Sonam Acupuncture

Robert Paul Johnson, L.Ac.

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As an integral part of your healthcare team, I work with you to help identify and reach your goals.  Whether you have chronic back pain, stress, hypertension, headaches, auto-immune or mood disorders, we can create short and long term plans to treat the symptoms and the underlying factors of disease.

All treatments and interviews are conducted in a Private Room in an elegant office conveniently located on Fifth Avenue

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Acupuncture Effective at Long Term Prevention of Migraine

The latest Systematic Review from Cochrane shows that Acupuncture can reduce the frequency of episodic migraine by at least 50%.  The Systematic Review looked at 22 Randomized Controlled Trials using a pooled sample size of almost 5,000 people.  

In other words, this is strong evidence supporting acupuncture's effectiveness for migraines.



On Gratitude

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I wanted to share this study highlighting the importance of gratitude from a neurological perspective.  In short, imagining feeling grateful, was enough to change the activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex (areas of the brain that play roles in morality, well being or the lack of it, and also control parts of the limbic system (notably including your heart).

Overview of Research (as of 2012) on the Biological Effects of Far Infrared ("FIR")

I've taken an interest in Far Infrared ("FIR") heat therapy.  During an acupuncture treatment the temperature of the body drops, and FIR is a great way to keep the body warm, but also has therapeutic value as a stand alone treatment.  

This Review from 2012 offers a great overview of some of the available research on the biological effects of FIR.  It details studies that have shown increases in wound healing, and angiogenesis in mice, and that in vitro, FIR has suppressed the proliferation of some types of cancer cells.  It also mentions studies that have shown reductions in inflammation and pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

As a practitioner, I find fascinating the limited speculation and proposal for future study on the vibrational effects of FIR on the nano-structured water layers on cell membranes, especially those of mitochondrial membranes. 

2012 Meta-analysis by MSKCC Proves Effectiveness

I had posted about this study on my old blog, and I did not transfer it to this one because I thought it was old news; but it keeps coming up in conversation, so I am posting on it again.  Some people cling to the tired dogma that "acupuncture has not been proven to work," and perpetuate that myth, in spite of the fact that it is demonstrably not true.  After this meta analysis of a multitude of randomized controlled trials, by 32 of the world's leading researchers, the effectiveness of acupuncture is not a subject for speculation, and it is not up for serious debate, it is a scientifically proven fact.  The effective sample size of this study is so large that it simply cannot be argued against. 

Additionally, this study has been well covered by major news outlets. One can, for example, read the NY Times coverage of the study from 2012 here.  As of the time of this writing this study has been cited to 329 times in other peer reviewed journals.  In other words, medical professionals should be aware of it.

My aspiration is for this to become commonly known and understood. People want acupuncture, and they want integrated care. The individuals and institutions that respond to this demand will thrive. 

Electro Acupuncture Reduces Inflammation Through the Vagus Nerve.

The vagus nerve has been in the news a lot lately.  If you are not familiar with it, the vagus nerve connects the brain and other parts of the body including the intestines, and has long been the subject of speculation as a possible pathway to explain mechanically how acupuncture works.

Recently, it was published that researchers have discovered a lymphatic system particular to the vagus nerve, which may play a role in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons and Multiple Sclerosis.  See, e.g., here, here, here, here and here

My colleagues and I have been pleased by this discovery as it confirms some aspects of Chinese Medicine.  For example, there is a branch of the Stomach Channel / Organ system that we call the Stomach Connecting Channel, and our source texts tell us that it connects to the heart and brain.  So, for example, when you eat ice cream too quickly, and much to the chagrin of your acupuncturist, you may experience the “brain freeze,” phenomenon.  We could explain this phenomenon by the Stomach Connecting Channel.

As I was searching for recent research about the connection between the Stomach Channel and the vagus nerve I came across this study that shows how Electro Acupuncture at 10 hz at acupuncture point Stomach 36 (zu san li) releases dopamine, through the vagus nerve, to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the peritoneal cavity, thereby reducing inflammation and potentially saving lives.  The study states that sepsis is the number one cause of death in hospitals, and suggests that acupuncture has a legitimate role in saving lives within the context of an integrative system.

So, as some are looking for novel ways to stimulate the vagus nerve, acupuncturists have a sophisticated system in place for doing just this that has been practiced, empirically observed and refined for thousands of years.

Acupuncture and Moxibustion For Hashimoto's

Acupuncture and Moxibustion improve outcomes in the treatment of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. 

In this study, Euthyrox was administered to both control and expiramental groups. The experimental group was subdivided into moxabustion and non moxabustion. All groups saw improvement but the moxa group saw the most dramatic improvement. 


Background image by Robert Paul Johnson.