The benefits of Magnesium and why it’s so important to supplement: Part 1

Let’s think of a time gone by, when grandma used to tell you to soak in Epsom salts if you had a sore back, knee, etc. Well, grandma was right. New research shows that mineral deficiency is a lot more important than we thought.

 So what is it about Epsom salts that makes it so important or effective for all kinds of aches and pains? One word: Magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that can be found in the food that we eat, but in recent years has been found to have been largely stripped from the soil and thus not present in the amounts necessary to replenish inside the body.

 Magnesium is used in over 300 enzymatic processes throughout the body. The body keeps magnesium levels homestatic, meaning if the levels of magnesium are depleted in the blood stream it is replenished from the magnesium that is stored in the bones and muscles, thus leading to chronic aches, pains and stiff muscles. Magnesium plays a role in your body's detoxification processes, making it important for helping to prevent damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins. In addition, magnesium is necessary for:

  • Activating muscles and nerves

  • Creating energy in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

  • Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats

  • Serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis

  • Acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin

 Magnesium deficiency is widespread and the use of magnesium oil can restore healthy magnesium levels in your body. Dr. Sircus, a leading magnesium researcher and author of Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, says,

“After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies, vitally important yet hardly known. It is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and regulates all three of them. Millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.” (Read more in his article on magnesium deficiency.)

 So why isn’t this something we are all tested for on a regular basis at our doctor’s offices? Blood tests are insufficient at detecting magnesium levels accurately, only 1% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the blood, the rest is stored in the bones and muscles.

 Which brings me to another key point of magnesium supplementing, oral supplements of magnesium are inferior to topical supplementing. Most of the oral magnesium pills sold over the counter are magnesium citrate, which only about 20% is absorbed by the body and the rest is eliminated as waste. Magnesium can irritate the digestive tract (i.e. diarrhea) it is much more absorbable and available to the body when it is delivered topically in the form of Epsom salts or Magnesium oil spray.

Visit us again for the next installment of ‘The Benefits of Magnesium: Part Deux” where we will discuss how you can increase your magnesium intake in your diet, specific conditions that researchers are now attributing to magnesium deficiency and discuss further that the WHO estimates 75% of Americans have daily magnesium intakes less than the recommended daily intake (RDA).

 

How do I know if my acupuncture treatment is working?

So, how will you know if or when your acupuncture treatments are actually working? Good question; glad you asked. This is a question we hear in the treatment room quite often: “What should I expect to notice or pay attention to?”

For many people, acupuncture is a new experience, and as with most new experiences, it can be hard to know what to expect. The most important thing to know while receiving acupuncture treatments is that progress can be slow; but rest assured progress is happening.

Here is a list of just some of the things to expect while receiving acupuncture, whether intended or not.

1. Your pain will change

The key word here is change: change in location, severity, or intensity. That change is what we are looking to accomplish every time you come in for treatment. This gives your acupuncturist and you a way to record your progress and see when and if the treatments are accomplishing their goal. It isn’t uncommon for pain to be relieved for a few hours after your treatment, only to return. Continued treatments will make that pain-free window longer and longer. It also isn’t impossible to experience a “healing crisis” during acupuncture treatments, which is to say your pain got better progressively over time and now has either plateaued or gotten worse in the short term. Although it may not seem like it, these are all good signs! Any change in your symptoms at all are indications things are on the way to improvement.

2. Your sleep could improve (or change)

For most people, the night after your first acupuncture treatment could be the best night’s sleep you’ve had in a long time, and for others it could mean you didn’t get to sleep in as long as you wanted. Your body is on a biological clock and regulates itself based on a lot of different factors (artificial vs natural light, seasons, etc.). Sleeping better is one of the best “side effects” of acupuncture, but it’s not a guarantee for everyone.

3. Your mood will improve

Really? Yes, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine consider the mind and body to be one whole unit. It is very common to store emotional stress in muscles (think office worker with tight shoulders and a bad boss); relaxing the muscles allows our body to effectively process that stuck energy and eliminate it. People who get acupuncture for the first time often experience an “acu buzz” after their first treatment. Biologically, this is the brain releasing dopamine and serotonin.

4. You’ll be more aware of your body

Acupuncture is a whole-body tune up. Do you take your car in to get the oil changed every 3,000 miles? Well, you should treat your body the same. When you first start doing acupuncture you’ll notice bodily sensations more acutely, that is to say, you will be more aware of the little things you didn’t notice before and more clued in to how your body is functioning overall. Your senses will be keener and more awakened.

5. You’ll have more energy

Finally, but definitely not last, after beginning acupuncture treatment you can start to notice having more energy. Did you forget your morning coffee, but realize you didn’t really need it today? That is thanks in part to acupuncture’s ability to rev up the adrenal system, and overall help the bodily functions perform at their best. Just by poking a tiny needle into the top layer of the skin, acupuncture is able to jump-start the body’s energy to repair a little faster, go a little longer.

The human body is an amazing thing, and when given the proper tools (diet, exercise, etc.), it is able to function at its best. Acupuncture doesn’t change the way your body performs, it just helps to enhance the body’s many control systems that allow the body to heal itself naturally.

 

American College of Physicians: Acupuncture preferred treatment for low back pain over drugs

News came out last week in the updated clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP) that recommends acupuncture and other alternative therapies such as massage and yoga as the preferred therapy for low back pain over drugs.

In response to the opioid crisis happening in America currently, there has been a growing interest in alternative therapies doctors can recommend their patients for pain.  According ACP Clinical Guideline Committee member,  Amir Qaseem, there is moderate-quality evidence to suggest that chronic pain can be eased with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture and mindful stress reduction. Similar results were observed in lower-quality studies regarding Tai Chi, yoga, progressive relaxation, laser therapy and spinal manipulation.

The recommendation then goes on to say that if these fail to ease chronic pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be considered. This is a change from the ACP’s previous recommendation in 2007 for acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) as it has been deemed ineffective for acute pain due to new evidence. Clinicians should only consider opioids as a last resort if other therapies fail.

The editorial accompanying the new ACP guidelines is hopeful this will give physicians a new “menu of evidence-based non-pharmacologic treatments to offer their patients” and is hopeful insurance will begin paying for these therapies based on the official recommendation, but highlights a few problems with prioritizing alternative treatments: limited availability and affordability.

To this we say, HEY LOOK OVER HERE AT COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE!

Community Acupuncture has been very successful in Asia, but is a relatively new model in the United States that is slowly gaining momentum. Instead of trying to fit acupuncture into a spa model that has become the norm, community acupuncture takes advantage of the time a patient spends resting with the needles in to maximize patient volume, thus driving down costs for all patients and making acupuncture affordable and accessible for everyone.

The history of community acupuncture started in Portland in 2002, when Lisa Rohleder and Skip Van Meter opened Working Class Acupuncture (then Window of the Sky) based on the way acupuncture was practiced in many Asian hospitals: in a group setting so as to serve as many people as possible. They saw that acupuncture was unattainable for some people, even though it is one of the safest and least expensive treatment modalities for many common ailments like back pain and migraines, that if not severe, fell under the radar in a traditional doctor’s office. In 2006 Lisa published The Remedy: Integrating Acupuncture into American Healthcare, that discussed social entrepreneurship and affordable acupuncture. By the end of 2006, there were 11 clinic in the US practicing community acupuncture, today there are over 200 clinics nationwide providing community acupuncture.

Instead of a single acupuncturist seeing a couple of people an hour for a full 8 hour day, community acupuncture clinics are staffed with multiple acupuncturists, offering expanded hours, seeing anywhere from 6-8 patients an hour. Here at Milwaukee Community Acupuncture on a full day we typically see upwards of 75 people per day.

It is our pleasure to serve our community and help so many people attain their health and wellness goals. We are confident that as time progresses more and more doctors will feel confident and comfortable recommending acupuncture to their patients, and maybe even try it themselves.

Gong Hey Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year!! As we begin the celebration of 2017, the year of the Fire Rooster, here is a little history on arguable the most important holiday in China.  

Chinese New Year is not celebrated at the same time as New Year in the western world because it is tied to the lunar calendar. It usually falls between January 21 and February 20, this year celebrations start on January 27th and will last for around two weeks.

The festivities include fireworks, traditional dances, and general New Year revelry and decorations, especially in the color red. To prepare, it is common to do a full cleaning of the house; to sweep away the bad fortune and welcome the new. One of the most important traditions is to gather for a family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, especially with those from far away. Fish is normally served to ensure prosperity and in Northern China dumplings are traditional. On New Year’s Day children are given red envelopes with ‘lucky money’ for positive wishes throughout the New Year.

The Chinese zodiac runs on a 12 year cycle; this is the year of the Fire Rooster. There are 5 different types of Roosters: Wood Roosters, Earth Roosters, Gold Roosters and Water Roosters, all with different characteristics. The last year of the Fire Rooster was 1957. Fire Roosters are known for being trustworthy, punctual and responsible, especially at work. Overall Roosters are outspoken, honest, loyal, talkative, popular, charming, active and amusing.

Some famous Roosters include Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston, J-Lo, Bob Marley, Britney Spears, Roger Federer, Prince Philip, and Serena Williams.

Gong Hey Fat Choy! Aka Happy New Year! Much joy and prosperity to you and yours.

Why Chinese Herbs

During your time at MCA your acupuncturist might have brought up adding Chinese Herbs to your treatments. Why? The simplest answer is, sometimes acupuncture isn’t the only or best way to address various health concerns.

Chinese herbs are the medicine that makes Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM as it is commonly referred to) a complete system of healthcare. It is the yin to the yang of acupuncture. There are thousands of traditional formulas of herbs, all of them based on a system of understanding that combines taste (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, & bland) and temperature (cold, warm, hot) of a plant material (leaves, twigs, bark, roots) to create a desired effect on the chemistry of the body. An easy analogy for Chinese herbs is food. We eat certain foods to have certain effects inside the body. For example, lemons are bitter and sour and create the pucker that helps to create saliva, while bone broths would be considered sweet and bland and help to repair tissue after illness. Chinese herbs are used to help the body to repair itself over time instead of masking the symptoms like an over the counter medication would.

Chinese herbs can be used to address a variety of symptoms and conditions. They are not recommended for everyone, especially those on certain medications like blood thinners, but in the right circumstance herbs can help improve conditions faster than acupuncture alone. At MCA we like to use acupuncture first and then add herbs as needed (or desired) on a patient by patient basis. All of our acupuncturists are board certified in Chinese Herbology, and during their training spent many hours studying Chinese herbs and formulas. All of the Chinese herbs at MCA are tested for safety and efficacy, and come as a pill similar to a supplement. We carry a wide array of formulas that address everything from constipation and menstrual issues to the common cold and sinus congestion. Chinese herbs range in price, and can cost anywhere from $10-15 for a two week supply.

So the next time you see your acupuncturist, ask how Chinese herbs could benefit you!

MCA Clinic Expansion Fundraiser

Milwaukee Community Acupuncture is pleased to announce that we will be expanding our treatment room area this summer! If you have been in on a busy evening or a Saturday lately, you have probably noticed that our room is filling up and chair options are limited. We recently had the opportunity to absorb another small room that is located right next to our small back room. Our plan is to bring down some of the walls in this area to make it more cohesive and offer a better flow throughout the treatment area. With more chairs in our space we will be able to continue to be flexible with time, letting each patient rest as long as they would like. We are also planning on adding an additional lift chair for patients who need a little assistance getting in and out of a recliner.

We plan on starting construction for this project this summer but don't worry, most of the work will take place around our regular hours so we don't anticipate much of an interruption to our schedule.


MCA is sustained by a high volume of low cost payments and we are hoping to raise a portion of the funds needed to complete our construction project and furnish our new area with the same idea, by our community! Please consider making a small (or large) tax deductible donation to help - we have several ways you can donate:
 

At the Reception desk
When you checkout consider adding an extra $1-5 that will go towards the project

On our Website
Our online store now has donation amounts between $5-$50.  http://milwaukeecommunityacupuncture.org/gift-cards
Donate your Stuff
If you have extra recliners in good working condition or small tables or end tables please consider donating them to make the new space more cozy.

Buy Raffle Tickets
We are organizing a raffle with great prizes, stay tuned!

Community Acupuncture for Grief and Bereavement

by Stef Cordes & Lisa Baird


The loss of a loved one is life-shattering, and affects us physically as well as emotionally. There’s a reason why we talk about being heartsick, or sick with grief. How we think and feel has a very real impact of our bodies.

Grief makes us more susceptible to common colds and flus. This may be because persistently elevated levels of stress hormones can reduce immunity, therefore decreasing our ability to fight off bacteria and viruses. If someone had a physical illness before the death, grief can worsen existing illness, and the majority of bereaved people can expect some kind of physical illness within half a year after the death of a loved one. Studies have shown that following the death of a spouse, people are more likely to report worse overall healthaggravated physical pain, and among the elderly in particular, the loss of a loved can leave a person more vulnerable to infection.

Grief is a healthy, normal and necessary process of letting go and it often takes much longer than one expects. We are not trained counsellors, and we don’t suggest that acupuncture can supplant the role of a good therapist. But we’ve seen how supportive community acupuncture can be for our patients through the slow, difficult and messy stages of grieving.

Acupuncture is a potent treatment for the shock and numbness often following a traumatic event like the death of a loved one. Acupuncture is also effective for insomnia, reduced appetite, compromised immunity and stress, all common symptoms of grief. Some of our patients have commented that it was a blessing to receive treatment in our group treatment room and be around other people in a quietly supportive space where they weren’t expected to talk. Other patients have noted that community acupuncture sessions give them a chance to go inwards and do some important nonverbal integration of their grief.

Mirror Neurons and the Benefits of Community Acupuncture

When I first started to consider practicing community acupuncture I did a lot of research on the model and sought out advice from many different community clinic acupuncturists or "punks" as we fondly refer to ourselves.  One thing, that I can't say I was surprised to note, was that most punks claim there is a heightened benefit from acupuncture treatments when their communal rooms are full due to the almost palpable group dynamic of healing. Recently Shasta Community Acupuncture has been filled to capacity three times and I surely did "geek out" about the joy and sense of deep relaxation on the faces of our patients as they walked out of the treatment room.  A few of them even exclaimed that it was the best treatment they ever had.

I am now a believer, but before I continue to rant and rave unspecifically I want to see if there are any scientific explanations for this occurrence of heightened treatment values in a group dynamic.  Albert Einstein once elaborated on his view of the interconnectivity of the universe: "A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

Speculating that the heightened group healing environment was due to a collective healing vibration that resonated throughout the room, I looked to Quantum Mechanics for an explanation.  While I found much proof in QM of interconnectivity through electromagnetic waves across the universe, unfortunately anything mentioned with relation to healing was sourced from a more mystical standpoint and I know that will not please the skeptics, so I moved to Cognitive Neuroscience for an understanding of the Mirror Neuron.  This is a neuron that fires both when someone acts and when that person observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.  These neurons are believed to be important for learning and understanding language and new skills. They are also important in grasping the actions and intentions of others and can be accredited to the human capacity for empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.  This is the same explanation for why we yawn when others yawn, smile when those around us smile and feel a heightened sense of belonging at a large electric event such as a rock concert.

In essence when someone comes to a community clinic for treatment, they become connected to the social nature of their humanness.  They are not only getting the personal benefits of rest, relaxation, increased blood flow and harmony from the acupuncture treatment, but a deeper confirmation neurologically which will increase the benefits manifold just from the awareness that those around them are doing the same.  When we heal together we are breaking this delusion of "separate" that Albert Einstein was talking about.  The reasons most people seek acupuncture treatment are for pain, depression/emotional issues, and various other forms of suffering. All of these symptoms serve to isolate us in one way or another.  While peacefully resting with strategically placed needles in our bodies alongside others doing the same, we acknowledge that we are all in this together, that we are not separate and ultimately when we are unified we can achieve and accomplish things far beyond what we could ever imagine on our own.

Written by Melissa at Shasta Community Acupuncture

 

The Chinese Heart

February is American heart month. From a Western medical perspective this means keeping our blood pressure under control and cholesterol low with the help of diet, exercise, and in some cases, medication. These are important since heart disease is very common in America. But what about the heart in Chinese medicine?

Chinese medicine also acknowledges the importance of the physical heart. It is in charge of the blood and blood vessels and circulation to the entire body. The heart plays a major role in nourishing the organs and maintaining vitality. It is considered the emperor of the body. Hence, if it ceases to function, all other systems will fail.

This is not all the heart does in Chinese medicine. There are also mental, emotional, and spiritual components that are greatly ignored in Western Medicine. In February, we celebrate this aspect of our heart by celebrating Valentine’s Day. The heart is said to house the spirit, or shen. When it is weak or unhealthy it can not provide a proper home for theshen and may result in mental agitation, palpitations, insomnia, or anxiety.

The spirit is said to manifest in the face and illuminate the eyes. A person with a healthy heart should have rosy cheeks and eyes that are clear and bright with a hint of joy. The heart is rooted in the tongue, allowing us clear, concise speech. A nourished heart will allow joy to flow from us and truth to be spoken.

So this February make sure to have your physical heart checked out but not neglect your spirit. When functioning properly, it can bring joy to your life and those around you.

A New Perspective on Resolutions

With the new year comes new resolutions to do better in 2016.  I was curious about what the most popular resolutions tend to be.  It seems we all want to lose weight, eat healthy, get fit, stop smoking, save money, volunteer somewhere and try something new.  After reading these I thought “we can help you with all of those!”

Acupuncture has been shown to help reduce Body Mass Index in persons who get regular treatment.  Click here to read an article for more in depth information. 

It also reduces stress which is often a major factor in keeping weight on and making unhealthy food choices.  No, we can’t make you go to the gym but we can increase your energy and motivation or decrease that knee pain that has gotten between you and exercise in the past.

Acupuncture is also great at helping people quit smoking.  We even have a stop smoking package to make it more affordable for our patients.  This way you can save money by not buying cigarettes and not pay a fortune to quit.

Now you may ask “how can MCA help me reach my goal of volunteering?” We are always looking for volunteers to help with all sorts of things from working at the front desk to hanging up fliers around town.  You can pick up an application at the front desk and let us know what skills you would like to share with us.

So, get in here and get your new year started right.  We can’t wait to help you try something new and reach all your goals for the year.  Lets make 2015 count together!

It's Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season has started early this year!  Did you know that acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can treat colds and flus?  There are certain acupuncture points and herbal formulas that can help the body recover from an illness faster.  It is beneficial to come in right away so if you think you’re coming down with something make an appointment as soon as possible.  A lot of people wonder how acupuncture can treat these ailments.  Check out this article called “A Sneeze from the Breeze: Colds and Influenza According to Chinese Medicine” for a brief explanation.

Facial Rejuvenation

Okay, let’s face it, the fact is every day each of us gets slightly older.  As experience teaches us this is both a good and a bad thing.  While we gain wisdom, we lose some of our youth and with that some of our youthful beauty.

For centuries acupuncture has been used to treat a multitude of conditions including growing old gracefully.  In order to keep women (and some men) looking as great as they feel acupuncturists can treat the face.  The treatments include points to balance and enhance the entire health of the body as well as local points on the face to work on “problem” areas.  Fine lines disappear while deeper wrinkles soften.  The skin becomes more elastic to fend off dreaded sagging.

Are the results like plastic surgery? No.  Will people ask you what you are doing? Yes!  Acupuncture is a safe, natural, gentle way of rejuvenating the face and allowing you to look as good as you feel without surgery or drastic changes in your appearance.  It also has the positive side effect of making you feel more relaxed, balanced and rested.

For best results in the community acupuncture setting I would recommend doing a series of ten treatments spaced out at one per week.  It is also best if you focus on one area of the face for those ten treatments and then do subsequent treatments for any other areas you would like to address.  You will notice results after about four treatments and those results will increase as you continue your series.  Maintainance of one treatment per month or every other month is suggested.  For more information about the type of facial treatments given at MCA go to www.chiakra.com/treatments.htm.

Susan Johnston specializes in facial rejuvenation treatments. To set up an appointment for facial rejuvenation please schedule an appointment with Susan on Monday evenings 4-8pm, Wednesdays 9am-4pm, or Thursday and Friday mornings from 9am-12pm.

To All the Pregnant (and soon to be pregnant) Ladies

We have a lot of pregnant patients at the clinic, and a lot of women who are trying to conceive. One thing I noticed is that there are a lot of resources out there detailing everything we need to do to take care of ourselves while trying to conceive and throughout the duration of our pregnancies, but there is a serious lack of resources for the post-pregnancy period of our lives.

From personal experience, I can tell you I was not prepared for the physical and emotional changes that took place after giving birth to my daughter Esther nearly two years ago. This pregnancy, I decided I would devote more of my time to figuring out ways to take care of myself immediately after the delivery, and one of the resources I have found very helpful is this book, The Post-Pregnancy Handbook by Sylvia Brown.

In this book, you’ll find different ways of speeding up and aiding in the recovery process whether you had a vaginal delivery or C-section. Brown outlines different natural remedies including teas, essential oils, homeopathy, exercises and alternative therapies that can help  as well as listing the conventional treatment modalities, offering a wide variety of treatment options. This is not a book you need to read cover to cover, but I highly recommend reading through a few sections of this book to prepare yourself for the days and weeks that follow.

All the best to you and your family!

Amy

How did Acupuncture Develop?

Acupuncture is a small tool that is a part of a huge medical practice.  It is one piece of traditional Chinese medicine.  Chinese medicine is extraordinarily philosophical.  To understand how it was developed, you have to know a little bit about the philosophy that was a way of life for the people who developed it.

It was developed by people who quietly observed patterns in nature.  It was never shaped by ego.  This philosophy is characterized by allowing natural spontaneity to occur without tampering.  The medicine was constructed by emulating and mirroring nature.  It’s goal is to bring mind body and spirit to effortless non-action.  Erasing the mischief, clearing a path to let nature happen as it was meant to happen.
It was developed by people that didn’t speak or “know” of hormones, receptors, nerves, or electrical synapses.  They spoke of mountains and rivers and valleys.  Quietly observing the way things exist without interruption.  Quietly observing spontaneity and the autonomy of the natural world.  Everything in relation to everything else.  You do not know light unless there is dark.  Things behave differently in the light than they do in the dark.  Quiet observation, observation without excuses or meaning or answers.  That is the truth from which this medicine was developed.

A field that has a vibrant and healthy source of water and sunlight will have a bounty of produce.  If the flow of water is cut off, it will dry out and wither.  If too many growths create too much shadow, no light will reach the soil and either nothing will grow or a new type of crop will have to grow there.

In the classic texts of Chinese medicine, the anatomical regions and meridians of the body were referred to as descriptions of mountains, valleys, fields, and water ways.  What we refer to as ‘qi’ now, is the movement of ‘water’ through a ‘valley,’ a ‘field,’ or ‘plain,’ or through ‘mountains.’  It is pure physics.  It is not magic, it is nature.  We have a set of points that are categorized by what body of water they emulate on each meridian.  There are sea points, river points, streams, springs, and wells.  Comparisons of how energy or water or qi behaves in the body as they do in nature.  How erratic it moves when in small amounts like in a spring, and then as it gathers together, collectively larger and larger into streams, rivers, and then into seas, the water changes its behavior.  As its ‘body’ grows larger and grows more still.  This was observed in the nature of energy flow in the body.

The well points are all at the tips of the fingers and toes, moving up the legs and arms, collecting and growing and calming to end at the sea points which are all located at the elbows and knees.  The sea points are even larger than the well points.  Well points can be smaller than the tips of our acupuncture needles, while the sea points can be as large as a dime or nickel.

There is a major philosophy within Chinese medicine, that when energy (water) flows, there is no pain.  When it is blocked, there is pain.  Our meridians (water ways) need a clear path.  Metaphorically, if a tree root grows and blocks a stream, water will pool and create a soggy stagnant marsh.  The physics of the acupuncture needles is removing the branch, unblocking the stream, allowing the natural flow to regain itself, leading to loss of pain.

They didn’t use words like inflammation or pain receptors to describe this process, though they are the same thing.  Modern western medicine makes traditional Chinese medicine terrifying to explain.

So to understand how acupuncture “works” or was “developed,” you really have to look at it the way the people did who developed it, through metaphor and comparison to nature.  To understand how they “knew” a point in the hand would stop pain in the neck would take years of speculation.  How did spoken language develop?  Isn’t language miraculous when you think about it?  It is unanswerable, “how did acupuncture develop?”…other than this:  by quiet observation.

Caring For Expectant Mothers

The businesses in our building offer many services for expectant mothers.  MCA works with women using acupuncture to prepare the body both physically and mentally for the demands of childbirth.  Cream City Chiropractic does adjustments to help the pelvis stay in optimal position for birth.  Our massage therapists can open the muscles and tendons in the abdomen and hips and Saffron Yoga teaches prenatal yoga classes to balance the mind body and spirit in this demanding time.  The follow article showcases another service we offer here in our building for our soon to be moms.

Preparing For Childbirth With Hypnosis

Noor’s Light offers hypnosis for a broad range of client needs at MCA. Science has long supported Hypnosis as a powerful tool to facilitate health and wellbeing. It is useful in many healthcare environments for pre and post medical treatment; to aid body/mind/emotions and spirit in the healing process; to eliminate stress, anxiety and “old” unhealthy habits; and establish a strong focus on positive lifestyle change.

Although you can treat yourself to a relaxing session anytime there is a growing interest in the benefits of hypnosis support for natural childbirth labor and delivery. Hypnosis is a powerful tool that can help prepare expectant mothers for a pleasant successful birthing experience. It is a well known fact that tension and fears can increase feelings of pain. Fears, anxiety, and pain can be reduced through skills learned during hypnosis. 

Hypnosis for Childbirth preparation is a gentle, calming way to train the brain to relax while the body and baby work together. Hypnosis for childbirth consist of three 70 minute sessions meeting once per week for 3 consecutive weeks during the final 8-10 weeks of pregnancy, allowing a couple of weeks before due date for home practice.  Clients learn a simple self-hypnosis techniques to assure ongoing positive reinforcement while practicing at home.

Mothers report feeling more relaxed and self-confident and having less fearful thoughts about the coming birth. They enjoy better sleep and more energy during the last weeks of pregnancy and feel more prepared for bringing their baby into the world.


For more information or to begin your Hypnosis for childbirth please call Noor at 414-732-6041.

What is POCA Tech?

What is POCA TechPOCA Tech is a school that is dedicated to training community acupuncturists. It is the educational arm of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture. It seeks to offer affordable education to acupuncture students who can in turn work in community clinics.

How can you help? If you have been positively impacted by community acupuncture and would like to see community acupuncture available in more locations consider a donation of just $5 or more!  You can assist in “building” the school by helping them fund the programs offered.

At your next visit ask the receptionist for an information sheet on the school and the need for more community acupuncturists.  Visit the POCA Tech website as well for more information on the fundraising progress.

Your Role in Community Acupuncture

Two questions we are often asked are: “What does community acupuncture mean?” and “How are you able to offer treatments on a sliding scale?”  We thought we’d spend time on these two questions since their answers tend to go hand in hand.

POCA describes community acupuncture as providing acupuncture “within a context of accessibility created by consistent hours, frequent treatments, affordable services, and lowering all the barriers to treatment that we possibly can, for as many people as possible, while continuing to be financially self-sustaining.”  This means we want to treat as many people as possible for as little cost to you as possible while still being able to pay the bills!

Those of you that have been to our clinic know this access to affordable acupuncture means we have multiple treatment chairs in two rooms.  We often have two acupuncturists working at the same time. We also allow you to CHOOSE what you will pay since we want acupuncture to be affordable for as many people as possible. What you may not know is that our acupuncturists see patients EVERY TEN MINUTES! You may wonder, “Am I still getting the best treatment I can?” The answer is, “Yes! We truly believe you are!”

Before you even arrive for your appointment your acupuncturist has reviewed your chart.  This includes going over notes from your previous treatments and the types of treatments that were administered.  By the time you are snuggled into your favorite recliner your acupuncturist has a good idea of your progress and treatment plan.  After you fill your acupuncturist in on how things have been progressing they administer the treatment as efficiently as possible.  By the time you are settling in for some quiet, your acupuncturist is probably already talking to their next patient.

So how can you ensure you get the most out of each appointment? Turning off your cell phone when you arrive and speaking softly are great ways to prepare yourself to relax. It is also crucial to arrive at or before your appointment time.  Being late means you might not get the attention you want from your acupuncturist, someone else will have to wait to be seen, or we may not be able to treat you at all!

To clarify we have updated our lateness policy to ensure everyone gets the most out of each appointment.

Lateness Policy

If you miss your appointment time (10 or more minutes late) you can be seen by the same practitioner with whom you had your original appointment, if they can fit you in.  If they are fully booked you may be able to see another practitioner if there are openings.  If no appointments are available you will need to reschedule your appointment.