This guide is intended for our CDPAP patients to help them find the best acupuncture doctors in NYC.
Acupuncture is becoming an increasingly popular choice for treating a variety of conditions, as more people show interest in alternative treatment options. So what exactly does this ancient Chinese medicinal practice entail? And can it really heal? Below, we’ll tell you what an acupuncture session consists of, what you can expect from your appointments, and who are the best acupuncturists in New York City.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an essential component of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points on the body.
Acupuncture is based on the belief that energy known as Qi flows through the body in channels or meridians. A disruption of the free energy flow causes disease. According to Eastern medicine practitioners, the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by meridians. Stimulating these points can restore the flow of Qi and thus improve health.
The exact way acupuncture works remains unclear. It is believed that the procedure stimulates the central nervous system which in turn releases biochemicals and triggers the body’s natural healing process.
What Can Acupuncture Help With?
Acupuncture is most commonly used for treating different types of pain, such as:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Dental pain
Besides, acupuncture has been proven effective in dealing with many other conditions including:
- High blood pressure
- Low blood pressure
- Gastric conditions
- Tennis elbow
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), acupuncture should not replace seeing your regular health care provider. However, it is often successfully used in combination with traditional medical treatments.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects of Acupuncture?
When it is performed correctly by a licensed practitioner using sterile needles, acupuncture is a safe treatment with very few side effects. Because acupuncture needles are solid and inserted between tissues, it is for the most part also a relatively painless process.
In rare cases, patients may experience mild, short-term side effects like pain where the needles puncture the skin, bruising, drowsiness, feeling faint, or worsening of pre-existing symptoms.
On the other hand, if acupuncture treatment is not performed correctly, it can cause serious side effects, including infections, punctured organs, collapsed lungs, and injury to the central nervous system.
What Can I Expect From an Acupuncture Treatment?
Your acupuncture practitioner will start by assessing your health, taking the pulse on both wrists to determine how energies are flowing in the body, and examining your tongue’s shape, color, and coating. Based on the findings, he or she will be able to choose specific acupuncture points to ensure the most effective treatment and help bring your body back to balance.
You will lay on a treatment table while the acupuncturist stimulates specific acupuncture points (acupoints) by inserting needles. The needles are removed after 5-20 minutes, depending on your particular health condition. Most people feel calm and relaxed during the treatment.
How many acupuncture sessions will I need?
The number of sessions needed depends on the nature of your treatment and varies from individual to individual. Some people experience significant symptom relief already after the first appointment. However, if you suffer from a chronic condition, you may need weekly treatments over the course of several months. Your acupuncturist will propose an individualized treatment plan during your first visit.
Healing modalities to supplement acupuncture
Acupuncturists regularly use a number of other traditional Chinese medicine techniques as modalities in addition to their acupuncture treatments. Many acupuncture studios specialize in the following modalities:
Herbal therapy uses a variety of herbs and natural remedies as medicine.
Moxibustion involves burning moxa, made from the dried mugwort plant, to warm acupuncture points. It is intended to stimulate circulation and induce a smoother flow of the body’s energies.
Cupping, a type of Chinese massage, consists of placing glass or plastic “cups” on the body and creating a vacuum to draw the skin up. This process opens up the skin’s pores, which helps stimulate circulation.
Tui Na massage
Tui na massage is a form of Asian bodywork therapy that combines vigorous massage, acupressure, and other types of body manipulation.
Gua Sha or scraping involves firmly rubbing the patient’s skin with the special gua sha device or a ceramic spoon. The purpose is to release any excesses in the body and stimulate healing.
Electroacupuncture consists of needles being inserted at targeted areas on the body, after which they are attached to a device that generates gentle electric impulses.
Schooling That Acupuncturists Need to Practice in New York City
The practice of acupuncture in the New York State requires an acupuncturist licensure. It can be obtained after successfully completing an extensive education program and passing a state board licensing exam.
- A minimum of two years of college education, including at least nine semester hours in the biosciences
- A three-year professional training program in acupuncture with theory and hands-on clinical practice. The professional training program must be either registered by the New York State Education Department as qualifying for licensure or accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)
- An approved Clean Needle Technique program on best practices in acupuncture safety.
To become licensed, all acupuncture practitioners must pass a state-approved licensing examination that consists of two parts:
- The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) examination
- The NCCAOM examination of Point Location Skills.
- License applicants must be 21 years old.
- Candidates must be of good moral character.
- English proficiency test is required for eligible applicants who have completed their studies in another country where English is not the principal language.
The 10 Best Acupuncture Offices in New York City
New York City has no shortage of acupuncture studios that can cater to your specific health needs, offering everything from traditional Chinese acupuncture to acu-facial rejuvenation and electroacupuncture.
Here are the top 10 acupuncture offices to choose from for your next appointment.
- Olo Acupuncture
Olo Acupuncture was founded in 2011 by Japanese-born Yuka Hagiwara. After working with Tibetan refugees in India and experiencing firsthand the beneficial effects of acupuncture, Yuka decided to study acupuncture and Chinese herbology at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She holds a graduate degree from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco.
The Olo Acupuncture studio employs a team of knowledgeable licensed acupuncturists and massage therapists who provide services ranging from acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicine to acu-facial rejuvenation, micro-needling, and body-realignment. The clinic primarily focuses on a communal healing experience, although they have separate rooms for patients who prefer individual treatment.
Google rating: 4.9
- The Yinova Center
The Yinova Center wellness clinic is run by husband and wife Jill Blakeway and Noah Rubinstein. The clinic was established in 1999 and boasts three prime locations: Flat Iron, East Side, and Brooklyn Heights.
One of Manhattan’s top acupuncturists, Jill is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and a clinical herbalist. She obtained her graduate degree in traditional oriental medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California. Jill is the founder of the acupuncture program at NYU Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn and a professor of gynecology and obstetrics in the doctoral program at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego and Chicago.
Noah has a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, where he is also a faculty member. He is a licensed clinical herbalist, a New York State paramedic, and has taught at Mercy College’s Asian Medicine Program.
The Yinova center treatments combine Eastern and Western medical practices. Their acupuncture services focus on pain as well as gynecology, obstetrics, men’s health, and pediatric treatments. A large team of board-certified and licensed acupuncturists, herbalists, and bodyworkers provide additional services such as massage, Asian bodywork, traditional Chinese medicine, craniosacral therapy, naturopathic medicine, and naturopathy. They work together with the patients’ healthcare practitioners to guarantee the most effective treatment.
Google rating: 4.8
- Hima Acupuncture
Hima Acupuncture was founded in 2017 by acupuncturist Snow Xia, who comes from a family of Chinese medicine practitioners. Snow personally experienced the benefits of acupuncture after suffering from severe burnout. She decided to leave behind her career in finances and fully dedicate herself to traditional Chinese medicine.
Snow obtained her Master’s degree in acupuncture from the New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and studied at the prestigious Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine with clinical training at Shanghai’s largest hospital, Shu Guang. Snow Xia has been recognized as one of the top acupuncturists in NYC by Expertise.
Since establishing her practice, she has successfully treated hundreds of clients, including many Broadway and Cirque du Soleil artists. Snow specializes in musculoskeletal pain, migraines, fertility, stress, anxiety, and digestive disorders. As well as acupuncture, the Hima Acupuncture services include cupping, trigger-point needling, electroacupuncture, and guidance in diet and lifestyle modifications.
Hima Acupuncture has locations in Flatiron, Midtown, and Williamsburg.
Google rating: 5.0
- Conscious Health & Wellness
Conscious Health & Wellness clinic opened in 2009 and is run by Miriam Pineles, a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Miriam has a degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City and Five-Element Acupuncture at the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel in Maryland. Passionate about learning and education, she continues to build upon her knowledge of acupuncture and other healing modalities like acupressure, moxibustion, cupping gua sha, and tui na.
Miriam practices exclusively the acupuncture technique known as Dr. Tan Balance Method that can give positive clinical results within seconds after needle insertion. Other than acupuncture, Conscious Health & Wellness provides a wide range of services, including herbal medicine, diet therapy, IUI-IVF support, and offers house-call acupuncture.
Google rating: 5.0
- Adachi Acupuncture & Herb Clinic
Adachi Acupuncture & Herb Clinic is a chronic pain-focused acupuncture facility established in 2013 by Masayuki “Masa” Adachi. Masa completed his Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture program at Touro College in New York and a Herbal Certificate program at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. He is a member of the Acupuncture Society of New York.
Masa specializes in treating chronic pain and injuries in situations where no other treatments work or when the cause of pain is unknown. His unique style of acupuncture integrates Dr. Tan’s Balance Method with the Japanese palpation technique that emphasizes the use of touch before needle treatment.
Masa’s in-depth knowledge of acupuncture, expertise in use of herbal medicine and Japanese Seitai osteopathy techniques allows him to successfully treat a wide range of other conditions like anxiety, stress, fibromyalgia, allergies, auto-immune diseases, and digestive disorders. Masa stands out from other acupuncturists in that he focuses on the patient and their state of mind rather than the disease itself.
Google rating: 5.0
- The Juhi Ash Center
The Juhi Ash Center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side opened its doors in 2019. The center was founded by Juhi Singh, a licensed acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, and a specialist in Oriental medicine. Juhi holds a degree in psychology and a Master’s degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York. One of the top acupuncturists in New York City, Juhi has been featured on CNN, ABC, and Forbes in recognition of her work as a health and wellness expert.
The Juhi Ash center treats a number of conditions such as acute and chronic pain, allergies, depression, insomnia, and stress. Some of the treatments take place in a Himalayan salt room and involve breathing in salty air that can help reduce inflammations and ease respiratory problems.
The center boasts a wide range of practices, spanning everything from acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda to homeopathy and internal medicine. Their team of practitioners is made up of licensed acupuncturists, an internal medicine doctor and cardiologist, an aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon, an ayurvedic doctor, a certified nurse-midwife, and a nutritionist.
Google rating: 4.7
- Prinz Acupuncture
Prinz Acupuncture was established in 2012 by Erika Prinz Freed, a professional ballet dancer who turned to Chinese medicine for injury treatment and shortly after decided to start her own career in acupuncture.
Erika obtained her graduate degree from the Tri-State College of Acupuncture and completed post-graduate training at the Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center in China, earning advanced certification in acupuncture and moxibustion. She is also certified in constitutional facial renewal and breathwork healing meditation techniques.
Erika specializes in musculoskeletal pain and injury, women’s health, fertility, and acupuncture facials. Besides acupuncture, she uses Chinese herbs and practices lifestyle and dietary modifications, cupping, and electroacupuncture. Erika was named a “Top 20 Best Acupuncturist” in New York City by Expertise five years in a row for her reputation, credibility, experience, and professionalism.
Google rating: 5.0
- Naturopunc Acupuncture
Francisco Mariglia, the owner and founder of Naturopunc Acupuncture, worked as an on-site therapist for the NYC theater and entertainment community for nearly two decades before starting his own practice in 2015. He is a licensed and board certified (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) acupuncturist and massage therapist.
Francisco continues to treat dance and theater injuries in addition to pain, depression, infertility, and insomnia. He offers both classical Chinese and Japanese acupuncture that incorporates moxibustion, along with cupping and gua sha therapy. Treatments last for anywhere from 60 to 85 minutes.
Google rating: 4.9
WTHN opened its doors in 2018. This high-end acupuncture studio is run by the former investment banker Michelle Larivee and Shari Auth, a licensed, board-certified doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, to whom Michelle was referred for treatment after a ski accident.
Shari received her Doctoral degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She is also a certified Chinese herbalist, massage and Panchakarma therapist, as well as an Ashtanga yoga instructor.
All of the WTHN highly trained, expert therapists—referred to as healers—hold a graduate degree in Chinese medicine and have a minimum of three years of training. They create personalized healing plans for each customer to treat everything from chronic pain to insomnia and stress. As an added bonus, the studio provides heated tables, sound therapy, a wellness lounge, and a vanity area for clients to freshen up after treatments. WTHN also has its own line of herbal formulas.
Google rating: 4.5
- Acupuncture Remedies
Acupuncture Remedies, founded by licensed acupuncturist Iris Netzer-Greenfield in 2006, was rated by Time Out New York as one of the top 10 acupuncture practices in the city. Iris holds a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from Samra University in Los Angeles and is a certified Chinese herbalist.
With over 20 years of experience in acupuncture, Iris practices a combination of traditional Chinese medicine and Japanese-style treatments, tui na, cupping, moxibustion, and gua zha. Iris specializes in female imbalance and has been successfully treating gynecological conditions and infertility. Moreover, the clinic offers cosmetic acupuncture which improves skin condition and acts as an anti-aging treatment.
Google reviews: 4.8