Create Lasting Resolutions

January 2013
Laurie Binder Acupuncturist Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
3029 Wilshire, Suite 201
Santa Monica, CA 90403


5 Ways Acupuncture Creates Lasting New Year’s Resolutions

Dr. Binder

The New Years is upon us once again, which means it is the time when people decide to make significant changes to their lives. Unfortunately, most people do not follow through with their resolutions and go back to living with their unhealthy lifestyle. If this scenario describes your New Year, then it is time that you stop giving up and accomplish your goals! If you need helps staying dedicated and motivated, then oriental medicine and acupuncture will be able to help.

Below are the top five resolutions of the New Year (in no particular order) and how acupuncture can assist you at achieving each one.

New Years Resolution #1: Reduce Stress
Eliminating the stress in our lives is a resolution people make every year, in fact it always makes the top ten for New Years Resolutions. Besides refraining you from relaxing, prolonged stress can lead to more serious issues such as illnesses or diseases. It can weaken the immune which will make you much more susceptible to all sorts of bad conditions. There have been many success stories of how acupuncture helped people reduce their stress, lowered blood pressure, and eliminated anxiety from the mind.

Acupuncture is a technique of oriental medicine, which should be done along with a few other methods which include Qi Gong, Tui Na, dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments, acupressure, meditations, and herbal therapy. If stress is a problem in your life, then be sure to schedule an appointment with us to get your life back on track.

New Years Resolution #2: Manage Pain Using Natural Methods
Whether you wish to manage pain caused by arthritis or just in general, acupuncture can help you do it. Pain can keep us from living the life we want to live and hold us back from doing tasks we wish to do.

There are two options for those with pain, they can either take strong medications with horrible side effects to relieve it or seek out an alternative, safer method. Acupuncture is not only a natural pain reliever, but also comes with tons of added benefits as well. A magnetic resonance imaging test revealed that after an acupuncture treatment, the brain negates pain by over seventy percent.

New Years Resolution #3: Lose Weight
This resolution makes the number one New Years every single year. Everyone wants to lose weight, yet most of these people lose motivation instead and revert back to their normal unhealthy lives soon after the beginning of each year. By using acupuncture and oriental medicine techniques, you will be helping yourself shed those pounds by improving the body’s metabolic rate, aiding in the digestion process, eliminating unnecessary hunger, calming the mind, reducing food cravings, and by strengthening the body overall.

It is said that oriental medicine techniques, such as acupuncture, are able to manipulate the Qi, or life energy, in the liver and spleen which are linked to gaining if there are any imbalances in them. Western medicine explains that acupuncture directly regulates the nervous system which is responsible for appetite and the digestion process.

New Years Resolution #4: Stop Smoking
Smoking is a bad habit that can cause all sorts of problems for a person which includes irritability, jitters, restlessness, and cravings. Prolonged use can even lead to serious conditions such as lung cancer. A study from Yale University reported that acupuncture has been a successful treatment for those who smoke or do cocaine. The tests found that fifty-five percent of patients who were treated with acupuncture were cocaine-free by the end of the trial with only twenty-three and nine percent of people being cocaine-free using standard addiction therapy. Those who received acupuncture also had a much better record for staying cocaine-free, and some reported that cocaine no longer provides the effects it used to.

New Years Resolution #5: Enhance the Brain
Whether you want to learn a new subject or just increase the brain’s memory capacity, improving our mental functions also makes the top ten resolutions each year. Acupuncture has been reported to improve our focus, memory, basic functions, and mental clarity. A study (which is posted in the section below) reported that acupuncture can even be used for those who have damaged memory as a result of cerebral ischemia or diabetes. Studies are being performed on how acupuncture affects other memory-reducing diseases such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, with results being positive so far.

In This Issue

  • 5 Ways Acupuncture Creates Lasting New Year’s Resolutions


Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture

April 2009
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite 36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture

Every single person in the world suffers from a mood swing every now and then, but if you are facing the issue of constant moodiness and irritability then it may be a wise idea to look into receiving an acupuncture treatment. In most cases, a short temper can be the result of a high and constant stress level. If the stress level continues to remain constant, then this can lead to more severe mental conditions such as depression or anxiety and can even cause physical symptoms like insomnia, weakened immune system, and digestive problems.


As far as oriental medicine is concerned, stress and the conditions that result from it are all caused by an imbalance of Qi, defined as life energy, in the liver. The liver plays a huge role in managing one’s life energy by making sure it flows smoothly throughout the body. When this liver becomes stagnant, this Qi can cause a blockage of every in the body, leading to conditions like irritability and stress.


Liver Qi Stagnation refers to when the above occurs. It is the most common type of imbalance in the body today. Prolonged stagnation of the Liver Qi can also lead to pain around the ribs, constant signing, nausea, belching, sour regurgitation, diarrhea, painful menstrual cycles, abdominal distention, and congestion in the chest. This condition can often occur in women experiencing PMS.


Oriental medicine and acupuncture are two of the best methods in countering Liver Qi Stagnation. The techniques used include specific exercise and herbal medicines and focus on removing the blockage in the body and restoring the flow of Qi. When the liver in functioning like normal again, you will notice that your mental and physical health will greatly improve. Besides acupuncture there are lifestyle changes that can be done as well to help boost the flow of Qi in the liver.


Eating green can be a good first step is revitalizing the body. Vegetables and fruits can improve the basic functions of the liver as well as the flow of Qi throughout the body. Sour fruits like lemon are also helpful in the stimulation of Liver Qi. Besides water, milk thistle tea will also benefit the body by protecting the liver from toxins such as alcohol. Stretching exercises like Tai Qi or yoga can improve the flexibility of the tendons. Eye exercises are also advised since the liver is directly responsible for eye health. Make sure to take a break from the computer if you are staring at it for a long period of time, but do look up various eye exercises you could do while taking a break. Lastly, seasonal acupuncture will not only help the flow of Liver Qi, but will improve the body in its entirety.


With the above changes and acupuncture, you will not longer feel constantly stressed or moody. To set up an appointment to start you on acupuncture, call or send me an email today!

In This Issue

  • Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture
  • Move Your Qi!
  • The Four Gates Treatment for Moving Qi
  • Signs and Symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation

The Four Gates Treatment for Moving Qi


Oriental Medicine for the Treatment of Seasonal Allergies

Every season people are affected by allergic rhinitis, which a seasonal allergy that is triggered only during certain times of the year, mainly spring or fall. Over twenty-five million Americans are diagnosed with chronic hay fever, and about forty million more people are known to have mild allergic reactions. Pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust mites carried by the wind are usually the main triggers of seasonal allergies. In the springtime, pollen fills the air because of all of the blooming agriculture. In autumn, leaf mold is the main issue and that mold can stay in the air all year long.

The reason the body contracts allergic rhinitis is due to how sensitive it is to certain byproducts of the environment. If one has such allergies, then they will feel congested, constantly sneeze, and have watery or dry eyes. There are many medications to treat allergies, though they do have side effects that can lead to other problems such as weakened immune function. Side effects, along with the weakness of medication over time, are two reasons why people are looking into receiving more natural treatments like oriental medicine and acupuncture. These methods have been used for centuries in treating season allergies, strengthening the immune system, and clearing out nasal passages. It will not only help relieve a person of the symptoms, but will also prevent the allergies from recurring as well.

Those who specialize in Eastern medicines believe that seasonal allergies are a condition related to the wind element and is caused by a lack of Wei Qi. Wei Qi is a type of life energy that protects the body from outside elements, such as colds or allergies. Those who have an imbalance of Wei Qi typically catch colds easier than most. Acupuncture treats the imbalances in the body to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis as well as the root problem itself. Oriental treatments often call for a change in one’s diet and habits as well as herbal medications.

Study on Allergic Rhinitis and Acupuncture

Many studies have been conducted on how effective acupuncture is for season allergies. There is a specific study reported by the American Journal of Epidemiology that proved acupuncture and oriental medicine can relieve allergic symptoms significantly.

Five thousand people were separated into two groups in the study. One group received acupuncture with standard care while the other only received standard care. This occurred for three months until an evaluation took place, then the test continued for three more months. Results showed that the patients who received acupuncture not only have relieved symptoms, but also had better health in general.

A similar study reported by the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that those with hay fever who received acupuncture treatment weekly and three cups of herbal tea per day had a significant decrease in the severity of their symptoms. After a month and a half, over eighty percent of their patients showed improvement while the control group only had a forty percent increase.

Stress Less & Stay Well this Winter

December 2008

Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite #36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Acupuncture for Stress Reduction

Winter is the time of year for getting our rest to restore our energy and to revitalize our body and soul. Unfortunately, it also a very busy time of year where doing that is near impossible. Winter is the season where families visit one another, visitors come over, and shopping can be quite gruesome. This combined with the every stresses we face leaves us with no time to rest and with more stress than usual.

Stress is a major disruptor of the flow of Qi, or life energy, in our body. When this energy is imbalanced, is can cause all sorts of problems such as moodiness, headaches, menstrual pain, insomnia, depression, and can even lead to more severe conditions. The best method for reducing stress involves oriental medicine and acupuncture.

Many studies on how acupuncture relieves stress have been published, demonstrating how effective it actually is. Results show that this method is indeed a much better option than standard medications used for stress and depression.

A study reported by Anesthesia & Analgesia discovered that needling a specific acupuncture point and reduce preoperative anxiety in children. A similar study by Yale University found that acupuncture around the ears and lower preoperative stress in the mothers of those children. A study in Germany showed how acupuncture lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a huge amount, which reduces stress as well. A study on the effects of acupuncture for those who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder was conducted by the University of New Mexico and showed that acupuncture was extremely helpful in relaxing those affected.

Foods for Stress Reduction

There are certain foods one can consume to reduce the amount of stress they have. There are over one thousand changes that can occur in the body as a result of stress, such as Vitamin C deficiency or Vitamin B deficiency, which can all be reduced with the right kind of diet. The three main foods that can help a person manage their stress are blackberries, cauliflower, and salmon.

Blackberries contain a high level of magnesium, calcium, and Vitamin C. In fact, blackberries have more than double the amount of these substances than blueberries. Magnesium and calcium work as one to aid in the regulation of nerves and muscles. If there is a deficiency of magnesium in the body symptoms will occur such as sore muscles, cramped muscles, and fatigued muscles. Vitamin C is a natural stress reliever that lowers the blood pressure and manages cortisol levels.

Cauliflower, as well as vegetables similar to it such as cabbage and kale, contains a large amount of Vitamin B and pantothenic acid. This acid is responsible for turning carbohydrates into fuel for the body. It also improves how the body manages stress. If you lack Vitamin B, symptoms like numbness, burning, and tingling will occur in the feet as well as general fatigue.

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 and Vitamin B12. Omega-3 can increase one’s metabolic rate as well as keeps stress hormones in check. Vitamin B12 increases the amount of red blood cells in the body, which results in the proper development of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that induces happiness and relieves us of any worries we may have.

If you live a stressful life, then acupuncture and the right diet can help you manage it. Not only will these techniques reduce the amount of stress you have, but will also improve your life overall and in the long run.


Acupuncture for Skin Conditions

September 2008
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite #36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Acupuncture Treats Common Skin Conditions

Our skin is a good indication of the current condition of our body, how the current environment affects our body, and the specific imbalances of our Qi. Qi means life energy, and when that energy is disrupted it can lead to several skin disorders. Our Qi can be disrupted by our emotions or our lifestyle as well as by environmental conditions like humidity, wind, heat, and dryness in the air. Oriental medicine and acupuncture can be extremely effective for treating any kind of skin condition by relieving the symptoms associated with the specific disorder. Skin disorders generally include eczema, acne, shingles, pruritus, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, and hives.

Oriental medicine treats skin problems specific to the symptoms rather than the particular condition itself.          This means that if several different people have the same condition, they would each have their own customized treatment plan using a variety of techniques. The techniques that are involved typically include herbal medications, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, dietary changes, specific exercises for balance restoration, and acupuncture.

Treating Hives with Acupuncture

Hives, also known as urticaria, is a condition that twenty percent of the United States popular will experience at least once in their lifetime. Typically hives is treated with a corticosteroid drug or antihistamines, but more people are discovering that oriental medicine and acupuncture address the condition and symptoms more effectively than any medication on the market. These methods will fix any imbalances in the body to relieve the symptoms and prevent it from reoccurring.

Red or swollen welts on the skin is defined as what is known as hives. The most common symptom of this condition is constant itching of the welts. Quite a number of people have reported a burning or stinging feeling as well. This condition can affect any part of the body such as the throat, legs, arms, hands, lips, ears, or face. The trigger of hives is usually caused by an allergic hypersensitive response to a chemical. Although this reaction can occur from certain medications, additives, food, sunlight, and environmental condition, three-fourths of the time the exact cause is unknown.

The length of time hives lasts can vary greatly. It can last as little as several minutes to more than a few months. It rarely causes a life-threatening state, but it still is possible if the condition shocks the body too much. Standard treatments are usually aimed at relieving itching, which involve taking antihistamines or by soothing the affected areas with a cool compressor.

Research has proven time and time again that acupuncture and oriental medicine are best for treating any skin condition. These methods date back all the way to the first century and are still used today. Specific herbs and needles were used to comfort pain caused by conditions like hives.

Common Acupuncture Points for Hives


The Easterners saw hives as “wind invading the skin.” They used terms and phrases such as this to diagnose the specific problems a person had and which acupuncture points need to be targeted as well as what lifestyle changes need to be made. The treatments used will target both the main condition and the symptoms that are caused from it. Acupuncture will restore balance to the body which will not only heal it from any condition, but improve it overall.

There are over three hundred acupuncture points on the body. Those who specialize in acupuncture will know which to target based on a person’s health condition and symptoms. The two points that are used to treat hives include the LI 11 and SP 10. LI 11, or Large Intestine 11, is located on the outside of the elbow which can be best exposed when the arm is at a ninety degree angle. The LI 11 helps remove any heat from the body which will reduce inflammation caused by hives. SP 10, or Spleen 10, is found right above the kneecap and can best be accessed when the knee is bent. This point is considered a significant point on the body and is used for many conditions including hives.

Study: Acupuncture and Hives

Recently a study was conducted by the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences that aimed to research how acupuncture affected those with a chronic hives condition. The study required two groups, the first half received acupuncture while the other group was treated with a mock version of acupuncture.

After roughly three weeks, results revealed that acupuncture does reduce the duration of hives by twenty-five percent as well as decreases the chances of it reoccurring. After the treatment was finished only a few had their symptoms reemerge, but at a much weaker strength than they were originally. This concluded that acupuncture is more efficient each time one receives it.

In This Issue

  • Treating Common Skin Conditions
  • Treating Hives with Acupuncture
  • Common Acupuncture Points for Hives
  • Study: Acupuncture and Hives