5 ways you're creating back pain without realizing it.


One of the things that makes me stand out as a healer is my strong knowledge of anatomy and how our muscles work, especially when you're in pain. I've treated so many cases of back pain and I've noticed that they all have a few causes in common. Below, I share them with you so that you can be a little more conscious of you move your body throughout the day. 

1.  Being a slave to your phone

Constantly looking down at your phone when you're on the subway, at your desk, in bed (which is the worst) is a huge culprit in neck and upper back pain. Fascia (our connective tissue) gets hardened with repetitive motion like constantly scrolling and typing on your phone. 

2.  Sleeping face down

Sleeping on your belly is the worst position for your neck and spine to be in. Lying on your back or on your side with a pillow between your legs is the best way to sleep for your spine to be in neutral position. 

3.  Your purse, laptop bag, gym bag and tote

I know it can feel super awkward to carry your bag on the other shoulder than what you're used to, but it should be done for balance. Better yet, if you're a bag lady, you're better off getting a chic backpack and save your back from pain. 

4.  Shifting your weight to one side

I see it all the time on train platforms, men and women shifting their weight from side to side as they're waiting for their train. Standing tall with your weight evenly distributed between both feet is the best way to not throw your hips out of alignment keeping your back pain free. 

5.  Sitting

Fascia, our connective tissue, follows a certain pattern on different parts of our bodies. In the front, theres a criss-cross sling on the upper body. The back is completely different, the muscles and connective tissue lay on us as if someone took a paint roller and painted our muscles on us from the heels to the top of our head-it's all one long connected sheath. 

Sitting for long periods of time, squashes the hamstrings and tightens the calves leading to a tight lower back. Ignore the tightness long enough, and eventually it'll lead to muscle cramping and pain. 

What helps back pain best?


My #1 recommendation for any kind of pain is acupuncture. It gets to the root of what is causing the problem, rather than just band aid it.

If needles scare you, then my second recommendation is cupping. Cupping does a great job of relieving tension, pain and loosening fascia.  Tight fascia is the problem to begin with, so loosen the fascia and you're going to feel better. 

Ready to work out your back pain? Schedule your session online now

How to use Kinesiolgy tape for injuries


Does Kinesiology tape really work for injuries?

The short answer is yes and no. 

It all depends on how you use it, or more importantly, what your intentions or goals are with your injury. 


Taping is very popular amongst pro-athletes and oddly in CrossFit enthusiasts specifically, which is why I'm writing about this today. I don't have anything against Kinesiology tape (K Tape), I use it in my own practice on my patients, but very rarely do I ever feel the need for it. 

For some reason CrossFitters, and other athletes that work out just as hard, are covered in this stuff. My question is...are you doing ANYTHING ELSE to actually treat and recover from your injuries?


Here is what K Tape can do for you:

Support muscles and joints 

Help reduce pain momentarily

Prevent further injury and muscle fatigue (which is why I use it with my clients)

Here is what it can't do for you:

Treat injuries 

Enhance performance 

ANYONE with a body needs to actually treat their injuries if they are going to make serious demands on their body like in CrossFit (I'm not anti-CrosssFit either, I did it for 2 years with the help of my acupuncturist and lots of massages and stretching --in other words I practiced self care along with my workouts)

Is Kinesiology tape enough to treat an injury?

 If you're relying on K-tape to manage your pain, you'll regret it one day. Try acupuncture instead and treat the root of your problem. 

If you're relying on K-tape to manage your pain, you'll regret it one day. Try acupuncture instead and treat the root of your problem. 

No. In my professional opinion, as someone who specializes in treating pain successfully, absolutely not. 

"Self care" is a term severely lacking in the CrossFit world. I hear about taping and eating Paleo but I don't hear enough about actual self care that goes outside of someone buying a cream, a lotion or tape and seeing an actual professional to treat their injuries.  Continuing your workouts while injured isn't a badge of honor, it's simply not smart and you'll regret it one day. 

I became an acupuncturist because I was in chronic pain and saw several health professionals in desperate attempts to heal my pain. It wasn't until I started getting acupuncture that my pain was finally resolved. This is what drives me to heal other people. I would never tell you not to follow your doctor's or Physical Therapists advice, but understand that K Tape is literally a band aid for your pain. 

Acupuncture, treats what is causing your pain, your PT can then help you develop better body mechanics so that you move better preventing the same injury from reoccuring. And of course, if your injury is serious enough that you need surgery, acupuncture can help you recover faster. 

Kinesiology Taping for Achilles Tendonitis 

Case Study

I had a patient with achilles tendonitis. Male, 28yrs old, a former Rugby player who currently stays fit by doing HIT workouts and lifting heavy weights along with some rowing for cardio because it hurt too much to run.  Tendonitis is treatable but takes a few sessions because it's most likely a chronic case of it. I've never had anyone come in with tendonitis of any kind as a first inquiry to fix it, they usually see a sports medicine doctor and physical therapist first. The acupuncturist is sadly, usually the last hope in cases of tendonitis which is too bad because we are the ones that do the best job of resolving it.

I treated the trigger points responsible for causing the achilles tendon pain and this was a perfect time to use K Tape. I taped his calf so that the muscles remained supported and stretched until I could treat him again. We did this every time I saw him and after 4 sessions he no longer needed the tape and his Achilles Tendonitis was resolved for good. Can it come back again? Yes I think it can if he doesn't take the time to properly warm up and do hamstring and calf stretches after his workouts. As of today, it's been over 6 months and he hasn't needed to treat it again. 

He can now run comfortably. 

Ready to treat your injuries? Click below to book your acupuncture appointment



Nausea after eating


Do you ever feel nauseous every time you eat?

I had a patient come in, a young woman, 26 years old who said she felt like vomiting every time she eats. At first, I thought perhaps she has an eating disorder and this is her way of reaching out for help but she quickly squashed that idea by telling me that she loves to eat and is very active. She boxes and does yoga, along with some other stuff to keep in shape. The impression I got from her was that she was very stressed and food wasn't an issue. She just wants to be able to eat without feeling nauseous. She was tired of people, especially doctors, looking at her funny every time she mentioned she was too nauseous to eat. Her friends kept telling her she was probably just pregnant and she assured me she wasn't. 

Of course I asked if she had seen a doctor for this and she did. They didn't find anything wrong with her blood work and nothing showed up on X-ray. I asked her to lie down face up and I felt her abdomen. What jumped out at me was how tense it felt, this was why she was feeling nauseous. 



The human body is more than skin, muscle, blood vessels, nerves and bones. There's an entire network of web-like connective tissue that helps keep all that together. Without it, we'd be crunchy like a potato chip.  As a fascia expert, I know that sometimes our connective tissue can get bound up creating constrictions in our bodies. I knew I needed to release the tight fascia in the abdomen for her to feel better. I selected some acupuncture points, released the knots in her rectus abdominus muscles, which is pictured below, and then inserted some needles across her belly very superficially to release the web like connective tissue.  I asked her to contact me the next day and let me know if she was still nauseous, I just like to know if I'm on the right track or not. 

I'm happy to report her message to me:

Thank you again for yesterday. I slept much better last night and I was able to eat today without feeling sick. I really appreciated yesterday. It was the first time in a while I didn’t feel like someone was looking at me like I was crazy about how I was feeling.

This is a perfect example of how acupuncture can help in a situation where Western Medicine just doesn't have any answers. 

 Common tightness in the abdomen can be found in both men and women who do a lot of core body work such as ball slams, pilates, planks, box jumps, etc and don't take the time to stretch the abdomen, so don't forget it in your daily stretches. 

Common tightness in the abdomen can be found in both men and women who do a lot of core body work such as ball slams, pilates, planks, box jumps, etc and don't take the time to stretch the abdomen, so don't forget it in your daily stretches. 

If you feel this way and would like help decompressing and regulating your digestion, book your acupuncture appointment below now. 

Gua Sha Facial


Gua Sha Facial NYC


The Gua Sha (Gwa Shh-Ah) facial is a very unique treatment and isn’t like a traditional facial.

It’s the star of the show in my Restore Vitality™ Gua Sha Facial.  


What is a Gua Sha facial?

Based on an eastern medicine technique, called Gua Sha (skin scraping), I use an agate crystal stone to smooth out wrinkles, lift and contour your cheekbones, brow bone and neck. It’s a non surgical facelift that also detoxifies making it great for acne sufferers. 

I often use gua sha with patients who see me for pain. Instead of the stone, I use a different tool to scrape the skin. Doing this, breaks capillaries which kicks in the bodies own healing response. The red stippling, it leaves behind, lasts for anywhere from 3-7 days.

In facial gua sha, capillaries aren't broken and there are no red marks left behind because the tool I use doesn’t have any sharp edges and feels really comforting. 

How does facial gua sha work?

The human body is more than just skin, muscle, blood vessels, nerves and bone. There is an entire network of connective tissue, called fascia, holding all of that together. Its like a web that connects everything and when that web gets a knot in it or gets glommed up in an area, in the mirror that shows up as a wrinkle, smile lines, deep lines between the brows and a wrinkly chest. When that webbing starts to lose collagen, it shows up as sagging. When there is too much fluid build up under the eyes because your lymphatic fluid isn’t draining, it shows up as puffiness and acne. 

The massage movements done with the stone aren’t random, it takes a trained acupuncturist to know the correct strokes to smooth out the glommed up fascia under the skin and flushes out toxins to heal acne.  When done correctly, the results are astonishing! 

Agate crystal balances Yin & Yang

What can I expect from a Gua Sha Facial?

I’ve called this treatment The Restore Vitality Gua Sha Facial, because that is exactly what it does. It brings not just your skin, but your face back to life. It truly rejuvenates, lifts, lightens and brightens all without harsh lasers and toxic chemicals. 

Who should get a gua sha facial?

Anyone that wants to look younger without fillers.  Anyone with sun spots, wrinkles or acne that needs healing. 

Celebrities and television personalities that always have to be on camera would find this incredibly beneficial. It’s the best way to rejuvenate and still look like yourself without a frozen face full of fillers. 

How long do the results last?

Everyone is different. Depending on your age, the more mature in age you are, the more treatments you will need. Once a week treatments for 10 weeks is ideal for someone over 40 but someone in their 20’s can do less.

I’m over 40 and it’s my favorite rejuvenating treatment out of everything I’ve ever done in my medi-spa days. I’m well aware of skin tightening with laser, I used to get it done all the time. I like this much better both as a client and as a practitioner. There’s no harm or side effects from getting it done and it treats more than just skin. It treats the underlying tissue under the skin. 

Not surprisingly, many people feel like their face is less stressed and their jaw feels less tight. Gua Sha works to soften muscle and fascia. Neither of which are treated by any laser or chemical peel.   

How long of an appointment should I book?

If you are interested in rejuvenation, it's best to schedule 90 minutes or if you want to add microcurrent, 2 hours. 

If you have acne, please schedule 75 mins and note there are no extractions

If you have any more questions about The Restore Vitality Gua Sha Facial, contact me here.

Here's what a client had to say:

People keep asking me if I got Botox!
I’m hooked for life, Lorraine, you’re the best in New York !
— L.B, NYC

To schedule your Restore Vitality Gua Sha Facial click below. 

The case of the 38 year long headache

Yes, you read that right.

A headache that lasted 38 years. 


This is the story of a lovely 47 year old woman that messaged me on Facebook asking for an acupuncture appointment. I always like to know what it is that someone wants to treat before coming in, so I asked her what she was looking to address and she said headaches. 

I've treated headaches and migraines before, so I looked forward to helping her. 

As with every new patient, I had her fill out a health history and then we had a lengthy talk about these headaches.  They started when she was nine years old and they start in the back of her head and shoot towards the front ending up on her forehead above her brow.  She rarely ever wakes up with them but as the day goes by, the headache starts to creep up.  They happen everyday, are nagging, relentless and it was clear she was fed up with them. 

I asked her how she's been managing the pain for this long and she said she's been taking over the counter ibuprofen. She had seen a chiropractor for a while and it would help, but the pain relief would be short lived.  I also asked her if there was any incident that she could attribute these headaches to and she said nothing that she could think of.  I also asked a few questions to rule out the recommendation of a neurologist. 

As an acupuncturist, I will take information from a patient's health history along with checking the tongue and taking the person's pulse to come up with a diagnostic "pattern".  People with a certain set of symptoms typically fall into a pattern.  Once I know the pattern, I can choose from a group of acupuncture points to treat this person's pattern.  

The odd thing about her was that she wasn't fitting neatly into the pattern that I would have expected her to.  Typically, someone with this pattern would have headaches (check), either an irregular period or a really painful one (nope), insomnia from time to time (nope), gets angry pretty easily (nope), sighing (nope), moody? (she said not really but is known to be stubborn..ok I'll take it..check!)   There might even be purple veins underneath the tongue and she didn't have that either. To be honest, this left me scratching my head.  I went with the initial diagnosis and treated her anyway.  I added a few points on her shoulders since this typically helps ease headaches in general. 

I checked in with her in a few days and asked how she was doing. She said she felt good, but still had the headaches. We discussed expectations of acupuncture on her first visit. If she's had this problem for 38 years, I asked that she give me at least 3 sessions to make some kind of difference.  She totally understood and was game to give it some time to work. 

On her next visit, I decided to continue to treat her on her pattern, but this time I wanted to take a closer look at her head, neck and shoulders.  Maybe this wasn't just a pattern issue, maybe it was mostly physical. Lying on her stomach, with her head in the face rest is when I saw it, her right shoulder blade was sticking out like the lifted hood of a car.

I palpated (touching to find tender, painful areas) the whole shoulder blade and neck and she had a lot of tenderness.  I asked her if she had been in any car accidents. She said she was in one a few years ago but it was nothing major, but now that she thought of it, when she 9, she was on the top bunk bed playing with her sister when her sister pushed her and she fell off, landing on the floor.  She's had the headaches ever since. 

This changed everything for how I was going to treat her. First, let's look back at where she said her headaches were.  They shoot from the back to the front and are a little across her forehead. 


The pic on the left looks describes that same exact pain pattern.   The areas shaded red are the areas that indicate where the pain is. So, the X's, are where the knots in those muscles are, and the red is where a person would feel the pain being created by those knots. 

Over the following 3 visits, I started to release all knots in all the muscles that were pulling her shoulder blade out of place and therefore, causing the headaches.  Basically, what had happened was that her shoulder blade muscles must have been in contraction and pulling at her neck all these years. 

I'm happy to report that the treatments worked and the headaches are now gone. Her shoulder blade is also back to normal and isn't sticking out anymore.

She had a total of 5 weekly visits and one more that she scheduled after a trip to Europe. I knew that a long plane ride could set her back so I asked that she come in regardless of pain, so that we could treat to prevent those headaches from coming back.  On returning from Europe she only had two minor headaches and she said they were "nothing". I took this to mean, it wasn't anything like the headaches she's been experiencing her whole life.  

She's happy she finally found the solution to a life long problem and I'm happy to have helped another person be pain free. 

To schedule you're acupuncture session, with me Lorraine, click below. 

Natural ways to treat allergies

7 tips to help you through allergy season


It's that time of year again...I don't know about you, but I'm already sneezing a lot even though it's still pretty chilly outside.  If you've got itchy eyes, a runny nose, loss of smell, or constant post nasal drip, you may have allergies. Even if you didn't have them as a teenager, they can sneak up on you in your late 20's and 30's.  Below, are a few tips to help you out. 

1.  Organic Honey.  Eat 1 tablespoon of local, organic, honey a day.  It MUST be local to you. So, where ever you are reading this from, make sure to check our your local farmer's market and you'll find a local vendor. 

2.  Neti Pot.  Maybe you've seen these in the health food store and thought it was some weird hippie sh*t but that weird hippie thing will help more than anything. Rinse your sinuses every day, as soon as you get home. This saline water rinse will get the pollen out of your nose. 

3.  Anti-inflammatory diet.  If you know certain foods make you phlegmy or your nose runny, take a break from eating them because they will make your allergies worse. If you don't get your sinuses all inflamed to begin with, you'll have a better time adjusting to springtime.  Adding an Omega-3 fish oil and a probiotic isn't a bad idea either. 

4.  Brush the dog. I love my dog but I don't love how pollen sticks to her fur, and then when she climbs onto my bed and pillow and leaves a trail of invisible pollen for me to sleep on. Give the dog a quick brush right before walking back into your home and rinse his/her paws. If you have a big dog and can't do that, I suggest baby wipes or keeping a towel aside for a quick wipe down after a walk. 

5. Brush yourself.  If your allergies are that bad, then washing your face and brushing your hair every time you come back home will be necessary. 

6. HEPA Air filter.  This filters the air and keeps it clean, just don't forget to vacuum the filter from time to time. 

7.  Acupuncture and Herbs.  Of course acupuncture helps but is best done BEFORE allergy season starts. If you are already in the throws of allergy symptoms, acupuncture can still help and most likely I would prescribe herbs. 


5 Ways to ease menstrual cramps -aka Dysmenorrhea

Natural remedies for menstrual pain


While periods are a normal part of life,  menstrual cramps don't have to be. In fact, in Eastern Medical theory, PMS is considered a disorder.  I treat it often in my practice and it truly does help women have a much less dramatic period.  If you have a healthy period, you should have very little to no discomfort during this time. 

I have a few tips for you to make the time of the month go a little smoother.  First, get to know the signals your body gives you right before your period is about to start. Of course, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is different for everyone, but I find these are the most common signs. 

  • Dull, achy lower back
  • Mood changes- like depression or quick tempered
  • Bloating
  • Lower abdominal cramping
  • Dull headaches
  • Sudden constipation or diarrhea
  • Heightened sexual desire

1.  Tea for cramps

As soon as the bloating starts, make tea using Turmeric, Cinnamon and Hawthorn. Drink at least three cups of this throughout the day, it's great for the bloating and pain because it's anti-inflammatory. 

2.  Energetically warming tea for PMS

If you're someone who tends to feel cold easily, make tea with the following ingredients the week before your period starts: (Get the P Tracker App if you're not sure when the week before your period is supposed to be) 

Ginger, green onions, fennel, black pepper and orange peel.  Let it boil for 10 minutes then strain and drink.  Drink three times a day for the entire week to decrease PMS symptoms. 

3. Essential Oils

There are essential oils that help with painful cramps specifically. It may take a little experimenting with which blend in particular will work for you.  Mix the appropriate amount of essential oil drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil like olive oil or jojoba.  Massage it all over your abdomen, lower back and shoulders. Using a hot pack on your abdomen or lower back with a wool cloth along with the massage oil is very warming and feels great. 

For continuous intense pain:

Roman Chamomile  10 Drops

Clary-Sage  5 Drops

Red Thyme  15 Drops

For spasmodic pain:

Lavender  5 drops

Peppermint 10 Drops

Nutmeg 10 Drops

Cypress  5 Drops

4.  Essential Fatty Acids.

Since menstruating is basically inflammation, you'll need to stick to as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible. Fish oil is perfect for this and yes I have one I like.  If you're vegetarian, take flaxseed oil regularly.

5. Acupuncture.  

I get asked all the time, what does acupuncture do? Reduces inflammation, improves circulation and balances hormones (and is great at reducing pain!) I mean...what more do you need to know? Acupuncture is perfect for treating PMS, PCOS and an irregular period. Since I also practice skincare, my bridal clients especially love coming here to prep their skin for their wedding AND working on the PMS so they can just enjoy their big day.  

6. Acupressure.

Can't come in to see me? Then there are two areas on your body you can press and hold for 3 minutes each as soon as any bloating or lower back pain begins.  Pictured on the left is LI4, and on the right is LV 3.

The combination of these point improves the smooth flow of Qi and blood which leads to less pain, a regular period that arrives on time and lasts the same amount of days.  Acupuncture can definitely yield better results than acupressure but something is better than nothing.   Press and hold these points on both hands and feet. 

Wishing you a happier period,


Lorraine 🦄✨