Navigate / search

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. Keep reading

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. Keep reading

What To Eat In Fall and Winter (Plus Recipe!)

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. Keep reading

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. Keep reading

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? Keep reading

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

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

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

How to Escape the Busy Trap

By Stephanie Worth

Do you ever (often?) feel like a slave to your calendar? Feel cornered by a schedule packed with appointments, projects, and social engagements? Do you find yourself saying—or at least thinking—”so busy” when people ask how you’re doing?

An overwhelming sense of busyness is one of the most common things patients talk to me about, and it’s one of their biggest sources of stress. As we close in on fall, the season of buckling down and getting back to business, the busy trap is about to kick into high gear.

Although many of us crave a break from the busy trap, it’s unlikely to release us from its grasp—the calendar alerts and text messages and Facebook posts won’t miraculously disappear.

So, in order to counteract the emotional and physical toll that perpetual busyness takes, we need to proactively build balance into our lives. Acupuncture can help. Keep reading