Acupuncturists Spill   

The 12 Health Tips They Wish Everyone Would Remember
by Sara Calabro

Acupuncturists do more than just poke people with needles. They use non-needling techniques, such as moxibustion and cupping, and some prescribe herbs. 


They also offer advice -- acupuncture-inspired tips that can help you feel healthier and happier. Some people heed this advice and others ignore it, often to the chagrin of acupuncturists. There are many simple practices that, when committed to, can drastically improve a person's symptoms and overall quality of life. If only everyone remembered to do them!


Now you have them in writing. We asked acupuncturists from around the country, what is one thing you wish all of your patients did to be healthier? Here are 12 do-it-yourself health tips that acupuncturists wish everyone would remember.

#1 Connect With People

"I have come to believe that people need connection more than anything else," says Richard Mandell, an acupuncturist from Brookline, Mass. who founded the PanAfrican Acupuncture Project. "We acupuncturists use needles as a starting point, but..."

#2  Breathe Deeply Into Your Belly

"In acupuncture, the lungs govern the circulation of qi in the body," explains Corvalis, Ore. acupuncturist Brodie Welch. "When we feel stress, the breath automatically becomes more shallow and rapid...."

#3 Exercise

"If only all of my patients would take the time to exercise every day," says acupuncturist, Lara Ferguson Diaz, from Asheville, N.C.

"I'm not talking about running a marathon. There's nothing quite as simple yet profoundly helpful as a daily brisk walk in the park, ..."


#4 Meditate
"I wish all of my patients would engage in a meditation practice," says Brooklyn, N.Y. acupuncturist, Melanie Severo...
#5 Use A Dry Skin Brush
"Dry skin brushing takes just minutes a day but makes a huge difference in how someone feels and looks," says San Diego-based acupuncturist, Justin Burkett.  "Using a natural-fiber, stiff-brissled, sisal body brush on dry skin before or after..." 

#6 Stretch Before Bed

"Stretching in the evening is just as important as in the morning, which is when most people think about doing it," says Laurel, Md. acupuncturist, Allison Vaccaro. "Like acupuncture, stretching helps break up stagnation and encourages movement throughout the channels..." 


#7 Get To Bed By 11pm
"I encourage all of my patients to go to bed at 11 p.m. so that they are sleeping soundly by 1 a.m.," says Susan Wadden, an acupuncturist in Shoreline, Wash. "Each organ system in acupuncture has an assigned two-hour time frame. One o'clock in the morning is when..."

#8 Find A Spiritual Practice

"I wish everyone would find a spiritual outlet to address their concerns, stress, and grief," says Kari-Ann Hubbard, an acupuncturist in Tempe, Ariz.

"These natural emotions can consume us and, from an acupuncture perspective, ..." 

#9 Choose Tea
"I wish more of my patients would drink warm herbal teas instead of cold soft drinks and diet sodas," says acupuncturist Lindsey Long, of Maple Grove, Minn. "The phosphoric acid in colas can be harmful to bone health, ..." 


#10 Stop Waiting For Perfect

"Stop waiting for the perfect time to engage in perfect behavior," says Wayland, Mass. acupuncturist Marisa Fanelli. "Many of my patients consider anything less than a dramatic life change to be a failure..."


#11 Engage In Conscious Eating 
"I wish all of my patients practiced conscious eating," says Kathleen Port, an acupuncturist in Los Angeles. "This means being sensitive to portion size but also quality of food and..."

#12 Listen To Your Body
"When we are in a state of balance, our bodies stay healthy on their own, without much effort on our part," says acupuncturist Michelle McGlade, from Mendota Heights, MN. "When we are out of balance, our bodies signal alarms..."

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