Acutonics – An Alternative to Needles

Acutonics is the non-invasive use of precision-calibrated tuning forks developed by acupuncturists. The system of specifically “tuned” forks are used directly on acupuncture points instead of needles. It is an excellent option for treating children and people who are especially needle sensitive or fearful of needles.

Every cell in the body is a “sound resonator” for vibratory energy. The meridian “tune-up” can be used to treat patterns of disharmony and illness in the same way as traditional acupuncture. The various sound frequencies can be used to break up energy blocks and to harmonize the flow of qi in the body and chakra system.

In Western medicine, tuning forks are used in neurological testing and audiology. The sound waves travel deeply into the body creating a sense of relaxation and ease. In Eastern medicine, the forks are used to create harmony in mind, body and spirit. Treatments can be specific for such conditions as anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and other emotional and physical concerns.

 Debby Jennings, L.Ac

Yuan Qi Acupuncture: Fewer Needles, Big Results

Traditionally, acupuncture was not practiced in the same manner by all doctors. There existed many styles and family lineages. The different styles did have some overlapping techniques, but there were also a lot of differences amongst them. This posed a problem when attempting to teach acupuncture in schools, as the information needed to be consistent. So within the last century, Chinese medicine became standardized and also somewhat westernized. This led to the creation of what is known as TCM, or traditional Chinese medicine, as it is practiced in China and worldwide today.
Some of these lineage styles still exist today in small numbers, one such style I have been fortunate enough to learn is Yuan Qi acupuncture. Yuan qi is your original qi, or “Source Qi” and yuan qi acupuncture is meant to tap into your original qi in order to let your body heal itself.
Since learning yuan qi acupuncture I have noticed a significant improvement in my ability to treat pain and discomfort. The result is powerful and quick, with the patient often experiencing drastic pain relief within the first few weeks of getting treatment, especially when the pain has a specific location. Since illness and aging tend to drain our yuan qi, and, it is important to treat pain and illness as early as possible. Not only will the pain resolve more quickly, but you will also prevent your energy from being consumed over time.

Yuan Qi acupuncture can be practiced in almost any setting, since most of the points used are on the arms and legs. This makes it a great technique to use in our community clinic, making pain relief more affordable for everyone.

 Jesse Andreas, L.Ac.

More than Just Needles

I am coming upon the completion of my first full year as a licensed acupuncturist. As a relatively new practitioner, I spent a large part of this first year trying to attract new patients. Toward that end, I have participated in health expos and conducted seminars with the intention of educating the public about this form of health care. At many of these events, I would give brief treatments.

Of course there were many people with the usual reservations: fear of needles, wondering if the needles hurt, etc. Usually, the first half of the health care events would find me sitting alone and ignored at my booth, until the first brave soul decided to try acupuncture. Once the first patient was settled in, people would crowd around with curiosity until I was busy treating and educating.

For practicality, I would use only ear acupuncture for these “sample” treatments. The protocol I used was called the “NADA” protocol which is simply a selection of 5 points on each ear designed to reduce stress and calm the sympathetic nervous system. This type of ear acupuncture is often used in addiction and detox programs, as well as trauma clinics after natural disasters. The ear points provide an almost instant sense of relief and relaxation.

I was happy to witness the effects of these treatments as each newcomer became visibly calm. As the patients sat side by side receiving treatments, they would begin to socialize and share experiences. They would soon open up about ailments and their dissatisfaction with their previous healthcare experiences. Also, the more people began to communicate, the more new people wanted to try a treatment. It seemed that once they overcame the initial fear of needles (or whatever was holding them back) they realized that they enjoyed the experience. This sequence of events reminded me that one of the biggest impediments to my profession is the trepidation of the public to try something new. However, the satisfaction of those who were brave enough to try this gentle form of medicine impressed upon me the importance of continuing to educate and encourage people to try acupuncture.

It was clear from these experiences with the public that there are many who want to take the leap toward having more control of their health and their lives. This principle would extend further, into our ear acupuncture clinic at Stillpoint, and with my private patients. I found that people new to acupuncture are doing more than experimenting–they are looking for an adjunct to the healthcare methods that they have been using. They want to be heard and they want their personal experiences considered when making decisions about their health. They want to educate themselves more, and they are ready to heal. Seeing this has brought me a great deal of satisfaction, and excitement about contributing to their efforts.

At the completion of my first year of practice, I feel lucky to have been able to help these new patients on this path. I thought I knew the benefits that acupuncture could offer, but I am pleasantly surprised to see the personal empowerment that comes from people being willing to step outside their comfort zone and take responsibility for their own health.

 Jason Trakas, L.Ac.

Battlefield Acupuncture: Quick Pain Relief with tiny Needles


Have you ever heard of Battlefield Acupuncture?

No?  You’re not alone.  It’s a relatively new acupuncture protocol (a specified grouping of acupuncture points used together).This protocol, developed by the military for use in battlefield conditions, only uses points in the ear to treat chronic &/or severe pain anywhere in the body.  In our clinic, this protocol is used when someone doesn’t see significant improvement in their pain level from their regular acupuncture treatment.

Another twist is that this treatment uses a rather unusual type of acupuncture needle; the ASP needle.  The ASP needle is a semi-permanent needle that stays in the ear a few days to continue providing pain relief.

Semi-permanent needles might sound intimidating, but they are only 3 millimeters long (see photo) and the visible portion on the ear is only a fraction of that.  More importantly, the results from these tiny needles are outsized!  I’ve been treating patients with acupuncture for almost twenty years and this technique is one of the most profound and effective tools that I’ve learned for the treatment of pain – and I consider myself a pain specialist.

If your practitioner suggests that you could be helped by the addition of semi-permanent needles after your regular treatment, I urge you to give them a try.  I’ve seen truly remarkable results and am thrilled to have this versatile tool at my disposal.

Christi De Larco, L.Ac.

Meditation for Fall

Autumn is the time when all of Nature begins to simplify, separating what is summer’s finery from what is needed to survive the winter. Our meditation practice can be simplified as well, giving us little sips of mental nourishment to sustain us.

At the beginning of my journey with yoga, my teacher did two things in class that I found so nourishing I carried them into my own classes when I began teaching. One was to read Mary Oliver’s poetry during Savasana; the other was guiding us in The Ten Breaths as described by Thich Naht Hahn. She told us that this technique is often used to teach meditation to young boys entering the monastic life. If it’s simple and effective enough to momentarily tame 10-year-old boys, it has real power.

Take time to settle yourself into a comfortable seated or reclining position. Use pillows and rolled blankets to prop and bolster knees, neck, and any other areas that need support. Cover yourself warmly, eliminating physical discomforts as much as you can, then accepting any leftover minor discomforts in a friendly fashion. “Hey, uncomfortable shoulder. Let’s try to relax together, shall we?”

If you haven’t the time to settle in this way, the breath work will still be valuable- at your desk, waiting in a carpool line, etc.

The following statements may not ring true, but we’ll say them anyway by way of setting our intention, affirming what is possible.  I indicates what our mind says silently when inhaling; E, what it says silently when exhaling. It’s common to lose track, find that thoughts have interrupted your flow- but you can pick back up anytime. It’s your practice, there is no right or wrong, you get an infinite number of do-overs.


I I know that I’m inhaling

E I know that I’m exhaling

I Inhale

E Exhale

I I know that I breathe deeply

E I know that I breathe slowly

I Deep

E Slow

I I breathe calmness into my body (imagine Calm as a substance in the air)

E I breathe with ease

I Calm

E Ease

I I smile to my body (a soft smile releases facial tension)

E I release all tension (the rest of the body can learn from the face)

I Smile

E Release

I I dwell in the present moment

E I know this is a wonderful moment

I Present moment

E Wonderful moment

Sometimes having something for the mind to “say” helps override the other chatter in our heads, and we can begin reaping the benefits of meditation.

Melissa Peet, practice manager