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Top 3 Surprises About Acupuncture

By Sara Calabro

As someone who’s an acupuncturist, who runs a website about acupuncture and talks to other acupuncturists on a daily basis, it’s easy to become convinced that everyone is an educated acupuncture junkie. But lately, I’ve been reminded that this is not the case.

In recent months, I’ve found myself having more frequent conversations with people who have never had acupuncture. It’s been a great reminder of how foreign acupuncture—the experience of getting a treatment as well as the underlying theory—still is to the majority of Westerners.

Myths and misconceptions about acupuncture are rampant in a society whose medical culture is dominated by pharmaceuticals, surgeries, and other quick-fix interventions. In my recent encounters with the uninitiated, three themes come up again and again.

Here are the top three things that surprise people about acupuncture. Keep reading

Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

By Eric Baumgartner

You have probably heard of adrenal fatigue. It’s a buzz phrase in the health community right now, and no wonder—if we could slap one diagnosis on our culture at large, adrenal fatigue would be it.

In my last several years of practicing acupuncture—across many different settings, from the most casual and community-oriented environments to luxurious spas and sterile medical offices—adrenal fatigue shows up in the large majority.

But when we say someone is suffering from adrenal fatigue, what are we actually talking about?

Adrenal fatigue is a root imbalance that causes various systems throughout the body to break down. It is the source of many, if not most, of the symptoms patients commonly report: fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, hormone imbalances, and poor digestion. Keep reading

Make Way for The Acupuncture Bus

By Sara Calabro

If chefs can do it, why not acupuncturists? Boulder, Colorado-based acupuncturist Noah Goldstein, who is about to launch a food-cart-inspired acupuncture bus, believes they can.

Goldstein’s Bus, currently being renovated and scheduled to open in early April, will be a self-contained, mobile acupuncture practice. The Bus will be parked at various locations around the Boulder area, helping to spread awareness and improve accessibility of acupuncture. Treatments will be offered on a sliding scale.

AcuTake recently spoke with Goldstein about his idea for The Acupuncture Bus and what he hopes it can accomplish. Keep reading

Why Are You Doing That Point? Lung 7

By Sara Calabro

You’re going to want to pay attention to this edition of Why Are You Doing That Point?, an ongoing series that explains popular acupuncture points.

It’s late January, and many people around you—and maybe you as well—are getting sick. It is prime time for catching and spreading colds and flus. Now more than ever, your immune system can use a little extra love. And I’ve got just the acupuncture point for you.

Lung 7—also known as Lieque (Chinese name), Broken Sequence (English translation) and LU7 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located on the thumb-side edge of your wrist.

To find Lung 7, make a thumbs-up sign. When you do that, you’ll see a depression at the base of your thumb (referred to as the anatomical snuffbox). From that depression, Lung 7 is located approximately two finger widths up your arm. Slowly glide your finger up until you feel a slight depression between two tendons (see picture below). That’s Lung 7. Keep reading

14 Things Acupuncture Can Help You Achieve in 2014

By Sara Calabro

Happy 2014! The new year is officially underway, so it’s time to get serious about any changes or improvements that you’ve committed to making in 2014. How are you going to be healthier? In what ways will you be different at this time next year?

Acupuncture can help you get to that desired place. It can make you healthier and happier—in ways you probably never imagined.

Through receiving acupuncture, becoming aware of its principles, and incorporating acupuncture-inspired self-care techniques into your life, you can enjoy physical and emotional benefits that may have eluded you in the past.

This is your year! Here are 14 things that acupuncture can help you achieve in 2014. Keep reading

Improve Your Sex Life With Acupuncture

By Marisa Fanelli

Acupuncturists treat the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a critical distinction between acupuncturists and Western doctors, who generally focus exclusively on specific parts of the body. The mainstream approach to healthcare, separating body from mind, can result in patients failing to mention problems that affect them on multiple levels.

Issues around sex—not having it, having it but not wanting to have it, being unable to have it—are often swept under the rug in discussions with MDs. Acupuncturists, on the other hand, ask and hear a lot about people’s sex lives.

The multifaceted nature of sexuality means that many systems throughout the body play a role, and seemingly unrelated symptoms or habits can influence whether someone has a fulfilling sex life. Acupuncturists are experts at making these connections and restoring balance so that you’re able to fully experience and enjoy sex. Keep reading

Stop Bloating: 11 Tips from Acupuncturists

By Sara Calabro

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. In previous years, we’ve written about the similarities between acupuncture and Thanksgiving. We’ve also talked about what acupuncture can teach us about gratitude and change.

This year, we’re honoring Thanksgiving with tips for battling the holiday’s most common nemesis: bloating.

Often, the meals we share on Thanksgiving are memorable for more than just good times with family and friends. Bloating and indigestion can be epic on Thanksgiving, and they can put a major damper on otherwise joyous celebrations.

We asked acupuncturists from around the world for do-it-yourself recommendations for reducing bloating. Here are 11 tips for staying comfortable this Thursday, in the days that follow, and whenever else you experience bloating. Keep reading

The Benefits of Acupuncture Before and After Surgery

By Denise Cicuto

Have you seen Iron Man 3? At the end, there’s a scene when main character Tony Stark is undergoing surgery. If you look closely, you can see acupuncture needles in his chest.

That’s Hollywood, but historically, acupuncture actually has been used, mostly in China, for anesthesia during surgery. It’s no longer standard practice, but with acupuncture becoming increasingly present in mainstream medical settings, we may see it make a comeback in surgical procedures.

In the meantime, acupuncture can go a long way toward keeping people healthy before and after surgery. You don’t have to be a superhero to reap the combined power of acupuncture and surgery. Keep reading

Why Are You Doing That Point? Spleen 4

By Sara Calabro

Why Are You Doing That Point? is back by popular demand! It’s been a while. This edition will focus on an acupuncture point on the all-important Spleen channel.

I say all-important because the Spleen does a lot. It plays a critical role in our ability to digest food, which ultimately affects many other processes throughout the body—without nourishment, all systems suffer. In this way, the Spleen has a hand in everything, and Spleen 4 is one of the most commonly used points along the channel.

Spleen 4—also known as Grandfather Grandson (English name), Gongsun (Chinese translation), and SP4 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located on the inside of the foot.

Find it by running your thumb along the edge of the first metatarsal bone. Spleen 4 is about one inch above where the foot juts out, the place where most people get bunions (see photo below and click to enlarge). If you’re in the right spot, you should feel a slight depression at the base of the bone, and the point may be quite sensitive. Keep reading

Acupuncture Success Stories: Less Pain, Greater Awareness

By Sara Calabro

Time for another edition of Acupuncture Success Stories. If you are unfamiliar with this series, read the introduction to the first installment to understand what it’s all about and why we’re doing it.

Today we hear from two women who used community acupuncture to reduce physical pain and discover greater bodily awareness.

Acupuncture Success Story #1

Patient: Vicky
Age: 27
Location: San Jose, CA
Acupuncturist: Ellie Schafer

What initially brought you to acupuncture?

I came to acupuncture after leaving my hometown to move to San Francisco. I was feeling depressed and anxious. Prior to that, I had become interested in trying acupuncture for a nerve issue I was having in my neck, down my arm and into my fingers. On top of everything, my new job was stressing me out. I decided enough was enough, and finally gave it a try. Keep reading