In the ever-evolving landscape of integrative health and wellness, acupuncture stands as a revered and time-honored practice. Its roots trace back over 2,500 years to ancient China, and it continues to flourish as a holistic therapy with many benefits. In this blog post, we will explore what acupuncture is all about, delve into its extensive list of advantages, and discover how it beautifully complements the soothing art of massage therapy.

Are you located in the Greater Syracuse, NY area and interested in Acupuncture? We invite you to book a treatment with our Licensed Acupuncturist, Annette Burden. Your Initial Acupuncture Consultation and Treatment will last about 60-75 minutes. Book your treatment online or by reaching out to our Downtown Syracuse or North Syracuse location today.


Understanding Acupuncture: what is it all about?

Acupuncture, an integral component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is based on the belief that our bodies are a network of interconnected pathways, or meridians, through which energy, known as “qi,” flows. The balance of qi is essential for health and well-being, and disruptions in its flow can lead to illness or discomfort.

Acupuncture focuses on specific points along these meridians, known as acupuncture points. These points are strategically selected based on the patient’s condition and symptoms. By inserting fine, sterile needles into these points, an acupuncturist aims to restore the balance of qi, promoting natural healing.

What sets acupuncture apart is its holistic approach to health. Rather than treating isolated symptoms, it addresses the root causes of ailments by harmonizing the body’s natural energy flow. This comprehensive approach aligns with the idea that physical, emotional, and mental well-being are interconnected.


What happens during an Acupuncture treatment session 

An acupuncture session can be an eye opening experience that is the start of true holistic healing. The following is a description of what a treatment session entails: 

Consultation: When you arrive at the acupuncture clinic, you’ll have a consultation with the Acupuncturist. During this discussion, you can talk about your health concerns, medical history, and any specific symptoms you’re experiencing. The Acupuncturist will use this information to develop a personalized treatment plan.


Diagnosis: After the consultation, the Acupuncturist will perform a diagnostic assessment. This often includes examining your tongue’s color and coating, feeling your pulse at various points, and asking about your symptoms. These steps are essential in traditional Chinese medicine to determine the state of your body’s Qi (energy) and Yin-Yang balance.

Treatment Plan: Based on the consultation, the Acupuncturist will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. They’ll explain the specific acupuncture points and other traditional chinese medicine modalities they intend to use and how they believe will benefit your health.


Preparation:  You may be asked to change into a gown or wear loose-fitting clothing, depending on the areas being treated. Acupuncture points are often located on various parts of the body, so accessibility is important. It is advised to not receive acupuncture on an empty stomach. 


Acupuncture Needles: The Acupuncturist will use very fine, sterile needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points on your body. These needles are usually inserted just beneath the skin’s surface. You might feel a slight prick or tingling sensation when the needles are inserted, but it’s typically not painful.


Needle Retention: Once the needles are in place, you’ll lie comfortably for a period of time, typically around 15-30 minutes. This allows the body to respond to the stimulation of the acupuncture points.


Moxibustion (Optional): If moxibustion is part of your treatment plan, the Acupuncturist may use heated moxa sticks to warm specific acupuncture points. This can be especially helpful for conditions related to cold or stagnation.


Cupping or Gua Sha (Optional): Depending on your needs, the Acupuncturist may also incorporate cupping or Gua Sha into the session. Cupping involves placing suction cups on the skin to improve blood flow, while Gua Sha uses a smooth tool to gently scrape the skin.


Follow-up: After the needles are removed, you’ll have a chance to discuss the session with the Acupuncturist. They may provide recommendations for ongoing care or suggest a treatment schedule.


Relaxation: Many people find acupuncture to be a relaxing experience. It’s common to leave the session feeling calm and rejuvenated.

Remember that the specific details of an acupuncture visit can vary depending on the acupuncturist’s approach and your individual needs. It’s essential to choose a qualified and licensed Acupuncturist for your treatments to ensure a safe and effective experience.


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What are the benefits of Chinese Medicine 

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can be beneficial to a wide range of individuals in so many ways. Below are some common benefits from Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine:

Pain Relief: Acupuncture is well-known for its ability to alleviate pain. It can be effective for various types of pain, including back pain, neck pain, arthritis, migraines, and even menstrual cramps. It works by stimulating the release of natural pain-relieving substances in the body, such as endorphins.


Stress Reduction: Many people find acupuncture to be a relaxing experience. It can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting a sense of calm and balance. Some studies suggest that acupuncture may influence the release of stress hormones in the body.


Improved Sleep: Acupuncture may help improve sleep quality, according to published research. It can address issues like insomnia and restless sleep by regulating the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and reducing anxiety that can interfere with sleep. Click on the link below to review a research article about how acupuncture can improve sleep wake-wake cycle. 


Enhanced Immune Function: Some research suggests that acupuncture may boost the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells. This can help the body defend against infections and illness. Click the link below for research findings about how acupuncture can benefit your immune system 


Digestive Health: Acupuncture is often used to address digestive issues like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, indigestion, and nausea. It can help regulate digestive functions and reduce discomfort. 


Headache and Migraine Relief: Acupuncture is a popular choice for those seeking relief from chronic headaches and migraines. It may reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and improve overall well-being.


Allergy Symptom Relief: Some individuals find relief from allergy symptoms through acupuncture. It is believed to modulate the immune response, potentially reducing allergy-related inflammation.


Fertility Support: Acupuncture is sometimes used as part of fertility treatments. It may help regulate hormones, improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, and reduce stress related to fertility challenges.


Muscle Relaxation: Acupuncture can promote muscle relaxation and reduce muscle tension. This can be beneficial for athletes or individuals with muscle-related pain and stiffness.


Balanced Energy: In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is believed to balance the flow of Qi (energy) in the body. This balance is thought to promote overall health and well-being.


Chronic Conditions: People with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome may find relief through acupuncture.


Mental Health: Traditional Chinese medicine complements traditional mental health treatments and may benefit those with anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Wellness and Prevention: Acupuncture is also sought by individuals looking to maintain their overall well-being and prevent health issues.

It’s important to note that while acupuncture can be beneficial for many, it’s essential to consult with a Licensed Acupuncturist who can assess your specific needs and provide guidance on its potential benefits and health concerns  The effectiveness of acupuncture can vary from person to person, and individualized treatment plans are often recommended. 


How Acupuncture and Massage together can improve your health

Combining acupuncture and massage treatments can offer a synergistic approach to enhancing your health and well-being. When these two therapies are used together, they can provide a range of benefits:

Comprehensive Pain Relief: Acupuncture and massage together can effectively target and relieve various types of pain, such as muscle tension, joint pain, and chronic pain conditions. Acupuncture helps by stimulating the body’s natural pain-relieving mechanisms, while massage relaxes muscles and reduces pain-related muscle tension.


Enhanced Relaxation: The combination of acupuncture’s energy-balancing effects and massage’s muscle relaxation properties can induce a profound sense of relaxation and stress reduction. This dual approach can help reduce anxiety and promote a deep sense of calm.


Improved Circulation: Massage therapy increases blood flow, while acupuncture can help improve the flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. This combination enhances circulation, leading to better oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues and improved overall bodily function.


Muscle and Joint Flexibility: The muscle-relaxing effects of massage can make it easier for acupuncture needles to address areas of muscle tension and joint stiffness. Together, they can enhance muscle and joint flexibility.


Accelerated Healing: The increased circulation and energy balance achieved through this combination can contribute to faster recovery from injuries. It can also reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain associated with injuries or post-surgery recovery.


Stress and Anxiety Management: The dual approach of acupuncture and massage can be particularly effective in managing stress and anxiety. It helps calm the mind and relax the body, reducing the physical and mental symptoms of stress.


Improved Sleep: Many individuals experience improved sleep quality when acupuncture and massage are combined. The relaxation and pain relief provided by these therapies can lead to more restful and deeper sleep.


Holistic Wellness: Together, these therapies address both the physical and energetic aspects of health. They support the body’s natural healing abilities and promote overall well-being.


Personalized Treatment: Acupuncture and massage can be tailored to your specific needs and concerns. Your practitioner can customize the combination to address your unique health goals.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these therapies together may vary depending on the individual and their specific health conditions. It’s advisable to consult with qualified practitioners who can create a personalized treatment plan that takes into account your unique needs and preferences. When administered by skilled professionals, the combination of acupuncture and massage can provide a holistic and integrative approach to improving your health.


acupuncture and massage therapy in North Syracuse and Downtown Syracuse, NY | Hand in Health Massage Therapy


Harnessing the Power of Acupuncture and Massage Therapy

Acupuncture, with its roots in ancient wisdom, and massage therapy, a practice celebrated for its tactile healing, are both extraordinary therapies in their own right. However, when combined, their synergy is nothing short of remarkable. The holistic approach of acupuncture complements the hands-on, muscular relief provided by massage therapy, creating a comprehensive healing experience that addresses the physical, emotional, and energetic aspects of well-being. Whether you seek pain relief, stress reduction, improved digestion, or enhanced overall health, the partnership of acupuncture and massage therapy may hold the key to unlocking your body’s full healing potential.

There’s no better place to start to experience the benefits of Acupuncture than at Hand In Health. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer a synergistic approach to your wellness. Serving the Central New York region, we offer a variety of convenient appointment times at our Downtown Syracuse and North Syracuse locations. Book an appointment today!


Acupuncture near me in North Syracuse & Downtown Syracuse, NY | Hand in Health Massage Therapy


Annette Burden received her education at the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine at the New York Chiropractic College where she received her Masters in Acupuncture and in Traditional Chinese Medicine. During her education Annette completed an internship in Hangzhou, China where she studied Chinese herbs, Acupuncture, and Tui Na in a fast-paced clinical environment. Annette also has a Bachelors in Psychology with a concentration on Community Mental Health from the University at Buffalo. Annette utilizes her education, training background and clinic experiences so her patients will have a complete holistic and balanced treatment for the mind, body and soul. While Acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of health concerns and conditions, Annette specializes in anxiety, depression and pain management.



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