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So far Sara has created 155 blog entries.

Face It: You Need to Try Acupuncture for Acne

By Joseph Alban

Most people think about acupuncture for acne after they’ve already tried everything else—over-the-counter creams, prescription drugs, chemical peels, you name it. But acupuncture, because it’s safe and effective (and has tons of side benefits), should be thought of as a first-line therapy for acne.

The difference between acupuncture and most other mainstream therapies for acne is that acupuncture treats acne by addressing its root cause.

Acupuncturists consider each individual’s constitution and collection of symptoms in order to determine where the acne is coming from and how to treat it.

November 18th, 2015|Specific conditions|1 Comment

Breastfeeding Made Better With Acupuncture

By Arden Yingling

We’ve all heard about the advantages of breastfeeding a new baby: It’s convenient and affordable, and breast milk offers valuable health benefits to both mama and baby.

You’ve probably also heard that it’s easy—and that’s usually true! But what about those times when breastfeeding is a struggle?

Early breastfeeding challenges are often due to simple issues with a baby’s positioning or latch. In those cases, lactation consultants, midwives, and postpartum doulas are amazing resources.

Sometimes though, women find that their milk production is low, or that milk won’t let down easily for their baby. Many discouraged mothers stop breastfeeding at this point. But wait! Acupuncture can help.

November 10th, 2015|Specific conditions|1 Comment

How to Get Rid of Insomnia: Self-Care Advice from Acupuncturists

By Sara Calabro

Insomnia is rampant. So many people are walking around exhausted, medication-dependent, or resigned to a sleepless existence. More and more—since an Ambien-induced night’s sleep just isn’t the same as a natural night’s sleep—people are turning to acupuncture and other non-drug therapies for insomnia.

Insomnia is one of the most common complaints seen by acupuncturists.

Regular acupuncture treatments can be extremely helpful for combatting insomnia. Acupuncturists customize treatments based on the specific brand of insomnia from which someone is suffering.

Some people have trouble falling asleep while others can’t stay asleep. Some are woken from frequent dreams while others can’t stop their minds from spinning. Some wake up every single night at 1:34am. Others sleep like babies until 3:37am.

October 13th, 2015|Acupressure, Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|10 Comments

Acupuncture for Depression

By Marisa Fanelli

Since the warmth of summer has been slowly fading into cooler nights and shorter days, I have had a noticeable influx in patients seeking relief from depression. This isn’t uncommon—each year I see it happening with the season change.

In the world of acupuncture, there are five major organ systems, each of which is connected to an emotion and season. During that season, the corresponding organ is at its most vulnerable and the emotion tends to show up more prominently.

Fall is Lung season. And the emotion associated with Lung is grief. From an acupuncture perspective, it makes perfect sense that there is a heightened sense of melancholy this time of year.

October 2nd, 2015|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|0 Comments

Are Trigger Points Affecting Your Athletic Performance?

By Ginna Ellis

Trigger points cause real problems for athletes.

Not only are trigger points exquisitely painful, but they also affect movement. Trigger points inhibit range of motion by keeping muscles short and stiff. They also weaken muscles, causing them to tire quickly and recover slowly. They produce excessive muscle contraction that can partially disarticulate joints or cause nerve entrapment.

That’s the bad news: Trigger points can seriously inhibit athletic performance. The good news? Acupuncture can help. So can self-care (see tips at the end of this article!).

September 7th, 2015|Acupuncture resources, Specific conditions|2 Comments

Healing Benefits of Watermelon

By Kendra Lay

August is prime time for watermelon. From salads to desserts, BBQs to gourmet restaurants, watermelon is showing up everywhere this time of year.

In Florida, where I grew up, watermelon was around all summer. Almost every week, my father would stop at a roadside stand and carefully select one of the heavy, green melons. There would be thumping, weighing, and sniffing—and finally he would select his prize.

When we got home, he’d cut off the watermelon in large rounds, place it on a plate, and eat it with a spoon—leaving behind just an empty, cylindrical rind and seeds floating in sweet juice. He would always cut me off a piece, and I’d enjoy this summertime ritual with my dad.

August 10th, 2015|Acupuncture resources, Specific conditions|0 Comments

How to Give Yourself Ear Acupressure

By Denise Cicuto

You should get into acupressure.

Acupressure is a free, easy, safe, and convenient way to alleviate symptoms and stay healthy. It can help with everything from stress reduction and boosting immunity to soothing travel ailments and getting rid of hangovers.

In addition to acupressure points on different parts of the body—many of which are covered in AcuTake’s Why Are You Doing That Point? series—there’s a whole microcosm of points inside your ear!

Similar to how foot reflexology targets points on the feet that correspond to body parts, in acupuncture, there is a map of the body inside the ear. Acupuncturists use these points for treating pain, digestive problems, smoking cessation, weight loss, generalized stress and anxiety, and other things.

While many acupuncturists use needles to treat points on the ear, another common method for treating ear acupuncture points is with ear seeds. You can use ear seeds on your own, so they’re a great DIY way to give your ears a little acupressure love.

Digital Meridian Imaging Accelerates Acupuncture Diagnosis

By Sara Calabro

In the ongoing debate over whether and how acupuncture works, detractors lean heavily on the claim that you can’t actually see qi and therefore it must not be real. That’s no longer true.

AcuGraph, an imaging technology made by Miridia Acupuncture Technology, measures electrical skin resistance at acupuncture points to determine how well electricity, or qi, is flowing through the body. Based on those measurements, the AcuGraph software identifies potential patterns of disharmony and generates treatment recommendations to help correct the imbalances.

I recently met with Miridia’s founder and the inventor of AcuGraph, Adrian Larsen, to see AcuGraph with my own eyes. I was impressed.

June 1st, 2015|Acupuncture resources|3 Comments

5 Common Running Injuries and How Acupuncture Can Help

By Ginna Ellis

Acupuncture and running are a well-suited pair.

Whether you’re a casual runner or a qualifying entrant in Monday’s Boston Marathon, acupuncture can help you stay on top of your running game. From knee and hip pain to plantar fasciitis and fatigue, many ailments suffered by runners can be helped by acupuncture.

Here is how acupuncture addresses the 5 most common causes of running injuries.

April 22nd, 2015|Acupuncture resources, Specific conditions|7 Comments

Acupuncture Success Stories: Seasonal Allergy Relief

By Sara Calabro

A previous acupuncture success story, about an advertising professional suffering from tight hips, recently found its way around Twitter. It got me thinking that we should revisit the success-stories series.

Deidre, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, sought acupuncture for something many people are struggling with this time of year: seasonal allergies. Here’s her story.

Age: 34
Location: Cambridge, MA
Acupuncturist: Practitioners at Acupuncture Together

What initially brought you to acupuncture?
I was looking for a solution to my horrible seasonal allergies and debilitating menstrual cramps after finding that Western medicine could offer more medications but not more relief.

Why Are You Doing That Point? Gall Bladder 30

By Sara Calabro

This edition of Why Are You Doing That Point?, an ongoing series that explains popular acupuncture points, is about Gall Bladder 30, a key point used in treatments for hip and leg pain.

Gall Bladder 30—also known as Huantiao (Chinese name), Jumping Circle (English translation) and GB30 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located between your sacrum and greater trochanter.

In normal-speak, Gall Bladder 30 is usually found smack in the middle of your jeans back pocket (see picture below).

Have You Heard of Gua Sha?

By Denise Cicuto

It’s not all about needles.

Gua sha is one of several non-needle tools in an acupuncturist’s arsenal. It’s often used in combination with needles, but gua sha is a therapy in its own right.

Gua sha is an East-Asian technique of scraping or stroking the skin using a device made of metal, bone, or horn. The scraping can be done on various parts of the body, and most often it’s done on the back and neck.

Here are answers to some commons questions about gua sha.

January 29th, 2015|Acupuncture resources|3 Comments

15 Ways to Incorporate Acupuncture Into Your Life in 2015

By Sara Calabro

What are your hopes for 2015? Want to feel healthier? Eat better? Get in shape? Try new things? Have better relationships? Me too! And I’m planning on using acupuncture to achieve all of it!

Not literally. I’m not going to go for an acupuncture treatment and walk out with glowing skin, a six pack, and resolved childhood issues. But, I am going to allow the tenets of acupuncture to influence my attitude and actions so that I can live optimally in 2015.

In the same way we talk about practicing yoga or practicing meditation, you can practice acupuncture. You can use the theories of acupuncture to help guide the decisions you make every day that ultimately determine your physical and emotional health.

Here are 15 ways you can incorporate acupuncture into your life—and soar to new heights—in 2015.

January 2nd, 2015|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|7 Comments

What to Eat in Fall and Winter (Recipe Included!)

By Tara Akuna

Hot apple cider, chunky sweaters, and crackling fireplaces. It’s that time of year again, when we pull out our cozy-time favorites and huddle indoors to stay warm. As we approach winter, cold dark days urge us to slow down, conserve energy, and rebuild our strength for the coming spring.

According to Chinese-medical theory, people should live in harmony with nature. The colder months are perfect for slowing down, resting, and becoming introspective. The food we eat also plays a key role in the conservation and rebuilding of energy this time of year.

When you think of fall and winter, think warm food.

Soups, roasted veggies, and slow-cooker meals are some of the mainstays necessary for building energy and a healthy immune system. In addition to warming your food through preparation, all foods contain certain energetic properties, so eating foods that are warm in quality is just as important as how they are prepared.

November 18th, 2014|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|1 Comment

Here Comes Change. Acupuncture Can Help.

By Sara Calabro

Here we are, about a month into fall. We’re a few days away from Halloween, about to officially enter the holiday season. This weekend we’ll turn back the clocks. Change is afoot.

As the days get darker and the holiday engine kicks into high gear, you may discover your body and mood shifting. Lower energy, higher stress levels, changes in sleep patterns, and digestive disturbances are all common this time of year.

If you notice yourself and the people around you changing in these or other ways in the coming months, remember: Change is good.

It doesn’t always feel that way. Change actually can be quite difficult, and many of us struggle with it. Whether it’s a big lifestyle change or slight alteration in routine, having to adapt sets us off our games.

I’m a champion change resister myself. I love my routines and tend toward situations I can predict and control. But acupuncture has been a big help to me in letting go of the reins a little bit.

In acupuncture theory, change is the primary ingredient for becoming a healthier person. Recognizing this allows us to approach all situations, regardless of how challenging, with greater hope and flexibility.

October 27th, 2014|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|4 Comments

Acupuncture in an Airstream

By Sara Calabro

Airstreams are going mainstream.

Foodies are flocking to them for award-winning meals. Minimalists are ditching their houses to live in them. Hip retirees are packing them up and heading cross-country. And in Durham, North Carolina, acupuncturist Christina Fish has made an Airstream the home of her acupuncture practice, Silver Current Acupuncture.

Earlier this summer, Fish’s clinic was featured in an AcuTake article about acupuncture spaces. Readers, overwhelmingly, responded with comments—all favorable—about Fish’s acupuncture Airstream.

We recently caught up with Fish to learn a little more about her stylish practice space.

September 10th, 2014|Interviews|2 Comments

Peek Inside These Acupuncture Clinics

By Sara Calabro

The experience of getting an acupuncture treatment can vary widely, depending on where you go. Not all acupuncturists are created equal—and nor are their work spaces.

Acupuncture is offered everywhere from luxury spas and physical-therapy offices to minimalist community clinics and 1970s Airstreams. Some acupuncturists outfit their spaces with Buddha statues and artwork of Chinese characters while others hang anatomy posters and foster a Western-medical vibe. Regardless of your preferences, there’s an acupuncture space out there for you.

Take a tour of the wide world of acupuncture clinics. Which one feels like you?

June 24th, 2014|Acupuncture resources|12 Comments

Imagine Life Without Period Cramps

By Denise Cicuto

Do you, or does someone you know, suffer from period cramps? Thought so.

Most women assume that menstrual cramps are normal, an inevitable monthly occurrence during their menstruating years. But here’s a secret: Period cramps are actually signs of an imbalance somewhere in the body. Once that imbalance goes away, so does the pain.

Acupuncture can help shift the imbalances that cause menstrual cramps, opening up a whole new world in which having your period does not equal pain.

Interested in learning more? Thought so.

May 27th, 2014|Specific conditions|0 Comments

8 Self-Care Tips from Acupuncturists for Late-Spring Allergies

By Sara Calabro

The worst of the spring allergy season is behind us. However, many people are still suffering.

Especially in regions with significant temperature and precipitation fluctuation, allergies can flare up just when you think you’re out of the woods. Even into the early days of summer, acupuncturists remain busy with treating sniffling, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sinus headaches.

Since seasonal allergies tend to ebb and flow, it’s helpful to know some self-care techniques for when your symptoms act up. Here are eight tips that acupuncturists recommend to their allergy-laden patients.

May 13th, 2014|Acupressure, Specific conditions|0 Comments

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.

April 1st, 2014|Acupuncture resources|13 Comments

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.

February 25th, 2014|Specific conditions|2 Comments

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.

February 11th, 2014|Interviews|5 Comments

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.

January 28th, 2014|Acupressure, Popular acupuncture points|4 Comments

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.

January 6th, 2014|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|6 Comments
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