By Sara Calabro For people who are concerned about blood pressure, it’s been a confusing month. First, an analysis suggested that even people with normal blood pressure could benefit from taking antihypertensive drugs. Then, less than a week later, a separate analysis showed that “normal” may be higher than was previously thought. Finally, a report debunked the theory that body shape—whether someone is an “apple” or “pear” type—can increase heart-disease risk, a key factor in determining eligibility for blood-pressure meds. The further we dig into medical research, the less cut-and-dried things seem. These recent findings on blood pressure do little to help people determine the risk-benefit ratio of going on medication—if anything, they muddle the picture even more. The only thing that emerges clearly is the need for a broader perspective on hypertension, one that asks why blood pressure is high in the first place. Acupuncture achieves this by looking beyond the numbers to remedy the underlying imbalance.
By Sara Calabro The FDA last week approved the first new drug for lupus in over 50 years. This is potentially great news for lupus patients, who have not seen an effective treatment advance since steroids and an antimalarial drug were cleared for the disease in 1955. However, the time
By Sara Calabro Kristin Hersh is the founder, lead singer and guitarist for the popular 1980s rock band Throwing Muses. In addition to her continued work with Throwing Muses, Hersh performs with her other band, 50FOOTWAVE, and as a solo artist. Her latest album, Crooked, is available as a book, CD and app. She also is the author of Rat Girl, a memoir released last year that chronicles the early stages of Hersh’s 20-year battle with bipolar disorder. After two decades of trying everything from lithium to vitamins to exercise to just succumbing to her symptoms, Hersh had nearly given up on hopes of becoming well. Then she found acupuncture.
By Sara Calabro Study findings released last week are intensifying the debate over the relationship between emotions and physical health. The new research found that psychotherapy and exercise can “moderately improve outcomes” for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This is a feather in the cap for people who think CFS is a stress-related, psychological condition. It’s a blow to patients who are awaiting confirmation that CFS is viral in nature, potentially treatable with antiretroviral drugs. And it highlights the ever-growing need for therapies like acupuncture, which are premised on the dynamic interplay between emotions and physical health, to become better understood and more accessible.
By Sara Calabro Love is in the air. So is anxiety. For many people, Valentine’s Day brings up feelings of loneliness, rejection and even literal heartache. This can be very anxiety provoking, causing not only higher-than-normal emotional stress but also physical symptoms such as chest pain and heart palpitations. Acupuncture can be extremely effective for managing anxiety.
By Sara Calabro The American Lung Association recently released its State of Tobacco Control 2010 report—and the news is not good. According to the report, most states are "failing miserably when it comes to combating tobacco-caused disease." Instead of directing anti-smoking funds toward tobacco regulation, prevention and wellness, and smoke-free
By Sara Calabro What does irritable bowel syndrome have in common with ear infections and sore throats? All three now represent tempting opportunities for doctors to unnecessarily—and often dangerously—put people on antibiotics. New research, published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows that a two-week course of antibiotics
By Sara Calabro Holidays, whether fun or stressful, are nothing if not distracting. With them now past, people may notice the return of emotional symptoms that surfaced just before the holiday season began. The biomedical community calls this SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, a condition that describes mood shifts associated
By Sara Calabro From diets and support groups to surgically implanted devices, weight-loss solutions abound—and yet consistently leave something to be desired. For every Weight Watchers success story there’s a case of backfire, in which Points counting becomes so tedious and joyless that it only increases cravings for off-the-charts foods. The same Lap-Band that improves portion control in one person may be nothing but an ineffective and unnecessary surgical procedure for another. Different weight-loss methods produce unpredictable outcomes because we all gain weight, and struggle to lose it, for different reasons. Acupuncture by nature is multi-pronged in its approach—it simultaneously addresses physiological and emotional imbalances—making it an especially suitable therapy for complex conditions that are difficult to isolate. And so, The $64,000 Question: Can acupuncture really help with weight loss?
By Sara Calabro Acupuncture is an ideal remedy for what a recent CNN article calls a "cookie-cutter" approach to addressing the hidden wounds experienced by many veterans and active military personnel. The military, in light of the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, has
By Sara Calabro One of the most common running injuries is Achilles tendinitis, an irritation of the Achilles tendon that causes pain or tenderness between the heel and lower calf. Runners who are longtime sufferers of heel pain sometimes resort to cortisone shots. The New York Times last week, reporting