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.

Meet Ani

Owner and lead acupuncturist, Ani Baran, L.ac was born in Yerevan Armenia, and moved to New Jersey at the age of three.

Growing up in Fort Lee, she then attended Fordham University for pre-med studies, and then Columbia University for research — but she knew deep down she wanted to help people more naturally.

As the opioid epidemic and crisis began to peak, her calling weighed heavily on her heart and so she began researching natural pain relief options instead.

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Thus, she took her passion for biology and healing and trained to become an L.ac — a licensed acupuncturist. With these credentials, she gained over 2000 hours of training, passed all necessary exams, studied Chinese medicine theory, and spent over three years honing her clinical skills.

After marrying her husband Mike and moving to Bayonne who was born and raised in town, she opened both NJ Acupuncture Center locations and has never looked back.

Truly loving her job, she says the best part of her job is how, “I get to help others become pain free, assist in their pregnancy goals, manage their stress, all different treatments but the end result is a side effect free therapy for their concerns.”

Most rewarding to Ani, is helping couples achieve their fertility goals through supportive acupuncture. “I love being able to be part of their journey through a very special time.”

While many may seem apprehensive to try acupuncture for the first time, Ani says, “Once you give it a try you'll never want to stop! It's an amazing feeling, your body being recharged and reenergized, you'll always want to feel that way!


Ready To Get Some Sun? Acupuncture Is Here If You Get a Little Too Much

Bust out the umbrellas, bathing suits, flip flops and pool toys—summer is just around the corner! A week from now Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of everybody’s favorite season. But one of the things that can hold you back from enjoying your summer to the fullest is a result of one of the things that makes summer so great.

Getting some sun is great. Getting too much of it is…well, not so great. In fact, it can be downright terrible.

You know the deal. Burning, scratchy, itchy and peeling skin that can take days to heal, all the while any movement or clothing touching the skin causes you to wince. There are some topical remedies that can help, but many of them are chemical based and can even dry out your skin even further.

When you’re sunburned, your body needs to be able to release heat and inflammation. Acupuncture is the best and most natural way to do both of those things.

We can hear you: the last thing I want to do after being badly sunburnt is to have needles inserted into my body!

The good news is that there are many acupuncture points that we can target to treat sunburn, and many are located in areas where sunburn is incredibly rare or not nearly as painful. Specifically to treat sunburn, acupuncturists can utilize the point UB 40, which is located on the back of knee and helps circulate cool blood. Additionally, GB 20 points on the base of the skull also help reduce body heat.

So if you plan on heading to the beach or pool this summer, you should always take the proper sunburn prevention precautions. But sometimes the best laid plans go awry. If you don’t want one fun day to ruin the next few, know that acupuncture can help you recover quickly and safely.

Acupuncture Proven To Beat Drugs For Gout Treatment

One minute you’re fast asleep, and the next you wake up feeling like a part of your body was just lit on fire.

No, you don’t need to douse yourself with a bucket of water, but you may feel like you want to anyway.

What you could be dealing with is gout: a form of arthritis that cause sudden, severe bouts of pain, swelling and redness in particular joints. Often, the big toe is affected, making it very hard to move around since an area affected by gout is often hot, swollen and tender. Gout pain comes and goes, which can make life for those who suffer from it unpredictable.

Gout pain is caused by high uric acid levels in the blood, which causes urate crystals to form in the joints. It’s most often treated with various painkilling medicines like NSAIDs and steroids prescribed by doctors.

One of the NSAIDs that is often prescribed by doctors to treat Gout is indomethacin. Recently, researchers at Dongguan Tangxia Guanhua Hospital in China tested indomethacin treatment for Gout against acupuncture. The study was conclusive: those who were administered acupuncture rather than given the medication reported reduced pain, swelling, and redness, and also noted increased mobility and improved function of the affected joints.

It’s no surprise here that acupuncture is an effective treatment for Gout. Pain is a result of the qi in our body being blocked and out of sorts, and acupuncture promotes self-healing of the body by regulating the qi an helping to open up the pathways that are being blocked during bouts of pain and discomfort.

If you or anyone you know suffers from Gout, be sure to come by and begin the lasting, holistic treatment that only acupuncture can offer!

Acupuncture Can Improve Cataract Surgery outcomes

Surgery is invasive. Acupuncture is not. When used in conjunction with one another, acupuncture can typically help to alleviate post-surgical symptoms and pain, and increase the overall efficacy of the procedure.

This has just been proven once again in regards to cataracts.

And we age, our vision can often get blurry or cloudy due to a cataract. If this happens, an ophthalmologist may suggest surgery to replace your eye’s lens. Incredibly common and reasonably safe, many Americans have this done each year.

As with any surgical procedure, there are some side effects that are possible. These include:

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Detached retina

  • Pressure-type pain

  • Loosening of the new lens implant

  • Fluid buildup

  • Drooping appearance of eyelid

Thankfully, acupuncture can help.

As HealthCMI reports that researches have concluded acupuncture treatment increases positive post-surgery outcomes for those with comorbid glaucoma.

In fact, patients reported, “better intraocular pressure, aqueous outflow (F value), pain relief, and visual acuity when receiving acupuncture and tuina massage.” (Tuina massage is a massage that focuses on a specific problem area and often accompanies acupuncture.)

In the study, one group received acupuncture and tuina while the control group received phacoemulsification monotherapy only.

Acupuncture and tuina started three days before the operation. Tuina was administered by ophthalmologic nurses and acupuncture was administered by licensed acupuncturists. Treatment lasted a total of 60 days.

After the duration of treatment, he number of patients that presented with general clinical symptoms in the TCM treatment group were significantly lower than in the control group.

It’s been well established that acupuncture, when paired with surgical recovery, can be effective. This study helps to, once again, prove the point. (Pun intended.)

Horses Staying On Track Thanks To Acupuncture

It’s the time of year, where every few weeks we gather around the television for a couple thrilling minutes in anticipation of who’s going to win the big race (or have the greatest hat, the best tasting mint julep, and win the most money, of course).

And while this year’s Kentucky Derby ended in bigtime controversy, there’s a crystal clear winner when it comes to treating horses for many of their physical issues.

Acupuncture is one of the best ways to treat equine injuries and illnesses, whether the horse is being groomed for racing or not. One disorder that is debilitating to horses that acupuncture is uniquely suited to treating is laminitis. Laminitis is a very painful hoof disease that can result in lameness—greatly affecting the horse’s mobility and total quality of life.

California-based veterinarian Kevin May conducted a study of 12 horses with laminitis, ensuring their caretakers didn’t give them any other treatments while he administered acupuncture to each horse. Despite the horses ranging in age, condition, and breed, all 12 responded positively to the treatment.

This is important, because while laminitis sounds like it may not be serious, it can often lead to serious outcomes.

According to May, “Thirteen percent of barns and/or owners deal with laminitis each year, with 50% of those referred to hospitals eventually euthanized.”

Thankfully, May seems to have found a way to help horses affected by laminitis stay on their feet, happy, and healthy.

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

Popular Acupuncture Points and What They Heal

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When you come in for an acupuncture treatment, it can seem at first like your acupuncturist is placing needles in your body seemingly at random. And it can be confusing—if I’m dealing with digestion issues, why aren’t any needles going into my abdomen?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are about 2,000 points on the body which are all connected by 20 paths, which we call meridians. The meridians are what conduct the energy, or qi, between the surface of our body and its internal organs and systems. When that energy gets stifled is when something doesn’t feel right in our body. When that happens, acupuncturists know where the meridian blockages could be.

So that’s why if you come to receive an acupuncture treatment for insomnia or depression, your acupuncturist will treat point HT7, which is located on the outside of the wrist.

That’s just one example. Here are some of the more well known and popular acupuncture points (that you can also try and massage yourself for symptom relief).

Large Intestine Channel LI4 - Treats general pain and inflammation. Located in between the thumb and pointer finger on the back of the hand.

Lung Channel LU7 - Treats mainly upper body issues like headaches, sore throats, and coughs, as well as neck and wrist stiffness and pain. Located on inside of arm, above the wrist.

Stomach Channel ST36 - Treats most digestive issues and anemia, immune orders, and fatigue. It’s located on the back of the neck, where it meets the skull.

Governing Vessel GV20 - Is connected to many mental disorders and also treats headaches and nasal obstructions. Locates at the very top of the head.

Urinary Bladder Channel BL40 - Treats pain in the back, hips, leg and abdomen, as well as nausea. Located in the back of the knee.

There are literally thousands of other points that your acupuncturist knows that will help heal whatever discomfort you’re in. Thankfully, you don’t need to know them all. We’ve got you covered there.

Head Injuries Can Heal Faster Thanks to Acupuncture

Over the past few years awareness around head injuries and concussions has grown, and thankfully. Many of us spend our weekends in the fall and winter watching football, unaware of how common head injuries are for those who are playing the game. It’s easy to see when a player takes one big hit that causes them to lose consciousness—we see that and know that a concussion has been suffered. But we now know that repeated blows to the head which don’t cause unconsciousness add up, and over time, can ravage the brain and cause cognitive problems down the line.

And it’s not just athletes that suffer from head injuries either. Anyone whose work requires physical activity can be at risk, and once a head injury is sustained it can lead to long-term and ongoing problems.

Unfortunately, for concussions and conditions related to chronic head trauma, effective treatment can be hard to come by. Headaches, nausea and other side effects can be hard to predict, and often times narcotic solutions only exacerbate the problem, or stir up other issues.

Acupuncture is unfortunately an under-utilized treatment for head injuries. However, it’s something everyone suffering from post-concussion symptoms should seek out. Licensed acupuncturist Amy Moll writes: “Acupuncture has a regulatory, or modulatory effect on a person’s physiology and is a great tool that can be used as part of a concussion recovery program for many reasons.”

Among those reasons is that acupuncture promotes blood flow to the brain, when a concussion results in the opposite. Rather than treating a symptom of concussions, acupuncture in part addresses the root cause. In addition, acupuncture is well-known for its benefits of treating many of the underlying symptoms of post-concussion life like nausea, insomnia, and depression.

Hopefully you don’t know anyone who is suffering through post-concussion life—but if so, we are here and ready to help as soon as possible.

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 Helping San Diego's Homeless

“I was desperate. My back was so sore.”

The above was said by David Knoles, of San Diego. David is homeless, living alone in a canyon. Being homeless takes an unbelievable toll on the body. Constantly trying to create comfort in the places that most of us use for walking, traveling, hiking or other activities puts tons of strain on the bones and muscles of the homeless. David, in particular, once threw out his back while trying to move a rock that he says weighed about 150 pounds.

When you or I get injured like that, we have the benefit of seeking a number of medical care options. The homeless don’t have that luxury, if they can even receive any care at all.

But at the Pacific Beach United Methodist Church in San Diego, Knoles and the areas other homeless are being offered free acupuncture every week.

“Primarily, it’s for chronic illness and injuries,” Robin Kohler of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and the UC San Diego School of Medicine told the San Diego Tribune. “A lot of them had injuries sustained on a job where there was no insurance.”

Acupuncture is an especially beneficial treatment for folks like Knoles because of its versatility. Acupuncture is well known for it’s effectiveness at treating physical pain, but also emotional and mental conditions like insomnia, stress and anxiety, and depression—which our homeless are unfortunately susceptible to.

“I liked it so much, I kept coming in,” Knoles said, speaking to acupuncture’s wide-ranging benefits. “I wanted to keep doing it. It was not just healing my back, but other pains I was having.”

Hopefully, other locations around the country will follow this community’s lead and help those out who need our help the most.

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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Happy Spring! Beat Your Allergies With Acupuncture

Spring has sprung! You know what that means. The arrival of warm weather, new spring threads, trees budding, flowers blooming, the return of baseball season. But unfortunately, for many of us, that also means the return of dry, itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, runny noses—all that comes with seasonal allergies.

Nothing can be more frustrating than when allergies hit at an unexpected time and interfere with enjoying the newly arrived nice weather and all the opportunity it brings. The good thing is, there’s time to prepare before the worst of allergy season arrives. And we’re not talking about stocking up on the over the counter allergy meds you see in those lame commercials.

This year, prevent and treat your allergies with the holistic approach of acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a reliable and lasting remedy for allergies because it does two concurrent, crucial things. 1) It treats the symptoms brought on by allergies (those runny noses and itchy throats, etc.) and, 2) it addresses the imbalances in the body’s energy that lead the body to be susceptible to seasonal allergies in the first place. Diet, exercise, pollutants, stress and more can effect the Wei Qi in our body, which is our cellular and molecular defense system. As Dr. Maureen Lamerdin writes: “Wei Qi's function is to protect and defend the body against foreign substances. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes inadequate attacks from bacteria, viruses and allergens get through our Wei Qi's defense system thereby producing symptoms.”

So this year, make sure your Wei Qi’s defense system is operating at its optimal level. An acupuncture regimen will ensure that it is, and that you can enjoy all this coming spring has to offer free from allergies.

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.

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.

Facial Acupuncture for Migranes

For those who suffer from migraines, the pain is all too familiar.

The pressure, pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light is enough to make anyone seek any treatment that may be able to help.

But before resorting to harsh pharmaceuticals, it’s important to investigate other options that might help.

A writer for Bustle did just that. Just today, she shared her quest to treat her migraines with her readers — 30 days of acupuncture.

While we already know acupuncture can help relieve the pain and frequency of migraines and headaches, her experience was affirming.

For her 30 day experiment, she received acupuncture treatments at least once a week for four weeks. She saw different acupuncturists within the same group, and tried various modalities — but most days, facial acupuncture was the treatment of choice.

Ironically enough, if it was, “a particularly bad headache or migraine day, I opted solely for a headache treatment, which did not include needles in my face at all.”

The writer, Rosanne Salvatore, also monitored skin changes as well while not making any other changes in regards to diet or lifestyle.

The result? Pretty amazing.

She said, "There was one moment near the end of my 30 days where I actually couldn't remember the last time I had a headache. I will think back on that moment fondly, forever.”

After her last session, she went ten days headache free which was, the longest stretch I can remember in a long time.”

She notes that at the time of publication, “it's been about five weeks since my last treatment and I'm back to getting headaches about one to two times a week.”