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TMJ: Think Muscles for Jaw Pain

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. Keep reading

12 Reasons to Get Acupuncture in 2012

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 is that we’re already in possession of everything we need to be well. The holidays, while meaningful, are often a time of excess—too many presents, too much food and alcohol. The new year is an ideal time to embrace what we have rather than what we want. Acupuncture teaches us to do this. Keep reading

Slide Gently Into Winter

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 from one season to the next is a significant event. Humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them, so seasonal changes can greatly influence how we feel. Each season has an associated natural element, organ and emotion. Acupuncturists examine these associations to determine whether a person is appropriately adjusting. Keep reading

Mexican Indigenous Healing Inspires Acupuncture Project

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 Oaxaca, Mexico, where she will educate local healthcare providers on administering the NADA protocol, five designated acupuncture points in each ear.

In a recent conversation with AcuTake, Aerenson talked about pioneering and paying for the Oaxaca Acupuncture Project, the impact of acupuncture on underserved Mexican communities, and why everyone should care about indigenous healing traditions. Keep reading

Treasure ‘The Missing Piece’

By Sara Calabro

The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein is profound in its simplicity, transformative in what it reveals. So is acupuncture.

The illustrated story is about a circular creature who feels incomplete because of his wedge-shaped cutout. On his journey to find fulfillment, he feels the sun and rain, meets worms and beetles, smells flowers, swims in oceans, and climbs up and down mountains. He meets various wedges but none are exactly the right fit. Eventually he finds what appears to be a perfect match, a wedge made in heaven. But a few rolls in, he realizes that being “fixed” actually makes him feel broken.

The Missing Piece is generally interpreted as a reflection on love and relationships. However, the book’s message also can be applied to health. Keep reading

Acupuncture Is Having an Identity Crisis

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. Keep reading

Acu Thank You

By Sara Calabro

I am thankful for acupuncture’s perspective on change.

Earlier this year, I moved to Eugene, Oregon from New York City, where I lived for 11 years. A spectrum of reasons, ranging widely from love to lower cost of living, factored into my decision, making it sound. Still, the inevitable barrage of changes that comes with any break in routine has at times been unsettling.

Acupuncture reminds me that change is the primary ingredient for becoming a healthier person. Keep reading

Everyone and No One Has Carpal Tunnel

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 false.

Most people whose jobs cause or worsen wrist pain are not dealing with true carpal tunnel syndrome. Rather, they are dealing with trigger points caused by repetitive strain on the arm and hand muscles. These trigger points mimic the symptoms of carpal tunnel and can be completely eliminated with acupuncture. Keep reading

Can Acupuncture Be Explained Through Science?

By Rob Benhuri

People ask me all the time if I believe in science. This is a strange question, since science is the systematic study of nature using the scientific method. Science is not an end unto itself, nor is it an organized system of beliefs. As such, there really is no way to legitimately have or lack belief in science. One can only agree or disagree with the conclusions of certain scientific experiments. But I digress…

The more interesting question, and the one I think people really mean to ask me, is this: Can acupuncture be explained through science? Keep reading