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 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 Eric Kerr Ladies love acupuncture. Most acupuncturists will tell you that they see more women than men in their practices. More women also become acupuncturists. And women’s health is a very common specialty among practitioners, male and female alike. In acu-land, women are all the rage! What about the fellas? Acupuncture can be an especially potent therapy for men. It’s time more guys discovered its benefits. Early in my acupuncture training, I knew I wanted to focus on men’s health. Being a man, I understand that men tend not to seek out healthcare in the same way women do. This is precisely why acupuncture can be so powerful in men.
By Sara Calabro This is part two of a series on acupuncture points for reducing stress. In part one, we explain how we gathered these points, and introduce the first 10. If you haven’t read part one, do that first. Then, check out the remaining 11 points below. They are all located on the head!
By Sara Calabro Everyone has a go-to stress response. Some people escape to sunny beaches. Others reach for wine. Many buy things they don’t need. Many more ignore it. All stress responses, assuming no one gets hurt or goes bankrupt, have their merits. Whatever works! However, many common coping mechanisms for stress are unrealistic, inconvenient, or unsustainable. After all, how many of us can jet off to the Caribbean every time life gets stressful? Acupuncture treatments, as well as the theoretical tenets of acupuncture, have much to offer in the way of long-term stress reduction. But what about in-the-moment stress relief? You’re about to give a big presentation. You’re waiting to hear about test results. The turbulence on your flight won’t let up. Several acupuncture points can help calm you down. We asked acupuncturists, what is your all-time favorite acupuncture point for stress reduction? A key criteria was that the point had to be accessible for performing self-acupressure, so neither acupuncture needles nor an acupuncturist are required to benefit from these points. They can be pressed anywhere, any time for immediate stress reduction.
By Marisa Fanelli Acupuncture can make you look younger. I’m not talking about cosmetic acupuncture, although that can be effective, too. I’m talking about using acupuncture to strengthen your five most essential organ systems—Kidney, Spleen, Liver, Lung, and Heart—so that you are systemically healthier. This can not only make you feel younger but actually prevent physical signs of aging. Remember that “organ” in acupuncture is different from organs as we think of them in Western medicine. An organ system in acupuncture includes the anatomical organ as well as the meridians that connect to that organ, the functional or energetic qualities of the organ, and even the associated emotions of the organ. Here’s how each of the five essential organ systems influences the aging process.
By Sara Calabro My Google Alerts are set up to notify me every time a mainstream media outlet mentions acupuncture. For the past two weeks, I’ve been getting pinged more often than usual. That’s because on March 24—brace yourselves—Kim Kardashian got acupuncture and Instagramed a picture of her face full of needles! Of course, no one cares about this nearly as much as the media would have us believe. However, when celebrities publicize their use of acupuncture, it generates a lot of new interest and questions about acupuncture—and that’s something we do care about. So, why did Kim Kardashian have so many needles stuck in her face?
By Erika Prinz Freed NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck does it. So does hockey superstar Jaromir Jagr. Olympic high-jumper Amy Acuff likes it so much that she learned how to practice it herself. New York City Ballet dancers swear by it. Acupuncture is a go-to therapy for many of the world’s leading athletes—but you don’t have to be a pro to experience the benefits of acupuncture. Whether you’re a die-hard marathoner, devoted yogi, gym rat or weekend warrior, acupuncture can enhance your performance by fortifying your overall health.
By Sara Calabro We’ve been talking a lot about acupressure lately. In just the past couple months, AcuTake has run articles on acupressure for the flu, acupressure for stiff muscles and joints, and acupressure for post-nasal drip. Previously, we’ve covered acupressure for hangover, acupressure for asthma, acupressure for stress reduction, acupressure for low back pain, acupressure for travel and acupressure for allergies. That’s to say nothing of our ever-evolving acupressure library. We’re obsessed with acupressure!
By Sara Calabro Acupuncture strengthens natural resistance to disease. I recently came across that sentence when I was leafing through some old notes from acupuncture school. It was underlined twice and highlighted. Although I don’t remember writing it or which of my teachers said it, the words clearly resonated with me at the time. Rereading them now, especially during peak flu season, they still do. It’s a simple idea and yet profound. Forget endorphins. Forget improved blood circulation. Forget placebo. This is how acupuncture works—by strengthening our natural resistance to disease. Whether we’re talking about the flu, and hence its immunity-boosting ability, or back pain, acupuncture makes us stronger so that we can naturally resist illness and pain. This is true whether it’s happening due to fired up neurotransmitters or a practitioner with exceptional bedside manner.
Digest This: You Can Manage Extra Weight, Constipation, Bloating, Reflux and Bad Breath With Acupuncture
By Nancy Byrne We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat.” It’s true, but acupuncture lends further insight into our relationship with food by suggesting that we are also how we eat. On some level, we know this already. Think about the times when you’ve skipped breakfast and then gorged yourself much too quickly on a huge lunch. Chances are, you felt a little irritable and anxious before stuffing your face, after which you probably felt uncomfortably full and bloated. Low blood sugar followed by undue stress on your digestive organs is one way of looking at this scenario. However, acupuncture offers an explanation that’s much more interesting and broader in scope. Understanding this perspective is an initial step toward avoiding weight gain, constipation, bloating, acid reflux and even bad breath.
By Sara Calabro Ever get that thing where your eyelid won’t stop twitching? Annoying, right? It comes on unexpectedly and makes it hard to concentrate on anything else. AcuTake contributing writer Eric Kerr recently had this experience, known as myokymia in Western medical parlance. His eyelid had been twitching for three months straight! He suspected it was caused by excessive computer use, a likely theory given the known ramifications of too much screen time. Screen-induced eye symptoms include eye pain and fatigue—which can cause involuntary spasms in the eyelids—as well as vision loss, dry eyes and headaches. The Western medical world now has a name for this, Computer Vision Syndrome. Inspired to help others deal with their own computer-induced eye problems, Eric made this video on acupressure for eye health. All points mentioned in that video are highly recommended for anyone suffering from eye problems. But when I heard Eric’s story and watched his video, it reminded of me an even simpler technique for reducing eye strain caused by too much screen time.