Acupuncture Study on Pain Relief

Acupuncture studies are ongoing. Western medicine is starting to understand how and why acupuncture is so effective, especially for pain relief. A recent study identifies how acupuncture effects the brain in pain relief.

Here is a quote, “Napadow et al. used fMRI data to compare true acupuncture with sham acupuncture for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. The acupuncture point LI4 (Hegu) was tested. Both short-term and long-term responses were measured. True acupuncture at the real acupuncture point stimulated significantly “greater activation in the hypothalamus and deactivation in the amygdala” for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.” Read more here…

Acupressure E-book

Use acupressure to help balance your energy, relieve pain and feel better!

What a great Christmas gift this would be!!

Stress? Aches and Pains? Insomnia? Headaches? Flu Symptoms? Nausea? Toothache? Diarrhea?
and Other Inconveniences?

 Created by Bonnie Adam
Registered Acupuncturist, Certified Cupping Therapist and Reiki Master

  • Looking  to relieve pain, stiffness and inflammation?
  • Looking for a natural stress reliever?
  • Do you want more passion and energy in the bedroom?
  • Want to balance your hormones, relieve menstrual tension and hot flashes?
  • Looking for ways to stay in balance between your appointments?

You know that you need to find ways to stay in balance in this crazy, busy world we live in. You need to be at your best for yourself and for your family.

Learn a few simple acupressure protocols that can help you to get through your day-to-day life.

Go to this page to find out more and to purchase!

Cupping vs Moxabustion. When and Why?

Have you heard all of the fuss about cupping therapy lately? Professional athletes are using it to loosen up and stay in the game. Perhaps you are wondering where you can get cupping and if it is right for you. You are in luck. Acupuncturists can do many other things besides just acupuncture and cupping is one of them. We are also trained in massage and moxabustion.

Sometimes, acupuncture alone is not quite enough to shift your body back into balance, especially if you have long-standing or acute issues.

Cupping is getting a lot of attention lately because it works so well to loosen tight muscles and break up stuck fascia. Even though cupping feels great and is very effective, it may not be for everyone, or for every or condition. Cupping feels amazing and relaxing and it should not be painful, but it is a slightly more aggressive treatment option. It would not be the best choice for people who are very tired or feeling weak and run-down, or for those who spasm easily. It is also not the best choice for those who have recently torn or partially torn tendons or ligaments or who have damaged or slipped discs. Cupping may not feel like a very deep treatment, but there is a lot of tugging on your muscle tissue which could cause more damage if you are already injured.

Cupping can trigger a flushing of the lymphatic system or a “detox.” If you are feeling tired and worn out, cupping can cause you to be even more tired and to feel a little under the weather. Toxins are loosened up and then must be eliminated by an already maxed out system. Detoxing is not a negative thing, but you should do it when you are strong enough to handle any possible unpleasant side-effects.

If you are not quite up for cupping therapy, your acupuncturist may suggest moxabustion or moxa.

This is the process of burning a herb called mugwort on or over the body. This is done on selected acupuncture points to warm and stimulate the muscles and the meridians.

Moxabustion is useful for achy, stiff muscles and arthritis. We use moxa most often on people who have “coldness” or “deficiency” according to their Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis. In western medical terms, these people would likely have weakness, tiredness, and inflammation that is worsened by cold and damp weather such as arthritis.

The skin is only warmed in the process, not burned. Moxa can be used alone, directly on a needle or hovered over the area. There are several other methods usually determined by looking at the condition, on the area being treated and the preference and training of the practitioner. There are a couple of photo’s attached from a recent treatment I gave to someone who was feeling tired, chilled and had abdominal bloating and loose stools. (signs of “coldness”) so moxa made sense for this person today.

The first photo is of the abdomen and it shows several acupuncture points that have been needled. Slices of ginger are placed over the needles to protect the skin from burning. Ginger has a calming and warming effect on digestion, so it is helping on multiple levels. In this case we also need something to prevent the hair from being singed. The mugwort herb is molded into little cones and placed on top of the ginger slices. Then it is then touched with an incense stick to make it burn and smolder. Moxabustion warms the needles, putting warmth directly into the muscles of the abdomen and helping them to relax. Mugwort has nourishing qualities, so energetically, the herb is boosting the acupuncture points that it is working on.


The next photo, is of the same person’s leg. The points being used are Stomach meridian points that are very useful in improving digestion and for tonifying or strengthening in general. On the leg, the slices of ginger would just slide off. So, for the leg, I use an ointment, to create a barrier to the heat and to create a small shelf sticking out from the side of the leg. Then the moxa is molded into little cones and set alight.


So, if you have tight, stubborn muscle pain and stiffness and you have good energy, you might like to try cupping. If you are tired, weak and chilled, you might ask your acupuncturist for moxa in your next treatment.

Critics of Acupuncture Are Not Scientific

Cupping Therapy

Cupping Therapy

Olympians in Rio are using acupuncture and cupping therapy to help them to perform at a higher level. We are seeing photos of Michael Phelps covered in cupping marks all over the internet. Along with all of those images and stories there usually comes a backlash against acupuncture and cupping therapy and pretty much against all holistic therapies. We get the comments claiming that it is all bunk. We have seen the headlines asking the Olympians to stop doing these horrible things to their bodies. Reporters go out and undergo treatments to investigate this strange and unusual phenomenon. We holistic health practitioners are used to it. Even though estimates are that at least 1 in 10 Americans  has tried acupuncture, the establishment feels threatened by these ancient and effective therapies.

I ask you to imagine that millions of people for thousands of years have all been delusional. From the ancient Egyptians to the emperors of China, to the hundreds of people I have treated myself over the last 6 years as an acupuncturist and cupping therapist. They have all just been having a placebo effect and they don’t really know if they feel better after treatment or not. Acupuncture is done on animals as well. Even the animals are under the placebo spell! Thousands of years of anecdotal evidence is not considered scientifically valid, so we must conduct studies. (Those studies that the critics, the commenters and the trolls don’t want you to know about! Here is a link to my Acupuncture Research page, which only has a few of the many studies available.)

Admittedly, some forms of treatment are difficult to study properly in the scientific model. In order to perform a study, you need several groups of people. You need a group that is receiving the actual therapy. You need a group who is receiving the usual therapy (drugs or surgery) and you need a group who thinks they are getting the therapy, but they are actually not getting it (the placebo group.) Due to the placebo effect, we need to come up with a way to make people believe they have had a treatment when they have not. Fortunately, methods for this have been developed for acupuncture. It will be harder to do this with cupping therapy, so it may be some time before we can say that cupping works and back it up with research.

Back to the title of this post– “Critics of Acupuncture Are Not Scientific.” I say this because I spent less than 20 minutes gathering over half a dozen links to studies today. If the critics were truly wishing to be scientific about their claims, they could do the same. There are resources everywhere. If a person wants to criticize and make negative claims about something they know nothing about, they should really do their homework first.

Here are a few links to the homework I did this morning:

Links to general studies:

Devices to control for placebo effect:

Acupuncture for hypertension:

Acupuncture used as anesthetic during laparoscopic surgery:

Acupuncture as anesthetic studies:

Acupuncture as anesthetic shown to reduce recovery time and protect organs:

Links to general studies:

Acupuncture Points Points Visible on CT ScansRead More Here…



Four Ways to Unblock Qi

I was recently asked to be a  quest vlogger by Nicole Guillaume of Guiding Echoes.

We discussed four ways to help unblock the qi using acupressure points. Check it out below:

Acupuncture Relieves Sciatica

If you have ever suffered the agony of sciatica, you know how much it hurts. My first acupuncture visit was due to sciatica and here I am now as an acupuncturist myself. So, you can imagine that I found it to be pretty helpful!

When I had the sciatic pain, it was not for the first time. I had hurt myself in the same spot several years earlier and I had been stuck in bed, flat on my back for almost 2 weeks. I could hardly hobble to the washroom and back and I was taking huge doses of pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, which left me barely conscious.

When it happened again, I finally got brave enough to try the acupuncture. I had an experience similar to the man in the video. I had one treatment which almost completely alleviated my pain. I took it easy for a couple of days, but I was virtually cured. Acupuncture really can be that effective.

Check out the video below to see for yourself. The acupuncturist is using a different style than I typically use, but it still works. It is quite a long video, so if you want to skip ahead, go to about 16 minutes to hear the patient offering to kiss his acupuncturist. LOL

Do Acupuncture Points Really Exist?

acupuncture needlesSkeptics of acupuncture will tell you that acupuncture points are imaginary spots that acupuncturists have made up, but we know better. Over time, science is slowly starting to back up the practice of acupuncture.

I like to ask people why millions of people in China and other eastern countries would participate in such a mass scam for thousands of years if they didn’t find the therapy was helpful, but that is just the common sense I was raised with. If something works; do it. If it doesn’t; don’t. That is enough for me.

I do also like to see the results of these studies. If you compared studies on the efficacy and safety of acupuncture to the efficacy and safety of drugs and surgery, you would probably find that acupuncture out-performs many of the allopathic treatments people have been undergoing for the last few decades. Remember, acupuncture has been in use for thousands of years. Modern medicine is a baby by comparison. I don’t want to slam modern medicine because I am truly thankful that it exists. In an emergency or for major health issues, of course you want a medical doctor.  I am constantly amazed by how our medical system is advancing, but in some cases, the side-effects outweigh the benefits, and looking for a less invasive therapy, like acupuncture, may be the answer.

The diagnostic capabilities of our medical system are amazing. In fact, it is the diagnostic technology we have today that is helping to confirm the existence of acupuncture points.

A skilled acupuncturist can locate your acupoints and even use them to aid in the diagnosis of imbalances in the body. For example, people are often surprised when I ask them if they have had bloating or gas by palpating a point on their leg, or if they are having PMS symptoms by touching their ankles. Some acupoints will be blocked, bumpy or overly full when certain discomforts are present in the body. That is why I am not surprised to read the article below, which shows that CT scans are verifying that the tissue at acupuncture points is different than other tissue. The microvascular density is more concentrated at the sites of acupuncture points. Read on below:

“In this study published in the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, researchers used in-line phase contrast CT imaging with synchrotron radiation on both non-acupuncture points and acupuncture points.

The CT scans revealed clear distinctions between the non-acupuncture point and acupuncture point anatomical structures. Read more here…”

Video of Facial Cupping

If you’ve ever wondered what facial cupping therapy looks like, here it is.

I hear some people sounding concerned when I mention that I do facial cupping therapy. If they have heard of cupping therapy, or looked up photos on the internet, they might imagine that a person would come out of facial cupping therapy with cupping marks on their faces, but not so!

Cupping therapy on the face is relaxing and rejuvenating. People most often have it done for cosmetic reasons, but I also do cupping on the face for headaches, jaw tension etc. I have even helped people to reduce snoring from  sinus issues.

The video below gives a brief demo:

More Acupuncture Research

Researchers are finally catching up with what acupuncturists have known for thousands of years.

Acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for women’s health issues. I remember being completely amazed myself when acupuncture alleviated menstrual pain that I had been suffering from for years. All the medical community could offer me were drugs that knocked me out, or surgery. I didn’t want to have a hysterectomy in my 30’s!

When I saw an acupuncturist for only 4 or 5 treatments, my menstrual pain pretty much disappeared! Personal experience lead me to study acupuncture so that I could help others. I am still really frustrated when I hear about women who suffer their whole lives with hormonal imbalances that affect their health. It is so unnecessary to be in pain!

This blog post by Acupuncture Blog Chicago explores several recent studies that show how acupuncture is effective in helping women who have had breast cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hot flashes and infertility. Read more here…


Acupuncture Proven for Pain Relief

Finally, we are beginning to see study results that prove the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain. Even though acupuncture has been helping people with their pain for thousands of years all over the world, it has taken science a while to catch up and acknowledge the benefits.

My first experience with acupuncture was for back pain. Everyone who has had that awful feeling of pulling a back muscle knows how agonizing it can be. You can end up flat on your back in bed for weeks, and that was the experience I had the first couple of times I put my back out.

With the acupuncture, I was back on my feet and back to work in just a couple of days instead of a couple of weeks. Plus, I didn’t have to take all of those heavy drugs that knocked me out. I was hooked. Or poked I guess! Here I am several years down the road as an acupuncturist myself. I am still fascinated every day when I see what this gentle healing tool can do for people.

Below is an article from the New York Times about how several scientific studies were analyzed over 6 years to scrutinize how effective acupuncture is for pain.

“A new study of acupuncture — the most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date — found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain.

The findings provide strong scientific support for an age-old therapy used by an estimated three million Americans each year. Though acupuncture has been studied for decades, the body of medical research on it has been mixed and mired to some extent by small and poor-quality studies. Financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over about half a decade, the new research was a detailed analysis of earlier research that involved data on nearly 18,000 patients.” Keep reading here….

Who is Bonnie?

Bonnie Adam is a Registered Acupuncturist with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners of Ontario. She is also a Certified Acupuncture Health Professional with the Canadian Examining Board of Health Care Practitioners and a Certified Cupping Therapist with The International Association of Cupping Therapists.