Acupuncture for Tinnitus at Balance Within You in Encino CA.

Many of us take medication on a regular basis for health problems, but in many instances there are natural approaches that can help us overcome these conditions. A perfect example of this is if you’re suffering from a condition known as tinnitus. People with this disorder may have tried a wide variety of ways to overcome it, all without success. But a natural effective solution to tinnitus is acupuncture.

Tinnitus is a condition that can be really difficult to treat due to the fact that it is relatively rare, and up to now doctors still do not know what its real cause or causes are. Many sufferers simply raise their hands in surrender and accept the fact that they have to cope with this problem for a long time. There may be some type of pharmaceutical drugs that can help relieve the discomfort; in many cases, however, a few of us are not willing to take medication that can lead to side effects that are actually worse than the condition they claim to treat. Moreover, it is antidepressants that seem to suppress the ringing, and there are no drugs available that are actually designed to treat tinnitus.

There may be many different theories as to why acupuncture works for tinnitus conditions, but the dominant prevailing paradigm is that acupuncture is able to restore the balance within our body. From the viewpoint of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), each of us possesses life energy known as Chi within our bodies. This energy can be manipulated through acupuncture, a treatment that can bring back balance in the body that may have been lost due to certain factors.

Acupuncture for the treatment of tinnitus is a often a successful procedure with some added benefits. This is a natural form of treatment and sometimes results do not come as quickly as you might want, but people who have tried acupuncture usually experience a sense of well-being during the treatment itself. This feeling may be difficult to describe and may linger for the rest of the day and even throughout the night. For people suffering from tinnitus for a long time, this can be especially comforting.  If you are dealing with a frustrating and uncomfortable problem as tinnitus, acupuncture is a form of healing that’s worth considering.

There are several forms of treatment available for you if you have tinnitus. These treatments can be in the form of conventional medical treatments or holistic therapies. Visit your nearest Encino acupuncture clinic to learn how to manage tinnitus today and regain control of your life.


One of the most frequent questions I get as an acupuncturist is whether or not acupuncture can effectively treat migraines. The person asking is either plagued by the headaches themselves, or someone they know and love gets migraines.

I have treated many patients who suffer from headaches, but migraines are in a league all of their own. Chronic headaches can lay you out and make you miserable, but the intense pain and accompanying symptoms associated with a migraine can send you to the emergency room.

Most typical migraines move through stages, but not always. In some cases, you may get an early stage sign, but not develop the actual headache, or the stages may be different depending on the severity of the headache. The common stages of a migraine are:

-The Prodromal stage, during which you don’t have a headache, but feel uneasy, tired, irritable, or crave certain foods.

-The Aura stage occurs up to an hour before your headache starts. It tends to include vision problems, such as blind spots in your vision, flashing, and blurring. You may also feel a bit confused or have difficulty speaking.

-The Headache, which can last hours or even days. The pain can be severe and may affect only one side of your head (but can affect both). Other symptoms that may occur during this stage include a sensitivity to light or sounds, nausea, and feeling feverish or cold.

-Postdrome is the period of time after your headache is gone, but it leaves you feeling pretty washed out. You may feel fatigued or achy. Some people would describe this stage as a shadow of the headache. The pain is gone, but you know it was there.

If you suffer from migraines and turn to acupuncture for relief, the first thing your practitioner must do is to determine the pattern, or underlying cause, of your headaches according to Chinese medicine. There are several patterns that can cause headaches, but in most cases two are most commonly associated with migraines.

The first pattern is related to your Chinese Liver, which is tasked with regulating the smooth flow of every system in your body, from digestion, to the circulation of blood, and even keeping your emotions steady. Ideally, the movement of energy in your body is gently upward, like the sap in a tree that slowly and steadily ascends. However, when that energy rushes upward all at once unchecked, it can cause a migraine. This is called a Liver headache in Chinese medicine, and can be pretty severe and is often one-sided. There are a number of triggers for this kind of headache, but in many cases stress, anger, or very strong emotions are the underlying cause.

Because the energy rushing toward your head in a Liver headache is frequently hot, you may have heat-related symptoms with this kind of a headache. Those symptoms may include feeling feverish or having a hot head, thirst, irritability, dizziness, and even nausea. Needless to say, this kind of headache is no picnic!

A second pattern in Chinese medicine that causes migraines is something called Blood stagnation. This simply means that the flow of blood is constrained in the area that is causing you pain, and in the case of migraines is usually caused by the constriction of blood vessels in your head. With this kind of headache, you may have a variety of symptoms, but will usually have a couple of things in common. First, the pain will be extreme, it will be stabbing in nature, and it will be in a fixed location. In many cases, people suffering from this kind of headache can point to the one spot where the headache began—and usually that point is where their headaches always begin. While the pain may originate at one small point, it will frequently spread and cause a monster of a headache.

Many people want to know if acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help their migraines, and the answer in most cases is yes. If you choose to go the Chinese medicine route, your practitioner will first spend some time with you determining the cause, or pattern, behind your headaches. He or she will then use acupuncture and frequently other therapies to effectively reduce the incidence and severity of your migraines. Other healing strategies may include Chinese herbs, dietary therapy, and lifestyle adjustments.

It’s important to try to understand what is triggering your headaches, such as specific foods, weather, low blood sugar, dehydration, scents, drinking alcohol, and poor sleep. In addition, it’s crucial to understand the role of stress and strong emotions as a trigger. A good way to try to understand what factors are in place that cause your headaches is to keep a headache journal. Keeping track of things like what you’ve eaten, when the headaches typically occur, what you were doing, and the weather—all of which can help you get a handle on patterns. Keep in mind that for many people, migraines occur only after a combination of factors, such as lack of sleep, dehydration, and stress—where any of those factors alone wouldn’t cause a headache.

A few self-care tips for migraines include:

  • Get some rest. Some people try to muscle their way through a bad headache. This only makes it worse.

  • If you’re feverish or your head feels hot, apply some ice wrapped in a towel to your head.

  • Try to stay hydrated. If your stomach is upset, suck on some ice chips.

  • Unplug from everything. Get away from noisy areas and bright lights. Go inside, turn off the lights, and close the curtains.

  • Try a little caffeine. Coffee, tea, or soft drinks that contain caffeine may help decrease your migraine pain.

  • Don’t rule out medications. It’s unrealistic to try to endure an excruciating migraine without medication. In Western medicine, the recommended protocol would be to start with analgesics that you can buy at the store (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen), and if that doesn’t work bump up to a migraine medication that has been prescribed by your doctor.

  • Give Chinese medicine a try. It may be the long-term answer to your migraines that you’ve been looking for.

Aging Well with Chinese Medicine

by Alexander Ezzati


Why is it that some older people seem so much younger than their years and some people in their fifties or sixties seem surprisingly old?  There are many folks in their eighth and ninth decades who continue to work, drive, exercise, volunteer, and do many of the things that they have always done. At the same time, I know people 30 years younger who have a hard time just getting down and up off the floor. What gives? Why is there such a discrepancy in the way people age? Is aging well just a matter of good luck?

Clearly, there have been thousands of research studies into how and why we age. One interesting explanation comes from a new line of study into something called epigenetics. This theory suggests that genetic expression isn’t quite as set in stone as we once thought. Instead, it’s suggested that our genes are affected by other factors beyond just DNA sequencing, and that our genetic predisposition may change very quickly. For example, environmental and lifestyle factors, such as how you live and what you think, may also impact how your genes affect your health.

In Chinese medicine, your health and how you age is determined by something we practitioners call Essence. Considered to be a vital substance, Essence is a bit like your body constitution (or even DNA), and determines your overall health, how you will grow and mature, fertility, and how healthfully you will age. As you live through the traumas of life and become older, Essence gets used up, and when it is completely depleted, you die.

The good news is that there is another kind of Essence that supplements the first, and its strength is built on how well you live your life and care for yourself. This second Essence protects and conserves the original DNA-like Essence, which means you have some control over your body constitution and general health. This is very similar to the cutting-edge theory of epigenetics—only coming from this ancient Chinese medicine!

Whether you call it epigenetics or protecting your Essence, Chinese medicine offers up some strategies on not only how to live as healthfully as possible, but how to age well, too. Here are some ideas on how to be as healthy as possible as you move into your later years:

  • Protect your Kidney system. In Chinese medicine, your Kidney is an organ system that not only regulates water, but is the home to your vital substances, such as Essence, Yin, and Yang. It guards your health on the deepest level, and is the organ system most related to aging. Taking care of your Kidneys involves living moderately; getting proper nourishment through good food, breath, and rest; and avoiding stress as much as possible. Foods that are particularly nourishing to your Kidney system include very dark or black foods, beans, nuts (especially walnuts), and salty foods from the ocean (fish, shellfish, sea vegetables, sushi)

  • Eat for the long run. Beyond Kidney-nourishing foods, eat like you are going to live to be 100. That means less fast food and drive-through meals and more meals that contain ingredients that your grandmother would recognize as food. For a simple rule of thumb, think like a Chinese restaurant minus the white rice: a large variety of vegetables, a little protein, and whole grains.

  • Balance work with rest. This means not only getting enough restorative sleep each night, but also avoiding overwork. Long hours at the office, studying, or caring for others can be especially depleting. Your body regenerates itself when you rest, so all work and no play can really speed up the clock when it comes to aging.

  • Use it or lose it. When it comes to training for the long run, keeping your body active and functional is key. If there were such a thing as a magic bullet for aging well, exercise would be it. It keeps your blood circulating, your heart and lungs healthy, your joints moving, and is a factor in retaining your memory.

  • Use the power of your mind, because what you think can make a difference in your health. The Chinese believe that negative emotions are the source of a thousand diseases. While we all have ups and downs, chronic depression, anxiety, worry, and even a negative outlook can harm your health. Researchers have found that a negative emotional outlook can mess with your sleep, digestion, blood pressure, and hormones. In addition, people who are chronically pessimistic tend to live a shorter expected lifespan than those people who are more positive.

  • Check your medications. Many side effects of prescription drugs go unchecked or are attributed to the aging process, when in fact a change in medication or dosage may alleviate the problem. In addition, new research has uncovered that many drugs for depression, allergies, and asthma are responsible for memory loss and dementia in people who take them long term.

The bottom line is that while you may have been dealt a bad hand genetically, how you play that hand makes a big difference in your health and how you age. Heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, or memory loss may run in your family, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a foregone conclusion that you will also develop these same conditions. Conversely, someone who had healthy ancestors and good genes can increase their risk for these same diseases through overwork, stress, a funky diet, lack of exercise, and poor self-care. Aging well is not just a matter of luck—it’s a combination of small but healthy habits that make a big difference.


Pain has a personality. It can be dull and achy, sharp, electrical, or burning. It may come and go or be present all of the time. Some pain feels better with pressure or massage, and some doesn’t like being touched at all. Your pain may feel better when you apply heat, or it may respond better when you put an ice pack on it. As a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, my job is to diagnose your pain based on its personality.

One of the most common questions that I get from patients who are dealing with pain is whether they should put ice or heat on the painful area. While it would be great to have a simple answer, there are a number of considerations in deciding between a heating pad and a bag of frozen corn.

First, it’s important to know whether your pain or injury feels better when it’s exposed to warmth or cold. For example, is it worse during the hot and humid days of summer or when the weather turns cold? Does your injury feel warm to the touch? When you’re trying to alleviate the pain, is your instinct to reach for a heating pad or an ice pack? In general, injuries that feel better with cold involve some kind of a warm pathology. For example, heat rising upward in your body can give you a headache that you just naturally want to put ice on—this is common with many migraines. In contrast, many injuries involving a pulled muscle heal faster and feel better when heat is applied. This is also true for arthritis and many joint injuries.

Second, the properties of heat and ice are helpful in determining which to use. In Chinese medicine, heat creates and enhances movement. In an injured area, blood, fluids, and energy will flow better when heat is applied. This means that muscles tend to loosen up, your range of motion increases, circulation in the area improves, and that boost in circulation promotes healing.

 In contrast, ice contracts. Like a river that freezes up during the winter, ice constricts your vessels, tightens muscles, and slows things down in general. Despite this constrictive effect, ice has a place in many instances. For example, when you sprain your ankle, the damage to the ligaments and surrounding tissues make your foot and ankle swell up like a balloon. In fact, it’s this swelling that accounts for much of the pain associated with a sprained ankle. When you apply ice immediately after the injury, the constricting effect actually limits the amount of swelling in the area, making it a bit less painful, and much less swollen.

So when should you use heat and when should you use cold?
Here are a few guidelines:

  • For new injuries, especially those that have occurred due to trauma (sprained ankle, blown out knee), use ice for the first 24 to 36 hours after the injury has occurred. Ice will constrict the vessels in the area and keep swelling to a minimum. After 36 hours, apply ice if there’s still discernible heat or swelling, otherwise alternate heat and cold. If your injury lingers for weeks, my advice is to use heat.

  • The choice between icing and heating becomes a little trickier with inflammation. In general inflammation is considered to be warm, so conventional wisdom would be to put ice on it. But not so fast, because heat increases the flow of blood to an area, and increased circulation promotes healing. Again, my advice is to warm it up, or to alternate between ice and heat.

  • A good rule in general is to go with what feels the best on an injury. If you’re not sure, let the weather be your guide. Is your pain worse in the cold weather? Then use heat. If it flares in the summer heat, go for the ice.

  • That said, don’t be deceived by the numbing properties of an ice pack. You may feel better for a while after icing, but if applying cold makes it worse in the long run, use heat or alternate between the two.

  • Put your hand on the injured area. What do you feel? If it’s noticeably colder than the surrounding tissue, it means that the circulation in that area is constricted and you should apply heat. If your injury feels warm to the touch, apply ice.

  • In the case of a muscle spasm, avoid ice, as it will only make things worse. Remember that cold contracts, and if your muscle is in spasm, it is already contracted to the point of pain. How can you tell if you are having a muscle spasm? In most cases the pain from muscle spasms come on very quickly—many have an initiating event, such as lifting or reaching and twisting at the same time. In addition, muscle spasms tend to inhibit your ability to move, and many will have you on the floor because the pain is so intense. A high proportion of back pain is caused by muscles that are in spasm.

  • For sports-related injuries, exercises prescribed by a physical therapist, or if you’re just doing a workout that involves the injured area, my advice is to warm it up for five or ten minutes before using it. This increases the circulation to the area and loosens up the muscles that you will be using. After your activity, ice the area for five minutes to cool it off and head off any inflammation.

There is no hard and fast rule for whether to use heat or ice. In Chinese medicine, the tendency is to heat in the majority of instances. However, there are times when icing is appropriate. The bottom line is that you need to take into account the personality of the pain, the nature of the injury, and how long you’ve had it when deciding whether heating or icing is the best course of action.

IVF and Acupuncture Encino CA

The Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal in a December issue published a review showing that women were twice as likely to conceive within four months of using Chinese herbal medicine treatments compared to those who opted for IVF or conventional Western medical fertility drug treatment. The results showed as well that a woman’s menstrual cycle quality - a very important part in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) diagnosis – seems to be a vital factor for the successful treatment of female infertility. Often defined as a failure to conceive after a year or more of regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control, infertility affects both female and male and it can be due to both structural and non-structural issues.

Used for ages in the treatment of infertility, Chinese herbal medicine has been the main form of infertility treatment by Chinese women for thousands of years. In fact, its use as a treatment for miscarriage prevention and infertility has been recorded as far back as 200 A.D. A book published in 1237 A.D entitled "The Complete Book of Effective Prescriptions for Diseases of Women," was the first book exclusively devoted to obstetrics and gynecology.

In the West, TCM treatments are categorized as alternative forms of therapy. Because of The internet, more and more people are getting to know what TCM is all about especially its effectiveness in the treatment of infertility, pain and the relief of stress. Couples who have tried Chinese Medicine have found just how safe and effective these treatments are. This explains the fact that more than a quarter of the population of the earth use Chinese medicine on a regular basis as part of their health care regimen. TCM is the only type of classical medicine that can claim to be used regularly by millions of people outside its country of origin.

TCM Infertility Studies

In a study designed to analyze abstracts in English of tests dealing with TCM, menstrual health, and infertility, researchers performed meta-analyses of RCTs or non-randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or cohort studies and sampled them to clinical pregnancy rates attained using Chinese herbal medicine versus IVF or Western medicine drug treatment. Besides that, they gathered typical TCM patterns of diagnosis in infertility in relation to menstrual cycle quality and related symptoms. Six case studies, three case studies, 13 cohort studies, and eight RCTs involving a 1851 women suffering from infertility were involved in the review.


When used over a four-month period, Chinese herbal medicine led to a more than thrice likelihood of attaining pregnancy compared to standalone Western medicine drug therapy use. Results also showed that a pregnancy rate of 32% was attained by women who used Western medicine compared to 60% for those who were treated with Chinese herbal medicine. Meta-analysis of selected cohort studies revealed a 50% rate of success for those who used TCM compared to only 30% for IVF patients.

TCM or Western Fertility Treatments, Which Do You Prefer?

Both Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine share a common goal which is the betterment of health. The way they achieve this is different. Their notions on the etiology of disease, the disease itself and the steps utilized to maintain and recover wellness are very different. A Chinese medicine practitioner’s goal is to heal the patient by treating him/her holistically and not treat only the disease. The practitioner takes into account the different combined aspects of a person that accounts for that person’s state of health. A Western trained physician, on the other hand, believes that disease should be resolved by prescribing drugs or by performing dangerous and invasive surgery.

Based on TCM theory, an individual is much more than his/her pathology; the pathology is merely temporary and addressing it brings about the results required.

In Chinese medicine, the main therapeutic factors for female infertility are aimed at reducing stress, restoring balance in the body, and regulating the menstrual cycle and the hormones. Practitioners recognize that a lot of cases of infertility originate from an issue that is functional than structural in nature. Western medicine, on the other hand, uses therapies such as IVF that are not only expensive and highly invasive but cause severe stress among patients. Stress is a major factor for infertility and certainly is a hindrance to a successful pregnancy.

In Chinese medicine, management of fertility has been well-developed and widely studied. In modern China, doctors have claimed that the use of Chinese herbs led to a success rate of above 70% in the treatment of both male and female infertility. Chinese medical journals publish the results of large scale clinical trials. TCM treatment of infertility literally uses hundreds of different herbs in a frequent basis, usually mixed together using multiple ingredients. Lifestyle changes, diet, massage, and acupuncture are often combined with herbal medicine in addressing infertility. Compared to Western medicine TCM fertility treatments are less costly, often produce higher success rates and are quite non-invasive.

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One of the most exciting and fulfilling applications of acupuncture is in the area of fertility. The incidence of infertility has been rising, and currently affects about 12 percent of couples trying to become pregnant, which is about seven million couples in the United States. There are a number of reasons why this is happening, from lifestyle factors to diet, but one of the most common issues is that women are waiting until they are older to have children.

To understand why this is happening from the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, we need to look at the Kidney system. Each of our organs in Chinese medicine have a physical presence in your body, but they also work as a symbolic system of functioning, and have emotional importance as well. Your Kidney is considered to be the deepest organ in your body, and is home to the vital substances of Yin, Yang, and Essence.

Essence determines your overall health, and is one of the most important substances in your body.   It serves as the foundation for all the others, from Qi and Blood, to Yin and Yang, as well as body fluids. Essence is responsible for tasks like growth, maturation, and development, that are also attributed to the Kidney system, where it is housed.

At the moment of conception, you inherit something called Pre-Natal Essence, which accounts for your growth, maturation, genetic traits, fertility, and body constitution. When you overdo it by working long hours, eating a poorly, struggle with unrelenting stress, and even as you age, your Pre-Natal Essence becomes depleted. When this kind of Essence is completely tapped out, you die. And while Pre-Natal Essence can’t be replaced, you can safeguard it through living healthfully, and you can supplement it by another kind of essence, called Post-Natal Essence.

You have some control over Post-Natal Essence, because it’s made from the nutrients you get from food, and can be built up by eating well, sleeping well, and living a life of moderation. You know your Post-Natal Essence is well-stocked if you have good energy, strength, and good overall health. In addition, any extra Post-Natal Essence is stored in your Kidney to augment Pre-Natal Essence.

Simply put, you can be born with poor-quality Pre-Natal Essence, but by living well, you can build up your Post-Natal Essence and protect what you have. It’s like being dealt a poor hand in a card game, but whether you win or not depends on how you play the game.

Your fertility is impacted by your Essence (both kinds) in that it becomes depleted as a part of the aging process. This is one of the reasons that it becomes harder to conceive as a woman gets into her mid to late thirties. As you are aging and Essence is diminishing, your ovaries are aging, too. This means that you may not ovulate every month, the number of eggs is reduced (we are born with a finite amount), and the quality of your eggs may decrease—all of which make it more difficult to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term.

In the context of Chinese medicine, the way to enhance fertility is by keeping your Essence and Kidney system  as healthy as possible. There are a number of ways to do that. Among them:

-Your Kidneys are the organ system most damaged by chronic stress. In the early stages, stress affects functions like immunity and digestion, but over time that stress damages at a deeper level, which is when your Essence begins to take a hit. My best advice is to do whatever it takes to get your stress under control. Whether it’s taking a Yoga class, going fishing, or quitting your toxic job, getting out from under big stressors is the best thing you can do for your health.

-Your Kidney houses the vital substances of cool, nourishing Yin and warm and active Yang. To care for both of these substances means that you need to balance physical activity with rest. Yang activities are considered to be active, challenging, and exciting. In contrast, Yin activities are those that include rest, rejuvenation, and quiet reflection.

-You can enhance the health of your Kidney system through diet. The color related to the Kidney is black, so foods that are very dark in color are especially nourishing. Good choices include darkly colored vegetables, dark berries, black beans, black sesame seeds, and walnuts.

-Because the Kidney is associated with the water element, foods that come from the sea are also a good choice. Choose fish, sushi, seaweeds, and shellfish. Seafood is a good choice for an additional reason—the flavor of saltiness is Kidney-nourishing. So go for foods from the ocean (as opposed to fresh water fish), miso, and other lightly salted foods. Remember however, while a little salt is helpful, too much can upset the balance of fluids in your body, so stay with lightly salted foods.

-The physical Kidney is related to your lower back and knees. Gentle exercises to strengthen your back or knees, and stretches for those areas are beneficial to your Kidney. In addition, you can stimulate your Kidneys by gently patting your lower back at about the level of your waist on a daily basis.

-Finally, the emotion most associated with the Kidney is fear. Beyond dealing with stress, acknowledging and handling any circumstances in your life that make you feel fearful will help to enhance the health of your Kidneys. Certainly the emotional toll of fertility issues can lead to fearfulness and anxiety. It’s important to recognize those feelings, and realize how important it is to be kind to yourself. Your Kidney depends on it!


When I talk about Chinese medicine, most people think about acupuncture. What they don’t realize is that we practitioners have a number of tools in our therapeutic toolbox beyond acupuncture to help our patients heal. One of those little-known tools is called cupping.

I have to thank celebrities, low cut gowns, and awards galas for bringing any amount of awareness of cupping in the general population. Most notably, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Anniston have been seen at these events sporting several large, perfectly round marks on their backs that reveal that they had recently been cupped, most likely by their acupuncturist.

What is cupping, exactly? And why do it? Here are some things to know about this interesting modality.

  1. Cupping is a method of healing that involves placing cups on your skin in which a vacuum has been created—essentially large suction cups. It’s the pulling action from the suction that promotes healing (more on this later), and is usually done on larger areas of your body, such as your back. Cups come in several sizes, so your arms, legs, and over your pectoral muscles can also be cupped. The sensation is a little bit like a reverse massage; with the cups you feel pulling instead of the pushing sensation you get from a massage.

  2. Cupping has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Originally cups were made out of bamboo, earthenware, or cow’s horn. Today, most of the cups used are made of glass or plastic. Traditionally, the vacuum is created by lighting a small fire inside the cup, from an alcohol-soaked cotton ball, or simply swabbing the inside of the cup with alcohol. The flame uses up all the air in the cup, and then it’s placed on your skin. This is called fire cupping, and while it sounds scary, it’s actually safe, as the fire is out before the cup touches your skin. Another more recent method of creating suction is through the use of a gasket and vacuum pump to take the air out of the cups—in this case the cups are plastic.

  3. There are a couple of options as to how your practitioner can use the cups. The simplest is that the cups are left in place for about ten minutes or so, and then removed. Sliding cupping is also an option, in which a small amount of oil is used and the cups are slid across an area, usually your back, while retaining suction. Another option is called wet cupping or bleeding cupping, in which a point has been bled with a sterile needle or lancet, and then the cup is placed over the area.

  4. What’s the point of cupping? Actually, there are many. First, cupping moves energy and increases circulation to the area being cupped. By doing so, it brings new blood and nutrients to the injury to support healing. It also opens up your pores and releases toxins. Cupping creates what’s called a micro trauma—a tiny injury that gives your body the message to heal. This is important, because sometimes your body gets into a pattern where it just doesn’t heal. By creating a micro trauma, it moves your body out of the status quo and gets it to start healing. The purpose of bleeding cups is to clear heat in the body, and relieve stagnant conditions.

  5. Cupping can be used for a wide range of conditions, but is most frequently used for pain. It can also be used, especially on the upper back and upper chest for asthma and other respiratory conditions. In addition, cupping is frequently performed down either side of the spine to stimulate the energetic pathways and spinal nerves as a way to promote health.

  6. Cupping leaves a mark. Depending on the strength of the vacuum, the mark can be anywhere from light red to very dark purple. The marks are perfectly round, and pretty much the size of the cup that was used. During cupping, small capillaries are broken, which causes the discoloration, and while this may sound like a bad, thing, it’s actually what promotes the healing process.

  7. Here are some don’ts: Cupping shouldn’t be performed over any kind of open skin or lesion. It shouldn’t be done over areas of edema, large blood vessels, or varicose veins. It shouldn’t be performed on pregnant women. In addition, people who are easy bleeders, have any kind of bleeding disorder, or are taking blood thinners, shouldn’t be cupped.

  8. One more interesting point—it’s possible to be too hairy to be cupped. That’s because a lot of hair makes it difficult, if not impossible to get a good vacuum for the cupping to be effective. The options are to shave the area to be cupped or forego cupping for some other healing modality.

As a practitioner, I have found that once I cup a patient, they love it and often want to be cupped at every appointment. While the effects of cupping can be subtle, most patients say that it loosens up their tight muscles and feels calming.  In addition cupping can relieve pain, release toxins, and free up stagnant energy. Most patients will say that after being cupped they feel rejuvenated and relaxed. So what are you waiting for? Book a cupping session today and discover what this ancient modality can do for you.

Acupuncture and Other Alternative Forms of Healthcare

April 6, 2016

Acupuncture and Other Forms of Alternative Healthcare Treatment Can Make You Feel Much Better in A Natural Way Anything associated with needles can elicit a natural negative reaction in people. This is why some people are hesitant to try acupuncture, a form of Chinese medicine treatment in which needles are used and stuck in certain […]

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What You Should Know About Chinese Herbal Medicine

April 2, 2016

Chinese herbs are an incredible healing tool that falls under the umbrella of Chinese Medicine. Some people may tell you that they’re uncomfortable taking Chinese herbs, but the reality is that these herbs are everywhere. People take ginkgo for their memory, licorice as candy or a digestive aid, and ginseng for energy. In fact, the […]

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Acupuncture Prevents Atrial Fibrillation

March 12, 2016

Acupuncture prevents atrial fibrillation (AF) and associated cardiac damage. Research published by Zhu et al. finds acupuncture applied to acupoint Neiguan (PC6) has an anti-arrhythmia effect and prevents atrial fibrillation through restoration and remodeling of the right atrial appendage. This is consistent with findings presented by the Heart Rhythm Society and published in the Heart Rhythm […]

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Acupuncture Plus Moxa Alleviates Menstrual Pain

March 12, 2016

Acupuncture relieves menstrual pain and cramping. Researchers from the Xianning Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine investigated the efficacy of triple acupuncture with moxibustion for the treatment of dysmenorrhea. The research team concludes that triple acupuncture is significantly more effective than conventional acupuncture for the relief of menstrual pain and cramping. Triple acupuncture achieved a 96.7% […]

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How Acupuncture Treats Infertility

February 29, 2016

In the past decade infertility has been on the rise leaving young couples in a very expensive situation when seeking western treatments. In some cases IVF treatments can range up to $30,000 with no coverage from insurance companies. This is a big expense especially when the couple has to pay out of pocket and more […]

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Balance Within - Integrative Acupuncture
16200 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91436
Phone: (818) 478-9401


Serving Beverly Hills, Miracle Mile, Sherman Oaks, Reseda, Tarzana and Woodland Hills.

Zip Codes: 90049, 90077, 90272, 91316, 91335, 91356, 91364,
91401, 91403, 91405, 91406, 91423, 91436