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‘Why Are You Doing That Point?’ Stomach 36

By Sara Calabro

Welcome to the second installment of “Why Are You Doing That Point?” This ongoing series explains the locations and common uses of popular acupuncture points.

Last time we looked at Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4, two points that frequently come together in a combination called Four Gates.

This time we’ll look at Stomach 36.

Stomach 36—also known as Zusanli (Chinese name), Leg Three Mile (English translation) and ST36 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located on the shin. It’s found about a hand length below the patella, just outside the prominent tibia bone (see picture below). Having this point needled often produces a strong sensation that sometimes travels down the leg. Keep reading

The Secret to Loving Having Your Body Full of Needles

By Sara Calabro

Acupuncturists have a name for the time when their patients are resting with needles. They call it “cooking.” Some people call it “torture.”

A recent article on common excuses for not getting acupuncture listed fear of needles as the number-one excuse. In response to this article, a popular sentiment arose, highlighting a type of needle fear that often flies under the radar.

“I’m not afraid of the needles because I think they’re going to hurt,” shared one reader. “It’s the idea of having to lie still with them that freaks me out. What if there’s a fire? What if I have an itch? It feels claustrophobic.”

Acupuncture is usually portrayed as a blissful spa-like experience, so relaxing that it causes people to drift off into a peaceful, healing sleep. Sometimes it is. But not always, and many people have the most anxiety around the part when the needle-wielding acupuncturist leaves their side. Keep reading

Book Launch: A Manifesto for Acupunctual Living

By Sara Calabro

AcuTake is proud to announce the launch of Acupuncture Matters, the debut book by AcuTake editor Sara Calabro.

Acupuncture Matters is a guidebook to understanding once and for all how acupuncture really works—in the real world, on real people.

The book explores the various ways in which acupuncture can help us lead healthier, simpler, more meaningful lives. It is a manifesto for people who are interested in thinking more broadly about health and life.

Acupuncture Matters examines how understanding acupuncture principles opens up possibilities and inspires new perspectives. It explains why acupuncture is an effective, safe and low-cost antidote to the vicious cycle that has come to dominate mainstream healthcare. Keep reading

A Match Made in Heaven: Yin and Yang

By Sara Calabro

There’s a famous saying. Many of the couples who are celebrating Valentine’s Day today have been told it. Just as many of us have said it.

“You two are like Yin and Yang.”

We use this phrase all the time to describe how two seemingly opposite people complement each other in a couple. But what do the terms Yin and Yang really mean? How can they help us make sense of the differences we wrestle with in relationships? Keep reading

‘Why Are You Doing That Point?’ Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4

By Sara Calabro

Acupuncture devotees are dying to know: Why are you doing that point? It is one of the most common questions that acupuncturists receive during treatments.

This is the first installment of an ongoing series that explains popular acupuncture points.

The logic behind choosing points varies. Certain acupuncture styles recommend points for unique reasons. Even within the same style, many points have more than one indication. Some points can substitute for others in cases where, for example, a needle-sensitive person prefers being stuck elsewhere. Other points can be left out or added based on the overall combination. Keep reading

Top 5 Excuses for Not Getting Acupuncture

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. Keep reading

How Is Japanese Acupuncture Different?

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. Keep reading

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