Office# 315-557-6892

Introducing Deep Heat Therapy

Deep Heat
I’ve negotiated with my daughter, Aurora, to give you an exclusive deal on the introductory package to her new Deep Heat Therapy. Please accept this offer as a way of saying thanks for being a 5-element acupuncture patient. I’ve negotiated an exclusive deal on the introductory package to her new Deep Heat Therapy. This package will be offered to public for $120.00, but for a limited time you can enjoy the benefits of Deep Heat for only $35.00. That’s $85.00 off the regular price.

Deep Heat is great for pain relief, relaxation, skin purification, weight loss among other things. It works by gently warming your core temperature so you detoxify. The patients who have tried it so far, love it.

This starter package includes 3 mini sessions which allow you to acclimate to the heat therapy then 3 full sessions. To take advantage of this offer, you must talk to Aurora before January 31st.

Aurora 315-908-2809 (That number is a special Google number so you have to follow the voice prompts to get through.)

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Water Stew Recipe

Venison Stew
In 5-Element theory, the Water Element is the energy that provides the foundation for all the other energy in the body. The Kidney and Bladder are the officials which make up the Water element. This venison stew strengthens and supports the Water Element which in turn supports your bones, teeth, nervous system as well as you day-to-day energy and your vim and vigor over your entire life. Venison was a staple of the Oneida Indians is a great winter meal that helps provide lots of zinc to maintain your immune system and more than 300 other processes that support your health. This easy venison stew recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Marinade: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds venison, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or white onions
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups cleaned mushrooms

Preparation:
Add the venison, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and the herbs to a glass bowl or casserole dish. Pour the red wine and beef stock over the venison and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.


Drain the liquid marinade and reserve it for use later in this recipe.


In a large saucepan over high heat, cook the bacon until it turns crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan. Sautee the onions, carrots, and celery in the bacon grease for 5 minutes, until the vegetables turn soft. Transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set it aside for a moment.


Brown the venison in the remaining bacon grease. Once all sides of the meat are browned, stir in the tomato paste and cook the mixture for 1 minute.


Add the mushrooms, cooked vegetables, crisped bacon, and reserved marinade liquid into the pan with the browned venison, and then cook the mixture over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The venison stew is done when the meat and vegetables are tender and the sauce is thickened.

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Why weight loss and health is a journey and not a project

woman
The diet/health journey is personal quest through the fog of misinformation and ignorance (lack of information), all the while battling the waxing and waning of motivation and the slow painful slog through self-discovery.

There are several obstacles to overcome, none of which solved, in isolation, will likely eliminate your health weight/health issues.

Obstacle #1: Discovering what real food is and how to find it and prepare it. (Paleo, Weston A. Price, etc.)

Obstacle #2: Staying motivated after the "honeymoon" phase is over and moving from a project to a lifestyle. We either stall, regain, run into health problems, etc.

Obstacle #3: Discovering how your individual body works. Do you have a carb/insulin problem, do you have a sleep/hormonal problem, do you have a long-term nutritional deficiency/digestive issue, does your body have a preference for or against fat? Etc, etc, etc....

"It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe."-Robert Service, writer (1874-1958)

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Support your health with a stomach cleanse

beets

August is smack dab in the middle of late summer which, according to 5-Element theory, is the season that relates to the Earth Element which controls digestion and metabolism. That makes it a perfect time for a stomach cleanse. In Chinese medicine, the stomach is the official in charge of “rotting and ripening” food so it can be easily assimilated by the body.

To do this cleanse, you will need to buy a bottle of betaine HCL with pepsin. The betaine is used to recharge your digestive energy. Like everything else, as we age, our digestion becomes weaker, which means we don’t “rotten and ripen” our food as well, which means we don’t get all the nutrition we need to make enough, wait for it......digestive energy. You can see that this quickly becomes a vicious cycle causing all kinds of problems. If you cannot digest your food, it doesn’t matter if you eat only pure organic local food, you will be malnourished. Ready for some easy science? Good! Keep reading.

This is how Wikipedia describes the body’s digestive juices.

Gastric acid is a digestive fluid, formed in the stomach. It has a pH of 1.5 to 3.5 and is composed of hydrochloric acid (HCl) (around 0.5%, or 5000 parts per million), and large quantities of potassium chloride (KCl) and sodium chloride (NaCl). The acid plays a key role in digestion of proteins, by activating digestive enzymes, and making ingested proteins unravel so that digestive enzymes can break down the long chains of amino acids.

Gastric acid is produced by cells lining the stomach, which are coupled to systems to increase acid production when needed. Other cells in the stomach produce bicarbonate, a base, to buffer the fluid, ensuring that it does not become too acidic. These cells also produce mucus, which forms a viscous physical barrier to prevent gastric acid from damaging the stomach. Cells in the beginning of the small intestine, or duodenum, further produce large amounts of bicarbonate to completely neutralize any gastric acid that passes further down into the digestive tract.

Pretty cool, huh?


Directions For the stomach “cleanse”
Ok, here are the step by step instruction for your stomach cleanse. If you have any questions or concerns, give me a shout. I’m glad to help.

Read this first: betaine packs a bit of a punch so be sure to follow the directions below closely until you become familiar with how your body reacts to the supplement. Also, if you have an active ulcer, wait until you are healed to start the cleanse.

Step One: Before you start eating, take one capsule of Betaine HCL with a small glass of water. Then pay attention to how your stomach feels.If you have any extra burning or unusual feelings, stop the cleanse right then and there and give me a call. This rarely happens, but if you have an ulcer, this will make you feel worse.

Step Two: If one capsule produced no stomach discomfort, right before your next meal take two. Just like in step one, if taking two capsules causes burning or unusual feelings, go back to one capsule before each meal. But..... if two capsules cause no discomfort, try three at the start of your next meal.

Step Three: If you can tolerate three capsules, that is the dose you will take. You are now well on your way to cleansing and recharging the cells lining your stomach.

How long do I do this? Keep taking the Betaine HCL with Pepsin until your stomach gets a warm feeling, that’s means that your stomach cells are recharged. For example, if you are taking three pills, and notice after a few weeks that your stomach feels warm after eating and taking the supplements, the cut back your dosage to two capsules. When the warm feeling returns, cut back to one, and then none. This process may take a month, or maybe a lot longer. It depends on how depleted your stomach energy is.

Happy digesting!

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Earth Soup Recipe

carrot

In 5-Element theory, the Earth Element is the energy that takes the food we eat and turns it into nourishment that feeds every cell in the body. This Earth soup strengthens and supports the Earth Element which in turn supports digestion an metabolism. The ginger and tangerine gently warms the Earth Element and circulates its energy. The chicken stock, nori, onions and carrots and provide nourishment and a yummy flavor.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3): 4 carrots, sliced 1 medium onion, chopped 2 sticks of celery, chopped 6-8 good pinches shredded dried tangerine peel (15g) 6-8 slices fresh root ginger, 1 qt chicken broth (homemade is best!)
3 sheets of Nori broken into small peices

Directions:
Put the tangerine peel* and ginger in a saucepan with the chicken stock
Bring to boil and simmer, covered, for 20-30 mins.
Strain the stock to remove the tangerine and ginger
Now add the nori, chopped onion and celery and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Add carrots and simmer for 10-15 minutes more
(Optional) blend until smooth.
Garnish with three mint leaves

* You can buy dried tangerine peel from Oriental supermarkets or you make your own by drying it in a low oven.

Happy cooking!
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Should you drink milk?

baby

Only babies should drink milk?

The whole only babies eat milk is clever play on words but has no bearing in reality. It's not a nature based argument. If you would visit our farm and stay a spell, you would find that the "baby" calves will nurse as long as their mother will let them, which is often well past their fist year. Translated to human years, well into their "adolescence."

What stops nursing is not magical transformation into an adult, but the arrival of a more needy member of the herd, another calf.

Some people cannot digest milk

I don't disagree that some people just cannot handle milk, just like some people cannot handle a high fat diet, or wheat, but does this mean that every human on the planet should stop drinking milk? This is what many food purists like the Paleo diet folks want us to believe.

The Paleo philosophy basically eliminates any food except what our hunter-gatherer ancestors could find. This includes all dairy, all grains, and legumes. Essentially, all foods that were developed as civilizations shifted toward the agrarian.

The Masai culture is a milk based culture

There are cultures who have relied on milk for thousands of years. For example, the traditional Masai culture of nomadic cattle herders is not what we would consider an agrarian culture, yet their diet consists largely of a mixture of cow’s blood and milk. Don't you think 5,000 years or so of living like that is enough to work out the kinks? Should the Masai give up milk?
milk

Innovations in food technology create the culture

Food innovations, created huge leaps forward in civilization. If the choice is bread made from grain stored during the proverbial seven fat years, or starvation during the seven lean years, I know what I would choose.

Plentiful cheap food is a headache

That's the other interesting anthropological aspect to this whole "what to eat" debate. Until post WWII America, you pretty much ate what you could get your hands on. It's amazing the confusion cheap and plentiful food has created.

That doesn't mean we should keep all foods around, but if I can handle drinking raw milk, or the occasional sourdough bread slathered with grass fed butter with no adverse effects, I'm not going to stop for the benefit of of keeping a philosophy "pure."

Eliminate a food only because it’s bad for you

I believe in eliminating a food only because it actually causes damage for an individual and not because of some theoretical threat to human health as a whole. Nature and human nature is too vast and too varied to create simple rules. We need some flexibility in our thinking and generosity in our spirit.

The danger of tunnel thinking

It's dogmatic tunnel thinking that got us in this nutritional mess in the first place when our government decided we should all eat a low-fat high carb diet. One nutritional size does not fit all. Once we become dogmatic, whether, low-fat, low carb, Paleo, vegan, whatever, we will always do harm to others by insisting everybody follow our path. Remember one person's food is another's poison, or n=1.

Just to be clear, this is NOT and anti-Paleo post. I think Paleo is wonderful and might be the best starting place for figuring out how to nourish your particular metabolism. In fact I'm considering adopting it as the nutritional foundation for my acupuncture practice instead of simply low carb. So you don't have to defend Paleo, but feel free if you wish. ;)

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Save a life: early signs of a stroke

Untitled

This “chain letter” I actually read

A patient sent me one of those chain letters the other day, this one was different however, I actually read it. The email was a reminder of how to recognize that a person is having a stroke, but what caught my attention was that modern science now has a fourth sign for stroke, the tongue.

Tongue diagnosis is part of acupuncture

Acupuncturists have been looking at tongues for centuries to gather signs about a person’s health. Has modern medicine caught up. I’ll fill you in a bit. Before I do, please familiarize yourself with the signs of a stroke. You may save someone’s life, or the quality of their life.

3 hours can save a stroke victim

Neurologist say that if they can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours, they can usually reverse the effects of a stroke. The trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough because the signs of a stroke are not well recognized.

Stroke is a silent killer

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. The patient usually has no pain, but feels weak and disoriented, so they may just sit quietly hoping the “episode” will pass.

Why people ignore the warning signs

In fact many people who have strokes have had “mini-strokes” where the symptoms did pass, so these warning signs go unheeded. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

How to recognize a stroke

Doctors say a you can recognize a stroke by asking the patient to perform STR:

  • S  Ask the individual to SMILE - if the smile is not symmetrical dial 911
  • T  Ask the person to TALK and repeat a simple sentence i.e. It is sunny out today. - If the person is not coherent, dial 911
  • R  Ask him or her to RAISE both arms at the same time - if both arms do not go up at the same time, well you know the drill by now, dial 911.

tongue

New sign of a stroke: stick out your tongue

Modern cardiologists have identified a “new” sign of stroke to add to the list. Ask the person to stick out their tongue. If the tongue comes out crooked, the person may be having a stroke.

2000 years looking for crooked tongues

This “new” sign is thousands of years old. Ancient Chinese acupuncturists grouped a crooked tongue as a sign of “wind stroke” along side of facial paralysis. So while I’m temped to file this under “Duh!” It’s always good to see modern medicine confirm acupuncture’s 2,000 years of experience.

Acupuncture can help after a stroke

If you do find somebody with the symptoms of a stroke, by all means get them to an emergency room as fast as you can. After the acute phase has passed, if there are any lingering symptoms, you may want to consider acupuncture to help recovery and rehab.

Here is a short summary about acupuncture for stroke recovery.

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A short introduction to the concept of Energy Imbalance

oaktree
This is a part of a series that explains 5 Element Acupuncture by comparing and contrasting it to modern medicine. In this post we will take a look at the nature of disharmony, or what effect disease has on a person. Modern medicine has pathology and 5 Element Acupuncture has energy imbalances.

Medical pathology was the original CSI MIAMI

Pathology is the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes. This science starts at the end point and works it’s way backwards to the find cause of the disease, just like a detective investigating a murder starts with a death and works her way backwards to find the murderer.

5 Element Acupuncture begins with the end

The main difference with the way a 5 Element Acupuncturist views the effects of disease is the belief that the beginning of the disease process is the end as well. In 5 Element Acupuncture there is no cascade of cause and effect that leads to death.

Once the energy becomes imbalanced, there is nothing less nor nothing more to do than treat the imbalance. It does not matter if the imbalance is recent and there are no symptoms yet manifest, or if the imbalance is well established and the patient is very ill.

While this sounds incredibly silly and just another bit of oriental circular thinking, one only has to take the simple example of my hop house collapsing to understand how the concept makes perfect sense.

The story of the hop house

I live on an old hop farm in Central New York. At one time, this area was the hops capital of the United States. One of the outbuildings on our farm was the hop house, a specialized structure for drying and packaging hops for sale and shipment. The hop house was build around 1870 and was last used in the 1920’s when the farm was converted to a dairy operation.
hophouse
Since the hop house was no longer a money making structure, it was neglected. The roof was not kept in repair, nor was the vent cowl which allowed the moisture and smoke from the drying process to escape without allowing rain to get in and damage the structure.

Time and weather take their toll

Over time, weather wore off the exterior paint, rain began to seep in through holes in the roof. Eventually the siding facing west, the direction of the prevailing winds, started falling down. To the builder’s credit, the hop house held together through many storms, until finally in 2009, a huge gust of wind blew into the hop house and lifted part of roof right off the walls and smashed it about 20 yards away. The hop house died.

What caused the architectural death?

If you were an architectural pathologist, the cause of death would have been the gust of wind. You would not be a complete idiot and ignore the damage that allowed the wind to kill the building, but nonetheless, the cause was still the gust of wind.

Putting it all together

To understand, the point of the hop house story, you simply have think about cancer. Cancer is like the gust of wind. It’s what finishes the job, but a lot happens before the cancer can get bad enough to kill.

A 5 Element look at architecture

In the 5 Element model, the hops house’s cause of death would be the same imbalance which started the decline in the first place: not the gust of wind, not the west facing siding falling off, not even the leaking roof, the imbalance that started AND ended the life of the hop house was a lack of income generating purpose for the structure.

Identifying the root cause

If at any point in time, the hop house was more than just a gentle reminder of the old days and actually was a source of income, any of its owners, including me, would have spent the $30,000 needed to stabilize the structure or better yet, the building would have been maintained all along.

The power of the energy imbalance concept

This is the deep power of 5 Element diagnosis -- the power of understanding an energy imbalance, the root cause of a disease. Even if I had secured a state grant to save the hop house. It would have just postponed the ultimate demise. Without a purpose, there was nobody to spend time in the hop house and notice what needed fixing, let alone have the extra money to make the yearly repairs needed.

You don’t need to understand acupuncture to understand energy

It took me three years and a Master’s Degree to understand how energy imbalances play out inside a human being. However, if you use your imagination, you can conjure up a scenario where lack of sleep over many years could cause an energy imbalance. That would weaken the immune system to the point where frequent viral infections could damage the cellular DNA causing cancer, and if unsuccessfully treated, lead to death.

How the beginning becomes the end

In western medicine, the cause of death would be cancer, in 5 Element Acupuncture, the cause of death would be an energy imbalance caused by not following nature’s laws and getting enough sleep. You understand now the beginning is the end and why 5 Element Acupuncturists sound like broken records when it comes to the nature’s basic laws.

One last example

Indulge me with one last example, an example of growth and not death, the life of an oak tree. To a 5 Element Acupuncturist, an acorn does not become an oak tree, and this is very important, the acorn is the oak tree. A majestic 200 year oak tree is simply, but no less miraculously, an acorn that has unfolded over time.
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Why choose 5 Element Acupuncture? Focusing on patterns of health and not individual threads

Why choose 5 Element Acupuncture for your health

In order to weave silk into a beautiful pattern, you must know what each individual thread is doing. However, if you stay focused on the individual threads, you will never see the pattern that these threads create. By favoring pattern recognition over individual signs and symptoms, 5 Element Acupuncture occupies a unique place in the healthcare universe that sets it apart, not only from Western medicine, but also other forms of acupuncture.

You have choices in acupuncture

We are blessed in this modern age to have lots of choices when it comes to acupuncture, TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine), Japanese Eight Principle, Auricular Acupuncture, Korean Hand Acupuncture, and individual techniques like Dr. Tan’s Balance Method, and the NAET allergy elimination protocol.

Choices can cause confusion

This profusion of styles is also a curse. You now have to educate yourself to make a wise choice. It would take an entire book to explain all the different types of acupuncture, and since I am only an expert in one style, 5 Eement Acupuncture, it would be presumptuous of me to speak for other traditions.

What makes 5 Element Acupuncture unique

However, I can tell you the unique features of 5 Element Acupuncture and the benefits of its approach. If you find yourself bored and uninterested, move on and find another practitioner (or style). However, if you find yourself drawn in and intrigued, schedule yourself a consultation to find out if 5 Element Acupuncture is for you.

A person and her health is not simply a matter of biochemistry, or internal energy flow for that matter. She constantly adjusts and responds to her environment. She also is an expression of her past. Just like thousands of threads are woven together to make a dress, time weaves the physical, mental and spiritual threads of our lives to make us what we are today.

Heart disease as an example

For example, let’s take a look at heart disease. In modern medicine, the first sign of heart disease might be raised blood pressure. In response to this finding, a doctor might prescribe several blood pressure medications and advise the patient to exercise, lose weight and make a follow-up visit in 6-12 months.

Similarly, in the TCM acupuncture model, a patient might present with a tight pulse and a tongue that is slightly purple. The TCM practitioner would have a similar response to the Western doctor and use needles and a herbal formula like “Relaxed Wanderer” to ease “liver stagnation” and advise the patient to practice yoga or meditate.

These are essentially the same interventions which address the mechanism of increased blood pressure, but completely ignore how the patient’s past and environment might be influencing her entire quality of life and not just the blood pressure. Put that thought on the shelf. We will come back to it.

Heart disease has many causes

A study just came to my attention that linked laughter and heart disease. To a Five Element Acupuncturist this is 2,000 year old news, but it’s always nice to get validated by rigorous modern research. In 5 ELement theory, the heart is associated with the Fire Element whose sound is laughter and whose emotion is joy. Score one for the old Chinese dudes.

The connection between laughter and your heart

The researchers started by asking the patients if the they would laugh if they showed up at a party and someone else was wearing the same outfit. Those who had a sense of humor, were found to be 40% less likely to have markers for heart disease, including high blood pressure.

One could make the case, in fact I am making the case, that the cause of these patients’ heart disease symptoms was a lack of joy in their lives. No joy, no laughter. No laughter, no healthy heart.

If you simply relax the cardiovascular system and reduce the blood pressure, the main cause of stress, a joyless life, is left running rampage through the person’s life and will continue to cause physical damage.

In 5 Element Acupuncture, we are trained to observe a patient’s emotional state as well as their physical state. If we find a person does not laugh easily, we get curious and look for the reasons why. While this may sound like we are trying to be junior psychologists and go all Doctor Phil on our patient’s, you have to take my word that we are not.

The 5 Element system identifies over-arching patterns

What we are searching for are the patterns that a person’s environment and past have woven into her current health. See, we just took that thought off the shelf. The 5 Element System is a tool for identifying large patterns, the meta-patterns, if you will, that give rise to smaller patterns of disharmony, like high blood pressure, or constrained liver qi.

Treating the overall pattern

Anybody over the age of 30 has many of these small patterns or symptoms. Trying to address them individually is like trying to use chopsticks to eat a bowl of rice one grain at a time. If you can identify the meta-pattern influencing the person’s life, what 5 Element Acupuncturists call the causative factor, you can then treat the entire landscape of health physical, emotional and spiritual.

The individual rice grain approach is why patients end up with a shelf full of medications if they go to a doctor, or a shelf full of supplements if they see an alternative health practitioner.

Please don’t mistake my drawing distinctions for disdain. I’m not dismissing this approach out of hand. There are times when concentrating on an individual symptom or disease is critical. However, this is not the forte of the 5 Element System. An individual practitioner may have an expertise in an area, but she has created that expertise outside the 5 Element System. For example, I have an acupuncturist friend, Greg Lee, who is an expert in treating Lyme Disease. He uses the 5 Element System, but has also collected other techniques from various disciplines to focus on helping people with this terrible disease.


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How does acupuncture work? (There are no stupid questions.)

Ever since acupuncture reappeared in America in the 70’s, curious scientists have been working to explain how it works. There are several theories being worked on now including the endorphin theory, brain activity theory and a muscle fascia signaling theory. On the other hand, many scientists and “scientific” people are decidedly non-curious. Being non-curious happens to all of us, it’s part of human nature. Let me tell you a short story about hand washing that will blow your mind.

The non-curious war against hand washing

Can you imagine any doctor laughing at hand washing as superstition. Well, when hand washing was introduced as a way to save lives during childbirth, the physician was ridiculed so harshly he spent his last day in an asylum. A long time ago Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that there were a lot less deaths in birthing hospitals run by midwives.

Doctors are too important to waste their time washing up

At the time, in doctor’s hospitals, medical students would interrupt their very important lessons performing autopsies, run upstairs with filth covered aprons, blood covered hands and deliver a baby without washing up. It was a miracle any baby or mother survived the filth!

Trust me, I’m a doctor

The hospital muckity-mucks refused to believe there was any connection and laughed at the “invisible forces” that were supposedly causing these deaths. Time, as it usually does, sorts these things out, and some bright and curious scientists discovered germs. Now we fire doctors who don’t wash their hands.

The same old, same old

Acupuncturist face the same close mindedness as Dr. Semmelweis did 150 years ago. Acupuncture does not make sense based on our current understanding of anatomy and physiology. When something new, like acupuncture comes along, curious people do what they do, experiment and play, and the non-curious do what they do, complain that the curious are wasting their time and the taxpayers money that should be better spent on the boring research that the non-curious people are doing.

How non-curious scientists dismiss acupuncture

The non-curious scientists simply dismiss acupuncture as placebo - it works because the patient wants it to work. From a clinician’s point of view, you don’t really care so much why the patient gets better, just as long as they do, and you can reliably repeat the process. For a researcher, however, placebo is the kiss of death and places acupuncture in the realm of give the kid a cookie to stop him from crying.

Acupuncture is forcing a new frontier in physiology

I’ve always believed that the scientific explanation for acupuncture will push our understanding of how the body works and will reveal some completely novel mechanisms inside the human body.

Sound waves activate your immune system

Columbia University and Hong Kong University are proving me right. They have discovered a new mechanism in the body where white blood cells are activated by sound waves. The researches pulsed the needle with an electric current which generated an acoustic shear wave. Then using a souped up MRI, they watched the sound wave activate intracellular calcium which in turn activated white blood cells and pain and mood modulating endorphins.

Location, location, location

While the sound wave phenomenon is pretty cool, I might have to stop making fun of the people who use tuning forks on acupuncture points, the coolest thing about the study is what the researches discovered about acupuncture point location.

If they missed the acupuncture point by as much as one centimeter, the intensity of the sound wave was cut in half. This is why feeling the “qi” sensation is so important in 5 Element Acupuncture. Without super accurate point location, you have to use many more needles to get the same effect as one that is carefully placed.

So there you have it, another breakthrough in medicine courtesy of acupuncture. It’s amazing what you discover when you look at a problem from a fresh perspective. Keep an open mind and try to keep a beginners mind. Ask the “stupid” questions like “how does acupuncture work.” You never know what you will discover.


This is the abstract to the paper. It’s super geeky so don’t feel bad if you don’t have a clue what they are saying.

This article presents a novel model of acupuncture physiology based on cellular calcium activation by an acoustic shear wave (ASW) generated by the mechanical movement of the needle.

An acupuncture needle was driven by a piezoelectric transducer at 100 Hz or below, and the ASW in human calf was imaged by magnetic resonance elastography. At the cell level, the ASW activated intracellular Ca2+ transients and oscillations in fibroblasts and endothelial, ventricular myocytes and neuronal PC-12 cells along with frequency–amplitude tuning and memory capabilities.

Monitoring in vivo mammalian experiments with ASW, enhancement of endorphin in blood plasma and blocking by Gd3+ were observed; and increased Ca2+ fluorescence in mouse hind leg muscle was imaged by two-photon microscopy.

In contrast with traditional acupuncture models, the signal source is derived from the total acoustic energy. ASW signaling makes use of the anisotropy of elasticity of tissues as its waveguides for transmission and that cell activation is not based on the nervous system.

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