Category Archives: Acupuncture

Posts related to acupuncture, it’s uses or current research

The Importance of Sleep

Most people understand the importance of diet and exercise for overall health, but just as  important is getting enough good quality sleep. Even if you have a good diet and you exercise regularly, poor or insufficient sleep can bring about short and long term health consequences.  A minimum of seven hours of sleep for most people is recommended. If you are getting less then that, your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, obesity, depression and premature aging increases.

We often put sleep on the back burner because of all the other things that take up our time, but how often are those things actually more important than sleep? Have any of you ever found yourself up on the computer or your phone when you should be sleeping? When our bodies natural rhythms are out of whack we find ourselves tired during the day, and awake at night. We have to make an effort to break this cycle if we want to feel and function at our best.

One of the many benefits of acupuncture is its ability to regulate our sleep cycles. A preliminary report in 2004 found that in patients with anxiety, acupuncture increased nighttime melatonin production and increased overall sleep time. Acupuncture also reduces chronic pain, which is another common cause of insomnia. Without proper sleep it is more difficult to heal from chronic pain, and the cycle continues. Acupuncture has even been shown to improve sleep quality in people with no underlying health conditions. Furthermore, the side effects of acupuncture will be improved mood, digestion, reduced pain, and better overall energy levels.

Just like with any form of treatment, the key is to make sure you’re getting the minimum effective dose before you decide whether or not its working for you. I recommend at least 10 acupuncture treatments for most people. This will vary depending on the individual and how long the condition has been going on. In my experience, sleep is usually one of the first things to noticeably improve with a course of acupuncture treatment. In fact many people fall asleep during the treatment.

Besides acupuncture, I have found it extremely effective to prepare the body and mind for sleep ahead of time. One simple way to do this is to turn off your lights when the sun goes down. This is a good time to use a salt lamp. The blue light found in electronics will inhibit melatonin production and throw off your sleep cycle. So avoid or minimize using devices after sundown. Also make sure to expose yourself to sunlight when you first wake up in the morning. Open the shades and let the light in. When the light enters our eyes it triggers an endocrine response and gives us energy.

Focus on movement in the morning, and calmness in the evening, try to get your work done early on, so you won’t have to over stimulate yourself too much in the evening. Do these few things regularly and pretty soon you may find yourself actually being tired when its time
for bed, and getting up easily when its time to rise. More importantly you can expect to feel better physically and mentally.

–Jesse Andreas. L.Ac.

Acupuncture: Consistency Required

by Jesse Andreas, L.Ac.

With any endeavor in life, the road to success has two critical elements: a system that works, and the willingness follow the system for long enough to get the results we are looking for. If we intend to follow a diet for weight loss, we need an effective program, and we need to stick with it long enough to see results. Finding the road that leads to our destination is essential, but it is not enough; we must keep moving along that road until we arrive.
     For thousands of years, acupuncture has proven itself to be an effective system of health care, treating not only pain, but many other health conditions as well. The most common reason someone does not attain the results they are looking for is that they do not receive treatment often enough, or for a long enough period of time to receive the full benefit of acupuncture. We should adhere to the course of treatment recommended by the practitioner.
     Most of us have been prescribed antibiotics at some point in our lives. The doctor instructed us to follow a complete course of treatment, to take the pills every day for 10 days, even after we felt better. This ensured the results would last. If we took the pills for a day or two, then stopped because we felt better, we may expect the sickness to return. This does not mean that the medicine was ineffective, it means we didn’t use it properly. The same applies to acupuncture. In order to achieve lasting results we need to follow through with a full course of treatment. The course of treatment will vary depending on the condition being treated, and the patient’s overall state of health.
     The effects of acupuncture treatments are cumulative, with each successive treatment building on the one before it. Often after a treatment, a patient will report that they felt relief for a few days, and then their symptoms started to return. This means the treatments are working, and acupuncture is a viable treatment option for them. The next step is to make sure that they get enough treatments, in an appropriate time span in order for their bodies to fully heal.
     The more treatments they get, the more the severity of symptoms will lessen; they will experience more symptom-free days, until they reach the point where their body is strong enough to heal completely. Chronic conditions do not develop overnight, and they take some time to reverse. The goal is a result that lasts, not a temporary relieving of symptoms.
     In China, acupuncture is performed with much greater frequency than in America. Patients in China may get acupuncture every day or every other day for several weeks and successfully achieve lasting results. In American culture this is not always practical, so patients usually get treatment once or twice per week. This method still produces results, it just may take a bit longer.
     As a general rule, we should be prepared to allow one month of regular treatment for every year we have been dealing with the condition. We want patients to approach their treatment with realistic expectations, and that rarely means complete healing in two or three visits.
     This is truly an amazing medical modality. Acupuncture safely and effectively deals with many health conditions we face today, and it is our sincere hope that all who can be helped by this medicine are able to make proper use of it.

Creating the Right Environment for Health: How Chinese Medicine is like Organic Gardening

chinese-herbsChinese medicine operates from the belief that the body possesses its own innate ability to heal, and that disease symptoms manifest when elemental energies are out of balance. When proper balance is restored, health is the natural result. Not long after I began to study Chinese medicine, I noticed a similarity between how human health is cultivated in this ancient system and how an organic gardener promotes health in plants.

Organic gardening uses natural methods to promote the plant’s powers of growth and healing. In a general sense, chemical gardening follows the approach to health used by Western medicine. An organic gardener ensures a plant reaches its full potential by making sure that the elemental energies the plant depends upon are in a relative state of balance. Temperature, moisture, ph and the gases and minerals in the soil must be in balance for the health and optimal functioning of the organism.

When trying to control a pest population in a garden, there are two ways to proceed. The organic gardener would make sure that the diversity of plants in the garden brought about the right balance of insects in order to control pest populations. They might introduce predatory insects that would feed off the bugs eating the plants without harming the plants themselves. They would also make sure that the soil was well balanced, so that the immunity of the plants is strong. Strong plants can fight off the pests on their own.

In another approach, the conventional gardener might spray the plants with chemicals to kill the pests. This may be effective in the short term, but does not ultimately solve the problem, because it does not address the reason the pest infestation arose in the first place. It may also cause other problems down the road. Modern medicine has such value, especially in emergency situations. But similar to chemical gardening, it can produce unwanted side effects, and does not always deal with the underlying causes of disease.

You may be asked questions by your Chinese medicine practitioner that seem entirely unrelated to the reason you are seeking treatment. Questions like “Do you have an intolerance for cold weather, or get cold hands and feet”? “Do you get hot flashes, or sweating at night”? We ask these questions because every symptom in Chinese medicine is understood in a larger context. Your answers to these questions help us understand how to treat your back pain or your headaches. Chances are that your treatment will be very different from another person’s treatment even if they have very similar complaints.

We look at the environment in which you are growing and try to help you adjust your internal and external influences so that you can be stronger and more resistant to disease. Much like an organic gardener, we hope to support your own natural healing power by bringing all the elements into balance.

–Jesse Andreas, L.Ac.

“Acupuncture for Everyone”: Special Saturday Community Clinic

On October 29th, we will be hosting the second of our fundraising clinics for the North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. This organization is committed to promoting awareness of the benefits of acupuncture and to working toward increasing access to acupuncture through insurance benefits.

In Raleigh, the NCCAOM is hosting a 5K “Walk for Acupuncture.”  In Greensboro, we are offering community clinic treatments and sending our profits to support this cause. You can show your support by:

  • coming for a community clinic treatment and bringing your friends and family as well. These special clinics are focused on stress relief, and are an easy and affordable way for folks to see what acupuncture is like.  Use the calendar below for an appointment or call 336-510-2029.
  • Registering to walk and/or Donating money to the Walk for Acupuncture Fund.
  • Becoming an Acupuncture Ambassador and/or writing a testimonial about your experience with Chinese Medicine.

Thank you!

Come Celebrate Open Day with Acupuncture!

opendayflyerNational Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is October 24, and October 1 marks Stillpoint’s 15th Birthday!  To celebrate we have a full day of events planned for you in our Greensboro office:

Community Acupuncture Clinic will be open 10a-3p, all visits are $30, with proceeds going to support our state organization in its efforts to bring awareness to this important, effective medicine.

Open House/ meet your practitioners from 4p-6p- light refreshments, door prizes, Q&A opportunities. We all love seeing you, and this is a wonderful chance to hang out with our delightful staff.

 If you can’t attend, but want to support Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, there are more options this month:

  1. You can purchase raffle tickets here to enter to win many wonderful prizes including:

*Skin Like Rissa’s- Skin Couture Vitamin A Peel

*Mimi’s Soaps- selection of handmade soaps and skin care products

*Mary Ann Karlok, LMBT- Massage

*Envy Salon- selection of hair and skin products plus scarf!

*Kneaded Energy- 2 opportunities for half-price massage

*Terri Aprile- Horse Massage- yes, you heard that right!

*Stillpoint Acupuncture- Gift Certificate for $120- new or established patients – great gift for someone you love!


Number of Tickets



2) On October 29 we will have another special Community Clinic, to coincide with the Walk-a-Thon in Raleigh.  Did we mention there is a Walk-a-Thon in Raleigh on October 29?

https://secure.qgiv.com/event/862314/register/

 3) You can become an ambassador for acupuncture by going here to join the State Acupuncture Association (only $25!) and/or to offer your comments and testimonials:

http://ncaaom.org/Acupuncture-Ambassadors