Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Placebo Effect?

 A Placebo Effect? 

Many skeptics and opponents of acupuncture doubt it's effectiveness because of they believe it is a placebo, which is defined by Oxford as:

1. A harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.

Let's say the placebo effect is real in acupuncture and that's what makes it effective--So, what's wrong with that? You could pay over $100 for a doctors visit with no insurance and have to buy a $150/month lifetime prescription that will only treat your symptoms and not the actual cause of the pain, OR you can pay $15 once a week for something that will not harm your body and that gives you instant relief and long lasting results. 

Western Medicine's focus is how and why something works. Really, I feel the same is true with everything in the west. I think the thing that has everyone completely dumbfounded is that they cannot explain how exactly acupuncture works. Perhaps the real issue is our inability to cope with not having all the answers. Why are we so concerned with how and why something works? Can we not be content with simply knowing that it does?

I firmly believe that one should question EVERYTHING, but when I feel as good as I do and have seen the same results in others, there isn't anything to question in terms of its effectiveness.

I feel the evidence that acupuncture works is overwhelming; however, skeptics and those who have an agenda to push or a pocket to pad would have you believe otherwise. If you google "Acupuncture works, acupuncture study", much of what you'll find is skeptics invalidating the practice or studies that claim it's of little benefit. Why is it that everyone I have come into contact with at our clinic has experienced positive improvement (myself included), yet all I can find on the internet is that acupuncture doesn't work? Imagine how much money the medical industry makes off of illness, think of how much money the pharmaceutical industry makes off of medicating everyone to high heaven...if you were making billions of dollars a year keeping people sick, would you really want to come out in support of something that would cripple your profits?

I will say, I was a HUGE skeptic at first, I am skeptical of literally everything. But I cannot deny how amazing I feel; mind, body, and soul. My stress is gone, tension is gone, I feel energized enough that I have been exercising every day or every other day for the last month--from someone with Narcolepsy (I battle with constant drowsiness), this is incredible. I have seen with my own eyes people that came into the clinic looking sickly and drained and after 2 months worth of treatments they look radiant, lively, happy and are practically skipping out the door. 

If you think about it simply, acupuncture has been used in China for over 2,500 years. If it was a placebo or simply did not work, don't you think they would have stopped using it by now? 

Until next week,


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Acupuncture: The Alternative

Hey, everyone!


We hope this week finds you well rested and happy.

In trying to educate you, our patients, we'd like to touch on what acupuncture is effective at treating and how it can be a great alternative to Western medicine.

Here is the link to a lengthy report from the World Health Organization on the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating a wide range of ailments:

For convenience purposes I wanted to just cut to the chase (that report is 81 pages long, for goodness' sakes!) and list exactly what acupuncture is effective at treating below (this list starts on page 23 of the report):


1. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved—through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

Biliary colic

Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following


Dysentery, acute bacillary

Dysmenorrhoea, primary

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


Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)


Hypertension, essential

Hypotension, primary

Induction of labour

Knee pain


Low back pain

Malposition of fetus, correction of

Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting

Neck pain

Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular


Periarthritis of shoulder

Postoperative pain

Renal colic

Rheumatoid arthritis




Tennis elbow


2. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)

Acne vulgaris

Alcohol dependence and detoxification

Bell’s palsy

Bronchial asthma

Cancer pain

Cardiac neurosis                        

Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation


Competition stress syndrome

Craniocerebral injury, closed

Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent


Epidemic haemorrhagic fever

Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)

Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection

Female infertility

Facial spasm

Female urethral syndrome

Fibromyalgia and fasciitis

Gastrokinetic disturbance

Gouty arthritis

Hepatitis B virus carrier status

Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)




Labour pain

Lactation, deficiency

Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic

Ménière disease

Neuralgia, post-herpetic



Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence


Pain due to endoscopic examination

Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans

Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)

Postextubation in children

Postoperative convalescence

Premenstrual syndrome

Prostatitis, chronic


Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome

Raynaud syndrome, primary

Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Retention of urine, traumatic


Sialism, drug-induced

Sjögren syndrome

Sore throat (including tonsillitis)

Spine pain, acute

Stiff neck

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Tietze syndrome

Tobacco dependence

Tourette syndrome

Ulcerative colitis, chronic


Vascular dementia

Whooping cough (pertussis)


3. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:


Choroidopathy, central serous

Colour blindness



Irritable colon syndrome

Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury

Pulmonary heart disease, chronic

Small airway obstruction


4. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment:

Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Convulsions in infants

Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)

Diarrhoea in infants and young children

Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage

Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar

Treatments cost between $15-$35, you pay what you can afford. You can spend as little as 15 minutes or up to 2 hours to relax and rest-it's your choice how long you stay. When you think about how invasive surgery is and how harsh medications can be on your body, acupuncture is definitely a safe, non-invasive alternative (providing your acupuncturist is a highly trained and educated--Deana has been practicing for over 12 years).

When you consider the cost, time, and convenience of acupuncture compared to traditional Western medicine as well as the control you have over your own health, acupuncture can be a great supplement to your current health care regimen or a great alternative on its own. Help us spread the word!

To happiness and health!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What is Community Acupuncture? From an outsider looking in

Hey, everyone!

We want to use this blog as a way of communicating to our clients, it's a bit more in-depth than a Facebook status or Tweet. We also want to be proactive in educating our customers, because we feel that it empowers you to make the best choices for you. You deserve to be in control of your health. 

Maplebrook uses a Community Acupuncture business model, but what does that mean? When I was first told by a dear friend that I needed to go to her Community Acupuncture clinic, the first thing I thought was, "Hippie, hole in the wall, creepy place!" and naturally some red flags went up-especially never having had acupuncture at all. Below is an explanation of what Community acupuncture is straight from (the website of POCA - People's Organization of Community Acupuncture, the people who created the Community Acupuncture business model).

The Short Version
We define Community Acupuncture as the practice of offering acupuncture:
1) in a setting where multiple patients receive treatments at the same time;
2) by financially sustainable and accountable means, whereby community acupuncture clinics depend directly on the support of the people who receive acupuncture in them, rather than on grants, donations, or other funding;
3) within a context of accessibility, which we create by providing consistent hours, by making frequent treatments readily available, by offering affordable services, and by lowering all the barriers to treatment that we possibly can, for as many people as we possibly can, while continuing to be financially self-sustaining.
When the cost is lowered from $60 per treatment to $15-$35 per treatment, we are able to treat many more patients and offer an affordable service. I was baffled to learn about the sliding scale of $15-35--but I was also confused. I figured you only got as many needles as you paid for so if you paid $15, you only got a few needles and if you paid $35, well, you would end up looking like a porcupine. Not so! You get treated the same, no matter what you pay. When the issue of money is removed from the equation everyone is happy and there is a true mutual benefit. 

Just in case you were still wondering, Maplebrook is the furthest thing from a "hippie, hole in the wall, creepy place". It is a professional clinic with a setting similar to a doctors office, but much more relaxing. We have a reception area for our customers to fill out paperwork and in the back we have our 2 patient rooms, full of covered recliners (for optimal cleanliness), comfy blankets (for optimal coziness), and soothing music (for optimal relaxation).

Needless to say, my preconceived notion of what Community Acupuncture was disappeared. In fact, I did a 180 and started volunteering after my first treatment this past July. Once Deana educated me on the Community business model and working class movement, I was hooked. I volunteer because I wholeheartedly support the principles behind this business model. Rather than force someone into providing cheaper healthcare, rather than have all this unnecessary overhead that ALL of your profits go into employing, rather than have 50 million managers who do less and less as you go higher up; let people provide cheaper healthcare on their own accord, create an environment where savings can be passed directly to the patients, let's support clinics with ONE boss-the owner. In our society, all we do is complain, but what do we actually do to change things? This movement has gained so much momentum because they are taking action.

So, please, tell everyone you know! The more patients we are able to treat, the more hours we are able to offer our services and the longer we can ensure the continuation of the Community business model. We depend on you just as much as you depend on us.  

Thank you for checking out our blog and for allowing us to help you reach optimal health! Until next week!