BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Acupuncture is becoming very popular because it's very effective, little or no side effects, and it's affordable -- and most insurances now are covering acupuncture. 

TAPinto recently talked with Matthew Winke, Acupuncturist at Total Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center about the benefits, trends and expectations of acupuncture and cupping treatments. 

"Patients feel great afterwards," said Winke.  Acupuncture has worked for thousands of years -- and there's a reason for that, he said.  "It works, and that's why it's catching on." 

In addition to discussing the benefits of acupuncture, Winke talks of the use of cupping as a treatment for muscle recovery, and it even can be used for the common cold, he said. "We can heat the cups up, we put it over the lung point, and they help open up the lungs if someone has a common cold."

  • 80 percent of people seek acupuncture for pain relief
  • Treats mental emotional issues
  • Treats chronic disease
  • Cupping for muscle recovery, and can even be used for the common cold

How cupping works -- "it creates a negative pressure on the skin and it pulls up all the muscles and tissues," explained Winke. "And what that does is it increases circulation into the muscle. And it also releases all the stuck tissue. So basically it loosens everything, it creates circulation. And it actually detoxes the soft tissue. So it pulls up any toxins in the muscle to the surface of the body. And it allows the body to then flush it out."

At Total Health, Winke said that cupping is something they do along with acupuncture treatments. "Once people go through these processes, they feel so much better," he said.

After regular treatments, Winke said the patients feel completely different because "we've opened up the whole muscular structure, and we've regulated the nervous system with the acupuncture, and we're just bringing people back into homeostasis."

A typical session is about 45 minutes, he said. "So you'll come in, you'll talk to your acupuncturist for about 15 minutes. Usually they'll take your pulse -- which tells the practitioner about the state of the internal organs. We also look at the tongue -- we can do a lot of diagnosis with the pulse in the tongue. And that helps the acupuncture treatment and the prescription of the herbal medicine." 

Winke has seen a rise in patients during the pandemic. "Funny enough, at the peak of the pandemic, it was very busy, because people have been really seeking the acupuncture for the stress relief, because they've been cooped up in their house. They don't want to get a massage because they didn't want to have someone that close to them. So people can come in, get the needles in their body, they're by themselves, they can relax."

Winke has also seen patients that have had COVID coming in with a lot of neurological problems. "COVID is creating brain fog, muscle aches, chronic cough -- things like that. I've had a lot of success with acupuncture, bringing the patient back to homeostasis," he said.

After the virus has been through the body, the body is weakened, and the acupuncture will use certain points that boost the energy. "Or we can do points that help with the cough, the headaches, so we can actually give them relief, without them having to take some kind of pharmacological medication that could create more problems or more side effects. And that's another big reason why acupuncture is really popular -- it gets results with no harm done. That's really the great part about it," said Winke.

Total Health is located at 492 Springfield Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Call 908.360.4984. To learn more visit their website.