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The Acupuncture Map

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Acupuncture has a powerful ability to address pain all over the body. Often, the acupuncture treatment will focus on areas that are far away from the pain. This is because an acupuncturist can use acupuncture channels to address pain and illness throughout the body. Acupuncture channels connect different parts of the body and run along different places in the body. The acupuncture channels create a type of map that interconnects different regions of the body. Acupuncture Channels I like to think of the acupuncture channels as an map of the body to address pain in specific areas. The acupuncturist will try to locate the area of the pain and determine which acupuncture channel is effected. The most powerful acupuncture treatment

Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick

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It’s that time of year again. Resolution time. Are you going to get in shape? Eat healthier? Take care of that chronic back pain? New years is a natural time to think about the future. That’s a wonderful aspect to New Years resolutions. It gives us a natural moment to think about change. We all know the problem with New Year’s resolutions. They’re made to be broken. So what to do? 1. It’s about change The key to a new years resolution is not to think of it as a special occasion to make a change. You’re just ready to improve yourself, that’s it. 2. Make it small One key way to stick with a resolution is to make it

Examining the Placebo Effect

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For the last 50 years, the placebo effect has been a dirty word. Real interventions make a physiological change in the body. Placebos do nothing but convince the patient that something is different. Reality states otherwise. Ted Katpchuk, an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine doctor who focuses on the placebo effect in his research, wants to change all that. What is a Placebo? One of the difficult and fundamental questions is what is a placebo? We’ve come to believe a placebo is an inert intervention. A sugar pill. In most clinical trials of medication, or even with some physical interventions, a group of people with a given condition are given active therapy or medication. The outcomes in this group are compared

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

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This is one of the top five common questions in my NYC acupuncture clinic. Acupuncture does not hurt. We use very thin sterile solid needles which means they do not feel like a doctor’s needle. Upon insertion, some points can feel a prick, but many do not feel anything. The acupuncture needles remain in the acupuncture points for 20-30 minutes. Patients can feel numbness, tingling, warmth, heaviness, or movement at the acupuncture point. All of these feelings are good. At some acupuncture points the muscles will twitch. This is particularly true when using acupuncture points such as GB 30 for treating acupuncture for sciatica and acupuncture for chronic low back pain. Acupuncture is very relaxing and people will often fall

Acupuncture and the Healing Process

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I like to say that the acupuncture healing process is like hitting the reset switch. It works in the body to correct once healthy pathways that were knocked off kilter. There is a process to getting to the root cause of the issue in order to reset the body. Like peeling off layers to get to to the core issue. Many patients come to me with intense symptoms, often severe pain. The first goal is to reduce the pain to make them comfortable. Then we work on correcting the root issue causing the pain which can lead to long term relief. In acupuncture and Chinese medicine we call this treating the root and the branch, that is treating the branch

Do You Always Use the Same Acupuncture Points?

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This is one of the most common questions I get in my New York City acupuncture clinic. The acupuncture point prescriptions will differ between patients, but also will change over time within one treatment plan. Acupuncture is highly focused on treating the correct imbalance at the correct time. As the acupuncture treatment progresses, the imbalances will change and the acupuncture point prescription will change. For example, in acupuncture for overactive bladder the initial acupuncture treatment will focus on relaxing the bladder and calming the mind. After the intense discomfort and symptoms are corrected, the acupuncture will focus on boosting the energy, or qi, in the body to prevent the symptoms from returning. The first part of the acupuncture treatment calms

How Cold Causes Joint Pain

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Winter is here. It comes as no surprise that the cold and damp weather means achy and painful joints and an exacerbation of arthritis. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have understood this seasonal phenomena for thousands of years. According to acupuncture, cold and damp can become stuck in the joints disrupting the normal function and circulation which leads to pain. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work to warm the body and increase circulation leading to a decrease in pain. Warming the acupuncture points and acupuncture channels helps to dislodge the cold. How can acupuncture warm the joints? In the west, most people think of acupuncture as the use of acupuncture needles with acupuncture points. But really, acupuncture therapy encompasses much more. In

Living with Bacteria

Lactic Acid Bacteria helps to ferment yogurt and vegetable ferments

Bacteria are everywhere. In the soil, on our skin, in our guts, in our eyes, and reproductive organs. Everywhere. In fact, our bodies have more than 10 times the amount of microbial life in us than our own cells. In the last century, bacteria have gotten a bad wrap. Many bacteria are needed for healthy digestion, immune system function, and healthy reproduction among others. So rather than having a war on bacteria, cohabitation with bacteria is gaining ground in the scientific world. Recently in the New York Times, the author Michael Pollan wrote a piece about our the latest information regarding the microbiome, the life of the microbes that live with us, and theories on how they help us stay

Eat and Cook Your Vegetables

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Nobody debates that a healthy diet includes a lot of vegetables. But how to eat them is another story. Chinese medicine has long been an advocate of eating cooked vegetables over raw. This is because cooked vegetables are easier to digest, allowing the body to more easily absorb the nutrients. And cooked vegetables are easier on the digestive system preventing unwanted symptoms like bloating (more on this below). In this week’s Times, an article examines how cooking vegetables can improve their vitamin absorbability. As one can expect, not all vegetables or vitamins in the vegetables act alike. For example, boiling and steaming vegetables can help with the release of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K as

Acupuncture Helps Prevent Colds

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During the change of seasons a lot of people are worried about getting sick. I am cautious too, because during the change of seasons we are especially vulnerable; a sneeze, cough, or a cold wind can easily give you a cold. Acupuncture can help prevent a cold by improving your immunity through boosting your energy, or qi. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are powerful therapies to build up immunity and qi. How Are Qi and Immunity Related? As you all know, the immune system is responsible for protecting you from all types of invaders like viruses and bacteria. In Chinese medicine, immunity comes from qi, the body’s energy. Qi is similar to our general idea of energy in the West. It