Essential Ear Pressure Points for Wellness

Three Essential Ear Pressure Points for Wellness

Three Essential Ear Pressure Points for Wellness: Your Self-Healing Map

For centuries, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have viewed the ear as a microcosm of the entire body, with auricular therapy or ear pressure point acupressure, targeting specific points for its notable effectiveness. This nuanced approach to the ear’s “treasure points” offers holistic health benefits that encompass physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

In this exploration of ‘Three Essential Ear Pressure Points for Wellness,’ we survey the terrain of auricular therapy, shining a spotlight on points that can be stimulated for enhanced wellness.

1. Shen Men (Spirit Gate) – The Calming Haven

Shen Men - Ear Pressure Points

Often referred to as the “Gate of the Spirit,” Shen Men is an ear pressure point located in the upper portion of the ear’s antihelix. Renowned for its capacity to quiet the mind, it promotes a smooth connection between the body and spirit.

Where to Find Shen Men

Locate this ear pressure point by tracing a finger along the upper curve of your ear. A slight depression in the antihelix marks the serene territory of Shen Men.

Applying gentle and consistent pressure here can ease stress, anxiety, and restlessness.

It’s said to offer relief from chronic psychosomatic pain, depression, and insomnia, all the while creating a conduit for grounding and resilience.

2. The Endocrine Balancer Point – Harmonizing Hormones

Endocrine Balancer Point - Ear Pressure Points

Located at the apex of the ear, the Endocrine point, an important ear pressure point, is a powerful regulator of hormonal imbalances. It influences secretions from the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands, contributing significantly to the body’s equilibrium.

Where to Find the Endocrine Point

The cranial apex of the ear, a crucial ear pressure point, represents the locus of the Endocrine Point.

Utilizing acupressure techniques or magnetic beads in this area can mitigate conditions such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and irregular menstruation. Stimulating the pituitary gland through this pressure point can alleviate symptoms of hyperactivity and hypersensitivity.

It is revered for its anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, and anti-rheumatic properties, making it a versatile ally in holistic hormone health.

3. The Allergy Point – A Mastery of Inflammatory Relief

Allergy Point - Ear Pressure Points

This global pain regulator, also referred to as the Allergy Point ear pressure point, is located in the center of the inner ear’s depression. It is crucial in mitigating allergic reactions and significantly influences the reduction of inflammation linked to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

Where to Find the Allergy Point

The ear pressure point, also known as the allergy point, is located in the center of the bowl of the inner ear and can be gently pressed or massaged to subdue various forms of inflammation. Pinching this tender point is widely recognized as a natural method to reduce allergic responses.

By quelling the body’s overzealous immune reaction, the Allergy Point embodies the art of self-healing, offering relief that is quite literally at your fingertips.

Reach Out and Find Balance

Understanding the three pivotal ear pressure points is just the first step in harnessing the power of auricular therapy.

Whether you aim to alleviate specific health concerns or to enhance your overall sense of well-being, these points on the ear can serve as a guide on your personal journey toward wellness.

To fully integrate these practices into your life and experience their complete benefits, consider consulting an acupuncturist who can customize these techniques to your unique health profile.

The journey to wellness begins with a single point – are you ready to discover and activate yours?

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Dry Needling vs Acupuncture

Understanding the Differences Between Dry Needling vs Acupuncture

Unraveling the Needle Debate: Understanding the Differences Between Dry Needling vs Acupuncture


If you’re investigating the needle debate, understanding the differences between dry needling vs acupuncture is crucial. This article presents essential distinctions without fluff: dry needling is a modern intervention based on Western medical principles for easing muscle pain, while acupuncture is an ancient Eastern therapy aimed at promoting energy flow. Delve into a detailed discussion of their historical roots, purpose, and method of operation, to answer precisely what sets these two practices apart.

Key Takeaways

  • Dry needling, based in Western medicine, targets myofascial trigger points for pain relief and improving physical function, while acupuncture, based on Eastern philosophy, aims to harmonize the body’s energy flow, or ‘Qi’, and treat a wider range of conditions.
  • Both dry needling and acupuncture use thin, filiform needles, but differ in their techniques, philosophies, and treatment goals, with acupuncture using diverse needling techniques to balance energy flow and dry needling focusing on alleviating muscle pain.
  • Professional training and safety considerations are essential for both practices; licensed acupuncturists undergo extensive training and certification, while physical therapists trained in dry needling require specific courses and experience to ensure patient safety.

Piercing the Confusion: Dry Needling and Acupuncture Defined

Let’s start with the basics: dry needling vs acupuncture.

Dry needling, rooted in Western Medicine, involves inserting needles, similar to those used in acupuncture, into muscle trigger points – tight, irritable, and dysfunctional muscle tissues. However, where acupuncture and dry needling diverge is in their theories, intent, and standards of practice.

Acupuncture, a cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine, originated over 2000 years ago in China and aims to restore the flow of ‘qi’ through the body’s meridians. Dry needling, on the other hand, is a relatively new kid on the block, with its concept evolving from ‘wet’ trigger point injections in the 1940s. Despite these differences, both acupuncture and dry needling share a common thread – the use of needles to promote healing.

Historical Roots and Modern Practice

Drawing from ancient Eastern principles, acupuncture has always centered around restoring the flow of ‘qi’ – a form of vital energy or metabolism. Over the millennia, the practice has stood the test of time, continuously evolving and adapting to modern medical understandings.

Contrastingly, dry needling, grounded in Western medicine, is relatively young, with its roots tracing back to the 1940s. The practice has come a long way since then, with a pivotal study by Dr. Karel Lewit in 1979 highlighting the therapeutic effect of the needling action itself. Despite their different origins and evolutions, both practices share an interesting correlation – the locations of myofascial trigger points used in dry needling often coincide with strategic points used in acupuncture.

Needle Craft: Tools of the Trade

When it comes to needle craft, both acupuncture and dry needling utilize small, filiform needles. Originally, dry needling employed hypodermic needles, but over time, it transitioned to using acupuncture needles – a testament to the efficacy of the latter.

Despite this common ground, the needles used in both practices vary in terms of:

  • availability
  • ease of use
  • tissue trauma
  • cost

It’s fascinating how a simple tool like a needle can be so versatile and effective in the hands of skilled practitioners!

The Philosophical Divide: Intentions Behind the Techniques

Dry Needling and Acupuncture Debate

The ongoing debate between dry needling vs acupuncture can be traced back to their philosophical roots. As we’ve learned, dry needling is based on Western medicine principles and targets myofascial trigger points for pain relief. The intention behind dry needling often includes decreasing pain and muscle tightness, improving range of motion, and altering anatomical and physiological processes.

Acupuncture, on the other hand, is grounded in Eastern philosophy. It aims to harmonize the body’s energy flow, or ‘Qi’, to promote overall homeostasis. This difference in philosophy is a key argument in distinguishing the two practices, with dry needling training courses often omitting Eastern medicine philosophy entirely.

Eastern Energy vs. Western Anatomy

In the East, acupuncture is all about ‘Qi’ – a form of vital energy or metabolism. The flow of Qi through meridians in the body is the lifeblood of acupuncture, and treatment aims to balance this flow to maintain health. This is where the concept of ‘De Qi’ comes in – a central effectiveness principle in acupuncture, where the patient feels sensations such as dull aches or tingling, indicating the impact and effectiveness of the treatment.

On the other side of the globe, dry needling shuns the concept of energy pathways and instead zooms in on physiological and anatomical aspects for tissue repair and pain reduction. This focus on anatomy is evident in the precise targeting of specific myofascial trigger points to address pain. It’s a classic case of Eastern energy versus Western anatomy!

Healing Goals: Pain Relief and Beyond

When it comes to managing pain, both acupuncture and dry needling pull their weight. They aim to provide pain relief as a primary goal, albeit through different mechanisms. Dry needling zeros in on myofascial trigger points to alleviate pain, focusing on anatomical rather than energetic aspects.

Medical acupuncture, while also effective in pain management, takes the healing a step further. It pursues the harmonization of Qi for overall well-being as part of the treatment process. This dual approach to treating physical pain and promoting overall health has led to widespread recognition of acupuncture as a holistic method of managing chronic pain conditions without needing pharmaceuticals or invasive procedures.

Technique Spotlight: How Dry Needling and Acupuncture Work

Now that we’ve explored the philosophy and intentions behind dry needling vs acupuncture, let’s delve into the nitty-gritty: how do they work? In trigger point dry needling, thin needles are inserted into muscle trigger points, with the goal of relieving mild to moderate pain. The in-and-out needle insertion techniques used in dry needling include pistoning or sparrow pecking, where the needles are not retained in the skin for prolonged periods.

In contrast, acupuncture takes a more diverse approach. Apart from targeting trigger points, it also employs a range of needling techniques derived from ancient texts, focusing on balancing energy flow for pain management. One such method is the warm needling technique, which is not used in dry needling, showcasing the different techniques each practice employs for pain management.

Needle Navigation: Placement Strategies

Acupuncture and dry needling diverge when it comes to needle placement strategies. In acupuncture, needle placement is based on predetermined points, or ‘meridians’. Dry needling, however, is guided by the patient’s presenting symptoms and pain locations.

Different dry needling techniques target specific tissues and often aim to elicit a twitch response in muscular pain treatment. Diagnostic imaging like ultrasound may enhance treatment outcomes for both dry needling and acupuncture. This illustrates the importance of specialized training and expertise in both practices for accurate needle placement and effective pain management.

Duration and Depth: Timing the Treatment

The depth and duration of needle insertion vary between acupuncture and dry needling. In traditional Chinese acupuncture, needles are typically inserted at depths ranging from 3mm to 10mm. However, depending on the treatment approach, acupuncture needles may be inserted at various depths, potentially up to a couple of inches.

In dry needling, the needle retention duration can range from a brief 10 seconds to as long as 20 minutes, depending on the specific treatment objectives. These variations in duration and depth reflect the versatility of both practices in adapting to the individual needs of patients.

Clinical Encounters: Conditions Treated by Dry Needling and Acupuncture

Dry Needling and Acupuncture Conditions Treated

Both acupuncture and dry needling are hailed for their effectiveness in treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. These practices offer a welcome respite for patients battling chronic pain, including:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Temporomandibular pain (TMJ)

But their healing powers aren’t just restricted to musculoskeletal issues. They are also used to alleviate pain and treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system, including:

  • biceps tendinitis
  • iliotibial band syndrome
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • tennis elbow

among others.

Musculoskeletal Marvels: Alleviating Physical Pain

The prowess of acupuncture and dry needling in managing musculoskeletal pain is well-documented. Acupuncture employs various needling techniques, focusing on balancing energy flow and treating musculoskeletal pain. According to research, acupuncture has been found to offer short-term relief for low back pain. This suggests that acupuncture may be a potential option for managing this type of discomfort..

Dry needling, on the other hand, is recognized as a minimally invasive and cost-effective treatment method that avoids medication and, therefore, medication-related side effects. Deep dry needling zeroes in on myofascial trigger points to alleviate pain, thus offering a viable alternative to traditional pain management techniques.

Beyond the Muscles: Holistic Health Benefits

But the healing power of acupuncture goes beyond muscle pain. It helps alleviate reproductive disorders such as menstrual cramps, infertility, and menopausal symptoms, as well as managing psychological conditions including depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

The World Health Organization endorses acupuncture for various conditions encompassing chronic pain, digestive and urinary disorders, psychological issues, and side effects from chemotherapy. Furthermore, acupuncture’s versatility extends to treating seasonal allergies, high blood pressure, addiction issues, and supporting weight management alongside diet and exercise. Truly, acupuncture is a holistic marvel!

Training and Expertise: Who Can Perform Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture?

So, who can wield the needle? In the U.S., licensed acupuncturists are required to:

  • Complete an approved acupuncture program
  • Pass an examination
  • Undergo specific hours of continuing education
  • Obtain NCCAOM certification
  • Complete a Clean Needle Technique Course

As for dry needling, it’s mostly performed by physical and sports injury therapists, who base their eligibility on their advanced knowledge of human anatomy. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, most U.S. states permit physical therapists to practice dry needling, which is often a part of sports physical therapy. This indicates that there is widespread acceptance of this therapy among physical therapists in the United States.

Pathways to Proficiency: Educational Requirements

To become an acupuncturist in the United States, candidates typically require two years of undergraduate study before enrolling in a three-year acupuncture program or a four-year oriental medicine program. In Pennsylvania, for instance, U.S. trained applicants need two academic years in an acupuncture program plus two academic years at an undergraduate level.

For physical therapists to perform dry needling, they must complete a minimum of two credentialed courses totaling about 46 hours focused on safe needle techniques and patient safety. In some states, they are also required to have a minimum of two years of experience. This extensive training ensures they are highly knowledgeable practitioners in managing musculoskeletal conditions.

Professional Protocols: Safety and Ethics

Safety and ethics are paramount in any healthcare practice, and dry needling and acupuncture are no exceptions. While safety is a common concern raised against dry needling, both practices, including professional acupuncture safety, are generally considered safe, with low-risk profiles.
The rates of adverse events for both dry needling and acupuncture are quite low and similar. Minor bleeding and bruising at the needle insertion site are examples of minor adverse events associated with both practices. However, it’s crucial to ensure these practices are performed by trained professionals to minimize any risks.

Comparative Outcomes: Efficacy and Experience

Dry needling and acupuncture are both popular methods used to relieve pain and improve musculoskeletal function. Their effectiveness can vary depending on the individual and the specific condition being treated. Studies have shown that dry needling can be effective in reducing mild to moderate pain. This suggests that it may be a viable option for pain relief in certain cases. A systematic review and meta-analysis reported that needling directly into myofascial trigger points may be more effective compared to standard care.

However, the same meta-analysis suggested that while direct dry needling is not significantly better than placebo, it might still have a potential treatment effect. Larger, high-quality placebo-controlled trials are needed to better assess the efficacy of dry needling due to current limitations such as small sample sizes and poor quality of available studies.

Success Stories: Clinical Evidence

Clinical evidence sheds light on the success stories of both practices. Dry needling is recognized as a minimally invasive and cost-effective treatment method that avoids medication and, therefore, medication-related side effects. Evidence concerning the effectiveness of direct dry needling vs non-direct dry needling for myofascial trigger point pain is inconsistent, with some studies indicating benefits and others reporting contradictory results.

Acupuncture treatment has been employed to manage symptoms such as:

  • fatigue
  • pain
  • dry mouth
  • neuropathy
  • nausea
  • vomiting

which are associated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. However, while acupuncture is widely used for various conditions, it cannot be definitively recommended as a reliable treatment for depression based on the current evidence.

Patient Perspectives: The Treatment Experience

In terms of patient experience, both practices offer unique benefits. The most common short-term acupuncture reaction is a ‘relaxed’ feeling, experienced by 43.1% of patients, indicating a shared positive treatment experience among recipients.

During acupuncture, patients often feel sensations such as dull aches or tingling, which are indicative of the treatment’s impact and effectiveness. These patient perspectives underscore the importance of the treatment experience in influencing the perceived effectiveness of both practices.

Navigating the Needle Landscape: Choosing Between Dry Needling vs Acupuncture

Choosing Between Dry Needling vs Acupuncture

So, how do you navigate the needle landscape? The decision between dry needling vs acupuncture largely depends on your individual needs and treatment goals. Non-addictive and cost-effective pain treatments are crucial given the widespread use of opioids for pain management and the consequent increase in opioid-related overdose deaths.

Patients with musculoskeletal pain or sports injuries could benefit more from dry needling, which targets the muscles and soft tissues. On the other hand, acupuncture may be more suitable for those seeking a holistic approach, aiming to balance the body’s energy flow and address multiple health issues simultaneously.

Personalized Treatment Plans: Tailoring to Your Needs

Your journey to healing is unique, and so should your treatment plan. Dry needling typically focuses on alleviating myofascial trigger point pain, while acupuncture is used for a broader array of conditions, including digestive, respiratory, and emotional disorders.

Consulting with a healthcare practitioner who understands both modalities is crucial for developing a personalized treatment plan that aligns with your health needs and treatment goals. After all, your health journey is personal, and your treatment should be too!

Collaborative Care: Integrating Treatments

There’s a saying that two heads are better than one, and this holds true when integrating treatments. Interdisciplinary communication between practitioners of dry needling and acupuncture can enhance patient outcomes by integrating the strengths of both modalities.

By bringing together the best of East and West, patients can enjoy a holistic approach to healthcare that caters to their unique needs. Whether you’re seeking pain relief, stress reduction, or overall wellness, the combination of dry needling and acupuncture can provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to your health journey.

Summary: Dry Needling vs Acupuncture

To recap, dry needling vs acupuncture, while sharing a common tool – the needle – have distinct origins, philosophies, techniques, and applications. Dry needling, rooted in Western medicine, zeros in on myofascial trigger points to alleviate pain, while acupuncture, grounded in ancient Chinese medicine, aims to balance the body’s energy flow for overall well-being.

So, whether you’re battling chronic pain, seeking a holistic approach to health, or simply curious about the world of needles, remember – the choice between dry needling and acupuncture lies in understanding your unique health needs and goals. Consult with your healthcare provider, ask questions, and be an active participant in your healing journey. After all, you are the captain of your health ship!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between dry needling vs acupuncture?
The main difference between acupuncture and dry needling is that acupuncture focuses on opening up your Qi or healing energy, while dry needling stimulates trigger points or irritable muscles.

What conditions can dry needling vs acupuncture treat?
Both dry needling and acupuncture can treat musculoskeletal conditions like shoulder pain, low back pain, and headaches, while acupuncture can also address a wider range of issues such as digestive and emotional disorders.

Who can perform dry needling vs acupuncture?
Licensed acupuncturists perform acupuncture, while physical therapists, who have specific training, perform dry needling.

How do I choose between dry needling vs acupuncture?
The best option between dry needling and acupuncture depends on your specific needs and treatment objectives. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about both practices to create a tailored treatment plan for you.

Can I combine dry needling and acupuncture in my treatment plan?
Yes, integrating both dry needling and acupuncture can enhance patient outcomes by combining the strengths of both modalities effectively.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Regulate Your Hormones After Birth Control

5 Tips to Regulate Your Hormones After Birth Control from an Acupuncturist

Navigating the post-birth control landscape of hormone regulation can feel like an overwhelming quest.

Countless women turn to birth control for varied reasons—from managing specific health conditions to preventing pregnancy. But what happens when you decide it’s time to stop? How can you regulate your hormones after birth control?

Fear not, as you’re not alone on this path to natural hormone balance.

Understanding that the journey of rebalancing hormones is deeply personal and can require patience, we present a guide infused with wisdom from Traditional Chinese Medicine to help you find your equilibrium.

Tip 1 – Know Your Health History

It is crucial to explore the initial reason for starting birth control. Was it to prevent pregnancy, control cycle-related symptoms, or perhaps to manage a condition like endometriosis? This foundational knowledge holds the key to better understand and anticipate the changes you might experience upon cessation.

Remember, your reason for using birth control is the map that points to what lies ahead in your hormone regulation trek.

Understanding the original purposes behind your birth control use isn’t just a trip down memory lane; it’s your first step to preparedness. Was it simply a contraceptive choice or an intervention for menstrual irregularities? Cracking this code offers a significant insight into what symptoms might reemerge and arms you with the information you need to discuss with your healthcare provider for an informed post-pill strategy.

Tip 2 – Mindful Awareness of the Regulation Journey

The trek to hormonally balanced shores often varies from one person to another and may last from weeks to months (or longer!). It’s essential to acknowledge that regulation may not happen overnight.

By understanding your body’s timeline—which could be influenced by factors like your previous health status or how long you’ve been on birth control—you armor yourself against undue stress. Mindfulness here acts as a beacon of light, guiding you calmly through the process of recalibration.

Tip 3 – Seek Acupuncture for Hormone Regulation

Imagine a therapeutic ally that nudges your body’s natural rhythms back into a harmonious dance. Acupuncture—a jewel of TCM—does just that. It’s like a conductor encouraging the reestablishment of the body’s intrinsic communication lines, specifically nudging the HPA and HPG axes towards a symphony of balance.

Whether it’s rejuvenating the conversation between your brain and ovaries or soothing the entire hormonal chorus, acupuncture could very well be your rhythm restorer.

Tip 4 – TCM Herbal Formulas Custom Tailored to You

In contrast to the one-size-fits-all approach of birth control, TCM presents a palette of herbal remedies, each artfully blended to address your unique TCM diagnosis. What’s recommended for PCOS-related amenorrhea, for example, is very different from what is recommended for endometriosis. And within each of those Western diagnoses are even more specific and intricate TCM diagnoses.

These formulations are carefully selected based on your TCM diagnosis, health history, and symptoms ensuring that the support you receive is as individual as your fingerprint. A TCM practitioner can concoct the perfect herbal mix to guide your body gently back to its natural state of hormonal flow.

Tip 5 – Nutritional Support Tailored to Your Journey

Goodbye birth control, hello nutritional recalibration! It’s often underestimated how dietary and supplementary choices can ease the transition off the pill. From increasing nutrients depleted by birth control usage—like B vitamins and folate—to integrating supplements that assist with emerging symptoms (like acne – ugh!), your plate becomes a foundational tool in your hormonal rebalance toolkit. Guidance from a TCM perspective can bring into relief the specific nutritional strategies that align with your body’s current needs.

In Conclusion:

Think of TCM as your trusted travel companion through the terrain of post-birth control hormonal rebalancing.

Grounded in an approach that respects your body’s history and current state, it employs acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutrition as supportive guides. Your transitional voyage may have its swift currents and sluggish waters, but TCM offers holistic sustenance for the full duration.

Remember, every step is progress, and every individual’s experience is valid.

Be gentle with yourself as you carve out your path to balance, and trust in the traditional wisdom that has illuminated the way for countless before you. Your body possesses a remarkable ability to find harmony, and the TCM approach can be a powerful ally in fostering that innate equilibrium.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Women's Health - Lokahi Acupuncture

How Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Supports Women’s Health Through Life’s Stages

Women’s health encompasses many stages, and each stage poses its set of unique situations and symptoms.

From puberty to menopause, women go through a multitude of changes that can be challenging to manage. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine, such as acupuncture and herbal medicine, offers a holistic approach to support women’s health throughout these stages.

In this article, we explore how acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle awareness can help women manage their health better as they transition through various stages.

We’ll also delve into how Traditional Chinese Medicine views the life cycles for women and how it can provide a holistic solution to women’s health problems.


Every woman’s journey through their reproductive phase begins with puberty, which usually starts between the ages of eight and thirteen.

For many girls, puberty can be a confusing and challenging time, as their bodies start to change, and their hormones go into overdrive. Some of the physical symptoms that may arise at this stage include acne, mood swings, irregular periods, and menstrual cramps.

Acupuncture can help balance the hormones, alleviate menstrual cramps or headaches, increase circulation, and reduce stress levels associated with puberty.


Pregnancy is a period of change of the utmost importance.

Yes, it is a beautiful and exciting time for most women, but it also comes with several health concerns. These range from morning sickness and back pain in the early stages to postpartum depression later on.

Acupuncture can help manage some symptoms related to pregnancy, such as nausea, back pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Moreover, it could prepare the body for labor and delivery.


Menopause marks the end of the reproductive phase and the beginning of a new phase of a woman’s life.

Women may experience different symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mucosal dryness, mood swings, osteoporosis, and so on.

Acupuncture has shown to reduce hot flashes, decrease sweating frequency, and stabilize mood and emotions. Herbal medicine may also help to alleviate symptoms and prevent bone loss.

Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the life cycles of women in eight-year cycles, and each phase comes with its set of symptoms.

Each cycle is related to a specific organ system and its corresponding emotions. For example, the kidney system, which includes the bladder and reproductive organs, is the primary organ system during the reproductive years. Each of these organs has a specific role they play in women’s physical, mental, or spiritual health.

During each cycle, acupuncture and herbal medicine can help support the body and mind. For instance, promoting circulation and removing blockages is critical during puberty, nourishing the blood and the reproductive organs during fertility years, and stabilizing Qi and Yin to prevent osteoporosis during menopause.

Herbal Medicine:

In countries such as China, herbal medicine that is supportive is often cooked into food like soups and congees. Small, consistent doses of herbs can be incorporated into a woman’s diet to promote hormonal balance and overall health. Herbal medicine aims to restore balance and harmony to the body, making it an excellent addition to other therapies such as acupuncture and lifestyle awareness.

As women transition through different stages of life, it is essential to support their overall health and well-being.

Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle awareness can provide a holistic approach to manage the different physical, mental, or emotional symptoms that arise at each stage. Traditional Chinese Medicine views women’s lives in eight-year cycles and offers specific treatments that align with each cycle. Incorporating herbal medicine into the diet can help balance hormones while providing other health benefits.

Focusing on prevention and early intervention, rather than waiting for issues to arise, is key to supporting women’s health through life’s stages.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Auricular Therapy: Lokahi Acupuncture

Auricular Therapy: Significance of the Ear in Chinese Medicine

by Susannah Lee, LAc

In the realm of Chinese medicine, the ear holds profound significance as a microcosm of the entire body, reflecting the interconnectedness of organ systems and serving as a canvas for holistic treatments.

Auricular Therapy

Delving into the captivating world of auricular therapy, we unravel the beauty and significance of the ear, exploring its intricate connection to well-being and the diverse array of conditions it can address.

The Ear: A Reflection of Harmony and Holistic Wellness

In Chinese medicine, the ear is revered as a remarkable embodiment of harmony and balance, encapsulating the interconnectedness of the body’s organ systems. The ear’s intricate structure not only portrays an exquisitely beautiful canvas but also serves as a mirror that reflects the state of the entire body. Through this lens, the ear becomes a gateway to understanding and nurturing holistic wellness, embodying the wisdom of ancient healing traditions.

Auricular Therapy: Unlocking the Healing Potential of Ear Points

Auricular therapy, rooted in the principles of Chinese medicine, harnesses the innate healing potential of the ear through strategic stimulation of specific points. These ear points, when engaged with targeted therapies, have the capacity to address a wide spectrum of physical, emotional, and energetic imbalances. From managing pain and stress to promoting relaxation and supporting internal harmony, the art of auricular therapy unveils a myriad of possibilities for holistic well-being.

Empowering Treatments: Exploring the Versatility of Ear-Based Therapies

The application of auricular therapy extends beyond mere acupuncture, encompassing a diverse range of modalities that cater to individual needs and preferences. Utilizing techniques such as ear acupuncture, ear seeds, ear tacks, and moxibustion, practitioners can provide tailored and comprehensive ear treatments. Each method carries its unique therapeutic benefits, offering a versatile approach to addressing a multitude of conditions and enhancing overall vitality.

Nurturing Holistic Well-being: Embracing the Potential of Auricular Treatments

From alleviating pain and supporting mental well-being to harmonizing the body’s energetic flow, auricular treatments stand as a testament to the holistic ethos of Chinese medicine. By embracing the beauty and significance of the ear, individuals can embark on a journey of profound self-care and well-being, tapping into the transformative potential of auricular therapy to nurture their body, mind, and spirit.

In essence, the ear in Chinese medicine emerges as a captivating gateway to holistic well-being, intertwining the aesthetic allure of its intricate design with the profound capacity to address a spectrum of conditions.

By delving into the rich tapestry of auricular therapy, we embrace the timeless wisdom that resonates through the ear, unlocking the boundless potential for transformative healing and holistic wellness.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Harmony of Lokahi Acupuncture

Experience the Harmony of Lokahi Acupuncture

Lokahi Pronunciation

Literal translation: 

→ means to obtain

Kahi is the shortened version of ‘ekahi, which is the number one

Together, Lōkahi means to obtain oneness, unity, harmony & balance

Welcome to Lokahi Acupuncture, where harmony and balance are at the forefront of our practice. Lokahi is a Hawaiian term that embodies the concept of harmony, unity, and balance. It refers to the state of being in alignment with oneself, others, and the environment.

In the Hawaiian culture, lokahi emphasizes the importance of interconnectedness and working together for the greater good.

Our name “Lokahi” is essential because it embodies who we are, what we strive for, and what we offer our patients. Our holistic approach is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, which we believe is a powerful tool in restoring balance to your body, mind, and spirit.

At Lokahi Acupuncture, we offer two unique treatment teams – the fertility team and the pain team.

Both teams strive for a collaborative approach to support our patients’ well-being.

Our fertility team provides individualized acupuncture services to help support natural fertility, IVF, and IUI. We believe that your journey to parenthood should be supported by holistic and nurturing care.

Our pain team is dedicated to providing personalized acupuncture services for all types of pain issues, including but not limited to headaches, migraines, back pain, neck pain, and arthritis.

We understand the importance of patient collaboration, which is why we encourage our patients to become involved in their treatment plans and work closely with them to create personalized care. Our treatment plans integrate acupuncture with other complementary therapies such as dietary and lifestyle recommendations, according to each patient’s specific needs.

We believe that our patients should have treatment plans that work for them and take into account their unique circumstances.

At Lokahi Acupuncture, our treatments typically start with an intake form that provides us with key information about the patient’s overall health and well-being. Once we have reviewed the intake form, we discuss the patient’s concerns and goals regarding their treatment.

The acupuncture treatment is then performed, which involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points in the body. After the treatment, we email our patients with customized treatment plans that may include Chinese herbs, stretches, exercises, and lifestyle recommendations to further support their health and well-being.

We understand that some people may be hesitant to try acupuncture or may not know what to expect from a session.

At Lokahi Acupuncture, we want to assure our patients that acupuncture is a safe and non-invasive therapy that can offer numerous benefits, ranging from pain relief to stress reduction. We create a warm and welcoming environment and provide personalized attention and support to help our patients feel comfortable during their treatment.

Lokahi Acupuncture offers a holistic and collaborative approach to support your body, mind, and spirit.

We believe that personalized treatment plans that incorporate acupuncture, dietary and lifestyle recommendations, and Chinese herbs can bring balance and harmony to your life. Our dedicated professionals on both our fertility and pain teams are committed to understanding and meeting your unique health and wellness needs.

Come and experience the harmony of Lokahi Acupuncture today. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Facial Acupuncture Benefits

Facial Acupuncture Benefits

Old Age Secrets in a New Age World

We live in a world where we encounter the standards set by the beauty industry at every turn , offering numerous invasive treatments to turn back the clock.

However, there’s a growing trend towards holistic and natural approaches to enhance one’s natural beauty and rejuvenate the skin. One such approach is facial acupuncture, deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine-and it’s making a comeback in today’s world!

Facial acupuncture presents an alternative that doesn’t require surgery or drastic measures. Let’s dive into the benefits of facial acupuncture, how it works, and the three distinct forms we offer: Cosmetic Acupuncture, Nanoneedling, and Microneedling.

Facial Acupuncture Benefits

Natural Anti-Aging:

Often referred to as “natural Botox,” facial acupuncture can effectively reduce fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. Collagen is a vital protein that provides structure to the skin. As we age, collagen production decreases, leading to sagging skin and wrinkles. Through the use of fine needles into the skin, facial acupuncture prompts the body to produce more collagen. This results in firmer, smoother skin, which retains a youthful appearance.

Improved Skin Texture:

Elastin is another essential protein that maintains skin elasticity. The stimulation of blood flow and oxygen supply to the facial tissues through facial acupuncture promotes the production of these proteins, reducing puffiness and enhancing skin texture. This not only leads to a more radiant complexion but also helps to reverse the effects of aging by restoring skin’s natural elasticity.

Stress Reduction:

In addition to its cosmetic advantages, facial acupuncture’s roots in traditional acupuncture offer the added benefit of stress reduction. Stress is a major contributor to premature aging and skin issues. The precise insertion of needles at specific points on the face and body can alleviate stress and anxiety, contributing to an overall youthful appearance and improved well-being. Reduced stress levels can help prevent the formation of stress lines and wrinkles, leaving the skin looking more relaxed and youthful.

Enhanced Muscle Tone:

Facial acupuncture can target specific facial muscles to lift and tone, providing a non-surgical facelift effect. Muscles that sag with age can be revitalized through acupuncture. This natural approach enhances facial muscle tone, helping to reverse the effects of aging. It’s like a workout for the face, increasing circulation and rejuvenating facial muscles.

Improved Skin Vitality:

Many patients report experiencing a healthy glow and enhanced skin vitality after undergoing a course of facial acupuncture treatments. The holistic approach of this ancient technique fosters overall well-being that shines through in one’s complexion. Improved circulation and the body’s natural healing response combine to give the skin a refreshed, revitalized appearance.

But HOW Does Facial Acupuncture Work?

Facial acupuncture works wonders in promoting skin rejuvenation through a fascinating process. By delicately inserting fine acupuncture needles into specific points on the face, controlled microtrauma within the skin’s dermal layer are created. While it may seem counterintuitive, this minor “injury” triggers the body’s natural healing response, leading to a significant increase in collagen production – a crucial protein responsible for skin structure and firmness.

In addition to collagen stimulation, facial acupuncture enhances blood circulation within the treated areas. This improved circulation ensures a better supply of essential nutrients and oxygen to the skin, facilitating tissue repair, collagen synthesis, and the removal of waste products and toxins. Moreover, acupuncture is believed to influence the release of fibroblasts and growth factors, such as TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta), which play a vital role in collagen and elastin production.

Acupuncture plays a pivotal role in regulating inflammation, fostering an environment conducive to collagen formation and remodeling. Additionally, acupuncture’s influence extends to the nervous system and hormonal balance, contributing to collagen stimulation. Specific acupuncture points have the potential to stimulate the release of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, potentially affecting tissue repair and regeneration, while also influencing hormone levels.

Types of Facial Acupuncture Treatments at Lokahi Acupuncture:

Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture:

A non-invasive, natural method involving fine needle insertion into specific facial points to boost collagen, enhance blood flow, reduce wrinkles, and achieve a youthful glow.


A newer and less invasive approach, nanoneedling utilizes a textured surface to create microscopic channels in the skin, smoothing out skin tone and improving the absorption of skincare products.


Also known as collagen induction therapy, microneedling employs fine needles to create micro-injuries that trigger the body’s natural wound healing process, promoting the production of collagen and elastin in fine lines and wrinkles.
Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post, where we’ll delve into each treatment, helping you discover the one that’s the perfect fit for your needs!

This article is written by Smriti Shamapant, DACM, LAc, Dipl OM. She is a dedicated Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine at Lokahi Acupuncture, with a unique blend of expertise in facial rejuvenation, pain, and pediatric care. Feel free to reach her at for assistance in choosing the right treatment to meet your unique needs.

Smriti Shamapant
San Jose Acupuncturist
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

What Is Acupuncture & How Does It Work

What Is Acupuncture & How Does It Work

Have you ever been recommended to try acupuncture, but have no idea what it really is?

It’s totally normal to be skeptical about a medical treatment that involves inserting needles into your body. However, acupuncture has been used for over 2,000 years and is widely used today for various conditions.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with an informative guide on what acupuncture is and how it works to help relieve pain and promote overall wellness.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medicine system that originated in ancient China. The treatment involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points in the body to promote natural healing and alleviate pain.

The needles used in acupuncture are so thin that it’s common not to experience any pain, and if you do, it’s minimal. Acupuncture has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, migraines, fertility, allergies, and insomnia.

How Does it Work?

Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body, known as acupoints, that are believed to be connected by pathways known as meridians.

These meridians conduct energy or “qi” throughout the body, which is vital for maintaining health and wellness. When the flow of qi is disrupted, it can lead to physical, emotional, or mental imbalances and illnesses.

Acupuncture aims to restore the body’s balance and unblock energy to allow for natural healing.

What Can You Expect During an Acupuncture Session?

During an acupuncture session, you’ll be asked to lie down on a table or sit in a chair while the acupuncturist inserts the needles into various acupoints in your body.

The needles will be left in for several minutes and may be accompanied by other treatments such as heat therapy or electrical stimulation. The number of needles used during a session can vary depending on the condition being treated.

Is Acupuncture Safe and Effective?

Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed acupuncturist. There are few side effects, and those that do occur are usually mild and temporary.

Research on the effectiveness of acupuncture shows that it can be extremely effective for certain conditions such as knee pain, headache, migraine, low back pain and fertility.

Acupuncture is a natural and non-invasive treatment that has been used for thousands of years to promote healing and relieve pain. If you are interested in trying acupuncture, make sure to find a licensed and experienced acupuncturist who can answer any questions you may have and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further inquiries or concerns or schedule a free consultation here.

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

6 Commonly Asked Questions About Acupuncture

6 Commonly Asked Questions About Acupuncture

What You Need to Know About Acupuncture:
6 Commonly Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Traditional East Asian Medicine & Acupuncture have gained a lot of popularity in recent years.Despite its growing popularity, many people still have questions about this ancient practice.

In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about acupuncture.

1: Will acupuncture hurt?

One of the most common apprehensions surrounding acupuncture is the fear of experiencing pain during the procedure. However, this concern is often unfounded as the needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, resembling the width of a hair strand.

Due to their delicate nature, they rarely cause any discomfort or pain when inserted properly.

On the contrary, numerous individuals have expressed feelings of deep relaxation and tranquility throughout the treatment session. The process is generally well-tolerated, and many even describe the sensation as barely noticeable, if felt at all. The practitioner’s expertise in precise needle placement plays a significant role in ensuring a painless experience.

2: Are acupuncture needles sterile?

At our acupuncture clinic, we prioritize your health and safety above all else.

That’s why we adhere strictly to the guidelines set by the State of California, which outline the best practices for acupuncture needle usage. According to these regulations, all acupuncture needles should be sterile, single-use, and disposable, ensuring a clean and hygienic experience for each and every patient.

We use our needles only once, before disposing of them in our sharps containers. You can rest assured knowing that you are in safe hands.

3: How long will the needles be in?

When you come in for an acupuncture session, one of the common questions that might arise is how long the needles will be in place. The duration varies depending on the type of treatment you are receiving, but on average, patients typically retain the acupuncture needles for a period of 20 to 40 minutes.

This timeframe allows sufficient time for the therapeutic effects of the treatment to take place.  During this time, your practitioner will check on you and may make adjustments to the needles as needed.

You don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable during the treatment as our practitioners are skilled and experienced in ensuring your comfort. As the minutes pass by, you might even find yourself embracing a sense of calm and serenity. Many patients report feeling deeply relaxed during their acupuncture sessions, and some have even described it as a welcome escape from the stresses of daily life.

4: What should I wear to an acupuncture treatment?

Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes are ideal for acupuncture treatments. It’s important to ensure that you feel relaxed and comfortable during the treatment, so we recommend avoiding tight, restrictive clothing.

5: Is there anything I should know before getting an acupuncture treatment?

Yes! It’s important to make sure that you’ve eaten something substantial within two hours before your treatment. This ensures that you won’t feel faint or uncomfortable during the treatment.

Additionally, we recommend not doing anything strenuous immediately after your treatment as you’ll feel extremely relaxed and may need time to adjust back to your daily routine.

Read more about what to expect at your first acupuncture appointment here.

6: Why is there so much paperwork?

Before beginning your acupuncture treatment, we need to get a detailed picture of your medical history, symptoms and concerns. This helps us to arrive at an accurate diagnosis sooner and better direct your treatment plan.

The more information you provide, the better we can understand your individual needs.

We hope this blog post has answered some of the most commonly asked questions about acupuncture.

If you’re still curious, we encourage you to book an appointment and come see our skilled practitioners at our acupuncture clinic.

Remember, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment that can have numerous benefits for your overall health and wellness. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further inquiries or concerns.

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

What is Trauma-Informed Acupuncture Care?

What is Trauma-Informed Acupuncture Care?

Trauma is an important topic related to acupuncture, as many people’s health complaints can be linked to or worsened by a history of traumatic experiences.

Trauma-Informed Acupuncture Care

Acupuncture, as a unique therapy that can positively impact the body as well as the mind, (or the “body-mind”) can be particularly beneficial for patients in which a history of trauma is a major factor.

Which conditions related to trauma can acupuncture help treat?

  • Headache
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

This list is based on both clinical experience, and the findings of a research paper, titled: “The effectiveness of trauma related research across components of the trauma spectrum response (tsr): a systematic review of reviews” (Lee et al, 2012).

Do I need to see a therapist for trauma or is trauma-informed acupuncture enough on its own?

When trauma is the major factor related to a health condition, we recommend also being under the care of a mental health profession to learn to thrive while living with a history of trauma. Psychotherapy with a somatic sensory-based approach may be especially helpful in cases related to trauma (Kearney and Lanius, 2021).

Acupuncture is another modality that can support a patient in a number of ways.

How is acupuncture helpful for trauma?

  • Regulates autonomic nervous system – takes us out of “fight, flight or freeze” mode, and puts us into “relax, repair, rebuild” mode.
  • Acupuncture helps reduce the symptoms of traumatic stress in the body, without necessarily having to talk about or re-experience the trauma.
  • Helps patients have positive experiences of therapeutic touch to add to their memory bank, building a sense of trust and security.
  • Regulates multiple body systems simultaneously for a sense of wellbeing and resilience.

Do I have to tell my acupuncturist the whole story of the trauma that I experienced in order to get relief from my symptoms?

No, it is not required to share with a clinician about a trauma to receive the health benefit of acupuncture related to trauma. We practice trauma-informed acupuncture here at Lokahi Acupuncture, so we consider that any patient that comes through the door may have a history of trauma, even if they haven’t shared it with us. That means we create a treatment experience that respects the dignity and autonomy of patients, and avoids re-traumatizing.

However, some patients choose to share about their trauma and that is ok too. It’s ok to tell your story, and it is also ok to just mention a condition is related to trauma, but not go into detail – how much a patient shares is up to the patient.

Some patients find it helpful to share with their acupuncturist if they need certain conditions maintained such as keeping the room well lighted or the door open. Patients that experience frequent flashbacks related to post-traumatic stress disorder may also choose to share with us, so that we know how we can help if a patient experiences a flashback while at the clinic.

Am I the only one experiencing this?

If you are experiencing health concerns that you feel are related to trauma, please know that you are definitely not alone in this.

Trauma is actually found to be widespread, though certain groups have a higher risk of being exposed to more trauma throughout their lives, and some individuals have greater lifetime effects of trauma to their health (Tebes et al, 2019).

While more information is making its way to the public about the effects of trauma on health in recent years, it is still a topic that is often not widely shared. As clinicians that take an oath of confidentiality, we hear stories daily of how traumatic events affect the lives and health of our patients.

Please know that you are not alone in this, and that there are helpful therapies available.

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment



Kearney BE, Lanius RA. The brain-body disconnect: A somatic sensory basis for trauma-related disorders. Front Neurosci. 2022 Nov 21;16:1015749. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.1015749. PMID: 36478879; PMCID: PMC9720153.

Lee C, Crawford C, Wallerstedt D, York A, Duncan A, Smith J, Sprengel M, Welton R, Jonas W. The effectiveness of acupuncture research across components of the trauma spectrum response (tsr): a systematic review of reviews. Syst Rev. 2012 Oct 15;1:46. doi: 10.1186/2046-4053-1-46. PMID: 23067573; PMCID: PMC3534620.

Tebes JK, Champine RB, Matlin SL, Strambler MJ. Population Health and Trauma-Informed Practice: Implications for Programs, Systems, and Policies. Am J Community Psychol. 2019 Dec;64(3-4):494-508. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12382. Epub 2019 Aug 24. PMID: 31444915; PMCID: PMC7006880.