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

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

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

Your Pain Is In Your Head

By Adam Cantor

Chronic pain is a growing and complicated issue. Millions of people feel stuck with their pain, suffering day in and day out with no resolution in sight. For many, acupuncture can shed light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

We know that the nature of chronic pain can vary widely, from musculoskeletal and neurogenic to gastrointestinal, urogenital, and gynecological. However, less attention gets paid to the emotional component of chronic pain, which can be caused and exacerbated by negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and anxiety.

Pain conditions that are emotionally charged—which, ultimately, describes all cases of pain, since being in pain produces negative thought patterns—often are unabated by the pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications that are so commonly prescribed.

Treating chronic pain effectively requires approaching it holistically. This is where acupuncture excels.

October 15th, 2013|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|12 Comments

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.

September 10th, 2013|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|4 Comments

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.

Top 3 Reasons More Men Should Get Acupuncture

By Eric Kerr

Ladies love acupuncture.

Most acupuncturists will tell you that they see more women than men in their practices. More women also become acupuncturists. And women’s health is a very common specialty among practitioners, male and female alike.

In acu-land, women are all the rage! What about the fellas?

Acupuncture can be an especially potent therapy for men. It’s time more guys discovered its benefits.

Early in my acupuncture training, I knew I wanted to focus on men’s health. Being a man, I understand that men tend not to seek out healthcare in the same way women do. This is precisely why acupuncture can be so powerful in men.

June 18th, 2013|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|13 Comments

Want to Look Younger? Try Acupuncture

By Marisa Fanelli

Acupuncture can make you look younger.

I’m not talking about cosmetic acupuncture, although that can be effective, too. I’m talking about using acupuncture to strengthen your five most essential organ systems—Kidney, Spleen, Liver, Lung, and Heart—so that you are systemically healthier.

This can not only make you feel younger but actually prevent physical signs of aging.

Remember that “organ” in acupuncture is different from organs as we think of them in Western medicine. An organ system in acupuncture includes the anatomical organ as well as the meridians that connect to that organ, the functional or energetic qualities of the organ, and even the associated emotions of the organ.

Here’s how each of the five essential organ systems influences the aging process.

May 14th, 2013|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|6 Comments

Acupuncturists Spill: The 12 Health Tips They Wish Everyone Would Remember

By Sara Calabro

Acupuncturists do more than just poke people with needles. They use non-needling techniques, such as moxibustion and cupping, and some prescribe herbs. They also offer advice—acupuncture-inspired tips that can help you feel healthier and happier.

Some people heed this advice and others ignore it, often to the chagrin of acupuncturists. There are many simple practices that, when committed to, can drastically improve a person’s symptoms and overall quality of life. If only everyone remembered to do them!

Now you have them in writing. We asked acupuncturists from around the country, what is one thing you wish all of your patients did to be healthier?

Here are 12 do-it-yourself health tips that acupuncturists wish everyone would remember.

April 16th, 2013|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|8 Comments

7 Signs That You Need Acupuncture This Spring

By Sara Calabro

Spring is here! Yes! Except for the fact that many people don’t feel so hot this time of year.

The flu is—knock on wood—mostly behind us. Allergies have not quite exploded yet. So, why do so many of us feel off in the early days of spring?

You can kindly thank your Liver!

In acupuncture theory, humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them. Seasons—particularly the transitional periods, when we move from one season to the next—factor significantly into how we feel.

Each season is linked with an organ system in the body, and spring’s system is Liver. This means that the Liver, as it adjusts to taking over the seasonal reigns, is especially vulnerable.

When the Liver is vulnerable, the functions throughout the body for which the Liver is responsible have a tendency to get out of whack.

Digest This: You Can Manage Extra Weight, Constipation, Bloating, Reflux and Bad Breath With Acupuncture

By Nancy Byrne

We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat.” It’s true, but acupuncture lends further insight into our relationship with food by suggesting that we are also how we eat.

On some level, we know this already. Think about the times when you’ve skipped breakfast and then gorged yourself much too quickly on a huge lunch. Chances are, you felt a little irritable and anxious before stuffing your face, after which you probably felt uncomfortably full and bloated.

Low blood sugar followed by undue stress on your digestive organs is one way of looking at this scenario. However, acupuncture offers an explanation that’s much more interesting and broader in scope. Understanding this perspective is an initial step toward avoiding weight gain, constipation, bloating, acid reflux and even bad breath.

13 Ways Acupuncture Can Change Your Life in 2013

By Sara Calabro

Happy New Year! We’re excited to spend 2013 explaining how acupuncture works and sharing acupuncture-inspired tips for leading a healthier, simpler, more meaningful life.

Acupuncture helps us see the world differently—with more hope, openness, intention, gratitude, compassion, patience and clarity. In doing so, it changes us.

Here are 13 specific ways that acupuncture can change your life in 2013.

January 2nd, 2013|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|10 Comments

What Can Acupuncture Teach Us About Gratitude?

By Sara Calabro

Acupuncture is a great teacher on gratitude.

The driving idea behind acupuncture is that we already have everything we need to be well. In contrast to biomedicine, which is premised on the notion of external intervention, acupuncture takes what’s already there and rearranges it into something positive.

Acupuncture doesn’t add or subtract anything. Rather, it prompts or reminds the body to do what it knows how to do.

An acupuncture perspective teaches us to appreciate what we have rather than what we are lacking. This inspires gratitude, which can have profound implications, especially this time of year.

November 20th, 2012|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|3 Comments

The Difference Between Health Care and Sick Care

By Laura Drago

Americans take a lot of flak about prevention. Our healthcare system is notorious for allowing problems to mount to the point where expensive, sometimes drastic interventions become necessary.

Preventive therapies such as acupuncture feel counterintuitive in a system that’s dictated by instant gratification.

While this may be an accurate assessment of many Americans’ approach to healthcare, as a society we are not unfamiliar with the concept of prevention. In fact, most of us have been practicing it since we were toddlers.

November 6th, 2012|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|5 Comments

Acupuncture for the Emotions

By George Monkhouse

Imagine your life without all the drama. No more extreme highs and lows, roller coaster moods, or debilitating stress. You are emotionally balanced.

How do you feel? Healthy? Strong? Confident? Free?

A style of acupuncture known as Five Element focuses on helping us achieve this kind of emotional balance in our lives. By understanding some of the basic tenets of Five Element acupuncture, we can resolve emotional patterns that hold us back.

October 16th, 2012|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|2 Comments

7 Acupuncture Tips for a Healthy Fall

By Sara Calabro

Fall is right around the corner.

New seasons are an opportunity to assess our states of health and realign with our natural rhythms.

From an acupuncture perspective, fall is about refinement. It’s time to pare down, to let go of the excesses we allowed ourselves in summer and focus on what’s necessary for winter.

In acupuncture theory, humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them. Weather and climate, particularly during the transition from one season to another, factor significantly into acupuncture diagnoses and treatment plans.

September 18th, 2012|Acupressure, Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|8 Comments

How to Become One of Those People Who Loves to Run

By Sara Calabro

Wouldn’t it be awesome to be one of those people who truly enjoys going out for a run?

For the past two weeks, I’ve closely observed this enviable species—and in the process, uncovered a kinship between acupuncture and running.

I live in Eugene, Oregon, the birthplace of Nike running shoes and the deathplace of Steve Prefontaine, a University of Oregon track star whose legacy is among the most revered in sports history. With running as part of its culture, Eugene was an obvious choice to host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for Track & Field. The event played out in my backyard, which abuts fabled Hayward Field.

7 Ways to Kick It Acupuncture-Style This Summer

By Sara Calabro

Summer is here! You may be noticing yourself having more energy, feeling more social, or experiencing all-around better moods. This is normal for this time of year, when, from an acupuncture perspective, the Yang—extroverted, lively, enthusiastic, active—aspects of a person are at their peak.

In acupuncture theory, humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them. Weather and climate, particularly during the transition from one season to another, factor significantly into diagnoses and treatment plans. Each season is linked with a natural element, organ and emotion.

The element, organ and emotion of summer are, respectively, Fire, Heart and joy. So, how does this influence the way you feel in summertime? And what can you do about it?

June 19th, 2012|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|3 Comments

Acupuncture Is Silence on Crack

By Sara Calabro

Life as we know it is inundated with noise.

Literal noise (phones buzzing, advertisements screaming, cars beeping) and metaphorical noise (internal chatter about things we can’t control) take us out of the present by keeping us constantly distracted.

When we’re constantly distracted, it becomes impossible to recognize how we really feel. When we’re out of touch with how we really feel, we’re forced to disconnect from the process of feeling better.

For this and other reasons, silence is golden.

May 15th, 2012|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|4 Comments

The Real Reason Downward-Facing Dog Is So Good for You

By Sara Calabro

Downward-facing dog is the most ubiquitous pose in yoga.

This popular yoga pose is the one we see in advertisements and movies, on yoga DVDs, and the covers of health and fitness magazines. Downward-facing dog is taught in beginner yoga classes and returned to again and again by the most advanced yoga practitioners.

Almost everyone who has tried yoga, no matter their skill level, is familiar with downward-facing dog. Even people who have never set foot on a yoga mat can visualize the pose, known in Sanskrit as adho mukha svanasana.

So why is downward-facing dog the media darling of yoga poses? What keeps people coming back to this pose? Why does downward-facing dog make us feel so good? And what the heck does this have to do with acupuncture?

May 8th, 2012|Acupuncture resources, Acupuncture theory|14 Comments

4 Acupuncture-Inspired Ways to Stop Compulsive Phone Checking

By Sara Calabro

Acupuncture can alleviate a modern epidemic from which many of us suffer: compulsive phone checking.

This occurred to me after reading a New York Times article that discusses how our relentless drive to stay connected through technology is dwindling our ability to converse and self-reflect.

Specifically, the author’s comments on solitude got me thinking about how acupuncture can help.

“When people are alone, even for a few moments, they fidget and reach for a device,” writes Sherry Turkle. “In our rush to connect, we flee from solitude, our ability to be separate and gather ourselves.”

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