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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

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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

Breathing Exercises for Stress Relief and Relaxation

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Back in eighth grade, Mr. Hankinson, our shell-shocked gym teacher, used to yell in my ear, “Stand up straight, stick your chest out. Why are you breathing with your belly? Only BABIES breathe with their bellies. Breath into your chest like a MAN.” He was right. Babies do breath into their abdomen. But good old Mr. Hankinson did not know that belly breathing is more natural and relaxing. Breathing with your belly maximizes the use of your diaphragm muscle, which is located between the chest and abdomen, and is the primary muscle of respiration. Natural diaphragm breathing does not draw air into your stomach, but rather contracts the diaphragm, causing the abdomen to rise and fall. This reduces the use

What is an Acupuncture Point?

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The science of acupuncture is fascinating and there is a lifetime of exploring to be done.  Yet, it does not tell us completely about the power of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine.  The power of acupuncture lies in the theory behind acupuncture and the skill of the acupuncturist in applying it. The skill and success of the practitioner is based upon how they apply this theory. Acupuncture Channels and Qi Flow The core of acupuncture theory is the channel system and network. Some people like to describe the channels like the meridians on a globe revealing the geographic relationship between parts of the body. They are somewhat different than meridians, because while they travel on the surface of the skin, they

The Best Acupuncturist in New York City

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Who is the best Acupuncturist in New York City? This is a great question, but impossible question to answer. Just like there is no one best physician for every condition, there is no best acupuncturist for every health concern. It is really about finding the best acupuncturist for your needs. There are a few questions to consider. 1. What is their Education and Experience? Education and experience are obviously important factor for being a good clinician and acupuncturist. After finishing Touro’s Graduate Program in Oriental Medicine, which is a 4 years master’s degree, I continued on to a postgraduate training in China at the Hunan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When I came back to become an NYC Acupuncturist, I

Acupuncture Treats Depression

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Acupuncture is a holistic medicine which works to treat both the mind and the body.  Acupuncture is very effective at treating depression without medications or side effects.  Recently, a new study shows that acupuncture treatment for depression not only works quickly but also has long lasting results. In this study, 755 patients were given acupuncture, psychological counseling, or standard care which is depression medications. After only 3 months with an average of 10 visits, the depression levels in the acupuncture group were significantly less than in the group that took medications. This reduction in depression was not only fast but it remained constant at a 1 year follow up from the acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture for Depression Acupuncture treatment for depression