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Too Many Painkillers Maybe Causing Your Headache

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Many people with chronic headaches take pain killers almost daily. A report from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the United Kingdom states that taking too many pain killers is actually making your headaches worse. The guidelines define overuse of pain medication for more than 15 days out of the month. Types of chronic headaches include migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches among others. What happens is the nervous system becomes accustom to the medication, which makes it require more and more medication for relief. But taking more of the medication may actually lead to another more intense headache.  This can lead to a cycle of headaches and pain relievers causing more headaches. The guidelines suggest that

Cigna Insurance

Alban Acupuncture PC is pleased to announce we are now in network Acupuncture Providers with Cigna.  If you have insurance coverage through Cigna and would like acupuncture, please call 212-319-5757 or e-mail us to qualify your benefits. We will need some information from you including your full name, insurance number, and date of birth to verify the insurance. Be sure to include the best contact number should we need more information. Our office must qualify your insurance prior to your visit. We cannot use the insurance for acupuncture unless we have first qualified the benefits.    This is because contacting your insurance company takes time and our office cannot do it at  the time of your appointment. Read more about New York Acupuncture Insurance Coverage.

A Brief History of Chinese Medicine: The Beginning

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have roots over 3000 years old.  The oldest known book of Chinese medicine is from 2500 years ago and is called the Huang Di Nei Jing, which translates to the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic. Much of that theory still influences acupuncture and Chinese medicine.   The birth of the Chinese medicine tradition occurred when the Chinese developed the viewpoint that disease is caused by forces in the natural world.  And through the healthy choices, we can influence our own health.  This post is based upon ideas from Paul Unschuld’s fabulous book, Medicine in China. Originally, disease theory in China was based upon a shamanistic view that illness was caused by evil spirits. The first record we

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?

Acupuncture Meridians

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