Acupuncture Blog

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Via Andy at the MAS YouTube Channel.

Hello, folks. We hope this message finds you doing well and are safe. It has been an interesting couple of months since we closed our doors to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Over the past couple of weeks, we have received more than a few inquiries as to when and if MAS clinics will reopen.

The short answer is, yes, MAS will absolutely re-open.

What follows is the longer answer.

As a healthcare facility, MAS is subject to state and national guidelines in our profession that have instructed both our initial closure, as well as when we are allowed to re-open and what standards and practices need to be in place in order for that to happen. These guidelines are in accordance with the best practices set forth by local, state and national governing bodies.

There are many aspects of operations related to facilities in Manchester & Nashua that need to be updated in order for MAS to abide by the guidelines set by these oversight and regulatory agencies for the foreseeable future. They include: a reworking of the physical setup in our entire facility in order to maintain social/physical distancing guidelines; the use of personal protective equipment for both staff and patients; hygiene protocols for both staff and patients; implementation of illness screening for both staff and patients; implementing and maintaining infection controls, reworking the way we schedule appointments and establishing how many people we can have in the clinic at any given time and maintain appropriate standards.  

While all of this is a lot to manage, we aim to do so while maintaining the simple soulfulness we all have come to expect. 

We have always been a small operation, working within a modest budget, and are now charged with putting into place multiple new systems in order to best protect the health of our clinic community as well as our staff members and their families. We are eager to resume operations and reconnect with you all. It is just going to take us a bit more time to get there.

We are aiming - roughly speaking - for mid-late June for re-opening.  As we get closer, we will let you know when scheduling will resume. 

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you and getting back to acupuncture. 

The Staff @ MAS

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

**Elizabeth's Video Tutorial is Here**

Over the years, many patients ask us how we got into practicing acupuncture. Here's my story. I studied massage in my early 20’s when my puppetry career was bust (that’s a story for another day). I was introduced to acupressure in massage school and I practiced massage at an acupuncture clinic after I jumped through all of the licensing hoops . Long story short, I was headed to acupuncture school a year later.

During my last year of acupuncture school, I was experimenting with ways to combine acupressure into massage. This came in handy for a particular client who lived in a nursing home. We had a regular standing monthly appointment. One particular day, when I showed up to her room, she was surrounded by nurses aids who were getting her cleaned up. She told me how bad she felt that she didn’t cancel her appointment sooner. She had a bad reaction to a new medication that caused an upset stomach and vomiting.

Instead of leaving, I offered to give her an hour long acupressure treatment to help calm her stomach. I am glad she took me up on the offer. I will always remember how well this treatment worked and how much better she felt as a result. I am going to teach you the two major points that I used during that treatment.

The two points are Pericardium 6 (PC6) and Spleen 4 (SP4). These two points are often used together as a point combination specifically for an upset stomach. You can use this for mild digestive discomfort like feeling bloated or nauseous, or hiccups. You can also press and massage these points for vomiting, diarrhea, and any pain located in the abdomen below the rib cage.

Yes, you can also use these points for morning sickness.

Pericardium 6 is located on the inside of the wrist, two finger widths up from wrist crease, in the center, between the two tendons. Many people might be familiar with this point if they have taken a cruise and worn sea-bands to prevent sea sickness.

P6 is also a common point for anxiety and insomnia, palpitations and chest pains. (If you are experiencing chest pains you should head over to the ER.)

Spleen 4 is located on the inside of the foot above the instep. The easiest way to find it is to locate Spleen 3, on the inside of your foot above the knuckle of the big toe. Follow the bone (metatarsal) until you reach the other head of the same bone, then you are on Spleen 4.

Both of these points are good to press when you are feeling worried, anxious, or restless; emotions which can go straight to our stomachs.

If you like video that I posted above and find it helpful, you can combine it with the points demonstrated in two more videos:

Naomi Frank at Toronto Community Acupuncture shows us more points on the Spleen and Stomach channels.

and

And Justine Meyers of Acupuncture Together’s video on Anxiety, Stress, and Insomnia is making another appearance here.


I hope this is helpful. Please send us requests for topics that we haven’t covered yet at, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We miss all of you and we hope to see you again soon and in good health.

----

If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents for Manchester & Nashua facilities while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

**Video tutorial with Elizabeth is here.


Here I am following up on a patient request for points that can ease constipation. This is a great request and we are happy to oblige.

We are going to start with the most commonly used acupuncture points for constipation. Then we are going to focus on two groups of points located near and just below the elbow and points just below the knee. These areas are almost mirror images of each other. Both clusters of points are good for regulating the activity of the intestines.

The first point we are going to use is Sanjaio 6. To find this point, look at the back of your wrist and measure three fingers widths up on your forearm. Sanjiao 6 is located in between the two bones on your forearm.


The area around and including Sanjiao 6 is the most important for constipation. You can also massage the point next to Sanjaio 6, which is Sanjiao 5, located 2 finger widths from the back of the wrist. Both of them are good for treating stagnation in the large intestine which keeps things from moving.

Next, find your elbow and place your thumb in the fleshy area just above the crease when you bend your arm. This is Large Intestine 11. Continue to massage your forearm along the bone covering an area measuring about the width of your four fingers put together. Here you are covering Large Intestine points 11, 10, 9, and 8. All of these points are good for treating fullness in the stomach and abdominal pain.


And finally, you are going to massage points on the Stomach Channel on the lower leg, Stomach 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40. To find these points, first located the bottom of your kneecap and measure and hand-width down on your lower leg between the two bones. This is Stomach 36. Press and massage Stomach 36 and and continue to press and massage the space in between the two lower leg bones until you reach the center of the front of your lower leg. Now that you have covered 4 major points on the Stomach channel for regulating the intestines, you can drag your thumb outward over the fibula bone on the outside of your lower leg. This point is Stomach 40. It’s one of the most crucial points for transforming phlegm and mucus in the body. Acupuncture students usually refer to it as “Phlegm 40.”

Spend some time on all of these points while you are taking a break to listen to music or watch a movie. Give each area a good thorough massage before moving on to the next. You can even go back over the points several times. You can even spend some time gently rubbing your belly in a clockwise direction (clockwise when looking looking down at your belly from above) to encourage more movement.

In addition to regulating the intestines, the Large Intestine points near the elbow and the Stomach points on the lower leg are good for calming the mind. In these uncertain times where we are forced to stay isolated and are under a lot of pressure, it’s easy to get agitated. Try using these points to keep yourself relaxed and in the present moment.

Thank you for the request. Please keep them coming. We miss all of you and we hope to see you again, in person.

---

If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents for Manchester & Nashua facilities while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Umeboshi plum vinegar is a staple in my kitchen. I usually buy two bottles at a time, and I get a little nervous when my supply starts to run low. I have turned many of my friends onto umeboshi vinegar whenever I serve up a salad at a potluck or a dinner party.

What is umeboshi vinegar? I am glad you asked. Umeboshi, ume, is a Japanese fruit that is kind of like a cross between a plum and an apricot. They are pickled and then dried in the sun. The dried plums can be eaten whole or turned into paste to be used as a condiment. Umeboshi vinegar is the brine left over from the pickling process.

I got hooked on the salty and sour taste of ume plums during a dietary therapy class in acupuncture school. My teacher explained that they are referred to as the “Japanese alka seltzer.” Besides being served up on a plate of white rice or other dishes in Japan, ume plums are a good remedy for an upset stomach, sluggish digestion, and acid reflux. (stay tuned for the next blog post here for more help with an upset stomach)

You can find packages of whole ume plums, ume plum paste, or umeboshi vinegar at A-Market, on South Willow in Manchester, or any natural food store. 
I’ve been buying the vinegar since I was an acupuncture student because it’s the most economical way of enjoying the taste and health benefits of the ume plums.

Ume plums are high in salt and should be consumed sparingly, 1-2 plums per day. I use the vinegar mixed with olive oil as a dressing for salad or cooked vegetables. In my dietary therapy class, I was introduced to cooked millet topped with some soy sauce and umeboshi vinegar as a nutritious breakfast porridge.

For more information on umeboshi plum vinegar, I recommend Paul Pitchford’s book “Healing with Whole Foods.”

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Last week, a fellow Community Acupuncturist in Leominster, MA, reminded her friends not to mow our laws for a few more weeks because the bees need the dandelions. I happily obliged and took my bike out of the garage for a spin instead of the lawn mower.

It turns out that it’s not just bees that need the dandelions. Other pollinators like butterflies, beetles, and different birds are in need of dandelions right now, while we wait for other flowers to bloom later in the season. You can read more about that in this article from the Guardian.

Everything from the root to the flower of a dandelion can be used as medicine. They are a vitamin-packed food source, or helpful remedies when applied topically for skin conditions, such abscesses or nodules. Dandelions are a part of the Chinese Materia Medica, in the category of herbs that 'clear heat' and 'relieve toxicity'. Basically what that means is that they are good for treating inflammation, especially when red, swollen or painful. Dandelion tea can also be a good remedy for red, swollen, painful joints. According to Paul Pitchford’s book, Healing with Whole Foods, dandelions are a mild diuretic and a mild laxative that will not deplete your body of potassium.

Earlier this morning, I discovered patches of dandelions growing in a wooded area in my neighborhood. I am not picking dandelions in public parks, which are more likely to be sprayed with weed killer or fertilizer. But I did forage a bundle of greens, leaving plenty behind to share with our pollinator friends. After I rinsed the greens, I put them in a pot and poured a tea kettle’s worth of hot water over them to make tea. They are steeping as I write this.

You can also dry dandelions in bundles or put them in a food dehydrator. If you are feeling really ambitious you can make a blooming dandelion tea ball, like in this video.

For more information about the benefits of dandelions, you can read more here. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to enjoy a cup of dandelion tea.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

This post is to follow up on a patient request: pain behind the ear. Here's the video I put together on the MAS YouTube page to walk us through, along with the information below.

One quick way to get started is with this video from our friend, Stacey Kelsey at Boise Acupuncture Coop. She is focusing specifically on a point on the back of the head between the neck and the back of the ear, Gallbladder 20 (GB20). If the headache behind your ear feels better when you apply pressure, then you may want to gently massage all along the ridge of your occipital bone behind your ear inward until you reach the center of your spine. You can even gently massage the small space just behind your ear lobe, this point is Sanjaio 17 (SJ17).

We are going to use some points on our hands, wrists, and feet to treat pain in the ear, specifically on the Gallbladder and Sanjaio channels. These two channels meet at the ear and they each sport acupuncture points around the ear. At the clinic, whenever we are treating any kind of ear conditions, we are likely to include points on these two channels in your treatment.

The first points on the hand that I recommend are Sanjaio 2 (SJ2) Sanjaio 3 (SJ3). They are located below and above the knuckle between your pinky and ring finger. Press these points on the affected side 20-30 times. If you end up feeling a bit of ache as you press, good! Don't hurt yourself here, but a mild ache in the area of these points when used is a positive. It means they've been activated.


According to 'A Manuel of Acupuncture' by Peter Deadman, San Jaio 3  “is the most important distal point for treating ear disorders due to any (reason).” He even explains that if someone has a blocked ear, especially from traveling by airplane, SJ 3 can be massaged while they hold their nose. If you are at home with someone who has a blocked ear, give it a try and let us know if it’s helpful.

Next, we will travel two finger widths from the wrist and massage the space in between the heads of the two bones in your lower arm.

This area/point is called Sanjaio 5 (SJ5). It’s another good point for ear pain, and it’s especially good for all kinds of headaches, especially on the side of the head, where the ear is located.

The last two areas that we are going to massage are on the opposite foot. (As a note you can always massage the points on both sides of your body to get all your bases covered).  Find the space on the top of your foot between the pinky toe and it’s neighboring 4th toe. Massage in between those two bones and in the space between the two toes. Here, you are stimulating three different acupuncture points called, Gallbladder 41, 42, and 43.

All of these points are good for a headache on the (opposite) side of the head, and disorders of the eyes and ears.

We hope this is helpful. Please keep the requests coming. We are always looking for topics that we can write about and share with you.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

---

We all miss seeing you. We hope you and loved ones are in good health.

If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You can also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity - both go a long way these days.


Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

(Accompanying video lives here!)

There are different types of headaches. In the acupuncture world, we choose different points depending on:

1) where the headache is located and,
2) what kind of pain is experienced: throbbing, stabbing, tightness, pressure, etc.


In this post, we are going to talk about two points that can be used separately or in combination for headaches and other pain.

The first point is Large Intestine 4 (LI 4). This point is located on the web of your hand between your thumb and index finger.

This is one of the most commonly used points in acupuncture because it’s good for so many things, headaches being at the top of the list. The Large Intestine channel starts on the index finger, runs up the arm, and ends on the face, right next to the nose. LI 4 is the most important point for any kind of pain or disorder of the face. This makes it a go to for frontal headaches (think forehead), sinus headaches, swelling and pain in the face and eyes, and sinus congestion. It’s also great for toothaches, nose bleeding, and jaw tension.

LI 4 is also one of the best general points for pain. If you are in any kind of pain at all and you don’t know where to get started with acupressure, just remember LI 4 in the web of your hand. Just just pressing and rubbing this one point 10-30 times can go a long way.

Our second point is Liver 3, located on the web of your foot between the big toe and the second toe. The Liver channel starts on the inside of the big toe, runs up the inner leg, through the torso and rib cage. Divergent branches of the Liver channel run up the chest, neck and face to the very top of the head. Treating points on the Liver channel, especially LV 3 is an excellent way to relieve a frontal headache or a headache on the very top of the head. LV3 is also a good point to stimulate for dizziness, blurred or cloudy vision, or redness and irritation of the eyes.

The combination of LI4 and LIV 3 are referred to as the “Four Gates” when used together as a point combination. That is how important these two points are -- when they get together they get their own band name, like Simon and Garfunkel, or better yet, Wham!
These points are excellent for getting your energy moving like George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. If you are having a headache or any pain anywhere, or if you just feel a little depressed or irritable, try massaging these points. You’ll do the jitterbug.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

---
If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents for Manchester & Nashua facilities while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Many of you know how well acupuncture works for stress, anxiety, and insomnia. If that wasn’t the main reason that led you to try acupuncture, you soon found out how great a few needles and an acu-nap can be for seriously chilling out and hitting the reset button.

If we weren’t already stressed or anxious at times before COVID-19 took over our lives, here we are now. The hardest part for the MAS staff is coming to terms with the frustration of knowing that we have a useful tool to share, but have to set it aside for the time being. This is probably frustrating for many of you as well!

We can however, continue to produce acupressure videos and share other resources, in the time being. And we will continue to do just that.

Our colleague, and Manchester Acupuncture Studio alumn, Justine Meyers, made this wonderful video for relieving stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

Cathy Keenan, at Toronto Community Acupuncture, produced this super simple one-point video to calm an agitated mind.

Laura Berglund, at Wasatch Community Acupuncture, in Salt Lake City Utah, created this lovely stress reduction video using acupressure, massage, and gentle stretching that you can do while seated in a chair.

Music and sound therapy is another useful tool to reduce stress. A group of musicians called Marconi Union worked with sound therapists to create music that is geared towards stress and anxiety reduction. You can read more about that here and you can find ten hours (!!) of their music in this YouTube video.

The last thing I want to mention is acupuncture’s role in helping people cope with stress and trauma in times of man-made and natural disasters. The effects of COVID-19 are compared with the devastation of the September 11 attacks. After 9-11, licensed acupuncturists, and people trained in ear acupuncture (Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists), provided treatments at stress reduction clinics around lower Manhattan at St. Vincent’s Hospital, and nearby fire stations, for six or seven years following that historically catastrophic event.

Learn more about it in this short video from our friend Laura Cooley.


I mention this, because even when things return to “normal”, we will still need tools for stress management, including acupuncture. We very much look forward to seeing you, in person, on the other side of this, once it is deemed safe enough to carry on with business in clinic.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

---

If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents for Manchester & Nashua facilities while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

(Video demonstration with Elizabeth)

Shoulder pain and neck pain are some of the most common things we treat with acupuncture. It makes sense that we got a request on how to use acupressure for those issues. I admit that I’m spending extra time on my couch watching Netflix and it’s giving me shoulder and neck pain. My new favorite show is Kim’s Convenience, check it out.

There are different types of shoulder pain. This article is specifically focusing on shoulder pain that affects the shoulder blade directly. We are going to use two acupressure points on the pinky side of hand, Small Intestine 3 and Small Intestine 4. These two points are also effective for pain of the neck and back.

We are using the Small Intestine Channel because it runs up the outside of the arm and zig zags across the shoulder blade.

Small Intestine 3 is on the pinky side of your hand above your first knuckle. For those of us familiar with EFT, it's the 'karate chop' point.

You can easily locate Small Intestine 4 by traveling up the side of your hand just before you get to your wrist bone.

Press and rub these two points on the same side as your affected shoulder. You can alternate between the two points. If you have neck pain, gently turn your head from sides to side.  If you want to take this a step further, you can massage your shoulder blade with a foam roller or a tennis ball while you stimulate points SI 3 and SI 4 on the side of your hand.

By massaging your shoulder blade directly, you will be stimulating six or seven additional points on the Small Intestine channel. All of them are good for shoulder, upper arm, and elbow pain. They are also good for opening the chest and easing a cough with phlegm. Many of you have noticed by now that with acupuncture we commonly needle points that are opposite from where you may experience discomfort. If you are home right now with someone who has a cough, be sure to give them a back rub, especially on and in between the shoulder blades.

Give this a shot and let us know if it’s helpful. And, please keep the requests coming.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

--

We all miss all of you! We hope to see you again and in good health.

If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You can also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 
Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

 

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


(Video demonstration with Elizabeth)

This year it felt like spring started in February. At MAS, we were treating allergies and sinus congestion in the weeks leading up to the first day of spring and before our temporary closure due to the viral pandemic. Speaking of which, let's make sure we can tell the difference between the two patterns of illness:

unnamed














(h/t Wei Laboratories)

We know you are at home still struggling with sinus headaches and stuffy noses, because we are right there with you. We are going to give you three good acupressure points, located on the face that you can massage to get some relief for your seasonal allergies. Just be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after you do this.


In addition to relieving sinus congestion and discomfort from seasonal allergies, all of these points are good points to stimulate for someone who is experiencing facial paralysis. If you know someone who is struggling with this issue, please pass this information along to them.

The nice thing about acupressure points for sinus congestion and seasonal allergies is that points are practically instinctual. Wherever you feel pressure on your face, apply pressure to that area. For example, If you get a sinuses headache in between your eyebrows that makes you want to squeeze that exact spot, great, go ahead and do that.

Which leads us to our first point, Bladder 2, on the inside end of each eyebrow. You can press down and massage each point, or you can pinch each point between your two fingers. After that, you can even pinch and massage, working your way along each eye browns. This is a great way to relieve some tension from a frontal headache. Bladder 2 is not only a good point for a runny nose and sneezing, it benefits the eyes and can relieve pain or itchiness of the eyes or twitching eyelids, usually caused stress.

Our second point for sinus congestion is for sinus congestion in your cheeks, which is exactly where this point is located. Stomach 3 is located directly below the center of your eyes, along the cheekbone. After you apply pressure to this point, you can massage along the entire cheek bone. You might find some other areas of tenderness that can open your sinuses and ease some tension in your face and jaw.

Our last point is also along the cheekbone, on either side of your nose, Large Intestine 20. In addition to alleviating nasal congestion, this point is good for a runny nose, sneezing, and loss of sense of smell.

We hope this is helpful to all of you. My sinuses are much more open now that I have had the chance to sit down and practice some acupressure on myself.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

----

We all miss all of you. We hope to see you again and in good health.

If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You can also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 
Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

Page 2 of 10

 

 

Copyright © 2020 Manchester Acupuncture Studio ~ Produced by i4Market, LLC
Manchester, NH Clinic ~ 895 Hanover Street @ East Side Plaza ~ Manchester, NH 03104 ~ 603-669-0808
Nashua, NH Clinic ~ 4 Bud Way # 9 Nashua, NH 03063 ~ 603-579-0320

fbigtwit youtubealignable

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Now Serving: Allenstown, Amherst, Auburn, Bedford, Billerica, Brookline, Chelmsford, Chester, Concord, Derry, Dracut, Dunstable, Goffstown, Groton, Hampstead, Hillsboro, Hollis, Hooksett, Hudson, Jaffrey, Kingston, Londonderry, Lowell, Manchester, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua, New Boston, Pelham, Pepperell, Peterborough, Plaistow, Salem, Sandown, Suncook, Tyngsborough, Weare, Westford, Windham & Beyond.

Search