Integrative Health Blog

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Posted by on Mon, Mar 12, 2018

Someone recently asked me about "medical" acupuncture vs. "regular" acupuncture.

To be honest, I have no idea where the idea of spa, medical or other acupuncture comes from, but I do know it can be an effective treatment.

Acupuncture as a System of Healing

Regardless of what you want to label it, any time you apply an acupuncture needle, you are moving qi, or vital force energy in the body.  The intention of the acupuncturist does make a difference in the treatment strategy and results but the basic premise is the same: Acupuncture is a system of healing that uses the body's energy pathways to clear blocked energy, tonify where qi is deficient, alleviate where qi is congested, mobilize when qi is stuck and balance the energy systems of the body.

The science of physics now tells us that the body is energy, well, actually, everything is energy. Matter is just energy that is vibrating at a rate that creates density, hence what we perceive as matter.

Acupuncture accesses points where the energy converges or creates a vortex or dives to deeper levels or more superficial ones. How and where we place acupuncture needles will create the desired flow.

Restore Energy Flow with Acupuncture

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Tags: acupuncture

Health Tips for the Fall Season from Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Wed, Nov 11, 2015

Fall brings harvest time, the beauty of the changing leaves, and less daylight. In Chinese medicine, fall is associated with the element of metal and the lungs. It is a time to slow down, go to bed early, regroup and begin to move and think inward in preparation for winter.

Staying Healthy with Changing Weather

With the change to cooler weather comes your body’s attempt to cope with cold mornings, warm afternoons and even colder evenings.  Wild fluctuations in temperature tend to be giant stressors on the system and as such, this is the time of year when we see many colds and flu.  Is there a way to prevent these seasonal health missteps?  Of course!  Chinese medicine quite literally works on the idea of prevention.  When you come in for an appointment we feel your pulse and see where there are imbalances in the body.  Based on these imbalances, which around this time of year tend to be the lung and large intestine (metal element organs), we can treat to prevent ailments in these organ systems. 

Colds and flu have been written about in classical texts for over 3500 years.  Hence, Chinese medicine  practitioners are good at treating them. 

Health Tips for the Fall Season

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Tags: chinese medicine, acupuncture

Can Acupuncture Help Me Lose Weight?

Posted by on Tue, Dec 16, 2014

The short answer is “YES!”  but the true answer is much more involved and requires several more questions in order to decide how to best achieve long lasting weight loss.

Chinese medicine and Acupuncture can be an effective “assistant” to weight loss and weight maintenance but how do we go about finding out why there is a weight issue to begin with?

Many Factors Affect Weight Loss

There are several factors when considering a weight loss plan that need to be discussed.  For example,

  • Is the weight gain due to poor dietary and exercise habits? 
  • Is there a metabolic function issue that needs to be addressed?
  • Are there psychological factors contributing to the inability to lose weight?
  • Is there a hormonal or thyroid issue
  • How is your digestion?

As you can see, there are many reasons why a person gains weight and, as such, there are many techniques to help lose that weight. 

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Tags: weight loss, acupuncture

Where Does Pain Come From?

Posted by on Mon, Jun 24, 2013


Pain is one of the biggest motivators to go get healthcare.

Most people think they can deal with sharp pain, muscles that ache, a body that gets achy and tired at the end of a day. But when it gets to a point that you can’t handle it anymore, you call the doctor. 

As a chiropractor, my job is to discover what is causing your pain.  Sometimes we get lucky and  it is just a sore muscle that goes away after a treatment, but what if it is more complicated?  There are no easy cases for doctors; patients present with individual problems that get solved uniquely based on how they present. 

The Sources of Pain

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Tags: acupuncture, pain, chiropractic

How Acupuncture Helps With Pain

Posted by on Wed, May 08, 2013

The fundamental saying in Chinese Medicine is “Tong Zhi Bu Tong, Bu tong Zhi Tong” which roughly means, "Where there is blockage there is pain, where there is no blockage, there is no pain."

Blocked Meridians = Pain

Chinese Medicine bases the majority of its healing practices on the theory of meridians.  Meridians are like rivers that run through the body but instead of rivers full of water, they are rivers full of the vital substance known as Qi.   

Qi feeds our bodies, and keeps our organs, muscles, tendons, and bones functioning and healthy. Just like any other river, there can be blockages in the meridians leading to Qi obstruction.   We believe that this blockage and the subsequent lack of flow of Qi is what contributes to the presence of pain.

So why is it that the joints are specifically affected by these blockages in the meridians? 

According to Chinese medical philosophies, the joints are considered the “dense” areas of the body.  They are subject to a narrowing of sorts and as all the meridians are “squeezed” through the joints there can be an increased "bottleneck" type of situation.

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Tags: acupuncture, pain

Chinese Medicine and the Spring Tune Up

Posted by on Mon, Mar 04, 2013

Nicholas Buscemi MSOM, LAc

Changing with the Seasons

Classical Chinese Medicine is unique in that practitioners of the Classical way take into account the seasonal shifts in our treatment strategies.   For example, we are moving out of the time of hibernation, quiet and storage (winter) into a time of egress, growth and change (spring).  Our external environment goes from grey, cold and dead to green, temperate and nurturing. Treatment strategies should facilitate mirroring climactic changes with the functions of the body.  The process of the seasons changing can be tough on our bodies as we have collectively forgotten how to live within the seasonal mandate and sometimes we need a bit of help to adjust.

Humans React to the Weather Too

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Tags: chinese medicine, acupuncture

What is Classical Chinese Medicine?

Posted by on Mon, Jul 30, 2012

Nicholas Buscemi MSOM, LAc

Classical Chinese Medicine takes into account the whole system of the body.

 It looks at the body like a tree and instead of treating a branch of the tree (a symptom) Classical Chinese Medicine goes to the cause- to treat the root of the problem. 

NIHA's Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner explains:


Classical Chinese Medicine uses subtle manipulation of acupuncture points through acupuncture or accupressure where there is blockage of chi, or energy. Chinese medicine can move the blockage so energy may flow more freely.

There are many reasons that energy may be blocked:

  • environmental factors
  • trauma
  • infection
  • recalcitrant or chronic disease

All may be helped with acupuncture, dietary modifications.

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Tags: chinese medicine, acupuncture

Chinese Medicine For Women’s Health and Fertility

Posted by on Mon, Jun 18, 2012

Do you suffer from fatigue, cramping, nausea, migraines, anger, irritability, restlessness, mood swings, digestive disturbance, hot flashes and just plain feeling down in the dumps?  Do these symptoms seem to occur regularly or cyclically?

Perhaps worse than the symptoms are not knowing when they will occur, as your bodies’ rhythms are not quite as “cyclical” as they could be. 

Are you struggling with the “change of life” and the physical and emotional symptoms that seem to accompany this natural transition?

What could your symptoms mean?

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Tags: fertility, chinese medicine, acupuncture, integrative health, womens health

Tired of Pain?

Posted by on Tue, May 01, 2012

Nicholas Buscemi MSOM, LAc

Chronic Pain May Be Alleviated by Chinese Medicine

Physical pain is common for many Americans.  A recent national study found that more than a quarter of respondents lived with some pain for extended periods of time. 

Those that suffer from the debilitating effects of chronic pain have a NEW OLD ally in the fight for symptom relief.  Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been used for 3000 years to relieve pain.  Chinese medicine is used to counter the effects of inflammation, arthritis, fibromyalgia and other sources of chronic pain and is endorsed by the NIH as a valid treatment modality AND is covered by many insurers.

So How does Chine

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Tags: cupping, chinese medicine, acupuncture, pain