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.

#SkinGoals: Jessica Alba's Acupuncture Facial

We’ve posted a bunch of times on the benefits of facial acupuncture, also known as an “acupuncture facial.”

But if you haven’t been sold, maybe a bit of celebrity testimonial will help.

Just last week, actress Jessica Alba (who has a seriously gorgeous complexion) posted to a selfie to her Instagram story that further sparked the conversation of acupuncture for the face.

Women’s Health reports that Alba received the facial at Los Angeles based spa The Thing We Do, and went on to explain the potential benefits of the procedure.

Contrary to what many may think, “acufacials” are a painless way to enhance and clear your complexion, fight signs of aging, and give a more relaxed yet lifted look.

How?

By increasing circulation while balancing qi, the tiny acuneedles can also increase and boost collagen production which in turn helps to plump your skin reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines that tend to worsen with age.

Additionally, acufacials can also help to combat acne by promoting healing and reducing swelling, too.

While more and more women (and men!) are turning to invasive procedures including Botox and even as far as facelifts, it’s definately work it to give acufacials a try first. They’re much more affordable, far less invasive, and the results are often instant (yet require some maintenance for lasting results.)

So, why not check out our popular acufacial today? Call to schedule an appointment, and you’ll be in good company. Aside from Jessica Alba, other facial acupuncture fans include Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Angelina Jolie, and Gwenyth Paltrow!

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How Acupuncture Can Help Those With Diabetes

Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes every year, with about 30 million people suffering from it across the country. Chances are we all know somebody directly or indirectly who is living with diabetes.

For those who are unaware, diabetes is a disease that causes the body to be unable to properly process food to be used as energy. The result of this inability is a buildup of sugar in the blood. These high glucose and low insulin levels can lead to a number of symptoms that affect daily life, like fatigue, frequent urination, frequent hunger and thirst, and weight loss.

There are medications available that diabetics can take to help ease the burden brought on by these symptoms, but there’s also a holistic, safe and effective way to treat many of the side effects too—acupuncture.

A study in Beijing found that consistent acupuncture lowers glucose levels, increases insulin levels, and improves glucose intolerance, which all combines to keep symptoms in check. In particular, “low intensity and low-frequency electroacupuncture could help in reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity,” says Medical News Today. And, in 2015, a study showed that acupuncture treatment combined with an anti-diabetic medication called metformin produced better results for patients than just taking the medication alone.

Of course, there is no cure for diabetes, and those who live with it will always have to consider the best diet and treatment options for their specific case. But acupuncture can play a role in making dealing with diabetes just a little bit easier.

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 for Psoriasis

Dry, flaky or itchy red spots on the skin are an unfortunate dermal condition that affects up to 7.5 million Americans.

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More common amongst adults but also known to afflict children too, its caused by rapidly multiplying skin cells that result in a build up of the dying cells beneath the skin’s surface. Typically, it looks like raised and red plaque with white scales ans is commonly found on the knees, elbows and scalp but can also affect other parts of the body.

Though frustrating and uncomfortable, there are a variety of treatments — mostly topical, — that can help to treat plaque psoriasis. But before you head to the pharmacy, you just might want to try acupuncture first.

According to a systemic review published in JAMA Dermatology as explained by Healio, alternative therapies are sought by up to 51% of patients with psoriasis. Popular among them — acupuncture.

Upon reviewing articles published between 1991 . and 2017, researchers shared the following findings:

  • “one meta-analysis that concluded acupuncture improved psoriasis.

  • three randomized clinical trials that found meditation and guided imagery therapies showed modest efficacy in psoriasis treatment.

  • five randomized clinical trials that concluded topical indigo naturalis application significantly improved psoriasis treatment.

  • three randomized clinical trials that found curcumin provided statistically and clinically significant improvements in psoriasis plaques.

  • 20 studies that concluded that though fish oil treatment was not effective in randomized clinical trials in treating psoriasis, fish oil was effective when used daily.”

The powers of holistic therapy are nothing new, but any time the healing power of acupuncture and other noninvasive therapies are discovered, it’s worth celebrating.

If you are struggling with psoriasis or any other frustrating skin conditions, schedule an appointment with us today!

How Acupuncture Can Help Lupus Patients

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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a form of the autoimmune disease also known as Lupus.

A difficult and often frustrating autoimmune disease, Lupus affects nearly 1.5 million people across the US with symptoms including inflammation, pain and tissue damage.

Patients are often willing to try anything to combat their symptoms and restore their immune systems. Thankfully, acupuncture can play a significant role in their efforts.

A recent article by Very Well explains how the ancient art of acupuncture just might help a Lupus patient.

It’s long been believed (and proven) that acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and pain by improving circulation and the proper flow of qi, and this can be especially importnat for someone with a Lupus diagnosis.

In fact, the 2008 study entitled 'Acupuncture for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A pilot study RCT feasibility and safety study' published in Sage Journals examined the role of acupuncture as a means of pain treatment within the Lupus population.

Twenty four patients with the SLE manifestation of Lupus were given either standard acupuncture treatment, acupuncture treatments performed with less needles, or to remain on their existing treatment plan without treatment.

The results?

“At the end of the trial, 40% of the patients in both the standard acupuncture treatment group and the minimal needling group experienced an improvement in their pain levels of at least 30%.”

Interestingly but perhaps unsurprisingly, “the group that remained on their usual care plan reported no improvement in their pain levels.”

Ultimately, “the study concluded that acupuncture is a valid, safe and effective method to treat pain in patients with SLE.”

If you hare struggling with a lupus diagnosis and the pain, inflammation and malaise that can typically come with it — you’re not alone. Let NJ Acupuncture Center help.

PCOS + Acupuncture

While it’s well understood that acupuncture can help a variety of ailments, many women may not know that the treatment can be especially helpful in treating Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, commonly known as PCOS.

The syndrome, which is unfortunately common — affecting about 1 in 10 women of childbearing age — causes irregular periods, polycystic ovaries, and excess androgen levels. It can lead to infertility, pain, diabetes, depression/anxiety, abnormal bleeding and more.

Thankfully, acupuncture can help, and a new study further supports the notion.

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A recent study released by the Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital of Hengfeng County China is explained via HealthCMi, Healthcare Medicine Institute.

In the study, researchers compared the efficaciousness of acupuncture and drug therapy and found incredibly encouraging results.

Within the study, 124 women who had been diagnosed with infertility because of PCOS participated, with the control group receiving conventional drug therapy, and the study group receiving both drug therapy and acupuncture treatments.

As outlined in the study, women who received acupuncture therapy received the treatment at the following points:

  • Baihui (GV20) – raises yang and benefits qi

  • Tianshu (ST25) – raises clear yang qi and descends turbid fluids

  • Qihai (CV6) – supplements the kidneys, benefits essence and original qi

  • Guilai (ST29) – regulates blood flow and menstruation

  • Geshu (BL17) – tonifies qi and blood

  • Xinshu (BL15) – invigorates blood and calms shen

  • Shenshu (BL23) – tonifies the kidneys and nourishes essence

  • Pangguangshu (BL28) – regulates the lower burner, warms yang, and promotes the transformation of qi

The results?

Women who received both treatments showed improvement in, "regulation of hormone levels and ovarian blood flow, which are significantly greater improvements than using only conventional drug monotherapy.”

Overall, it’s safe to say that, “acupuncture has the potential to improve clinical outcomes for women with PCOS when combined with usual care.”

If you are struggling with PCOS or other female reproductive health issues, NJ Acupuncture is happy to help. Call the center to begin treatment today.


Acupuncture for the Aging

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

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

Luckily, acupuncture can help.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Versatile Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is becoming more and more popular around the world as its wide-ranging benefits become more well-known. But exactly how many different disorders and diseases can acupuncture treat? While the number is by no means exact or binding, the World Health Organization currently recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment for 47 diseases.

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Many people seek out acupuncture as a treatment for general pain. But that pain is usually associated with a larger disease or disorder that is acting as the root cause. Those diseases are too often treated with medications that, while come can be effective, many times bring about a whole set of negative side effects as well. And we’ve learned more and more about the addictive properties of opioids, which many people are prescribed to treat all sorts and levels of pain.

“A lot of people are seeking a natural treatment in order to reduce the number of medications they take,” says Ning Qian, licensed acupuncturist with the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners who has been performing acupuncture for decades.

Qian treats patients who have consistently dealt with what are considered common illnesses, such as sinusitis, the flu, allergies and tonsillitis, as well as diseases and disorders like Parkinson’s Bell’s palsy, hypertension and more.

The fascinating and thing about acupuncture is that it doesn’t input anything into our body that isn’t already there. That’s why it is both such a safe and versatile treatment. Licensed acupuncturists know the body’s 360 major acupoints and which ones need to be stimulated based on the patient’s pain or disease they may be suffering from.

“When the needle is placed into the acupoint,” Ning says, “it allows blood and energy to flow into the targeted area.”

Acupuncture is also beneficial to people who haven’t been diagnosed with any disease or disorder, but want to increase their day to day energy and vitality. Qian treats patients who have consistently dealt with what are considered common illnesses, such as sinusitis, the flu, allergies and tonsillitis, as well as diseases and disorders like Parkinson’s Bell’s

 

How To Find Out if Acupuncture is Covered By Your Insurance

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Medical bills and dealing with insurance companies can often be quite stressful, to say the least. When trying to find a holistic treatment that can help solve an array of. Different maladies and symptoms, it can be even more frustrating. To help, here are some helpful tips that can make navigating the process a bit easier, and hopefully lead to a resolution.

Know The Terms

This may sound simple, but so many people are not aware of what. Is considered a covered expense, and what is not. Terms like “in network”, “out of network”, “deductible” and “out of pocket max,” are also enough to make your head spin.

This might help:

In-Network: A provider has agreed to join the network of providers for your specific insurer, and accept their rates/amounts for services.

Out of Network:  A provider who does not accept the plan or insurer and often is not covered, or is covered at a lesser amount that is reimbursable.

Deductible: A deductible is a specific dollar amount that your health insurance company may require that you pay (of your own money) each year before your plan starts to make payments for claims. But, not all health plans require a deductible. Most of the. Time, HMO plans typically do not require a deductible, while most Indemnity and PPO plans do. (So it’s important to know which one you have.)

Out of Pocket Max: A set figure that once. You have met, you no longer have to pay your own money for any covered services within that specific year.

Ask Your Provider & Insurer

Next, what’s most important is to first ask your desired acupuncture provider if they, in fact, even accept insurance. (NJ Acupuncture Center does!) Then, ask if they “take” and are “in or out of network” with your specific plan. If they are out of network, it is then important to call your insurance company (or check your coverage online) to see if they provide any coverage or reimbursement for out of network services. If not, it can never hurt to ask your preferred provider if they offer any special rates or discount specifically for cash-pay, or uninsured patients.

It’s also really  important to know where you stand with your deductible. If it has been met, then your coverage has kicked in. If it hasn’t yet, you might be responsible to pay in full for services until it is met. What’s even better, is if by chance your out of pocket maximum has been met, then you may not have to pay anything for the remainder of the calendar year.

For any insurance questions or concerns, we are always more than happy to help navigate and find out your coverage for you! 

Acupuncture shown to restore facial movement in stoke patients

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. 140,000 people in the US each year die due to a stroke. However, there are many different levels of stroke, and not all are fatal. In fact, stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the country.

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Strokes occur due to restricted blood flow to the brain. When that happens, oxygen is cut off and can’t reach the brain. Depending on the level of the stroke, even a survivor may incur physical ailments as a result of the episode. These include numbness, soreness, muscle weakness and more. One common side effect is facial paralysis, one that can have a very long lasting and difficult, day-to-day impact on health and quality of life.

Thankfully, a recent study shows that one treatment in particular can help restore facial movement in stroke patients: acupuncture.

In fact, it’s a combination of acupuncture treatments that was deemed most successful. Fujian Ningde Hospital in China conducted a study of 60 patients diagnosed with post-stroke paralysis over a two-year period. All patients were administered body acupuncture, while half of the group were administered an additional acupuncture procedure to the scalp.

It’s not surprising that the body acupuncture was found to be quite successful on its own. The results of the study showed a 71% effective rate for those who received only the body acupuncture. But the addition of the scalp acupuncture raised the effective rate to just over 93%. The combination of the two was shown to bring back facial movement in nearly every patient.

“In related findings, laboratory research confirms that acupuncture supports brain repair after a stroke,” the study notes. “Yang et al. note that acupuncture “promote[s] the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in the brain.”

Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive and effective way to treat many stoke side effects, including one of the most common and life-altering.

Aches and pains? Ditch the Ibuprofen.

We all know the feeling. Maybe you slept in the wrong position, or upped your physical exertion in an effort to exercise more. Maybe you banged a knee or elbow playing a sport or stretched too far while horsing around with your kids. Or maybe you’re just getting old (it happens!). Worse off, those who complain about consistent aches and pains may suffer from arthritis.

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It’s almost like second nature for many of us to head straight to the medicine cabinet and grab for the ibuprofen bottle. Pop a few in and go on with your day. The problem is that medications like ibuprofen only address the symptom and don’t have any regenerative ability. While tears and serious injuries may require surgery and/or physical therapy, the root cause of every day aches and pains can get worse if only treated with something like ibuprofen and physician prescribed pain killers (not to mention the addictive properties of the latter).

Thankfully, there is another way—acupuncture. And a recent study performed in China has put some data behind what is becoming more commonly known; that aside from being the safer, natural alternative, acupuncture is more effective at treating arthritis than ibuprofen.

Researchers at Yueyang Hospital sampled 80 patients who suffer from arthritis, administering either ibuprofen or a combination of acupuncture and tui na massage. The second group received acupuncture treatment daily for 20 minutes for 20 days, followed by a 20 minute massage treatment. The acupuncture and tui na treatments were successful in 90% of patients as opposed to 87% in the ibuprofen group – a small but meaningful difference given the safety and holistic differences in the two approaches.

A further study showed that of acupuncture and tui na, acupuncture was the more meaningful and effective of the two treatments for arthritis. We figured!

 

 

 

Cupping 101

Perhaps you’ve seen the photos on Instagram of celebrities, or even your peers, having big red circle marks on their back that look quite gruesome. Or, maybe you’ve heard of one of the many benefits of cupping, but aren’t quite sure what it is, exactly. Regardless, here’s a quick crash course in cupping -  the process, the benefits, why it leaves those crazy marks.

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A hot topic in the media, especially after Michael Phelps back looked just a little strange the 2016 Olympian, cupping therapy is nothing new.  Actually it's an ancient form medicine, much like acupuncture, with opriginal roots dating back to ancient China and Egypt. 

Essentially, the process uses suction to move blood and lymph in patients suffering from neck, thoracic, or lower back pain. By improving circulation and combatting stagnation, a patient can experience. Reduced inflammation, restored blood flow, and a. sense of relaxation and overall wellness.

With three variations, “wet cupping,” “dry cupping”  and “fire cupping,”  the cups can be made of glass, bamboo, or silicone. While wet cupping actually involves a small incision in the skin to draw blood, dry cupping does not – creating suction on its own as the trapped air cools and contracts. Perhaps the most fascinating to watch, fire cupping lives up to its name, as. Fire is used to heat the inside of the cup to create suction.

Afterwards, the treatment area may look a bit unsightly, or even downright painful – but it’s not. While some bruising might occur, the aftermath looks much worse than it feels, and typically resolves itself within a few days. (You just might want to avoid getting the treatment before rocking a backless dress or hitting the beach.)

*Cupping therapy is a service provided here at NJ Acupuncture Center, using both dry cups and fire cups. To make an appointment, please call us at 201-668-0343*

 

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.

 

Acupuncture for Energy

Feeling tired? Acupuncture can give you a boost.

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School, work, kids, family, keeping a home, being constantly on the move throughout all the facets of life. Day after day, all of it can often feel like too much. Sometimes, just getting through a normal day can be a slog.

Fatigue isn’t something to take lightly. It can take a mental and physical toll on us. It’s important that we feel well-rested and energetic as we go through our day. Many people suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a disorder where these symptoms and side effects can be even more severe. Many people who suffer from fatigue try supplements or chemicals like caffeine for a boost, but many of these are mere quick fixes. And the crash afterwards can often be much worse.

One of the best ways to infuse the body and mind with a natural, long-lasting boost of energy is acupuncture. Penka Slavova was suffering from fatigue due to the day-to-day rigors of being a mom on the move. She tried many solutions, but was always curious about acupuncture. She decide to give the treatment a chance, and saw Ian Cyrus of Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Center. Slavova instantly felt that the treatments were helping her relax more, which naturally gave her more energy throughout the day.

Acupuncture helps for fatigue because it stimulates the nervous system, opening up energy and circulation pathways which are crucial for the body and mind to feel more energetic. “After a few treatments, patients' systems learn to develop a different frame of reference,” Cyrus said. “They know the difference between what they've grown accustomed to and what they should feel like.”

In addition, those suffering from the more serious and professionally-diagnosed CFS can benefit from acupuncture treatment. The Shenzen Hospital of Chinese Medicine conducted experiments which showed that acupuncture treatment in the eight influential points showed a 90% total effective rate and a 50% total recovery rate in CFS patients.

If you think you might suffer from CFS, be sure to see a medical professional for a diagnosis. Whether or not you suffer from CFS, feeling tired throughout the day is never fun. If you’re looking to boost your overall energy, consider acupuncture. It might just help you conquer the day, whatever it may bring.