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.

Community Supported Acupuncture

Community Supported Acupuncture

Acupuncture Together is a community acupuncture clinic.  We offer affordable and accessible group acupuncture treatments to benefit our community.  We also rely on your support to help us continue to provide the most affordable acupuncture that we can, with convenient hours and helpful staff.

Here’s where you come in. Think of this message as being similar to one of those funding drives on public television and public radio – except we aren’t asking for money, we’re just asking for your support.

Please tell your friends, family and co-workers about Acupuncture Together
Please tell your doctor and other health care providers about Acupuncture Together!
Please write a review on Google or Yelp!
Please don’t keep Acupuncture Together a secret!

Has your health improved as a result of acupuncture? Are you able to handle the stresses of life better when you receive acupuncture? Has your pain been reduced as a result of acupuncture? Are you able to live a more active life as a result of acupuncture? Have you slept better as a result of acupuncture? Do you enjoy coming to Acupuncture Together and relaxing in a recliner? Have you had a great experience with our staff? Were you skeptical at first? What else would you want to share with someone who might not know what to expect about community acupuncture, or acupuncture in general?  Sharing your story may change someone’s life for the better. You also help us to keep our chairs full, which helps us to continue offering our services to the community.

We always have room for new patients. Plenty of people get better and stop coming for acupuncture, and some people move away. New people move to the neighborhood and are looking for acupuncture. People are struggling with health ailments and may not know that acupuncture can help them.  Many people don’t realize that there is a place where acupuncture is affordable.

Please join in the community effort to let others know about the benefits of acupuncture and that Acupuncture Together offers affordable and effective care. Thanks for your support!

Immune Health During Cold & Flu Season

Immune Health During Cold & Flu Season

By Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.

It’s October in New England, and colds are very common.  While some people find themselves more prone to colds and other upper respiratory infections than others, there are some steps we can all take to help to prevent getting sick.  If/when you do get sick, or start to feel like you might be getting sick, there are also ways to lessen the severity/longevity of the illness and recover more quickly.

Immune health: our highest goal is to prevent getting sick altogether.  The first step to illness prevention is to wash your hands.  Yes, having clean hands is so basic, but it is absolutely key to staying healthy.  Beyond handwashing, some healthy lifestyle habits to keep your immune system at its best include getting enough sleep, managing your stress and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  We realize that these factors are sometimes out of one’s control, but being mindful of these habits and doing what you can to stay healthy is advisable.  Here are some more detailed immune health tips from Harvard Health Publishing.

Acupuncture can play a role in a healthy functioning immune system.  Receiving regular acupuncture is helpful for both immune function and stress reduction; therefore it is recommended as a means of prevention of illness, and can also be used as an effective remedy/treatment when you start to have symptoms of illness such as a sore throat or nasal congestion.  When you start feeling sick, the key to preventing a full-blown cold or sinus infection with the use of acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine is to be treated with acupuncture and/or take herbs as soon as possible after you start having symptoms, ideally within the first 24 hours – the sooner the better.  Chinese herbal medicine, particularly Yin Chiao for sore throat or Cang Er Zi Wan for sinus congestion/pressure/pain, is very helpful for the acute onset of illness, particularly as soon as symptoms begin.  Zinc lozenges, Echinacea and Goldenseal tinctures and Elderberry syrup are also helpful supplements that can be taken right away as soon as symptoms of a cold begin in order to fight it off.  Take these frequently/as directed for the first 24 hours of your cold symptoms and you may be lucky enough to fight it off altogether.  Also do what you can to take it easy: extra rest, a nap and/or a break from physical exertion can help your body to change course and fight off illness.

We have a variety of Chinese herbal medicines for various upper respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, sinus congestion/pressure and cough, and there are acupuncture points to address these conditions as well.  If you’d like to try herbs for a cold, just ask our acupuncturists which product would be most effective for you.  If your body has succumbed to a cold, acupuncture and herbs can help your body not only relieve symptoms but also shorten the duration and severity of the cold.  For nasal congestion the use of a neti pot or saline nasal spray is also a good treatment.

We do ask that if you have a fever, uncontrollable/severe coughing or gastrointestinal virus that you do not come in for acupuncture.  In general we do our best to keep our clinic as clean as possible and work to prevent the spread of illnesses.

We hope that you are able to stay healthy, and we’re here to help you with prevention and treatment of common colds and other illnesses.