October 24 is Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day is held annually on October 24 to raise public awareness and support for the use of acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese and Oriental medicine.

Thousands of licensed acupuncturists, government figures, and health organizations use this day to support the practice and its use as a complementary medicine in our modern healthcare system.  AOM Day is sponsored through a partnership of prestigious research, educational and professional institutions, including the Council of State Associations, Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia, and the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles into specific points on a person’s body, stimulating the body’s own resources, maximizing the healing potential.  It is frequently used to treat pain, stress, inflammation, and dozens of different physical and mental conditions. Acupuncture has been used to restore and maintain the health of millions of people for thousands of years.

Newcomers are often skeptical of the effectiveness of acupuncture. However, a survey conducted by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine found that roughly 1 in 10 adults have received acupuncture, and nearly half of those respondents said they were either “extremely satisfied” or “very satisfied’ with the results. The survey also found that 60% of respondents said they would consider regular acupuncture sessions as a form of treatment.

Whether you’re suffering from a particular health ailment, or if you simply want to learn more about the practice of acupuncture, you should take advantage of AOM Day by scheduling an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist. Who knows, you might discover a powerful new way to treat one or more conditions from which you suffer.


6 Reasons You Should Try Acupuncture

  1. It is time-tested. Unlike newer treatments and medicines on the market, you can rest assured knowing acupuncture has been used for thousands of years by millions of people. 
  2. 1 in 3 Americans use some form of complementary/alternative medicine. Why aren’t you?  Remember, caring for yourself is not self-indulgent.
  3. A recent meta-analysis study performed by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York found that Acupuncture was 52% more effective than the Western Medicine “standard of care” when used to treat chronic pain, back, neck and shoulder pain, arthritis, headaches and migraines.   (from NY Times article  dated Sept 11, 2012)
  4. Acupuncture can treat both physiological and psychological disorders. Some of the common psychological disorders treated through acupuncture include stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
  5. Contrary to what some people may believe, acupuncture is virtually painless. In fact, it’s actually quite calming and relaxing, as it activates your body’s natural self-healing-process.
  6. With continued treatment, long standing health problems will slowly resolve as the body heals itself.




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3 Ways to Prepare for Seasonal Changes

As the transition from summer to fall begins, changes start to happen externally as well as internally. The days become shorter and the air gets cooler; our bodies change to adapt as well. Here are three ways to prepare for the fall season ahead along with the beginning of the yin cycle.

1. Let go of Negativity

The autumn season represents the time when the lungs and large intestine are of the utmost importance. This season is especially an important time to let of negative energy in your life.

Negativity doesn’t just affect your psychological health but your physical health as well. You can help get rid toxicity in your life by being aware of the causes and surrounding yourself with positive energy and people who make you happy.

2. Spend time Outside

Because fall is focused on the lungs, spending more time outside can help strengthen this organ and increase your immune system as cold and flu season starts to emerge.

Spend time in nature away from city pollution where you can breathe clean, cool air. Autumn time is the perfect opportunity to do this and refresh and strengthen the lungs.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatment can help you physically as well as mentally prepare for the change in seasons.

Some find it difficult to let go of the summer season and transition to shorter, cooler days. Acupuncture can ease this transition and make sure your body and energy are flowing properly.



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Dry Needling – What’s all the buzz about?

Recently there has been a lot of buzz around the term dry needling.  What is dry needling and how does it compare to the practice of acupuncture?  Let me lay out some of the facts:

  • Acupuncture is a technique with a 5,000 year history.
  • Written in the 4th Century, the Huang Di Nei Jin, one of the earliest texts on Chinese medicine and Acupuncture, includes a reference to a technique of needling directly into a painful area, called an Ah Shi point.
  • Licensed and Certified Acupuncturists complete over 3,000 hours of training to obtain a Masters. This includes over 600 hours of clinical hands-on training and 700 hours covering theory and treatment techniques. 
  • Dry needling is performed by Chiropractors and Physical Therapists who complete continuing education workshops. The training varies, but in many instances, dry needling can be practiced after the completion of a single 4 day course (36 hours). 
  • Dry needling is a technique that was developed by a physician in the 1970’s who discovered that injections into a painful muscle relieved pain. The physician evolved into using an empty syringe and hypodermic needle to perform what he called ‘dry needling’.
  • Dry needling is now performed using the same exact thin, solid filament needles as used by Acupuncturists.
  • Dry needling utilizes trigger points, which in many instances, match up with traditional Acupuncture points (without knowledge of how these points work).
  • Dry needling focuses on the symptom of pain by exciting the knotted muscle into twitching to relieve pain. The process is usually painful. 
  • Acupuncture not only addresses the pain, but the underlying cause of the pain. Acupuncture is generally less painful, more relaxing and the effects are longer lasting.
  • Acupuncture treats pain, and many other health conditions including headaches, digestive problems, stress, allergies, colds and insomnia; just to name a few.

I am a Licensed and Certified Acupuncturist, and am probably a little biased on the subject, so I am not sure what the hype around dry needling is all about.  Dry needling is really just the most basic form of Acupuncture, being performed by someone who specializes in something else.  Dry needling is usually practiced with minimal training, as an add-on service.  Due to the lack of training coupled with aggressive needling techniques there is a concern for the potential of causing harm to the patient.  I’m not saying that these other professionals are not well trained for the field they are licensed in; they are, but they are not necessarily trained well to practice dry needling or acupuncture.  

I don’t know how you decide what professionals you are using, but I would think most people want to choose a highly trained specialist to perform the services they are receiving.  I know I would! (and do). I have a whole address book filled with contacts of choice professionals for my personal needs. 

My specialty is Acupuncture.  As a fully trained Acupuncturist, there are many pain issues that I can help resolve quickly with just a couple of needles in a distal area of the body, away from where the pain actually is.  This is beneficial because it can resolve pain without a painful treatment or resulting in an inflammation flare-up. And I can also help resolve many other health complaints.   I love working with patients that are seeing other licensed professionals – Chiropractor, Physical Therapist and Massage Therapist, and I often refer patients to utilize these services to assist the patient with issues beyond my training and abilities.    

Our lives are busy so it might seem easier to see just one professional for all of your needs; but is it the best decision?  I hope that I have helped you understand what the buzz is all about when it comes to dry needling and Acupuncture.  All I ask is that you make educated and informed decisions when choosing your services. 

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Hospice Acupuncture

As a Licensed Acupuncturist I am always looking for ways to improve my skills and knowledge.   After meeting the wonderful ladies of Endless Journey Hospice Care,   I was compelled to find out more about hospice and the role Acupuncture could play during end of life care. http://endlessjourneyhospice.com

In my search I found The National Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Acupuncturists (NAHPCA) which offers training specifically geared towards Acupuncture for Hospice.  www.NAHPCA.com

From the NAHPCA website:

The National Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Acupuncturists (NAHPCA) establishes a specialized protocol for treating people at the end of life. Acupuncture treatments are customized to address the stages of grief and help move the patient through emotional blocks to a new level of acceptance which promotes a more peaceful death…. 

NAHPCA is an organization dedicated to broadening the circle of care for patients at the end of life to include Oriental Medicine (a system of medicine that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, bodywork, and numerous other healing modalities). Research has proven that combining treatments in Chinese Medicine with hospice and/or palliative care modalities leads to significant benefits in patient comfort levels. Safe and effective treatments may be used with all forms of terminal illnesses and the wide variety of emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual distress patterns associated with death and dying. In addition, acupuncture can be helpful for family or loved ones who are suffering with loss and grief.


The training curriculum from the NAHPCA included the history and philosophy of hospice as well as specific information for assessment and treatment protocols for the patient approaching the end of life.  

No one should suffer from pain or emotional issues in life or in the time leading up to death. Chinese Medicine and hospice both embrace a whole-person approach to care, treating the mind, body and spirit.   Acupuncture can and should play an important role to help the dying patient with physical, emotional and spiritual issues. Family members can also benefit from Acupuncture.  It is a safe and effective treatment for all.

Death is a difficult subject for most of us to think or talk about.  Many people celebrate and participate in the beautiful beginnings of life, the birth,  death should be no different.  

Need a Hospice Acupuncturist? I am proud to be a Certified Provider of Acupuncture for Hospice and Palliative Care.   It would be my privilege to be a part of end of life care for your loved one.  

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7 Steps to Detox After the Holidays

Blog-img 7 Steps to Detox After the Holidays_6401.  Get rid of leftovers

The holidays bring delicious homemade food, and along with that come the leftovers. Holiday leftovers can be just as good as when you cook the meal the first time and become a tempting go-to snack. Time to let go. Toss the leftovers, if you have not already done so,  they most likely aren’t the healthiest dishes and it’s time to start fresh.


2.  Stay hydrated

Most Americans do not drink enough water, and there is no better time to start than now! Fill up your glass at least 8 times a day. Some find it easier to carry a water bottle throughout the day to remind yourself to keep hydrated. Staying hydrated can flush out toxins and detox your body, as well as keeping you feeling good.


3.  Hit the gym

Sweating is another great way to flush out toxins. Exercise has many health benefits long term and short term. Find just 30 minutes a day to get some form of exercise, whether it’s going on a run, yoga or simply going for a walk. Getting your body moving is important for your metabolism as well as overall health.


4.  Ditch the sugar

The holidays are a notorious time that the sugar intake starts ramping up. Now that they are over, it’s time to remove added sugar to your diet. Limit how often you eat dessert and when you do, eat in moderation. Replace sugary foods with natural sweet foods like fruit. Fruit can fix your sweet tooth and also give you a boost of vitamins.


5.  Drink green tea

Green tea is packed with antioxidants and nutrients to help your body get back on track. It is one of the healthiest beverages you could choose, it can act as a replacement for coffee, lower your risk of cancer and protect your brain as you age.


6.  Get Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine believe in addressing the body as a whole when illness arises or the body is run down. Because of this, acupuncture treatment works by returning the body back to balance and restoring its natural energy. Certain acupuncture points can detoxify important organs like the kidneys, colon, lungs, liver and skin. If Acupuncture is not already part of your wellness routine, consider adding it this year.


7.  Relax

Don’t forget to relax and give yourself some downtime. The holidays are hectic and stressful, which can lead to bad habits and bad eating. Give yourself some time now that they are over to relax. Find activities you enjoy and make sure you make time for them every week. Detoxing is not just for improving your body physically, but mentally as well.


Finally, here is a link to some acupressure points you can do yourself to help you with your detox. Acupuncture is great for helping you detox, but also helps reduce pain and  stress and can assist you with your goals to get you to improve and maintain you health, resulting in a healthier version of yourself!



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