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Yinova Center
37 West 17th Street, Suite 300
New York, NY 10011
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The process of finding a practitioner who fits your needs, clicks with your personality, is also experienced and a pro in the area of expertise you are seeking to focus on can be challenging to say the least. However, we are here to help make it easier! Whether you are looking for an acupuncturist to optimize your fertility or one to help you find relief from pain, we hope these tips help you look for signs that your acupuncturist is properly qualified and runs a professional and vibrant practice.

Find a practitioner who is licensed and board certified in both acupuncture and Chinese herbs, surprisingly not everyone is.

A licensed and board certified acupuncturist will have completed a 3-4 year full-time master’s degree, which includes thousands of hours of supervised hands-on clinical training, along with a requirement to pass national or state board exams. In addition to practicing acupuncture and prescribing Chinese herbs, a good practitioner should also be trained in cupping, moxa, massage, nutritional support and even modalities like Shonishin, a type of pediatric needle-free acupuncture.

A practitioner can have Board certification in Acupuncture, and/or Chinese Herbology. While an acupuncturist in New York state is required to have NCCAOM certification to get their license, there is no such requirement for them to make herbal recommendations.

There are basic, essential formulas that many acupuncturists work with. However, without the training that a Board certification represents, they are unable to bring the true efficacy (and safety) of Chinese herbal medicine to their patients.

An easy way to find out if a practitioner is fully licensed is to reference the NCCAOM website, which lists licensed practitioners from across the U.S. A current NCCAOM certification is also an indication that your practitioner is keeping up with the Continuing Medical Education requirements

It’s worth noting that doctors, dentists, chiropractors and physical therapists are also able to perform a limited form of “needle therapy” with just 300 hours of training. Because they are practicing under their other medical licenses, they are not required to meet the standards for acupuncture licensure; the service they offer is an adjunct. This means they can take a very abbreviated training and they are not required to maintain their skills with continuing education. Essentially, this would be the equivalent to getting dental work done by an acupuncturist who’d studied dentistry on the side at home.

Seek out comprehensive care

At Yinova we encourage you put your faith in a qualified acupuncturist who practices Chinese medicine passionately and has been trained extensively in the modality. Here at Yinova, we believe it’s paramount that each of our practitioners not only complete the acupuncture portion of the NCCAOM along with conventional and Chinese medical components, but that they have board certification in Chinese herbal medicine as well as we believe it deepens their understanding for chinese medicine as a whole.

Find someone who is accessible

A good acupuncturist should be able to explain to you their treatment plan, as well as converse with your doctor if necessary. At Yinova, we strive to interpret traditional wisdom in a modern way, making Eastern Medicine relevant to busy, overextended patients. We not only make Chinese medical concepts accessible to our patients, but we also “speak doctor,” helping decode complex medical terms and treatments that your conventional doctor may be considering. Our goal is to put integrative care within your reach, giving you the time, resources, and power to take control of your health and get back in sync.

Choose a  practice that suits you

There are two main types of acupuncture practices and both provide their own unique experiences, so it’s important to understand the difference and pick the one that you resonate with the most.

The first is the traditional “private practice.” This is the way we practice at Yinova. Our practitioners see one patient at a time in a private room with plenty of time to talk and develop a treatment strategy.

The second is called “community acupuncture” where patients are treated in a group setting. This helps to keep costs lower, but it does mean you’ll be treated in a communal treatment space.

Privacy and personal attention may or may not be a priority depending on what you are being treated for. If you are dealing with a complex gynecological problem, for example, a private practice will provide you with the discretion and time needed to talk about your symptoms confidentially and work with your practitioner towards a solution. On the other hand if you have a sore elbow, and privacy is not particularly important, a group-style community clinic may be able to help you cheaply and effectively.

Sexual desire and function are common concerns for our patients at the Yinova Center. In our experience, the causes of sexual dysfunction for both men and women can be caused by biological factors (age, constitution, etc.) or can be the result of prescription medication use. Thankfully, the latter can be very treatable. (more…)

Here at Yinova we work hand-in-hand with MDs every day and our aim is to help our patients get the best of both worlds by combining biomedical care with Chinese medicine in an effective way.  As a practitioner who treats lots of children, I’m only too aware that parents worry about making the right choice on behalf of their little ones. Nowhere is this more apparent than in decisions about vaccinations.  Having read alarming stories, many parents worry that the very treatment that is supposed to protect their child will do them harm.  (more…)

Congratulations! If you are reading this, it means that you made it through the Year of the Monkey, which for many people was a bit of a rollercoaster. As I said in my interview with Well+Good last year, monkey years have specific challenges that require us to deal with a volatile and changing landscape. We certainly experienced that geopolitically, didn’t we? (more…)

Whether you prefer your ginger in candy, tea, or your food, there are plenty of ways to integrate this incredible herb into your life. (more…)

Since the 1980’s, ear acupuncture (also known as auriculotherapy) has been widely used in addition to whole body acupuncture treatments. Ear acupuncture is particularly great at treating many types of addictions – for everything from drugs to smoking, eating disorders & gambling. But the power of ear acupuncture goes far beyond just treating behavioral problems.

What it is

Within the ear there are dozens of acupuncture points that represent specific areas and functions of the body. This creates a microsystem that reflects our health and that can be used for treatment; ear acupuncture can be an addition to whole body acupuncture or as a treatment on its own.

While auriculotherapy is typically associated with the 3,500 year old practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, its actual origins might surprise you. In the 1950s, a French neurologist named Paul Nogier witnessed a colleague treating their patient’s lower back pain by cauterizing a sensitive area on their ear. This sparked Nogier’s interest so much so that he then developed a microsystem that depicted a neurological representation of the entire body as it relates to brain function, also known as an homunculus. When he presented his model in 1957, the Chinese acupuncture community both embraced and expanded on it. Today there are a variety of auriculotherapy systems that have grown out of Nogier’s original work, but the one developed through Chinese medicine is the most common. Looking at the ear the distribution of points roughly correspond to the image of an inverted person. Points for the head, neck and sensory organs near the bottom, rising up along the ear to the back and limbs with organs in the center.

Ear Acupuncture l

Benefits

One of the benefits of ear acupuncture is its ease of application. It can be provided while the patient is seated, and there is no need to take off any clothing. This quickly became an attractive option for many people. It’s also an effective way to treat pain without applying needles to the area that hurts.

While ear acupuncture can be used as a stand-alone treatment, it is often added to full body acupuncture sessions as a way of reinforcing the therapy. One technique involves the application of ear seeds, or pellets that stimulate the “points”. These seeds are traditionally vacarria seeds (which resemble poppy seeds) and are on small bandages that hold them in place. Leaving those seeds for a few days allow the benefits of treatment to continue after the patient leaves the clinic. They are barely noticeable and don’t get in the way of normal activities.

What it treats

The spectrum of conditions treated with ear acupuncture is broad. Many studies have shown it is an effective treatment for weight loss, PTSD, menstrual pain, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and stress, and many other conditions. Ear acupuncture has even been used in the wake of disasters. For example, when 9/11 happened, St. Vincent’s Hospital offered ear acupuncture in order to “reduce insomnia and offer stress relief to medical staff, city residents and emergency personnel.”

Recently, ear acupuncture has drawn the attention of the United States Air Force. Under the direction of Dr. Richard Niemtzow “Battlefield Acupuncture” has emerged as a safe and extremely effective alternative to narcotic pain management. It works without side effects, and without compromising a service-members’ ability to function in the field.

One great thing about ear acupuncture is that it is easy to learn. People who aren’t fully licensed acupuncturists can still be trained in auriculotherapy and then go on to offer it in environments where it might not otherwise be available. Another upside is that because it can be done seated, many patients can be treated in a relatively small space. In 1995 I had the pleasure of working at the ear acupuncture clinic at Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx. There, a program was developed that came to be known as the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol and it was provided in one large room with 55 chairs. It was an inspiring place to be. As soon as the doors opened at 7:30 a.m. the place would fill up, every single day. Lincoln trainees included workers in prisons, halfway houses, shelters and rehabilitation facilities. After learning the protocol they were able to offer it at work to groups who tangibly benefitted from the treatments. This addition to treatment was so effective that the Lincoln program went on to be duplicated across the country.

Ear acupuncture may seem like an obscure sideline of Chinese medicine, but when celebrities like Penelope Cruz start showing off their new ear bling, you know its popularity is on the rise. Watch as Jill talks to Good Morning America about Penelope’s ear seeds!

Everyone knows that eating well helps to improve vitality and head off illness. When it comes to specific conditions like prostate cancer, the food choices we make over the years can lessen the chances that disease will take root. One way to make sure that your diet has a broad range of cancer fighting nutrients is to keep it colorful. The different pigments in fruits and vegetables often say a lot about what’s in them and creating a palate of natural colors is a simple way to keep your meals balanced.

First, the lowdown on free radicals: when it comes to prostate (or any) cancer prevention, we talk a lot about free radicals, oxidative stress and their contribution to disease. Here is how it works.

Oxidation is a normal process in our bodies. Oxygen atoms contain two electrons (stay with me here) and through normal activities these electrons sometimes split from each other and roam “freely”. The problem is that the electrons can then begin radical chemical reactions with other atoms, causing damage to tissues and organs.  This is what leads to the development of abnormal cells. Cancer.

Your body has a sophisticated defense system that keeps this process in check, eliminating free radicals and removing damaged cells.

However when it’s ability to deal with, stress, infection and inflammation (all causes of oxidation) is burdened, making sure to get foods rich in anti-oxidants is even more important. Of course you can take anti-oxidant supplements, but everybody agrees that the best way to get nutrients is through a rich variety of fresh, whole foods.

The Feng Shui of food

For centuries, Chinese medicine has advocated including a wide variety of colorful foods in your diet. By eating a broad range of foods you are letting nature provide you with important nutrients that contain antioxidants and help counteract the damage of oxidation.

Here is a breakdown of foods by color and sources of these important antioxidants that sweep up free radicals. It is by no means exhaustive, so find other fruits and veggies you love that have these, as well as other health promoting compounds.

Tomatoes, Watermelon, Pink Grapefruit, Sweet Red Peppers, Guava

All of these contain lycopene, one of the most studied anti-oxidants in the fight against prostate cancer. Many studies have shown it to be a powerful neutralizer of free radicals and diets rich in tomato products lower risks for many types of cancer. Interestingly, isolated lycopene supplementation has not proven to be as effective as getting it from whole food sources such as tomato soups, sauces and even ketchup.

Grapes, Pomegranate, Plums, Berries, Red Cabbage, Eggplant

Anthocyanins are the compounds that give these fruits their distinctive color (wine too!). They provide protection for cell membranes against oxidative stress and support healthy blood vessels. Their anti-inflammatory effects also help regulate cell wall permeability and neutralize enzymes that destroy connective tissue.

Walnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Wheat, Rice

The alpha-tocopherol (a type of vitamin E) found in nuts and seeds have been shown in studies to significantly reduce the risk and development of prostate cancer.

Oranges, Nectarines, Peaches, Papaya

These fruits contain another carotenoid, Beta-Cryptoxanthin, which is also a source of vitamin A.
Beta-Cryptoxanthin is linked to the expression a gene that helps protect cells from becoming cancerous.

Avocado, Collard Greens, Green Peas, Spinach

Here you will find abundant lutein, which is another carotenoid. Lutein intake is strongly linked to reduction of macular degeneration but there is increasing evidence that it may benefit the prostate gland, when combined with lycopene yielding foods.

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Bok Choy

These Cruciferous vegetables help boost the immune system in a variety of ways. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that help hormonal regulation, and they contain compounds that help disrupt the growth and division of cancer cells.  They are also believed to help eliminate carcinogens before they damage DNA.

Keep it colorful!

Synergy of nutrients is an important part of any diet. Vitamins minerals and other compounds are invariably more bio-available when they are in a whole food, rather than in the form of an extracted “active ingredient”. What’s more, these nutrients often work best when they are combined among different foods. So when you are considering the veggies to go with dinner, it is better to combine a variety than to eat a lot of just one.

When we hear about testosterone, it is often because we catch whiff of a scandal involving some athlete or celebrity who has been caught juicing (the use of performance enhancing drugs). If we think a little closer to home, a more realistic way of hearing about testosterone levels is when we start to see the signs that our own levels are dropping. Until then, for a lot of guys, testosterone (and hormones in general) tend to remain an abstraction. The more you know about it the better you’ll be able to  protect what you have and extend your vitality, fertility, and longevity.

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At Yinova we’re proud of our commitment to continuing education. We regularly bring teachers into our center from around the country to train our team and keep our knowledge current and our practice vibrant. Our in-house training program is an example of our commitment to provide our patients with the best care possible and our staff with an environment where they can continue to grow as practitioners.

Recently the we were honored to host senior acupuncturist and clinical herbalist  Z’ev Rosenberg for a continuing education workshop on classical Chinese medicine. The lecture was an insightful discussion that focused on the use of classical Chinese medicine to address contemporary, autoimmune diseases, which are often difficult to identity and complicated to treat

Autoimmune diseases are conditions where the body loses its normal ability to distinguish itself from invading pathogens and mistakenly identifies it’s own organs, glands or other tissues as foreign, leading to a self-directed attack. What’s more, in these conditions, the immune systems that are attacking the body are also missing the regulation to turn “off”. This can lead to metabolic and hormonal dysfunction where a small, “misunderstood” signal can evolve into a complex of serious health problems.

Some of the more commonly known autoimmune diseases include

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Celiac Disease
  • Pernicious Anemia
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Scleroderma
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Crohn’s Disease

The exact causes of autoimmune diseases are not clear, nor is it understood why we are seeing more of them today than ever before. Environmental toxins and contaminated food supplies as well as bacterial and viral infections are all suspect in this over-sensitization of immune function. Predictably, stress is also a factor. What is clear though is how much we don’t understand about them, and that conventional treatments can be harsh and difficult to tolerate.

Traditional Chinese medicine, at its essence, is based on the observation of patterns in nature and how these patterns manifest in our physical, mental and spiritual zev-rosenberg-pichealth. While modern life has produced many modern, complex diseases, the formative forces of nature that TCM reflects upon are timeless. The centuries old practice of TCM allows patients to address complicated disease patterns without compromising their own health. At The Yinova Center we use TCM to support many of our patients’ comprehensive health strategies for treating autoimmune conditions.

We had a wonderful time working with Z’ev over the weekend and the entire Yinova staff came away with new insights to bring to our clinic and our patients. Continuing education plays an important role in the practice of any medicine. In addition to keeping practitioners up to date on new developments, it also has the vital role in TCM of keeping us connected to the roots of our medicine which span thousands of years. Z’ev Roseberg has been a leader in our field for many years as a clinician, as a teacher and as a strong advocate for traditional medicine while still regarding the technological advances of conventional medicine.

We are deeply grateful to Z’ev for sharing his experience with us this past weekend in what will be the first of a series of workshops with him over the next few years.

Here’s a term you don’t hear every day: Nasal irrigation.  If you are familiar with it, you have probably heard of neti pots, and you may be one of the many people who have found relief from sinus and allergy distress with this simple tool.  It can seem a little strange at first, but for people around the world, the neti pot is the most effective thing that stands between them and seasonal & environmental suffering. Recently the Yinova Center team was filming for the “Best of Alternative Medicine” episode on the Dr. Oz Show, and for treating sinus conditions naturally, the neti pot was what the doctor recommended.
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For lots of my patients (and me!), summertime is about having fun with food. Whether we are traveling abroad or tailgating at the stadium, coming together around meals is a big part of what we do when the weather gets warm. (more…)

This is the second part of the Yinova Center First Aid Essentials series is focusing on Sprains and Strains. This post is for anyone who has ever ran, jumped, danced, rode, or landed. In other words, this could help all of us in the, hopefully not so near, future!  (more…)

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