There are over 2,000 acupuncture points in the human body.

acupuncture pointsYes, it is true…2,000 acupuncture points! Now you can see why the training to become an acupuncturist is so involved. And that’s not even counting the study of anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, Chinese herbology, bodywork, nutrition and so on.

Basically, after we establish that we can help somebody using acupuncture, we must establish exactly what points are going to help the person the most.

The combination of points is VERY important. The most effective combination of points gets the body to begin functioning again, similar to the exact combination that opens a safe.

There are specific diagnostic methods that of been in use for literally hundreds and hundreds of years that we use in the clinic that guide us to the best point combination which leads to the most effective healing.

2000 acupuncture points may sound like a lot, but in using the logic of Chinese medicine, anywhere from a very select 4 to 25 points will usually do the trick in a typical treatment.

Chinese New Year

2016 is the 4713th Chinese Year. (Sounds crazy, right?!)

chinese new year red monkeyBeginning on February 4th, we officially move into the year of the “Red Monkey.” The day of Chinese New Year falls on February 8th.

The exact origin of this holiday is too old to be traced, but many explanations still exist. One idea is that the holiday originated when a beast named Nian (which means year in Chinese) came out the night before the new year and started to prey on the people in the villages. Of course, the people were very frightened by this monster and so a brave old man went up to the beast and said to him that instead of eating the people of the villages, he should eat the other beasts that frightened these people. Nian followed the old man’s request and all of the beasts were chased into the forest. The old man rode away on Nian’s back, and as it turns out, the man was an immortal god. The people of the village were very grateful to the old man for giving them a peaceful life. Before the old man left for good, he told the people to put up red paper decorations on their windows and doors at the beginning of each new year because the color red scared the beast. They also set off firecrackers to scare away the horrible beast.

During the Chinese New Year’s celebration, people participate in many traditional activities. The Chinese believe that as they enter a new year, they should put behind them all things of the past. They clean their houses, pay off debts, purchase new clothes, paint their doors and window panes, and even get new haircuts. These activities symbolize new life and new beginnings.

Homes are decorated with flowers and paper decorations stating wishes of prosperity, good luck, happiness, good fortune, wealth, and longevity for the coming year. Decorations of the incoming zodiac animal are also displayed. Red and gold are very popular colors to decorate with. Red represents power happiness, vitality (and scares away beasts). Gold represents wealth and good fortune.

The dragon is another popular symbol for Chinese New Year. It is a symbol of strength, goodness, and good luck, and supernatural forces. The dragon is said to be a mythical combination of many animals.

A Chinese New Year celebration would not be complete without fireworks. There are many beliefs about why fireworks are used. One is that the noise wakes up the dragon who will fly across the sky to bring the spring rain for the crops. Another belief is that the noise of the fireworks is supposed to scare away all evil spirits and misfortunes, preventing them from coming into the new year. In fact, gunpowder was invented in China over 1000 years ago for that very purpose.

 

What is  the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?

The answer to that is quite simple. Acupuncture affects your body in a very precise way and on a deeper level then acupressure. Acupuncture can stimulate as deep as the organ system, for example the liver or the kidneys. When we place an acupuncture needle into a specific point, say on the top of the foot, it can actually cause a functional change in the liver.

acupressure

Acupressure, although potentially powerful, may not cause as deep and as precise of a change. As a result, acupuncture’s results tend to be more permanent than acupressure.

We find that in certain cases, you may get much faster results utilizing both scopes of practice. With some patients, we recommend continued stimulation of certain acupuncture points outside of the clinic for best results, although in many cases, it is not necessary.

In short, one is neither better or worse than the other. Depending on the condition, they can both be very helpful.

If you have any questions about acupressure, we’re always here to help. Give us a call or shoot us an email and we’d be happy to assist you.

GMO vs. Non-GMO foods.

bee pollinating flower
Bee pollinating flower.

GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) are plants and animals created in the lab by splicing genes. In the past, to create a new variety of plant, we had to use cross-breeding or hybridization – where the pollen on one plant was introduced to the flower of a second plant. This would result in a new type of plant that had properties of both parents. This had to happen between organisms that were similar enough to accept the genetic material of each other. In fact it often happens without human intervention when neighboring plants receive each other’s pollen borne on the wind or by insect activity.

GMO varieties are created by taking portions of genes, in the lab, often of life forms like plants, fungi, animals, bacteria or viruses and splicing them into the genetic code of an unrelated organism. This creates a new life form with genetic makeup that could never have occurred in nature. Many of them are unstable.

GMO in lab
Creating a new organism in the lab.

There’s a lot of argument about whether these new food items are safe to consume or as healthy as the traditionally created hybrids. Their creators say the nutritional value is the same. Many others find that they tend to create food sensitivities in some people.

One has to consider, though that over 70% of these new plants are created to withstand the effects of chemical herbicides. The fields can now be continually sprayed to destroy crop-reducing weeds – with the hope to increase yields. But the weeds are becoming naturally resistant too, creating super-weeds that require more and more toxic chemicals to control. The food plants are being modified to tolerate this increased chemical exposure. But plants absorb what is in their environment, and we absorb what is in the plants we eat. This creates new and additional stresses on our liver and kidneys to detox and filter out the chemicals from our bodies, as well as stress on our organs and cell which must now be exposed to these chemicals.

The best way to avoid this stress it to try to buy Non-GMO certified or certified Organic foods whenever possible. This is important with meat and animal products too, because their food crops are being modified as well. Frequent restaurants that are committed to procuring local, organic and naturally sources foods; there are more and more of them all the time. Go to farmer’s markets locally and get to know where your food comes from.  Start out small and adjust your buying habits.

By putting only the best quality substances into our bodies, we can help them to create the healthiest cells and vital substances.  These in turn with help our bodies to function at their highest level.

Western Medicine and Your Health

One of my earliest inspirations when studying Acupuncture was the book Between Heaven and Earth by Beinfield and Korngold.

There is a lot of wisdom to be gotten from that particular book, but the concept that struck me most was understanding how Western medicine developed.

In short, there was a Frenchman in the 1600s, René Descartes, who developed certain theories about the mechanistic aspects of the natural world. He drew certain conclusions about health and disease based on mechanical laws, which ultimately led to the logic used in the western scientific method.

Although incredibly accurate and responsible for much western scientific development, Descartes’s ideas also limited our worldview; in my opinion, by not accounting for subtlety in the natural world and also in the human body.

Western science, and therefore Western medicine, has incredible value in effective diagnosis and in addressing crisis situations, far more than any other medicine developed on the planet.

However, as one can see by the astounding number of Americans who are simply not healthy, living on medications that they need to take their entire lives in order to suppress certain symptoms, the truth of health goes beyond the scientific method. The key to health is more likely found in a subtle understanding of relationships between organ systems, glandular systems, the nervous system, and the circulatory system in the body that has been eloquently developed over the last 3500 years…known as Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture on Animals

pug getting acupuncture

Patients often times ask exactly how acupuncture can help horses, dogs and other animals. Often they have family pet who is having trouble with aging, digestion, or other issues.

The answer is the same as the human body, although there are some minor differences in certain aspects (for example where the pulses are checked).

In Oriental Medicine, bodies are bodies, regardless of species!  Similar properties and rules govern a body’s function, whether it belongs to an animal or a human being.

If you would like to get help for your animals, just let us know and we can refer you to a provider closest to your home.

Ancient Acupuncturists’ Theory on How to Live 120 Years

smuckers

The ancient physicians of Chinese medicine figured out that the body is actually designed to live to 120 years old. Modern research has verified that the body is designed to live that long, but there definitely seems to be a problem: the average lifespan in America currently is 76 for men and 81 for women.

According to Chinese medical philosophy and modern scientific research, 60 years of age should be “mid life.”

Here’s what the ancients in China figured out: from birth onward a person should do these five things:

  1. Exercise and have a good mental outlook. A modern interpretation of this would mean going to the gym or participating in sports and having some kind of a spiritual practice, going to church, etc.
  2. Eating correctly for what your individual body requires and eating correctly in each season.
  3. Using acupuncture to restore circulation and enhance glandular/organ function.
  4. Using Chinese herbal medicine to restore circulation and enhance glandular/organ function.
  5. Using massage, physical therapy and or joint adjustments to enhance circulation structural function.

 

If you want to get on the national news for living past 100 years old, I would recommend starting these five things immediately.