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.

Recovering Addicts Getting Help For Withdrawal From Substance Abuse

The road to recovery for those who suffer from substance abuse disorder is a difficult one to navigate. Addiction takes a toll on both the mind and the body, and while cutting out the offending drug cold turkey is the most direct solution, it wreaks havoc on the person going through it. When the body is used to ingesting a drug regularly, it gets used to it—and when that substance is no longer entering the body, the reaction is not kind.

In West Virginia, recovering addicts are thankfully now able to use acupuncture to treat their withdrawal symptoms. Particularly, auricular (ear) acupuncture has now been greenlit by the government as an accepted practice for treating recovering addicts.

Points in the ear are correlated to many of the body’s most important energy and self-healing centers. Acupuncturists are able to specifically target the key areas that will alleviate the symptoms the patient is suffering from. “For patients, these simple pricks can help alleviate the physiological effects of withdrawal, such as headaches and nausea, or sedate cravings for those in long-term recovery,” Barbara Werner, a nurse practitioner involved with the passing of the bill says.

The beauty of acupuncture is that it spurs the body on to heal itself. That has a significant meaning for those who are in recovery from addiction. Many mental and physical exercises and treatments can be combined to create a patient solution, and acupuncture is a big piece of the recovery puzzle.

Acupuncture At The Zoo: The Story of Lottie The Koala

Anyone who suffers from arthritis, or is close to someone suffering from it, knows how debilitating it can be to live with. That isn’t limited just to us humans, either.

Lottie is a Koala bear that has been at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina since 2002. Any mother knows that raising young ones can be a physical burden, and since Lottie arrived at Riverbanks Zoo in 2002, she has given birth to 11 joeys. All that joey-rearing (Koalas use their back to carry their children) and climbing and the physical rigors of everyday life have taken their toll of Lottie, who the staff at Riverbanks found had began suffering from arthritis and muscle tension.

However, Lottie has been showing signs of improved motion and strength recently, and the credit can be granted to the veterinary staff at Riverbanks, who treated Lottie’s arthritis and muscle tension with acupuncture.

“The animal care team at Riverbanks currently performs acupuncture on Lottie once every two to three weeks,” said John Davis, the director of animal care and welfare at Riverbanks told the Free Times. “Each treatment session last about 15 to 20 minutes, with the staff veterinarian inserting at least 10 small needles (about the size of a human hair) into Lottie’s lower back and hip area.”

If you’re wondering how easily a wild animal takes to acupuncture, Lottie has her days.

“We realized that she’s okay with it some days and not OK with it on other days,” Davis says. “If she starts to retreat up the tree in the middle of a session, then we just end the session.”

But based on Lottie’s improvement, it looks like she’s been OK with acupuncture more than not.

#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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Acpuncture For Bell's Palsy? Just Ask Angelina Jolie

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

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

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

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

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

Acupuncture In The Media: GQ Covers Acu!

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

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

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

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

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.

Pregnancy Acupuncture Fit For A Princess

If you don’t fancy yourself much of an Anglophile, you may not know that Prince Harry of Great Britain and his wife, the American actress Meghan Markle, have broken from royal tradition in many ways. The couple is expecting their first child, and the pregnancy and birthing process is no exception. One way in which the Duchess of Sussex is differing herself from past princesses is opting for a natural and holistic birth process. One of the key aspects of Markle’s pregnancy and birth plan has been regular acupuncture.

“Meghan has been having regular acupuncture sessions to help her unwind and relax,” someone close to the couple’s acupuncturist told Vanity Fair. “It’s brilliant for the blood circulation and boosting blood flow to the uterus. She plans to use acupuncture right up to her due date.”

Markle may be breaking from royal tradition, but from where we’re sitting she’s making a great call. One of the smartest things a mom to be can do throughout her pregnancy is receive acupuncture treatments regularly. While the above quote is accurate, acupuncture does far more than merely help circulate blood. It does that for sure, but so much more.

Pregnancy can place an incredible burden on a woman’s body. Not only is her reproductive system experiencing changes like never before, the rest of the body has to compensate for these drastic changes. Weight gain, body temperature changes, nausea are unavoidable. When we treat pregnant women, we’re not only helping the qi in their body flow freely to help with general stress and anxiety, but with all of the other side effects that this wonderful experience unfortunately also brings.

Acupuncture during pregnancy is fit for a princess…but it’s also fit for every pregnant woman, too.

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.

Controversial Research Sparks Heated Acu Debate in China

Acupuncture is an ancient practice that originated in China millennia ago. It is an incredibly popular form of medical treatment in China, not only because of its effectiveness for treating a number of ailments, but because it is an important part of Chinese culture.

Perhaps there’s no better sign of how important acupuncture is to Chinese history and society than the reaction to a recent study in one of China’s most respected medical journals.

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Last year, the journal Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion published an article written by three respected doctors from Dongzhimen Hospital in Beijing. The article claimed that a new study conducted by the doctors that acupuncture that is administered to a parent could benefit that parent’s child. That is, if I a child is feeling ill, the parent undergoing acupuncture—not the child—could help treat the child’s illness or pain.

The doctors claim that the concept of “quantum entanglement” is responsible for this phenomenon. Quantum entanglement says that “two particles, no matter how distant from each other in space and time, can be inextricably linked, in a way that defies the rules of classical physics.” 

 

The authors backed up their theory with an experiment of 15 patients with pain symptoms and their direct relatives. Fourteen of the patients were in the room alongside their relative who was receiving acupuncture, while one patient was in a separate room. The study claims that all 15 subjects reported a decrease in pain, while four subjects said their pain disappeared altogether.

 

The article has caused a wave of backlash, with many doctors coming out and disavowing its conclusion. One doctor said he was “speechless” after reading the article…and not in the good way. On Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, one popular comment read “The only thing that the researchers of this paper prove, is that they themselves need to be treated,” and one hashtag around the controversy received over 4 million views.

 

While we know acupuncture is an effective treatment for numerous ailments and pain management—for adults and children alike—we’re holding off on the whole “quantum entanglement” idea…for now!

 

 

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!

New Study Shows Acupuncture Can Help Heal Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is one of the most common conditions ailing adults in the United States. A staggering 54 million among us suffer from osteoporosis, which literally translates to “porous bone”. Osteoporosis occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. This causes the bones to become weak, resulting in chronic pain, or worse. Low bone mass means that breaks can happen very easily, from falls or in serious cases even from something as low-impact as sneezing.

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Osteoporosis is a serious condition, with many of the fractures resulting from it occurring in the hip, spine or wrist. In elderly patients, these breaks can result in serious injury or death. 

The unfortunate thing is that osteoporosis cannot be reversed. It can only be treated. Thankfully, clinical trials have been recently done that show acupuncture as an effective treatment for osteoporosis.

The great thing is that acupuncture works two-fold: it is effective at treating the pain associated with osteoporosis, as well as crucially improving bone mineral density. This still does not represent an ability to reverse the effects of osteoporosis, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Researchers at First Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu in China conducted a study of 182 participants, all who were suffering from the disease. The study compared acupuncture’s effectiveness at treating osteoporosis with calcium supplementation. Acupuncture treatment was administered supplementing the liver and kidneys and strengthening the spleen. While both methods proved to be effective, the acupuncture group outperformed the calcium supplementation. 77 cases in the acupuncture group registered as very effective, with 5 cases effective and 9 ineffective.

The study measured both pain levels as well as mean bone mineral density—those who received acupuncture reported a decrease in pain level, and their bone density was shown to have increased.

Osteoporosis is one of the most difficult conditions to deal with, one that greatly affects the patient’s quality of life. If you or one you know is suffering from the condition, be sure to tell them that acupuncture can help them on the road to recovery.

 

 

Maya Fertility Massage

Anyone struggling with infertility is likely researching any and everything they might be able to do to improve their chances of getting pregnant. 

While there are fertility specialists, medications, nutrition consultations, and of course acupuncture - there’s another modality that might be able to help - the Maya abdominal massage. 

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This technique is said to help improve fertility, and uterine alignment, helping those with tilted uterus or even uterine prolapse. Here's how. 

Rooted in the ancient Mayan belief of the significance of the reproductive organs, specifically the uterus, being the "center" of the body, it's a gentle and external massage that should only be performed by trained professionals - like those at New Jersey Acupuncture Center. It might even be helpful for indigestion and constipation, too. 

As Daphne OZ reported on Oprah.com of her personal experience with the technique uses a mix of , "anatomy, physiology and herbology. Through noninvasive massage, this technique gently manipulates the muscles and tendons that hold all the belly organs in place to bring all things back into alignment and promote proper functioning."

Of course, proper circulation and alignment is key to fertility function, as well as to overall wellbeing, too. 

It also feels relaxing and therapeutic.  Of her experience, Oz recalled, "t doesn't sound like much, and I'm not doing it justice, but it was one of the most soothing sensations I've ever experienced..."

As opposed to more modern treatments, this is one of the most least invasive, pleasant, and affordable methods you might want to consider if you’re trying for a family. In some cases, it can even be performed during the prenatal and postpartum period as well.

Here are some of the specific benefits of the Maya massage technique:

Before conception:

  • Fibroids, polyps, endometriosis
  • Painful periods
  • Absence of a period
  • Preparation for IUI or IVF
  • Organ prolapse (out of position uterus)
  • Trauma support (emotional and physical)

Prenatal:

  • Maintain positive flow of vital fluids (blood, lymph, oxygen and chi)
  • Establish the “love through touch” connection in utero
  • Ease digestive distress
  • Maintain proper uterine position, setting the stage for easy delivery
  • Ease discomfort from stretching and straining ligaments and muscles
  • Reduce chances of varicose veins

Post-Partum:

  • Reestablish integrity of the pelvic bowl (ligament strength, organ prolapse, pelvic pain, incontinence)
  • Nourish a new connection with the beauty of your post baby belly
  • Maintain balanced hormonal transition
  • Reduce possible scar tissue build up and adhesions post c-section
  • Ease digestive distress
  • Learn simple belly massage for you and baby! (great for colic)

If you’re interested in Maya Massage, call us today to make your appointment. The technique is also perfectly complimented with acupuncture!

 

Trouble Sleeping? Let Acupuncture Be Your Lullaby

You’ve just had a long day. Work was crazy, the kids were a handful, bills are due...all you want to do is relax and get a good night’s sleep. You get yourself all ready for the eight hours of blissful sleep that will regenerate you to take on another day. But you just can’t fall asleep.

Insomnia affects many of us. Thirty to 35% of people in the U.S. experience brief symptoms of insomnia, 15-20% have short-term insomnia, which lasts less than three months, while 10% suffer from chronic insomnia.

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There is no one cause of insomnia, it can be spurred on from various medical and psychiatric ailments, and it can have long lasting and negative effects. Fatigue, the inability to concentrate or focus, low motivation and energy are just some of the side effects that come from lack of sleep. Often, people turn to sleeping aids like Ambien, which come with their own sets of risks and negative side effects.

The reason that acupuncture is safer and more effective than narcotics to treat pain and disorders—including insomnia—is because it doesn’t merely mask symptoms, it attacks the root causes and rectifies them by balancing the body’s energy.

"Acupuncture helps restore the body's natural balance by connecting us more deeply to the subtlety of our own sensory experience,” Aliksandra Keller, Lac, MS, MA, RYT tells PopSugar.com. “In other words, it helps bring a new level of consciousness to what we are truly feeling and sensing, as well as helping us to process our emotions…In the case of insomnia, needles would be inserted to help the body clear its excess and subsequently tonify its deficiency."

When we can’t sleep, it’s because the energy in our body is, in everyday terms, out of whack. Counting sheep, drinking warm milk or—certainly not—sleeping pills treat the root cause of insomnia. Acupuncture does. If you’re in desperate need of a good night’s sleep, acupuncture is there to help.

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Allergies

As we hit the middle of May, we’re right in the middle of springtime and everything that comes with it. Nice temperatures, the blooming of flowers and trees, plenty of sunshine, spring cleaning. All great things, right? But for many, it’s also allergy season.

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You know the feeling. You walk outside on a beautiful day and all of a sudden you’re sniffling and sneezing and constantly pulling from the tissue box. Many people’s first instinct is to pop an antihistamine like Zyrtec or Claritin and go about their day.

Others with more severe allergies take medications consistently to try and prevent the side effects.


But researchers in Germany have found that there’s an alternative for antihistamines when it comes to treating allergic rhinitis and sinus disorders—acupuncture.

All of the patients involved in the study suffered from seasonal allergic rhinitis for over two years and fell within the age range of 16-45. They were broke into three groups—one receiving acupuncture, one receiving dummy acupuncture, and one receiving the antihistamine Cetirizine (in the U.S., commonly known as Zyrtec).

While the folks receiving both the “real” and “fake” acupuncture treatments were encouraged to take antihistamines on their own throughout the 8-week trial period, the study showed that the group receiving acupuncture didn’t feel the need to take their antihistamines as often as the others. That’s because acupuncture was found to be a far better alternative than merely taking medication.


“The researchers add, seasonal allergic rhinitis ‘symptoms decreased significantly in the acupuncture group compared with the other study groups,’" the study says.


When the weather turns for springtime, allergies can really put a damper on quality of life and the ability to live an active lifestyle. If you’re one of the many people who dread the coming sniffles and sore throats, acupuncture can help you get back to enjoying this beautiful time of the year.

Can Acupunture Help You Lose Weight?

It's seemingly impossible these days to scroll through social media, turn on the television, or listen to the radio without being exposed to at least one advertisement regarding the latest fad, supplement or workout that is "guaranteed" to help you lose weight.

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Amongst a society that appears to be hyper-focused on health, body image and even vanity - it's important to navigate advertisements and promises with some insight into exactly what weight-loss should look and feel like, and that's health. A healthful diet and exercise are always the best way to try to achieve a healthy weight.

But, can acupuncture help?  In short, maybe. 

Psychology Today recently explored the possibility, specifically noting how ear acupuncture points can help control appetite which can then, in turn, theoretically result in weight loss. It cited a 2017 study where they examined, "18 randomized controlled studies of ear acupuncture for weight loss, though not big ones—the largest had 200 subjects. Most of the volunteers were middle-aged Asian women.  All in all, this review concluded that ear acupuncture was linked to an average loss of about 3 lbs.  Treatments that went on longer than six weeks had the best results."

Promising, right? 

It also cited research linked to the microbiome, which is the bacteria in your guts, and explained how one study actually found acupuncture can reduce them. The results? 

"Forty-five overweight or obese women in Shanghai were randomly split into three groups, including a control group that got no treatment. The other two groups received 20 acupuncture treatments focused on the abdomen for a half-hour, every other day. The points were the same for both groups, but executed by different doctors. The results: In the 30 women who received acupuncture, the average BMI dropped from close to 28 at the beginning to a bit over 25, while the control group didn’t change much."

Again, supportive that acupuncture can help with weight-loss.

If you're looking for holistic treatments to help aid you in your weight-loss journey, come in for an acupuncture consultation, and ask about our trademarked service, AcuScuplt.

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 Helping Veterans

We are fortunate to live in a country where freedom rings. For that, we can thank all the incredible servicemen and women who have fought to defend our country.

Whether they are recently back home from duty or served many years ago, many veterans return home having to deal with any number of difficult physical issues that stem from their time serving. Many times these ailments go untreated, which leads to more pain and discomfort, especially as we get older. Often times, unfortunately, veterans are unable to get the medical coverage they need. A Veterans Affairs office in Oregon is looking to change that.

Michael Belliveau served in the Air Force and worked a daunting physical job as a contractor when he returned home. That amount of physical exertion took its toll, especially on Michael’s shoulders. To treat the pain, Michael had been receiving cortisone shots, which worked but eventually wore off, necessitating another shot and so on. But nine months ago the Roseburg VA started offering acupuncture to treat veterans with all sorts of physical ailments. A prime candidate, Michael has been undergoing consistent acupuncture treatment for his shoulder pain, and he says he’s confident he will feel relief when his latest cortisone shot runs out.

Another veteran, 36-year-old Loy Knutzen, originally hurt his ankle and soon found that the rest of his lower body was in pain as a result. For the pain, Loy was initially given Vicodin, then gabapentin, which is usually used to treat seizure disorders. The medications were not working, and a safer alternative became available. Knutzen saw results fast, and will continue receiving acupuncture to treat his pain.

“Some veterans will describe it as a high. A euphoria can sometimes be felt when those pathways are opened,” Marlene McBride, a nurse at the Roseburg VA said.

If you know a veteran who is suffering from physical or mental ailments, let them know how acupuncture is a safe, effective way to treat pain and restore the body. After, of course, thanking them for the service to our country!

 

 

 

 

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.