Happy Anniversary to Heritage Acupuncture! 15% Off!

Heritage Acupuncture is three years old! We thank all of you for your support of and trust in this thriving practice. We couldn’t have done it without you and are truly grateful for our patient family. We offer not only Traditional Chinese Medicine, but also esthetics services and Ayurvedic treatments. Check out our other services (www.heritageacupuncture.com/services/) to see all the ways we can help you be healthy from the inside out. For the next month, we offer 15 percent off when you try a new service. We’re here to help!
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2017: Year of the Fire Rooster


  If you’re catching your breath after the wild ride from 2016’s Year of the Monkey, the Year of the Rooster promises a more logical and rational experience. Even if you don’t believe in Chinese astrology, take-away lessons from this rooster year — which actually started January 28 — are common sense and universal.

Roosters are by nature proud, confident, hardworking and punctual. As each zodiac is associated with an element, this year’s Fire Rooster exhibits warmth, passion and a keen intellect. The Fire Rooster is all about patiently plugging away, meaning making 2017 work for you requires some predictable hard work and persistence. So no need to worry about Monkey-ish wild cards, 2017 can be your year if you buckle down, make a plan and keep at it! This practical, grounded approach makes the coming year a good time to plan and take calculated risks.

Healthwise, living like a rooster will make for a vibrant 2017. Sleeping and awaking early and getting regular exercise keeps roosters fit and energetic. Roosters live by routine, so be mindful of regular medical exams and preventative health measures like acupuncture and massage.

Keeping up with the ambitious and assertive character of the Fire Rooster just involves a little planning and self-care.  Happy Chinese New Year!

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Winter: Rest, Contemplation, Rejuvenation



Chinese medicine is not only a way to treat acute disease and discomfort, but also a system offering guidance about living healthy and harmoniously at any phase of life. Aside from the medicinal aspect — acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and nutrition therapy – this system reflects the beliefs ancient Chinese had about living everyday life. This larger vision of health meant eating according to your body’s natural physiology, balancing work and rest and making seasonal adjustments.

Living in harmony with the seasons involves adjusting our lifestyles to flow with the external environment rather than resist it. Yin and yang are both opposite and complementary concepts in Chinese medicine. Yang signifies movement, light and energy while yin signifies stillness, darkness and rest.  Winter then, with its cold temperatures and shorter days, is the yin time of year.

What does this mean to you? The colder and slower energy of winter is the perfect time to bolster yin energy by nourishing your body and mind. It’s a time to nourish and consolidate energy rather than expend it. Warm soups, reading by the fire, meditating, yoga or Qi Gong are all ways to enhance your health during the winter. Seasonal foods such as squash, winter greens and root vegetables are excellent yin-nourishing foods. Warming foods help to bolster our strength during this cold season. Think cumin, garlic, onion, fennel, anise, clove and cinnamon. Warm apple cider with clove and cinnamon, roasted squash or bone marrow soup are all excellent yin-enhancing foods. (See our previous Blog post featuring a bone marrow soup recipe:   https://www.heritageacupuncture.com/nourished-to-the-bone-with-marrow-soup/).

Honoring the yin nature of winter can make this season a rejuvenating time. Take this season of contemplation to reflect on the previous year and consider how to integrate these lessons into the future. Take care of your body by treating yourself to an acupuncture session or a healing massage. As humans with obligations, we can’t hibernate during winter but we can read, rest and rejuvenate. Slowing down, staying warm and nourishing the mind and body is one of the most valuable gifts of health you can give yourself.

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Happy Holidays from Heritage Acupuncture!


Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season!

We’d like to take this time to thank each and every one of you for making 2016 a great year at Heritage Acupuncture. It’s an honor to be on your health and wellness team! In China, the New Year is celebrated by starting fresh. Traditionally, the Chinese clean the house, get a haircut, buy new clothes and paint a fresh coat on their front doors. “Lucky money” gifts are exchanged in special red envelopes. Others may decorate their houses with red and gold banners, symbolizing good luck and prosperity. We all know good health is not only a matter of good luck — and maybe genetics — but also reflects commitment of practitioner and patient. At Heritage Acupuncture, we are absolutely committed to the art and science of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We thank you for being part of our lifelong learning experience and hope you reap ample rewards! 
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Deskercise: Stretching on the Job


Do you have a desk job? Do you experience back, neck or wrist pain? Prolonged sitting can be hazardous to your health, but our latest newsletter describes how postural adjustments and simple stretches can help you stay productive and avoid pain:


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: Mung Bean Crepes

At Heritage Acupuncture, we’re always on the lookout for tasty gluten-free staples to spice up your daily meal rotation. These mung bean crepes will prove a delicious and flexible addition to your menus. Use them to wrap some scrambled eggs, roll up a lunch wrap or to sop up a curry for dinner.

In Chinese medicine terms, mung beans are detoxifying to the body. They help clear such skin conditions as acne and rashes. Mung beans also contain compounds that help boost collagen in skin. So along with the fiber and nutritional benefits, this is one healthy crepe. Enjoy!

This recipe is brought to you by Amanda Cushman, chef extraordinaire (www.chapelhillcookingclasses.com). 


Makes 10 crepes

Ingredients 1 cup whole mung beans
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 cup rice or chick pea flour
1/2 to 1 cup warm water
salt to taste

1/3 cup vegetable oil or as needed
cilantro chutney- for serving
8 scallions, sliced very thinly

Soak mung beans in warm water to cover by at least an inch for at least 8 hours in a dark place. Drain and transfer to a food processor with the remaining batter ingredients starting with the 1/2 cup water and puree. The batter should be slightly thicker than a typical crepe batter consistency. Transfer batter to a bowl.

Heat a large skillet over high heat and brush lightly with oil. Stir batter and ladle out about 1/3 cup on the griddle. Quickly spread the batter into a thin crepe, by tilting the pan. Pour a little oil around the crepe and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side, until nicely brown. Serve with cilantro chutney and scallions sprinkled on top.

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9,000 Needles: Check out this Documentary on the Power of Acupuncture and Stroke Rehabilitation

The documentary 9,000 Needles is a powerful portrayal of an all-American man in the prime of his life who suffers a devastating stroke. His health insurance doesn’t allow him to continue post-stroke care in the U.S., so he seeks treatment in China at a special stroke clinic.

9,000 Needles documents the amazing stroke treatment centers in mainland China, where patients from all over the world receive comprehensive care with acupuncture, Chinese herbalism and various physical therapies. Check out the trailer:

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How Sweet It Is: Gluten-Free Baking


We all try to stay away from sugar, but because there are those occasional times when we indulge, it’s comforting to use recipes that are mindful of our health and our tastebuds. Even if you’re not celiac or gluten-intolerant, most people who go gluten-free experience positive results ranging from weight loss to less joint pain. Just like dairy, gluten is considered a heavy, sticky and damp food in Chinese medicine terms. Eating such foods can cause weight gain, bloating and sluggishness. So if you’re going to treat yourself, going gluten-free makes a lot of sense. 

Here are some delicious recipes — for gluten-free brownies, chocolate cupcakes and blueberry muffins  — from chef extraordinaire Amanda Cushman. Amanda, who recently settled in Durham, NC, is a culinary educator who has cooked professionally for 30 years. She began her food career in Manhattan and worked with Martha Stewart and Glorious Foods before becoming a writer for such publications as Food and Wine and Cooking Light.  As a private chef and cooking instructor in Los Angeles, she worked with clients such as Neil Patrick Harris, Molly Sims, Anne Archer and Randy Newman.

Amanda is now available to teach cooking classes and prepare private dinners. Check out her Web site: http://www.chapelhillcookingclasses.com/

Happy baking!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes (Makes 12 cupcakes)


1/2 cup coconut flour
6 tablespoons Valhrona cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 large organic eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla


4 Tb. unsalted butter
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tb. lemon zest
2 Tb. lemon juice
1/2 cup gluten free confectioner’s sugar, sifted
unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with cooking spray.
  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour wet into dry ingredients and quickly whisk together.
  1. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  1. Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla and mix well with electric mixer. Add lemon juice, zest and powdered sugar and beat. Spread frosting over cupcakes and garnish with shredded coconut if desired.

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)

4 Tb. unsalted butter, melted or coconut oil
1 cup milk or almond milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups fresh organic blueberries


4 Tb. cold unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

  1. Grease muffin pan. Heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and honey in medium bowl and whisk.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, spices and salt in large bowl. Add wet ingredients and stir until just combined; do not over-mix. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among the 12 cups.
  4. Combine topping ingredients in small bowl and sprinkle over the muffin batter.
  5. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool before removing to a wire rack.

*These muffins can be frozen.

Gluten Free Brownies (Makes 16 brownies)


2/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
6 Tb. coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup brown rice or almond flour
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Combine cocoa powder and coconut oil in small bowl and mix well. In separate bowl mix flour, sugars and salt. Add the cocoa mixture, eggs and vanilla and blend well.
  2. Bake in 8 by 8 inch greased square pan for about 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies are firm but slightly soft in the center. Cool and then cut into squares.

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Essential Oils for Household Use


Do you want a clean house without using chemical-based cleaners? Use the amazing powers of essential oils to keep a clean and green house. In the final installment of our essential oil series, we’ll learn some of the many ways to employ essential oils to enhance existing cleaning products or make your own products from scratch.  

Most essential oils with powerful cleaning properties happen to smell great as well. Basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, spearmint, eucalyptus, thyme, ginger, clove, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and rose geranium have antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral actions. Mix and match according to your personal preference. For example, lemongrass smells great with sage and also mixes well with ginger.

Here are some fresh ideas for green cleaning:

Dishwashing: Want to keep it simple? Use your own natural dishwashing liquid and add a few drops of essential oils to boost its antiseptic and aromatic qualities. Try lavender, pine, lemon, bergamot or Melaleuca.

All-Purpose Spray: Combine two cups water plus two cups white vinegar with 20 to 30 drops of lemon, orange, eucalyptus, peppermint or lavender (or any appealing combination thereof) in a glass spray bottle. Shake thoroughly before use.

Laundry: Just 2-3 drops of essential oils in the wash cycle enhances the cleanliness of your detergent, imparts a fresh aroma and helps the washing machine stay clean. Try fir, spruce, cedarwood, rosemary or geranium.

Carpet: Deodorize your carpet naturally by adding 15-20 drops of essential oils to a cup of baking soda. Mix well and let sit in a covered container overnight to give the oils time to absorb. The next day, sprinkle the mixture over your carpet, let sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then vacuum. Great essential oil choices for carpets include grapefruit, ginger, lemon, bergamot, rosewood, lemon and mandarin.

Bathroom: Here’s a great recipe for tubs, showers and countertops. To use, shake well first and then spray over the surface (toilet, countertop, bathtub, floor) and wipe clean. Combine in a six-ounce spray bottle:

  • 40 drops lemon essential oil
  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 30 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 20 drops cinnamon bark (or leaf) essential oil

Then fill to the top with white vinegar. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our series on essential oils. Whether you’re cleaning the house, relaxing after a long day or making a skin care blend, these precious oils offer many powerful and pleasing choices.

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Wintertime aches and pains — explained!

For pain increasing in cold weather,
Chinese medicine offers an explanation and relief

Photo by sixninepixels.

Photo by sixninepixels.

Does the cold air of winter flare up your joint pain? Do you find your neck, back or knees ache more in winter weather?  In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) terms, this very real medical phenomenon is called bi syndrome. Bi syndrome relates to Western diagnoses such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, although the TCM condition is much more specific.

There are, for example, different types of bi syndrome depending on symptom presentation. Although all people with “arthritis” have pain, some may also have swollen joints, while others feel worse with cold and still others have hot, swollen joints. Bi syndrome, then can be rooted in damp, cold or heat. Cold, however, is the most common root cause of both bi syndrome and pain in general.

Why is cold so detrimental to the body? Cold hurts because it contracts an area, limiting blood flow and rendering muscles, tendons and ligaments stiff and inflexible. Cold also damages your body’s Yang energy, which empowers warmth, energy and movement in the body. Without Yang, your blood turns cold and stagnant. What happens when the blood is cold and stagnant? You guessed it – pain!

So how can you relieve cold weather pain? Acupuncture, of course, is an excellent way to dissolve stagnation, strengthen blood and open the channels that supply nourishment to every bodily cell and tissue. Moxibustion, or the external application of an herb called mugwort, also warms the body and promotes circulation. An acupuncturist uses moxibustion or “moxa” by burning prepared mugwort and holding the moxa stick over specific acupuncture points.

Internal Chinese medicine also contains an abundance of herbs to treat pain, specifically cold-related pain. Chinese herbs are among the safest forms of internal medicine. Many highly effective herbs are common household spices, such as ginger and cinnamon.

What can you do at home to build up your defenses to cold-related pain?  A lot! Start by keeping warm. When the thermostat drops, keep your feet warm with socks inside and outside the home. Wearing weather-appropriate clothing (scarves are great!) outdoors protects your body from cold invasions – which frequently use wind as a vehicle.  In TCM terms, it is possible to for cold to enter the body through the pores and settle into soft tissue and joints.  Add a few drops of warming essential oils to your bath water or massage oil to help chase away cold and promote healthy circulation (frankincense, myrrh and ginger are good examples).

Your diet also can exacerbate or alleviate pain. Ingesting cold foods, including icy drinks and raw foods, makes cold-related pain worse. Focus on foods and herbs that warm the body and promote circulation, such as chives, oregano, cinnamon, eggplant, garlic, ginger and leeks.

Other essential allies in pain prevention are exercise and stretching. A gentle hatha yoga practice goes a long way in releasing stagnation in the body and promoting blood flow. To move circulation and energy in the body, it’s not necessary to exercise vigorously. Even a moderate walk (of at least 30 minutes in duration, at least 3 times per week) is excellent medicine for soft tissue and the circulatory system.

How can we help? Heritage Acupuncture & Wellness offers acupuncture, Chinese herbology, customized stretching routines, postural assessment and correction and private yoga instruction. Please call 919-685-2938 or email at info@heritageacupuncture.com if you’d like our help with pain relief.


Copyright © 2015, Heritage Acupucture & Wellness. All rights reserved.





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