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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

Itching is an annoying and curious phenomenon.  Your body feels an annoying sensation so you irritate the skin by scratching.   It makes you feel extremely uncomfortable. This causes pain.  The pain trumps the itching sensation and you no longer feel the annoyance.  But the scratching causes inflammation and irritation in the area.  The scratch causes more itch and the cycle continues. Pain trumps itch because the sensations are felt through many of the same nerve endings.  Although researchers looking at itch specifically are finding more itch specific pathways in the spinal cord and brain. Itching takes a toll on people’s lives.  This annoying symptom keeps people awake at night, distracts from daily activities, and leads to habitual irritation of the

The art of electro-acupuncture is in the details of how one uses the therapy.  An effective electro-acupuncture treatment comes from what electric stimulation machine is used, proper selection of acupuncture points, how long you use the stimulation, and the proper frequency. Acupuncture Microstim In our New York City Acupuncture clinic, we use the Pantheon Research microstim machine.  This is one the highest quality machines ensure a safe and effective treatment.  Microstim means that the amplitude of the electric stimulation is much smaller.  This is much more comfortable for the patient. Acupuncture Point Selection Selecting the best acupuncture points is important when using the electro-acupuncture.  The acupuncture points should be chosen based upon the type of pain, the location of pain,

I treat many people for eczema in my clinic.  Recently I have been writing a series on acupuncture and Chinese herbs for eczema. There is not very much research on the subject, we certainly need more.  My mentor at  Mt. Sinai, Dr. Xiu Min Li, has done significant work on Chinese herbs for immunology.  I wanted to share a story about Chinese herbs for treating eczema from Web MD about a small study in her lab.   The results are positive and show the herbs are safe.  This is encouraging to expand this research to larger studies. Read More: Acupuncture and Herbs for Eczema Acupuncture Calms Eczema Itch

The National Institutes of Health just published a very good short article on acupuncture, acupuncture research, what we know and what we don’t. It features a number of  excellent acupuncture researchers discussing the positive work and challenges in acupuncture research. One of my favorite researchers is Karen Sherman, who researches discusses the challenges of a placebo acupuncture needle and questions if it is possible to create a reliable placebo for acupuncture.   Richard Harris also discusses the placebo needling and how placebo studies may reveal some mechanisms of acupuncture.  His studies have looked at the physiology of acupuncture and placebo acupuncture in fibromyalgia patients.   The clinical studies show that both acupuncture and placebo acupuncture work, but he shows that have very

For many years now, researchers have been looking at how acupuncture works for pain relief.  Often these acupuncture studies will use an fMRI scanner that tracks activity and blood flow in the brain. A recent study coming out of Germany, which was presented yesterday at the Radiological Society of North America, at the showed that acupuncture regulates the pain mechanism in brain as well as the expectation of pain relief in the brain. Normal people without pain received electric shocks on one of their feet.    On the other foot, they used acupuncture to try to block this pain reaction.  Looking at the scan of the brain, it showed that the acupuncture effectively blocked the sensation of the pain in

Previously, I have written about acupuncture and chronic pelvic pain syndrome and chronic prostatitis (CP/CPPS).  This condition causes chronic pain, urinary symptoms, and sexual dysfunction in men.  I use acupuncture very often to relieve these symptoms. A number of small studies focusing on acupuncture for CP/CPPS have shown positive results.  I previously wrote about a study using electroacupuncture.  Today, I will tell you about another study that also showed acupuncture to  reduced pain, urinary symptoms, and improved overall quality of life (1). The Study A small pilot study was created using a standardized acupuncture treatment based upon traditional principles of TCM theory.  The basic idea is that when there is pain, there is an imbalance in the circulation of qi

Overactive bladder is a syndrome characterized by the frequent, strong, and sudden urge to urinate. The syndrome can seriously disrupt your life by interrupting your work and make you avoid social situations. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been treating syndromes of frequent urination for over 2000 years. How Acupuncture Treats Overactive Bladder   Acupuncture helps reduce the symptoms of overactive bladder by relaxing the nerves and muscles associated with the bladder.  Overactive bladder may be caused from bladder spasm creating the sudden need to urinate or a sudden feeling of urination when the bladder is filling, although it is not totally full. Contraction of the pelvic floor muscles may also be a factor.  Acupuncture