By Sara Calabro Some people just can’t bring themselves to try acupuncture. Despite being something they’re curious about, something they sense could be helpful, acupuncture remains an unscalable mountain. No amount of friend, physician or celebrity endorsements is enough to convince them otherwise. Here are the top five excuses for not getting acupuncture—and why they’re not good enough.
By Sara Calabro Many acupuncturists say on their websites that they practice Japanese acupuncture. Ever wonder what that means? How does Japanese acupuncture differ from other forms? And wait, isn’t all acupuncture Chinese? As far as we know, all acupuncture did originate in China. (Although theories abound.) However, it didn’t take long for other countries, once they got their hands on acupuncture, to start developing their own versions. In the case of Japan, scholars estimate that acupuncture made its way there, possibly via Korean immigrants, sometime around the fifth century.
By Sara Calabro Researchers from Georgetown recently showed that acupuncture in rats reduces a protein that’s associated with stress. While this gives hope to those for whom molecules make more sense than qi, it remains to be seen whether the findings can be replicated in humans. In the meantime, the Western-minded among us will appreciate that there’s already a relatable framework for understanding how acupuncture relieves certain symptoms of stress. One of the most common, TMJ, responds very well to trigger-point acupuncture. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, but “TMJ” has become a catch-all term for jaw pain that can radiate throughout the face, head and ear. (We’ll refer to it that way in this article.) TMJ brings many people to acupuncture, as conventional medical therapies such as bite guards and medications usually offer temporary, if any, relief. It’s especially common among people who also report high levels of stress. TMJ often is a result of excessive muscular strain rather than an issue with the actual joint. (Handy tip: Think Muscles for Jaw Pain.) When we overwork our face and neck muscles, which we tend to when stressed—clenching or grinding our teeth, biting our nails, holding ourselves in tense postures—they can develop sensitive nodules that cause referred pain. These nodules, known as trigger points, can be released by inserting acupuncture needles directly into the affected muscle and/or its associated attachments.
By Sara Calabro There has never been a better time to get acupuncture. The reasons are infinite (in our humble, unbiased opinion), but here are 12 of the most compelling motivations for making acupuncture a priority this year. 1. It's not about adding more "stuff." The driving idea behind acupuncture
By Sara Calabro Winter officially begins on Thursday. The holiday frenzy surrounding this week makes it easy to overlook the milestone. But winter is the season that sets the stage for good health in the year ahead. It's worth taking a moment to reflect on. In acupuncture theory, the move
By Sara Calabro Jeya Aerenson, an acupuncturist in Eugene, Oregon, really wanted to learn Spanish. Now, the Mexican people who helped her achieve this goal are learning from her. But rather than offering language skills, Aerenson is teaching acupuncture. In February, she's temporarily shuttering her private practice to travel to
By David Simpson Growing interest in acupuncture has led to several unfortunate attempts to label it. Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine… Acupuncture gets tossed willy nilly among these different rubrics. Not only is this inconsistency confusing for patients, but all of these names present a number of difficulties in accuracy, cultural respect, and sensitivity.
By Sara Calabro Yogis, writers, tailors, hair cutters, software engineers, carpenters, baristas... For many of these people, wrist pain is the bane of their existence. Ask, and most will tell you they have carpal tunnel. However, in a high percentage of cases, this ubiquitous diagnosis for workplace-induced wrist pain is
By Sara Calabro We've heard from the Buddhists. We've heard from the foodies. Now it's time for an acupuncture perspective on Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Wall Streeters have aired many grievances, but a succinct list of demands remains elusive. It's been challenging to pinpoint exactly what protesters want because the
By Sara Calabro In hopes of expanding its mission and scope, the community acupuncture movement has adopted a co-op model. The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture, cleverly abbreviated POCA, is a multi-stakeholder cooperative that will allow patients to put muscle behind the movement. When many of us think "co-op," we
By Sara Calabro Hold your breath. Gulp water. Swallow sugar. Ok, now try vinegar. Plug your ears. Pull your tongue. Breathe into a bag. Laugh. Sneeze. Hope. Pray. Some of these rumored cures can be lifesavers for occasional hiccups. But what about hiccups that keep coming back? Or hiccups that