Acupuncture Blog

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Written by Elizabeth Ropp, LAc

Many people ask if we treat kids and teens at MAS. The answer is emphatically “yes.” Kids and teens get acupuncture for the same reasons adults do: chronic pain, sports injuries, digestive discomfort, allergies and sinus congestion. Most of all, anxiety and stress.

Being a teen today is harder than ever. There is so much to be anxious about. Social media is an avenue for cyberbullying. Targeted online messaging is meant to tap into a young persons worst insecurities. COVID-19 has made feelings of isolation for teens worse than usual.

USA Today just put out an article about school avoidance. Many students are refusing to go to school for a variety of reasons. Parents and teachers are struggling for solutions.

I am especially grateful when a teen is willing to give acupuncture a try. I think about how much I could have used acupuncture in my teen years. It is too hard to manage the stresses of life while being in a perpetual state of overwhelm. Regular acupuncture can foster feelings of resilience, bring focus when the thoughts are scattered.

If you know a teen who is struggling with mental and behavioral health, please considering recommending MAS or any community acupuncture clinic.

MAS is a space for everyone to put their feet up and let their guard down, including teens. MAS is a space where you can come as you are to rest, digest, and recover from other areas of life.

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Our own staff acupuncturist Andy Wegman had a fun conversation with colleague Alexa Hulsey, LAc over the summer. It's now available to listen in on via Alexa's excellent substack/podcast, "Notes From Your Acupuncturist", that we've featured right here on the MAS Blog in past months.
While you're there, we highly recommend perusing through Alexa's previous podcast and especially her writing on many topics related to her insights and work as an acupuncturist at Encircle Acupuncture in Nashville, TN. Enjoy!

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We're really happy NH licensed acupuncturist Beth Griffey has joined the MAS staff.
Her arrival in Manchester allows us to open the schedule until 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays, starting June 17th
Please come say hello! 

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Beth Griffey MD, LAc came to acupuncture later in life. Having been raised in a medical family, she followed her parents and siblings into Western medicine. She retired from general surgery after twelve years, and was amazed to find her way into eastern medicine in 2018 after receiving an acupuncture treatment. She walked out of that acupuncture clinic and immediately applied to New England School of Acupuncture at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Upon graduating she received a Master’s degree in Acupuncture. She now looks forward to giving back to her community by offering affordable acupuncture treatments via MAS to as many people as she can.

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written by Elizabeth Ropp, LAc

Flat Stanley is no stranger to the Manchester Acupuncture Studio. 

This weekend was our second visit with the popular children’s book character. If you are not familiar with the story of Flat Stanley, here is the summary.

Stanley was a regular guy until a bulletin board fell on him, thus making him flat. He discovers many advantages of being flat, including the ability to travel in envelopes. Now, school age children mail Flat Stanley to friends and family who take him on adventures all over the world.


In 2018, Stanley made his first appearance at MAS when Elizabeth’s husband, Eric brought him back from a trip to Chicago. Stanley went hiking, got a tour of the State House, and then he got a needle nap at the clinic before returning back to Tamar, Eric and Elizabeth’s niece. Tamar gave a presentation for her classmates on Stanley’s New Hampshire adventures.

flat with needles

Stanley dropped in this weekend a town in Central, Illinois, called Bourbonnaise. After getting acupuncture for travel fatigue, he made the most of the warm weather this weekend. Stanley went kayaking in Ballard Pond in Derry. He saw turtles sunning themselves on a log and swimming underwater. He saw geese and ducks, great blue herons, and lots of lily pads. Stanley even helped clean trash out of the pond.

flat with drink























flat on a canoe


Later, Stanley joined Elizabeth and Eric on a neighborhood walk with their friend, Jen. Stanley smelled the lilacs at their peak. He admired a succulent garden and then when he got tired he rested on a patch of Creeping Phlox.

Stanley is now on his way back to Bourbonnaise, Illinois. Eric and Elizabeth’s nephew, Orion, will share Stanley’s New Hampshire adventures with his classmates.

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Written by acupuncturist Lauren Smith

Lately I’ve been feeling stuck. There’s a lot to feel stuck about. Covid is still kicking around, it’s cold and still generally crappy out, and even on the warm days it’s too muddy to do much outside. There is a frustration, a whirling that I can feel in my chest, a desire to Do Something that I haven’t found a use for yet.

I know I’m not alone in this, but it can feel hard to talk about.

To be ‘out there’ for a moment, this makes sense with the change of season that is impending - Spring. The world is starting to subtly make the changeover (at least here in the Northeast), from frozen to thawed.

The animals that are hibernating will start to stretch their bones, crocuses will soon start to emerge, and the woodlands will come alive with the songs of frogs, birds and (regrettably) insects as they continue where they left off last year. We have that in common with these beings that are in hibernation - we were in hibernation for the last several months too. This shift in energy is very real within us all, and soon we all emerge. So keep this in mind as we leave behind the colder months - we’re all getting ready to sprout, grow and blossom.

And if that’s not a thing to look forward to, I don’t know what is.

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written by acupuncturist Lauren Smith


Acupuncture is like dancing. Ultimately rewarding, but it can take some time to learn the steps.

Some issues are simple and routine, like line dancing or contra, call and response. A person comes in with an everyday problem that is routine and easily treated.

Some issues are more nuanced, like ballet (or whatever the latest TikTok dance challenge is), where something is an issue some of the time but not others and is only a problem some of the time, or under certain circumstances. This might take some more time to work through, but it's workable.

Other issues are like a cha-cha. Symptoms come and go (sometimes without rhyme or reason), and it may feel like two steps forward and one step back (or even 1 step forward and 2 steps back). They're challenging. They're frustrating. It may make us want to quit. But with some time, attention to detail and maybe some outside resources, success can ultimately be achieved. But these issues can take the longest to resolve, particularly if they're longer-standing. 

Whatever obstacle you're having, we're here for you. And if you're feeling up to it, we can balter and boogie together. 

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For those of us who schedule our own appointments online for acupuncture at MAS, we've made a change you'll want to know about.  If you aren't interested in booking appointments online, you can ignore everything there is to follow below!

We've made the change in order to simplify operations on our end and to offer us all a next-generation scheduling and information-management platform.

Here's the new web address in case you'd like to bookmark it:

Please know all of your existing information has come over to the new platform.  An email should be reaching you early on Wednesday, December 29th (titled "Welcome to Manchester Acupuncture Studio") inviting you to gain access to your existing account. There is no need to re-register.

On that note, please feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions, of course.  And we hope to see you in clinic as soon as we're back from vacation on Monday, January 3rd.

Update: We have been working out some kinks over the first few days being live on JaneApp. We believe we've got them ironed out at this point.  Thanks for your patience with us.

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In addition to the terrific writing of MAS' own Elizabeth Ropp, POCA Tech's Lisa Rohleder and our own little Needles book, another colleague is currently offering topical writing we think is worth your time.

Alexa Halsey's Substack posts are short, thoughtful, insightful and honest.  Her care for the people whom she writes for comes shining through.  If you knew Alexa personally, this would come as no suprise.

We've reproduced one of our recent favorites here to share.


Like A Bartender

Dear Patient,

Sometimes I feel more like a bartender than an acupuncturist.

A bartender has their regulars. I do too.

A good bartender knows their customers’ preferences. I know who among my patients hates ear needles, or loves the point between the eyebrows, or always flinches when I needle the top of their foot, or probably will want two blankets.

A bartender never stops moving during a shift. Same.

A bartender has to wake up drunk people who have passed out on the bar. I have to wake up relaxed people who have blissed out in a chair.

When a customer comes in and pours their heart out, the bartender listens, reflects back, and offers the comfort of a cold beer or a shot of whiskey. I offer needles.

Years ago I realized my success as an acupuncturist was in no small part because I act more like a bartender than a doctor. It’s more comfortable for me this way—acting like a doctor felt inauthentic, like wearing an ill-fitting white lab coat. Now I’m just me, Alexa, your acupuncturist. I enjoy my work a lot more and I get better results.

It makes me wonder how many people out there in their working life are trying to play a role they aren’t suited for. Do you need to shed your ill-fitting white lab coat?

Love and gratitude,

Your Acupuncturist

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written by Elizabeth Ropp, LAc

Last week many of you asked about how my vacation went. It was a nice break. My parents came to visit. I haven’t seen them since 2019. They came to Manchester to help MAS move from Canal Street to our new home in the East Side Plaza on Hanover Street. If you like the figure eight arrangement of the chairs at our new location, you can thank my mother, Gayle.

We had an itinerary lined up with places to go and people to visit.  The Urgent Care in Hooksett was not on our list. All plans came to a full stop in the middle of my week off.

Three nights before my parents arrived, my husband Eric and I attended a cookout.  Our first cookout since before the pandemic, actually. The host only invited vaccinated people. Days later, a guest tested positive for COVID after experiencing symptoms. We learned that "Patient zero" contacted COVID from another vaccinated person the day before the cookout.

Neither my husband, I or my parents had symptoms.  But we didn’t want to take any chances. We sat in the parking lot of the Urgent Care filling out patient questionnaires on our Smartphones. It was a technical comedy of errors. The wifi connection was so bad that we had to start from the beginning several times.

“Ropp, Party of four.  Your examination room is ready.”  A technician packed us all into one exam room. Not as scenic as the views we enjoyed of the White Mountains from the gardens at Shaker Village the day before. One by one we each got a cotton swab up the nose, our temperatures taken, our blood pressure checked. I informed everyone about when I had my last menstrual period.  Good times!  My parents reminded me that high blood pressure and colon cancer run on both sides of my family. I am approaching the age where colonoscopies will be a normal part of life.

All tests came back negative. I asked the technician to take a group photo. 

urgent care pic


 I reported our test results, and photo, back to the host and other cookout guests.  No one else from the vaccinated cookout tested positive. 

An hour later we met family friends at an outdoor table at Firefly Bistro. How surreal.  The next day we met my aunt and uncle for lobster rolls in Portland’s Old Port.  We carried our masks and donned them as we ducked into the shops and galleries. Some had mask policies. Others did not.

Every now and then a patient asks us when we will stop requiring masks in the clinic.  I get it. Nothing feels better than dropping my mask into the trash at the end of a shift.  The answer is we don’t know. The CDC is now encouraging vaccinated people to continue wearing masks indoors. And as long as medical facilities must mask, we will too. MAS has always been a casual environment to put your feet up and get some rest. This is the opposite experience in traditional healthcare and medical settings. For the time being, we would rather err on the side of caution.

We are navigating this new stage of breakthrough cases and Delta variants. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the rest of summ-ah.


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