By Arden Yingling We’ve all heard about the advantages of breastfeeding a new baby: It’s convenient and affordable, and breast milk offers valuable health benefits to both mama and baby. You’ve probably also heard that it’s easy—and that’s usually true! But what about those times when breastfeeding is a struggle? Early breastfeeding challenges are often due to simple issues with a baby’s positioning or latch. In those cases, lactation consultants, midwives, and postpartum doulas are amazing resources. Sometimes though, women find that their milk production is low, or that milk won’t let down easily for their baby. Many discouraged mothers stop breastfeeding at this point. But wait! Acupuncture can help.
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 Sara Calabro In the ongoing debate over whether and how acupuncture works, detractors lean heavily on the claim that you can’t actually see qi and therefore it must not be real. That’s no longer true. AcuGraph, an imaging technology made by Miridia Acupuncture Technology, measures electrical skin resistance at acupuncture points to determine how well electricity, or qi, is flowing through the body. Based on those measurements, the AcuGraph software identifies potential patterns of disharmony and generates treatment recommendations to help correct the imbalances. I recently met with Miridia’s founder and the inventor of AcuGraph, Adrian Larsen, to see AcuGraph with my own eyes. I was impressed.
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.
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. 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.
By Sara Calabro This edition of Why Are You Doing That Point?, an ongoing series that explains popular acupuncture points, is about Gall Bladder 30, a key point used in treatments for hip and leg pain. Gall Bladder 30—also known as Huantiao (Chinese name), Jumping Circle (English translation) and GB30 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located between your sacrum and greater trochanter. In normal-speak, Gall Bladder 30 is usually found smack in the middle of your jeans back pocket (see picture below).
By Denise Cicuto It’s not all about needles. Gua sha is one of several non-needle tools in an acupuncturist’s arsenal. It’s often used in combination with needles, but gua sha is a therapy in its own right. Gua sha is an East-Asian technique of scraping or stroking the skin using a device made of metal, bone, or horn. The scraping can be done on various parts of the body, and most often it’s done on the back and neck. Here are answers to some commons questions about gua sha.
By Sara Calabro What are your hopes for 2015? Want to feel healthier? Eat better? Get in shape? Try new things? Have better relationships? Me too! And I’m planning on using acupuncture to achieve all of it! Not literally. I’m not going to go for an acupuncture treatment and walk out with glowing skin, a six pack, and resolved childhood issues. But, I am going to allow the tenets of acupuncture to influence my attitude and actions so that I can live optimally in 2015. In the same way we talk about practicing yoga or practicing meditation, you can practice acupuncture. You can use the theories of acupuncture to help guide the decisions you make every day that ultimately determine your physical and emotional health. Here are 15 ways you can incorporate acupuncture into your life—and soar to new heights—in 2015.
By Tara Akuna Hot apple cider, chunky sweaters, and crackling fireplaces. It’s that time of year again, when we pull out our cozy-time favorites and huddle indoors to stay warm. As we approach winter, cold dark days urge us to slow down, conserve energy, and rebuild our strength for the coming spring. According to Chinese-medical theory, people should live in harmony with nature. The colder months are perfect for slowing down, resting, and becoming introspective. The food we eat also plays a key role in the conservation and rebuilding of energy this time of year. When you think of fall and winter, think warm food. Soups, roasted veggies, and slow-cooker meals are some of the mainstays necessary for building energy and a healthy immune system. In addition to warming your food through preparation, all foods contain certain energetic properties, so eating foods that are warm in quality is just as important as how they are prepared.
By Sara Calabro Here we are, about a month into fall. We’re a few days away from Halloween, about to officially enter the holiday season. This weekend we’ll turn back the clocks. Change is afoot. As the days get darker and the holiday engine kicks into high gear, you may discover your body and mood shifting. Lower energy, higher stress levels, changes in sleep patterns, and digestive disturbances are all common this time of year. If you notice yourself and the people around you changing in these or other ways in the coming months, remember: Change is good. It doesn’t always feel that way. Change actually can be quite difficult, and many of us struggle with it. Whether it’s a big lifestyle change or slight alteration in routine, having to adapt sets us off our games. I’m a champion change resister myself. I love my routines and tend toward situations I can predict and control. But acupuncture has been a big help to me in letting go of the reins a little bit. In acupuncture theory, change is the primary ingredient for becoming a healthier person. Recognizing this allows us to approach all situations, regardless of how challenging, with greater hope and flexibility.