain.”

If you’re struggling with jaw pain or have been diagnosed with TMJ, TMD or just tend to hold some of your tension in your jaw (which is super common) don’t delay — schedule an appointment today!

(And while you’re at it, be sure to share any other struggles with your acupuncturist, too. Stress, sleeplessness, anxiety and a host of other ailments can be treated simultaneously.)