I (Justine) recently came across this very interesting and informative video detailing the history and use of the National Acupuncture Detox Association (NADA) 5 ear needle protocol, often simply referred to as the “NADA protocol.” The NADA protocol is classically used for drug and alcohol detox/withdrawal symptoms and recovery, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress and insomnia. It’s a very simple and profoundly relaxing point combination that we use regularly at Acupuncture Together. Enjoy!
Justine (acupuncturist) and Michelle (front desk staff member) recently attended the latest POCAfest community acupuncture conference in Nashville, TN. We thought we’d share with you some of the highlights of our time at the conference and the topics of the classes we attended.
The theme of this POCAfest was “How My [Community Acupuncture] Clinic and POCA Have Changed Me.” We discussed the importance of the accessibility factor within the acupuncture profession and specifically in the community acupuncture setting; the importance of the hallmarks of community acupuncture such as the affordable sliding scale and group treatment room, and the way community acupuncture clinics are able to promote a trauma informed approach to care.
While at the conference Justine attended acupuncture technique related classes, and Justine and Michelle both participated in managerial/clinic systems types of classes. In between classes we enjoyed connecting with our colleagues and friends, sharing ideas and learning about how each clinic, while very similar in principle, has its own unique systems that work best.
Possibly the most important part of the weekend for both of us was the training we received with regard to a trauma informed approach to care, and what we call trauma informed acupuncture, specifically. Coming away with a new level of understanding and compassion for the effects of trauma in society and the people we serve gave us some new ideas about the ways we can communicate with sensitivity and respect for everyone.
Our friends and colleagues Lisa, Stef and Nora recently wrote this fantastic blog post: Acupuncture and the Question of Weight Loss. People often ask us about acupuncture for weight loss, and this is the best explanation I’ve ever read. So if you haven’t already clicked on that link, go for it! I’ve got no more to add – it’s fantastic, thorough, articulate and, I hope, helpful for you and others.
We gave 12,359 treatments in 2015! Since opening on May 27, 2008, we’ve given over 65,000 treatments! We love the way our community has grown over the years and how our clinic feels simultaneously “alive and calm” when the treatment rooms are full. It warms our hearts to see familiar faces each day, and to meet new ones. We are so grateful to have treated those of you who have been in to see us, and we appreciate all of you who have spread the word about our services and have sent your friends and family in.
Thanks also to those of you who voted us the Scout Cambridge Scout’s Honored Award for Best Wellness Service in Cambridge in 2015!
With the help of your referrals and enthusiasm for our services, we promise to continue making acupuncture as affordable, accessible and convenient as possible in 2016.
Kathia recently attended a conference held by The Society for Acupuncture Research. The conference usually discusses clinical research and basic research (i.e. how acupuncture works and biological mechanisms). She reported back to us with some information about what she learned, which is particularly pertinent to community acupuncture. It’s great to see that science validates what we know from our work everyday out at Acupuncture Together. We think you will find it interesting, too, especially if you’re into research and science!
“They just (finally) started doing some research in the context of community acupuncture with some really cool results. One of them looked at patient satisfaction with private [acupuncture treatments] vs. community [acupuncture treatments], and they were equally satisfied. Another looked at community acupuncture versus an educational group for fibromyalgia to see if it was something about the group dynamic (not the acupuncture) that made the difference. Group acupuncture improved symptoms significantly while the education group experienced no change. The same researcher is now conducting a study to compare private vs community acupuncture for fibromyalgia specifically, but they are just starting it, so it will be a while. Lastly, there was a study where they compared electro-acupuncture on points pc6-pc5 (local acupuncture), lv4-sp6 (distal acupuncture) and gb34-35 (control) for carpal tunnel. They looked primarily at changes in the somatosensory cortex. Since there is tingling and numbness in digits 1-3, the brain loses its ability to distinguish stimulation in different fingers, and the part of the brain that represents sensations in each finger gets smaller and less organized. In this study, as you may expect, both the local acupuncture and distal acupuncture caused a direct effect on the somatosensory system, improving its ability to distinguish between fingers, while the control group (estim gb34-35) experienced no change at all. Cool, huh?”
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, is common at this time of year and into the winter months during the darker days. SAD can manifest with feelings of depression, low mood or “the blues,” low motivation, tiredness or low energy, irritability and agitation, increased appetite and oversleeping.
Acupuncture is helpful for SAD, just as it is for depression in general. Acupuncture helps to balance the body’s natural chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin, regulating mood, energy, alertness and sleepiness. Patients we’ve treated for SAD have reported better mood, motivation and energy levels. Depending on the severity of SAD symptoms we recommend the following treatment frequency: 3 treatments a week for severe, 2 a week for moderate, 1 per week for mild. Frequency might also vary based on the time of year, amount of light and how it’s affecting you (frequent treatments may be more beneficial or necessary closer to the winter solstice).
Recently our friends at Points North Community Acupuncture, Apricity Community Acupuncture and North Country Community Acupuncture from the Minneapolis/St. Paul region cooperatively made this beautiful and informative film about community acupuncture, featured on the St. Paul Neighborhood Network. We think you’ll enjoy it. You might want to share this with friends and family who are curious about acupuncture or who are considering getting acupuncture but are hesitant or nervous.
CHINESE MEDICINE TIPS FOR THE SEASONAL TRANSITION TO FALL
As the air becomes cool and crisp and the days are getting a bit shorter, we feel the transition to fall. Whether you’re excited for autumn or wishing that summer would never end, we think you would benefit from learning some Chinese medicine tips that may help you get through the seasonal change in a healthy way.
Many people find themselves susceptible to common colds at this time of year. The changing weather puts some stress on the immune system. Here are several strategies, based on Chinese medical theory, which can increase your immunity and prevent and treat illness.
Dressing with warm layers and wearing a scarf to keep the back of your neck covered is a good idea since it keeps the body comfortable and stable, preventing chills and the stress of cold air on the body. In Chinese medical theory it is said that exposure of the back of the neck to cold air can make one more susceptible to a common cold. Getting enough rest, moderate exercise and a healthy, balanced diet (don’t overdo it on the Halloween candy!) facilitates good energy, optimal immunity and lowered stress levels.
ACUPUNCTURE & CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE PREVENTION & TREATMENT:
Acupuncture can be used to boost your immunity; a treatment once a week or every other week for a general health and immunity boost is beneficial. If you feel yourself starting to come down with symptoms such as a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, acupuncture can be helpful and/or Chinese herbal medicine. We have some over the counter herb pills called Yin Chiao that are useful at the onset of a cold with a sore throat; when taken at the first sign of a sore throat, they can stop the cold from progressing within 1-2 days. You can even purchase some Yin Chiao to keep at home and when traveling so that they’re available as soon as you first start feeling a sore throat in order to stop the progression of a cold. For a feeling of illness that begins with chills and perhaps a runny nose, you can try to “sweat it out” by drinking some hot soup or tea (perhaps with some spicy warming herbs like ginger or scallions) and wrapping yourself in blankets until a light sweat occurs. Sometimes that’s all you need in order to feel better. Home remedies can be great for those who know herbals can help their health and well being. Some people find they can use items similar to these 000 capsules could be great to make their own home remedies.
Here’s wishing you a healthy and happy fall season!
Acupuncture Together was recently voted the Best Wellness Service in Cambridge in Scout Cambridge magazine’s Scout’s Honored 2015 contest. A HUGETHANK YOU to those of you who took the time to express your enthusiasm and appreciation for Acupuncture Together by voting! We have always worked extremely hard to offer effective, comforting and affordable acupuncture and are thankful to know that so many of our patients are so happy with our services.
Most of the time our patients come in because they have a health condition for which they want relief. Acupuncture is not only effective for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, it is also effective as preventive medicine, that is, health care used for the prevention of disease. Acupuncture is an excellent tool for promoting general health and reducing the prevalence of imbalances such as stress, irritability, insomnia, fatigue and the like. You may have found that acupuncture has helped with some of the factors listed above, but unfortunately not all. Trying something like CBD oil may help with some of the problems that acupuncture did not. It may be in your best interest to have a look at Armchair Empire (armchairempire.com) who reviews the different types of CBD oil if you are unsure of which one to buy. But make sure you give acupuncture a go first before looking for alternative treatments.
Acupuncture has its place among other healthy lifestyle habits and therapies such as healthy eating, adequate sleep, moderate exercise, yoga, massage and mindfulness based stress reduction techniques. Instead of waiting until something feels “off” or “way off,” acupuncture on some regular or periodic basis such as weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly can foster a sense of well-being, reduce tension and improve the body’s immune response. It’s relaxing and calming to the nervous system. When you consider the fact that many health problems are caused or worsened by stress (some examples include digestive disorders, muscle tension, insomnia, depression, anxiety, frequent common colds/lowered immune response and PMS), it makes sense that the use of acupuncture, which reduces stress, would also help to prevent illnesses and imbalances.