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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

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Many people find it hard to recover from an injury, even with rounds of therapy. Stellar athletes, weekend warriors, people trying to stay in shape, and those with repetitive stress from work all can have problems. After finding that other techniques have not worked find their way to our acupuncture office. Acupuncture has a unique effect to help individuals who have stubborn injuries and chronic pain which have not improved despite treatment. 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 acupuncture helps to stimulate muscle tissue regrowth.  The research group showed that acupuncture reversed the decrease in muscle mass in

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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 is mysterious, acupuncture is unique, but above all acupuncture is practical. Often patients come in my acupuncture clinic and they are surprised how practical it is. And the main reason that acupuncture is practical is that it works. It’s not about the body’s energy or imbalances that are the root of your problem. It’s about feeling better and staying healthy. Feel Better, Get Acupuncture Acupuncture is about staying healthy, but the way it works is by correcting imbalances in the body. When the imbalance is removed you feel better. The acupuncture is just reminding the body how to be healthy. When a patient comes into the our office, we assess what the problems is, where and what imbalance is

“Can I get acupuncture during my lunch break?” is a common question we get when new patients call. The answer is Yes.  Many of our patients enjoy coming to our calm, serene office for their lunch hour.  An acupuncture break is wonderful way to relax and stay healthy during your workday. One of the great qualities of acupuncture is that it can help a specific health concern and you also feel relaxed.  Come in for your back pain, neck and shoulder pain, or  headache and you will leave feeling relaxed and balanced. Our office is conveniently located in Midtown near Grand Central.  An acupuncture treatment takes about 50 minutes and we pride ourselves on running on time.  The new patient

Yesterday, an acupressure student of mine asked “What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?”. This is a good question that deserves a proper explanation. Chinese herbal therapies have been used for centuries for improving health and treating disease. Chinese herbs work to bring the body’s systems back into balance so the body can heal itself, naturally. The Chinese herbal pharmacy consists of over 500 herbs. Herbs are taken as combinations of 5-15 medicinal substances, which is called an herbal formula. Each formula is tailored to correct the specific imbalance that is the cause of the illness. The herbal formula can be taken in a number of forms: raw herbs, pills, tinctures, or granules. “Raw herbs” are dried herbs which are then cooked

This morning NPR ran an interesting story discussing weight loss and food choices for women of the Baby Boomer generation. The take home message is simple, focus on what you can eat.  Rather than bemoaning all the desserts and rich foods you cannot indulge in, think about increasing the fruits and vegetables.  This will help you to be satisfied so it is easier to cut down on dessert.  Not that you can’t have dessert, but a smaller portion and less often is better. Simple choices and voila, you have yourself a healthy diet.  These healthy habits will follow you around, even when going out to eat at a restaurant.  

Yesterday in the Times there was an informative article about the corruption issues with organic food production. Big companies have been getting into the organic market for years because it makes big profits. The author highlights how many corporations don’t care much about organic standards and healthy food. They care more about their profits. For example many organic companies would be happy to have additives and herbicides, not caring about pollution or quality of the produce.  As long as it increases profits. There are exceptions. Eden organic (I love their beans) maintains pride in their product and organic food. As a consumer it is hard to know what to purchase. My recommendation is to skip organic and go directly to

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

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. In last week’s New Yorker, an article focuses on the placebo and the scholars who think about and examine the placebo. 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