Category Archives: Research

Acupuncture and HIV

More than 1 million Americans are living with human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV. HIV is not curable, although many live long lives after being initially infected. HIV destroys the body’s T-cells, which makes it harder to fight off infections and disease.

Acupuncture can help promote immunity, treat side effects of medications, and be a complementary therapy for HIV treatment. Many patients with HIV/AIDS suffer from pain and anxiety. Acupuncture can help lower stress in patients as well as pain that results from their decreased immune system.

Patients have found that acupuncture can help relieve symptoms of fatigue, chest tightness, flu-like symptoms and digestion issues that are associated with HIV. Acupuncture proves to improve quality of life for those living with HIV and increase their energy level and mood. Treatment can lower stress and anxiety levels, which are usually high in HIV patients due to the nature of such a serious disease.

Because there are not only physical effects of HIV, but mental and emotional as well, acupuncture is a great complementary treatment to help both the body and mind handle the changes that are occurring because of the illness. Being diagnosed with HIV can be traumatizing in itself, acupuncture treatment can help calm the mind and improve overall quality of life. Although HIV is not curable, it can be managed.

Acupuncture is one additive method of maintenance, which can help improve the quality of life for patients with HIV through balancing the forces through an individualized baseline.” – Claudia Briones

Professionals have concluded that patients who are stressed, anxious and depressed can adversely affect their health. For this reason, acupuncture works well to lower these feelings.

Most people with HIV are taking some sort of medication to help their T-cell count. Because acupuncture treatment is completely natural and involves no drugs, it can be used at the same time as Western medicine to help manage symptoms and side effects.

Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. When the body’s natural energy flow is blocked or stagnated due to illness, an individual does not have optimal health. Treatment works by returning the body back to it’s natural flow and restoring health to organs and the entire body and mind.

A study done at the University of Boston found that acupuncture treatment improved overall quality of life in HIV patients.

It is believed in Traditional Chinese Medicine that HIV, which causes a high susceptibility to infections, are heat toxins in the body and burn the system out, damaging the cooling part of the body. This causes an imbalance between yin and yang in the body. This imbalance is a disruption in the body’s qi, or natural energy flow.

CAM treatments are supportive rather than curative by nature, which helps an individual with HIV not feel like they are in limbo between life and death, but rather feeling, and truly being, alive.” – Complementary Therapies for the Treatment of HIV: In Search of the Evidence. International Journal of STD and AIDS.

Contact an acupuncturist today if you or someone you know is living with HIV and wants to consider a natural, safe, complementary treatment.

Acupuncture and Depression

depressionAccording to Reuters Health, a new study suggests that people suffering from depression can receive the same benefits from acupuncture that they would from counseling to help their depression. The study looked at 755 people with depression and found that one in three people who received acupuncture or counseling did not have depression after three months, whereas people who were not receiving either treatment had a lesser chance of eliminating their depression. Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that electroacupuncture was just as effective as the antidepressant Prozac in reducing depression symptoms. Acupuncture is a safe alternative to prescription medications such as antidepressants and just as effective, if not more. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, ask us how acupuncture can help you back on the road to better health!

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 positivitythe 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 canoutdoors 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) Try acupunctureacupuncture

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.

Can Acupuncture Effectively Treat Psoriasis?

Affecting approximately 125 million people – or about 2-3% of the global population – psoriasis is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the world. It’s characterized by the chronic formation of skin lesions, red patches, papules and plaque. These formations may appear in localized areas of the body or throughout the entire body, depending on an individual’s condition.

psoriasisPsoriasis is known to trigger intense bouts of itching. The sensation can be so intense that it causes the individual to scratch infection-prone sores into his or her skin. Regardless of how bad it itches, you should never scratch your psoriasis, as it will only make the condition worse.

As with most autoimmune diseases and disorders, psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system. The immune system is responsible for fending off potentially harmful viral and bacterial infections. It does this by producing key inflammatory hormones. Normally, it produces the right amount of these hormones, but there are times when it produces too much; resulting in conditions such as psoriasis.

The good news is that acupuncture may offer relief of psoriasis and its related symptoms. Acupuncture can have very positive effects on the immune system. When we are sick or dealing with chronic illness, our bodies are not able to function properly. This can be due to the body’s natural energy being restricted or blocked. Acupuncture works by treating the whole body and releasing any abnormalities through acupuncture points. By doing so, the body is able to function as it should and the immune system is strengthened because of this.

With psoriasis, the Spleen 10 xue hai acupuncture point is a popular choice because it targets the immune system.

One study found acupuncture to be effective at treating psoriasis, particularly when western medicine has been exhausted. “Our experience indicates that acupuncture is induced an effective therapeutic modality for psoriasis, particularly when the western medical management is unsuccessful. We speculated about the possible involvement of the cutaneous reticuloendothelial system in the clearance of the skin lesions,” wrote the study’s researchers.

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Inner Smile Meditation

Say “Hi” Inside!

Based upon Taoist meditation practices, the Inner Smile Meditation can have profound effects on your body and mind. This simple meditation suggests that you “smile” to all of your internal organs and glands. It is a way of saying “thank you” to your body for working 24 hours   , 7 days a week!

Below is the Inner Smile Meditation for the main Meridian Organ Systems. For more information, please refer to Mantak Chia’s book, Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality.

Choose a quiet spot and keep warm throughout the meditation. Sit comfortably at the edge of a chair, feet flat on the ground with your back straight. Breathe deeply and relax. Clasp your hands together, left hand on bottom and right hand on top, palms touching, and rest them in your lap.

Close your eyes and feel a connection between the soles of your feet and the ground. Focus on the midpoint between your eyebrows. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Put a smile on your face and journey down to the wonderfully amazing body that keeps you alive, alert and active.inner smile

  1. Heart – See your heart as a vibrant red color. Focus the energy of “joy” into your heart. Feel it pulse with love. Breathe in and exhale with the sound of HAW.
  2. Lungs – Radiate the feeling in your heart to your lungs. Picture your lungs as pure white. Focus on letting go of sadness and grief. Exhale with the sound of SSSSSS.
  3. Liver – Keep the feeling spilling over into your liver, which is just under your ribs on the right side. Picture it as a vibrant grass-green. When exhaling, let go of anger and frustration with the sound of SHHHH.
  4. Spleen – Continue to the left, under the ribs. Shine a vibrantyellow color into this organ. When you exhale, let go of overthinking and worry, and use the sound of WHOO.
  5. Kidney – Focus your attention on your lower back, just below and under your ribs. Imagine a deep blue-purple light. Breathe in courage and exhale fear. When you exhale, use the sound of WOOO.

Once you have traveled through your body, begin to focus your attention on your navel. Smile down to your navel, and focus your attention there.

Mentally move the energy in a spiral at the navel 36 times. Women start the spiral counterclockwise, men start it clockwise. Next, reverse the spiral direction and bring the energy back into the navel, circling 24 times. You can use a finger to guide the spiral motion.

It is ok if you don’t know the exact locations of your organs. Just bringing awareness to your organs is benefit enough. Your body will love you just the same.

Perform each exercise 9 times, twice a day. These exercises can affect your body and mind, so it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider.

Headaches – How Acupuncture Helps

HeadacheIf you suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Over 50 million of us experience some form of a severe headache at some point in our lives. Whether you experience minor head pain or severe migraines, headaches can take valuable time out of your day and your life, and leave you searching for relief.

Many seek relief by reaching for drugs and other medications. This may work temporarily and can help you get out of pain fast. Unfortunately, common headache medications do not address the root cause(s), and when used over long periods of time can cause unwanted side effects.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer a safe and effective approach to relieving headache pain without causing harmful side effects. These healing modalities provide a comprehensive diagnostic protocol that can help your acupuncturist understand and address the root cause(s) of your headaches.

Causes of Headaches: There are many factors in TCM theory that may play a key role in the root cause(s) of a headache. These include body constitution, emotional health, excessive work, social activities and exercise, improper diet, physical trauma and hormones. Headaches can also be diagnosed according to specific symptoms, times of occurrence, location, type of pain, and triggers.

A natural path to relief: Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. Your practitioner will take a detailed health history, and perform a physical exam to determine how and why your body’s vital energy, or Qi (pronounced chee), is out of balance and identify what type of headache you are experiencing. To determine the most effective care, he/she will focus on illuminating the root cause(s) of the problem.

It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a quick fix. Changes may occur quickly or over a longer period of time, depending upon your overall constitution and health. Whether it is one visit to address an acute problem, or several visits to address a chronic problem, it is suggested to closely follow care recommendations of your acupuncturist to maximize your healing potential.

Below are a few ways that you can make simple lifestyle changes that may help alleviate or even prevent headaches:

Track your triggers – Try to keep track of when your headaches start. Migraine sufferers may find it especially helpful to keep a diary of symptoms. Certain types of foods and hormonal changes can be possible causes.

Stress relief – Stress can contribute to many types of health concerns, including headaches. Talk to your practitioner about healthy ways to handle stress.

Exercise – Physical activity is an important part of any healthy lifestyle and is a great antidote for stress.

Healthy habits – Do your best to eat healthy, organic foods, stay hydrated and get enough sleep every night.

Acupuncture care – is extremely effective in reducing the frequency and severity of many types of painful conditions, including headaches and migraines, naturally. By working with your acupuncturist and adopting some simple lifestyle changes, you will be on your way toward a healthier, happier, pain-free life.

Acupuncture For Allergies and Asthma


Do you suffer from allergies or asthma? If so, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that more than 26 million Americans have the chronic inflammatory disease asthma, and more than 50 million Americans have nasal allergies. While most people resort to harsh prescription drugs to treat these conditions, a safer and more effective solution may lie in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture.

Some people might turn their head at the thought of treating asthma by placing small needles under your skin. However, this ancient practice is believed to be effective in the treatment of numerous respiratory disorders, including asthma. The World Health Organization (WHO) even listed asthma as being “a condition for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that acupuncture will cure your asthma, but it can help alleviate the symptoms and reduce the frequency of flareups.

Acupuncture involves the placement of fine needles in specific points of the body, known as acupuncture points. The idea behind this practice is that placing the needles in these areas will restore the body’s flow of energy (Qi). When Qi becomes stagnant,it leaves the individual susceptible to disease and illness, which is why it’s important to keep it moving throughout the body. Professional acupuncturists often treat asthma by using acupuncture points found in the Lung, Stomach and Kidney meridians.

Acupuncture may also help those who suffer from allergies. Allergies are the result of the immune system’s wrongful identification of what it believes to be a foreign invader. When you are exposed to an allergen, your immune system may view the substance or pathogen as being a foreign invader, at which point it responds by manifesting symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, etc.

By restoring the body’s Qi, the immune system is given a helpful boost of energy that allows it to properly identify what’s a foreign invader and what’s not. Whether your allergies are minor or severe, you should consider seeking the services of an acupuncturist. It’s a safe and painless process that can reinvigorate your body and mind, alleviating the symptoms of both allergies and asthma. A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found acupuncture to offer greater relief of allergies when compared to both antihistamines and sham

Acupuncture To Treat Infertility

Acupuncture Can Help Reverse Infertility!

Fertility Hands on Belly

A long term clinical study has concluded that the use of acupuncture as a treatment for infertility can significantly improve chances of pregnancy. The study tested acupuncture alongside groups of women who were either also using in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and women using no biomedical assistance. While results varied between the different groups they also experienced increases in fertility. Compared to the normal predicted outcome of 24% conception from IVF, 42.5% of the women in the IVF group conceived.

The group of women receiving no other biomedical treatment for fertility other than acupuncture, demonstrated a conception rate of 52.38%. This study clearly demonstrates how acupuncture is a safe and effective way to increase a woman’s fertility when trying to conceive. The researchers also noted that no adverse health effects were witnessed during the study. This is news for anyone undergoing fertility treatment who wants a safe, natural and cost-effective way to increase their chances of conception.

Acupuncture Calms Irritable Bowels

Acupuncture Alleviates Irritable Bowel Syndrome!

Bowel Hands on Belly

Acupuncture has proven to be especially effective in alleviating Irritable Bowel Syndrome for patients suffering from a
particularly severe type of IBS known as IBS-D. Recent research has shown that acupuncture has a 96.7% total effective rate
with many patients recovering completely from IBS. The study tested the effects of acupuncture on abdominal pain and other
severe effects of IBS-D. By itself, acupuncture had a 76% total effective rate but when combined with moxibustion, an herbal remedy, the total effective rate spiked to 96.7%.

The symptoms of IBS-D include abdominal pain and diarrhea and can be debilitating. This research is promising for any seeking treatment for IBS-D. If you suffer from IBS, make an appointment with an acupuncturist because you can be sure that they can help.