Entries by Steve Hoffman

How You Can Help Acupuncture?

​Wait, isn’t acupuncture supposed to help me? Well, yes but just like any healing modality and like many things in life, much of the outcome hinges on you. Going to PT but not doing the exercises at home, don’t expect much progress. Have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a heart condition? Medications can help, but the real healing takes place when you start to make better choices about your health. Trying to accomplish, well, just about anything? The results are directly dependent on you. OK, so how do I help acupuncture.

Enough Is Enough

I heard someone talking recently and they were saying that they were listening to an audio book. They went on to say that they liked to exercise or clean when they listened to the book because they liked to “do something”. Um, they were doing something...listening to a book! We have become so driven by what we “get done”, what we accomplish (or don’t) that the simple pleasure of sitting and listening to a book feels like we are somehow being lazy. We haven’t checked something off the list. We sit there, listening to the book but looking at all of the things that need to be done and we can’t even take the time to be with ourselves.

So How Can I Help

There may be several things that your acupuncturist might recommend to help with your healing process. Exercise, changes in diet, changes in lifestyle or maybe working with other health care practitioners depending on your situation. One thing that will help your body heal in almost any case is reducing stress. When we are under stress, our bodies simply do not recover the way they do when we are relaxed, when we get good sleep. Did you know that your body heals better when you are on vacation? You do now! Give yourself mini vacations every day. Schedule them into your day so that they happen. Say enough is enough and take care of yourself.

Silver Linings

One thing that I hope comes from this whole situation we are in with COVID-19 is that we will realize that we can STOP, completely. And you know what, things are still OK. The world keeps turning, we figure out a way to get through. I hope that communities come to rely on one another more closely and that families realize that, really, the most important thing IS family, not the work that you do to provide for your family. We can survive and even thrive without schools and camps and organized activities and all the other crap we surround ourselves with.

The rewards for this are many fold. One of them is that you can improve your health and improve your outcomes with any healing modality by simply giving yourself some space to heal.

​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.

To Supplement or Not to Supplement

Vitamin D is crucial to strong immune system. No, it’s vitamin C, you must have vitamin C. Load up with zinc, that will keep you from getting sick. Iodine, selenium, magnesium...Oh My! So, which is it? The truth is you need all of them and more to maintain a strong immune system and with the Coronavirus still spreading, keeping your immune system strong is more important than ever. So why do so many articles I read seem to indicate that supplementing is unnecessary, does no good or can actually be harmful like this one. I am not sure why there seems to be a bias against supplementing, but you do have to be careful about what and how much you are taking. Getting input from a trained professional can help in this area rather than leaving your health decisions to the kid at the vitamin store or reacting to an article you read.

You Are What You Eat

My general take on supplements is that you should be getting most of what you need from the food you eat. This is the way we developed as a species. There are a few caveats to this, however. Food is not the same as it used to be. Large scale farming practices often strip the soils of vital nutrients. Foods are also grown in areas that they were not traditionally grown in and their nutritional make up is often different. So, unless what you are eating is grown on a sustainable local farm using heirloom seeds, it is possible that you are not getting what you think you are getting. The other caveat is that we no longer eat the way we used to. When our ancestors got ahold of a chicken, what did they eat. EVERYTHING! The organs, the gristle, the marrow...every last piece of nutrition they could get out of it, they simply didn’t know when they might get another one so nothing went to waste! Between these two things, many of us have “holes” in our nutritional profile that should be filled if we are to maintain optimal health and immunity.

Fill Those Holes

So how do you fill those nutritional holes? Supplement. Don’t eat fish...ever, take a fish oil supplement. Don’t get enough sun (and none of us get the full body sun we need for vitamin D production, especially in the winter), take a vitamin D supplement. Don’t eat a lot of fruits and veggies, take a fiber supplement. Vegan take a B12 supplement, your life may depend on it. Don’t get me started on iodine. None of us get enough of that in our foods and the prevalence of thyroid problems in our society is a glaring indicator of this fact. These examples are fairly easy to spot but there are others that take time and training to tease out and properly diagnose and treat. That is why it is important to work with a professional.

Cautions

For some supplements, you should speak with your doctor before beginning a regimen. Blood tests can be helpful in spotting trouble areas. Be careful about overlapping supplements. If you are taking a multivitamin with vitamin D in it, that should be considered when dosing a vitamin D supplement. Therapeutic or high doses of any supplement should be done under close supervision with your doctor. This pandemic has shined a spotlight on the importance of being healthy, optimally healthy. Proper supplementation, done safely and under supervision, can go a long way to helping you achieve and maintain that level of health.

​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.

Coronavirus and CBD, More Important Now Than Ever

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives, probably forever. One of the scariest parts about this pandemic is the sense of helplessness. “I have to stay inside so I don’t get it or spread it to others”. But what if you do get it. Hopefully, you are in the large majority that has either mild or no symptoms. But we read about seemingly healthy people who are in the fight of their lives and some of them don’t make it. So the advice is to stay home if you are sick and basically there is not a lot you can do to treat it. If it gets bad enough, you go to the hospital where it is really the same story. They do what they can to keep you comfortable and manage symptoms but there is no real treatment for the disease. While we wait for a vaccine or other treatment, CBD oil may prove to be a viable option in managing the disease and preventing deadly complications.

Inflammation

We know that those who develop serious and even deadly complications from a COVID-19 infection suffer from systemic inflammation and inflammation in certain organs. Those with overall increased in inflammation are more pre-disposed to developing dangerous inflammation from the infection. If we look at other pre-existing conditions that put people at higher risk for serious complications from a COVID-19 infection, all of them are marked by increased inflammation. Heart disease, lung disease, obesity, diabetes, one and all, are marked by increased inflammation. Even in the elderly, who’s immune systems are not as strong, the reaction to the infection is an increase in inflammation. This is the body’s way of trying to make up for a weakened or compromised immune system.

The role of CBD

This research article reveals that cannabinoids, found in CBD oil, act to reduce inflammation in the body. Further, cannabinoids demonstrated antifibrotic properties. This finding could be a tremendous weapon in the fight against serious complications from COVID. Antifibrotic lung medications have shown promise in treating lung distress and prevention of fibrosis may be key in prevention and treatment. Cannabinoids are also free from the side effects of NSAIDS and other anti-inflammatory medications currently in use.

Treatment and Prevention

CBD oil should be used for anyone who contracts the COVID virus. The above cited article also indicates that “Ultimately, this process results in an increase in the rate of resolution of chronic inflammation.” In other words, if you have a pre-existing condition, you can use CBD to help get the inflammation under control so that you are less susceptible to serious complications if you do contract the virus.

Wild Wild West

The questions I get all the time from patients is: “Where do I get it”. The other question should be: “How do I dose it”. Well, you can take seminars, do a few weeks worth of research, find practitioners who have used different products in their clinics and found which worked best...or, you can seek someone out who has done all of this work! Less reputable companies can slap whatever label they want on a bottle. There is very little regulation at this point, it is like the Wild West with this stuff. So you may be getting a product that does not contain what the label says it does OR you may be getting a product that contains things you do not want! Even if the company is trying to produce a good product, unless they are third party certified, you still do not know what you are getting and you could be wasting your time and money. The other piece of it is that, like any medication, you have to know how to dose it properly. You can be taking more than necessary and while this is not really dangerous, it wastes your money. On the other hand you can be taking too little for your condition and this will not only waste your money but it will be ineffective.

In Our Clinic

The long and short of this all is that CBD can be a potent weapon in prevention and treatment of COVID. You do have to seek out someone who can properly advise you as to what product, what strength and what dosage is right for you. At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine we have done extensive research and training and have practical experience with clients who have used CBD oil for a variety of health complaints. Call today to schedule a phone consultation and we can help you during these trying times.

​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.

What The Coronavirus Is Teaching Us About Our Health

Well, nothing that we really didn’t know before. Those most vulnerable to serious and even deadly complications from a COVID-19 infection are those who are immune compromised and those with pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions like heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity. Age is also a factor in susceptibility. I suspect, however, that a large part of the reason that age is a factor is that the elderly population is more likely to HAVE one or more of these pre-existing conditions. Do you know what else this population is at risk for developing serious and deadly complications from? The common flu.

What we have known for decades

This information has been widely available a long time. So why has it taken a global pandemic to open our eyes to this fact. The flu does not drive us to shelter in place and avoid contact and social distance. As a society, we have been dealing with the flu forever. Most who contract the flu, get sick and then get better. The flu also does not drive tens of thousands of people to hospitals at one time, overwhelming the health care system and forcing providers to decide who gets a ventilator and who doesn’t. The fact remains though, that having one or more pre-existing condition pre-disposes you to serious or even deadly complications from not only the flu but other infections. Developing these conditions will also shorten you life expectancy.

What can we do

The advice, like the information, has been there for a long time. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Optimize your vitamin and mineral levels either through diet or supplementation. Exercise regularly and minimize or learn strategies to cope with stress. Making these things a part of your life will reduce your risk for developing pre-existing conditions and will strengthen your immune system. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are two great ways to help fill in holes in your diet, strengthen your immune system and help reduce stress.

Silver linings

I suspect that we will find many silver linings as we get through this crisis. Slowing down or even STOPPING the cycle of everything having to get done...right now! Spending time with our immediate family, without having to schedule and work around five hundred different activities each week. Realizing what our kids are and are not getting in their daily lives. Being kind to those in our communities and ourselves. And, my hope is, that we will recognize the importance of our health and take an active role in fostering and maintaining that health so that our bodies are more capable of taking care of themselves and we can all live longer, healthier lives.

​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.

Coronavirus, What We are Doing To Protect Our Patients

There was a meme the other day about COVID 19 that said when you see the name, think of the song Come on Eileen...now I can’t get it out of my head. Almost like the omnipresent news and nonstop social chatter about it! There is justifiable concern but also reasons not to panic as I outlined in my last blog Afraid of Coronavirus? I'm Not, Here's Why.. I have had a few folks cancel their appointments and I understand their concerns. I am planning on remaining open since I can help people not only with their chief complaint but also with keeping their immune systems strong. I have always followed applicable OSHA standards, Clean Needle Techniques along with disinfecting procedures and frequent hand washing/sanitizing. I have implemented a few new procedures as listed below to minimize the chances of spreading this virus and to “flatten the curve”.

1)  Elimination of table linens. While I use table paper to cover the tables, the linens are impossible to disinfect after every treatment. Even changing the linens after every patient can result in contact and spread of pathogens.

2)  I have also removed table warmers from the tables as, once again, these are impossible to disinfect after every patient. SORRY, I know many of you love the nice heated table to lay on but for the foreseeable future, we need to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus.

3)  Tables and rooms will be disinfected after every treatment. Normally, removal of the table paper and replacement with new paper would suffice as a standard of practice but with the heightened urgency to prevent the spread of this virus, more stringent measures are warranted.

4)  Reduced schedule. In order to maximize social distancing and to give me a chance to properly disinfect rooms after treatments, I will be moving to a reduced schedule.

5)  As outlined below I am asking patients who are infected or are experiencing symptoms to not come to the office. I will still offer phone/skype consultations to formulate an herb and supplement regimen that will boost your immune system and help you fight this (or any other) infection. We will work out how you receive your herbs/supplements on a case by case basis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a cold/flu or sore throat, with or without a fever DO NOT come in to the office. I will be suspending my 24 hour cancellation policy for the time being. Contact your primary care provider to get advice about testing and self quarantine procedure if necessary.

Above all, use good judgment and take a breath and try to stay calm. We will get through this. Keep yourself and your family safe.

​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.

Afraid of Coronavirus? I’m Not, Here’s Why

OK, everyone take a deep breath, stop looking at the stock market and stay calm. Is the coronavirus outbreak something to be concerned with, sure? Is it something to panic over, no? Are there things you can do to prevent being infected, yes. Is there something you can do if you are infected, yes!

Estimates show a 2% mortality rate for coronavirus, compared to .5% mortality rate for influenza. This number is more than likely skewed based on the small sample size, the fact that a certain percentage of those infected are asymptomatic (one of the reasons that it will be impossible to contain) or symptoms are so mild that those infected do not seek medical attention and are therefore not included in overall infected tally. This is in sharp contrast to something like SARS, with a 60% mortality rate. When people were infected with this virus, it was known very quickly, and health officials were able to quarantine and contain the spread fairy easily. Ironically, this makes SARS a relatively unsuccessful viral infection, it kills the host thus preventing further spread of the disease. But like I said, there is cause for concern but there are also reasons why you shouldn’t panic.

Prevention:

There are supplements and minerals that can “boost” your immune system or have anti-viral properties. Iodine is probably the most important of these and has been shown to inhibit and even destroy viruses when taken orally. Vitamins A, D & C, Zinc, Selenium and garlic are other supplements/foods that have demonstrated an ability to stimulate the immune system and provide protection against viral infections. Regular acupuncture has also demonstrated an ability to improve your immune system. These and the standard protocols like washing hands, keeping children (and yourself) home if sick can go a long way to preventing the spread of this virus as well as keeping yourself from becoming infected.

Care:

You’ve done everything you can to prevent getting the virus (or maybe not) and you still get sick. Now what! Consult your physician of course, they may prescribe anti virals or antibiotics to prevent bacterial infections. Normal things like plenty of rest and fluids to help your body combat the virus will help. There are also specific electro acupuncture anti pathogen protocols that will make your internal environment inhospitable to the virus and even decrease viral loads. Vitamin C, colloidal silver and garlic (again!) are great supplements along with Chinese herbal formulas. All of this can help you combat the infection and get you back on your feet in short order.

This virus should be taken seriously. Preventing the spread of even influenza is something we should all be aware of and working towards. It does, after all, kill people. With proper prevention and care you can do your part to help stop the spread of the disease and keep yourself healthy.

​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, Anxiety & Pain

Most people know that acupuncture is extremely effective for treating pain. Many also know that acupuncture can be used to treat anxiety. What many don’t know is that treating anxiety helps patients who are suffering with pain.

Clinical Results:

Eighty to ninety percent of patients that I treat for pain are also treated for anxiety, even if that is not one of their initial complaints. With these patients it comes up during their initial consultation that, along with their pain, they are dealing with some level of anxiety and stress. In my clinic, when I treat these patients for anxiety along with treating their pain, they get better faster, results last longer and they end up needing fewer treatments.

How Anxiety Affects Pain:

Anxiety drives us in to “fight or flight” mode. This is your body’s natural response to stress. It is an important response and necessary when we are dealing with stressful situations. The problem is that in today’s society, people are under almost constant stress, sometimes at high levels. People also do not allow themselves enough time to deal with this stress through exercise, meditation and restorative practices. This does not allow the body to enter “rest and digest” mode. This is when your body is healing, repairing itself and recovering. High stress levels and anxiety ultimately affect sleep, when your body should be rebuilding and healing itself.

Pain & Anxiety:

Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. Normally, the body heals the problem, we recover and move on. But how is the body supposed to heal itself if anxiety and stress are not allowing that healing to take place. This is how anxiety can perpetuate pain syndromes. Once the anxiety is reduced or alleviated, the body can devote the proper resources to truly fix the problem that is causing the pain.

So, what can you expect when you come in to get treatment for your pain? Look forward to being more relaxed, better sleep and a faster resolution to your 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.

5 Reasons Why Every Athlete Needs Acupuncture

If you are an athlete, either professional or amateur, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can benefit you in several ways. You have probably seen pictures of Michael Phelps with cupping marks or James Harrison with dozens of needles in his body. Why would these world class athletes, who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping their bodies in peak shape, use acupuncture. Because it works and here are five reasons why.

Pain Relief

Acupuncture is well documented for relieving pain. By inducing the body to increase the production of naturally occurring pain relieving substances, athletes are able to get back to training faster and more safely. With little to no side effects and without the risk of further injury associated with synthetic pain relievers, acupuncture is an essential part of any training regimen.

Faster Recovery

By increasing blood flow and relaxing muscles, fatigued muscles are able to recover faster. This allows athletes to push harder, sooner and achieve new levels of performance.

Improved Sleep

By engaging the bodies parasympathetic (think rest and digest) part of the nervous system and shutting down the sympathetic (think fight or flight) part of the nervous system, longer periods of deeper sleep can be achieved. The only time your body is recovering is when you are sleeping, so if you are sleeping better, you are recovering better.

Faster Healing

Injuries are the biggest impediment to training. A sprain or strain can set a training regimen back weeks if not months. Increasing blood flow, reducing inflammation and even providing the necessary environment with electro-acupuncture, your acupuncturist can get you up and running in a fraction of the time it would normally take to heal.

Engaging Adrenal Response

Just like acupuncture can engage the parasympathetic nervous system and down regulate the sympathetic nervous system, an acupuncturist can similarly do the reverse. By engaging your adrenal response, you can be ultra-prepared for your race or event. This procedure is typically done as close as possible to the race so that your body is primed to perform at optimal levels.

It is amazing that top athletes can perform at world class in one instance and fail to even finish a race in another. By setting the stage for training and even on race day with acupuncture, you can be sure that you are performing at your best, whether you are an Olympic athlete or a weekend warrior.

​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 for Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

What is Ulcerative Colitis:

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes ulcers and inflammation in your large intestine. Most people suffer with mild to moderate symptoms and some have long periods of remission. The disease can, however, be debilitating and can sometimes result in life threatening complications. Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Rectal bleeding or pain
  • Diarrhea with pus or blood
  • Urgency and inability to defecate
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Elevated temperature

Causes of Ulcerative Colitis:

The cause of ulcerative colitis is not known. The most likely cause is an inappropriate immune response where your immune system attacks your own tissues in the large intestine. Heredity, diet and stress are all thought to play a role in this disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

Your doctor will have to confirm a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. Often, multiple tests are required to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment typically involves drugs or even surgery in severe or non responding cases. Drugs range from corticosteroids to immune modulator drugs to biologics and others depending on your symptoms and location of the ulcers. The goals are to reduce inflammation, manage symptoms and, in some cases, suppress the immune system. Surgery can often eliminated ulcerative colitis but it involves removing your entire colon and rectum.

Acupuncture:

Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and even promote healing. Specific electro-acupuncture protocols can also get to the root of the problem and address the immune response that is causing the problem in the first place. In this way, acupuncture can arrest the progression of the disease while reducing specific symptoms. Reducing or eliminating the need for drugs or surgery can be a life changing intervention for ulcerative colitis sufferers.

​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.

Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis With Acupuncture

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that is best known for causing joint pain and even deformity. In some cases the disease can cause eye, skin, lung, heart and blood vessel problems as well. RA is an autoimmune disease. This means that the inflammation and damage is caused by your bodies own immune system over-reacting and attacking your body’s tissues. This is different from osteoarthritis which is caused by gradual wear and tear and mainly affects joints in the hands, knees, hips and spine.

Treatment Options:

RA is often treated with medications. NSAIDs, steroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biological agents are often employed to reduce inflammation, slow the progression or suppress the immune system. There are side effects to all of these medications and they can include stomach irritation, kidney damage, thinning bones, diabetes, liver damage, severe lung infections and increased risk of infections. Doctors are challenged with balancing between reducing RA symptoms and dealing with side effects. It is often a quality of life issue and the choice between the lesser of two evils. Physical or occupational therapists are often employed to help keep joints flexible and modify daily tasks to make them less stressful on painful joints. Surgery may be a last resort due to the risks of bleeding, infection and pain.

Acupuncture & Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Acupuncture can treat RA is two ways. The first is to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. This can be a wonderful intervention and reduce the dependency on medications. The problem with this type of treatment is that it does not address the cause of the problem: the over-reactive immune system. Fortunately, there are acupuncture protocols that will do just that. These protocols reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), Interleukins and HMGB1. In studies of the protocol, a single 60 second stimulation of the prescribed points with electric stimulation suppressed TNF for 24 hours and 42 days of daily stimulation (1 minute each day) reduced TNF fro 14 days. With longer treatments, acupuncturists are able to arrest the progression of the disease. Using a two pronged approach, acupuncturists can address both the symptoms and provide a lasting solution.

No Quick Fix:

The course of treatment is not short. Approximately three months of treatments are needed to reduce the inflammatory process. Continued “maintenance” treatments are then be required to keep the process at bay. The frequency of these maintenance treatments varies from patient to patient. Acupuncture will not repair damage that has already been done but it can stop further degradation. For most, the ability to not only find relief, but to reduce or eliminate medications makes the process well worth the investment.

​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.