Acupuncture Weight Loss



Acupuncture is More Than “Being Stuck with a Bunch of Needles”
What comes to mind when you think about acupuncture. “Getting poked with lots of needles”? PAIN?

If so, then it may be a little confusing when I start talking about things like food, energy work, and exercise. When I say “acupuncture” I am referring to the whole treatment process that an acupuncturist (or more specifically, what I) would use if you came in to the clinic.

The word “acupuncture” so aptly encompasses everything to do with what we do as physicians of Chinese medicine, that no one says they are going to see their “Chinese medicine practitioner”. They say that they are going to see their “acupuncturist”.

This acupuncturist will use all the tools that she has in order to facilitate health and vitality within her patients. That means that some of my patients will go home wearing ear magnets and most will be put on a strict food plan. Not everyone gets stuck with needles.
And just what do I do? I utilize acupuncture and Chinese medicine to:
Trigger the body to self-heal
Improve digestion
Increase energy
Stop hunger
Stop cravings
Decrease Inflammation
Stop pain
Regulate hormones
Improve mood and help you to relax
So, even though not everyone “gets” needles, I call what I do “acupuncture” for weight loss….


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Acupuncture Alleviates Lower Back Pain & Inflammation

Acupuncture relieves lower back pain and restores range of motion. Independent research teams find acupuncture effective for treating lumbar disc herniations, lower back muscle spasms and sprains, and chronic pain of the lower back.

Research published in the Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine by Yan et al. and by a separate team from the Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine independently confirm that acupuncture relieves lumbar sprains.  In addition, the Journal of Cervicodynia And Lumbodynia has published research from the Wulumuqi Central Hospital of Lanzhou by Xu et al. finding acupuncture effective for the alleviation of lower back muscle spasms. Research published in China Health Standard Management by Huang et al. finds acupuncture plus moxibustion effective for the treatment of lumbar disc herniations. Let’s take a look at how these teams achieved successful positive patient outcomes. 

Researchers from the People’s Hospital of Han Nan District in Wuhan (Huang et al.) document a 90% total effective rate for the treatment of lumbar disc herniations with acupuncture plus moxibustion treatments. Acupuncture as a standalone therapy without moxibustion had an 85% total effective rate. The total effective rate includes a significant reduction or elimination of lower back, waist, and leg pain. In addition, significant lumbar motor functional improvements and improved results with the straight leg test were calculated as part of the total effective rate. The researchers document that acupuncture plus moxibustion improves range of motion and reduces pain, inflammation, and edema.

Researchers from the Chengdu Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Liu et al.) conclude that acupuncture is effective for the alleviation of lower back pain. The researchers document an 87.1% total effective rate including improvements in neurological testing, range of motion, and reductions in pain frequency and intensity.
Acupuncture was applied once per day for five days followed by a two day break. The process was repeated three times for a total of four courses of care comprising a grand total of twenty acupuncture treatments. The researchers note that the 87.1% total effective rate included pain reduction, increased mobility, and the ability of patients to resume normal life and work activities.

Researchers from the Wulumuqi Central Hospital of Lanzhou (Xu et al.) conclude that acupuncture plus movement therapy alleviates muscle spasms of the lower back. Improvements include pain reduction, range of motion increases, and the ability to resume activities of daily living unencumbered by disability due to lumbar muscle spasms. Patients receiving acupuncture plus movement therapy had a 91.39% total effective rate. Patients receiving only acupuncture had a 70.70% total effective rate. As result, the researchers formally recommend acupuncture plus the addition of movement therapy for the purposes of achieving optimal clinical results…

The research of Sun et al. at the Hospital of Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine finds electroacupuncture effective for the alleviation of lumbar muscle strain. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles used to determine the acupuncture point selection were to invigorate the circulation of both qi and blood. The results demonstrated a 93.3% total effective rate….The treatments yielded a 23.3% complete recovery rate. These patients had no recurrence of lower back pain and associated physical exhaustion within two years of acupuncture treatment sessions. An additional 70% of patients had significant improvements including reductions in lower back pain intensity levels, less frequency of subacute flare-ups, and overall reductions in physical exhaustion due to pain. Non-responders with intractable pain accounted for 6.7% of patients.
Electroacupuncture was applied….. Needle retention time was twenty minutes. Acupuncture was applied once per day, six days per week for a total of thirty days.
The 93.3% total effective rate demonstrates that local electroacupuncture is effective for the relief of lumbar muscle strain.

The aforementioned researchers have consistent findings demonstrating that acupuncture is effective for the relief of lower back pain in several different clinical scenarios. The findings demonstrate that the integration of acupuncture into conventional pain management protocols for the treatment of lower back pain is warranted.

Huang JH. (2015). Observations on the Efficacy of Warm Acupuncture in Treating 60 Patients With Lumbar Disc Herniation. China Health Standard Management. 6(3).
Wu ZD & Wu ZH. (2008). Chirurgery 7th Edition. Beijing: People’s Health Publisher. 849.
Liu XH, Fan XH, Zhong L, Dong YW, Wang YZ & Gao F. (2014). Therapeutic Observation of Pestle Acupuncture for Lumbago Due to Cold and Damp. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 34(9).
Xu L. (2015). Clinical study of the acupuncture combined with movement therapy in the treatment of acute lumbar muscle spasm. The Journal of Cervicodynia And Lumbodynia. 36(1).
Zhu HZ. (2002). Needle scalpel medicinal principles. Beijing: People’s Health Publisher. 104-105, 202-204.
Yan DR. (2014). Treating lumbar sprain by acupuncture. Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine. 6(16).’
Sun YZ, Zeng TT & Shang LL. (2014). 30 Cases of Chronic Lumbar Muscle Strain Treated with Penetration Needling at Yang Meridians of Back. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 30(6).
An H. (2010). Research progress on TCM in treating lumbar muscle injury. Journal of Zhoukou Normal University. 27(5): 138-140.

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How Acupuncture Works

How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture is an ancient healing art and is one of the primary modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine. People in the western world have long recognized that acupuncture has been successfully practiced in Asia for thousands of years. The theory of acupuncture is based on the idea that the human body contains energetic pathways called channels or meridians through which life force circulates. The Chinese call this life force “Qi” (pronounced chi). The meridians run along the same pathways as the circulatory and organ systems, evenly distributing Qi flow through the body to maintain normal, healthy functions. However, if the energy flow becomes congested or diminished in any region of the body, a state of imbalance will occur, creating an environment for ailments to manifest.

Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles that are inserted into specific points of the body. These needles are stimulated to facilitate Qi flow and unblock congested channels, thus reconnect the meridians. As a result of the needling stimulation, endorphins and other body chemicals are released, promoting the normal healing process and a deep sense of relaxation. This process will bring the body back to a state of homeostasis and health.

In recent years, PET scans have been used to visibly see the effects of acupuncture during treatment. When a person is hooked up to a PET scan, areas of the body that are healthy appear as bright yellow, orange or red in color; in contrast, areas of the body where stagnation, ailments, and blockages are present appear to be void of color or dark blue. Upon receiving an acupuncture treatment, we are immediately able to see, on screen, the hue shift from no color or blue, to a bright yellow, orange, or red; thus indicating that the free flow of Qi is once again becoming balanced.

Today, acupuncture is a widely accepted alternative to conventional health care, and many people use it for pain relief. However, the benefits of acupuncture extend far beyond pain management.


The beauty of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that acupuncture and herbal medicine therapies are catered to the individual.  The treatment of a disease will vary with each person, place, time, pathogenesis, and type of disease, and the treatment will be tailored accordingly.  We call this “treating the same disease with different methods.”  For example, the common cold can be treated a variety of ways using different acupuncture points and herbal formulas.  Each person’s unique physical constitution, mental state, daily activity, dietary intake, etc., varies, thus the diagnosis and treatment plan will reflect this individualization.  The treatment can also change depending on the seasons.  This is mainly due to the fact that weather plays an important role in how disease manifests.  Migraine headaches are yet another example of an illness that can be caused by several factors, thus the treatment will utilize different channels, points, acupuncture techniques, and herbal formulas.

Conversely, a principle for treatment in which the same therapy is applied to treat different diseases with the same pathogenesis, is called “treating different diseases with the same therapy”.  For instance, rectum prolapse, diarrhoea, and uterine prolapse, can all be treated by the therapy of nourishing the middle warmer and enhancing the vital energy.  We emphasise more on the individual’s root of pathogenesis regardless of the Western name of the disease or the symptoms.

Lastly, practitioners have their own unique quality of care and energetic sensibility to a patient’s presenting illness.  You may find that if you see several acupuncturists for the same illness, each one will approach your treatment differently, and you will also experience varying results.  It is important to find an acupuncturist who is able to understand you, as well as well trained and experienced.  If you have a difficult desease, your acupuncturist should do research on your condition and learn form other acupuncturists’ experience and reports.  Once you find the right doctor, trust and communication are key to creating an optimal healing environment.

Treating the whole body (holistic point of view)

In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the practitioner looks at the entire body instead of at its parts, and to a larger extent, also views the body in accordance with the natural world.  For example, a chronic low back muscle strain that causes pain is not only due to weakness of the local muscles, but can be attributed to congested energy flow in the kidney channel, large intestine channel, or even urinary bladder channel.

Also, one must look at the emotional state of the person to evaluate the roll of too much tension and stress in the muscles, the type of activity the person has, and other factors which may be influencing the flow of energy in that area.  If the meridian energy flows properly, an increase in blood flow will have a positive impact on the low back region. When Qi and blood circulation are optimal, there is less chance of injury or strain to the muscles and tendons.

Therefore, analytical thinking is required in understanding and treating each disease: that is, regarding the viscera and other organs and tissues, activity, and emotional state as an integrative whole. At AcuBalance Center, all this information is being considered for your treatments, and when appropriate, you will be receiving recommendations from your practitioner that will help you to recuperate your health faster.

Minimal side effects

Acupuncture treatment is very gentle with almost no side effects and helps to balance the Qi, blood, and body fluids.   The effect of the treatment depends on the current stage of illness, the acupuncture technique, and the combination of points chosen.  Occasionally, you may feel soreness or tenderness in the area treated, or you may have a bruise from a small vessel being punctured unintentionally.  Sometimes you may have strange sensations due to the Qi being moved around the meridians.  However, this is the body’s natural healing process taking effect, and the sensations will reside soon.

 Long lasting results

The  acupuncture treatment stimulates the body’s self-healing mechanism to speed up recovery. Therefore, the results can take longer than Western medication, as the effects are an increment to the body’s own natural processes. Once the acupuncture takes effect, the results are typically long-term and in some cases, without relapse, because the body’s homeostasis mechanism is restored.  Some studies show that after 12 regular consecutive treatments, the results remain more stable.  This is why you should finish the recommended treatment course, even when you may feel better or when the pain has gone away.

Preventive therapy

Acupuncture treatment is health care instead of disease care. The first book of Traditional Chinese Medicine called The Yellow Emperor Internal Classic states:

“…the best doctor helps you prevent disease not only treat the disease…”

Most people believe that if you do not have any disease, then you are healthy. This is not true. Everyone, at one time or an other, has experienced a feeling of being more vulnerable to invading pathogens and has a hard time fighting off illness, but at other times, feels fine.
Even though you may be feeling healthy now, a majority of people have some form of weakness (imbalance) in a certain area due to their genetic constitution.

Acupuncture can help you repair this weaknesses to prevent any illness or imbalance in the future. Regularly checking your energy flow is the best way to prevent sickness and keep you physically and mentally balanced.

Expectations of Acupuncture

• It supports your self-healing system. You can expect to feel better after your treatments.  – If after a reasonable amount of treatments you do not feel any improvement, talk to your acupuncturist.  a) It may be that acupuncture is not for you, b) that you have reached a plateau in your therapy and need to change direction, or c) that you need a different acupuncturist or treatment modality.
• Do not look for miracles.  Healing takes time depending on your own level of energy and your condition.
• All situations are unique.  You may have had a similar symptom in the past and received relief after one or two treatments, but this may not be the case the second time around because your condition and energy level may be different.

Source: Traditional Chinese Medicine Healing Center (some modifications have been done to clarify or expand some of the concepts).


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3 Amazing Drinks to Clear Sinuses and Congested Throat


December 30, 2015


It’s that time of the year when it gets colder and colder every day and a lot of people end up with a nasty cold or cough, which can really make our lives really difficult sometimes. A lot of people think that the best choice is to go to the closest local pharmacy and buy some syrups and medications, but in this post I share 3 home remedies that you can use to fight the phlegm, subdue the sinuses and conquer the colds, and avoid the harmful side effects of medications.

The Hot Pineapple Elixir
▪ ½ – 1 cup pineapple juice (preferably fresh)
▪ ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
▪ 1 pinch cayenne pepper
▪ 1 tsp raw honey

Put all the ingredients in a saucer and heat lightly to preference.            Why it helps:▪ The pineapple is loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds. So, these anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the phlegm buildup in your lungs and soothe a sore throat. Also, its vitamin C content strengthens, boosts your immune system, and it can prevent cold symptoms.
▪ The apple cider vinegar in this drink will help you alkalize your body. You may know, but when your body is in alkaline state, viral bacteria can’t survive in it!
▪ The sweet and healthy honey has many healthy properties: antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial powers. This makes honey a super natural healer for centuries.
▪ The cayenne pepper will provide the kick that warms your body up internally and fights against fevers and nausea.

The Raw Deal Tea
▪ 1 tsp lemon juice
▪ ½ tsp finely grated ginger
▪ ¼ tsp ground turmeric
▪ ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
▪ ½ tsp raw honey
▪ 1 pinch cinnamon
▪ For extra cold-fighting powers, add in 1 drop of colloidal silver.
First, put 1 cup of water in a bowl and let it boil. When it starts to boil, you need to add in all ingredients and stir well. Simmer for 3 minutes and your drink is ready. Enjoy.
Why it helps:
▪ Cinnamon has many healthy benefits, just like honey. It has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. These healthy properties help destroy viral bacteria and boost your immune system.
▪ The colloidal silver is highly antibacterial and antiviral ingredient. It has shown to prevent viral infections from getting worse.

The Wellness Monster
▪ 1 lemon
▪ 1-inch piece of ginger
▪ 1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper
▪ 1 dash of turmeric powder
▪ 1 drop of mint extract
▪ 1-2 drops stevia (if desired)
First, you need to juice and blend the lemon and ginger. Then, you need to add the cayenne pepper, turmeric and mint. Stir. Add enough hot water to double the size of the mixture. Enjoy this delicious healthy drink.
Why it helps:
▪ The super healthy lemon is a great detoxifier. It will boost your immune system and it also fuels cold-fighting stores of Vitamin C
▪ Another super healthy ingredient in this drink is ginger. Ginger will clear the mucus out of the lungs, and it will soothe your sore throat and sinus-related aches.
▪ Turmeric is loaded with curcumin, which has serious antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It will break up congestion and deter coughs.
▪ Mint’s menthol component is a natural decongestant. It will help you throw out the phlegm from the lungs and help you with nasal congestion.


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What can acupuncturists treat?

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Below are some of the health concerns that acupuncture can effectively treat:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Common cold
  • Constipation
  • Dental pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive trouble
  • Dizziness
  • Dysentery
  • Emotional problems
  • Eye problems
  • Facial palsy
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gingivitis
  • Headache
  • Hiccough
  • Incontinence
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low back pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Migraine
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Pneumonia
  • Reproductive problems
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Smoking cessation
  • Sore throat
  • Stress
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tooth pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Wrist pain
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