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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

Acupuncture close on back

I used to have back pain and back spasms on a regular basis. Thanks to acupuncture and tai ji practice I have not had a back spasm in years. Until last week. A lot has been going on recently with me, moving into our new acupuncture office, we remodeled our apartment, and we have a little one on the way. I’ve had a lot on my mind. Also the New York weather has been humid which tightens my back muscles. When my back seized up, the pain was mostly on the right side of my lumbar. My lower back was so tight I could not stand straight and the pain was intense in my lumbar and sacrum. I could barely

The process of treating back pain with acupuncture, or any pain for that matter, is complex.  As an acupuncturist, we have many factors to consider in the treatment. Important factors for the acupuncturist to decide are what acupuncture points to use, how long the needles stay in, what position the patient should lie, the use of electro-acupuncture, additional use of cups, and other factors. 1. How to choose acupuncture points: Acupuncture points can be chosen based on location of the pain, type of the pain, and the underlying imbalances causes the pain.  Some pain, such as pain from sciatica, is best relieved by acupuncture locally in the lower back, around the sacrum, and throughout the course of the sciatic nerve.

Patients in my New York Acupuncture clinic are always curious how acupuncturists choose the correct acupuncture points.  There are a number of ways to choose the acupuncture points. The basic idea with acupuncture is to correct the underlying imbalance in the body.  This can help to stimulate the body to heal itself.  We acupuncturists will determine the imbalance by our examination.  For example, if there is lack of circulation  of the energy, what we call qi stagnation, we’ll choose points to move the qi.  A common combination for moving the qi is Liv 3 and LI 4. I find that acupuncture is most effective by changing the focus of the treatment overtime. At first, we may focus on releasing tension

The Meaning of Zhen Jiu ( 针灸) Acupuncture is not just acupuncture.  In fact, the word for acupuncture in Chinese, Zhen Jiu, actually  translates to “acupuncture and moxibustion”  which shows how central moxibustion is within acupuncture. Moxibustion is the warming of acupuncture points or needles.  Most often, this is done through burning an herb called mugwort.  It can also be done with heat lamps as well as herbal lotions. In my office, we use smokeless moxibustion because it is treated and does not create much smoke. How does Moxibustion work? Just like with acupuncture, moxibustion focuses on correcting the underlying imbalance in the body. Because it is warming, generally moxibustion is used when there is cold in the body.  Moxibustion

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

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

This is the fourth article in a series focusing on acupuncture for back pain. Car accidents, injuries, and training are not the only reason people develop back pain. Stress is also be a significant cause of back pain. Acupuncture is very effective for stress induced back pain because it can address both the physical and mental aspects of the cause of the pain. This patient came to me with chronic back pain on the lower left side. When I asked where the pain was specifically, she pointed to the sacro iliac joint. This is a very common location for lower back pain.  Stress also causes back pain by creating muscle tension and spasms. She had back pain for a number

This is the third article in a series focusing on acupuncture for back pain treatment. Back pain commonly challenges serious athletes.   This next case study discusses a young man who was training for a marathon when he developed back pain. This patient came to me after developing back pain while training for a marathon.  He was building up strength and running time when he developed pain in the lower back on the right side.  The pain was most intense after running and sometimes traveled down through the butt.  Back stiffness and spasms were also a problem. After a visit to his orthopedist and an MRI, he was diagnosed with a bulging disc. Acupuncture treatment for lower back pain We began

This is the second article in a series focusing on acupuncture for the treatment of back pain. This is a case explaining how acupuncture can treat back pain after a car accident. The patient is a young man in his early thirties who came to me for acupuncture for his back pain after being in a car accident.  The car accident had occurred over 2 years before he began treatment.  Despite therapy, the pain persisted.  The pain and tightness was focused in his lower back that sometimes radiated down his legs. His back pain was very persistent, although he had no disc problems or nerve impairments diagnosed on his MRI. The pain was very intense, it hurt all day during