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Balance as Health: Yin and Yang


Yin and Yang, Balance as Health One of my secret indulgences is watching food television programs. In a recent international baking competition, the American team created a cake based on the theme of yin and yang. It occurred to me that what started as a Chinese philosophy has now become a part of the world’s vocabulary, but few people understand this concept in the context of Chinese philosophy and medicine. Origins of Yin and Yang Originally, the terms yin and yang referred to the two faces of a sun-bathed mountain. They called the sunlit face yang and the shady side yin. Philosophers observed that while these two sides are opposites, they are inextricably linked. When there is light, there is

Why Heat Causes Headaches?


Summer is finally here in New York.  Most people are happy about the hotter weather but for many with chronic migraine and tension headaches warmer weather will trigger a headache. It’s not just you alone.  Many research studies on weather patterns causing headaches show an increase in temperature to be a significant factor in triggering headaches.  An increase in humidity was also a factor for most types of headaches. Acupuncture doctors have observed this phenomena for centuries. Weather and climatic factors are one of the major causes of headaches in acupuncture.  Acupuncture uses the weather patterns — wind, dampness, heat, cold, and dryness—as descriptions of the pattern of symptoms you are experiencing. Why does weather affect headaches so much? While Western science cannot fully

Preparing for Your First Acupuncture Treatment

acupuncture on back

Coming in for acupuncture for the first time?  Here’s are the most commonly asked questions. What should I wear? People come to their acupuncture treatment dressed in everything from business suits and dresses to sweatpants. We will have gowns and towels so you can change if need be. Many people prefer to wear loose clothing so they do not need to change.  Most acupuncture treatments begin on your arms and legs so changing is not always needed. For specific joint pain conditions, such as back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain, Joseph will have to look at your posture and balance.  If is helpful to wear shorts or boxers for men and a sports bra for women. For skin conditions,

The Taste of Chinese Herbs

herbal formula with ingreidents

The flavors of Chinese herbs are more than just what they taste like.  It describes the describe their qualities and actions which the herbs have on health.  Sweet, bitter, acrid, sour, and bland are the most common flavors with Chinese medicine.  They each have a specific function within the herbal formula. For example, sweet herbs tonify the body’s energy. This does not mean the herbs have sugar but they are sweet in nature.  Some sweet herbs do taste pretty sweet such as licorice but others, such as astragalus, does not taste very sweet at all.   While bitter herbs clear heat. Chinese medicine also describes some functions of the herbs according to temperature.  Historically as Chinese medicine physicians were discovering new

Acupuncture for muscle rehabilitation

man running

Many people find it hard to recover from an injury even with rounds of therapy. Stellar athletes, weekend warriors, people working in an office with with repetitive stress injuries,  and older individuals can all have problems recovering from an injury.  Many of my patients have tried dozens of therapies before finding their way to our acupuncture office. Electro-acupuncture has a unique effect to help individuals who have stubborn injuries and chronic pain. Not only does acupuncture reduce pain and inflammation, but acupuncture also stimulates the growth of muscle tissue. In a report at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting suggests that electro-acupuncture helps to stimulate muscle tissue regrowth.  The research group showed that acupuncture reversed the decrease in muscle mass in

Too Many Painkillers Maybe Causing Your Headache

pain killers

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

blog acupuncture for itch 1

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

chinese new year lantern

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