Considering Acupuncture? Read these Myths and Myth-Busters


   Acupuncture has recently received a lot of attention as an excellent alternative to prescription painkillers, especially with the Veteran Administration’s successful use of Chinese medicine to combat dependence on opioid drugs. Is acupuncture right for you? Even though preventative and holistic therapies are becoming more mainstream, people still have a lot of questions about these modalities.

If you’re thinking about receiving acupuncture treatments, keep in mind it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Here are some common myths and myth-busters surrounding Traditional Chinese Medicine.

1) Acupuncture is solely for pain relief. Scientific studies back up the effectiveness of acupuncture for the relief of both acute and chronic pain. But acupuncture — plus the related modality of Chinese herbalism — works on a broad array of conditions ranging from insomnia and digestive issues to fertility. In ancient Chinese, people sought out acupuncturists for regular maintenance sessions. Maintaining your health with acupuncture can have such positive side effects as better sleep, brighter moods and more energy.

2) Acupuncture is painful. Acupuncture needles are typically 15 times smaller than the hypodermic needles used by physicians. These “filiform”needles are solid rather than hollow as they’re not used to inject substances into the body. So it’s actually impossible to compare the experience of acupuncture with receiving an injection. Many people don’t even feel the needle insertion. In fact, most people fall asleep during an acupuncture treatment. Post-acupuncture, people feel relaxed and rejuvenated.  

3) If you don’t feel better after one treatment, acupuncture is the wrong choice. People frequently seek out acupuncture for long-term, chronic conditions. The longer you’ve had a health issue, the longer it can take for your body to recover. Acute pain often takes a series of treatments to resolve the root problem. It’s not unusual for licensed acupuncturists to employ several different techniques or treatment styles. One patient may respond very well to technique A and not as well to technique B. Keep an eye on your body’s response and give your practitioner honest feedback so they can employ the best approach for you.

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Happy Year of the Dog!

Even if you don’t believe in astrology, the Chinese New Year is an opportunity to consider your goals for the year and the best ways to invest your precious energy. On Feb. 16,  the passionate Rooster ends the zodiac year, yielding to the loyal, straightforward Dog. Famous dogs include Winston Churchill,  Benjamin Franklin, Confucius, Mother Teresa and Donald Trump. Incidentally, the year of a Zodiac sign is generally considered to be bad luck for those born under that sign.

Chinese astrology has its roots in the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), one of the longest and most powerful dynasties during which a golden age in the arts, technology and Chinese medicine flourished. The 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac — with each year representing a different animal — offers insight into human characteristics and behavior.  

Like most humans, those born in the year of the dog have two sides to their personalities. On the positive side, dogs are loyal, generous and friendly. The dark side of the dog’s personality may include being quick to anger, critical, stubborn and deeply emotional. Therefore, 2018 will include a mixture of such positive dog traits as loyalty and service, as well as a fair share of quarrelling and aggressiveness.

 All Chinese zodiac signs — and human personalities in general — represent this variation of the spectrum of Yin (which represents stillness, darkness and cold in Chinese terms) and Yang (action, light and warmth).

So what should we prepare ourselves for in 2018? As yin and yang constantly strive to strike a balance, one is always free to associate with the darkness or light, the calm or the storm. As the dog can represent a sense of ethics and idealism, expect 2018 to be a time for increasing social awareness and interest in the less powerful, under-represented members of society. Look for a heightened sense of right and wrong and opportunities to help others. Key words: Generosity, selfness, tolerance, innovation. It’s your light, and you can shine it wherever you like.

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Janet Lee, L.Ac., Classical Chinese Herbalist

After several years of study, Janet Lee, L.Ac. has completed a certificate course with the Institute of Classics in East Asian Medicine (ICEAM), an in-depth classroom series and clinical experience focusing on classical Chinese herbalism. ICEAM offers in-depth training in the clinical application of Chinese herbal medicine according to the Han dynasty style of medicine found in classical texts the Shanghan Lun and the Jingui Yaolue. Aside from offering patients a highly documented and clinically tested form of herbalism dispensed by licensed acupuncturists, ICEAM also aspires to promote public health worldwide and preserve the lineage and integrity of Canonical Chinese Medicine for future generations. This is a true healing tradition preserved from Chinese master herbalists and presented worldwide by author, herbalist and lecturer Arnaud Versluys. Janet is one of two Chinese medicine practitioners in North Carolina with this training.   
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Introducing Osmosis — premiere products for antiaging and skin repair

We’re excited to announce that Heritage Acupuncture is now carrying Osmosis, a medical/holistic skincare line. One of the most scientifically advanced skincare lines available, Osmosis specializes in patented serums that address the source of aging to boost collagen production, repair DNA and encourage skin growth factors.

Other Osmosis products help soothe rosacea, correct melasma and relieve acne. Osmosis products also are free of toxic chemicals, parabens, gluten, phthalates, fragrances and artificial colors. 

With Osmosis, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all facial treatment. Product application can be customized whether your skin concern is enhancing firmness, reducing inflammation or healing sun damage. The line also includes key processes to remodel scar tissue and repair broken capillaries.

Several product innovations make Osmosis products a powerful ally for anti-aging and treating specific skin conditions. 

The use of growth factors, which the body produces to control the division and maturation of cells, encourages the repair of damaged cells and development of new cells. Osmosis not only incorporates growth factors into its specialized serums, but also coats these factors in exosomes, protective envelopes surrounding each growth factor for better penetration and more intense activity on the skin.

Osmosis products also are coated with liposomes, or tiny enclosures similar to cell membranes, which increase product penetration by 600 percent. This ability to address aging at its source allows key ingredients in Osmosis’ DNA repair serums reduce to skin damage at the cellular level while turning on the repair process. 

Now that skin care has become more scientific and sophisticated, you can achieve results without harsh treatments or chemicals. We’re happy to offer new services with Osmosis products that combine the best of both worlds — scientific results with a holistic approach.

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Summertime and the Living is Healthy

In just two weeks, the Sun will appear at its highest position in the sky — a position otherwise known as summer solstice. The solstice, when the Earth’s rotational axis is most inclined toward the Sun, represents the most yang time of year in Chinese Medicine terms. Abundant yang represents growth, movement and light. Summertime means being more active physically and socially, compared to the yin or less active winter time. Chinese medicine encourages living harmoniously with nature and the seasons. Therefore, summer is a great time to be active, complete projects and enjoy carefree activities like socializing and traveling.

In Chinese medicine terms, summer is associated with the fire element, which corresponds to the heart. Healthy heart energy encourages joy, laughter and excitement. The fiery summer is a natural time to enjoy friends and activities, while balancing action with rest. However, overdoing the fun times can actually create too much hot qi, damaging body fluids and setting you up for illness in later seasons.

To enjoy abundant health in the summertime and beyond, eat a diet that encourages movement. This means fresh, light and seasonal foods. Most vegetables fit this bill, especially celery, watercress, squashes, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and radishes. Herbs such as mint, basil and lemongrass aid digestion as well.

Avoiding heavy fare like fried meat, dairy and starchy foods will help you stay active and energetic. Although temperatures are higher in the summer, too many cold and raw foods can cause bloating and other digestive problems. If you’re running warm, green tea naturally cools and detoxifies the body while providing antioxidants as well. In terms of warm weather dining, you can’t go wrong with juicy, easily digestible and fiber-rich summer squashes. This zucchini recipe, from master chef Amanda Cushman (, combines summer squash with digestive tonics like scallion and parsley.


Minted Zucchini Fritters

Serves 4


1 pound zucchini, coarsely grated


3 scallions, minced

1/2 cup grated parmesan (optional)

1/2 to ¾ cup plain or gluten-free breadcrumbs

3 Tb. chopped mint

½ cup chopped Italian parsley

1 egg, lightly beaten

Fresh pepper

Vegetable oil for cooking



  • Place the zucchini in a colander and toss with 2 tsp. of salt. Place over a plate and weigh down with a heavy can, drain for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Squeeze out all the excess water.
  • Add the zucchini to a medium bowl with the scallions, cheese, breadcrumbs, mint, parsley, egg and fresh pepper. Using slightly moistened hands, form the zucchini mixture into 12 balls. Flatten them to make a ¾ inch patty. Test one out in a small skillet for seasoning. Re-season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Heat a 2 1/2 -inches of oil in a medium saucepan and fry the patties until golden on both sides about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt. Serve the patties warm or room temperature.
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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 ( 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:

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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