If you’re like me, then you’re probably deadly afraid of needles. However, over the past couple of years, I’ve learned to face my fear head on, and be a responsible adult and get my annual flu shots. One needle a year is more than enough for me, so I couldn’t even fathom getting acupuncture. Multiple needles pointed into my body at once? I’m not sure about that.
But, putting my personal issues aside, acupuncture has a lot of benefits. Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese natural medicine in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body by inserting thin needles through the skin. It can ease chronic pain such as lower-back pain, neck pain, and knee pain. Some have said that it can also help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraines.
Some celebrities are totally into acupuncture. A few years ago, Kim Kardashian posted a selfie on Instagram of her getting acupuncture. Even renowned celebs like Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani, and Natalie Portman publicly used acupuncture to conceive.
So, How Does Acupuncture Work?
Dr. John Tsagaris is an internationally known practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. In an interview with Elle magazine, he explained, “Acupuncture involves stimulating certain points on the body, with a specialized needle of various lengths and sizes that penetrate the skin to various depths.” Therefore, it’s important to note that the needles aren’t just any needles, and there’s a science to where they’re inserted.
It is basically a technique for balancing the flow of energy in the body. The energy flows through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting the needles into specific points along these meridians, practitioner believe that the energy flow will rebalance.
But more commonly in the Western culture, practitioners believe that the acupuncture points stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissues. This stimulation allegedly boosts your body’s natural painkillers.
Acupuncture is not risky if you get it done by a certified practitioner. But, there are some minor side effects. They include soreness and slight bleeding or bruising at locations where the needles were inserted. Those who have a bleeding disorder or a pacemaker, or are pregnant might have greater risks of complications. If this is the case, you should consult with your primary care physician before partaking in the practice.
Benefits of Acupuncture Specific to Women
It is important to note that there hasn’t been that much research or trials on the effectiveness of acupuncture. However, there are some studies and testimonies that show the benefits of the practice.
According to the Women’s Health magazine…
“over half the women receiving manual acupuncture had a least a 50 percent reduction in period pain, while women who underwent acupuncture more frequently experienced more significant improvements in period pain intensity, as well as overall quality of life.”
In another study, highlighted on Live Science, there has been evidence that acupuncture can help women who have stress urinary incontinence – a condition that makes you involuntarily urinate when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or exercise. In a trial, women with this issue reported on having much less urine leakage after going through the procedure.
Where are the Best Acupuncture Clinics in the City?
Wanna give acupuncture a try and reap all of its benefits? Here is a list of the top five acupuncture clinics in the city! We chose them based on critics’ reviews and customers’ ratings.
Pro tip: wherever you decide to go, make sure they have the proper accreditations to practice acupuncture.
201 E 56th Street, NY, NY
“Founder Iris Netzer has been helping patients achieve a new balance in their lives, specializing in women’s health and fertility as well as chronic problems like lower back pain, digestive issues and stress reduction.” – Time Out
Time Out rated Acupuncture Remedies as one of 10 best acupuncture spots in NYC. The clinic focuses on tailored treatments that are best for each, individual clients. The founder, Iris Netzer-Greenfield, specifically address female imbalances, such as treating gynecological conditions, including infertility. The clinic as a whole emphasizes the overall well-being of the client.
Beth Conroy Acupuncture
32 Union Square E #311, New York, NY 10003
Featured in a New York Times Article, Beth Conroy Acupuncture was interviewed on her experience in using acupuncture as a means to encourage mental wellness. Beth tailors a personal treatment for every patient that she sees and her commitment is to treat one patient at a time so that they are never rushed.
Yin Beauty & Arts
103 W. 86th Street, NY, NY
“Most treatments require a prior consultation so that a client’s lifestyle may be analyzed, and combined therapy—like acupuncture, lymphatic drainage, and herbal cleansing—is often recommended.” – New York Magazine
Yin Beauty & Arts is one of New York Magazine’s Critic’ Picks for skin and body treatments. This is a one-stop shop, as they also provide the full spa menu. Their owner, Kai Bao, strongly believes that beauty comes from the inside out. Yin Beauty & Arts spa provides treatment that combines inner spiritual peace and outer beauty naturally.
Integrative Healing Arts
Union Square, NYC.
Located in Union Square NYC and founded by Tsao-Lin Moy, a Licensed Acupuncturist and expert in Chinese medicine, Integrative Healing Arts specializes in stress management, weight loss, anti-aging, immune system support, women’s health, fertility acupuncture, and sexual health and wellness. Integrative Healing Arts offers herbal medicine blends for many conditions, including allergies, musculoskeletal injuries, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, insomnia, TMJ, anxiety, menopause, and digestive disorders. From massage therapy to micro-needling, Integrative Healing Arts Acupuncture in NYC offers a variety of natural therapies and creates customized treatment plans to support patients as they embark on their journey toward better health.
Joyce Acupuncture NYC
32 Union Square East, Suite 311, NY, NY
“The clinic focuses on treating patients with stress issues, pain issues, smoking cessation, migraines, depression, addiction, frozen shoulders, blood pressure maintenance issues and weight loss issues.” – CBS Local NY
CBS listed Joyce Acupuncture as one of five best places for acupuncture in NYC. This clinic focuses on alleviating chronic pain. The owner, Joyce Leung Lilly, specializes in Men’s and Women’s health, mental health and addictions. She treats a wide range of concerns – from pain conditions to emotional concerns such as anxiety and depression. In addition, Joyce made it on Expertise‘s Best Acupuncturists in NYC list earlier this year.
205 E. 16th Street, Suite M2A, NY, NY
“16th Street Acupuncture is a New York wellness clinic that is owned by licensed acupuncturist Erika Weber. Erika and her staff offer acupuncture services for treating a wide variety of conditions such as allergies and asthma, arthritis and joint pain, fatigue and immune deficiency, headaches and migraines, stress and tension, and facial rejuvenation.” – Expertise
Expertise looked at over 1,700 acupuncture places in NYC and put 16th Street Acupuncture as #1 on its top 20 list this year. The practice also provides other holistic treatments such as massage therapy, trigger point therapy, electro stim, and cupping. The practice revolves around dancers, athletes, and people who have other repetitive strain injuries. They also treat systemic issues such as infertility, IBS, gynecological issues, migraines, TMJ, etc. with great results!
119 W. 23rd Street, Suite 1001, NY, NY
“Yuka Hagiwara, Olo’s co-founder and clinical director, saw a steady stream of patients whom she treated mostly with a protocol, she said, that had been developed for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorders.” – New York Times
The New York Times featured Olo Acupuncture in an article. The piece profiled health and wellness clinics in NYC that had provided free services to the public after the 2016 presidential election. The clinic focuses on fostering a community in their office, as they believe that acupuncture practiced in a community setting warrants the best results for practitioners and patients alike.