Allergies Have Sprung

By Britta Van Dun Spring is here: Seeds are sprouting; bare branches are starting to show buds; the earth is warming. There is a thrill in the air, perhaps even a lightness to your step. Spring brings revitalization and new beginnings. It also brings allergies. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, spring can feel like a disheartening blur of symptoms: runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and coughing. Allergic rhinitis, an inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages, may lead to sinus infections or sinusitis. Many people don’t know that seasonal allergies also can exacerbate depression, digestive issues, and joint pain. Rather than temporarily alleviating these symptoms the way allergy medications do, acupuncture addresses the underlying imbalance that’s causing symptoms in the first place—allowing you to enjoy the outdoors all season long.

April 5th, 2011|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|1 Comment

Blood Pressure Beyond Numbers

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.

March 22nd, 2011|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|3 Comments

The Lupus Puzzle

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

March 15th, 2011|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|3 Comments

Musician Kristin Hersh Returns from Bipolar

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.

March 1st, 2011|Interviews, Specific conditions|35 Comments

Mind-Body Split Fatigue

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.

February 22nd, 2011|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|0 Comments

Anxiety That Hurts

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.

February 15th, 2011|Specific conditions|3 Comments

Hormone Regulation Therapy

By Sara Calabro HRT is hormone replacement therapy. Acupuncture is hormone regulation therapy—which, in light of last week’s health headlines, is clearly a better option for treating menopause symptoms. Big news came out of the U.K., where a large study of over one million postmenopausal women took place. The findings, reported on Friday, show that women who took HRT in the early stages of menopause were at higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who took it five or more years after menopause began. This is a big deal because popular belief was that younger women who began HRT earlier into menopause had little risk of developing side effects. In other words, the women who were thought to be at the lowest risk were found to be at the highest.

February 1st, 2011|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|1 Comment

Needles Trump Butts

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

January 25th, 2011|Specific conditions|6 Comments

Think Twice Before IBS Antibiotic

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

January 11th, 2011|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|0 Comments

Seasonal Affective Not a Disorder

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

January 4th, 2011|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|8 Comments

The Deal with Acupuncture for Weight Loss

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?

December 7th, 2010|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|6 Comments

Help for Veterans with PTSD

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

November 9th, 2010|Acupuncture theory, Specific conditions|4 Comments
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