On the Effectiveness of Acupuncture

Summary of Research Supporting the Effectiveness of Acupuncture

A comprehensive study commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs found acupuncture to have a positive effect in the treatment chronic pain, migraine and tension headache. The same study found a potentially positive effect in dysmenorrhea, cancer pain, labor pain, insomnia, post-operative nausea and vomit, depression, and smoking cessation.1

Acupuncture outperforms placebo in relieving the most common types of chronic pain: headache, low back, neck, shoulder and knee pain.2

Acupuncture significantly outperforms standard care in headache, low back, neck, and knee pain.3

Acupuncture is superior to most forms of physical therapy in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.4

The American College of Physicians and American Pain Society recommend acupuncture as a second-line therapy for chronic low back pain.5

The American College of Chest Physicians recommends acupuncture for cancer patients when pain, nausea, vomiting, or other side effects of chemotherapy are poorly controlled.6

1 Hempel S, Taylor SL, Solloway M, et al. Evidence Map of Acupuncgture. VAE-ESP Project #05-226; 2013.
2 Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Mascino AC, et al. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Sep 10:1-10.
3 Ibid.
4  Corbett MS, Rice SJC, Madurasinghe, et al. Acupuncture and Other Physical Treatments for the Relief of Pain Due to Osteoarthritis of the Knee: Network Meta-analysis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Sep;21(9):1290-8.
5 Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Joint Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147 (7): 478-491.
6 Cassileth BR, Deng GE, Gomez JE, Johnstone PA, Kumar N, Vickers AJ; American College of Chest Physicians. Complementary therapies and integrative oncology in lung cancer: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (2nd edition). Chest. 2007 Sep;132(3 Suppl):340S-354S.

Essential Healthy Habits

Meridians on human body

The Meridian System

To live a healthy life at the most basic level, we all know that there are certain habits that must be maintained on a consistent basis. 

Want healthy teeth?  Brush a few times daily, floss at least once a day, and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.

Healthy bodily hygiene requires that you shower or bathe daily.

Living at a healthy bodyweight results from consistently eating the right types of foods, and regularly engaging in some form of exercise.

Most importantly, living your life at your absolute healthiest, with 100% energy flow and maximum expression of life requires clearing the body of meridian imbalances and then maintaining those changes through consistent wellness treatments.

These are truths that cannot be denied.  When you quit performing any of these proactive habits, its corresponding aspect of health begins to decline.

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Are You Stuck in First Gear?

Imagine you are driving down the road with your gas pedal to the floor.  Your car runs great and gets you to where you need to be. All is good.

But then you look around and notice that everyone else is whizzing right by you.

Determined to keep up with those around you, you take your car into the shop and have the mechanic give it a good once-over.

The mechanic finds that while you have been getting to where you need to be, you have been doing so while driving in only one gear.  In actuality, he discovers that your car has an entire set of gears that have never even been utilized!

Many people live out their lives the same way; stuck in first gear and never living up to their full potential; not quite hurting, but definitely not at their best.  The problem is that while most people realize that they simply are not living up to par, they don’t know how to access their hidden gearbox to take their health to the next level.

These are the people that need to be under acupuncture care!

The old misconception that acupuncture care is just for those in pain or battling symptoms is quickly being exposed for the fallacy that it is.

Those who get the most out of their acupuncture treatments are the ones who take their care beyond the relief phase and work with their acupuncturist to maintain lifelong health and wellness.

The true essence of acupuncture actually has nothing to do with the treatment of pain and symptoms.  Acupuncture treatments remove meridian system blockages by detecting and correcting imbalances in the meridian system.  Symptoms are relieved as a byproduct of building a healthier body.

A blockage within the meridian system, ones that are continually out of balance, will never allow the body to run at maximum speed and efficiency.   The blockage and imbalance in effect acts as a governor on your body’s engine, limiting it to a certain speed that it can’t rise above.

You are not designed to sputter through life in first gear.  You are created to live all out at full throttle.  Settle for any less and you not only short-change yourself, but also those who depend upon you.

Your meridian system is housing a whole new set of gears that most of us never even tap into.  By unleashing the full scope of your body’s innate potential, acupuncture can help you take your health and your life to unparalleled heights.

Three Simple Thumps to Release your Creative Self

From the Spring Health Wellnews Newsletter

It’s time to write the book you’ve always wanted to write, to play the instrument that is sitting in your closet or to paint the picture that you see in your dreams.

In your busy life, it’s hard to be creative. Jobs, family, community—they all demand your time and attention. Often they require linear thinking and Olympic-level time management.

Linear thinking and time management are great for managing your life, but they don’t lend themselves to creative pursuits. Without right-brain activities, your life becomes dull and mechanical. And predictably, the more dull and mechanical you feel the less likely you are to be creative.

Donna Eden in her book “Energy Medicine” has an easy way to unlock your stuck creativity. Donna works with the body’s energies and her principles include those of Traditional Chinese Medicine. By activating acupressure points and stimulating meridians, you can increase your health, boost your energy and super-charge your vitality.

Basically, you thump and stretch your way into feeling more alive and creative.

The Three Thumps

“The Three Thumps” is part of Donna’s Daily Energy Routine. Thumping these 3 points makes you feel less tired and more vital, and supports your immune system when you are stressed. Vitality is the first step to feeling creative. Usually you do the Three Thumps as part of a bigger routine, but think of these 3 simple exercises as your portable creativity toolkit. You can thump anywhere and anytime you need a lift.


Thump #1: Kidney Points

Thump #1: K-27 Points
The K-27 points are versatile acupuncture points that relieve throat, chest and back pain, help you breathe deeply and help release endorphins. To find these points, place your fingers in the depression above your breastbone, where a man knots his tie. Move your fingers out to each side and down 1″—just below your collar bone. You should feel a small soft spot.

Firmly tap or massage these points while you take three deep breaths. Don’t worry about being exactly on the points. Use several fingers to tap in the approximate area and you’ll get the benefit.


Thump #2: Thymus Gland

Thump #2: Thymus Gland Thump

Your thymus gland supports your immune system. By thumping the thymus you awaken your body’s energies, support your immune system and increase your energy, strength and vitality.

Place your fingers in the center of your sternum, about 2 inches below level of the K-27 points. Use your thumb and fingers to tap your thymus as you take 3 slow, deep breaths.

3 Thumps Spleen

Thump #3: Spleen Points

Thump #3: Spleen Points

The spleen meridian lifts your energy, regulates your blood sugar, removes toxins and supports your immune system. Stimulating spleen acupuncture points lifts your energy and decreases your stress levels.

The neurolymphatic spleen points are beneath the breast, in line with the nipples and down one rib. If you are below your rib cage, you have gone too far.

Thump the points firmly while taking 3 deep breaths. If any spot is tender, take a little extra time to massage it.

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© 2013 Copyright Acupuncture Media Works, All Rights Reserved. The information contained within the Health WellNews newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine. Photo Credits: [iStockphoto]/Thinkstock. [Creatas]/[Creatas]/Thinkstock.

The Surprising Truth about Dandelions

From the Spring Health Wellnews Newsletter

In most parts of the country as your lawn greens, it also yellows—yellows with dandelions. For such a beautiful flower, dandelions can cause a lot of dread.

  • But did you know that your lawn’s enemy is your health’s ally?
  • Dandelions are a great source of nutrition, but few people eat them.
  • If your lawn is organic you can control dandelions and eat healthy, all in one meal.

What are the Health Benefits of Dandelions?



Many people know that dandelions are great for detoxing, but that is just the beginning. The roots are a fantastic liver tonic. The leaves are a digestive bitter and support your circulatory and lymph systems. The flowers are great for your skin. Even the sticky sap is useful—it can erase warts, corns and calluses.

The entire plant is packed with nutrition. Dandelions are high in vitamins A, B, C and K. They contain a lot of minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese.

Controlling your blood sugar is easy with a dandelion meal. They are a low calorie, high fiber and high protein food.

Dandelions are also recommended for many health conditions. People with bone health concerns, liver disease, diabetes, urinary disorders, skin care, acne, weight loss, cancer, jaundice, gall bladder issues, anemia and high blood pressure all benefit from eating dandelions. The nutrients found in dandelion greens may help reduce the risk of cancer, multiple sclerosis, cataracts and stroke. And on top of all of these benefits, dandelions are anti- inflammatory and may offer benefits to people with inflammatory conditions.

How do I Gather Dandelions?

It’s not hard to find dandelions in the wild since you can find them in lawns all over the country. Your biggest challenge will be finding dandelions that haven’t been sprayed. Make sure you know the history of your dandelion patch.

Harvest time depends on which parts of the plant you intend to eat. Springtime is the best time to gather dandelion greens. Tender young leaves are the least bitter; look in shady areas for the tenderest plants. The best time to harvest is after a series of cool rains, when the nights are still cool and before the plant blooms. You can gather roots any time of year, but typically people harvest them in fall. And, of course, gather the flowers while they are blooming and look fresh and yellow. Be quick because the time from flower to seed is less than 2 weeks.

Since harvesting dandelions is dirty business, the easiest way to eat dandelions is to buy them at a store. Many specialty grocery stores now carry dandelion greens.

How Do You Eat Dandelions?

There are many ways to eat dandelions and the internet is full of recipes. The entire plant is edible—leaves, flowers and roots. As a rule of thumb, use the leaves the way you cook with spinach and the roots the way you cook with burdock.

The flowers and roots can be both meal and beverage. You can boil and stir-fry both the flowers and roots as a cooked vegetable. And you can make wine with the flowers and roast the roots to make a coffee substitute.

The leaves are the most common part to eat. You can eat dandelion leaves both cooked and raw. In addition to steaming, boiling or stir-frying the leaves, you can throw them in a soup or combine them with kale, lettuce or cabbage. Use the raw greens in salads or on sandwiches. Dry the greens and use them for an herbal infusion. You can even juice the leaves or add them to a smoothie.

Surprise your family and friends by gathering dandelion greens and making a pesto. Serve the pesto with some crusty bread, delicious cheese and fresh spring-time fruits. Enjoy your meal while looking at your weed-free lawn.

Dandelion Pesto

12 ounces washed and cleaned dandelion leaves
1 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
6 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 1/2 ounces Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

1. Put one-third of the dandelion greens in a food processor or blender with the olive oil and chop for a minute. Add the remaining dandelion greens in two batches until they’re finely chopped.
2. Add the garlic, pine nuts, salt and Parmesan, and process until everything is a smooth puree.
3. Taste; add more salt if necessary. Thin with olive oil or water if needed.

Storage: The pesto can be refrigerated in a jar for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. To prevent the top from darkening pour a thin layer of olive oil on top. From: David Lebovitz www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/03/dandelion- pesto-recipe/ 

Other articles in the newsletter:

Download the complete Spring Health Wellnews Newsletter

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© 2013 Copyright Acupuncture Media Works, All Rights Reserved. The information contained within the Health WellNews newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.