helping you heal yourself. inside and out.
I never in a million years thought I would be in the healthcare field. My own personal struggles with chronic headaches and back pain led me not only to finally finding relief through acupuncture, but also, to a new career. After spending over fifteen years behind a computer as a graphic designer in the corporate world, I took a leap of faith and began a rigorous masters program. The more I learned, the more fascinated I became with acupuncture and the numerous conditions and ailments it could treat.
I have earned my Masters of Science in Acupuncture from Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York City. During the past several years, I have been lucky enough to study under some of the world's masters including Mark Seem and Kiiko Matsumoto, among others, learning different styles and techniques which better help me treat each individual.
I look forward to meeting you and helping you heal yourself. inside and out.
-jamie friedman, m.s., licensed acupuncturist in new york city
what is acupuncture
you're going to stick me with needles?!
Yup! But it's not what you think. This is nothing like getting your flu shot. Acupuncture is an age-old modality using single use needles to unblock constricted pathways of the body which, in turn, can be used to treat a variety of symptoms...everything from headache to back pain to anxiety to fertility. Superfine needles (and I mean nearly as fine as a strand of hair!) are inserted into points on the body that run along specific meridians. If everything flows freely, there are no blockages, no pain, and no disharmonies in the body. Acupuncture promotes the body's own self healing process. It is a very safe practice performed by licensed professionals.
kidneys. gall bladder. spleen. huh?
In Chinese medicine, there are channels that run in specific patterns throughout the body. These channels, or meridians, are like energetic highways that support and nourish us from the inside out. Each one of these pathways is named after an organ, so if you hear someone in the acupunture world refer to your kidneys or liver, it doesn't mean that we are specifically talking about those internal organs, but rather the channel associated with them. Think of the NYC subway map running over your body with all of its different lines and stops. The subway lines are like the meridians (heart, pericardium, small intestine, triple heater, lung, large intestine, liver, gall bladder, stomach, spleen, kidneys and bladder) and each stop could be analagous to an acupuncture point. And just like the 4, 5, 6 stretches from Brooklyn to the Bronx, Chinese meridians can go from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, with many points along the way!
is it going to hurt?
No, while it should never be painful, you could feel the pathways opening up and some sensations like warmth, heaviness, and dull achiness, which are completely normal, and even expected—it varies from person to person.
are there only needles involved?
Acupuncture needles are the primary tool used by acupuncturists, but other fun things can happen during your treatment. Acupressure is commonly used, especially before needle insertion. Other modalities such as moxibustion, cupping and gua sha could also be used. All of these have been around for thousands of years and feel really good!
Moxibustion (more commonly refered to as moxa) is a form of heat therapy that can be applied directly to acupuncture points or indirectly along larger areas or meridians. Moxa is a dried herb (from the mugwort plant) that is burned to facilitate circulation and help expel cold from the channels. It has been used side-by-side with acupuncture for over 3,000 years and is used to strengthen the immune system, warm the body and reduce pain by increasing blood flow. Moxa comes in many forms and and can be applied in several different ways.
Cupping dates back to the 4th century and is most often used for respiratory issues, joint pain and back pain. Cups are suctioned onto the skin and work in a way that could be considered the opposite of a massage. Rather than apply pressure to the muscles, the suction pulls them up. It draws toxins out of the body. Cupping loosens muscles, encourages blood flow, sedates the nervous system and is one of the best deep-tissue treatments available. It can work wonders by relieving congestion in those suffering from bronchial and respiratory issues. Consider yourself warned though, this is the treatment that can leave those purplish circles on your back (or wherever treated), so we'll skip this if you need to throw on that backless dress tomorrow!
Gua sha works in a similar fashion to cupping, in that it brings toxins to the surface (and also may bring purplish/reddish splotches to the surface). "Gua" means to scrape and in this case, a smooth object is dragged along the surface of the skin to release constricted areas resulting in a reddish pattern on the skin that sort of looks like sand, or "sha." This technique can desconstrain areas of pain, increase blood flow, clear toxins, reduce chronic inflammation and increase immune response in the body. The more constrained the area is, the more the skin will react. As you break up the congestion, you tend to have less of a skin reaction. You may look like you have a streak of hickeys where you were treated, but these will fade within a few days.
what to expect
do i need to do anything before my appointment?
Before your first appointment, it would be helpful to fill out your intake form. Please make sure you have eaten before your appointment. You don't want to feel overly full, or show up on an empty stomach. You don't want to feel depleted or have hunger pangs while you are being treated. I would also advise staying away from coffee or very caffeinated beverages within two hours of your appointment. Coffee is a stimulant and can kick your body into fight-or-flight mode. Acupuncture works to shift you away from that sympathetic (fight-or-flight) state and toward a parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) one.
what should i wear?
Whatever you want! You are busy and whether you are coming from work, or the gym, or straight from your couch, you don't have to worry about remembering to bring anything with you. A gown or a sheet will be provided to properly drape you. You should never feel uncomfortable at any time during your appointment.
this is my first appointment. what is going to happen?
During your first appointment, we will spend a little bit of time discussing the reason you are seeking out treatment. We will go over your intake form and discuss your health history. It is important to gather as much information as I can during this time, as acupuncture treats the whole person, rather than just the one complaint you may have. Some questions may seem weird or irrelevant, but Chinese medicine sees relevance in everything from your parents' health history to sleep habits to whether or not you prefer hot or cold drinks. Everything is connected!
After we chat, I may take your pulse and/or look at your tongue. I will also palpate different areas of the body—areas of pain, meridians, muscle channels, the abdomen. This will further help me assess what is going on in your body in order to come up with a treatment plan that best suits you. I will then insert the needles, during which, I may ask for feedback. Nothing should be painful, but you may start to feel some sensations that we call "qi." I will walk you through every step of the process and make sure you are comfortable with everything going on. Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing and sometimes even fall asleep during their treatment!
what about after my treatment?
Don't go and run a marathon right after your appointment! Think of your acupuncture treatment as a workout. You will probably feel very relaxed and "zenned out" when you leave so be mindful of that. Drink lots of water and take it easy. I would suggest not hitting the gym or going out and partying like a rock star; but rather enjoy the effects of your treatment by relaxing and taking it easy. This is a restorative moment for your body. Have something nourishing to eat and keep yourself warm. Enjoy the after effects!
how often do i need to see you?
The number of appointments you may need can vary depending on your reason for seeking out treatment. More chronic issues will take longer to heal, while acute pain can be treated with few treatments. A lot of people also come in for general well-being, or to manage stress, anxiety and even to boost their immunity. Acupuncture treats the body as a whole and restores balance in both the physical and the emotional.
am i covered?
Insurance may cover acupuncture. While I am an out-of-network practitioner, I will take care of all paperwork and dealings with the insurance company. I would be happy to check with your carrier and let you know what type of costs you can expect before your first appointment. Additionally, if you have a flex spending account (HSA or FSA), that could also help cover any out-of-pocket expenses. Click here to contact me for more information.
how do i get in to see you?
what if i can't make it?
Things happen. We can't always control everything in our lives, but please note my cancelation policy. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please do so more than 24 hours in advance. You will be charged a fee of $100 for any appointment canceled within 24 hours. All Monday appointments must be canceled or rescheduled by noon the Friday before to avoid this charge.
why should i come to you?
I have been in your shoes! No, I have not had every ailment known to man, but my own personal experiences with pain, and the stress and frustration that comes along with it, is what led me to acupuncture in the first place. I have gone to one of the only schools in the country where three unique styles of acupuncture are taught. I have become well trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), trigger point/applied physical medicine (APM) & Kiiko Matsumoto (KM) style acupuncture. By integrating these styles, I am able to come up with a treatment plan that best works for you. My goal is to help people find relief when they have tried everything else. I listen to my patients and care about finding a solution holistically, without drugs or surgery. I want to help you heal yourself. inside and out.
contact me for more information
I will gladly check on your insurance coverage, or answer any questions you may have.
Feel free to call or text me at 646 828 7276, email me below. I will be sure to get back to you asap!
The office is located in flatiron/gramercy. I look forward to hearing from you!
(monday through thursday, by appointment only)
42 east 21st street