TCM and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a form of depression that affects people all throughout the world. Most commonly experienced during fall and winter months, the symptoms of SAD include depression, hypersomnia, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, negative thoughts and decreased social interaction. Higher levels of anxiety are experienced at the end of the summer season as those who suffer from this ailment start to anticipate the coming months of less sunshine and increased symptomatology.  continue reading »

Mental and Emotional Aspects of the Lungs

mental aspects of lungs - chinese medicine acupuncture

As an acupuncturist, I am constantly assessing. Before my patients answer a single question, I am taking in cues as to what types of imbalances might be going on. In five-element acupuncture, the five major organ systems are the kidney, liver, lung, heart and spleen. When any of these systems are out of balance, certain physical, mental and emotional issues can manifest. Even if you aren’t experiencing a specific health issue, however, you will likely display particular personality traits that fall within these five organ systems. In the five-element world, the lungs are connected to the element of metal. continue reading »

Five Reasons Acupuncture Helps Reduce Stress

Stress is a word many people are familiar with. The dictionary defines stress in multiple ways, but there is only one that matters when we discuss how stress affects our physical bodies. The definition is this, “stress is a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.” And while most people think of stress as being detrimental, it truly does have a function in our bodies. Stress is the body’s way of signaling for help or a break in the routine. If we don’t listen to these signals, we can develop imbalances in our bodies, which can then lead to illnesses. continue reading »

Five Acupuncture Points for Indian Summer

Acupuncture is part of a medical system that dates back nearly 3,500 years. This medical system is known as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM acknowledges not four but five seasons. The fifth season, Indian Summer, occurs in late August through mid-September. Each season in TCM has a pair of organs or energetic pathways it corresponds to. For Indian Summer, these pathways are those of the spleen and stomach. continue reading »

Right to the Point: Acupuncture as a Treatment for Infertility

Few hardships reach more people or kill more hope than infertility. Over 1 million women in the US struggle with infertility[1], and treatments such as in-vitro fertilization can cost more than $20,000 per attempt[2]. What few people realize is that there is an option more affordable, accessible, and natural: acupuncture.

Sound dubious? Of course, some causes of infertility cannot be cured by acupuncture or similar remedies. But many women with unexplained infertility have found success in receiving acupuncture treatments[3], and you or your loved one could be another! If you’re not convinced, let us debunk some of the most common myths about acupuncture and how it could give a happy ending to your infertility story.


Myth #1: Acupuncture hurts!

For most people unfamiliar with acupuncture, the treatment sounds like a run-in with a porcupine. In reality, the insertion of an acupuncture needle shouldn’t hurt any worse than a mild bug bite. Many patients don’t feel pain at all! The insertion of an acupuncture needle may cause feelings of heat, tingling, or heaviness, and some patients may feel some soreness after a treatment. But acupuncture is certainly less painful than infertility.

Myth #2: Acupuncture is just eastern mumbo jumbo.

It’s true that acupuncture is believed to have originated in China, but the concepts behind it aren’t very different from those behind massage therapy used throughout North America. Acupuncture is based on the simple idea that the body is made up of many different systems, such as the digestive and reproductive systems, that all connect to and influence each other. This idea is supported by many scientists and physicians.

Myth #3: Acupuncturists aren’t real doctors.

People may think of acupuncturists as uneducated people working out of their garages, but did you know that professional acupuncturists are usually licensed and often have additional certifications? Many have a degree (such as a Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), and some are medical doctors as well; you should be able to find an acupuncturist with whatever qualifications you are looking for. Still worried? Don’t be—many acupuncturists specializing in fertility also work closely with reproductive endocrinologists and fertility doctors to coordinate your treatments and healthcare.

Myth #4: Acupuncture can’t fix something as complex as infertility.

Remember the idea that the body’s systems affect each other? The low performance of a woman’s reproductive system is sometimes rooted in problems with one or more of the other systems in the woman’s body. The goal of acupuncture is to strengthen and regulate all systems of the body so that they can work together, thereby helping the reproductive system function properly. It may sound simple, but it is often effective. Medicinal herbs are often added to acupuncture for increased benefits.[4]

Myth #5: Acupuncture is too expensive.

You might be surprised by how affordable acupuncture can be, especially compared to other fertility treatments. But even if the price of acupuncture treatment seems high to you, it doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Some health insurance companies will reimburse for acupuncture treatments. Even if the acupuncturist or facility you choose doesn’t do direct insurance billing, you will always have the option of submitting a claim to your insurance company. In addition, many acupuncture facilities offer package discounts and payment plans.


Trying something new is always intimidating. But hopefully resolving some of the scariest and silliest misunderstandings about acupuncture has opened your mind to its possible benefits in the area of fertility. Don’t hesitate to do some more research or find an acupuncturist nearby. Your baby could be waiting.