Why Olympic Athletes Use Cupping

cupping on the upper backThose little bruises on Michael Phelps shoulders stimulated huge interest in cupping therapy.

It started the Olympic cupping craze!

Cupping is extremely useful for athletes and sport enthusiasts (not to mention those with chronic back pain or neck pain).  This is because it helps with pain, soreness, stiffness and immobility.

How does cupping work?

Cupping creates a vacuum in a glass or plastic cup.  This pulls the skin, connective tissue, and muscle up and results in the classic cupping bruise.

Cupping can help muscle soreness and pain after a workout.  Cupping has been shown to reduce inflammation from a strenuous Read More

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 Long is an Acupuncture Treatment?

One of the important logistical questions about acupuncture is how long is a treatment.

In my NYC acupuncture clinic, the first visit lasts about 75-90 minutes. The following acupuncture visits are about 45-60 minutes.

In the first visit, we have an examination, an acupuncture treatment, which is often followed by acupressure.  Other therapies may be included such as cupping or gua sha.

The follow acupuncture sessions are very similar, but the examination is shorter. Periodically, I will conduct physical exams to see how the treatment is progressing.… Read More

Back Pain after a Car Accident

Chronic back pain and neck pain often develops after a car accident.   It can happen directly after the accident or gradually over a period of time.   Sometimes, people with chronic neck and back pain just doesn’t seem to get better, no matter what they try, even if there are no findings on the x-rays and MRI tests.

Acupuncture is very effective at reducing chronic back pain after a car accident.

In acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine  the concept of circulation is unique and can be the reason acupuncture works when other therapies do not.

Acupuncture Meridians

The body is interconnected … Read More

Car Accident Back Pain

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 … Read More

Acupuncture for N.F.L. Players

By Keith Allison (originally posted to Flickr as 112606 206) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsEveryone in my acupuncture clinic is talking about the article in last week’s New York Times.

This article tells how NFL players are now regularly using acupuncture to help heal from injuries and recover from their grueling schedule.

Many pro athletes are now using acupuncture as part of their health maintenance program.  Acupuncture can help serious athletes by keeping muscles loose, decreasing inflammation, and increasing circulation.

Of course, it also can treat specific ailments as well, like rotator cuff injuries, neck pain, sciatica, and elbow pain.

You Don’t need to be a Pro Athlete to Benefit

Read More

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for Asthma

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have long been used to treat asthma.  It is especially important during the cold and flu season to keep asthma under control.  For people with asthma, common colds not only cause sinus headaches and cough, it can also lead to wheezing, asthma attacks, and a cycle of colds which is difficult to stop.

In Chinese medicine, a lack of energy, or qi, is the most common imbalance that leads to asthma.  When there is too little qi, people are often very susceptible to getting a cold or flu.

Acupuncture helps to treat asthma by boosting your … Read More

Acupuncture Therapies: Moxibustion, Cupping, and Gua Sha

Acupuncture is a powerful and versatile therapy.

Acupuncture therapy is more than just acupuncture.  We will also include techniques such as moxibustion, gua sha, and cupping.

Moxibustion

Moxibustion is the burning of an herb call mugwort close to specific acupuncture points or on the needle itself.  It is used to warm and add energy to the acupuncture point.  It also is good for moving stagnation.

Moxibustion may be used to joint pain to remove the cold from the joints. It is also famously used in pregnancy with breech birth.

Moxibustion can be done by warming the needle, as … Read More

Acupuncture and Cupping for an Acute Injury

These last six weeks have been monsoon season here in New York City. Everything was soaked, soggy, and slippery.

And that makes for poor bike riding conditions. A few weeks ago, I was riding home from my Tai Ji class in central park. I was trying to be cautious, but when I hit a muddy spot on a turn my bike slipped out form under me.

Splat, I fell

I fell right on my elbow.

I was worried. Is this going to require a serious rehab time?  I knew, no mater what, it soon swell up badly and needed quick … Read More

Chinese cupping at the Olympics

Back in 2008, the Olympics were in China.  This was only 2 years since I had been back from training in Hunan China.

It was the first time many people were introduced to cupping and other Chinese health practices such as tai ji and qi gong.

Many of the swimmers are using cupping to help with their back pain. Since then swimmers and other athletes all over the world have begun to use cupping.

What is Cupping?

Cupping is an ancient therapy which reduces pain and promotes healing by increasing the circulation. In the procedure is quite simple and … Read More