Entries by Steve Hoffman

Top 5 (Electro) Acupuncture Points for Back Pain

So, what is the difference between an electro-acupuncture point and a regular acupuncture point? Nothing, except that when electro-acupuncture is used, a low voltage charge is sent through the acupuncture needle to accomplish therapeutic outcomes. This changes how the body reacts and can change the function of the acupuncture point utilized. The five best points for back pain and how they help, are listed below.

li4

Large Intestine 4 (LI4):  This acupuncture point is a powerful point in and of itself. It can be used for headaches, neck pain, facial pain and paralysis and delayed labor among other functions. This point is used in conjunction with Liver 3 (LV3) in electro acupuncture to provide systemic pain relief. At low frequencies, this point will stimulate the body to produce beta-endorphins, endogenous opioids, that provide pain relief. The body also produces ACTH, a precursor to Cortisol, a powerful anti-inflammatory.

lv3

Liver 3 (LV3):  When used in electro acupuncture, this is the best point on the body for extinguishing brain activity related to pain. LI4 and LV3 are connected in electro acupuncture providing pain relief, reduced inflammation and a reduction pain related brain activity. Using these two points as a more “global” pain reliever, we then start to home in on the area that is causing the pain, the low back.

si3

Small Intestine 3 (SI3):  Located on the pinky side of the hand, this point can be used by itself for back pain with remarkable results. When used in electro acupuncture for back pain, it is connected to the next point, Bladder 60 (UB60). The Bladder meridian runs down the back and is commonly used to address back problems. The Small Intestine meridian is connected to the Bladder meridian, so points on this meridian are also effective in treating back pain.

ub60

Bladder 60 (UB60):  This point is located behind the ankle bone on the outside of the foot. Once again, this point can be used alone to treat back pain. When connected to SI3 with an e-stim device, we pass electrons back and forth from the hand, through back and all the way down to the leg. A higher frequency is used on these points causing the body to produce serotonin, a powerful and fast acting pain killer that also works on mood, appetite, sleep, memory, learning and wound healing. From here we will then target the area of the pain itself.

Spinal Bracketing:  By placing needles along the spine above and below the area of the pain itself, we can directly influence the nerves that are leaving the spine and going to the tissue in the problem area. Using both high and low frequencies, we induce the body to produce both immediate and lasting pain relief while decreasing inflammation directly in the area where the patient is experiencing pain.

Using this approach, we get increasingly closer to the problem area so that we are providing both specific and global pain relief while reducing inflammation. The pain relief will be temporary at first but with continued treatment, the body will produce larger and more sustained quantities of endorphins. On top of this the electrons we are introducing in to the body will help damaged tissue heal and regenerate. Using electro acupuncture not only provides lasting pain relief but helps the body to heal itself so that the pain will go away for good!

If you are suffering with back pain, call today or set up a free 30-minute consultation on line.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

How Your Childhood Can Affect Pain

Many of us believe the past is in the past but when it comes to pain, specifically chronic pain, your past may have a lot to do with how you experience pain. Studies have found that those who experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) reported more pain symptoms than healthy control groups. Other significant childhood factors such as exposure to a family member with an illness, parental loss or childhood hospitalization were also found to be predictive of chronic pain. In addition to chronic pain there are over 40 other health outcomes related to ACEs including:

  • Heart Disease
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Smoking
  • Reported Income
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

These findings are significant, and the health impacts are serious. They also give us a clue as to how to treat patients. If ACEs are significant factors in how patients’ experiences pain, simply treating the pain will result in the return of the pain in most cases. The impact that ACEs have, need to be addressed as well if lasting pain relief is to be achieved.

How Acupuncture Can Help

Acupuncture provides incredible pain-relieving results. By increasing circulation and reducing inflammation, acupuncture helps the body heal. So how does acupuncture help treat chronic pain, where the root is deeply buried in the past. The use of acupuncture can induce the body to release specific substances in the body such as serotonin and Gama-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These substances can help with conditions like anxiety and depression that may stem from ACEs. Acupuncture also helps relieve stress and improve sleep and in so doing, can have an impact on anxiety, depression and even pain relief.

Adverse Childhood Experiences are, unfortunately, something that many of us will carry for a lifetime. Seeking out therapy is often integral part of relieving chronic pain. Exercise, diet and other lifestyle factors will also play a part in how you experience pain. If you are experiencing an injury or some other acute pain, acupuncture can get you back to normal in short order. If your pain is chronic, a multi-pronged approach is necessary to obtain complete and lasting relief. Call today to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and we can discuss your unique problem.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Pain, MRI Findings & Acupuncture

Many patients come in to my office for relief of back or neck pain that they are experiencing. Often, they say that they had an MRI and it shows that the discs in their spine have degenerated or are bulging and they have been told by their doctor that this why they have pain. In many cases this is false, and they have been given bad information. Did you know that a study was done on over 1200 healthy, asymptomatic individuals and that MRIs on the neck revealed that 87.6% of these individuals had bulging discs? A full 75% of those in their 20’s had bulging discs! All these individuals were asymptomatic, they had NO pain whatsoever. But if these individuals were in pain their doctors would have pointed to the MRI and said, yep, there’s the problem. Another MRI study of the low back in over 3000 perfectly healthy, pain free individuals showed that 80% of those in their 50’s had disc degeneration and 36% had disc protrusion! The imaging showed that these individuals should have been in pain but were not.

Disc Abnormalities

Can disc degeneration and/or bulging discs cause pain. Yes, they can. If they impinge on a nerve or obstruct blood flow, pain can result. But as these studies showed, there is not always a 1:1 correlation. So why is this a problem. The patient is left with the “knowledge” that the abnormality is what is causing the pain, and this does two things: one, it leaves them with few and often misleading options. If you are trying to treat something that is not causing the problem, how successful do you think you will be! Secondly, this “knowledge” can often perpetuate a pain syndrome. The patient thinks that there is something wrong, so they will just have to deal with and manage the pain.

How Acupuncture Can Help

If the pain that you are experiencing is not the result of an abnormality, acupuncture can increase circulation, stimulate the immune system and induce the body to produce pain modulating endorphins. This will decrease your pain and help your body heal the problem. Want to know something else, if your pain is related to an abnormality, acupuncture can still do all these things, helping reduce your pain and heal the problem.

If you are experiencing back, neck or any other kind of pain call today for a free 30-minute consultation. You can leave the MRI at home!

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Dry Needling & Acupuncture

Wait, isn’t dry needling really acupuncture? Well, it depends on who you ask. Dry needling, trigger point therapy, meridian therapy, five element acupuncture, Japanese acupuncture, French acupuncture, distal acupuncture the list goes on and on. There are over 300 known styles of acupuncture and probably hundreds more that are not widely known. Dry needling, like any of the other hundreds of styles of acupuncture, is just that, a style or method of using acupuncture for a specific purpose.

Is Dry Needling for Me?

Well, that depends. Dry needling works well for both acute and chronic pain conditions and can even address some internal disorders, when used by a skilled practitioner. If you have a pain condition that is the result of trigger points, then dry needling can be part of a comprehensive solution to resolving your problem. Why just “part” of the solution? If your problem is caused partially by trigger points, then additional techniques or therapies will be required. There are dozens of other issues that can be contributing to your problem such as stress, diet, lifestyle, exercise (wrong type, too much, too little) just to name a few. Therefore, it is imperative to seek out someone who is fully trained in acupuncture so that your issue can be fully addressed and resolved.

When is Dry Needling Inappropriate?

If you are having fertility issues, anxiety, depression, digestive issue, immune issues and other things that are not related to trigger points, then dry needling is probably not a good option.

Which Acupuncturist Do I See?

Find an acupuncturist in your area the specializes in your condition. Someone who deals with pain issues on a day in, day out basis is much more likely to be able to properly diagnose, treat and resolve your problem as opposed to someone who specializes in fertility treatments. Some practitioners are “general” practitioners and while some can be quite good, others will say that they can treat you just to get you in the door. Do your research, look at reviews and find the right practitioner for you!

At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, we are experts in treating pain syndromes and injury. We do have expertise and training in other areas as we find that most times, pain is accompanied, caused or exacerbated by other issues that, left untreated, will hamper recovery. Call today to set up a free 30-minute consultation.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Acupuncture & Trigger Points

What is a trigger point and how does it cause pain?

A trigger point is a myofascial syndrome caused by injury or stress that often results in pain. When stressed or injured, contracted knots of muscle and connective tissue can develop, and these can cause pain locally (in the area of the trigger point) or can refer pain to other areas, sometimes far from the actual trigger point. These knots irritate nerves and restrict blood flow to the muscles resulting in pain and preventing the body from healing the problem.

How can acupuncture help:

The best way to release trigger points is with the use of acupuncture. By inserting a fine needle in to the area of a trigger point, a twitch response can be elicited. This twitch is the muscle releasing and breaking up the trigger point. Think of the trigger point as a knot of tissue that is constantly pulling on the muscle tissue on either side of it. This knot does not allow the muscle to fully relax. By activating the trigger point, the knot of tissue fully contracts and then is able to fully release. Trigger points that have been present for a long period of time can even produce calcium deposits but with repeated treatment, these can be broken up, returning the tissue to its normal, healthy state.

Everyone knows how it feels when someone presses on a knot in their neck or shoulders. It is painful but often feels good at the same time. These types of knots can cause everything from tightness to severe pain, headaches and even internal disorders. If you have a problem that you think is caused by trigger points, call today to set up a free 30-minute consultation and we will let you know how we can help.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Health Wellness & Acupuncture

I think most of us have a decent picture of what health looks like. My only tweak to this would be to add that we should be seeking optimal health and not just an absence of disease or symptoms. I have also written about how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help you achieve and maintain optimal health. But what the heck is wellness and how can acupuncture help.

Wellness Defined

Wellness is a process, an active process of becoming aware and actively making choices that move one toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness also encompasses emotional, physical, spiritual and even things like financial wellness. So many of us are so inundated with stress and deadlines and child care and schedules that we feel like we “survive” getting through the day. We need things like caffeine to give us a jolt, pain killers for headaches and other aches and pains, alcohol or other substances to “wind down”. In reality, these substances are numbing us and keeping us unaware of how our bodies are really feeling. Once we wake up and realize that we are tired and in pain and stressed out of our minds, we can start to listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us. This is the first step to becoming aware. It is then that we can make good and conscious choices that help us lead a healthy, fulfilling life.

How Can Acupuncture Help

Acupuncture can help you reduce stress, reduce or even eliminate pain and sleep better. Once these problems are under control, you can more readily make those good choices and fully embrace the process of wellness. The reward? An engaged, fulfilled life that is much more likely to get you to a ripe old age instead of your golden years being filled with doctors’ visits, pharmaceuticals and dependence.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Acupuncture & The Q36 Space Modulator?

Could the Q36 space modulator be the answer to your problems. No. But an instrument that introduces electrons, which are negatively charged, in to your body can be. Did you know that when tissue is damaged it becomes positively charged? Did you know that blood cells can clump together, making it difficult or impossible for vital nutrients to reach the cells? But when someone is grounded to the earth for 40 minutes, the cells separate reducing pain and inflammation. Did you know that the surface of the earth is negatively charged, and therefore the body heals and feels better when grounded? You do now. And you also now know that when acupuncture needles are stimulated with electrons, they will not only heal the body, but they will induce the body to produce a whole host of endorphins.

Electro-Acupuncture

Maybe the most amazing thing about using acupuncture in conjunction with electrical stimulation (E-Stim) is that we can target specific areas of pain and injury or we can target more systemic problems like fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders even stress, anxiety and depression. The entire body communicates through electrical impulses and by utilizing specific frequencies and duration of stimulation, electro-acupuncture can induce the body to produce specific endorphins allowing us to target different problems with pin point accuracy.

Your body produces chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, acids that will eat through your skin and pain killers that are many times more powerful than morphine. This allows your body to fight infection, digest your food and heal properly. When your body is not producing the right substances, or an area of the body is not healing, intervention is necessary. Electro-acupuncture can be the perfect intervention to help you feel better and heal properly. The Q36 space modulator? Leave that to Bugs!

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Acupuncture &…Vacation??

What in the world could acupuncture have to do with vacation? Well, did you know that your body heals better when you are on vacation. Did you ever notice that you sleep better when you are on vacation. This is because, in general, you are removed from the stresses of everyday life. With fewer stress hormones and your body being in a more restful state, healing is faster and easier. Too often though, our vacations tend to be running from one place to the next, trying to cram in as many memories as possible and we often do not get the rest that we need so badly. The other part of the equation is that we get a week or two here and there and this is simply not enough time for your body to properly heal and regenerate. Pain syndromes, immune problems, infertility and even more serious disease processes can be the unfortunate end result. So what can you do to eliminate these problems. Give yourself a little vacation on a regular basis!

Listen, you take care of your car, you take care of your home, you take care of your kids, you are responsible at work. Why not take care of yourself! What is more important than your health and wellbeing. Quite simply nothing, but our culture does not lend itself to self-care. We are pushed and pressured in to doing more, being more independent and increasingly isolated. Acupuncture and other self-care modalities can be the perfect solution for things like pain syndromes, insomnia, infertility and allows the body to fight off even more serious problems. This is because acupuncture down regulates the central nervous system and systemically reduces stress related hormones. This puts your body in a “vacation” mode and allows the healing and regeneration process to take place.

If you suffer from pain, insomnia or the effects of high stress, your body is trying to tell you something. Listen and take care of the most important thing in your life, you!

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Coping Strategies for Stress

Stress is a fact of life. How you deal with that stress will go a long way toward determining how you feel, how you look and even how long you live! If your coping mechanisms consist of a drink or two at night to “wind down” then a cup or three of coffee the next day to “get going”, compulsively scrolling through Facebook, binge watching Netflix to all hours, compulsive spending or emotional eating then your coping mechanisms, well, suck. Some of these you may not recognize as coping mechanisms or because of stress. By spending every spare minute scrolling on your phone or convincing yourself that you can live without one more hour of sleep, so you can watch the next episode, you are avoiding real contact and real introspection and healthy ways to reduce or eliminate stress. Here are some positive ways you can deal with stress, feel better, look better and live longer.

Yoga & Exercise: First, going to the gym and flogging yourself for 45 minutes doing twenty different exercises, leaving yourself feeling more worn out than when you walked in is not what exercise should look like. Sure, if you are twenty years old, go to CrossFit and go nuts. But when we get in to our 40’s, 50’s and beyond, exercises should be more nutritive and less depleting to our bodies. Just look at some 80-year olds in China, up at the crack of dawn, going to the park and practicing Tai Chi, then look at 80-year olds in this country. Exercises like Yoga and Tai Chi challenge your body in a balanced way and are meditative in nature, further helping to reduce stress.

Meditation: Do not try to sit down for an hour and mediate especially if you have never meditated before. This will only set you up for failure. Take ten minutes. That’s all. If you can’t find ten minutes in your day to sit in a quiet place and mediate, you are heading towards problems (or are already there). The type of meditation does not matter so much, especially when you are just starting. Find something that speaks to you, try a few out and relax. Once you have your ten minutes down expand to twenty and eventually a half hour.

Connect: Connections are critical to dealing with stress. Put the phone down and talk to your family. Call a friend and ask them how they are. Get involved in your community, volunteer, go visit your local shops instead of Amazon. Having roots and a strong support network will do wonders for you.

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine: Acupuncture has clinically proven results in reducing stress and stress related hormones. When coupled with Chinese herbal medicine, it is a potent way to cope with stress. Often, sleep and pain syndromes are part of the picture when it comes to treating stress and acupuncture can help reduce or eliminate all of them.

The best approach to coping with stress is a multi-faceted one, incorporating several coping strategies that will overlap and support one another. The choice is yours and how you deal with stress is a choice.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Is CBD Right for Me?

Talk about CBD, short for Cannabidiol, has been prevalent in news and health and wellness forums recently. There are many claims about what CBD is good for and you may have wondered if CBD can help you with a specific health complaint. This article will look at some of the reported benefits, along with some cautions about the use of CBD oil.

CBD oil is made from the cannabis plant but in states where cannabis is illegal, all but trace amounts of THC (the psychoactive compound that causes the “high”) are removed. By binding to and blocking specific receptors in the body and nervous system, the cannabinoids can affect things ranging from coordination, mood, pain, appetite and even memories. Some of the studied benefits of CBD oil are listed below.

Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory - With all of the attention the opioid crisis has garnered, a natural, effective way of reducing pain and inflammation is fantastic news. Both internal consumption of CBD oil and topical applications are effective.

Smoking and Drug Withdrawals - Researchers have seen reduction in symptoms associated with withdrawal from drugs and nicotine.

Neurological Disorders - Treatment of epilepsy and nervous system injury and degeneration have shown promising results.

Cancer - CBD has demonstrated an ability to prevent the spread of cancer and increase the bodies natural ability do destroy cancer cells.

Stress/Anxiety/Insomnia - These are some of the most common problems that we see in our acupuncture clinic and they lead to a whole host of diseases. CBD has proven to be effective in treating all of them.

Known side effects of CBD use include some impact on liver metabolism, dry mouth, increased tremor in some Parkinson’s patients, low blood pressure, dizziness and drowsiness. If you have liver problems you should use CBD cautiously or not at all without the input of a qualified health care practitioner. Additionally, liver enzymes should be monitored if CBD is used long term. Another issue with the use of CBD is drug testing. There are reports that positive tests for marijuana have resulted from using CBD oil. Caution should also be exercised in choosing a CBD product. Some have tested high in THC content and others in lower than advertised CBD content. Third party testing is the best way to insure quality.

At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine we carry high quality, third party tested CBD oils and topical solutions. We have had great success with pain syndromes and with stress and anxiety when used in conjunction with acupuncture treatments. We even have free samples of our best topical CBD cream for patients to try out!

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.