Acupuncture Blog

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Does acupuncture work by placebo? Let's ask a skunk.

Earlier this year, we were delighted to see a news story about a Skunk named Luna who receives acupuncture treatments. It is observed to help her manage arthritic pain.

We've also read about an elephant who gets acupuncture at a zoo in Singapore and an elderly penguin in New Orleans who can swim much better after a 10-minute acupuncture treatment. 

And of course acupuncture has been utilized widely and for many years in the horse-racing industry as well, for performance enhancement and immune support.

In fact, we've met many folks over the years who end up seeking acupuncture for pain relief because they first got to see how well it helped their dog, cat or horse.

(Just to be clear, we don't treat anyone's pets here at MAS. Many veterinarians in the surrounding area practice acupuncture for animals.)

We are not going to dispute the fact that the placebo effect is real and can be just as effective as actual interventions. It's also currently being studied itself, as the research community grapples with its understanding of the effect.  

But animals receiving treatment likely don't have expectations that tiny needles will give pain relief, or increased abilities. Accordingly, we'd have a hard time attributing the benefits of acupuncture strictly to psychology. 

While this debate will probably rage on, we prefer to continue to hone our collective skills and make the best use of them for folks seeking better for themselves no matter what the mechanism.


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For the last few years we've invited our staff and clinic-goers to consider bringing in NEW socks, underwear and/or tee shirts to be donated to local neighbors in need, during the month of October.

This year is no different.

Look for the box in the Front Desk area at MAS - Nashua & Manchester until the end of the month.

Thank you!

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(Somewhere in Vermont, last week)

Most of us associate Fall with changing leaf colors and apple-picking, for obvious reasons.

In the world of Chinese Medicine this season is mostly associated internally with the functions of the Lungs and Large Intestine, moving on from the old and protecting what's left behind.

This article does a decent job of laying out more. 

We hope it turns out to be useful for you.

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If you've been in touch with us one way or another over the past several months, you've no doubt picked up on the fact the Manchester shop had moved earlier in the summer.
Well, we figured the time was right to open the doors wide and celebrate our new home in the East Side Plaza.
Won't you join us and bring a friend or foe along too?

What: An Excellent Open House at Manchester Acupuncture Studio in Manchester
Where: 895 Hanover Street in Manchester - in the East Side Plaza
When: This Saturday, October 5th from 9am-4pm
What Again: Free Acupuncture Treatments, very delicious snacks, raffle for locally-created goodies and natural heath products, to benefit MAS outreach programs

See you soon!

free acup banner

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People commonly ask us if acupuncture can help them better manage the pain of osteoarthritis.
The answer is, it's normally very helpful - not always prone to showing immediate relief - but steady improvement over time.

Acupuncture treats all kinds of pain, including pain from different types of arthritis.

Taking a cue from our friends at Central Oklahoma Acupuncturewe'd like to share this article from the Cleveland Clinic. The article's focus is on osteoarthritis of the knee, specifically. But it gives a nice overview of how acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and can be used alongside other modalities, treatments and medications.

Next week, we'll write a bit about why different acupuncturists treatments (even among the group at MAS) can look and feel different from one another's.

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Behold, the latest MAS clinic schedule.
This one will begin this coming Sunday, September 8th.

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Schedule highlights  

- Lori Tusa joins the MAS team. Hooray!

- Friday mornings in Nashua are back!
  April opens the shop from 9a-1p - by your requests.

- MAS-Nashua is now open 6 days/week.
  This feels really good to us.

- Jodie joins the fun in Nashua on Wednesdays and Thursdays

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A quick update with regards to clinic schedules in Manchester & Nashua.

In Manchester: With Amy now moved on, Jodie on the shelf for a little bit longer with an injury, and incoming acu-punk Lori Tusa on her way across the country en route to NH, we've had to reset the schedule temporarily. Elizabeth, Andy and April remain here for you.

In Nashua: Once the reinforcements are back in the form of Jodie and Lori, look for an additional shift on Friday mornings and for Tuesday's clinic to shade earlier in the day. Announcements ahead.

Find the current clinic schedule below.

punk august


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The following article was published by our friends at Guelph Community Acupuncture in Ontario, Canada on their website.

We're taking the opportunity to re-post Stef & Lisa's writing here in order to open this common clinical topic up.  No one can tell you about the pain or illness you experience.  Likewise, no one can tell you if you are feeling better.  However, this post offers examples of changes that typically show through that are good signs of a shift in the right direction, even if you're not where you'd ultimately like to be, quite yet.

We hope it's useful to you.

 - MAS Staff

How to Tell That Acupuncture Is Working Even Though You’re Still in Pain

We see many people in intense, long-term chronic pain. Some of these people get immediate and dramatic relief, but it's much more common for regular treatment to slowly chip away at an issues that are chronic. (That's why we do our best to make acupuncture as accessible as possible; it may not work if you can't get enough treatment.) And sometimes progress is less straightforward. How do you tell if acupuncture is working even though you're still in pain? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Am I taking less pain meds?

It is surprisingly common for someone to arrive for their second visit, say there's no improvement, that the pain is just as bad ... and then, when we ask about medication it turns out they forgot or didn't need to take it. We get that it may feel the same in your body, but that's still progress!

Has the pain changed?

Sometimes acupuncture shrinks the area of the pain before it changes the intensity of the pain. Was the original pain covering a postcard-sized area? Did it shrink to the size of an egg after you started treatment? That's progress, even if that egg-sized area is still very painful. Likewise, if the pain was very intense all day every day and now you are getting small windows of only milder pain, that's progress as well.

Am I able to walk further/do more physical activity?

Chronic pain can make our lives a lot smaller, can make going out to the car a struggle or doing the dishes a seemingly impossible task. We frequently see people doing more in their lives, sometimes before we even see the pain itself decrease.

On a related note: did you feel so good after your treatment that you overdid it and re-injured yourself?

We get it, you were in pain for so long and now there's so many errands and things to do around the house, nevermind the other things you've been waiting to do for so long. It's common for people to get really excited when they feel better, overdo it, and then have the pain set in again. If that happened, and you're feeling worse now, we wouldn't necessarily call that "progress" ... but it is a sign that the acupuncture helped. Try to take it easy after the next treatment!

Are you sleeping better or longer?

Chronic pain often interferes with sleep. If you're still in just as much pain during the day, but your sleep is better, then the acupuncture is most likely helping. Keep at it, and hopefully you'll experience daytime relief too.

Is your mood and focus better?

Chronic pain demands a lot of our brains' "bandwidth". Another great thing about acupuncture is that it can help clear up mental fog, forgetfulness, anxiety, or a low mood. It may be, especially at the beginning of treatment, that your mood or focus improves before your pain does.

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It's truly hard to believe the move from Canal to Hanover Streets in Manchester took place about one month ago.

But here we are.

We'd be remiss if we didn't offer a BIG Thank You! to all the folks who lent trucks and cars and hands and the weekend itself to get MAS over to Hanover and set up, right quickly.

Carol, Brian, Roger, Eric, Paul, Eddie, Adam, Chuck, Gail, Diane, Karen, Kathy, Jennifer, Sandy, Terry, Dennis, Cris, Sally, Nancy, Charlotte, Dave, Elizabeth, Bill, Tricia, Sylvia and the other folks whom I know I'm now forgetting.

Thanks a million!

And to the folks who gave in other ways in order to support the Move:

Nancy, Russell, Frank, Tara, Brian, Ann, Melissa, Brenda, Kaitlyn, Mary Ann and Pauline.

Thank you! It's no exaggeration to say MAS could not have done it without you all.

Response to the new clinic has been overwhelmingly positive, and for this we are grateful.
There are certainly PLENTY of parking spaces near the shop, and the A/C works really well in the treatment room!
We hope to see you soon at 895 Hanover Street in Manchester at the East Side Plaza, if we haven't already.

A few preliminary pictures for your pleasure, dear readers.  More 'official' pictures to follow in the coming weeks.


Sitting area in Front Office

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Towards Front Office in Treatment Room

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Treatment room looking into Back Office

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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

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