Acupuncture for Weight Loss

I am often asked if acupuncture can help with weight loss. There are many studies that suggest that it can. But the first thing I tell my patients who are interested in using acupuncture for weight loss, is that it is not a substitute for lifestyle changes. To lose weight you have to eat less and move more!
Appetite Control Point (Hunger Point)How does acupuncture help a weight loss program? There are some immediate benefits. First, if you find yourself eating to relieve stress, acupuncture is wonderful to promote a sense of deep relaxation in the body. Secondly, acupuncture can help to curb the appetite. There is actually a point on the ear called the Appetite Control Point (Hunger Point). When this point is needled along with two or three other auricular points (Ear Shenmen, Point Zero and the Tranquility point) cravings for carbohydrates are reduced and the appetite is suppressed.

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Do You Suffer from PMS?

As a teenager and young woman, I suffered horribly with painful menstrual periods. Every month, for several days before my period, I would feel bloated, tired and irritable. Just the pressure of the water in the shower would be intolerable on my tender breasts. I would crave sugar (especially chocolate). And the day before my period, I would literally be bedridden with knife-like cramps that would cause severe nausea and vomiting.
My mother took me to the gynecologist. They found absolutely nothing wrong with me and told my mother and me that all of these symptoms would probably disappear after I had my first baby. Just what every mother wants the doctor to tell her sixteen-year old daughter!

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I am Having a Baby! – Patient Testimonial

Miranda – Waterville, NY – January 2007
Infertility plagued my life at a young age. My husband and I had started trying to conceive shortly after our wedding in May of 2004. By May of 2005 we knew something just was not right. We were both in our “prime” as western medicine practitioners called it. We sought help from several local ob/gyn’s and were told that we were too young to worry about it. After much pushing we found an Ob/gyn who was willing to at least do a work-up for us. She did all the normal tests including labs, semen analysis, and HSG testing. All of which came back “normal”. So now by December of 2005 we had a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. Great so now what? It was at this point that we started considering another avenue of medicine. Acupuncture was the only other logical thing to try. So in February of 2006 I contacted Joyce and made my first appointment with her.

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Acupuncture & IVF

Acupuncture & IVF
By Lifang Liang, O.M.D, Ph.D., L.Ac.

Acupuncture and IVF - Increase IVF Success by 40-60%In 2002, a group of German researchers, led by Dr Wolfgang Paulus, conducted a study where women were given acupuncture treatments immediately before and after an IVF procedure. The analysis showed that the pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group was almost 50% higher than the control group that did not receive acupuncture. They published their findings in the April 2002 issue of “Fertility and Sterility”. Since that study, more and more Western fertility clinics are suggesting to their patients that they consider acupuncture in preparation for IVF.

In her book, Dr. Liang outlines the protocol used in the German study. Acupuncture points that were selected are known to relax the uterus, stabilize the endocrine system and improve the flow of energy to the abdomen.

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Testimonial – Menieres Disease

Debbie – Deerfield, NY
For 2 years prior to the onset of Meniere’s in January 2004, I experienced decreased hearing and increased ringing and pressure in my right ear diagnosed as cochlear nerve damage, or a build up of inner ear fluid. I was able to continue work and function normally until January 2004 when things started spinning and whirling uncontrollably and unpredictably. I was literally debilitated for several months. Just when I started recouping from a severe attack that lasted days from room spinning dizziness, tremendous pressure in the head and affected ear, hearing loss, loud ringing, muscle tension, difficulty breathing, pulsating sensation, sensitivity to noise and light, and severe & excessive vomiting (to the point of cracking a rib), another attack would clobber me. The attacks wiped me out completely – emotionally, mentally and physically.

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Testimonial – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

I have been dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome since grade school. My primary care physician(s) had me try fiber supplements with no success. Then after being sent to numerous specialists, I went through a number of prescription drugs also with no success. After years of no improvement in my condition, I decided to try acupuncture therapy. In addition to the acupuncture treatments, Joyce suggested that I limit my intake of sugar (for I drank a lot of soda) and begin taking pro-biotics (Acidophilus and Bifidus). The improvement has been quite dramatic. I would estimate a 95% improvement with acupuncture treatments combined with the decreased sugar intake and added pro-biotics. For the first time in nearly 35 years I am no longer bothered by Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I highly recommend acupuncture therapy for the treatment of IBS.

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A Prick and A Peck

After completing my education in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I returned home to central NY faced with the decision of where to set up my acupuncture practice. My husband, who had been quite busy running our family orchard business and waiting patiently for my return, suggested that I use some space behind the apple grading room and run my practice on the farm. I definitely knew that that was not the serene and professional image that I was going for! “Aw, c’mon”, he said. “You can call it your apple-puncture clinic, and we can have a new slogan – “come in for a prick and a peck!”
My husband has a weird sense of humor. But, “a prick and a peck” does prompt me to think about the differences between the philosophies of western and eastern medicine.
As a member of the NY Apple Association, they provided us with a display poster for our farm stand. It proclaims the nutritional value of the apple. Did you know that the apple contains 85 calories, has no fat or cholesterol, is low in sodium and fat and is a good source of fiber, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals? Western culture analyzes our food at the molecular level, just like we analyze our bodies to diagnose disease. There is the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but as a society we are slow in taking the role of diet seriously in preventative health care.

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Auricular Acupuncture – The Whole Body Imaged on the Ear

Out of everything that I have learned in my study of Chinese medicine, I think the theory behind auricular acupuncture is the most fascinating. The Chinese have used points on the ear to treat disease in the body for thousands of years. But as recently as the 1950’s, Dr. Paul Nogier of France, did his own mapping of the body on the ear based on the theory of superimposing an inverted fetus over the structure of the ear.
Enlarge photo of ear modelUsing this somatotopic representation, the ear lobe represents the head, the feet are towards the top of the ear and the body is in between. The outer edge of the ear (the helix curve) corresponds to the back of the “baby” as it lies inverted in the womb. Once you see this image taking form, you will see that the raised ridge on the ear (the antihelix) represents the spinal vertebrae. All of the internal organs are located in the innermost part of the ear. The heart and lungs are in the lower depression (the inferior cavum concha) and the intestines, kidney and bladder are in the superior cavum concha.

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“Unexplained Infertility” – Explained by Traditional Chinese Medicine

Fertility issues affect at least one in six couples in the United States alone. Millions of women have gone through every test Western medicine has to offer to try to determine why they have not been able to conceive. Ultrasounds confirm that the ovaries and uterus appear to be normal. Blood work confirms that hormone levels are within normal range. Their partners have passed sperm analysis with flying colors. Many women tolerate hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs. Some attempt intrauterine inseminations (IUI’s) or expensive invitro fertilization procedures (IVF’s) in an attempt to bypass cervical, sperm or any other mysterious fertility issue. Many attempts fail and couples are given the dreaded, frustrating diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”. So, if nothing is wrong, what is wrong?

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Carpal Tunnel – Never Underestimate the Power of a Single Needle

Regardless of the ailment that is being treated in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the focus is always on treating the whole person. For example, a typical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome would include placing needles on the body to unblock the energy pathways (meridians) that run thru the wrist, and also to place needles on the body that would have the function of nourishing and/or relaxing the tendons.
While acupuncture is extremely safe and using multiple needles usually puts the body in a profound state of relaxation, caution is indicated if the patient is extremely fatigued, hungry or emotionally distraught.
Liver Point 4 Relieves Carpal TunnelA few weeks ago, I had a new patient with an acute flare up of carpal tunnel syndrome. She arrived at my office in tears, stating that she had not slept in four days. She had not eaten at all that day. And her pain was so severe that she said she wished that she “could just cut her arm off to make the pain go away.” She said that it felt as if there was a nail at the center of her wrist (exactly at the location of Pericardium 7 for anyone familiar with acupuncture point location). The pain radiated into her palm and up to the elbow along the pericardium channel. She was also a little nervous because she had never had acupuncture before. I was really concerned about treating this patient too aggressively.

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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
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