Settling In On Hanover Street

It's truly hard to believe the move from Canal to Hanover Streets in Manchester took place about one month ago.

But here we are.

We'd be remiss if we didn't offer a BIG Thank You! to all the folks who lent trucks and cars and hands and the weekend itself to get MAS over to Hanover and set up, right quickly.

Carol, Brian, Roger, Eric, Paul, Eddie, Adam, Chuck, Gail, Diane, Karen, Kathy, Jennifer, Sandy, Terry, Dennis, Cris, Sally, Nancy, Charlotte, Dave, Elizabeth, Bill, Tricia, Sylvia and the other folks whom I know I'm now forgetting.

Thanks a million!

And to the folks who gave in other ways in order to support the Move:

Nancy, Russell, Frank, Tara, Brian, Ann, Melissa, Brenda, Kaitlyn, Mary Ann and Pauline.

Thank you! It's no exaggeration to say MAS could not have done it without you all.

Response to the new clinic has been overwhelmingly positive, and for this we are grateful.
There are certainly PLENTY of parking spaces near the shop, and the A/C works really well in the treatment room!
We hope to see you soon at 895 Hanover Street in Manchester at the East Side Plaza, if we haven't already.

A few preliminary pictures for your pleasure, dear readers.  More 'official' pictures to follow in the coming weeks.

fr

Sitting area in Front Office

tx room3

Towards Front Office in Treatment Room

tx room1

Treatment room looking into Back Office

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Thanks for Asking!

Lots of folks have been kindly asking how they may help MAS with the upcoming move in Manchester. 

We do appreciate this.

Here are three ways:

1) Continue to get acupuncture treatments in Manchester & Nashua, and to refer your friends, family & co-workers to do the same.

2) Show up out back at 813 Canal Street in Manchester at 9am on Saturday, June 22nd with a pickup truck or car, ready to make a trip or two over to the new space.

3) Offer a tax-deductible donation to MAS to help offset costs of relocation. All amounts are appreciated.

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Freddie’s Speaks Again – An Insider’s Look at MAS

Hi there! It's me again, Freddie. You know, the MAS Floor Technician. (You like that title? Makes me sound like I deserve a raise or something, right?)

Anyway, the big news this week is that my cousin Dyson moved in with me. He's a cool dude. Mostly just hangs around, and keeps to himself. But he is a HUGE help at night when the punks are closing up shop. Check out our latest selfie!

selfie

Dyson has a twin sister, also named Dyson. (I know, confusing, right?) And she is now living at MAS Nashua. Believe me, it's better to put some distance between the twins. The arguments over dust bunnies can get pretty wild! And this way, the punks at both shops can have the help they need keeping the floors looking good.

Now get outside and enjoy some sunshine!

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

'Tell Me More About Acupuncture School' – MAS Responds

Our front desk workers and acu-punks in Manchester and Nashua field their share of acupuncture-related questions on any given day, as you might imagine. Many questions about acupuncture school have been posed to us throughout the years. We thought we'd give an attempt at a semi-comprehensive answer in writing for those who are curious. Just like we have attempted to do in the little Q & A book, 'Why Did You Put That Needle There?', we promise to be casual and direct with our answers here.

Let's offer up general information about acupuncture training programs and acupuncture licensing, in order to set the table. Specific questions follow, down below.

Requirements for accredited school of acupuncture training programs are set forth by a regulatory body who oversees secondary education for acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the United States. This body is called ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine)

All acupuncture training programs take place within accredited schools of learning, or schools that are in the process of gaining accreditation.

Programs are 3 to 4 years in length.

Prerequisites for most acupuncture training programs include, anatomy and physiology, general and abnormal psychology and biology, among others.

Most acupuncture training programs require completion of at least two years of baccalaureate level classes. The state of NH, it may be worth mentioning, requires a full bachelor's degree, in addition to the Master's in Acupuncture and passing of the Boards (more on that below).

All acupuncture training programs consist of two main parts: classroom learning and clinical observation/practice.

Upon graduation from an accredited program, students earn a 'Masters' in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Like the Bar exam for lawyers or the Boards for doctors, acupuncturists must pass a comprehensive multi-day examination upon graduation. This exam is proctored by the NCCAOM. Once the exam is passed, the graduate is free to apply for licensure in whichever state one hopes to practice within.

Licensing for acupuncture is legislated state to state. Requirements can differ widely between states. The title given to licensed acupuncturists can also differ state to state. For example, those licensed to practice acupuncture in Florida or Rhode Island are given the designation of 'Dr. of Acupuncture'. Most states who licensed acupuncturists offer the designation of 'Licensed acupuncturist' (L.Ac.). This is the case in New Hampshire.

Licenses will normally expire in two years and require multiple hours of continuing education in order to keep up to date. Some states, including New Hampshire, also require continued affiliation with NCCAOM.

Okay, now on to specific questions.

Where are the acupuncture training programs located?

Answer: Schools of acupuncture and Oriental medicine exist around the country. The closest to New Hampshire at this point is the New England School of Acupuncture which is now part of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Studiesprogram located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Others in the Northeast are located in New York State. Many more still operate in various states outside of New England.

How much do the programs cost?

Answer: A whole lot of money at this point. Costs for these programs have risen dramatically over the last 20 years mirroring the increase in cost for higher education in general. One can expect to spend at least $80-$100,000 for a complete 3-4 year program.

Take note, prospects for work after graduation remaining limited for licensed acupuncturists. We will say more on this topic below.

Are there any programs you would recommend?

Answer: MAS has a close affiliation with an accredited school of acupuncture training called POCA Tech, which is located in Portland, Oregon. POCA Tech (pocatech.org) is the training program for POCA, The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture – a cooperate we helped found. A strong piece of the program is dedicated to teaching the socio-economic factors that inform the philosophical bedrock for clinics like MAS. The POCA Tech program also maintains a fundamental promise to its students to provide comprehensive training at a fraction of the cost that other acupuncture training programs do. The cost for the POCA Tech 3-4 year training is currently $25,000.

All in all, we do recommend training at POCATech.

So what happens after graduation and licensing is complete? Where would one find jobs as a licensed acupuncturist?

Answer: This is a great question that has been shrouded in mystery for far too long within the acupuncture profession and world of Chinese medical education. It is a poorly kept secret within the acupuncture profession that many recently-graduated students of acupuncture are completely out of the business within as little as five years of graduation. The reasons for this are multi-faceted, but big pieces involve the following, from our point of view:

1) The majority of available work for acupuncturists involves becoming self-employed and running one's own practice. As you may imagine, managing the birth of a small business while navigating the obligations of considerable student loans can be a difficult road. We can tell you from personal experiences that finding financial stabilization as small business owners is a challenge.

2) Positions that are available to licensed acupuncturists that make us legitimate W-2 employees (vs. independant contractors) are limited in number. Thankfully, a large percentage of these positions are currently being offered through community acupuncture clinics like MAS. Scant others are available in a few, but a slowly growing number of health care institutions around the country. The Veterans Administration and select hospital programs, among them.

The reality of the newly graduated licensed acupuncturist is a field of limited opportunities. One does not simply open the want ads to look for work as a licensed acupuncturist!

Now, having offered this information and our honest opinions on the state of education and potential employment for licensed acupuncturists, we would also like to encourage anyone interested in pursuing education for acupuncture and Chinese medicine to do so. We would only like for you to have your eyes wide open while you do.

The world of work using acupuncture and Chinese medicine is humbling, quite deep and wide, endlessly fascinating and satisfying.

Anyone who has gotten the call to study should seriously consider the vocation. And, three cheers for more people getting access to acupuncture!

Please feel free to speak with any of our acupuncturists as part of your initial investigation, if you are inclined. We'd be happy to continue this honest exchange of information.

 - Andy Wegman and the MAS Staff


For a bit more information on the greater topic of acupuncture education, please consider the following websites:

http://www.ccaom.org/faqs.asp

https://www.pocatech.org/

If you are still interested in practicing acupuncture, but not quite sure you are ready to devote 4 years of your life, there is another option to consider. In the state of New Hampshire qualified individuals including peer counselors, recovery coaches, and other health professionals can be trained as "Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists" under RSA 328 Section G9a.

An Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist is trained in Acupuncture Detox, a standardized 5 point ear acupuncture protocol known as the NADA protocol. NADA is used for the purposes of treating all stages of recovery from substance use disorder, stress, anxiety, trauma, anything related to behavioral health. Training is roughly 70 hours. For more information about training you can contact The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA).

In addition, POCA has initiated a training program for the NADA protocol as well. For more information, please visit this page on the POCA site.

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

More details for upcoming move to East Side Plaza in Manchester

Coming Soon for blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MAS - Manchester is relocating in a few weeks.  If you are wondering why, head back a few posts on this very blog to read more.


What
: MAS - Manchester is moving to a great new home with plenty of free parking.
When:  Last Day of operations on Canal St = Friday, June 21 -  closing at 3pm.
            First Day of operations on Hanover St = Monday, June 24 - opening at 9am for normal clinic hours thereafter.
Where: Our new address will be 895 Hanover St in the East Side Plaza.
Our neighbors to our left (when facing the building) is Aloha restaurant.

3 miles separate the Canal Street location from MAS future-home at East Side Plaza, on Hanover St.
Here are a few driving routes on a map to show ways to travel from Canal Street to Hanover St.


directions MAS to Aloha

The following is offered as if one were at our current location on Canal Street in Manchester...

 0001

 

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Freddie Speaks – A Mechanical Insider's Look at MAS

Hi there! Let me introduce myself. My name is Freddie. I live and work at Manchester Acupuncture Studio. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - "I've been a patient at MAS for YEARS and I've never seen you?" Well, let me explain...

I am the robot vacuum in charge of keeping the back office (the Punk Cave) floors clean. When I am not cleaning floors, I live under the coffee station. I'm rather shy, so you probably never noticed me. But I pay attention to everything going on in the Punk Cave. I hear the punks laughing, planning, asking each other questions. I hear the new patients when they're back here for their initial interview. It amazes me how many different things acupuncture can treat.

My work schedule is actually pretty light. Normally, I wake up about 8:30pm and make my rounds. I don't really get the whole Daylight Savings thing, so in the summer I get to sleep in until 9:30pm.

Since I don't have a lot to do in my spare time, I thought I would take up blogging. This is the place where I will share my observations and answer questions about MAS, the punks and the general goings-on in this place.

----

This week, I am going to answer one question, share one observation, and give you a bit of gossip. Stay tuned soon for more....

Question: "Do I need to have a complaint / problem to come get acupuncture?" NO! Acu is great preventive maintenance. We have a lot of patients who come in for a "tune-up" or "just to relax". Try it and see for yourself.

Observation: Most new patients have never tried acupuncture before coming to MAS. Sure, we get folks who are acu-veterans from other clinics, but most of our newbies really are new to this tool. The staff here can answer their questions and get them started on the right foot.

Gossip: I spotted a big box of fabric in the Punk Cave last week. Then overhead Andy telling Jodie that it was bolts of material for Lucille, our tailor. I'm pretty sure you'll be seeing some brand new blankets at MAS later this summer.

freddie

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

The MAS Dry Needling Primer

Similar to how CBD has very recently captured the collective imagination, Dry Needling (DN) has made a dent in the collective cultural awareness over the past few years, mostly via adoption into physical therapy and chiropractic practices.

Nowadays, the staff at MAS is asked fairly frequently about dry needling, so we've put together a small amount of information about it from our collective perspective. We offer this as experienced licensed acupuncturists, who've both employed and received dry needling, and from our experience from speaking to dozens of people who've also received DN, mainly outside of MAS.

Our definition: Dry needling involves repeated needling directly into knotted muscle fibers, each time causing a twitch in said knot, for the purpose of ultimately coaxing it to become exhausted and release.

A few things we'd like to get out of the way, up front.


First things, first: dry needling is an acupuncture technique, called 'trigger point' needling in different circles. The term 'dry' was apparently attached to the technique when adopted by medical professionals to distinguish it from a prevailing needling technique performed with a hollow hypodermic that would be used to inject various substances into the flesh.

First things, second: At MAS, we want lots of people to get acupuncture. In light of this, we support people getting acupuncture in all forms - including dry needling - as readily and affordably as is possible for them. We understand this is not a popular opinion in our profession, but we stand by it.

...and third: We have not and likely will not offer dry needle/trigger point needling at MAS. There are several reasons for this, one of which is we normally don't find the technique any more effective than the distal-needling we primarily employ. Also, more than any particular technique, receiving treatment as often as is appropriate clinically, is the factor most closely related to feeling better in our experience.

You may have heard Maslow's Law of the Instrument: if the only tool you have is a hammer, you'll see the world like a nail.  DN reminds us of this notion. Repeatedly and directly needling into a muscle knot is one way of approaching helping to resolve the knot via acupuncture needle, but it certainly isn't the only one. 

Alternately, one could choose to stimulate strategically connected acupuncture points further away from the muscle knot. These can be effectively employed like the light switch on the wall controls the lights on the ceiling. In addition, this approach will eliminate the likelihood of the great soreness after a treatment as compared to the DN approach. It's also our preference to do so as a tremendously more gentle means to an end.


Just like the piano is a tool that can played in many ways, the acupuncture needle can be employed in distinctive ways as well. You wouldn't expect all pianists to tickle keys in the style of Fats Domino, right? In the same way, MAS acupuncturists aren't limited to a heavy-handed direct-needling techniques either.  While these can be effective, no doubt, they simply aren't always going to be the best choice across a broad array of clinic situations, from our perspective.

A few other thoughts to share...

Dry needling is normally felt much more intensely than most other acupuncture techniques. So if you've had DN done in past and are thinking, "that's what acupuncture feels like", hold that thought. You may surprised at how softer different approaches can feel, while providing good results.

To the folks who have been left to wonder if they can receive acupuncture at MAS when they've had DN alongside at their PTs office, Yes, please come on in and grab acupuncture treatments. As we normally aren't directly needling locally (ie. where the target pain is located), treatments at MAS will not further test the area needled with DN. Just the opposite, in fact, where a reduction in inflammation via movement of blood and body fluids aims to ease local soreness and pain.

Not all approaches will hit the spot for every person. If distal acupuncture techniques haven't done the trick after a course of treatment, DN may be a good choice. Some folks do well with a more passive approach, others more direct. For our part, we never want to see you stuck on a hamster wheel, just spinning in place. Any referral that we feel would be of benefit for you in your goals, we are most happy to make. This happens regularly at MAS, where we are grateful for many outstanding providers of many stripes, in and around southern NH.

 

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

There Are Always Big Benefits for POCA Members at MAS

One of the most satisfying things about Manchester Acupuncture Studio is our connection to a bigger network of affordable acupuncture providers and patients. We want acupuncture to become more affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. That's why we are among the founding members of

The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA).

POCA is a cooperative created to include anyone who has a stake in seeing more affordable acupuncture options; patients, acupuncturists, acupuncture clinics themselves, needle manufacturers, etc. etc.  The point is to join together in order to more effectively move broad affordable acupuncture opportunities forward.

For example, among other initiatives, POCA provides micro-loans to help support new or expanding affordable clinics all over the country. POCA has also helped to create the first affordable acupuncture technical school, POCA Tech.

POCA Tech - a fully accredited school of Acupuncture - affords its students a complete acupuncture-centered education at ~ 25% the cost of a traditional acupuncture program. Upon successful completion, POCA Tech graduates are job-ready to provide their communities with affordable, high-quality acupuncture treatments.

Again, POCA's membership is made up of patients, organizations, clinics, and acupuncturists. Many of us have been members of POCA for many years. 


Benefits for POCA membership are pretty impressive - while the cost is modest. 

For as little $25/year, each member receives:

 - 3 free new patient treatment coupons to give to friends and family, accepted at any POCA member clinic. (These alone are valued at over $75 dollars) 

 - A membership card that gets you a free treatment the week of your birthday at your POCA clinic of choice.

 - A POCA "passport" to take with you when you travel and visit Community Acupuncture clinics around the world.

 - Free e-books available on POCA's website.  This, just in case you want to geek-out on Chinese medical theory.

 - Access for POCA's monthy e-newsletters.

In addition, MAS runs specials for current POCA members throughout the year.

To wit: for the remainder of April, all acupuncture treatments in Manchester & Nashua are $10. Just bring in your POCA membership card.

In addition, treatments will be completely free of charge on May Day - Wednesday, May 1st.  Yay!!

We offer specials like these in order to help bring more members into the POCA fold and say a big Thank You to our fellow members. 

Please join, or renew, your POCA membership today.

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Stay up to date! Sign up for our monthly newsletters.


Copyright © 2015 Manchester Acupuncture Studio ~ Produced by i4Market, LLC
Manchester, NH Clinic ~ 895 Hanover Street @ East Side Plaza ~ Manchester, NH 03104 ~ 603-669-0808
Nashua, NH Clinic ~ 4 Bud Way # 9 Nashua, NH 03063 ~ 603-579-0320

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Now Serving: Allenstown, Amherst, Auburn, Bedford, Billerica, Brookline, Chelmsford, Chester, Concord, Derry, Dracut, Dunstable, Goffstown, Groton, Hampstead, Hillsboro, Hollis, Hooksett, Hudson, Jaffrey, Kingston, Londonderry, Lowell, Manchester, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua, New Boston, Pelham, Pepperell, Peterborough, Plaistow, Salem, Sandown, Suncook, Tyngsborough, Weare, Westford, Windham