All posts by Acupuncture Together

About Acupuncture Together

Acupuncture Together of Cambridge, Massachusetts is a community acupuncture clinic that has been providing affordable, effective group treatments to our community since 2008. We treat dozens of health conditions naturally and offer an affordable sliding scale to make treatment accessible to as many people as possible. Our location conveniently serves the people of Cambridge, Arlington, Somerville, Medford and others in the greater Cambridge/Metro-Boston area.

Increasing Access to Another Safe and Effective Treatment for Addiction in Massachusetts

By Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.

Substance Use Disorder (SUD), more commonly referred to as addiction, is a major problem here in Massachusetts.  According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 10% of Massachusetts residents over age 12 suffer from substance use disorder (SUD).  Common treatments for SUD includes detoxification, behavioral therapy and medications, followed by recovery support services to prevent relapse. 

Massachusetts needs to do as much as possible to help treat and save individuals suffering with substance use disorders.  One effective, simple and inexpensive adjunctive therapy that is not yet being widely utilized within our state is the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association’s (NADA) 5 needle point ear acupuncture protocol (5NP). Proven effects of the NADA 5NP include relaxation, decreased withdrawal symptoms, decreased symptoms of emotional distress (i.e. stress, anxiety, depression, and aggression), reduced cravings, relief of insomnia, mindfulness and prevention of relapse.  The NADA 5NP can be used alongside all the other traditional treatments to enhance the success rates of treatment and long-term recovery.

The NADA 5NP involves the insertion of 5 acupuncture needles at specific acupuncture points of the earlobes (10 needles per person).  Supplies for this procedure cost less than 30 cents per person. If professionals who are already working in addiction programs are allowed to practice the NADA 5NP as part of their job, then the costs to add this procedure to existing care are very minimal.  Thousands of addiction programs, drug courts, prisons, healthcare and trauma units throughout the United States have been using ear acupuncture for many years. This protocol has been used in cooperation with the American Red Cross for trauma relief after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters.

Why doesn’t Massachusetts already widely utilize the NADA 5NP?  The widespread use of the NADA 5NP in Massachusetts will require the passage of an acupuncture detox specialist (ADS) law.  Currently, only licensed acupuncturists are able to utilize this protocol, and there aren’t enough licensed acupuncturists available to provide ear acupuncture in every public health facility where access to this treatment is needed.  In addition, it is not logistically possible for most licensed acupuncturists to leave their own acupuncture clinics in order to work at another facility for only a few hours a week.

27 states in our country have auricular acupuncture laws already.  Maine just passed an ADS law in June of 2019, leaving Massachusetts behind as the only New England state without an ADS law. Because an ADS law has such great potential to benefit the people of Massachusetts, I and many other licensed acupuncturists are supporting Massachusetts house bill H1880 and senate bill S1336, each titled “An Act Relative to Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists.” Representative Carole Fiola and Senator Michael Rodrigues are each sponsoring these bills that are assigned to the Joint Committee for Public Health. 

These bills would allow for specific licensed healthcare professionals (i.e. nurses, drug counselors, social workers, psychologists, and certain physicians) who aren’t licensed acupuncturists to practice the NADA 5NP following specific training requirements.  Once trained, these professionals would be allowed to perform the protocol within their current scope of practice, bringing the NADA 5NP to more people in the commonwealth. 

Passing the ADS law would be an effective, efficient, inexpensive and safe way to provide one more tool in the toolbox for those in SUD treatment and recovery.  If you’re personally affected by SUD or have experienced the benefits of acupuncture yourself, please help turn these bills into a law.  Contact your state senator and representative, and ask them to support bills S1336 and H1880, “An Act Relative to Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists.”  Together we can work to make SUD treatment and recovery a success for more people in Massachusetts.

Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis, Plantar Fasciosis and Bunions

Patients frequently come to us with diagnoses of plantar fasciitis and, less commonly, plantar fasciosis, while many other patients come in simply complaining of pain in their heels and/or arches of their feet without any medical diagnosis or with pain related to bunions. In all of these cases acupuncture is often helpful at relieving pain and improving function (i.e. the ability to walk and stand more comfortably), but we realize there are often underlying causes that are likely causing these conditions that could be addressed to prevent further pain and foot damage.

We recently came across this informative video about plantar fasciosis, plantar fasciitis and bunions. If you suffer from heel or foot pain and/or have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciosis or bunions, we recommend this video for some tips that you may find helpful. If any of the warning signs are similar to symptoms you are suffering, we recommend you look into arranging a visit with a local podiatry clinic, such as heartland podiatry for those in the Kansas City area.

Note: we have no connection with the company, Correct Toes, that produced this video, but we think the approach is worthy of consideration so we have decided to share it with you in hopes that you may find it to be helpful.

How Acupuncture Works

People are often curious to know how acupuncture works. Many scientific studies have been done to understand the mechanisms behind acupuncture. Here we’d like to share with you links to several articles that explain the way acupuncture works in detail:

What Is Acupuncture? (and how acupuncture is said to work) from Live Science

Chinese Medicine Demystified (Part V): A Closer Look at How Acupuncture Relieves Pain by Chris Kresser

Acupuncture: Why It Works from Mercola

Does Acupuncture Work By Re-Mapping the Brain? from AEON

Acupuncture for Migraines and Headaches

June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. In honor of this occasion and in order to help more people who suffer from migraines and headaches, we’d like to share some information with you about how acupuncture can help these conditions.

We treat people with migraines and headaches frequently, often with good success. Many of our patients come to us for the treatment of migraines and headaches at the recommendation of their neurologists or primary care physicians. The American Migraine Foundation recommends that people who suffer from migraines try acupuncture. A meta-analysis of twenty‐two clinical trials including 4985 participants in total showed acupuncture to be effective in reducing the frequency of episodic migraines. Another study showed acupuncture to be helpful for frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches.

In our experience we find that acupuncture often reduces the frequency and severity of migraines and headaches. Of course we cannot guarantee it will work for every single patient who comes into our office, just like a specific medication can’t be guaranteed to help every patient who has a particular health condition. Overall, however, we feel confident in acupuncture for these conditions as we’ve had a lot of success helping our patients who suffer from headaches and migraines.

This post was written by Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.

The Cooperative Acupuncture Clinics Popping Up in Middle America

This excellent article highlighting the impact of POCA (People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture) community acupuncture clinics throughout the country was recently published. Community acupuncture patients are “taking part in one of the quietest revolutions growing across the country: cooperative community acupuncture.”

If you want to help support more accessibility to POCA clinics like Acupuncture Together to become available throughout the USA and Canada, please join POCA at https://www.pocacoop.com/membership/join-patientcom/. There are great member benefits for POCA patient members, including a May special for POCA members at Acupuncture Together, and your membership will help make acupuncture more accessible for more people.


Acupuncture for Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorders

By Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.

We frequently treat people for jaw pain/tension and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder related pain, typically with good results. Here’s a study showing the efficacy of acupuncture for TMJ disorders. Although this condition occurs in people all the time, there tends to be an increase in cases we see at this time of year, likely due to the seasonal shift to spring. Chinese medical theory recognizes the way seasons affect our health, and an interesting tendency at this time of year is for muscles and tendons in the head, neck and upper body to tense up. Symptoms of pain and tension in the jaw commonly occur along with headaches, neck and/or trapezius (tops of shoulders) pain and tension. The great news is acupuncture is helpful for all of these symptoms, so if you or someone you know is suffering with these discomforts, we suggest giving it a try.

Acupuncture for Hot Flashes

A recent study published in the BMJ Open found acupuncture to be an effective treatment for menopausal-related hot flashes, day-and-night sweats, general sweating and menopausal-specific sleeping problems.

Numerous studies on acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes and night sweats have shown varying results. What we see at our practice is that acupuncture is absolutely worth trying for these conditions. The majority of our patients do report reduction of frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats. For more stubborn cases we may offer a classic herbal formula for hot flashes and night sweats called Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan which often brings relief. Although this product claims to help with night sweats, with anything you are not familar with, it is in your best interest to do some research. At least this way, you know what you will be getting yourself into. With this being said, there may be a simple solution to what you are going through. So, to be on the safe side, it might benefit you to look into a site like Nucific, to find out more information regarding how to stop night sweats naturally. Remember, you don’t always need to take tablets, especially as there are always ways to solve problems in the most natural ways possible.

Acupuncture is also beneficial for hot flashes and night sweats associated with the treatment of breast cancer. Here’s an article discussing research on this condition. For those who are taking medications to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer we provide acupuncture only – no herbal medicine.

Written by Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.


Acupuncture for Heart Health and Cancer Support

February is American Heart Month and February 4th is World Cancer Day. In honor of these occasions we’d like to share with you some information about acupuncture for heart health and cancer support. We regularly treat people for these conditions with acupuncture.

HEART HEALTH:

Acupuncture is a useful treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure), and acupuncture is also effective in some cases of arrhythmia as well as for the prevention of recurrence of atrial fibrillation after electric cardioversion.

CANCER SUPPORT:

Acupuncture is helpful for the reduction of symptoms that many cancer patients experience such as postoperative pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression, insomnia, chemotherapy and/or radiation-induced dry mouth, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and hot flashes and night sweats in breast cancer patients. Acupuncture is increasingly becoming more common in cancer units of various hospitals.  The Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care is a scientific journal article featuring in-depth discussions on this topic.

Acupuncture For Insomnia

By Justine Myers, Lic. Ac

We treat people for insomnia frequently and it is usually helpful for sleep quality and duration. Some might find that supplements could help their insomnia and look out for phenibut HCL capsules for sale or pay a visit to their doctor for help. Improved sleep is also often a common unintended “side effect”/benefit of acupuncture, even when the points used aren’t specific to assist with sleep (for example, someone may come in seeking treatment for knee pain and find that they sleep better after receiving acupuncture).

Here’s one very interesting and informative research study showing the efficacy of acupuncture for sleep. This study was done on rats, which eliminates the possibility of a placebo effect.

A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials showed acupuncture to be a promising treatment for insomnia. “Based on the results of meta-analyses, the majority showed that compared with no treatment, sham acupuncture, or medications, acupuncture was significantly better on improving parameters in sleep quality and duration, and the combination of acupuncture and other interventions appears more effective than those interventions alone, though it was possible that the beneficial effect from acupuncture is overvalued because of the small sample size, flawed methodology of the included trials and the short follow-up duration.”

Although there is more research to be done, we are confident in recommending acupuncture for the treatment of insomnia based on our own experience providing thousands of treatments over the past 10+ years and results from studies like the ones above. Acupuncture is low-risk, non habit-forming and a pleasurable, relaxing experience for most people.

The next time you are suffering from a bout of insomnia or jet lag, we recommend trying acupuncture to get your sleep back on track. For chronic insomnia, regular acupuncture treatments are typically helpful for improving sleep quality and duration. If you’d like to try acupuncture for sleep we can recommend a treatment plan (number of treatments and treatment frequency) based on your particular sleep patterns. Hopefully you’ll find yourself sleeping better and feeling better overall as a result.

Community Healing

Community Healing

In the wake of traumatic events of any nature, whether they’ve occurred nationally, locally or personally to you and/or to your loved ones, our bodies and minds need time to process difficult feelings.

It’s not often that we have an opportunity to sit quietly among others and process our feelings without having to say much of anything.

We provide you with a space to grieve, to mourn, to let go of anger, to ease fear and anxiety, to uplift your spirit when you’re feeling depressed, to relax and to work through the complexities of your emotions.

Chinese medicine theory acknowledges various states of emotional imbalance, and certain points can be used to address emotions such as grief and sadness, anger, irritability, anxiety, fear and worry on a physical and emotional level.  Sitting quietly during an acupuncture treatment in a room among others who are also healing, no matter what their health condition or situation is, can be a powerful and peaceful way to experience relief and respite from difficult emotions.

We’re here for you when you’re in need.  We offer community healing.