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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

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

Acupuncture Works for Kids, Really!

By Melissa B. Light

Kids and needles—bad combo, right? After all, kids hate getting shots. So, how is it possible that acupuncture is a good idea for helping your children stay healthy?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) techniques, including acupuncture, can be amazingly effective at treating a variety of childhood ailments.

Common complaints like ear aches, respiratory infections, digestive troubles, bedwetting, ADHD, and much more can be resolved with pediatric TCM techniques such as acupuncture and tuina bodywork. I see it happen every day. Keep reading

5 Best Complements to Acupuncture

By Sara Calabro

Imagine a world where people get acupuncture every day. We’d be less stressed, suffering through fewer addictions, and experiencing less pain. Unfortunately, acupuncture on the daily is financially and logistically impossible for most of us.

The good news is, there are several therapies that serve as great complements to acupuncture. They are free, available to almost everyone, and effective at prolonging, enhancing, or mimicking the effects of acupuncture.

While daily acupuncture may be idealistic, you can use other activities to cultivate some of the same benefits that acupuncture provides. Here are five things that are easy to incorporate into your life right now. Keep reading

Acupuncturists Pick: Best DIY Acupuncture Points for Lowering Stress, Part I

By Sara Calabro

Everyone has a go-to stress response. Some people escape to sunny beaches. Others reach for wine. Many buy things they don’t need. Many more ignore it.

All stress responses, assuming no one gets hurt or goes bankrupt, have their merits. Whatever works! However, many common coping mechanisms for stress are unrealistic, inconvenient, or unsustainable. After all, how many of us can jet off to the Caribbean every time life gets stressful?

Acupuncture treatments, as well as the theoretical tenets of acupuncture, have much to offer in the way of long-term stress reduction. But what about in-the-moment stress relief? You’re about to give a big presentation. You’re waiting to hear about test results. The turbulence on your flight won’t let up. Several acupuncture points can help calm you down.

We asked acupuncturists, what is your all-time favorite acupuncture point for stress reduction?

A key criteria was that the point had to be accessible for performing self-acupressure, so neither acupuncture needles nor an acupuncturist are required to benefit from these points. They can be pressed anywhere, any time for immediate stress reduction. Keep reading

How To Know When Acupuncture Is Working

By Sara Calabro

Acupuncture is not a one-shot deal. It works cumulatively, meaning one treatment builds on the next.

There are certainly instances of acupuncture producing immediate results. However, this is more an exception than the rule—and when it happens, the results tend to be short lived.

If you want lasting results from acupuncture, especially for a chronic condition, you must commit to the process.

This approach to healing is unfamiliar for Westerners, who are accustomed to instant gratification in most aspects of life, including healthcare. Being forced to adopt a long-term, cumulative perspective can be confusing and frustrating.

Sometimes us instant-gratification junkies need to be thrown a bone! Fortunately, there are several indications that acupuncture is taking effect—even if your primary symptoms have not yet resolved. When these signs appear, symptom relief typically is not far behind.

Here are six signs that your acupuncture treatments are working. Keep reading