By Denise Cicuto Have you seen Iron Man 3? At the end, there’s a scene when main character Tony Stark is undergoing surgery. If you look closely, you can see acupuncture needles in his chest. That’s Hollywood, but historically, acupuncture actually has been used, mostly in China, for anesthesia during surgery. It’s no longer standard practice, but with acupuncture becoming increasingly present in mainstream medical settings, we may see it make a comeback in surgical procedures. In the meantime, acupuncture can go a long way toward keeping people healthy before and after surgery. You don’t have to be a superhero to reap the combined power of acupuncture and surgery.
By Sara Calabro Why Are You Doing That Point? is back by popular demand! It’s been a while. This edition will focus on an acupuncture point on the all-important Spleen channel. I say all-important because the Spleen does a lot. It plays a critical role in our ability to digest food, which ultimately affects many other processes throughout the body—without nourishment, all systems suffer. In this way, the Spleen has a hand in everything, and Spleen 4 is one of the most commonly used points along the channel. Spleen 4—also known as Grandfather Grandson (English name), Gongsun (Chinese translation), and SP4 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located on the inside of the foot. Find it by running your thumb along the edge of the first metatarsal bone. Spleen 4 is about one inch above where the foot juts out, the place where most people get bunions (see photo below and click to enlarge). If you’re in the right spot, you should feel a slight depression at the base of the bone, and the point may be quite sensitive.
By Sara Calabro Time for another edition of Acupuncture Success Stories. If you are unfamiliar with this series, read the introduction to the first installment to understand what it’s all about and why we’re doing it. Today we hear from two women who used community acupuncture to reduce physical pain and discover greater bodily awareness.
By Adam Cantor Chronic pain is a growing and complicated issue. Millions of people feel stuck with their pain, suffering day in and day out with no resolution in sight. For many, acupuncture can shed light at the end of this very dark tunnel. We know that the nature of chronic pain can vary widely, from musculoskeletal and neurogenic to gastrointestinal, urogenital, and gynecological. However, less attention gets paid to the emotional component of chronic pain, which can be caused and exacerbated by negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and anxiety. Pain conditions that are emotionally charged—which, ultimately, describes all cases of pain, since being in pain produces negative thought patterns—often are unabated by the pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications that are so commonly prescribed. Treating chronic pain effectively requires approaching it holistically. This is where acupuncture excels.
By Denise Cicuto The last edition of Acupuncture Success Stories focused on two women who used acupuncture to overcome fertility challenges. And indeed, acupuncture alone and in combination with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) has been shown to help women achieve pregnancy. But what about once you get pregnant? Many women and their partners have questions about acupuncture during pregnancy. Here are answers to some of the most common questions.
By Sara Calabro Time for another edition of Acupuncture Success Stories. If you are unfamiliar with this series, read the introduction to the first installment to understand what it’s all about and why we’re doing it. This time we have two success stories about how acupuncture can help women who are having trouble staying or getting pregnant. Acupuncture Success Story #1 Patient: Sara Age: 32 Location: San Jose, CA Acupuncturist: Cynthia Ignatovsky What initially brought you to acupuncture? I was recommended to my acupuncturist after suffering two miscarriages. My husband and I did not have any problems getting pregnant but I was unable to maintain my pregnancies past six or seven weeks. I learned that my acupuncturist, Cynthia, had great success in helping couples maintain pregnancy so I decided to make an appointment.
By Melissa B. Light Kids and needles—bad combo, right? After all, kids hate getting shots. So, how is it possible that acupuncture is a good idea for helping your children stay healthy? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) techniques, including acupuncture, can be amazingly effective at treating a variety of childhood ailments. Common complaints like ear aches, respiratory infections, digestive troubles, bedwetting, ADHD, and much more can be resolved with pediatric TCM techniques such as acupuncture and tuina bodywork. I see it happen every day.
By Sara Calabro We’re back with another edition of Acupuncture Success Stories. If you are unfamiliar with this series, read the introduction to the first installment to understand what it’s all about and why we’re doing it. This time we have two success stories. The first is about a woman from Victoria, British Columbia who used community acupuncture to manage symptoms of depression. The second is about a Seattle-based writer who sought acupuncture for physical and emotional stress caused by too much computer use.
By Sara Calabro Imagine a world where people get acupuncture every day. We’d be less stressed, suffering through fewer addictions, and experiencing less pain. Unfortunately, acupuncture on the daily is financially and logistically impossible for most of us. The good news is, there are several therapies that serve as great complements to acupuncture. They are free, available to almost everyone, and effective at prolonging, enhancing, or mimicking the effects of acupuncture. While daily acupuncture may be idealistic, you can use other activities to cultivate some of the same benefits that acupuncture provides. Here are five things that are easy to incorporate into your life right now.
By Sara Calabro Welcome to a new AcuTake series, Acupuncture Success Stories. This is where we’ll share first-hand accounts of the various ways in which acupuncture changes people’s lives for the better. “How does acupuncture work?” is a popular, contentious question these days. Many people want the answer but most are looking for it in the wrong place. Acupuncture research and clinical trials, while useful in some regards, do not paint a complete picture. Understanding how acupuncture works requires an eagerness to listen and an openness to ideas that challenge conventional thinking. One way to practice this kind of listening and openmindedness is through stories about how acupuncture improves quality of life and inspires new perspectives on health. This series will tell those stories. And so, without further ado, here is the first of many acupuncture success stories.
By Sara Calabro This edition of Why Are You Doing That Point?, like the last one, will focus on a point on the Kidney channel. Kidney 6—also known as Shining Sea (English name), Zhaohai (Chinese translation), and KD6 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located on the inner ankle. Find it by locating the high point of your medial malleolous, the prominent bone on the inside of your ankle. Drop your finger to directly below the malleolous and you’ll feel a little dip between two tendons. That is Kidney 6 (see picture below). If you don’t feel the dip, try flexing your foot slightly. Kidney 6, in addition to being an effective point for resolving a host of issues—literally, from head to toe—serves as a reminder of how acupuncture’s greatness lies in its subtlety.