Carolyn Shannon Sullivan LIC. AC, Acupuncturist

Carolyn Shannon Sullivan LIC. AC

Acupuncturist

24 S Main St. Randolph MA, 02368

About

Carolyn Sullivan is an acupuncturist practicing in Randolph, Ma.  She evaluates and treats patients based on the concepts of oriental medicine. Acupuncturists complete their evaluations by getting a patient history and examining abnormalities in skin discoloration, sensitivity, scar tissues and the like.. Then, they place very fine acupuncture needles into specific points on the body based on a patients' diagnosis. Stimulation of the needles is how the energy system, or qi, is activated.  Acupuncture is a great way to treat physical pain as well as emotional stress in a gentle, non-invasive manner.  Call today to see if acupuncture is right for you!

Education and Training

New England School of Acupunct Masters of Acupuncture 2009

Provider Details

Female English
Carolyn Shannon Sullivan LIC. AC
Carolyn Shannon Sullivan LIC. AC's Expert Contributions
  • Is acupuncture good for bronchitis?

    It can help but your genetics play a big part in your ability to respond favorably. Living and working environments are also factors in how receptive you are to acupuncture. Living/working in "damp" or "musty" environments are not good for any respiratory issues, as are excessively dry environments or ones with poor air flow/quality. There may be mold present, or if there has been new construction there is a phenomenon called "Toxic building Syndrome". Certain environmental allergens can worsen bronchitis, so it may be a good idea to get tested and know what to avoid when possible. What you eat can make bronchitis worse. Excessive weight issues or lack of exercise (or too much) certainly don't help. With all of that in mind, acupuncture works to strengthen the immune system and help regulate imbalances. Making lifestyle changes where necessary along with weekly acupuncture will certainly get you on your way. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Can insomnia be cured by acupuncture?

    Acupuncture is not always viewed as curative, but rather assisting the body in healing itself. It works to balance imbalances throughout the body. It is important to first find out if there is anything wrong medically. Maybe a medication you are taking could be causing it? Eating or drinking caffeine or sugar, I'm sure you are aware, can cause insomnia if either are consumed anytime after midday. I would strongly suggest looking at your diet and eliminating any caffeine, sugar or spicy foods after 3pm. Secondly, take a look at your bedding situation. Is your mattress too soft or too hard? In need of replacement? Are you getting too hot while sleeping? Some memory foam mattresses retain body heat and affect sleeping. Do you need to swap out your pillow? I myself use a cervical pillow and cannot sleep well at all without it. It cradles the head and neck so that it is in the optimal (correct) position while sleeping. If your neck is not properly supported that could cause difficulty getting and staying asleep. Thirdly, I would highly recommend partaking in internal exercises such as yoga, meditation or Tai Chi to help relax your mind. Many of my insomnia patients admit that they suffer from overactive thinking and stress reduction is essential. All that being said, acupuncture is not a cure-all. Lifestyle factors are at play as well. Taking a hard look at what you are doing and what you should or could be doing to rectify the situation are key. I ask my patients to keep a log of what they are doing and eating in the evening at dinnertime. Eliminating screen time, late night exercising and caffeinated beverages and sugary foods after midday are just some of the ways you can be accountable for your own health. Acupuncture can certainly help with insomnia but only if you commit to making lifestyle changes as well. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • How are you supposed to feel after acupuncture?

    There is no hard and fast rule to what you should feel after acupuncture. Everyone experiences something different, but most patients tell me that they feel more relaxed. If you are seeking treatment for a pain condition, there will most likely be some relief from pain after treatment, although, not always. It could be a gradual amelioration of pain over the course of several treatments. It's important to know that acupuncture is not a quick fix. With medications, for example, Western society is used to seeing immediate relief from NSAID's, which usually just masks the pain. Acupuncture works to treat the root of the problem, not the symptoms, which takes time. How you live your life will also effect treatment outcomes; quality of sleep, stress level, activity level, eating habits, weight issues and so on. It should be noted that acupuncture is not going to "fix" what is broken. One must take a look at lifestyle habits that may have caused the problem to begin with. Practicing internal exercises such as yoga, tai chi, etc., will certainly help with stress level, at the very least, if not pain management. Losing weight, if that is an issue, can definitely help. Adjusting sleep patterns, such as getting to bed earlier, getting longer, deeper, restorative sleep, not eating close to bedtime can make a big difference in pain level. Restorative rest, reaching the REM cycle of sleep, helps with nerve regeneration, regulates hormone levels, etc. and will help with pain conditions as well as stress reduction. Adding exercise to your daily regimen will boost mood and improve mobility affecting pain and stress levels. Try not to have any expectations from acupuncture. There are varied responses to treatment and sometimes there is no change right away. Remember the old saying, if it took you 10 years to walk into the woods, it will take another 10 to get out. Remain open minded. Do some research on acupuncture so you feel more informed before getting treatment. Alert your practitioner as to any questions or concerns you have before treatment so you can relax and enjoy your session. Good luck and be well!!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture good for stress?

    Acupuncture works fantastically for stress! But some stressors we can't escape from, like work. But you can do your part to help alleviate stress by doing a few things. One, you can practice some sort of internal exercise; yoga, tai chi, qi Gong, meditation, etc. That will help with the extent to which you feel the stress and how well you handle it. Two, you can avoid sugar and caffeine that may raise your blood sugar (cortisol levels) and blood pressure and make your perception of a stressful situation more intense. Three, you can have relaxation techniques on hand to help you combat the stress when it comes on. Such as squeezing a stress ball, taking 10 deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth, having some soothing pictures on your desk, like a sweet family photo or a nature scene of something you find peaceful. For me, I go back in my mind to Lanakai Beach in Oahu and "smell" the beach and flowers in the air, "feel" the sand in my toes and just take it all in. Having an air freshener plugged in can also help you to "revisit" those places that make you happy and at peace. Four, if you don't already have a regular exercise routine, develop one! Even something small, like 15 minutes per day of cardio can help lower stress significantly. With all of that being said, acupuncture works by balancing meridians, or the body's pathways and can greatly affect blood pressure, blood sugar, the stress response, hormone levels, etc. assisting in stress reduction. But you doing your part to alleviate stress is just as important. Find what relaxation technique works best for you and try to incorporate it into your daily life, not just when stress occurs. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help your skin?

    Acupuncture can assist in cell regeneration and help balance out anything that is out of balance. That being said, it cannot "fix" skin conditions in and of itself. As you know, I am sure, diet plays a HUGE part in the condition of your skin. Food allergies can inflame the skin and cause breakouts, rashes and so on, so finding out if you are allergic to anything should be first on your to-do list. Making sure you are well hydrated and well-rested will affect how your skin looks. Stress can aggravate acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin conditions but usually there's another underlying condition at play. I'm sure you have tried all of the creams, prescription topicals, etc, but if you don't get to the root of your trouble, it will probably just keep happening. So acupuncture can help with skin issues if you adjust your diet (if need be), get enough RESTORATIVE sleep, plenty of water and work to reduce stress in your life. Even still, it won't happen overnight. Making the aforementioned lifestyle changes and re-evaluating your skincare routine, over time, along with acupuncture you should see changes in your skin. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • How long does facial acupuncture last?

    Hi, I do not do facial acupuncture so you would be better off getting particulars from someone who does. But my guess would be depending upon how well you treat your skin, hydrate and the environment you surround yourself with. Certain foods are known to increase or improve cell productivity and certain foods can worsen skin conditions. Proper and enough rest is also fundamental to cell turnover. Acupuncture is not meant to "fix" you, but to enhance your health, metabolism and immune system function. What lifestyle you partake in will greatly affect your skin, so you need to do the work to stay healthy to get the maximum benefit from acupuncture. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture loosen tight muscles in neck?

    It certainly can, but how well depends on what is causing the problem to begin with and if it is being addressed properly. Oftentimes, the muscles and tendons tighten up in an effort to protect the spine or other structures. Have you had an x-ray or an MRI? Have you been checked for a bulging disc, spinal stenosis, arthritis or other conditions? These are quite common especially as one gets older. Muscle tightness can be a precursor to a more serious problem, so you should have it checked out by your doctor, who will probably refer you to a chiropractor or other specialist. If the spine or hips are out of alignment, a series of chiropractic adjustments may help loosen the muscles surrounding the affected areas. If, in fact, there is nothing structurally wrong with you, you may want to check your posture, practice yoga or deep stretching. Also, note the chair you sit in....at your desk at work and home....if you are hunched over the desk and typing on a computer, that can often be the cause of neck pain. Do neck rolls/stretches several times daily and/or get massages as frequently as possible. Muscles tend to atrophy or stiffen with under-use just as much as overuse. Get more exercise and drink more water (or non-caffeinated beverages) to get the juices flowing. Try a cervical pillow for a few weeks and see if that doesn't help. Good luck and good health!! READ MORE

  • How often should you get acupuncture treatment for migraines?

    That's a good question. It depends on how serious your migraines are. I usually suggest to patients that they come once a week, unless their symptoms are severe enough to warrant coming 2 or 3 times per week. But it is important to note that what YOU do to combat your migraines is key. For instance, staying away from known culprits, such as caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and spicy foods. Of course, there may be a food or beverage that you have a sensitivity to, that you are unaware of, that may be to blame. Getting tested for food allergies, including gluten, as soon as possible may shed some light on migraine causing allergens/sensitivities. Next, you may want to change your pillow if it is not supportive enough while sleeping. If the neck is in an awkward position it may affect alignment of the spine leading to headaches. You want to make sure you are getting enough and quality sleep, removing any distractions such as the tv or computer noises or lights while sleeping. Your mattress may need changing out also. Has your home or work environment been checked for chemicals? Do you have a Carbon monoxide detector? Is there any construction going on in your home or work? At times minute particles in the air can be very bothersome to those susceptible to migraines. And lastly, make sure you are drinking enough water and eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, migraines can be attributed to constipation or poor digestion. Good luck and feel better!!! READ MORE

  • How long do the benefits of an acupuncture session last for?

    The lasting effects of acupuncture involve multiple factors....the skill and experience of the practitioner, how detailed of a health history they get to ensure that a correct diagnosis is found.....what YOU do to combat your headaches is really key. Certain foods are known culprits, such as alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods, gluten, and so on. Isolating which foods, if any, are responsible requires research on your part. Has your home or work environment been tested for chemicals? If there is construction going on, that can kick up allergies, headaches and the like. Are you getting enough quality sleep and is there ample oxygen flowing? A stuffy bedroom can cause problems for some. You may need a chiropractic adjustment, as I've heard many cases of patients getting chiropractic care and their headaches disappearing. Fresh air and exercise may help as well. All that being said, the speed in which acupuncture yields results can vary drastically from person to person. There is no magic pill or fast cure. A lot of the success will depend on what YOU are doing to ensure your best health. I would suggest to start with a food log. Note the frequency of headaches and what food is ingested beforehand. See your primary care to see if you are allergic to any foods or environmental allergens. Drink plenty of water and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Eliminate stress as much as humanly possible. Take part in some sort of internal exercise....yoga, tai chi, meditation, etc. All of these things may do the trick (over time) so that acupuncture very well may not be necessary. We only have one body. Pay attention..if you are hungry, eat....but eat healthfully. If you are tired, allow yourself some restorative sleep....leave those annoying tasks that absolutely need to get done until after you have gotten proper rest. If you are thirsty, drink water or lemon water instead of soda or caffeine products. Good luck and better health!!! READ MORE

  • Should you rest after acupuncture?

    I think it is best to do so, yes. Some people may feel energetic after treatment and do too much, whether it be work, clean, exercise, etc. If you really want to see how you do with acupuncture, take the time to listen to your body and rest. It doesn't have to be all day. I would just suggest to carry on with your daily activities unless they are too taxing. Don't go above and beyond such as heavy lifting or excessive exercise. It would be best if you allow yourself to rest immediately after treatment. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • How quickly does acupuncture work?

    There is no pat answer for your question, I'm afraid. It's important to get a detailed health history to ensure a correct Chinese Medicine diagnosis. Western Medicine has identified certain potential allergen-causing foods/drinks which may contribute to your headaches. Proper sleep (REM stage) is essential but also having supportive bedding and pillows are key. Oftentimes, the neck is in a cramped position while sleeping leading to tension in the neck, traps, shoulders and even the spine can be affected and can lead to headache pain. Do you have a carbon monoxide monitor in your home and workplace? I have heard of cases where there are noxious chemicals, however minute, in the environment and can be a cause of migraines. Or even something more benign like mold, or other less harmful chemicals/odors .....say, from new construction, like particle dust and other things that you may be sensitive to. Certain medications have a history of migraines as a side effect or drug interactions with other meds or supplements. You may want to check labels if you are taking any meds. Have you been checked for any food allergies, such as gluten? Gluten can wreak havoc with some people who are found to suffer from it if not addressed. There are many things that could be causing your migraines, but I would suggest that you see your PCP first for tests or blood labs to rule out anything more serious. Then eliminating things one by one to try to isolate what is causing them. All that being said, acupuncture has been helpful for some but you most likely won't see drastic results until at least a few treatments. If you take the suggestion of your doctor or acupuncturists on eliminating potential causes that will be a start. If the culprit is not found or addressed, then acupuncture may not work at all. In other words, it is important that you make lifestyle changes such as not eating late at night, avoiding sugar or caffeine, eating more leafy greens/fruits/vegetables, drinking more water and maybe participating in stress reducing exercises such as tai chi, meditation, yoga, etc. Acupuncture, or any medicine for that matter, is not a magic pill. How you live your life will greatly affect outcomes of treatment. Good luck and hope you feel better soon!!! READ MORE

  • Can you get acupuncture for anxiety?

    Acupuncture is great for anxiety. I sought out acupuncture treatment 30 years ago for a skin condition and was pleasantly surprised to find that it helped ease my anxiety as well. I felt more relaxed than I had in years and didn't realize that acupuncture could help with emotional symptoms as well as physical. The premise behind Chinese Medicine is that when the body is out of balance, disease, sickness or pain can result. You could call anxiety a dis-ease with oneself. Acupuncture helps in many ways, primarily restoring the flow of qi and blood and clearing stagnation to obtain optimal health, both mental and physical. Of course, if there is an unresolved issue in your life, I would definitely suggest individual therapy as well. Acupuncture alone may not help anxiety if there are patterns of dysfunction in your life. Avoiding caffeine, soda, chocolate, etc could make a big difference as to the extent of emotional unrest present. And of course, getting restful, restorative sleep (REM) and avoiding stress as much as humanly possible is key. You may want to try to engage in internal exercises such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, etc. They have been shown to greatly reduce or eliminate stress and incorporating them in your daily life may just do the trick. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture good for pregnancy?

    First of all, congrats on your pregnancy!!! Acupuncture is neither good nor bad for pregnancy. During the first trimester, certain points are contraindicated, as the fetus is in its most vulnerable state. Acupuncture is safe, effective and has been recommended to treat nausea, tiredness and symptoms associated with pregnancy including post-partum depression after delivery. It can help with a smoother transition between stages of pregnancy. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • How many acupuncture sessions does it take to see results?

    That answer can vary from person to person. A lot of it depends on you and what you do to take care of yourself. Certain foods have shown to cause headaches in those susceptible, such as coffee, chocolate, gluten (which is in everything). Have you been tested for a gluten allergy? It takes real commitment to stick to a gluten-free diet. You may have a postural issue or need to see a chiropractor for an adjustment. Oftentimes, patients have claimed to feel much better after seeing a chiropractor. Secondarily, if the shoes you are wearing do not have proper support, it could affect your spine and lead to headaches. Are you getting restful and enough sleep? Is your mattress firm enough? Do you need a more supportive pillow? I use a cervical pillow to keep my neck in the proper position and if I go away and do not bring it with me, my neck feels it and I usually get a headache. Stress is a big factor in headaches. Even those who are not aware of feeling stressed can experience headaches. Doing relaxing exercises such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, etc can be of great help. Including daily stretching in your routine may prove to be the best bet if the aforementioned suggestions are not your thing. All that being said, there is no set formula to determine how many sessions it would take before you see results. Acupuncture has be known to be effective but along with a patient's willingness to make some lifestyle changes. Diet, proper hydration, exercise, stress reduction, proper (REM) sleep are just a few of the suggestions I would make before you see an acupuncturist. The power to cure them may be entirely in your hands and you may not need acupuncture.Try some or all of these suggestions for two weeks, that just may do the trick!. Good luck. READ MORE

  • What should I do after acupuncture?

    I realize this response is well after the time in which you were getting your first acupuncture session. I hope it worked out well for you. Nonetheless, I will put in my two cents! My suggestion would be not plan anything too elaborate after treatment. Some people feel energetic or in less pain after treatment and then they do too much and think that the treatment didn't work. It's important to relax after treatment. Do some stretching, meditation, a hot relaxing shower maybe. It may take time to feel the effects of acupuncture and that really can't be experienced if you are rushing here and there. Sometimes, patients say they didn't feel anything after treatment, but then report of better sleep, less pain or shorter periods of pain, feeling at ease, and so on. These are all common with acupuncture and pain relief is not always immediate. I ask my patients to kind of mentally scan their bodies to see if they feel any subtle changes to try to learn to listen to what the body is saying. Has the pain changed in location or quality? Has it become of a shorter duration when it does come on? Does it wake you from sleep? Of course, pain is not the only reason people seek out acupuncture, but other changes may be noticed if you learn to become more self aware. I hope you had an enjoyable experience!!! READ MORE

  • Does acupuncture help with spinal stenosis?

    There is no guarantee with any type of medicine. A lot of factors are at play. Such as previous medical history of falls, MVA's etc, extent of your condition, other co morbid conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and so on. Have you sought treatment for your stenosis in the past? If so, what type and for how long? What is your activity level like? Do you sit in a chair/couch that supports your spine properly? Proper footwear is essential in its support of the spine. How old is your mattress and is it supportive? All of these things can effect the efficiency of treatment outcomes. But in my own personal experience, I have had good results with patients. But again, it depends upon other factors, such as frequency of visits, how many treatments you get before making an accurate assessment of how you do overall with acupuncture. Making adjustments where needed on proper footwear, swapping out your mattress if it is too old or not supportive, postural changes, exercise, and so on. Good luck!!!! READ MORE

  • How many sessions of acupuncture are effective?

    It really is on a case by case basis. Some people start to see results right away, some experience relief after many treatments. Lifestyle factors such as poor sleep, sleeping on an old or non supportive mattress, food allergies or poor eating habits and so on can be the cause or worsen migraine pain. Firstly, you should speak to your doctor about possibly getting an MRI to rule out anything more serious. If you are on any medications, one of them may have migraines listed as a side effect or it could be a bad interaction between meds. I personally have had mixed results with effectiveness. If patients are not willing to make lifestyle changes or they don't come to see me regularly or long enough to give it an honest shot (6-8 treatments) then that could explain why they did not see a change. In the meantime, I would make several suggestions. Limit or cut out known allergy producing foods, such as gluten. Lose weight if that is an issue. Exercise and STRETCH daily. Oftentimes, tight neck or traps can pull on the head and cause headaches. Drink plenty of water....just plain water....room temperature is best, as cold water can trigger migraines. Get more sleep, restful sleep and consistent sleep. A cervical pillow can help place your spine in the correct position for optimal sleep. I hope this was helpful. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture a placebo?

    Absolutely not. Chinese Medicine has been around for thousands of years. Much longer than traditional medicine, and with proven results. That being said, not everyone responds to acupuncture, but for a variety of reasons....Ineffective diagnosis and treatment, patient non-compliance, addiction, poor lifestyle choices, co-morbid health conditions such as heart disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune issues and so on. I tell my patients give acupuncture a try for a minimum of 6-8 visits . That should give you a good idea whether or not acupuncture will work for you. It is not meant to trick you into thinking you are better. Most of my patients get better to one degree or another. If I don't see any changes at all after 6-8 treatments, I cut my patients loose and refer them out to someone else. Give acupuncture a shot and try to remain open minded....you will be glad you did!!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture good for sciatica?

    I have had good results treating sciatic pain. But it is important to rule out anything more serious. Have you had an MRI? They can show more clearly if there is anything that may need immediate Western medical intervention. Usually, sciatica is caused by a pinched nerve. Acupuncture can help with swelling and relieving pain and relaxing tight tendons and muscles. But if there is something like a bulging disc at play, then chiropractic care, PT or even surgery may be warranted before you seek out an acupuncturist. I have had success treating sciatica but patient compliance is just as important. So long as serious structural or nerve issues have been ruled out, then proper rest, stretching and more stretching, wearing proper footwear, having a good supportive mattress, using heat and alternating with ice, all have aided in pain along with acupuncture treatment. Good luck and feel better!!! READ MORE

  • What should you do after an acupuncture session?

    That's a great question! There is no hard and fast rule about this, but in my opinion, one should relax after treatment. Whether that be taking a long hot bath, unplugging the phone, taking a nap, it's really up to you. But it's better if you don't rush straight to work or another appointment. That would be a little counterproductive to treatment. In order for the treatment to really take hold, it's important to really listen to your body to accurately assess what acupuncture does for you and within you. Too often, we don't stop and listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us. It's best if you don't allow the demands of life to take place right after a treatment. It doesn't mean acupuncture won't work if you do, but to really get an accurate read, just rest and relax. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture for your neck safe?

    Most certainly. Acupuncturist complete (at least) 3 years of extensive education and training and know exactly how deep they can safely needle. We learn about all of the body systems; anatomy and physiology, all of the structures and bony landmarks. If there was an area of your neck that you did not feel comfortable being needled, your practitioner would or should respect that and needle other areas that target neck pain. Once you see how easy it is, and virtually painless, I think you will feel more relaxed and allow your acupuncturist to needle where they think will best treat your condition. Good luck and good Qi!!! READ MORE

  • Should I drink water after acupuncture?

    I'm not sure of your reasoning here....did somebody instruct you to do that? I certainly can't see how it would hurt, but you should not drink too much, as you can flush out important nutrients in your urine. Ask your practitioner what they think and they can discuss your reasons why you would want to do this. Good luck! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help get rid of belly fat?

    If it can, I am unaware of how to achieve this. I only know of the tried and true method of diet and exercise. I know of many acupuncture protocols that target appetite, but eliminating fat, no. Good luck! READ MORE

  • Does acupuncture help with fertility?

    There has been some success with infertility and acupuncture. As with any type of medicine, there is no guarantee. If structural problems such as a tilted uterus, uterine fibroids and so on, with either you or your husband, have been ruled out, then the main objective is to regulate the period. Oftentimes, I see issues of endometriosis, heavy periods or missing periods and these can be problematic but not always. Working with your acupuncturist on stress reduction, dietary changes, maintaining a healthy diet that supports pregnancy, following a regimen of sleep, deep breathing and internal exercises, for instance, all can greatly increase your chances of conceiving. Removing any negative influences in your life is key. If there are any unresolved issues emotionally, you may want to explore therapy. No one thing alone will help with infertility, but these aforementioned things, along with acupuncture definitely improve your chances. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Is an acupuncture treatment painful?

    Congrats to you for trying acupuncture!!! Needling certain areas can be a little pinchy but mostly, it depends upon the technique of the practitioner. The needles come packaged inside of a guide tube. I use the tube to insert the needle to reduce the sensation. Most patients tell me it feels like a little mosquito bite or they don't feel it at all and are pleasantly surprised. Think of the alternative.... Surgery or some invasive treatment that may require the use of hyperdermic needles that are much thicker than acupuncture needles and filled with medicine which can burn. Acupuncture needles are solid and contain no medicine. It enlists the body to heal itself over time by natural means and it's very un-invasive. Good luck and enjoy your experience!!!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help with fertility?

    Yes, acupuncture has been shown to increase chances of conceiving. Of course, it is not a simple equation of needling=pregnancy. Other factors are involved such as structural problems such as uterine fibroids, sperm motility, etc. Have you ruled out any of these among others? Endometrosis can cause difficulty getting pregnant. In my experience, stress is a HUGE factor in infertility. Making lifestyle changes such as doing yoga, meditation, tai chi, etc can definitely aid the body in relaxation which only aids in pregnancy. Poor sleeping habits can affect conception. Stress reduction is key and looking at occupational hazards/concerns such as chemical exposure, poor ventilation and excessive and prolonged stress at work or home. Taking a hard look at lifestyle habits and making changes where necessary can only help your case. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help with migraines?

    I have had success with migraine pain with acupuncture. It may not work for everyone, but of course, that depends upon several variables. Diet, caffeine intake, sleep disorders, hormonal disorders, autoimmune diseases, spinal abnormalities....the list goes on and on!!! If you are willing to make lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise for one, and you give it an honest shot....i.e, at least 6-8 treatments, many people experience good results with acupuncture. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture a safe treatment for chronic pain?

    Acupuncture is most definitely safe and has had success with chronic pain. You know the old saying " The further you walk into the woods, the longer it'll take to get out", so it may take some time to see results. You may want to think about changing your diet and seeing a holistic nutritionist. Oftentimes, chronic pain can be an autoimmune response brought on by certain allergen causing foods, or at least be a contributing factor. Think about making some lifestyle changes, including reducing stress by engaging in internal exercises like yoga or tai chi and working on your diet. It's possible that this alone can reduce your pain. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture effective for arthritis pain?

    Yes, it can be helpful, but to what extent depends on the extent of damage already present. How is your mattress? Is it firm enough to be comfortable and provide proper support? If there is disc protrusion along with arthritis, treatment outcomes may vary in effectiveness. If you are doing a job that requires a lot of movement that could be aggravating the situation. Postural habits could be to blame. Other therapies like physical therapy or massage may serve you well to do alongside acupuncture for maximum benefit. But I would definitely recommend light stretching and frequent movement to your desired tolerance level. Arthritic pain gets worse with lack of movement. Applying heat and/or ice regularly during the day may prove to be helpful. A supplement such as vitamin D and calcium will help over time and maintaining a healthy weight. All this being said, yes, acupuncture can help arthritis but only if you are doing your part by taking care of your body. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Can chronic fatigue syndrome be treated with acupuncture?

    That is difficult to answer with certainty. First of all, it is not known what causes chronic fatigue, so there is no pat answer regarding success rates. However, in Chinese Medicine, we would not look necessarily the Western Diagnosis, but symptoms and patterns exhibited. If the practitioner does a thorough workup and accurately makes a diagnosis based on tongue and pulse diagnosis along with symptoms, then acupuncture can be helpful with several treatments over the course of at least one month (in my opinion), I say this because it takes awhile to bring the body to a state of homeostasis given that a chronic condition didn't get that way overnight. If you would like some more information regarding acupuncture and treatment of CFS, do some research or come in for a visit. You can book an appointment on this website. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help with headaches?

    Yes, but it depends on what you do or don't do to make them better. First of all, have you seen your doctor or gotten an MRI to rule out anything more serious? If so, your diet may be to blame. Oftentimes, some known allergen causing foods can cause migraines. Have you been tested for Celiac disease? If you are female, issues with the period and hormone levels can be problematic. Dehydration or too much caffeine can often be the culprit. Stress, lack of exercise, poor sleep or tight neck muscles can also cause headaches. If you have taken an honest stock of your activities/habits and have made the suggested lifestyle changes, then yes, acupuncture can help. The migraines can often resolve over time if you make these changes. Good luck! READ MORE

  • Is it normal to feel dizzy after acupuncture?

    It can be a common side effect of acupuncture. What's happening is that the needles are displacing energy, or qi, that has been stuck or deficient. With the shift in energy, it may feel like unstopping a dam and dizziness can result. If it takes more than a few hours to resolve, then contact your practitioner and ask their opinion on what to do next. But if it was just a fleeting feeling and hopefully, very mild, then I would say that is quite normal and will become less frequent, or less pronounced with several treatments. READ MORE

  • What are the negative side effects of acupuncture?

    Occasionally, I have heard of patients having rebound headaches after the migraine has gone away. It is important to understand that acupuncture, or any type of medicine, is not a cure-all or a one time fix. Oftentimes, many treatments over the course of several months is what is needed to eradicate, or at least lessen, migraines. Depending upon how severe your case is and how long you have had them, it may take more than that. Have you isolated the exact cause of the headaches? Have you seen a specialist? Could you be exposed to chemicals in your home or work? If it's a vascular issue, you may need an MRI to rule out anything more serious. If it's a hormonal issue, you may need to get on the pill (assuming you are female!!!). If it's a dietary issue, than you will need to see a dietician. Once you have ruled out all of these things, then you will need to take a look at lifestyle habits. Caffeine or excessive sugar use, eating late at night, possible having a gluten sensitivity, not getting enough or quality sleep may be to blame. Acupuncture only works when the patient is willing to take suggestions from his or her practitioner as well as getting treatment on a regular basis and giving it an honest effort of at least 6-8 treatments. Good luck and feel better!!! READ MORE

  • What does acupuncture actually do?

    Hello! Have you been to your primary care for blood labs and an exam? If you have and nothing is amiss, then you may want to visit a chiropractor to check and see if your spine is out of alignment. This can often lead to headaches. Food allergies, such as celiac disease, can often be the culprit. The best way to test that out right away is to start to take away known allergen- containing foods such as wheat, and only wheat, to see if that relieves headaches. If it doesn't, then work on eliminating another food, such as processed sugar. If you find that foods are not the issue, then you may want to see your gynecologist (I'm assuming you are a woman!!!) to check your hormone levels. Hormones are famous for causing migraines. You may need to get on the pill (Again, assuming you are a woman!!!) which has been shown to stop or decrease headaches. You may be allergic to certain scents in your home or work. Make sure you have working Carbon Monoxide detectors at home and work. There may be some non toxic but nonetheless bothersome cleaning chemical that could be causing the headaches. Acupuncture works to regulate qi (energy) and blood flow that is either deficient (lacking something) or excess (stagnation). Your practitioner will take a detailed health history and check your tongue and pulse. The tongue may show a multitude of things such as dampness or discoloration, scalloped edges, red points and so on. Your acupuncturist can explain what these things signify. Your pulse will show different "qualities" will will also help diagnostically. Once a diagnosis has been made, a point prescription will be designed specifically for your condition based on health history and tongue and pulse diagnosis. Needling (as well as other modalities) work to correct any imbalances and restore the acupuncture meridians to their proper flow. In addition, I would recommend trying a cervical pillow when sleeping. This can help put the neck in its natural position whereas a pillow that is too soft could make the neck scrunch up and impede blood flow. Lastly, I would suggest doing neck rolls multiple times per day and stretch the trapezius muscles in your neck/shoulders to increase blood flow and work out any kinks you may have. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Relieving pain with acupuncture?

    Firstly, you should see your PCP to rule out anything more serious. He or she may want to order tests. Is it at all possible that you have been exposed to any toxic chemicals? Do you have a carbon monoxide monitor in your home and work? Have you been tested for Celiac Disease? Headaches can often to be related to food allergies. If your spine is out of alignment that can cause headaches as well, you may want to consult a chiropractor. Acupuncture can be effective if your practitioner does a very detailed health history and accurately diagnoses your condition. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses different methods of diagnosing health concerns than typical Western Medicine. Acupuncture helps to balance qi and blood flow as well as "break up" stagnation in the channels which often cause pain. It may take 6-8 treatments before you see any results, so be patient. Usually it doesn't take that long but you need to make sure you are doing your part by avoiding allergen causing foods, exercising (neck rolls would be ideal), drinking PLENTY of water and getting proper sleep. Additionally, using a cervical pillow will help in allowing the neck to relax in it's natural position instead of using a soft pillow which can cause the neck to scrunch up and decrease blood flow, possibly leading to headaches and neck pain. I hope this was helpful...good luck!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help fertility?

    Acupuncture has been shown to improve outcomes in fertility but with some caveats. First, structural problems such as fibroid cysts or tumors have to be ruled out, motility problems with the sperm and so on. If these types of issues exist, then acupuncture may be of no avail. But not necessarily. Chinese medicine views infertility as problems with regulation of the period. Do you have erratic periods? Blood clots? Excessive bleeding? Normalizing the cycle and hormonal rhythms may be the key to successful conception and retention of the fetus. Consider making dietary changes to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Visit your PCP to get recommendations on a knowledgeable dietician. Make sure that there are no environmental concerns either at home or your workplace that could effect fertility. Follow a regular sleep regimen and in my opinion, the most important factor....reduce stress as much as humanly possible. I see way too many fertility patients that have way too much on their plate and are professional "doers". Let someone else worry about the minutiae and you just focus on you. Engage in self soothing exercises such as yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, meditation. Let go of worries. All of these things, in combination with acupuncture, can increase your chances of getting pregnant. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture work for acne?

    I went to acupuncture as a teenager myself for acne. It helped me, along with daily herbs, proper skin care and most importantly, cleaning up my diet. But it wasn't an overnight thing. It took a long time.....9 months. But that was my experience, it may not be the case for you. Hormones are a big factor in acne and to some extent, you just have to let it run it's course. But what you do for your skin care routine can affect that. It's important to not let your skin get too dry, because the oil glands will secrete more oil to help moisturize the skin, causing more breakouts. The skin needs moisture, though, but only after a thorough cleansing and some experts say using a toner before moisturizer. Wearing makeup to cover your skin will only make things worse. I'm sure you have read about how important diet is in affecting acne. Fried foods, chocolate, dairy, etc can definitely make acne worse and conversely, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed foods, plain water, etc. has shown to improve skin OVER TIME. All that being said, acupuncture can help but it may take months and only if you are eating right and taking care of your skin properly. In addition, getting enough and deep sleep, avoiding stress and exercising are a huge factor in positive outcomes. I would strongly suggest doing yoga, tai chi or any other stress reducing internal exercises, drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, maintain a regular sleep schedule, exercise as often as possible and make dietary changes. All of these things along with acupuncture can help over time. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture be used to treat depression?

    So glad you are looking out for your friend!!! Yes, acupuncture has been shown to help depression by balancing meridians, improving blood and qi flow, raising cortisol and serotonin levels, and so on. Of course, change in lifestyle plays a big part whether depression can be treated successfully. Partaking in therapy, taking on a exercise routine, going out with friends or surrounding oneself with a support group are key to treating depression. But acupuncture can certainly help in getting the ball rolling. Even my patients who aren't depressed report that their mood is most definitely improved after treatment. Good luck to you and your friend!! READ MORE

  • Will acupuncture help me with hand pain?

    I am sorry that you are in constant pain. Have you had an MRI to rule out anything more serious than carpal tunnel? If nothing serious is found, acupuncture has been seen to be very helpful with your condition. Everyone has a different response to acupuncture. Sometimes surgery is warranted, but I think it is wise to first seek out other less invasive means of treatment. As there is no guarantee with surgery, there is no guarantee with acupuncture. It depends upon the nature of your condition, how severe it is, what you do occupationally insofar as overuse of the hand that will affect treatment outcomes. I have had good results with carpal tunnel cases, even those that have had it a long time. But if you work at a job that requires you to constantly use the affected hand, acupuncture may be minimally effective. It needs proper rest, heat and/or ice, and probably could use some physical therapy. How you choose to handle it may depend upon your insurance, but consult with your primary care to see how he/she thinks you should proceed. Good luck and feel better!!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help with migraines?

    Acupuncture has been found to help with migraines but other factors may be involved. Often times, foods have been seen to cause or worsen migraine pain. A damp or toxic environment (such as mold infestation or pollutants in the air) can cause migraines as well. Neck or spine pain- bulging discs and the like could be at fault. Try neck rolls several times throughout the day. Your neck muscles I'm sure are overly tight. Getting restful and enough quality sleep along with using a cervical pillow may help. Also, avoiding eating too close to bedtime and employing stress reducing exercises (such as yoga, tai qi, etc) into your routine should help. If none of this helps then I would suggest talking to your doctor about getting an MRI. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture effective for migraines?

    It can be. Have you gotten an MRI to rule out anything more serious? If so, then acupuncture ALONE may not be enough. Is there anything in your home or work environment that could be toxic to your health? Do you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home/work? You also have to look into your diet....certain foods such as caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods, and so on, can make migraines worse or more frequent. I know for myself I get them because of severe arthritis in my neck. When I do stretching, massage, daily neck rolls, etc, they aren't nearly as frequent or severe. Doing yoga, tai chi and the like can strengthen the muscles that may be tight and contributing to the headaches. Other factors such as not getting enough or quality sleep, living in a damp or dusty environment, eating late at night, not exercising at all can certainly affect migraines. Looking into these things and making lifestyle changes should get you on the right road. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture lower blood pressure?

    Acupuncture has been shown to help control BP, but sometimes, it is not enough if one has dangerously high numbers. It might be wise to first consult with your doctor, but if he/she feels that it is safe in your case, to slowly lower the dosage over time. If your BP is well under control and is closely monitored, then sure, try acupuncture to keep it that way. That being said, it is VERY important to consider other factors that may be contributing to your high blood pressure. Are you overly stressed at home or work? Then you may need counseling or to employ stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation. Is your diet unhealthy or do you eat late at night? Then it may be time to see a nutritionist and make some changes to your eating habits. Are you overweight? Then getting that under control will certainly help to make your numbers go down. Either way, making a commitment to your health by making some serious lifestyle changes may be all it takes to lower your high blood pressure. Too often, people are looking for a quick fix or a magic pill to make it all go away. Acupuncture will only work if you work WITH your practitioner and take steps to help yourself. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • How many acupuncture treatments are needed for migraines?

    There is no pat answer to your question. Treatment outcomes vary depending upon a multitude of factors. Could your migraines be related to your diet? If so, you need to figure out what the offender is and eliminate from your diet. Could they be caused by toxicity in your environment? Have you gotten an MRI to rule out anything more serious? Do you have unresolved neck or vertebral pain that may be unchecked and therefore causing issues in the spinal column? This could cause migraines also. If you have been given a thorough work-up, then I would say give acupuncture a try with at least 4 treatments. Sometimes it takes longer. There are other things to take into account such as posture, improper footwear, occupational hazards/concerns. All of these things can worsen or cause migraines. So elimination of these things one by one will be the test to help understand what is causing them. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Can I do electroacupuncture if I have titanium plates?

    I have seen research pro and con for the use of electro acupunture. I would check with your surgeon and PCP to see if they feel it is safe. If you get the go-ahead, I would just tread lightly....very few needles and if there's no adverse effects, slowly add more spanning over several treatments. Good luck! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help with anxiety attacks?

    There are no guarantees with any medicine, but I have had good luck with anxiety on several conditions. One, that my patients come on a regular basis. One treatment is not a cure all. Or coming every 2 months just isn't going to cut it either. Two, that you are doing all you can on your end to combat your anxiety....going to counseling, practicing deep breathing techniques daily, doing some sort of internal exercise such as tai chi or yoga, etc. Three, that you keep a log of what happens before an anxiety attack hits. Are there certain foods that trigger it? Sugar? Carbs? Alcohol? Is it caused by social situations, family issues or relationship issues? What do you do to deal with the anxiety? Do you self medicate? Do you eat or sleep excessively? How you handle an anxiety attack may cause you to beat yourself up later therefore, causing more anxiety. The more information you are armed with, the better handle you can get on your anxiety. I hope this helps.....good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Does acupuncture relieve arthritis pain?

    Arthritis can be quite tricky to treat, to be honest. It depends how much damage is done, how long you have had it, what repetitious activities you do that may worsen it, what kind of environment you live and work in that can affect it and so on. Have you had any other treatment for it in the past? Do you take any supplements/medications to relieve the pain currently? Also, things like poor sleeping habits, poor dietary habits, stress, lack of movement can negatively affect arthritic pain. I think it's important to start with taking supplements like calcium with vitamin D, or Glucosomine, magnesium....talk to your doctor about what works best for you. Also dietary changes like avoiding sodas, alcohol, caffeine and eating more leafy greens, fruits and calcium rich foods is a good start. Getting proper rest, incorporating a regular exercise program into your daily schedule, even if only 15 minutes a day, all of these things can start to improve bone pain and increase bone density over time. That being said, there is no guarantee that acupuncture in itself will take care of arthritis, but acupuncture alone, without any work to improve your health on your end, will not be enough unless you invest in taking better care of your body. Even if you do eat well, are not overweight, exercise and have good sleep habits, all of us can always improve and make positive lifestyle changes. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Are acupressure mats safe?

    I haven't read any negative research about acupressure mats. My opinion would be they are safe, only applying pressure to sore spots on the feet, not needling. I use reflexology on my patients as well as needling, to target specific areas of the body that can also be worked out through the feet, which is great because some patients cannot be touched due to severe pain. Look up Nogier on Google. He created something called auriculotherapy which denotes that all of the body can be accessed through the ear in what is called a microsystem.....a smaller representation of the body mapped out on the ear. He also has a similar system on the foot....reflexology. It can be quite effective, especially when patients are too sensitive to palpation. Try it!!! Good luck. READ MORE

  • Should I consider acupuncture for anemia?

    I think it's great that you are open minded enough to consider alternatives!! Yes, acupuncture does many things; building up and fortifying the blood, stabilize hormone levels (which may be partly to blame if you have heavy periods), generally balance anything that is out of balance. Of course, eating iron rich foods like spinach, lentils, tofu, broccoli to name a few, are the best way to get your iron. But if there is something inherently wrong with your iron stores, if your body is not assimilating them correctly, you may not be getting the nutrition that you think you are. I would start by asking your doctor to give you regular blood tests while eating plenty of iron-containing foods to see if your body is absorbing them. If you are a heavy bleeder (assuming you are a female!!!!) then you may need to consult your GYN. Good luck and be well!!! READ MORE

  • Is acupuncture safe?

    Have you seen your PCP about this issue to rule out nerve damage? Is the pain accompanied by numbness or weakness? Once you are checked out by a physician and anything medically serious has been ruled out, then yes, acupuncture is very safe. Make sure you convey your concerns to your acupuncturist first to see if he or she will offer you a plan of treatment that you are comfortable with. I usually start with minimal needles (too many can be too much for a new patient to handle and may exacerbate the pain) but the amount of needles isn't so much important as the needling technique and the other methods employed with needles (cupping, moxa, gua sha, magnets, etc). A practitioner that is sensitive to your needs and concerns will take the time to check in with you frequently to see how you are handling the affect of the treatment while they are needling. I have worked with patients that are so nervous about needles that I just did pressure point work on the acupoint. Needles do not necessarily need to be used to cause an effect. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Will acupuncture help with knee pain?

    Acupuncture can certainly help knee pain. Was this caused by some sort of accident or injury? Did you get x-rays or see a doctor for it? I think it's wise to first rule out any damage that may need more invasive treatment. If it is just generalized dull pain and no injury occurred, then I would recommend acupuncture. Needles would be inserted at the location of pain and at adjacent points along the acupuncture meridian that the knee point is found on. Each practitioner has his or her own technique, but I would follow channel (or meridian...where the acupoints lie) theory as well as hot spots of the knee that are affected. I may place them in the same area but at different angles. I may also use an electro- acupuncture machine to further stimulate the needles. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and do not keep the knee immobilized, it will become more stiff if you favor it over the other when walking. Keeping heat or ice (which ever makes it feel better) on it at rest will help. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Will acupuncture help my knee pain?

    It certainly can help! But first, you should get an x-ray of your knee. If there has been structural damage causing chronic pain, there may be something more serious wrong. Surgery may be warranted and the condition could get worse if not treated quickly. Besides, the way you are walking on it (or not using it) could be hurting rather than helping. If bone, nerve or tendon injury have been ruled out, then acupuncture could be very helpful. But it depends upon how much damage has been done. It won't be a quick fix, more so especially because you waited a month to treat it. As with any type of medicine, acupuncture will assist in healing from the source of the problem and may take many treatments. We are so used to the take a pill and it will feel better mentality that we fail to see that we are just masking the pain and not really treating the true nature of the injury. It is also important to find out if you should be resting it or stretching, doing PT, depending on your diagnosis. Good luck!!!! READ MORE

  • Does acupuncture hurt?

    Acupuncture needles are only slightly thicker than a human hair. That being said, if the acupuncturists uses the guide tube to insert the needle, it is barely a pinch. Depending upon what part of the body that the needles are inserted, the "pinch" or mosquito bite feeling can feel only slightly uncomfortable or have no sensation at all. I certainly would not call acupuncture painful. Good luck and be well!! READ MORE

  • Do you need a diagnosis to get acupuncture?

    I am sorry you have been experiencing so much pain. You do not need a Western medical diagnosis and even if you had one, acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which encompasses its own diagnoses and treatment. Oftentimes, as your doctors have so aptly demonstrated, blood tests, scans, MRI images cannot detect subtle nerve, bone or muscle abnormalities and therefore they cannot explain away your symptoms. There may be no detection of disease/discord but that certainly does not mean that you are imagining your pain. Acupuncture deals with subtle cues from the body and we as practitioners are trained to look for these subtleties. Things that you think may have nothing to do with your pain may have everything to do with it. Things such as hormonal imbalances, bowel movements, sleep patterns, diet and so on. Just because you can't see it on a scan, doesn't mean it's not there. A little understanding and active listening on the part of your acupuncturist can go a long way in treating your condition, whatever it may be. READ MORE

  • Are acupuncture needles reused?

    No questions are stupid in my opinion!!! In some Asian cultures, needles are reused ONLY after placing them in an autoclave machine to sterilize them. So, in that case it would not be illegal if you take the proper measures to sterilize. But of course, that comes with standards of care and a huge expense with the autoclave machine, so it is not advantageous financially. Neither is that method favored in US very often if at all. In the American culture, they are disposed of after single use using a bio hazard container and paying to have them disposed of the right way. So your acupuncturist will practice with great care in ensuring that your needles are sterile and safe to use. READ MORE

  • Where are the acupuncture points for fertility?

    That's a great question! Each practitioner will have their own point prescription based upon the TCM diagnosis that they come up with. In addition, there are several styles of acupunture that can be utilized and several theoretical schools of thought to employ when choosing points. That being said, what I would use would be points to build the blood, generally in the inner knee and inner ankle, if there is a diagnosis of stagnation, I may use LV 3, which is located on the dorsum of the foot. I would always use a point called ST36, which builds immunity and fortifies the body and probably most importantly, CV 6 (Conception Vessel) which aids in fertility and menstruation. If the period is irregular or if there are issues such as endometriosis, fibroids or cysts, conception may be difficult. Furthermore, if there is something structurally awry with the reproductive organs of you or your partner, surgery or other methods of treatment may be warranted before trying acupunture. Talk to your doctor about these options and ask for second and third opinions. Research is great, but your doctor knows your case and what your chances of conceiving are. If structural issues such as fibroids/endometreosis or viability or motility of the sperm have been ruled out, then acupuncture can help you to become pregnant, so long as you follow suggestions such as stress reduction, dietary changes and even lifestyle changes. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Does acupuncture raise blood pressure?

    I'm not entirely sure, but what I do know is that acupuncture has been shown to lower high blood pressure, or normalize it if it is too low. But Qi flow activated by needling sure can have a powerful effect!!! If given the proper diagnosis and treating accordingly, acupuncture can balance that which is out of balance. It has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which aid in depression or mood. It influences histamine responses which help with allergies, helps regulate blood sugar, produces and affects endorphin production among many other functions. If your friend experienced a spike in blood pressure, it may have had little to do with the actual needling and more to do with her sympathetic nervous system being activated due to being nervous about treatment. If blood pressure is typically low, it may certainly get raised in effect of balancing out the system. What were her other reactions to treatment? Were they favorable? Sometimes, the pendulum needs to swing drastically in the other direction in order to find the middle ground!!!! READ MORE

  • Can more than one condition be treated in an acupuncture session?

    Absolutely!!!! Your acupuncturist will do a full health history exam and find the root of your pain. It can be treated in many ways and there are different styles of acupuncture. Ask your practitioner what she or he is doing and why. I like to inform all of my patients why I am doing what I am and how it will help them. I find that keeping them involved in their treatment allows for open communication and ultimately, better treatment outcomes. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Is an achy feeling normal in acupuncture?

    Everyone has different experiences with acupuncture, so there really is no "normal". What you may have been feeling is Qi flow, and sometimes that feels funny or even uncomfortable at times. If things are blocked, the needles have a way of unblocking, or breaking up things that have been stuck for a long time, and that can be painful. But if the pain persists, then you should definitely talk to your acupuncturist about it. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • When should I get acupuncture treatment for fertility?

    That's a great question! I think any day is a good day to seek treatment!! In Chinese Medicine there are phases of the cycle and treatments change depending on that cycle. I am not well versed on this, admittedly, and would suggest seeking someone who specializes in fertility to give you the best shot at conceiving. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • How often should I go for acupuncture?

    Absolutely!!! I advise patients who are in constant pain to see me at least once a week. If you cannot afford once a week, then every other week. It's important to maintain continuity in order to maintain stability of your condition. In addition, it is imperative to do daily stretching and maybe yoga or tai chi to begin to strengthen and condition your muscles and tendons. And it cannot be said enough to hydrate your muscles, try to avoid caffeine, or at least cut down. Extra weight, especially in the abdomen, can really put a strain on the back (and everything else for that matter) so maintaining a healthy weight may be the first tangible thing you can do to start you on the road to recovery. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Is there an acupuncture treatment for weight gain?

    Hello and thanks for your question. First of all, I am assuming you have gotten a thorough workup to make sure there is nothing physically wrong with you, correct? If so, and there is nothing medically wrong with you, as least in Western medical terms, then acupuncture may be able to help. I say "may" because it depends upon a multitude of things. First, you would have to be willing to see a practitioner on a regular basis. One or 2 treatments is not going to do it. Secondly, an herbalist may want to prescribe herbs for your condition. Thirdly, I would advise you to take a good hard look at your emotions. Are you eating or not eating out of guilt? Out of necessity? On a regular basis? Are you an emotional binge eater? Do you have past or present issues with anorexia or bulimia? Are you in therapy? It's quite possible that this could be primarily a physical issue but there is most likely an emotional component to it. Have you had your thyroid level checked? Hyperthyroidism can lead to inability to gain weight. So keeping all of that in mind, yes, acupuncture can be helpful if you are willing to be open and honest with your acupuncturist and take their suggestions. Together you can figure out the underlying causes and conditions and hopefully resolve your problem. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Does a daith piercing help with migraines?

    I would suggest talking to your PCP about the possible dangers/side effects of these first. Acupuncture has enjoyed a lot of success with migraines and is quite non-invasive and safe. It has been used for thousands of years and can be very helpful when combined with lifestyle changes - diet restrictions, stress management, proper and regular sleep, and so on. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture aid in autoimmune diseases?

    Acupuncture has been shown to help with autoimmune disorders. In many cases, medications are needed as well, along with proper diet, rest and a healthy lifestyle in general. Seeing an acupuncturist on a regular basis, not just during a flare up, is highly recommended. Autoimmune diseases are admittedly difficult to treat but with weekly treatment (if possible), the aforementioned suggestions and maybe adding herbal supplements to the mix is your best bet to see results. READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture help with the cold?

    Acupuncture can help accelerate the healing process or the shorten the length of the cold. It won't make it magically disappear, as the virus or infection has to take its course through the body. Acupuncture is great for building up the immune system which helps you fight off colds/infections. It can help lower the immune response, affecting histamine release, help unblock nasal passages, aid in headaches, relax you so you can get proper rest, and so on. But these results are best achieved at the onset of a cold. Lifestyle choices such as poor eating habits, not getting enough sleep, improper hygiene, obesity, stress, etc. are in large part to blame. Some forms of the flu or viruses out there nowadays are quite virulent and even if you do take extra good care of yourself, you still may get sick. But one is less likely if you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (vitamin C among many other helpful nutrients that promote immune system health), get enough and regular sleep, avoid stress, exercise regularly and so on. Chinese medicine recommends eating well cooked vegetables in the winter time. It aids in digestion and keeps you in tune with the natural rhythms of the body's cycles. If wash your hands frequently in the winter that's great, but using good quality hand moisturizer is key to avoid skin breaks where viruses can sneak in. I personally think a lot of people spread germs through door handles. So use a glove or your sleeve when opening doors. Good luck and good health!!! READ MORE

  • How can acupuncture help my lower back pain?

    I'm so sorry about your back pain. Acupuncture can help relax tight muscles and calm or possibly eliminate nerve pain/impulses. If the problem is structural, such as a bulging disc, you may need chiropractic treatment or PT. Have you had an x-ray or an MRI? I'd hate to think of you causing further damage by lifting the baby and everything else a new mother does if it is a serious condition that may require surgery. If it is extreme as you say, please get an X-ray ASAP. It may get better over time, but it most likely will get worse. Good luck READ MORE

  • When is acupuncture not recommended?

    Great question! Acupuncture can be an issue in hemophiliacs. But instead of using needles, different modalities can be used, such as magnets, gua sha, or acupressure to name a few. Certain points are contraindicated in pregnancy, but a licensed acupuncturist (not an MD who learned acupuncture, but didn't get a license, or a PT who practices dry needling) will know what to avoid. Otherwise, I know of no other conditions in which acupuncture is not warranted. It can help build up the immune system in cancer patients, it has been used in lieu of anesthesia and so on. READ MORE

  • How does acupuncture help boost the immune system?

    That's a great question! Genetics and environment play a big part in immune responses but acupuncture can definitely HELP boost immunity. It will not CREATE a healthy immune system. Acupuncture can improve immunity by affecting inflammatory responses, lowering cortisol levels-which indirectly affect immunity, balance hormones, etc. All of these things can effect and be affected by STRESS!!! For instance, elevated cortisol levels can lower the immune response simply by feeling stress. All this aside, even if you are getting acupuncture, there is no guarantee that you will not fall victim to the common cold or flu. Even those of us who are chronic hand washers, health nuts and long-sleepers can still be vulnerable to the many strains of viruses out there. But those that get proper rest, exercise and diet and practice stress reduction techniques have a greater chance of keeping colds at bay. READ MORE

  • Can acupuncture cure hypertension?

    In some cases, hypertension meds are most definitely warranted, as this can be a life-threatening condition. But if your case is mild and your doctor thinks it can be controlled with diet, exercise or acupuncture, then acupuncture may be able to lower blood pressure but I would never say it can cure anything. Acupuncture helps restore the body homeostatically, meaning balancing things that are out of balance to normal levels. Such as cortisol levels, blood pressure, respiration rates, hormones, blood sugar and so on. Engaging in activities such as tai chi, meditation, yoga, etc. can definitely lower high blood pressure over time. Removing yourself from stressful situations as often as possible will aid in this endeavor as well. Getting proper sleep, where you can reach deep REM sleep is key in balancing blood and hormones. Certain foods can help lower BP. Finding out which foods ( and it's not JUST salt ) can worsen hypertension may be worth some research. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Should I get acupuncture for my fibromyalgia?

    Acupuncture can help calm nerve impulse transmission by multiple means. It can lower cortisol levels, balance hormonal imbalances, lower high blood pressure, improve respiration and so on. It does this by working on imbalances in the meridians (along which the acupuncture points are based) and aiding in maintaining a healthy balance. This may take some time, as fibromyalgia is a serious condition that doesn't just develop overnight. Diet, sleep and exercise play a HUGE part in how your body responds to the condition as well. Seeing a dietician and seeking advice from your doctor as to how much sleep and exercise are recommended for you may be a good idea. Environmental factors such as humidity, living in a damp or moldy environment, excessive heat or cold can affect fibromyalgia pain. Of course, I'm sure you already know a lot of this. But doing further research on how to help yourself will only aid in your recovery and help decide if acupuncture is right for you. Acupuncture needling and other modalities such as cupping, magnet therapy, gua sha, massage and so on can be very helpful. But the degree to which they help can vary from person to person. Needles may be too traumatic for some to handle. I have done acupressure on patients that are too needle phobic. That's massage in a specific therapeutic way on the points where I would have placed needles. The comfort of my patients is of the utmost importance and if needling causes severe pain or anxiety, then that is counterproductive to treatment. It's normal to feel a little pinch, or tug, people describe it in different ways. But it should go away within a minute and if it doesn't, or it gets worse, I take it out. There are other points that I can try. I also would highly advise you to try some relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, etc. These can help with sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to pain as well. Good luck!!! READ MORE

  • How often should I get acupuncture?

    Sorry, but there really is no pat answer. There are no "shoulds" in acupuncture. Really think about how you feel when you go in for a treatment and see how long the relief from anxiety lasts. In addition to acupuncture, I would highly suggest doing self-soothing exercises such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, etc. I find that taking several deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth really helps me to gain perspective. Allowing (unlabored) oxygen to the brain helps clear the mind, lowers blood pressure (over time), lowers cortisol levels and generally helps you to feel better physically and emotionally. Very often free classes of tai chi/meditation/yoga are offered through local or civil groups. You will find that engaging in these type of activities helps reduce anxiety, therefore, reducing the amount of times you need to get acupuncture. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • How can acupuncture reduce my mental stress?

    Although stress can most definitely be caused by external influences (work, deadlines, relationship issues, kids), our ability to handle stress comes from within. Those that practice meditation, yoga, tai chi and the like, seem to have a better time handling stress. If you keep yourself balanced emotionally, the less the stressful situation will affect you. Proper diet and sleep can play a big part also. I find that taking deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth several times reduce my stress and help me to see things more objectively. That being said, yes, acupuncture can help balance the system but there are a lot of things that you can do on your own to combat stress. Join a stress reduction support group. Practice tai chi/yoga/meditation. Really think about what makes you feel relaxed and do it often. Visit a pet shelter (if you like animals) and experience the relaxation and happiness that comes from holding a purring kitty!! Playing with kittens always works for me!!! A lot of the stress in your life is truly in your hands to do something about! Thanks for writing and good luck!!! READ MORE

  • Can acupunture decrease my body weight?

    Acupuncture has been helpful with ASSISTING in weight loss, but in and of itself is not a cure-all. Building muscle by lifting weights is the best way to burn fat, but of course, if you are building muscle, the scale will also reflect that. Be careful not to put too much stock in the number on the scale. Eating too much refined sugar, simple carbohydrates and not enough fruits and veggies are usually to blame for weight gain. Bad eating habits such as eating when you only have time, eating late at night or eating only one large meal a day will cause weight gain. Furthermore, if you have emotional issues regarding food, are a stress eater or a binge eater, I highly advise seeing a therapist. Good luck!! READ MORE

  • How will acupuncture help my fibromyalgia?

    Acupuncture works fantastic on most pain conditions, however, hereditary factors and hormones play a huge part in how you will respond to treatment. Environmental conditions, like dampness or mold can certainly play a role, but stress most definitely affects all chronic pain. There's no guarantee that acupuncture will help your fibromyalgia, as no medicine is a guaranteed fix. But partaking in relaxing exercises like yoga, meditation and tai chi have shown good results. If there is a pattern of negative thinking, as usually is the case with chronic conditions, you might want to try counseling, stress reduction techniques and take a hard look at your diet. Certain foods are known to cause inflammation and worsen fibromyalgia. Consulting with a dietician to see what your individual needs are would be your safest bet. READ MORE

  • Does having acupuncture hurt?

    You are correct that acupuncture is great for helping to relieve stress and headaches, among many other things. Most people liken the puncture of a needle to a mosquito bite. You will feel a little prick, but it's very quick and virtually painless. The needles are much smaller than hyperdermic needles and are inserted in the muscles and fascia, a dense connective tissue. The needles are then manipulated to activate the body's energy source, or qi. Tapping into that energy source is where the magic of acupuncture lies!!! Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years for a reason....it works!!! READ MORE

Areas of expertise and specialization

Musculoskeletal, nerve and joint pain

Awards

  • Certificate in Auriculotherapy 2006 Terry Olsen 

Carolyn Shannon Sullivan LIC. AC's Practice location

Patz Chiropractic

24 S Main St. -
Randolph, MA 02368
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New patients: 617-458-0530

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