By Julia Sanfilippo Have you seen this cool new ad from Under Armour featuring 22-time Olympic-medal winner Michael Phelps? It is an inspiring video that shows the strength, determination, and recovery required to be a record-setting world champion. If you pay close attention starting 44 seconds into the video, you’ll see Phelps getting cupping! Cupping is a Chinese medicine technique that has been used for centuries for many different conditions. Acupuncturists commonly use cupping as an adjunct therapy to acupuncture. For people with needle fears, cupping on its own can offer a great alternative treatment. Phelps isn’t the only famous person to discover the benefits of cupping. Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow have been photographed with distinctive cupping marks on their backs and shoulders. What was once a mysterious, almost scary-looking treatment in the West is now hitting the mainstream due to its numerous health benefits.
By Sarah O’Leary Winter has a reputation for being the season of sadness. Seasonal affective disorder afflicts many people in winter, with frequent reports of depression. But anxiety may be even more popular. You may not necessarily associate anxiety with the winter season, but in fact, many people experience a spike in their anxiety level this time of year. From an acupuncture perspective, this makes sense. In acupuncture, humans are viewed as microcosms of the natural world that surrounds them, so seasons play a significant role in how we feel. And each season has an associated emotion. Winter’s emotion is fear. For many people, fear is experienced as an increased sense of anxiety.
By Jacqueline Gabardy It’s the season for getting sick. And it seems to be hitting everyone but me. Friends, family, and most of my patients are complaining of symptoms, from colds and stomach flus to fevers and sinus infections. Although I interact with many sick people this time of year, I don’t get sick myself. I can’t thank the flu shot—I’ve never had one. Multivitamins nor antibacterial gels are keeping me healthy—I don’t use either of these things. My trick to surviving cold and flu season unscathed is actually much simpler. I use tried-and-true methods that have worked for generations. Here are eight of my go-to routines for staying healthy throughout cold and flu season.
By Sara Calabro Acupuncture can help you live better in 2016—and in ways you may not expect. If you’ve been meaning to try acupuncture, or if you’re an experienced acupuncture goer who has fallen out of practice, make 2016 the year you jump in. Here are 16 benefits you’ll experience by embracing acupuncture in 2016. 1. It will make you more grateful. The driving idea behind acupuncture is that we’re already in possession of everything we need to be well. Acupuncture does not add or subtract anything. Rather, it prompts the body to do what it already knows how to do. It reminds you that you have the power to heal yourself. That’s something to be thankful for.
By Joseph Alban Most people think about acupuncture for acne after they’ve already tried everything else—over-the-counter creams, prescription drugs, chemical peels, you name it. But acupuncture, because it’s safe and effective (and has tons of side benefits), should be thought of as a first-line therapy for acne. The difference between acupuncture and most other mainstream therapies for acne is that acupuncture treats acne by addressing its root cause. Acupuncturists consider each individual’s constitution and collection of symptoms in order to determine where the acne is coming from and how to treat it.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.