Is Acupuncture Hocus Pocus?

acupuncture on back“I used to think that acupuncture was hocus pocus.  But now I am happy I tried,” a once skeptical now relieved patient said to me.

People new to acupuncture are sometimes wary because they think it’s magical.  But after experiencing an acupuncture treatment, they usually feel very different.

This is because acupuncture relaxes the body, decreases pain, and regulates the nervous system, so you physically feel different after an acupuncture treatment.

Research has shown that acupuncture works by regulating pain relieving chemicals in the brain , modifying pain patterns within the nervous system, as well as stimulating the

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Acupuncture Takes Care of a Back Spasm

Acupuncture close on backI 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 … Read More

How to Fix My Allergies that Ruin MY Bike Ride: Acupuncture Points

It finally warmed up here in New York (well kind of) and I was out for a bike ride in Central Park.  It was a beautiful sunny blue sky day.   The tulips are in bloom and buds on the trees are coming out.  Everyone is excited to get out on their bike or go for a walk in the park.

Spring is in the air.

Spring being in the air also means pollen is too.  During my ride, my throat became a little scratchy.  My eyes were becoming dry and irritated.   After I returned home, my sinuses felt full and … Read More

Acupressure For Self Healing is Back at the Open Center

acupressureThe introductory class for Acupressure for Self Healing at the New York Open Center is on Monday November 5th 2012 at 6pm.  

Interested in learning more about how you can use acupressure to relieve headaches, menstrual cramps, digestive problems, and improve overall health? Then you should come to my class at the New York Open Center in November 2012.

What is acupressure?

  • Acupressure is a traditional Chinese healing art in which physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points with the hand (rather than with needles as in acupuncture), so it can be practiced by everyone.

How does acupressure work?

  • Acupressure
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What Makes a Great Acupuncture Treatment

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 include:

  • What acupuncture points to use
  • Length of the acupuncture treatment
  • Comfortable positioning
  • Electro-acupuncture
  • Cupping

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 … Read More

How to Choose Acupuncture Points?

Patients are always curious how acupuncturists choose the correct acupuncture points.

The basic idea with acupuncture is to correct the underlying imbalance in the body.  By correcting the imbalances we stimulate the body to heal itself.

As an acupuncturist, I will determine the imbalance through the intake and examination.  For example, if someone is coming in for a migraine headache which is caused by a 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.

Evolving Acupuncture

I find … Read More

Electro-Acupuncture for Pain Relief

Acupuncture is a constantly evolving art.  Electro-acupuncture was only developed within the last 100 years.

Electro-acupuncture can be used for many conditions such as hormone imbalances, menstural cramps, poor digestion, stroke, Parkinsons and other issues.   But it is most often used to augment the pain relieving and anti-inflammatory aspects of acupuncture.(1,2) The pain relief with electro-acupuncture can be so dramatic it has been used for certain types of surgery in China.

Electro-acupuncture is very similar to regular acupuncture.  That is the acupuncture point selection is generally the same.  Electro-acupuncture provides additional small amount electric stimulation to the acupuncture needles.  The … Read More

Acupuncture and Moxibustion

The Meaning of Zhen Jiu ( 针灸)

Moxibustion on HandAcupuncture is not just acupuncture.  In fact, the word for acupuncture in Chinese, Zhen Jiu, actually  translates to “acupuncture and moxibustion.” This  shows how central moxibustion is within acupuncture.

Moxibustion is the warming of acupuncture points or needles. This is done through burning an herb called mugwort.

Moxibustion is a wonderful treatment for chronic pain or chronic fatigue syndrome.

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.

We also use … Read More

Why Cold Causes Joint Pain

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 … Read More

Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Literary Medicine

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine is a comprehensive medical system with it own diagnosis and treatment.  The terminology and language is also unique.

Sometimes, acupuncture language may sound a little magical.  We may say that a headache is caused by liver qi stagnation in one person but in another person it may be from heat.

Similarly, anxiety can come from heart blood vacuity but it also can be related to heat irritating the heart.

It is very important that the language and theory is consistent throughout the acupuncture diagnosis and treatment.  In fact, if the wrong diagnosis is … Read More