Acupuncture for Back Pain in Point Pleasant, NJ

Back_Pain

Acupuncture for Back Pain in Point Pleasant, NJ

Acupuncture for Back Pain

It has been estimated that nearly 80% of people will deal with low back pain during their lifetime. With so many people suffering from this problem, it is no surprise that acupuncture has become a popular form of treatment.

Research now shows that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for all kinds of back pain issues.

Acupuncture vs. Traditional Treatments

Reviews of medical studies show acupuncture to be a viable treatment option for back issues and can provide sciatica pain relief as well . In fact, these studies indicate that acupuncture provides more effective pain relief than conventional back pain treatments. Both the American Pain Society and American College of Physicians recommend acupuncture when more traditional medical methods fail.

Why Acupuncture Works for Back Pain

The roots of acupuncture can be traced back over 2,500 years to ancient China. The practice involves the insertion of very thin needles into various energetic points located all around the body. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, there are over 365 acupuncture points on the human body. A form of energy known as Qi (pronounced chee), flows through the pathways, or meridians, that connect these points like a grid. Needles inserted into the appropriate points along these meridians help to correct imbalances or clear blockages of this energy, leading to pain relief and better overall health.

On a more scientific level, some experts feel that the relief comes from stimulation of the central nervous system, triggering chemicals that release into the brain, muscles and spinal cord. It is believed by some, that these chemicals either create an overall sense of well-being within the body or may actually alter the way the pain is felt and/or experienced.

Others believe that acupuncture speeds up electromagnetic signals in the body. These signals can stimulate chemicals, such as endorphins, that reduce pain and may even affect the body’s own immune system cells. Other theories suggest that acupuncture releases natural opioids from the brain or that it may even change the brain’s chemistry altogether through the release of neurohormones and neurotransmitters throughout the entire body.

All of these are ways in which pain is reduced.

What to Consider With Acupuncture

Acupuncture is rapidly becoming one of the most popular forms of lower back pain treatments. It interesting to note that the FDA has removed acupuncture needles from the “experimental medical devices” category and now regulates the practice of acupuncture within the United States.

Whether it’s for low back pain, sciatica pain relief,  or other back issues, always take some things into consideration and do your research before seeking treatment. It is best to seek a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.), who is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). It is also advised to see what others have to say about any acupuncturist you might be considering.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture for Back Pain in Ocean County, NJ: 201-357-0904

Acupuncture for Anxiety at the Jersey Shore

Acupuncture for Anxiety in Englewood, NJ

Acupuncture for Anxiety in Pt Pleasant, NJ

Anxiety is a disabling condition that can be experienced by persons of all ages.

Modern medical treatment for anxiety might include therapy sessions and the administration of pharmaceutical drugs.

Acupuncture is a holistic, healing modality that can be used separate from or in conjunction with mainstream medical treatments; without any of the possibly harmful side-effects of prescription drugs.

The Chinese have been using acupuncture for thousands of years, and today the scientific evidence for the use of this ancient healing modality to treat anxiety disorders is mounting.

As an acupuncturist who takes a special interest in the treatment of anxiety disorders, I have helped many of my patients, both young and old, to find relief from this condition.

Most patients find the acupuncture experience to be very relaxing and pain-free. In fact, many find the process to be so calming that they are able to fall asleep right on the treatment table during the session.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ: 201-357-0904

Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ / Spring Cleaning

Dogwood Blossoms

Dogwood Blossoms by Rob Vena

Spring is the perfect time of year to cleanse and get our energy moving again.

Just as we automatically think of ‘spring cleaning’ around the house – so we should think of our bodies.

Cleansing helps us to rid our systems of the unwanted toxins and junk that have accumulated inside over the long winter.

Cleansing can help raise our spirits as well.

Consider making a healthy transition into spring this year by doing a cleanse, exercising regularly, meditating, and eating foods that are in season.

And, acupuncture should figure into your plan as well.

Having an acupuncture ‘tune-up’ at the onset of the season is the perfect way to get your energy moving again and stay healthy.

Acupuncture can also help rid you of the negative side effects of stress and make an easy transition between winter and spring without getting sick, by boosting your immune system.

Enjoy the Change of Season.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment. If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage at all, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Ocean County, NJ Acupuncturist: 201-357-0904

Patients seen by appointment only.

The Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms / Acupuncture at the Jersey Shore

The Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms

Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, the Shiitake Mushroom (a.k.a. Japanese mushroom) is believed to hold anti-aging properties, promote good heart health, and help boost the immune system.

The shiitake has also been used for prevention of rickets, and some preliminary research shows that these tasty mushrooms lower blood fat levels and counteract cholesterol. In addition, it is now widely believed that these mushrooms can counteract certain cancers and even help slow the progression of AIDS.

Shiitake mushrooms are the second most commonly cultivated edible mushroom in the world and can be found in the produce section of most grocery and health food stores. They can be cooked by themselves or added to other dishes such as stir-fries and soups, or they can be taken in supplement form. They are a great source of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, the vitamins A, B, B12, C, D, niacin, and the minerals zinc, potassium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, and copper.

Add some shiitake mushrooms to your diet for health and well-being.

Insurance Coverage: If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. Rob’s insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.

Other Accepted Methods of Payments: Cash, Check, Credit Cards, Flex Spending Account Debit/Credit Cards

Acupuncture in Ocean County, NJ

Patients seen by appointment only.

Does Insurance Cover Acupuncture in New Jersey?

Does My Insurance Cover Acupuncture?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from friends, family, and prospective patients alike is, “Does insurance cover acupuncture treatments in New Jersey?”

The good news is, that many insurance companies do in fact cover acupuncture services these days. And now, more acupuncturists than ever are accepting insurance as payment. So if you have insurance, you just might be covered for acupuncture benefits.

Here at Rob Vena Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ we accept insurance provided acupuncture is covered by your plan.

It is important to note however, that although your insurance company may offer full- or partial-coverage for acupuncture services, it does not necessarily mean that they will pay for your treatments. You should fully understand your insurance coverage before visiting your acupuncturist.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ: 201-357-0904

Treating Diabetes with Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine / Jersey Shore Acupuncturist Rob Vena

Diabetes is currently one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, and there is a significant mortality rate associated with it.

Although Chinese medicine cannot offer a cure for diabetes, we can, by using the modalities available to us, most certainly help to optimize the functionality of our patient’s bodies to function as close to normal as possible. This, in turn, enables our diabetic patients to experience a greater quality of life and to benefit greatly from an overall higher level of health.

Western Medical Perspective

In laymen’s terms, diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar levels are too high.

Glucose is a type of sugar that comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is the hormone that lowers the level of glucose in the blood and helps it get into your cells where it is used for energy production or stored for future use. Insulin is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas, an organ that is located behind the stomach.

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not create enough insulin. With Type 2 diabetes (the more common of the two), the body does not make or use insulin well. In either case, the result is that the body’s blood glucose level rises.

Over time, an excess of glucose in the blood can lead to serious problems. Damage to the kidneys, eyes, and nerves are the most commonly known problems, but years of poorly controlled diabetes can lead to limb removal, heart disease, and even stroke. In fact, the risk of heart attack for diabetics is equal to that of someone who has already had a heart attack.

Oriental Medical Perspective

The complex of symptoms referred to in the West as diabetes has traditionally been known as xiao-ke by the Chinese. The term xiao-ke translates into English as either “wasting and thirsting” or “flowing away and thirst”… terms, which together refer to the excessive thirst, hunger, and urination that the diabetes patient typically experiences. The more modern Chinese term for the disease is tang-niao-bing, which translates as “sugar urine disease,” referring to the loss of fluids through urine and the excessive sweetness of that urine.

References to xiao-ke appear in the earliest Chinese medical texts, including the Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic), which is the first known medical text in Chinese history. The disease was originally described as resulting from long-term consumption of sweet, rich, and fatty foods… but according to today’s Chinese medical theory, the disease can be attributed to three main factors:

1. Improper diet (overconsumption of sweets, greasy/fatty foods, alcohol, and hot beverages)

2. Emotional disturbances (stress, anxiety, depression)

3. Constitutional Yin Deficiency (fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, pallor)

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be used to reduce blood glucose levels and to normalize endocrine function.

Body acupuncture point selection can vary greatly based on individual case pattern diagnosis and treatment principles, but a typical treatment involves placement of needles for 10 ~ 30 minutes. The needles can be stimulated manually, using electrical stimulation, or by warming them using moxibustion burned on the end of the needles. Auricular (ear acupuncture) and body acupuncture can be used together or in conjunction.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

The use of Chinese herbal formulas in the treatment of xiao ke dates back at least 2,000 years. Formulas are prescribed on a case-by-case basis and are based on individual case pattern diagnosis and treatment principles that are determined by the patient’s predominant symptoms. This treatment based on pattern diagnosis is what makes this medicine holistic, safe, and effective.

Diet

Just as in Western medicine, diet plays an important role in the treatment of this illness in Chinese medicine. This is obvious just in knowing that one of the main causes of the disease is, in fact, improper diet.

The three key points to maintaining a healthy diet in relation to maintenance of this disease are:

1. Avoid foods that cause Stomach Heat (hot, spicy, acrid, greasy, fatty, and fried foods).

2. Avoid foods that damage the Spleen (raw, uncooked, chilled foods, and refined wheat products, sugars and sweets).

3. Eat foods that build yin and blood (tonifying, mildly cooling foods that moisten and nourish).

Overall, a clear, bland diet, high in complex carbohydrates such as unrefined grains and lightly cooked vegetables is the best diet to be adhered to. However, this is not completely a vegetarian diet, and most people should eat 1 ~ 2 ounces of meat 2 ~ 4 times per week.

Patients should avoid overeating.

Exercise

Exercise is an important therapy for those suffering with this disease. Exercise moves qi and blood, and since there is almost always some component of qi stagnation and blood stagnation associated with these cases, the patient can only benefit from it. Any aerobic exercise that raises the heartbeat at least 80% above normal resting rate and keeps it there for at least 20 minutes is best.

Tui Na

Tui Na Chinese medical massage can be used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment or as an alternative to it when dealing with patients who have an aversion to needles.

Tui Na practitioners use hand manipulation techniques to stimulate the meridians and acupuncture points, and work directly with the energy of the body at a very deep level.

The Tui Na practitioner is able through his/her touch to gauge the distribution of energy in the body and is able to affect and direct and affect its flow.

Qigong

By teaching our patients a combination of qigong breathing, meditation, visualization, and movement techniques, practitioners of Chinese medicine offer them yet another means to treat and manage their condition. This ancient Chinese practice has long been used by practitioners to promote health, fitness, and general well being.

According to the teachings of Chinese medicine, conditions such as diabetes are caused by energetic imbalances within the body. Qigong helps to realign your body to your environment and can be used to restore such energetic imbalances, thereby bringing the body back into a balanced and more healthful state.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ: 201-357-0904

Nutrition and Prostate Health / Acupuncture in Point Pleasant, NJ

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can do a great deal to slow prostate growth, restore normal urinary function, and alleviate other symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

In addition to regular acupuncture treatments and administration of herbal formulations, one’s diet plays a key role in maintenance of a healthy prostate.

Below are some dietary and nutritional suggestions for maintaining a healthy prostate:

Foods to Avoid

  • Coffee, alcohol, corn oil and canola (use olive oil instead)

Foods to Limit

  • Dairy products (especially butter and margarine)
  • Spicy foods
  • Red meats

Recommended Supplements & Foods

  • Vitamin C: Red & hot chili peppers, guavas, bell peppers, fresh thyme & parsley, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kiwi, papaya, oranges, tangerines, and strawberries
  • Zinc: Oysters, toasted wheat germ, veal liver, sesame seeds or tahini, low-fat roast beef, roasted pumpkin seeds & squash seeds, dried watermelon seeds, dark chocolate & cocoa powder, lamb (mutton), and peanuts
  • Selenium: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, fish (tuna, halibut, sardines, flounder, salmon), shellfish (oysters, mussels, shrimp, clams, scallops), meat (beef, liver, lamb, pork), poultry (chicken, turkey), eggs, mushrooms (button, crimini, shiitake), grains (wheat germ, barley, brown rice, oats), onions, and brown rice
  • Lycopene: Tomatoes, guava, watermelon, pink grapefruit, dried parsley & basil, persimmons, asparagus, liver (Pâté), chili powder, and red cabbage

Other GOOD foods include; mackerel, trout, spinach, chicory, pumpkin, berries, cherries, apricots, peaches, bananas, pears, grapes, green tea, and red wine (in moderation).

Remember: VARIETY is the spice of life!

Eat a wide variety of foods containing essential vitamins, minerals & nutrients… and, ORGANIC foods are always better. It is also important to exercise regularly and to avoid stress as much as possible.

NOTE: There are some studies, which have shown that patients who used the western herbal supplement ‘Saw Palmetto’ did not endure side effects such as decreased libido and impotence compared to those using the drug Finasteride. There are no known drug interactions with saw palmetto, and reported side effects are minor and rare.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncturist in Ocean County, NJ: 201-357-0904

The Shamanistic Shang: At the Roots of Chinese Medicine by NJ Acupuncturist Rob Vena

Settling throughout the lands of northern China in what is often referred to as the birthplace or cradle of Chinese civilization, the Shang peoples built and organized their cities and towns around the flooding stages of the eastern Yellow River. From around 1800 B.C.E. on, this ‘Yellow River Civilization’ was organized enough to be referred to as a culture.

The Shang were a people whose shamanic religion was characterized by ancestor worship, sacrifice, and divination. They worshipped a deity called Shang-Ti, the ‘Supreme God,’ ‘Lord on High,’ or ‘God of Heaven,’ who ruled over the world as well as over the lesser gods of nature (such as the gods of wind, rain, etc.). This shamanic culture formed the very basis of Chinese Medicine.

The word for disease, ‘bing’, was coined during the era of the Shang and is still in use today in modern Chinese. Illness, during this period, was believed to arrive on the wind, and was attributed to the retribution of angry ancestors. The spirits of those who died premature or violent deaths were feared because it was believed that they had the power to curse the living and inflict illness.

Recognized in the West as the first Chinese dynastic order, the Shang are credited with the invention of the Chinese writing system; a pictographic system of writing in which a picture is used to represent a word or an idea. This early style of character writing may very well have developed out of the need to diagnose sickness and disease.

The Shang left behind a large number of written records – most, in the form of ‘oracle bones.’ Oracle bones are pieces of bone (ox scapulae or other types of animal bones) and turtle shells that were used to divine the future for members of the royal household. This form of divination, known as the art of scapulimancy or pyroscapulimancy, was used as a way for the ruling class to seek spiritual reassurance, validation, and guidance in affairs of house and state.

The way it worked was such; a question of importance was carved into the oracle bone. The oracle bone was then subjected to intense heat (via the insertion of hot metal rods into holes carved in the back of it). This action caused a series of cracks to appear on the bone, and the cracks would then be interpreted by the shaman in answer to the question at hand. The shaman’s interpretation of the cracks was believed to reveal the will of the ancestors.

Oftentimes, these oracles were used as an attempt to determine the outcome of illnesses and the sacrifices necessary to bring about recovery. Plutschow (1995) states, “The Shang also performed oracles to find out the outcome of illness and what sacrifice should be offered for recovery.” Sacrifice was believed to be a way of sharing divine powers and ensuring longevity.

According to Kendall (2002), “Many of the pictographs and ideographs represent disease names and symptoms. Other characters indicate early classifications of diseases by their location on the body. …analysis of the cracks allowed the shaman to diagnose and treat the disease” (p. 17). If this analysis is correct, disease classification and treatment may very well date back as far as the Shang, and could in-turn, be attributed to the shamans of that age.

Bensky, Gamble, & Kapchuk (1993), point out that at the dawn of Chinese history, the shamans (who could be either male or female) were the primary health care givers. And, according to Unschuld (1985), “…the Shang had already developed the notion of diseases. …were very familiar with many different forms of illness, but …recognized only a very limited number of diseases, the most important being by far the ‘curse of the ancestor’. Toothache, headache, bloated abdomen and leg pains were only different symptoms of the same disease. …it should be noted that poor harvest and misfortune of war were also considered symptoms of the same disease – ‘curse of the ancestor’” (p. 19).

The shaman, or ‘wu’, was often the religious leader or priest of a tribe. He/she was believed to hold magical powers and possess the ability to navigate along the ‘Axis Mundi,’ ‘Spiritual Pivot,’ or ‘Ling Shu.’ This ‘pivot of the world,’ was believed to be the connection between the lower, middle, and upper worlds… that is, the link between hell, earth, and heaven.

In shamanism, one must remedy the other worlds in order to make things better, or right, in this world. Hence, the shaman was often called upon by the community to perform a psychodrama, make sacrifices to Shang-Ti, or act as mediator between the populace and the spirits of the other worlds. To do this, the shaman would enter into an ecstatic state, or trance, that would enable him/her to traverse along the pivot of the three worlds, the Ling Shu, in an attempt to cure disease, exorcise evil spirits, bring about success in hunting and agriculture, and overall, to keep the community healthy and in proper balance.

The practices of acupuncture and herbology may also be attributable to the shamans of the Shang era.

According to Eckman (1996), “…acupuncture itself most likely originated from the exorcistic practices of the early shamans or wu” (p. 201). He says, “…the earliest acupuncturists may very well have been the shamen [sic]” (p. 41). With regard to acupuncture needles, he claims that, “the earliest examples being bronze needles …date to the late Xia, Shang or early Zhou dynasty” (p. 38).

It is interesting to note here, I think, that one of the two books of the Huang Di Nei Jing or The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (arguably the single most important text in the canon of Chinese Medicine) bears the same name as that of the ‘pivot of the three worlds’ that was so well traversed by the shamans of the Shang while in their mystical state. Is it just coincidence that this 81-chapter book, which focuses on acupuncture, description of the meridians, functions of the zang-fu organs, nine types of needles, functions of the acupuncture points, needling techniques, types of Qi, and the location of 160 points, is called the ‘Ling Shu’ or ‘Spiritual Pivot?’ Or, does the very name of this text clearly signify the strong connection and relationship between the practices of acupuncture and the shamanism of the Shang?

As for herbology, Eckman refers to Huang Fu Mi’s book of 282 CE, The Systematic Study of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, when he says, “In it, Huang states that The Treatise of Cold-Induced Disorders was based on The Theory of Herbal Decoctions attributed to Yi Yin, the prime minister of the ancient Yin (Shang) dynasty” (p. 70).

Several other important concepts related to Chinese Medicine also appear to have emerged and developed during the time of the Shang, including possibly, a primitive understanding of the pulse, blood, and other body fluids.

Additionally, the formation of the theoretical thinking of Yin Yang and the Five Elements can be traced back to this period, and according to Walsh (2007), “The concept of the dual soul was also developed …the Po is the animal part of the soul which remains with the body after death (and which is what ghosts are), while the Hun is the spiritual part of the soul which disappears into the afterlife.”

It is also believed that a preliminary understanding of Shen and Jing was held by the time of the Shang. Shen is the emotional, mental and spiritual aspect of a human being, whereas Jing, which is usually translated into English as ‘essence’, is held to be responsible for growth, reproduction, development, sexual maturation, conception and pregnancy.

And lastly, the Shang seem to have had a rudimentary grasp on the all encompassing concept of Qi.

The original character for the word Qi seems to have appeared at this time, as a way of representing that unknowable aspect of the universe that makes things grow and transform – that thing that inter-transforms into all things – and, its early meanings seem to have been something along the lines of vapor, mist, or clouds.

Qi is a very difficult word to translate, and its meaning can vary depending on the context in which it is used. Its meaning has changed in many ways since those early days of the Shang. For example, when referring to the Four Pillars of Chinese Medicine, the word Qi can have at least four different meanings. When talking about acupuncture and moxibustion, the word is understood to mean ‘the relationship between the surface and the interior.’ When referring to herbs and diet, it means ‘the flavor and function of the herb or food.’ In physical manipulation it means ‘gait and posture,’ and in Qigong it refers to ‘one’s relationship with the rest of existence.’ As Maciocia (1989) explains, “Qi is the basis of all phenomena in the universe and provides a continuity between course, material forms and tenuous, rarefied non-material energies. …Qi is the very basis of the universe’s infinite manifestations of life, including minerals, vegetables, and animals (including man)” (p. 36). Is it any wonder that the Shang identified the idea of Qi with something as insubstantial as a vapor, mist, or clouds?

In closing, it is important to note that there is very little to be found on Shang medical practices in comparison to the wealth of information that is available on the later Chinese dynastic orders and their practices. But from what little there is to find on the Shang, we can clearly surmise that the origins of Chinese Medicine extend far into the past and lie firmly rooted somewhere in the midst of their shamanistic beliefs and practices.

Robert A. Vena is a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) in the States of New York and New Jersey and is nationally board certified in Oriental Medicine (Diplomate Oriental Medicine) by the NCCAOM. He completed the intensive 4-year Master of Science of Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) program at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City and currently practices Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ.

Click on the link below to see this article as published by The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (OM Essay Contest 2011):

REFERENCES

Bensky, D., Gamble, A. & Kapchuk, T., (1993). Chinese herbal medicine: materia medica. Seattle: Eastland Press Incorporated.

Brief history of China. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from http://www.china.org.cn/english/MATERIAL/185663.htm

Columbia encyclopedia. (2004). New York: Columbia University Press.

Eckman, P., (1996). In the footsteps of the yellow emperor: tracking the history of traditional acupuncture. San Francisco: Cypress Book (US) Company, Inc.

Maciocia, G., (1989). The foundations of Chinese medicine. China: RDC Group Limited

Hooker, R., (1996). Ancient China: the Shang. Retrieved November 24, 2007, from http://wsu.edu/~dee/ANCCHINA/SHANG.HTM

Plutschow, H. (1995, December). Archaic Chinese sacrificial practices in the light of generative anthropology. Retrieved November 17, 2007

Unschuld, P., (1985). Medicine in China. Berkeley: University of California Press

Walsh, J. (2007, July 16). Shang: The first dynasty of China. Retrieved November 20, 2007

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture at the Jersey Shore: 201-357-0904

Acupuncture 101 by Jersey Shore Acupuncturist Rob Vena

As a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I am often asked questions about what it is that I do. By far, the most common questions that I am asked are; “What is acupuncture?” “Is it safe? “Does it hurt?” “What can it treat?” and “How can I find a reliable acupuncturist in my area?”

In this article, I have outlined answers to these questions in an effort to introduce you to and familiarize you with this amazing healing art. It is my hope, that this medicine will one day be as familiar to westerners as it is to the peoples of Asia who have long benefited from its effectiveness in preventing disease and promoting health and well-being.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is just one facet of the much broader field of Chinese Medicine – all of which is rooted in the philosophy of Taoism.

Underlying the practice of this ancient medicine is a unique view of the human body and of health. This view greatly differs from Western medical thought, and is based on the concept that we human beings are microcosms of the larger universe – firmly positioned between heaven and Earth, linked with nature, and subject to her forces. The aim of this medicine is not in treating health problems in isolation, but rather in addressing the individual (body and mind) as a whole, while taking one’s surrounding environment into consideration, and bringing it all back into harmony to create a balanced state of health.

Acupuncture originated in China over 5,000 years ago and stands strong as one of the oldest healing practices in the world. Over the past several thousand years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other modalities of healing combined.

Acupuncture promotes the body’s natural healing abilities. It is a modality of healing that involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific body points located along channels of energy known as meridians. The meridian system connects all of the major organs and body parts, and circulates the body’s vital life energy, known as Qi (pronounced ‘chee’).

According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi through the meridians becomes unbalanced or blocked. Acupuncturists use the point/meridian system to access and activate the Qi, to promote the body’s natural healing abilities and restore balanced health.

Is it Safe?

Acupuncture is a safe and effective natural therapy. It has been safely employed on billions of patients for thousands of years. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of acupuncture needles by licensed acupuncturists in 1996 and require that they follow strict safety guidelines. Modern acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use, disposable, and should never be reused.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are tiny, thin, and flexible, and the sensation caused by insertion varies from patient to patient. The needles are 25 – 50 times thinner than hypodermic needles. So thin in fact, that several acupuncture needles can fit inside the middle of a hypodermic needle. Most people feel nothing at all upon insertion of an acupuncture needle, while others may experience a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin.

What can it treat?

Patients may see an acupuncturist for any number of conditions ranging from musculoskeletal to fertility issues.

Some of the major benefits of Acupuncture are that it is a holistic approach to health and healing, assists in preventing disease, and provides drug-free pain relief.

Acupuncture can effectively treat many common ailments. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) currently lists quite a few conditions that have been proven through clinical trial to be effectively treated by acupuncture:

Adverse reactions to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy

Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

Biliary colic (gallstones)

Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

Dysentery, acute bacillary

Dysmenorrhoea, primary

Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)

Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)

Headache

Hypertension, essential

Hypotension, primary

Induction of labour

Knee pain

Leukopenia (a decrease in the number of white blood cells)

Low back pain

Malposition of fetus, correction of

Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting

Neck pain

Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

Periarthritis of shoulder

Postoperative pain

Renal colic (pain caused by kidney stones)

Rheumatoid arthritis

Sciatica (pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg caused by injury to or compression of the sciatic nerve)

Sprains

Stroke

Tennis elbow

* Preceding information taken from World Health Organization http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/5.html

Other Commonly treated conditions include: Acne, ADD/ADHD, Addiction (Smoking Cessation, Drug/Alcohol Problems), Allergies, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Back Pain, Cancer Related Fatigue, Chronic Diarrhea, Common Cold, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Dental Pain, Depression, Digestive Disorders, Facial Pain, Facial Rejuvenation, Fatigue, Flu, Gallstones, Gastritis, GERD, Gynecological Disorders, Hair Loss, Headache, Hypertension & Hypotension, IBS, Immune Disorders, Infertility, Insomnia, Irregular Menstruation, Joint Pain, Kidney Stones, Menopause, Migraines, Morning Sickness, Orthopedic Disorders, Nausea & Vomiting, Neck Pain, Neuropathy, Sciatica, Stress, Pain Syndromes, PMS, Postoperative Pain, PTSD, Reflux, Respiratory Disorders, Rosacea, Sinusitis, Skin Problems, Stroke Rehabilitation, TMJ, Ulcers, Weight Loss / Weight Gain, Women’s Health Issues, and much more.

How can I find a reliable acupuncturist in my area?

The best guideline for choosing an acupuncturist is to ask friends and family for referrals. Once you have found an acupuncturist in your area, you should verify his/her qualifications. Be sure to check for state licensure and training credentials.

Not all states require an acupuncturist to be licensed, but an acupuncturist must possess a certificate of course completion from an accredited institution such as the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists (NCCAOM). You can find or verify an NCCAOM certified practitioner in your area online at http://www.nccaom.org/.

Rob Vena is a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) in the States of New York and New Jersey and is nationally board certified in Oriental Medicine (Diplomate Oriental Medicine) by the NCCAOM. He completed the intensive 4-year Master of Science of Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) program at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City and currently practices Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ.

Click on the link below to see this article as published in the The Jewish Standard (New Jersey, January 2012):

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ: 201-357-0904

Facial Rejuvenation & Anti-Wrinkle Foods / Acupuncture in Ocean County, NJ

Anti-Wrinkle Foods in Chinese Medicine

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the following foods can have a positive effect on the condition of the skin and help with the prevention of wrinkles:

Bee Pollen

Black Mushrooms

Black Sesame Seeds (sprinkle over food like pepper)

Black Soybeans

Cherries (eaten or crushed with juice applied to the skin)

Chinese Cabbage

Chinese Dates / Jujube Fruit

Cucumber

Fish

Honey (1 teaspoon each morning on an empty stomach)

Lotus Root

Olive Oil

Peanuts (fresh peanuts)

Pine Nuts

Reishi Mushrooms

Royal Jelly

Squid (calamari)

Tomato

Walnuts (1 handful every day)

Wild Yam

Be sure to include these anti-wrinkle foods as part of your regular diet. This, in combination with regular visits to your acupuncturist, can go a long way towards helping to keep your skin looking as smooth and wrinkle-free as possible… without the need for surgical procedures.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ: 201-357-0904

Acupuncture and Weight Loss in Ocean County, NJ

One of the most common questions I get when people learn that I’m an acupuncturist is, “Can acupuncture help me lose weight?”

In short, the answer is yes, it can help.

Acupuncture can help curb the appetite… it can help reduce cravings… and it can stimulate the body’s metabolism to help with weight loss.

But what should be stated up front is that acupuncture is not a ‘silver bullet’ solution for weight control, and it should be used in conjunction with a weight loss or weight management program that is suited to your individual needs.

Most licensed acupuncturists should be able to help not only through use of the acupuncture needle, but also by providing you with informed counseling and guidance on diet and nutrition. He/she should also be able to advise on exercise and relaxation techniques designed to help you get through the physical and emotional trials of the weight loss process.

Weight loss is never easy, and successful long term weight loss is incredibly difficult for most people to achieve. Acupuncture is a perfectly natural way to boost your weight loss efforts, and there are no harmful side effects or chance of addiction, as may be encountered with certain medications.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Jersey Shore Acupuncture: 201-357-0904

Acupuncture for Smoking Cessation in Pt Pleasant, NJ

Kick the Habit!

Did you know that smokers are more likely than non-smokers to catch colds… and that their symptoms may even be worse? Just being around secondhand smoke increases your chances of catching a cold.

Do you, or someone you know need help kicking the habit?

Acupuncture can help with permanent smoking cessation by lessening the cravings and reducing withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, there are no side effects and it enhances your overall health.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ: 201-357-0904

The Discipline of Qigong by Jersey Shore Acupuncturist Rob Vena

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” ~ Jim Rohn

Discipline: Training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.

Qigong: The art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate life energy, or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’).

Last week, my teacher spoke to the students of his weekly Qigong class about character building, and of the positive effect it has on the overall health of the human body.

In not so many words he explained that each time you discipline yourself, you build character… and that this, in turn, helps build better Qi and leads to improved health.

Well, my teacher’s words struck a cord deep within me that day, and they have ever since been rolling around and round in my head like a ferris wheel… until they appeared again here on this page.

It’s amazing how certain teachers can have this kind of effect on us…

This simple teaching of his caused me to reflect back on my life, and on the role that discipline has played in it… and it has become very clear to me, that the times I exercised the most discipline in life, have by far been the most productive, happy, and healthy of of them all.

As stated in the quote above by Jim Rohn, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Of this there can be no doubt.

It is oh, so very important to discipline ourselves if we ever wish to reach the goals we set… not just in Qigong, or other martial arts practices, but in every aspect of our lives.

I wish you great success in reaching your own goals. May you have the discipline required to easily transform them into realities.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Pt Pleasant NJ Acupuncturist: 201-357-0904

Catch that Cold before it Catches You / Jersey Shore Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ

Prevention has always played an important role in the practice of Chinese medicine, which can not only help prevent colds and flu, but can also help treat these illnesses once symptoms appear.

The key to effective treatment is early intervention, and patients can greatly benefit from treatment prior to the arrival of cold and flu season.

In Chinese Medicine, autumn has always been considered a very good time of year to improve health, balance and strengthen the body, and boost the immune system before the colder months of winter settle in.

So, why not set up an appointment to see your acupuncturist now… before cold and flu season arrives?

Remember… The sooner treatment is received for flu-like symptoms, the faster and more effective that treatment can be… But, prevention is always better!

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncture in Pt Pleasant, NJ: 201-357-0904

Cupping Therapy Explained by Jersey Shore Acupuncturist Rob Vena

Cupping Therapy is the method of using glass or plastic cups to create localized pressure by a vacuum.

The Chinese have been using this technique since ancient times by using heat inside glass or bamboo cups.

The suction from the cups can penetrate deep into your tissues causing the tissues to release harmful toxins. It triggers the lymphatic system, clears the blood vessels, and stretches and activates the skin.

Cupping therapy has been found in ancient records dating back 3500 years and is still used today.

In this office, cupping therapy involves the application of glass cups and heat to create a vacuum effect on specific areas of the body in order to promote circulation, relieve pain, and revitalize tissues. The appearance of a “reddish, elevated, millet-like skin rash’ (aka petechiae) results.

It is important to note, that this modality does not involve burning of the skin.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncturist in Ocean County, NJ: 201-357-0904

Miso Soup: An Ancient Remedy for the Common Cold / Acupuncture in Point Pleasant, NJ

The people of Asia have long been aware of the health benefits of soybeans and scallions.

Documentation of the use of these ingredients as medicine dates as far back as the 3rd or 4th century, when the famous Chinese doctor Ge Hong (283–343 CE) included them in his medical handbook, ‘Emergency Formulas to Keep Up One’s Sleeve’.

Dr. Hong’s Chinese herbal formula, known as ‘Cong Chi Tang’, or ‘Scallion and Prepared Soybean Decoction’, is still used today as a way to help stop the common cold in its tracks. And today, we have easy access to this herbal formula in the form of a traditional Japanese soup.

Most westerners are now familiar with the dish known as miso soup. This tasty soup’s main ingredients, miso (fermented soybean paste) and scallions (green onions, spring onions, or shallots), make it an excellent choice as a home remedy for those looking to ward off the common cold. The soup is most effective in this capacity when taken at the very onset of a cold… just as indications such as a mild fever, slight chills, headache, and stuffy nose first appear.

It is important that the soup be taken immediately, within just 4 – 6 hours of the appearance of the first signs of a cold coming on. The soup can help to knock out the cold during this early stage, but any later, once the cold has further developed, is too late, and other cold remedies will be required.

The soup should be taken hot, in an effort to induce a sweat that can help to expel the cold pathogen that has invaded the body.

After drinking down the soup, it is recommended to immediately get into bed and bundle up under blankets until a sweat appears. Once a good sweat has been produced, get out of bed, towel the sweat off the body, change into dry clothes, and get back into bed to rest.

Fresh miso soup can be purchased at most Japanese restaurants or sushi houses, but it is also easy to make at home. The ingredient ‘miso’ can be found in most health food stores and in grocery stores that stock foods from around the world. Instant miso soup is also available in single-serving packages, but many of these products contain high levels of sodium and monosodium glutamate (MSG), so be careful with your selection.

There are many delicious recipes for miso soup that can be found online or in cookbooks, but here is a simple one, using only the basic ingredients:

Miso Soup

Bring 2 – 3 cups of water to a boil

Add 2 tablespoons of miso paste and allow it to dissolve

Cook for 5 – 10 minutes over a low flame

While the soup is simmering, chop 3 – 5 stalks of scallion and sprinkle them into the soup just prior to removing it from the heat.

Remove from heat and serve hot.

Enjoy and Be Well.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture treatments and would like to know whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture services, call (201) 357-0904. My insurance experts will be happy to verify your coverage prior to your setting up an appointment.  If you are not covered for acupuncture services, or have no insurance coverage, there are other payment options available, so please give us a call.

Patients seen by appointment only.

Acupuncturist in Ocean County, NJ: 201-357-0904

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