Acupuncture Blog

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Kudzu and Cinnamon Tea to reduce a fever, and more. - MAS acu-punk Elizabeth Ropp

Years ago, when I still lived alone, I woke up one night feeling feverish. I went to my kitchen cabinet, rather than the medicine cabinet, for medicine. There I found kudzu starch and cinnamon powder among my other herbs and spices. I mixed them up in a sauce pan with some apple juice. I sipped the connection on my couch and wrapped myself in a blanket. I felt the fever drain away from my body and I went back to bed.

Now that we are in the mode of stocking our kitchen cabinets with essentials to keep ourselves and our families healthy, I am going to share this remedy that my teacher, Dr. Lilliane Papin, taught me and my classmates, during acupuncture school.

You are going to need three ingredients:

1 Tbls. of Kudzu Starch
A few dashes of Cinnamon powder
1 cup of organic apple juice
Just enough cold water to dissolve the Kudzu starch

Kudzu, the invasive plant that grows all over the Southeast, is widely used in Japan for thicken soups and sauces.
In the Chinese Materia Medica, it is known as Ge Gen.

It is useful for many reasons:

Reduce a fever
Balance blood sugar
Ease neck, shoulder tension, and headaches
Alleviate diarrhea
Relieve hot flashes
Reduce alcohol consumption

Cinnamon is also a Chinese Herb, known as Gui Zhi.

It’s also useful to:

Prevent colds
Reduce phlegm that is stuck in the chest
Balance blood sugar
Reduce arthritic pain, especially pain that feels worse during cold damp weather

Apple Juice is high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation. It is a therapeutic food to hydrate and cool down the body and moisten a dry throat or soothe a dry cough.

1.Heat the apple juice in a saucepan on a low heat.

2. add a few dashes of cinnamon powder

3. Dissolve the Kudzu in a little cold or room temperature water. You need to do this so the Kudzu won’t turn into a ball of dough when you add it to the warming apple juice.

4. Once the kudzu starch is dissolved, you can pour it into the warm apple juice, keep stirring so it doesn’t get lumpy. The juice should thicken a bit.

When your tea is hot enough pour it into a mug and drink it hot.

Kudzu starch can also be used as a replacement for cornstarch for thickening soups, gravy, and other sauces. This will give your recipes more therapeutic benefit. Dr. Papin would always quote Hippocrates in her classes and workshops:

“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”


All of us at MAS miss all of you. We hope to see you again and in good health.

We are currently welcoming any and all tax-deductible donations via GoFundMe to help us cover the rents while we are closed during the virus pandemic.
We'd also welcome This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinic. We thank you for your generosity.

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An easy one-point acupressure technique for leg cramps - MAS acu-punk, Elizabeth Ropp

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a charlie horse? Or get a muscle cramp in your hamstring from stretching too deeply or exercising a little too hard?

I am going to teach you a simple acupressure technique to relieve leg cramps, with just one point. I learned this from my friend, Kristine Kaoverri Weber, shiatsu practitioner and yoga teacher. This treatment is so simple, that it’s right under your nose. Literally, the point is under your nose.

Of all of the acupressure tips that I share, this is the tip that I recommend the most often. It works so well and the results can be felt almost immediately. Mind you, this may not work for everybody. But I, personally, have seen this work for most people.

Here is what you are going to do:
Find the divot between your upper lip and your nose. This is called the philtrum. You are going to press and rub this point and take deep breaths until your leg cramp or muscle spasm goes away. This should really only take a few seconds.

This acupressure point is called Ren Zhong, or Governing Vessel 26. The Governing Vessel is a meridian that runs through the midline up the back of the body. We commonly needle points Governing Vessel points, like Du 20 on the very top of the head or, a special point, Yin Tan, right between the eyebrows.

And, that’s it. Try this the next time you get a muscle cramp in your leg and let us know if it works for you.

Video demo with Elizabeth

All of us at Manchester Acupuncture Studio miss all of you. We hope to see you again and in good health.

At this time we are accepting tax-deductible donations to help us cover the rents in Manchester & Nashua while we are temporarily closed during the virus pandemic. You can alsoThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinic. We thank you for your generosity and camaraderie.

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In China acupuncture, herbs and moxibustion are integrated into the healthcare system. Right now, in the Wuhan Province, COVID-19 patients and their families are getting traditional therapies alongside Western medicine for symptom relief of the virus. Acupuncture is also being used to treat patients for all the same reasons why many people come to MAS: for anxiety and insomnia, migraines and more.

During this time that we are not able to give you access to affordable community acupuncture, we want to continue to share easy, simple home-remedies and ‘homework-style’ treatment techniques.

Our good friend, Robert Hayden from Presence Community Acupuncture in Hollywood Florida, shared a clever technique from one of his favorite teachers. All you need is a hairdryer and a flat piece of cardboard.

Are you familiar with the term ‘moxibustion’? Perhaps we’ve sent you home with a ‘moxa’ stick and instructions on how to light and use it to warm particular acupuncture points or areas of your body. If not, moxibustion is the warming of moxa a.k.a. Mugwort on or above acupuncture points.
Acupuncture needles are one (terrific) way to stimulate and make use of acupuncture points, but know there are more, heat among them.

We like this ‘hot air moxa’ technique from Robert, because most people don’t have easy access to moxa, but just about everyone has a hair dryer.

Important: If you experience any of following:

1) numbness or neuropathy at the area of these points, or
2) poor circulation in the area of these points
3) open sores or wounds in the area of these points

Do NOT take part in this technique.

Basically, you shouldn’t do this unless you have normal circulation and sensation of your legs where these points exist.

If you’re not sure you have normal sensation or circulation, don’t undertake this until you’ve had the chance to clear it with your doctor.

MAS acu-punk Elizabeth demonstrates the following air moxa technique here, on youtube

First things first - you are going to want to find a piece of cardboard that’s at least 6”x 6”. You can cut a square off of a box, or maybe use a thick file folder. If you have one, use a hole-punch to make a hole in the middle of your cardboard square. Otherwise you’ll want to cut a small hole about the width of a pencil with other means, perhaps a small knife.

Place the hole you’ve just cut in the cardboard directly over your acupuncture point of choice. Apply the heat from your hair dryer close to the hole until you just start to feel a ‘zap’ from the heat on your skin at the acupuncture point, then immediately remove the heat for a good 20 to 30 seconds. After this break, re-apply heat again for a total of 3 times at each acupuncture point, removing the heat in between feeling ‘zaps’ from the heat.

We are going to start with Stomach 36. It’s the mother of all points. If you only apply this technique to one point that we teach you, ST36 is the one to use.

Stomach 36, a.k.a. Zusanli a.k.a. Three Miles More, is one of the most venerable of all acupuncture points. It’s a highly useful tool for many of our organ systems. It sits on the Stomach pathway, so it’s good for anything stomach/digestive related. If anxiety goes to your stomach, this is a great point. It strengthens your whole body as it interacts with our ability to break down and extract the nutritional goods from which we eat So it’s good to stimulate this point if you are feeling weak or depleted. It’s also commonly a key ingredient in potent preventative acupuncture treatments*.

ST36 also a smart point choice for:
- Shortness of breath and cough
- Sore throat, chills, and fever
- Frontal headaches, stuffy or cold nose
- Weakness and dizziness *

While home, consider giving this a try if stimulating this acupuncture point sounds like it might be helpful for you. We will put out more tutorials of other common points and why they are useful over the next few days. If you have any requests, you can mention them in the comments when we put this blog post onto our Facebook page.

We hope to see you again soon and in good health.

* Peter Deadman, A Manual of Acupuncture, pages 158-161, Copyright 2001 AZ

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With National Sleep Awareness Week in mind (March 8-14th, didn't you know!) we thought to highlight the long-held use of acupuncture as a reliable tool to improve upon one's quantity and/or quality of sleep.

While there are plenty of studies to show how acupuncture treatments can help improve sleep  - even as compared to medications, for the purposes of this post, we'd like to draw from our considerable observations at MAS clinics.

Along with reliable relief from physical pain, high stress and anxiety, improving one's sleep is among the most typical uses of acupuncture in our experience. So much so, insomnia sits on our list of no-brainer symptoms in our little Needles book.
In fact, unintended improvement in one's night of sleep is one of the more routine side-effects of acupuncture treatments.

Which is really great news considering the enormous number of people for whom a good night's sleep is frustratingly elusive. Even the Center for Disease Control has gone as far to call lack of sleep a 'public health epidemic'.

Whether trouble falling or staying asleep, caused by physical pain, endless thought-loops, hot flashes or sinus congestion, acupuncture will likely prove to be a helpful tool - and at MAS and other community acupuncture clinics, an affordable one.

Hot tip: Are your feet normally cold at night? If so, warming them up in bed may improve your sleep. We will often recommend a cheap and easy way to do this. Find yourself a hot water bottle (preferably with a soft fleece cover), fill it up (with hot water) just before bed and slide under your covers waaaay down at the foot of the bed. Your feet don't have to be touching it directly. That's it.  

You'll probably want to be consistent with the hot water bottle for a few nights in order to give yourself a chance to see changes. We hope it helps.

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Our overwhelming focus at MAS is to remain a reliable source of affordable needle-naps, as often as we can make it happen for whomever seeks them out.  We keep all of our in-house systems as uncluttered as possible as well and in this spirit, we keep product sales to a minimum.  Frankly over the years we've learned frequent acupuncture treatments can make many pain-relief products unnecessary in the end.

However, many people have gotten a lot of use out of the few terrific products we do keep available; the Spring Wind Muscle and Joint Rub, Chinese Herbal Compresses, and lip balm among them.

Now that we're heading into the middle of winter, we thought we'd mention a new product on our shelves: Emily's Super Dry Skin Soother. If you're like us, you can find your elbows, hands or feet cracked and dry this time of year. Emily's Chinese herbal salves do a phenomenal job alleviating this and more stubborn situations like psoriasis and eczema.

Emily's is a local product developed by acupuncturist, Mike Arsenault of Ipswhich, Massachusetts.  He originally made this salve for his daughter. We've received a bunch of positive feedback in the few short weeks it's been available at MAS and wanted to highlight this shared experience. Thanks, Mike for making such a great line of products.










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As the year comes to a close we want to offer our gratitude to you, dear readers and clinic-goers.

Thank you for making MAS a part of your days and for taking acupuncture treatments in our recliners as one of the ways you take care of yourself.

Thank you for telling your friends, confidants and family about MAS and the benefits of acupuncture.  We certainly rely on our communities to spread the word about MAS clinics – thanks for all you do to support the clinics and get the word out about accessible acupuncture.

Thanks very much for writing positive online reviews for the clinics.  It is quite helpful. We appreciate this very much!

Thank you for your donations! This past year, many of you made donations in cash or in-kind. The clinic spaces are made more warm & personal with the inclusion of your art, your comfortable recliners and your plants passed on to all of us.  Our doors are open because of your offered financial support and we really can't say thank you enough. 

Thank you for yopur support




















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If you've been by MAS Manchester over the past few weeks, you've no doubt had your attention drawn to the terrific artwork of James Shelton, a Rhode Island-based community acupuncturist.

The Ancestors Project by the front desk (pictured above) honors those who have worked in radical ways to arrange the bedrock that POCA (The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture) and community acupuncture clinics like MAS have grown on to.

Here's a recent interview with James, a POCATech graduate, about the project.

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Our colleagues Stef & Lisa at Guelph Community Acupuncture in Guelph, Ontario Canada penned a terrific primer on what acupuncture can offer, given specific challenges many of us face over the next few weeks. 

Community Acupuncture During "The Holidays"

Monday, December 5th, 2016

by Stef Cordes & Lisa Baird

We are told "The Holidays" is a time of community & celebration and a time to reconnect with loved ones. However, this is not the case for everyone. Not everyone celebrates this time of the year. And the holidays can be a triggering, lonely time for many; a reminder of things in our lives that aren't working and/or a reminder of what we've lost. The holidays can be incredibly isolating, especially at a time when family, celebration, and joy take centre stage in media, in stores, at work, and in our social circles. Even people who do enjoy this time of year often report feeling quite stressed in December.

Community acupuncture can help.

Acunaps for General Stress Relief

Whether you're stressed out because you feel alone or stressed out because you're stretched thin by fitting in events and shopping into your already busy schedule, acupuncture could very well make the difference between a bad day and a good one. We regularly tell people that "acupuncture doesn't have any major side effects, unless you count relaxation and a good night's sleep" because a reduction in stress is often apparent even when we don't needle for it specifically.

Acupuncture for Digestive Support

Folks often find it challenging to stick to their usual diet over the holidays. Frequent large meals and indulging in foods we seldom eat can mean bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and not-so-pleasant (perhaps even urgent) trips to the bathroom. We effectively treat digestion with acupuncture all the time. It may not make you eat differently, but it can support the body to handle digestive challenges more effectively. (To learn more about how community acupuncture can aid digestion, visit our blog post about CA and digestion.)

Acupuncture for Grief

Every year we are inundated with images of smiling, happy families and partnerships, which reminds many of us of what we don't have. For some, the holidays is a time when we think of dead, estranged or absent family members, partners lost, or the plan of a family that never came to be. This time of the year is well-known for triggering grief that we thought was long gone. It can be very disorienting and confusing. We don't talk a lot about grief, and there's a general expectation that you'll "get over it" in six month to a year.

At GCA we don't think of grief as something that you "get over", but as something that we process throughout our lives that can get easier with time. Community acupuncture can support us to process some emotions in our bodies without needing to say things out loud. (There are probably a couple people who work at GCA who have metabolized a good chunk of grief in one of our recliners.) For more on how community acupuncture can be supportive with grief, visit this blog post.

Acupuncture for Mental Health

Sometimes seeing family is difficult, as families can be complicated! We are most likely to be triggered by our families and those closest to us and the holidays can be an especially emotionally volatile time. Seeing family can be so stressful and overwhelming sometimes that even the anticipation of a gathering can send folks into a downward spiral. Community acupuncture can help us to feel more relaxed, at ease, and resilient in the face of challenging life situations. And our group setting is a tangible reminder that even if the holidays and the idea of family makes you isolated, you are not alone.

For those of us who don't see family over the holidays, or who struggle to connect with family, the holidays can be the loneliest time of year. The days are short, so folks already tend have less energy and are more likely to stay indoors. We know that a great deal of mental health complaints can dramatically increase this time of year; a lot of folks come for anxiety, depression, panic attacks, post traumatic stress symptoms or other mental health concerns. The good news is that acupuncture helps many of us to manage difficult emotions and triggers.

On that note, our upcoming holiday hours at MAS clinics:


X-Mas Eve:         9am-1pm
X-Mas Day:         9am-Noon
New Year's Eve:  9am-1pm
New Year's Day:  9am-4pm


X-Mas Eve:         12pm-4pm
X-Mas Day:         Closed
New Year's Eve:  12pm-4pm
New Year's Day:  Closed


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MAS received good news this week as the Arthur Getz Trust saw fit to support our long-standing program using acupuncture as part of opioid misuse treatment for folks in recovery. 

We are grateful.



The truth is, we're quite grateful for all support of MAS programs.  

How might one contribute?

 - Offer a tax-deductible donation.  We are grateful for gifts in any amount, at any time of year.
 Does the company you work for offer a matching gift program? This is a great way to maximize your donation to MAS. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to help move this option along.

 - Donate your unwanted upholstered recliner. We are often looking to upgrade.

 - Support MAS via the Amazon Smile Program. Make MAS your charitable organization of choice, shop on Amazon Smile, and percentages of your purchases are automatically donated.

Thanks to the many folks who currently contribute.

 - Looking for a different way to pay for your acupuncture treatments? Use your Health Savings Account (HSA) debit card at MAS. 

 - Pick up MAS Gift Certificates in any amount at Manchester and Nashua clinics.

 - Most importantly, continue to get treated. Using acupuncture as a tool in your toolbelt is a reliable way to support yourself and the best way to support MAS.


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