MAS clinics will likely be delayed in re-opening. Read on.

Here's the story and how you can lend a hand.

As many of you may have heard, last week the Governor gave the okay for acupuncture clinics to resume business in the Granite State starting on June 1st. On its face this is great news. However a significant, bewildering detail lay in the State re-opening guidelines.

It seems a last minute provision was included - essentially a restriction -  that limits acupuncture practitioners to treating no more than one patient at a time. As you may imagine, this is problematic for MAS on a number of levels.

Most notably this restriction would not allow MAS to meet its expenses. Nor would we be able to accommodate all of the folks who we know are looking forward to coming back for regular treatments. It also introduces the absurd scenario where only two people would be allowed inside of facilities that are 2000-3000 square feet in size!

MAS is built to provide lots of acupuncture for not a lot of money charged for each treatment. In fact, it's part of this organization's by-laws. So the notion of increasing fees to meet financial needs for a 1:1 practitioner/patient ratio is out of the question. So we remain closed until this provision is either changed or removed. And we're working really hard to make this happen sooner than later.

Incidentally, we know of no other state in the US who has included a similar provision in re-opening guidelines for acupuncture practices, nor are we aware of any other heath professionals in NH who have been restricted in this way.

Let it be known that we are immensely grateful for the time and effort that Governor Sununu, the Re-opening Task Force and the Health and Human Services Commissioner are putting in under extraordinary circumstances. Based on our years of experience, we feel that the decision to limit acupuncture practitioners to treating one patient at a time is based on a lack of information as to how greater-access, affordable acupuncture clinics and practices have (and can continue to) safely functioned for over a decade in New Hampshire and beyond. Perhaps if so, that restriction would not have been added.

At this point, are you wondering how you may be able to help?

That's great - thank you! Here are two ways:

1) If any of you dear readers happen to have a contact at NH Dept. of Health & Human Services or within the Governor's office, please consider putting me in touch. We'd love an opportunity to teach how the 1:1 provision has the unintended consequence of keeping thousands of people from relief of chronic pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia, etc. in acupuncture clinics across the state.

2) Have your say by signing this petition that we will make certain to send along to NH Heath & Human Services, the Re-Opening Task Force and the Governor's Office by June 5th .

Thanks for sticking with us and we look forward to an update on the re-opening of MAS clinics soon.

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Quick re-opening update, on this glorious afternoon

Via Andy at the MAS YouTube Channel.

Hello, folks. We hope this message finds you doing well and are safe. It has been an interesting couple of months since we closed our doors to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Over the past couple of weeks, we have received more than a few inquiries as to when and if MAS clinics will reopen.

The short answer is, yes, MAS will absolutely re-open.

What follows is the longer answer.

As a healthcare facility, MAS is subject to state and national guidelines in our profession that have instructed both our initial closure, as well as when we are allowed to re-open and what standards and practices need to be in place in order for that to happen. These guidelines are in accordance with the best practices set forth by local, state and national governing bodies.

There are many aspects of operations related to facilities in Manchester & Nashua that need to be updated in order for MAS to abide by the guidelines set by these oversight and regulatory agencies for the foreseeable future. They include: a reworking of the physical setup in our entire facility in order to maintain social/physical distancing guidelines; the use of personal protective equipment for both staff and patients; hygiene protocols for both staff and patients; implementation of illness screening for both staff and patients; implementing and maintaining infection controls, reworking the way we schedule appointments and establishing how many people we can have in the clinic at any given time and maintain appropriate standards.  

While all of this is a lot to manage, we aim to do so while maintaining the simple soulfulness we all have come to expect. 

We have always been a small operation, working within a modest budget, and are now charged with putting into place multiple new systems in order to best protect the health of our clinic community as well as our staff members and their families. We are eager to resume operations and reconnect with you all. It is just going to take us a bit more time to get there.

We are aiming - roughly speaking - for mid-late June for re-opening.  As we get closer, we will let you know when scheduling will resume. 

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you and getting back to acupuncture. 

The Staff @ MAS

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Acupressure for Calming an Upset Stomach

**Elizabeth's Video Tutorial is Here**

Over the years, many patients ask us how we got into practicing acupuncture. Here's my story. I studied massage in my early 20’s when my puppetry career was bust (that’s a story for another day). I was introduced to acupressure in massage school and I practiced massage at an acupuncture clinic after I jumped through all of the licensing hoops . Long story short, I was headed to acupuncture school a year later.

During my last year of acupuncture school, I was experimenting with ways to combine acupressure into massage. This came in handy for a particular client who lived in a nursing home. We had a regular standing monthly appointment. One particular day, when I showed up to her room, she was surrounded by nurses aids who were getting her cleaned up. She told me how bad she felt that she didn’t cancel her appointment sooner. She had a bad reaction to a new medication that caused an upset stomach and vomiting.

Instead of leaving, I offered to give her an hour long acupressure treatment to help calm her stomach. I am glad she took me up on the offer. I will always remember how well this treatment worked and how much better she felt as a result. I am going to teach you the two major points that I used during that treatment.

The two points are Pericardium 6 (PC6) and Spleen 4 (SP4). These two points are often used together as a point combination specifically for an upset stomach. You can use this for mild digestive discomfort like feeling bloated or nauseous, or hiccups. You can also press and massage these points for vomiting, diarrhea, and any pain located in the abdomen below the rib cage.

Yes, you can also use these points for morning sickness.

Pericardium 6 is located on the inside of the wrist, two finger widths up from wrist crease, in the center, between the two tendons. Many people might be familiar with this point if they have taken a cruise and worn sea-bands to prevent sea sickness.

P6 is also a common point for anxiety and insomnia, palpitations and chest pains. (If you are experiencing chest pains you should head over to the ER.)

Spleen 4 is located on the inside of the foot above the instep. The easiest way to find it is to locate Spleen 3, on the inside of your foot above the knuckle of the big toe. Follow the bone (metatarsal) until you reach the other head of the same bone, then you are on Spleen 4.

Both of these points are good to press when you are feeling worried, anxious, or restless; emotions which can go straight to our stomachs.

If you like video that I posted above and find it helpful, you can combine it with the points demonstrated in two more videos:

Naomi Frank at Toronto Community Acupuncture shows us more points on the Spleen and Stomach channels.

and

And Justine Meyers of Acupuncture Together’s video on Anxiety, Stress, and Insomnia is making another appearance here.


I hope this is helpful. Please send us requests for topics that we haven’t covered yet at, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We miss all of you and we hope to see you again soon and in good health.

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If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents for Manchester & Nashua facilities while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Acupressure Approach for Relief of Constipation

**Video tutorial with Elizabeth is here.


Here I am following up on a patient request for points that can ease constipation. This is a great request and we are happy to oblige.

We are going to start with the most commonly used acupuncture points for constipation. Then we are going to focus on two groups of points located near and just below the elbow and points just below the knee. These areas are almost mirror images of each other. Both clusters of points are good for regulating the activity of the intestines.

The first point we are going to use is Sanjaio 6. To find this point, look at the back of your wrist and measure three fingers widths up on your forearm. Sanjiao 6 is located in between the two bones on your forearm.


The area around and including Sanjiao 6 is the most important for constipation. You can also massage the point next to Sanjaio 6, which is Sanjiao 5, located 2 finger widths from the back of the wrist. Both of them are good for treating stagnation in the large intestine which keeps things from moving.

Next, find your elbow and place your thumb in the fleshy area just above the crease when you bend your arm. This is Large Intestine 11. Continue to massage your forearm along the bone covering an area measuring about the width of your four fingers put together. Here you are covering Large Intestine points 11, 10, 9, and 8. All of these points are good for treating fullness in the stomach and abdominal pain.


And finally, you are going to massage points on the Stomach Channel on the lower leg, Stomach 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40. To find these points, first located the bottom of your kneecap and measure and hand-width down on your lower leg between the two bones. This is Stomach 36. Press and massage Stomach 36 and and continue to press and massage the space in between the two lower leg bones until you reach the center of the front of your lower leg. Now that you have covered 4 major points on the Stomach channel for regulating the intestines, you can drag your thumb outward over the fibula bone on the outside of your lower leg. This point is Stomach 40. It’s one of the most crucial points for transforming phlegm and mucus in the body. Acupuncture students usually refer to it as “Phlegm 40.”

Spend some time on all of these points while you are taking a break to listen to music or watch a movie. Give each area a good thorough massage before moving on to the next. You can even go back over the points several times. You can even spend some time gently rubbing your belly in a clockwise direction (clockwise when looking looking down at your belly from above) to encourage more movement.

In addition to regulating the intestines, the Large Intestine points near the elbow and the Stomach points on the lower leg are good for calming the mind. In these uncertain times where we are forced to stay isolated and are under a lot of pressure, it’s easy to get agitated. Try using these points to keep yourself relaxed and in the present moment.

Thank you for the request. Please keep them coming. We miss all of you and we hope to see you again, in person.

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If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents for Manchester & Nashua facilities while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Umeboshi Plum Vinegar: a tasty kitchen cabinet remedy

Umeboshi plum vinegar is a staple in my kitchen. I usually buy two bottles at a time, and I get a little nervous when my supply starts to run low. I have turned many of my friends onto umeboshi vinegar whenever I serve up a salad at a potluck or a dinner party.

What is umeboshi vinegar? I am glad you asked. Umeboshi, ume, is a Japanese fruit that is kind of like a cross between a plum and an apricot. They are pickled and then dried in the sun. The dried plums can be eaten whole or turned into paste to be used as a condiment. Umeboshi vinegar is the brine left over from the pickling process.

I got hooked on the salty and sour taste of ume plums during a dietary therapy class in acupuncture school. My teacher explained that they are referred to as the “Japanese alka seltzer.” Besides being served up on a plate of white rice or other dishes in Japan, ume plums are a good remedy for an upset stomach, sluggish digestion, and acid reflux. (stay tuned for the next blog post here for more help with an upset stomach)

You can find packages of whole ume plums, ume plum paste, or umeboshi vinegar at A-Market, on South Willow in Manchester, or any natural food store. 
I’ve been buying the vinegar since I was an acupuncture student because it’s the most economical way of enjoying the taste and health benefits of the ume plums.

Ume plums are high in salt and should be consumed sparingly, 1-2 plums per day. I use the vinegar mixed with olive oil as a dressing for salad or cooked vegetables. In my dietary therapy class, I was introduced to cooked millet topped with some soy sauce and umeboshi vinegar as a nutritious breakfast porridge.

For more information on umeboshi plum vinegar, I recommend Paul Pitchford’s book “Healing with Whole Foods.”

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Think Twice Before Cutting Your Dandelions

Last week, a fellow Community Acupuncturist in Leominster, MA, reminded her friends not to mow our laws for a few more weeks because the bees need the dandelions. I happily obliged and took my bike out of the garage for a spin instead of the lawn mower.

It turns out that it’s not just bees that need the dandelions. Other pollinators like butterflies, beetles, and different birds are in need of dandelions right now, while we wait for other flowers to bloom later in the season. You can read more about that in this article from the Guardian.

Everything from the root to the flower of a dandelion can be used as medicine. They are a vitamin-packed food source, or helpful remedies when applied topically for skin conditions, such abscesses or nodules. Dandelions are a part of the Chinese Materia Medica, in the category of herbs that 'clear heat' and 'relieve toxicity'. Basically what that means is that they are good for treating inflammation, especially when red, swollen or painful. Dandelion tea can also be a good remedy for red, swollen, painful joints. According to Paul Pitchford’s book, Healing with Whole Foods, dandelions are a mild diuretic and a mild laxative that will not deplete your body of potassium.

Earlier this morning, I discovered patches of dandelions growing in a wooded area in my neighborhood. I am not picking dandelions in public parks, which are more likely to be sprayed with weed killer or fertilizer. But I did forage a bundle of greens, leaving plenty behind to share with our pollinator friends. After I rinsed the greens, I put them in a pot and poured a tea kettle’s worth of hot water over them to make tea. They are steeping as I write this.

You can also dry dandelions in bundles or put them in a food dehydrator. If you are feeling really ambitious you can make a blooming dandelion tea ball, like in this video.

For more information about the benefits of dandelions, you can read more here. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to enjoy a cup of dandelion tea.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Acupressure Tutorial: earaches, ear pain or just plain pain around the ears.

This post is to follow up on a patient request: pain behind the ear. Here's the video I put together on the MAS YouTube page to walk us through, along with the information below.

One quick way to get started is with this video from our friend, Stacey Kelsey at Boise Acupuncture Coop. She is focusing specifically on a point on the back of the head between the neck and the back of the ear, Gallbladder 20 (GB20). If the headache behind your ear feels better when you apply pressure, then you may want to gently massage all along the ridge of your occipital bone behind your ear inward until you reach the center of your spine. You can even gently massage the small space just behind your ear lobe, this point is Sanjaio 17 (SJ17).

We are going to use some points on our hands, wrists, and feet to treat pain in the ear, specifically on the Gallbladder and Sanjaio channels. These two channels meet at the ear and they each sport acupuncture points around the ear. At the clinic, whenever we are treating any kind of ear conditions, we are likely to include points on these two channels in your treatment.

The first points on the hand that I recommend are Sanjaio 2 (SJ2) Sanjaio 3 (SJ3). They are located below and above the knuckle between your pinky and ring finger. Press these points on the affected side 20-30 times. If you end up feeling a bit of ache as you press, good! Don't hurt yourself here, but a mild ache in the area of these points when used is a positive. It means they've been activated.


According to 'A Manuel of Acupuncture' by Peter Deadman, San Jaio 3  “is the most important distal point for treating ear disorders due to any (reason).” He even explains that if someone has a blocked ear, especially from traveling by airplane, SJ 3 can be massaged while they hold their nose. If you are at home with someone who has a blocked ear, give it a try and let us know if it’s helpful.

Next, we will travel two finger widths from the wrist and massage the space in between the heads of the two bones in your lower arm.

This area/point is called Sanjaio 5 (SJ5). It’s another good point for ear pain, and it’s especially good for all kinds of headaches, especially on the side of the head, where the ear is located.

The last two areas that we are going to massage are on the opposite foot. (As a note you can always massage the points on both sides of your body to get all your bases covered).  Find the space on the top of your foot between the pinky toe and it’s neighboring 4th toe. Massage in between those two bones and in the space between the two toes. Here, you are stimulating three different acupuncture points called, Gallbladder 41, 42, and 43.

All of these points are good for a headache on the (opposite) side of the head, and disorders of the eyes and ears.

We hope this is helpful. Please keep the requests coming. We are always looking for topics that we can write about and share with you.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

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We all miss seeing you. We hope you and loved ones are in good health.

If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You can also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity - both go a long way these days.


Posted in Acupuncture Blog

Basic acupressure points for headache relief, in the absence of regular acupuncture

(Accompanying video lives here!)

There are different types of headaches. In the acupuncture world, we choose different points depending on:

1) where the headache is located and,
2) what kind of pain is experienced: throbbing, stabbing, tightness, pressure, etc.


In this post, we are going to talk about two points that can be used separately or in combination for headaches and other pain.

The first point is Large Intestine 4 (LI 4). This point is located on the web of your hand between your thumb and index finger.

This is one of the most commonly used points in acupuncture because it’s good for so many things, headaches being at the top of the list. The Large Intestine channel starts on the index finger, runs up the arm, and ends on the face, right next to the nose. LI 4 is the most important point for any kind of pain or disorder of the face. This makes it a go to for frontal headaches (think forehead), sinus headaches, swelling and pain in the face and eyes, and sinus congestion. It’s also great for toothaches, nose bleeding, and jaw tension.

LI 4 is also one of the best general points for pain. If you are in any kind of pain at all and you don’t know where to get started with acupressure, just remember LI 4 in the web of your hand. Just just pressing and rubbing this one point 10-30 times can go a long way.

Our second point is Liver 3, located on the web of your foot between the big toe and the second toe. The Liver channel starts on the inside of the big toe, runs up the inner leg, through the torso and rib cage. Divergent branches of the Liver channel run up the chest, neck and face to the very top of the head. Treating points on the Liver channel, especially LV 3 is an excellent way to relieve a frontal headache or a headache on the very top of the head. LV3 is also a good point to stimulate for dizziness, blurred or cloudy vision, or redness and irritation of the eyes.

The combination of LI4 and LIV 3 are referred to as the “Four Gates” when used together as a point combination. That is how important these two points are -- when they get together they get their own band name, like Simon and Garfunkel, or better yet, Wham!
These points are excellent for getting your energy moving like George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. If you are having a headache or any pain anywhere, or if you just feel a little depressed or irritable, try massaging these points. You’ll do the jitterbug.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp

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If you are able, we welcome donations of any amount to help us cover the rents for Manchester & Nashua facilities while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic via a current GoFundMe campaign. You may also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as another way to support the clinics, and/or simply share this blog post with friends and family. 

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity.

Posted in Acupuncture Blog


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