Acupuncture Blog

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(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.


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(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:


(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.

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We can’t stress enough just how useful acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is for various gynecological disorders such as dysmenorrhea, (heavy painful periods) or amenorrhea (no periods). We want to share with you any easy tips that you can use at home to treat yourself for various conditions.

Today we are going to talk about acupressure on Spleen 9 and Spleen 8 to ease menstrual cramps and back pain.  I'll take us on a video walk-through, here as well.

To locate Spleen 8 and 9, you can click on the link above and find them on the inside of your calf, just below your knee along your tibia (shin bone). These two points are only a few inches apart, which makes it easy to apply acupressure on both of them at the same time. This entire area tends sensitive on most people, particularly women. Massage the area with medium pressure while taking some nice deep, relaxing breaths. This should help to relax any abdominal cramps or low back pain associated with monthly periods.

Both of these points are good for treating abdominal fullness. You can also try this for stomach cramps related to intestinal urgency and other kinds of digestive discomfort.

And that’s it. We love this tip because it’s easy to do and very effective. Let us know how it works for you.

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

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp


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.  We thank you for your support and solidarity.

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From MAS acu-punk, Elizabeth Ropp:

Who doesn’t love a spicy warm cup of chai tea? I admit, I have at least three different varieties of chai tea bags at any given time. Last weekend, I was inspired to make chai from whole dried herbs by a video made by my favorite YouTube yoga teacher.

Chai tea tastes really good. It’s also a drink that offers many health benefits, particularly for warming the body, promoting healthy digestion, opening the sinuses, and improving circulation.

Chai tea is typically associated with India and Ayurvedic medicine. But just about all of the spices in chai tea are found in the Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica.

Black pepper, cinnamon sticks, clove, and star anise are in the category of herbs that Warm the Interior and Expel Cold.

Cardamom and Coriander are herbs/spices are aromatic herbs that transform dampness or stickier body fluids (think phlegm). Like pepper, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and clove, they also benefit and promote healthy digestion. They are also particularly good for resolving phlegm and mucus in the chest or in the stomach.

Fresh Ginger is in the catagory of Warm, Acrid Herbs that release the exterior. This makes it a great herb to relieve body aches when you feel like you are catching a cold. Like the other herbs, it enhances digestion and relieves stomach pain. It also relieves a phlegmy cough.

I like Yoga with Adriene’s Basic Yogi Tea Recipe and I’ve made my own additions:

Bring a pot of water to boil on your stove, about 8 cups.

20 Black Peppercorns
15 Whole Cloves
3-5 Cinnamon Sticks
20 Cardamom Seed (split)
7 Slices of Fresh Ginger
1 black tea bag (optional)

Simmer on the stove for 30 minutes to 2 hours and then strain and drink hot or cold. You can add any kind of milk or sweetener to your taste level or drink it straight.

I like to add Star Anise and Coriander seeds to my chai. Other variations include fennel seeds. Chai is versatile. If you have some of these ingredients, but not all, you can still make a tasty cuppa chai.

If you are not sure where to find some of these ingredients, In Manchester, I recommend the Saigon Market on Union Street, The Spice Center on Valley Street, and A-Market on South Willow Street. All of these shops are taking good precautions right now with respect to wearing gloves and facemasks and asking shoppers to keep a six foot distance while waiting at the cash register.

All of us at Manchester Acupuncture Studio miss all of you. We hope to see you again and in good health.

At this time we welcome donations of any amount via the MAS GoFundMe campaign to help us cover the rent while we are closed during the viral outbreak.
We are also welcoming This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinic. Lastly, thanks for sharing any of our blog posts with friends and loved-ones.  We thank you for your fellowship.

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Kudzu and Cinnamon Tea to reduce a fever, and more. - MAS acu-punk Elizabeth Ropp

Years ago, when I still lived alone, I woke up one night feeling feverish. I went to my kitchen cabinet, rather than the medicine cabinet, for medicine. There I found kudzu starch and cinnamon powder among my other herbs and spices. I mixed them up in a sauce pan with some apple juice. I sipped the connection on my couch and wrapped myself in a blanket. I felt the fever drain away from my body and I went back to bed.

Now that we are in the mode of stocking our kitchen cabinets with essentials to keep ourselves and our families healthy, I am going to share this remedy that my teacher, Dr. Lilliane Papin, taught me and my classmates, during acupuncture school.

You are going to need three ingredients:

1 Tbls. of Kudzu Starch
A few dashes of Cinnamon powder
1 cup of organic apple juice
Just enough cold water to dissolve the Kudzu starch

Kudzu, the invasive plant that grows all over the Southeast, is widely used in Japan for thicken soups and sauces.
In the Chinese Materia Medica, it is known as Ge Gen.

It is useful for many reasons:

Reduce a fever
Balance blood sugar
Ease neck, shoulder tension, and headaches
Alleviate diarrhea
Relieve hot flashes
Reduce alcohol consumption

Cinnamon is also a Chinese Herb, known as Gui Zhi.

It’s also useful to:

Prevent colds
Reduce phlegm that is stuck in the chest
Balance blood sugar
Reduce arthritic pain, especially pain that feels worse during cold damp weather

Apple Juice is high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation. It is a therapeutic food to hydrate and cool down the body and moisten a dry throat or soothe a dry cough.

1.Heat the apple juice in a saucepan on a low heat.

2. add a few dashes of cinnamon powder

3. Dissolve the Kudzu in a little cold or room temperature water. You need to do this so the Kudzu won’t turn into a ball of dough when you add it to the warming apple juice.

4. Once the kudzu starch is dissolved, you can pour it into the warm apple juice, keep stirring so it doesn’t get lumpy. The juice should thicken a bit.

When your tea is hot enough pour it into a mug and drink it hot.

Kudzu starch can also be used as a replacement for cornstarch for thickening soups, gravy, and other sauces. This will give your recipes more therapeutic benefit. Dr. Papin would always quote Hippocrates in her classes and workshops:

“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”


All of us at MAS miss all of you. We hope to see you again and in good health.

We are currently welcoming any and all tax-deductible donations via GoFundMe to help us cover the rents while we are closed during the virus pandemic.
We'd also welcome This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinic. We thank you for your generosity.

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An easy one-point acupressure technique for leg cramps - MAS acu-punk, Elizabeth Ropp

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a charlie horse? Or get a muscle cramp in your hamstring from stretching too deeply or exercising a little too hard?

I am going to teach you a simple acupressure technique to relieve leg cramps, with just one point. I learned this from my friend, Kristine Kaoverri Weber, shiatsu practitioner and yoga teacher. This treatment is so simple, that it’s right under your nose. Literally, the point is under your nose.

Of all of the acupressure tips that I share, this is the tip that I recommend the most often. It works so well and the results can be felt almost immediately. Mind you, this may not work for everybody. But I, personally, have seen this work for most people.

Here is what you are going to do:
Find the divot between your upper lip and your nose. This is called the philtrum. You are going to press and rub this point and take deep breaths until your leg cramp or muscle spasm goes away. This should really only take a few seconds.


This acupressure point is called Ren Zhong, or Governing Vessel 26. The Governing Vessel is a meridian that runs through the midline up the back of the body. We commonly needle points Governing Vessel points, like Du 20 on the very top of the head or, a special point, Yin Tan, right between the eyebrows.

And, that’s it. Try this the next time you get a muscle cramp in your leg and let us know if it works for you.

Video demo with Elizabeth

All of us at Manchester Acupuncture Studio miss all of you. We hope to see you again and in good health.

At this time we are accepting tax-deductible donations to help us cover the rents in Manchester & Nashua while we are temporarily closed during the virus pandemic. You can alsoThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinic. We thank you for your generosity and camaraderie.

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In China acupuncture, herbs and moxibustion are integrated into the healthcare system. Right now, in the Wuhan Province, COVID-19 patients and their families are getting traditional therapies alongside Western medicine for symptom relief of the virus. Acupuncture is also being used to treat patients for all the same reasons why many people come to MAS: for anxiety and insomnia, migraines and more.

During this time that we are not able to give you access to affordable community acupuncture, we want to continue to share easy, simple home-remedies and ‘homework-style’ treatment techniques.

Our good friend, Robert Hayden from Presence Community Acupuncture in Hollywood Florida, shared a clever technique from one of his favorite teachers. All you need is a hairdryer and a flat piece of cardboard.

Are you familiar with the term ‘moxibustion’? Perhaps we’ve sent you home with a ‘moxa’ stick and instructions on how to light and use it to warm particular acupuncture points or areas of your body. If not, moxibustion is the warming of moxa a.k.a. Mugwort on or above acupuncture points.
Acupuncture needles are one (terrific) way to stimulate and make use of acupuncture points, but know there are more, heat among them.

We like this ‘hot air moxa’ technique from Robert, because most people don’t have easy access to moxa, but just about everyone has a hair dryer.

Important: If you experience any of following:

1) numbness or neuropathy at the area of these points, or
2) poor circulation in the area of these points
3) open sores or wounds in the area of these points

Do NOT take part in this technique.

Basically, you shouldn’t do this unless you have normal circulation and sensation of your legs where these points exist.

If you’re not sure you have normal sensation or circulation, don’t undertake this until you’ve had the chance to clear it with your doctor.

MAS acu-punk Elizabeth demonstrates the following air moxa technique here, on youtube

First things first - you are going to want to find a piece of cardboard that’s at least 6”x 6”. You can cut a square off of a box, or maybe use a thick file folder. If you have one, use a hole-punch to make a hole in the middle of your cardboard square. Otherwise you’ll want to cut a small hole about the width of a pencil with other means, perhaps a small knife.

Place the hole you’ve just cut in the cardboard directly over your acupuncture point of choice. Apply the heat from your hair dryer close to the hole until you just start to feel a ‘zap’ from the heat on your skin at the acupuncture point, then immediately remove the heat for a good 20 to 30 seconds. After this break, re-apply heat again for a total of 3 times at each acupuncture point, removing the heat in between feeling ‘zaps’ from the heat.

We are going to start with Stomach 36. It’s the mother of all points. If you only apply this technique to one point that we teach you, ST36 is the one to use.

Stomach 36, a.k.a. Zusanli a.k.a. Three Miles More, is one of the most venerable of all acupuncture points. It’s a highly useful tool for many of our organ systems. It sits on the Stomach pathway, so it’s good for anything stomach/digestive related. If anxiety goes to your stomach, this is a great point. It strengthens your whole body as it interacts with our ability to break down and extract the nutritional goods from which we eat So it’s good to stimulate this point if you are feeling weak or depleted. It’s also commonly a key ingredient in potent preventative acupuncture treatments*.

ST36 also a smart point choice for:
- Shortness of breath and cough
- Sore throat, chills, and fever
- Frontal headaches, stuffy or cold nose
- Weakness and dizziness *

While home, consider giving this a try if stimulating this acupuncture point sounds like it might be helpful for you. We will put out more tutorials of other common points and why they are useful over the next few days. If you have any requests, you can mention them in the comments when we put this blog post onto our Facebook page.

We hope to see you again soon and in good health.

* Peter Deadman, A Manual of Acupuncture, pages 158-161, Copyright 2001 AZ

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You may have heard the following phrase spoken at MAS at some point over the years: "We don't give a lot of life-style advice". 

This is true. We've come to understand the abundance of available information and various qualified providers to offer it up, makes it easy for us to recognize our roles clearly: providers of access to top-notch, regular individualized acupuncture treatments.  And lots of them!

And while this is all the case, the current circumstances don't allow us to share in acupuncture together.  On top of that, there is immediate cause to think preventative health measures are of great importance to us, right?

We'll be writing here over the next few days to collectively share easy, non-expensive, practical food-related advice with the hopes of helping you stay well enough that you will not need western medical interventions in the near future.  We hope you find it useful.

We'll just drop the following here today:

Garlic, garlic, garlic! Strongly consider eating garlic daily if your digestion allows for it. Raw, roasted, in pesto (yum) as an ingredient in your favorite food - however you can find a way to ingest it, you're likely better for it due to its long-recognized anti-viral and anti-biotic properties.  Garlic is likely a good friend to us these days.

Apple cider vinegar and/or fermented foods like pickles, saurkraut and kimchee are also favorites of the MAS staff.  Rich in beneficial bacteria while also known as Liver tonics in Chinese medical theory.  A little a day is a great strategic use of these foods. 

More soon.


In addition, we'd also like to share the names of a handful of practitioners who are offering telemedicine consults for Chinese Herbal medicine, Western herbs, Naturopathic medicine and nutritional support, should you be looking for prescriptive guidance.

Dr. Laura Chan, ND, L.Ac. has extended a kind gesture to MAS patients by offering telemedicine consults with her with fees set on the MAS sliding-scale of $20-40. Dr. Chan offers prescriptions for Western herbs along with nutritional guidance and support as a Naturopathic doctor.  Reach her office at this secure email address:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nicole Maniez, L.Ac. - Our friend and POCA-colleague, is offering Chinese herbal consults while her community acupuncture clinic in Flemington, New Jersey is temporarily shuttered.  More info here.

Paul Mosier, L.Ac. is offering telemedicine consults for Chinese herbal medicine. Reach his office at (603) 213-6090.

Angela Lambert, ND, L.Ac. is also offering the same for Chinese herbal formulas as well as Naturopathic medical support and guidance. (603) 431-0128. 


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Making the decision to temporarily close the MAS clinics in Manchester & Nashua was a decision made in good conscience as it serves the public good to slow the transmission of COVID19, but comes with significant challenges ahead for the organization.  

Our staff have all been temporarily relieved of their duties in order to cut costs and preserve our resources so that MAS can be here long into the future. 

With all this written, MAS could use support right now.

Generous donations, suggestions and encouragement have already been offered.  Thank you!  This is a really big help to the organization. 

If you would like to take part, here are three ways to do it while our regular channels of revenue are on pause:

1) If you are able, donate directly.  Tax-deductible gifts can be made via Causevox or GoFundMe online, while a check is most welcome, as well. 

Mailing address

Manchester Acupuncture Studio
895 Hanover Street
Manchester, NH 03104

2) Purchase pre-paid treatments.  Yes, you can always pay for your treatments ahead of time. This would be an enormous help at this stage, in fact.

While we are looking forward to offering sales directly from this website, we aren't there quite yet. So, if you'd like to pre-pay for treatments, simply This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. making your request for the number of treatments you'd like to purchase and the total amount paid, on the sliding-scale of $20-40/treatment, naturally.  We will then send you an invoice from Paypal and you can pay with any major credit card or your Paypal account directly. We will make sure your credits are applied to your MAS account, no problem.

Alternately, a check could mailed to the clinic address above with the same information hand-written on a note, and we will update your credits accordingly.  

Your donations and purchases of pre-paid treatment packages are going directly to keep our ongoing expenses covered so that we can return to normal clinic operations as soon as possible. We will continue fundraising while we are temporarily closed.  

3) Share this web page with other friends, family and co-workers who know of MAS and may be interested to lend a hand.

Thank you for your choice to take part.


A couple of last things.  We encourage you to sign up for our pretty terrific newsletter (via the form at the bottom of every page on this website) or check this website regularly so that you can keep abreast of important clinic announcements, including updates about re-opening. We normally send out newsletters monthly.

If you'd like to keep up with MAS staff during the shutdown, please visit the MAS Facebook or Instagram pages. We'll be posting a steady stream of goodies to share in order to keep in touch and lighten the days ahead a bit. 

It is a challenging time for us all. Let’s continue to support one another. 

We'll miss seeing everyone in recliners and look forward to opening in Manchester & Nashua again soon.


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Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.

As of today (Friday March 13th at 3pm), we are closing Manchester Acupuncture Studio in Manchester & Nashua for a planned 2 weeks, until March 30th, in light of the COVID19/coronavirus epidemic.

We don’t take this decision at all lightly, as we know that many in our community rely on MAS for healthcare. We are closing because we take our mandate to protect community health seriously. Evidence all around the world shows that the best way to ensure that this epidemic threatens as few in our area as possible is to limit its spread through physical-distancing. As you all know, we are typically open 365 days a year (in Manchester, a few less each year in Nashua), barring major snowstorms. This is the only time we have closed the clinic for more than two days in a row in 13 years of operation. But playing a role in helping to “flatten the curve” of COVID19/coronavirus transmission is paramount at this time.

To be clear, we are not aware of any confirmed case of COVID19/coronavirus in our staff or patient community. We are doing this as a precaution and to follow public health advice to limit gatherings of people. We hope that our closing will be part of the momentum of people staying home to prevent a severe outbreak. If ours and others’ measures to encourage physical distancing are successful, we may never see COVID19 become as widespread and destructive as it is in other places.

In two weeks, we hope to be open, but we will be evaluating and assessing this situation as it continues. We thank you in advance for your support and patience, and look forward to seeing you when we open our doors again soon.

We will remain active on social media, so you can stay connected to the clinic. 

We hope that you all will stay connected to your communities and support networks in whatever ways you can, from a distance, and that you will reach out to local resources if you need support. 

Let’s stay connected, and get through this together.

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Manchester, NH Clinic ~ 895 Hanover Street @ East Side Plaza ~ Manchester, NH 03104 ~ 603-669-0808
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