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Are Trigger Points Affecting Your Athletic Performance?

By Ginna Ellis

Trigger points cause real problems for athletes.

Not only are trigger points exquisitely painful, but they also affect movement. Trigger points inhibit range of motion by keeping muscles short and stiff. They also weaken muscles, causing them to tire quickly and recover slowly. They produce excessive muscle contraction that can partially disarticulate joints or cause nerve entrapment.

That’s the bad news: Trigger points can seriously inhibit athletic performance. The good news? Acupuncture can help. So can self-care (see tips at the end of this article!). Keep reading

Healing Benefits of Watermelon

By Kendra Lay

August is prime time for watermelon. From salads to desserts, BBQs to gourmet restaurants, watermelon is showing up everywhere this time of year.

In Florida, where I grew up, watermelon was around all summer. Almost every week, my father would stop at a roadside stand and carefully select one of the heavy, green melons. There would be thumping, weighing, and sniffing—and finally he would select his prize.

When we got home, he’d cut off the watermelon in large rounds, place it on a plate, and eat it with a spoon—leaving behind just an empty, cylindrical rind and seeds floating in sweet juice. He would always cut me off a piece, and I’d enjoy this summertime ritual with my dad.

It wasn’t until I became an acupuncturist that I learned watermelon was much more than a sweet summer treat. It is actually a useful medicinal food, especially during the summer and for people who live in hot climates. Keep reading

How to Give Yourself Ear Acupressure

By Denise Cicuto

You should get into acupressure.

Acupressure is a free, easy, safe, and convenient way to alleviate symptoms and stay healthy. It can help with everything from stress reduction and boosting immunity to soothing travel ailments and getting rid of hangovers.

In addition to acupressure points on different parts of the body—many of which are covered in AcuTake’s Why Are You Doing That Point? series—there’s a whole microcosm of points inside your ear!

Similar to how foot reflexology targets points on the feet that correspond to body parts, in acupuncture, there is a map of the body inside the ear. Acupuncturists use these points for treating pain, digestive problems, smoking cessation, weight loss, generalized stress and anxiety, and other things.

While many acupuncturists use needles to treat points on the ear, another common method for treating ear acupuncture points is with ear seeds. You can use ear seeds on your own, so they’re a great DIY way to give your ears a little acupressure love. Keep reading

5 Common Running Injuries and How Acupuncture Can Help

By Ginna Ellis

Acupuncture and running are a well-suited pair.

Whether you’re a casual runner or a qualifying entrant in Monday’s Boston Marathon, acupuncture can help you stay on top of your running game. From knee and hip pain to plantar fasciitis and fatigue, many ailments suffered by runners can be helped by acupuncture.

Here is how acupuncture addresses the 5 most common causes of running injuries. Keep reading

Acupuncture Success Stories: Seasonal Allergy Relief

By Sara Calabro

A previous acupuncture success story, about an advertising professional suffering from tight hips, recently found its way around Twitter. It got me thinking that we should revisit the success-stories series.

Deidre, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, sought acupuncture for something many people are struggling with this time of year: seasonal allergies. Here’s her story.

Patient: Deidre
Age: 34
Location: Cambridge, MA
Acupuncturist: Practitioners at Acupuncture Together

What initially brought you to acupuncture?

I was looking for a solution to my horrible seasonal allergies and debilitating menstrual cramps after finding that Western medicine could offer more medications but not more relief. Keep reading

Imagine Life Without Period Cramps

By Denise Cicuto

Do you, or does someone you know, suffer from period cramps? Thought so.

Most women assume that menstrual cramps are normal, an inevitable monthly occurrence during their menstruating years. But here’s a secret: Period cramps are actually signs of an imbalance somewhere in the body. Once that imbalance goes away, so does the pain.

Acupuncture can help shift the imbalances that cause menstrual cramps, opening up a whole new world in which having your period does not equal pain.

Interested in learning more? Thought so. Keep reading

8 Self-Care Tips from Acupuncturists for Late-Spring Allergies

By Sara Calabro

The worst of the spring allergy season is behind us. However, many people are still suffering.

Especially in regions with significant temperature and precipitation fluctuation, allergies can flare up just when you think you’re out of the woods. Even into the early days of summer, acupuncturists remain busy with treating sniffling, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sinus headaches.

Since seasonal allergies tend to ebb and flow, it’s helpful to know some self-care techniques for when your symptoms act up. Here are eight tips that acupuncturists recommend to their allergy-laden patients. Keep reading

Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

By Eric Baumgartner

You have probably heard of adrenal fatigue. It’s a buzz phrase in the health community right now, and no wonder—if we could slap one diagnosis on our culture at large, adrenal fatigue would be it.

In my last several years of practicing acupuncture—across many different settings, from the most casual and community-oriented environments to luxurious spas and sterile medical offices—adrenal fatigue shows up in the large majority.

But when we say someone is suffering from adrenal fatigue, what are we actually talking about?

Adrenal fatigue is a root imbalance that causes various systems throughout the body to break down. It is the source of many, if not most, of the symptoms patients commonly report: fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, hormone imbalances, and poor digestion. Keep reading

Improve Your Sex Life With Acupuncture

By Marisa Fanelli

Acupuncturists treat the mind, body, and spirit. It’s a critical distinction between acupuncturists and Western doctors, who generally focus exclusively on specific parts of the body. The mainstream approach to healthcare, separating body from mind, can result in patients failing to mention problems that affect them on multiple levels.

Issues around sex—not having it, having it but not wanting to have it, being unable to have it—are often swept under the rug in discussions with MDs. Acupuncturists, on the other hand, ask and hear a lot about people’s sex lives.

The multifaceted nature of sexuality means that many systems throughout the body play a role, and seemingly unrelated symptoms or habits can influence whether someone has a fulfilling sex life. Acupuncturists are experts at making these connections and restoring balance so that you’re able to fully experience and enjoy sex. 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