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Category: Acupuncture Articles

October 30, 2023

Ghost Points Origins

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Point Prescriptions to Illuminate our Spooky Season

In the Northern Hemisphere, October marks the settling in of our Autumn season, and as our environment shifts – the days getting darker and nights longer – we’re also issued a shift to our daily rhythms. Across lineages and cultures people have ways of recognizing the movement into Fall times, and whether that’s through celebration of the harvest yields, a gratitude towards light’s presence despite darkness, or leaning into the “thinned veils” between the world of the living and the world of the ancestors, there is an importance around holding this turning point.

In this space, I’ll hold the responsibility by honoring and uplifting the “Ghost Points” of Chinese Medicine. Spooky in name, but largely exorcized in practice, the Ghost Points are a group …

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June 9, 2023

Celebrating Juneteenth and the Legacy of Dr. Tolbert Small

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Dr. Tolbert Small has made numerous other contributions to the the field of acupuncture, healthcare, racial justice, and to his community.

Dr. Tolbert Small is a hero of service and healing, as lead physician for the Black Panther Party and one of the first doctors outside of the Asian American community to practice acupuncture in the United States, and is still a practicing physician in the Bay Area. It might be possible you don’t know all of his incredible contributions to his community and the nation when you meet him at his doctor’s office. But in honor of Juneteenth, we want to take a moment to celebrate the activist, the healer, and “the People’s Doctor”, Dr. Tolbert Small.

Image Credit: Dr. Tolbert Small: The People’s Doctor website

Dr. Tolbert Small was an activist before he was a healer, and began fighting for civil rights in …

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March 13, 2023

Can acupuncture treat pain due to arthritis?

A brief look at what EAM can offer those who experience pain due to arthritis

What is pain?

Pain is an indicator that something is hurt or injured in the body. It is a way of telling you that something might be wrong and needs attention. When your body is injured (say you trip and fall on your knee), inflammation of tissues and nerves occurs in the area that has been hurt. Some key signs of inflammation include swelling, pain, redness, feeling warm to the touch, some loss of normal or typical function. These are all a part of a normal healing response in the body. Sometimes we experience pain for other reasons – we don’t have to trip and fall to feel pain! Sometimes we wake up with a sore back, or the cold makes your hands feel tight and …

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July 14, 2022

What is Seifukujitsu?

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Learn about this characteristically Japanese therapeutic bodywork style that was used by Samurai & martial artists to recover from training injuries

What is Seifukujitsu?

Seifukujitsu is a deep-tissue bodywork style developed in Japan & Hawaii based in the healing principles of East Asian medicine. It’s also called “Restoration Therapy” for its long-lasting effects on balancing Qi, relief of chronic symptoms, & support for the healing of soft tissue injuries. With its reliance on the development of personal skill and refined technique, it’s easy for the therapist to perform, and it enhances the health of both the patient and longevity of the practitioner. It incorporates many of the same principles of Medical Qi Gong, “Ki” emission, and channel theory of East Asian medicine, alongside deep physical work on the tissues of the body.

Seifukujitsu is a characteristically Japanese technique in that it relies on …

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June 23, 2022

Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine for Scar Healing from Gender Affirming Surgery

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As we see an increase in the number of these surgeries occurring, we want to ensure that patients have access to the best possible care and resources for their recovery.

In honor of Pride Month, we at AIMC have been reflecting on ways that acupuncture and East Asian Medicine (EAM) can support our LGBTQ+ community, particularly with medical challenges that are specific to their identities and experiences.

Today we’re highlighting some ways that acupuncture, EAM, and herbal medicine can support gender-affirming surgeries and post-operative healing. There is increasing demand for gender-affirming surgeries each year, and surgeries have become more accessible thanks to professional associations, healthcare providers, and advocacy groups. These gender-affirming surgeries support transgender and gender expansive folks’ ability to feel that their bodies represent their true identities, and significantly reduces mental health challenges and psychological distress. According to a recent study published in JAMA Surgery, there was “42% reduction in the odds of …

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April 11, 2022

Sports Acupuncture with Dr. Jenny Nieters, DACM, LAc.

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How does the Acupuncturist for the San Francisco 49ers maximize athletic performance for her patients?

In a recent continuing education course, AIMC Berkeley hosted Dr. Jenny Nieters, DACM, LAc., for a day of Grand Rounds. In addition to her private clinic in Alameda, CA, she is the team acupuncturist for the San Francisco 49ers Football Team and the Saint Mary’s College Men’s Rugby Team. She has built a career treating world-class athletes, including Olympians, NBA, MLB, MLR, NFL, and amateur athletes including runners, cross fitters, triathletes and swimmers, supporting injury recovery and athletic performance.

Acupuncture for Sports Performance

Many people know Acupuncture can be used effectively to treat chronic and acute pain, but did you know it can also enhance sports performance more broadly? During our day of observation of Dr. Nieter’s treatments, we watched Dr. Nieters …

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October 5, 2021

How do you become a Licensed Acupuncturist?

A guide to choosing an Acupuncture school & starting the career of your dreams from a recent graduate.

Every Acupuncturist has an origin story. You can ask any of us about the treatment or series of moments that led us to the big, scary thought “I want to be an Acupuncturist.” We had already asked our Acupuncturist why they look at our tongues or why some points feel spicier than others, we’d listened to podcasts about East Asian Medicine or maybe even read The Web That Has No Weaver, we’d tried some meditative practices, and stacks of books about herbalism and the energetic body threatened to topple over on our nightstands. Some of us took Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College’s Introduction to East Asian Medicine course just to peek a little further.

And then maybe we looked …

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July 21, 2021

How often do I need to get acupuncture treatments? (and other common curiosities about the course of treatment)

Best practices to get you out of the treatment room and back into your life (and sending all your friends and family our way).

The goal of any acupuncturist is to get you out of their clinic– and hopefully shouting from the rooftops about how your pain went away or that you haven’t slept this well since you were a teenager or one of the other 10,000 benefits of treatment. In order to get you out of our clinic and back into your life (and sending all your friends and family our way), we’ll ask you to commit to a consistent course of treatment for a specific length of time, and then we’ll re-evaluate along the way. You can expect a course of treatment to involve getting acupuncture once or twice a week, some lifestyle or movement coaching, and, when appropriate, a custom herbal prescription.

Consistency is Key

When people …

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May 7, 2021

Quiz: Is AIMC Right For You?

If you want to pursue a future in acupuncture and herbal medicine, going to the right school is the first step. To find out if AIMC is a good fit for you, take our quiz!

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March 9, 2021

Self-Care for Springtime Qi Stagnation

Learn to move your Qi Stagnation & transform feelings of stuckness or frustration into hope & creativity.


We’ve arrived at springtime: a time known to 5 Element Theory as an era for movement, growth, and change. In this season, if you’re feeling a little stuck, flustered, or bored, you may have what we Acupuncturists diagnose as “Qi Stagnation”. Qi stag, as its known shorthand, can show up as depression or irritability, pain or discomfort that comes and goes, a sense of bloating in the belly, PMS, or a stifled feeling in the chest or throat.

Luckily, you don’t need to drop in on your Acupuncturist every time you’ve got the Springtime Emotional Itchies (though we do recommend it if you can!). There’s plenty you can do for yourself to work out those kinks and keep yourself from becoming a live …

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