For weeks, Nathan Suver had a serious pain in the neck. It was a recurring problem, related to a back injury, and nothing made it go away. Until, that is, his doctor jabbed him with pins. “He did it as part of a routine visit,” recalls Suver, a 35-year-old software developer from Southington, Connecticut. “He has acupuncture training. He just said, ‘This will help with the pain,’ and stuck 10 little needles in me. He first put one in my neck, and then one in my wrist. It felt like lightning shooting through my body from my neck to my wrist. But it was actually only slightly uncomfortable.”The treatment was worth that slight discomfort, because Suver’s pain went away. A week later, he bragged about the success on Facebook. “What’s even more amazing is that while I was convinced it wouldn’t work, it did anyway,” he wrote. “So much for the placebo effect.”
Acupuncture, from an Eastern perspective, is all about energy and its flow through your body. If that flow is blocked, the thinking goes, pain or illness results. By gently tapping as many as 20 thin needles into your body at strategic points, acupuncturists try to reestablish the flow. That’s a compelling but not necessarily convincing explanation. So Western medicine is working to understand the mechanisms of acupuncture. “There are many details we still don’t understand, but essentially, acupuncture seems to stimulate specific muscles and nerves, activating changes that reduce pain and symptoms and promote healing,” says Kwokming James Cheng, M.D., whose June review in Acupuncture in Medicineaimed to identify the precise neurological significance of common “acupoints”—areas targeted in acupuncture.
How acupuncture works may be unclear, but the benefits stick out. Research shows that this ancient therapy can be an effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments, from back pain and sciatica to headaches, nausea, and asthma. We consulted experts and recent studies to find out which conditions seem to benefit most from acupuncture. If you’re struggling with one of the following ailments, you might consider going under the needle. Continue reading “5 Ways Acupuncture Can Fix Your Health Problems”
It’s still quite nice and warm during the days, but it is getting cooler overnight. During this time and during the transition to autumn, it is best to eat less salads and cooling foods in general. Think about something like a chicken or pork bone broth soup, it can still be fresh and light, but nourishing and easily digested at the same time. To give it an extra kick you might even think about adding some Chinese herbs like angelica (Dang Gui) or astragalus (Huang Qi) both of these can be sourced from your local Chinese supermarket & will help you build immunity heading toward the colder months, 15-20g of each in a large pot of soup is all you need and it will add a slight depth of taste to the dish.
(NOTE: a story for another day – however tonifying herbs are never used when we catch a cold or flu as we don’t want to strengthen the pathogen as this may make it last longer ! We strengthen deficient bodies when relatively healthy to prevent catching anything. In contrast to the western notion of a Chicken tonic soup, in the east the focus would be a vegetable soup using spicy and pungent herbs like ginger, pepper and spring onion to induce sweating to pass the pathogen through the pores (except for when there is a fever.))
Autumn is typically a drier timer of year, so adding some vegetables, which have yin strengthening properties such as celery, or asparagus would make a perfect addition. Here is a list of foods, which are in season during the autumn months, you don’t need to have them all, but simply make a conscious effort to incorporate more of them into your cooking!
I think people often expect that Chinese Medicine is most effective for sports injuries and the like; however anxiety and stress management are close to the top of the list for sought after treatments.
Stress relief from a crazy corporate job was what worked so effectively for myself that I went back to University to change careers and become an acupuncturist. So it goes without saying that treating, stress and anxiety are some of my favourite courses of treatment.
A good article on cupping, great for tight shoulders, relieving a cold and aiding the body to remove toxins. Interestingly, the more you needed it, the darker the marks will be temporarily left on the skin’s surface!
Cupping is thousands of years old and it is not exclusive to the Chinese.
Research indicates that Back Pain is successfully treated with Acupuncture. Good results can be expected for acute lower back pain, neck pain and sciatica. We use several different techniques which improves circulation, blocks the pain signal to the brain and breaks up stagnation such as knots and trigger points.
Acupuncture reduces or eliminates lower back pain for patients with lumbar strain, muscle spasms, or disc herniations.