By Sara Calabro What is the number-one reason that people don’t try acupuncture? You guessed it: Fear of needles. Want to know the second most common reason? According to an AcuTake reader survey—and the referral requests we receive routinely from readers—the second most common reason people don’t go for acupuncture is because they don’t know who to go to. Finding an acupuncturist isn’t the problem. Google is pretty smart. The problem is evaluating acupuncturists. Most of the information about acupuncturists that’s available through online searches doesn’t say much about who an acupuncturist is—what led them to the profession, what style of acupuncture they practice, how they’re different from other acupuncturists in your town, whether they’re experienced in treating the condition you’re struggling with, and just their overall vibe. These are important things to know.
By Sara Calabro Most people, when they hear about the benefits of acupuncture, find themselves thinking, “That would be so good for me!” Less stress, more energy, better sleep and digestion… Who doesn’t want that? But for many people, there’s one thing that holds them back from enjoying the benefits of acupuncture: Fear of needles. There’s a spectrum of needle fears, ranging from downright needle phobic to being moderately concerned about the whole voluntarily-being-stuck-with-needles thing. Regardless, fear of needles is the number-one reason people choose to forego acupuncture.
By Jacqueline Gabardy It’s the season for getting sick. And it seems to be hitting everyone but me. Friends, family, and most of my patients are complaining of symptoms, from colds and stomach flus to fevers and sinus infections. Although I interact with many sick people this time of year, I don’t get sick myself. I can’t thank the flu shot—I’ve never had one. Multivitamins nor antibacterial gels are keeping me healthy—I don’t use either of these things. My trick to surviving cold and flu season unscathed is actually much simpler. I use tried-and-true methods that have worked for generations. Here are eight of my go-to routines for staying healthy throughout cold and flu season.
By Sara Calabro Acupuncture can help you live better in 2016—and in ways you may not expect. If you’ve been meaning to try acupuncture, or if you’re an experienced acupuncture goer who has fallen out of practice, make 2016 the year you jump in. Here are 16 benefits you’ll experience by embracing acupuncture in 2016. 1. It will make you more grateful. The driving idea behind acupuncture is that we’re already in possession of everything we need to be well. Acupuncture does not add or subtract anything. Rather, it prompts the body to do what it already knows how to do. It reminds you that you have the power to heal yourself. That’s something to be thankful for.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.