Acupuncture Blog

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If you've been by MAS Manchester over the past few weeks, you've no doubt had your attention drawn to the terrific artwork of James Shelton, a Rhode Island-based community acupuncturist.

The Ancestors Project by the front desk (pictured above) honors those who have worked in radical ways to arrange the bedrock that POCA (The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture) and community acupuncture clinics like MAS have grown on to.

Here's a recent interview with James, a POCATech graduate, about the project.

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Our colleagues Stef & Lisa at Guelph Community Acupuncture in Guelph, Ontario Canada penned a terrific primer on what acupuncture can offer, given specific challenges many of us face over the next few weeks. 

Community Acupuncture During "The Holidays"

Monday, December 5th, 2016

by Stef Cordes & Lisa Baird

We are told "The Holidays" is a time of community & celebration and a time to reconnect with loved ones. However, this is not the case for everyone. Not everyone celebrates this time of the year. And the holidays can be a triggering, lonely time for many; a reminder of things in our lives that aren't working and/or a reminder of what we've lost. The holidays can be incredibly isolating, especially at a time when family, celebration, and joy take centre stage in media, in stores, at work, and in our social circles. Even people who do enjoy this time of year often report feeling quite stressed in December.

Community acupuncture can help.

Acunaps for General Stress Relief

Whether you're stressed out because you feel alone or stressed out because you're stretched thin by fitting in events and shopping into your already busy schedule, acupuncture could very well make the difference between a bad day and a good one. We regularly tell people that "acupuncture doesn't have any major side effects, unless you count relaxation and a good night's sleep" because a reduction in stress is often apparent even when we don't needle for it specifically.

Acupuncture for Digestive Support

Folks often find it challenging to stick to their usual diet over the holidays. Frequent large meals and indulging in foods we seldom eat can mean bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and not-so-pleasant (perhaps even urgent) trips to the bathroom. We effectively treat digestion with acupuncture all the time. It may not make you eat differently, but it can support the body to handle digestive challenges more effectively. (To learn more about how community acupuncture can aid digestion, visit our blog post about CA and digestion.)

Acupuncture for Grief

Every year we are inundated with images of smiling, happy families and partnerships, which reminds many of us of what we don't have. For some, the holidays is a time when we think of dead, estranged or absent family members, partners lost, or the plan of a family that never came to be. This time of the year is well-known for triggering grief that we thought was long gone. It can be very disorienting and confusing. We don't talk a lot about grief, and there's a general expectation that you'll "get over it" in six month to a year.

At GCA we don't think of grief as something that you "get over", but as something that we process throughout our lives that can get easier with time. Community acupuncture can support us to process some emotions in our bodies without needing to say things out loud. (There are probably a couple people who work at GCA who have metabolized a good chunk of grief in one of our recliners.) For more on how community acupuncture can be supportive with grief, visit this blog post.

Acupuncture for Mental Health

Sometimes seeing family is difficult, as families can be complicated! We are most likely to be triggered by our families and those closest to us and the holidays can be an especially emotionally volatile time. Seeing family can be so stressful and overwhelming sometimes that even the anticipation of a gathering can send folks into a downward spiral. Community acupuncture can help us to feel more relaxed, at ease, and resilient in the face of challenging life situations. And our group setting is a tangible reminder that even if the holidays and the idea of family makes you isolated, you are not alone.

For those of us who don't see family over the holidays, or who struggle to connect with family, the holidays can be the loneliest time of year. The days are short, so folks already tend have less energy and are more likely to stay indoors. We know that a great deal of mental health complaints can dramatically increase this time of year; a lot of folks come for anxiety, depression, panic attacks, post traumatic stress symptoms or other mental health concerns. The good news is that acupuncture helps many of us to manage difficult emotions and triggers.

On that note, our upcoming holiday hours at MAS clinics:


X-Mas Eve:         9am-1pm
X-Mas Day:         9am-Noon
New Year's Eve:  9am-1pm
New Year's Day:  9am-4pm


X-Mas Eve:         12pm-4pm
X-Mas Day:         Closed
New Year's Eve:  12pm-4pm
New Year's Day:  Closed


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(new window work is up at MAS - Manchester courtesy of Amoskeag Signworks)

Well now that December has announced itself, we thought it'd be good time to make an offer you can't possibly refuse!

All month long, the purchase of a MAS Gift Certificate in the amount of $40 or greater,
will return to you one (1) free treatment at MAS clinics for your own self.

Yes, you give and you receive from MAS. Pretty sweet, right?

This month will get crazy for most of us in one way or another. Heck, the last day and-a-half was fairly epic, right?
We're invested in making sure we make it as easy as we can for you to take your acupuncture treatments when you need them.

A quick look ahead at the clinic schedule this month:  We are scheduled to be open every day of the month - including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.  In event of more heavy snowstorms, keep your eye on the WMUR TV 'closings' screen-crawl, MAS social media and/or our clinic telephone answering machines for announcements that we're closing up shops.

Last, we've got numerous vacation days that will be covered by guest-star full-timers this month in Manchester & Nashua clinics. Keep your eye on the on-line schedule for the accurate acu-punks on duty for a particular shift.

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(Winter approaches at the top of Stowe Mountain, recently taken by @ryanresatka via Instagram)

A quick up-date for this holiday week's hours and a special to boot.

First, The Special!
In Manchester & Nashua, from Wednesday through Saturday all new patient visits are $10 off.
We do ask for first-time appointments to be booked ahead of time (as opposed to walking in).
So please give us a call in Manchester (669-0808) or in Nashua (579-0320) to set it all up.

Second, clinic hours this week:

The only change this week is for Thursday the 28th, Thanksgiving Day itself. We'll hold regular clinic hours otherwise.

Thursday the 28th, Thanksgiving Day
Manchester will be open from 9a-Noon

Nashua will be closed for the day.

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MAS received good news this week as the Arthur Getz Trust saw fit to support our long-standing program using acupuncture as part of opioid misuse treatment for folks in recovery. 

We are grateful.



The truth is, we're quite grateful for all support of MAS programs.  

How might one contribute?

 - Offer a tax-deductible donation.  We are grateful for gifts in any amount, at any time of year.
 Does the company you work for offer a matching gift program? This is a great way to maximize your donation to MAS. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to help move this option along.

 - Donate your unwanted upholstered recliner. We are often looking to upgrade.

 - Support MAS via the Amazon Smile Program. Make MAS your charitable organization of choice, shop on Amazon Smile, and percentages of your purchases are automatically donated.

Thanks to the many folks who currently contribute.

 - Looking for a different way to pay for your acupuncture treatments? Use your Health Savings Account (HSA) debit card at MAS. 

 - Pick up MAS Gift Certificates in any amount at Manchester and Nashua clinics.

 - Most importantly, continue to get treated. Using acupuncture as a tool in your toolbelt is a reliable way to support yourself and the best way to support MAS.


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This month's date for Free acupuncture treatments for POCA members, is tomorrow - Tuesday, November 12th.

Yup, The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture!

One of the best things about Manchester Acupuncture Studio is our connection to a bigger network.

We want acupuncture to become affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. It turns out a lot of other people do too! That's why we are among the founding members of a multi-stakeholder community acupuncture cooperative - The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture. POCA's membership is made up of different groups; patients, organizations, clinics, and acupuncturists.  These various groups have stakes in seeing more affordable acupuncture expand into more places and communities.

Your membership dues provide microloans to start affordable clinics all over the country and have help to found the first affordable acupuncture technical school, POCA Tech. POCA Tech students graduate with a fraction of the dizzying amount of student debt that a traditional acupuncture program requires. POCA Tech grads are trained to be job-ready, providing their communities with safe, high-quality acupuncture.

Many of you have been members of POCA for years. Thanks! We are always looking out for different ways to show our appreciation for this.

In addition to free days for POCA members at MAS, your POCA membership comes with:

 - 3 free treatment coupons to give to friends and family, accepted at any POCA member clinic

 - a membership card that gets you a free treatment the week of your birthday

 - $10 off first-time visits to all POCA clinics world-wide

 - Free e-books on Acupuncture Theory, in case you want to geek-out on acupuncture

 - access for POCA's monthly e-newsletters

Please consider joining, or renewing, your membership today.

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This coming Tuesday, the 12th is November's Free Day @ MAS for POCA members.

Yes, it's time again to thank POCA members for supporting affordable community acupuncture far and wide.

Thank you fellow co-op members!

This means:

1) Free treatments for active POCA members at MAS Manchester & Nashua clinics on designated days. Like next Tuesday. Just bring in your current membership card and have a needle nap on us, in Manchester or Nashua.

2) We repeat these free treatment days for POCA members at MAS quite frequently, along with other periodic member specials.  Keep your eyes on MAS newsletters and the blackboards in Manchester & Nashua clinics, as well.

Wait...what?! You're not a POCA member?

Well, you may be interested to know, annual memberships start at only $25.
Sign yourself up online and enjoy the following terrific benefits of the world's only acupuncture cooperative, all year long:

- Free acupuncture on your birthday

- 3 Free first-treatment cards for your family and friends, accepted at POCA clinics worldwide

- Waived fees on first visits to POCA clinics worldwide

- Opportunities to volunteer, vote and discuss all things community acupuncture

- Monthly e-newsletter Sticking Together

...and regularly scheduled free days at MAS, to boot.

Basically with MAS-sponsored specials alone, as well as other POCA benefits, your membership is paid for a few times over.

Most importantly, your membership greatly helps to support the growth of affordable acupuncture services via low-interest loans offered by POCA for new and expanding community acupuncture clinics throughout North America and beyond.

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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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