The Healing Art of Cupping

Cupping Therapy is a treatment in which the practitioner creates suction to the skin with a special (usually glass) cup to stimulate the blood circulation and energy flow.  This practice helps with the sore muscles, excess fluids, and pulls toxins from surface tissues.

Cupping is used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including:

  • Indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Hypertension
  • Colds/coughs/congestion due to allergy and asthma
  • Back pain
  • Nervous system/pinched nerves
  • Neck pain
  • Painful menses
  • Arthritis and joint swelling
  • Abdominal pain

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) belief, there are meridians in the body that are responsible for the flow of energy through every part of the body.  When the blood flow becomes stagnant and the energy channels are blocked, disorders or pain can arise.  Cupping is a great way of opening these meridians, and allowing the flow of energy throughout the body.

For the treatment, cups are heated and applied to the skin surface which creates a vacuum with the skin (the strength of which can be controlled and/or adjusted during the treatment) and draws up the toxins.  Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be glided along the body.

Cupping can provide relief to those with lung congestion due to allergies and asthma.  Also after suffering an injuring to an area (such as a bump on the leg), sometimes there can be fluids, stagnant blood which remain and cause blockages and pain.  Cupping can be used to provide relief for such injuries.  The therapy can also help to stimulate the lymphatic system and to detox or clean it out.

Cupping can be used alone or combined with massage or acupuncture treatments.  At CNY Healing Arts Centers, we have practitioners that are trained in the art of cupping, and would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.  Not all services are offered at all locations so call the Center nearest you for more information and let us help you on your healing journey!

195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205

38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110

2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2


Prepare Your Skin for the Fall Season

Hydrate Your Skin:
The main issue that many people experience specifically in the fall is dehydration of their skin. The skin adjusts itself to the humidity in the summer air and as a result, the indoor air causes the skin to feel stale. It is recommended to use a cream cleanser and a hydrating moisturizer.

Repair Sun Damage:
Your skin receives the majority of sun damage during the summer months, and while the sun’s rays feel amazing, they can also damage your skin. For this, getting a facial with a glycolic peel and looking for products that contain vitamin C is recommended. Vitamin C is the best thing to use on sun-damaged skin because it will create new skin and start the process of shedding some of the summer’s sun-exposed skin.

Ingredients to Look For:
For fall skin care products it is best to look for products containing glycolic and hyaluronic acids, as well as jojoba oil. The acids cushion and hydrate the skin, which will deliver a smoother look and feel. Whereas, jojoba oil provides moisture to the skin all day long and does not evaporate like water based moisturizers can.

Jump into fall with a customized facial catered to your skincare needs at CNY Healing Arts today!

–by Kelly Vasquez, Licensed Esthetician

195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205

Massage Therapy for Immune System

You may have noticed the signs in the pharmacies and at various doctor’s offices preparing us for flu season. Every year, we take all of the preventative measures that we can, ensuring that we stay healthy, and keep those nasty colds and flu bugs away from us! Maybe we get the flu shot, stay away from others who are ill, and become careful about getting enough vitamins and minerals—but have you thought about getting periodic massages?

That’s right—massages. They aren’t just a luxury; they act as the body’s way of building the immune system. Of course they feel wonderful, make us more relaxed, ease our aching muscles, and provide our minds with a quiet bliss. While massages do all of this, they also produce measurable changes in the immune system and the endocrine system of healthy adults after just one massage according to researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Imagine the benefits that routine massages can provide!

Many times, we get colds or the flu when we are feeling stressed out and tired. When we feel like this, our body has the daunting task of fighting off the attack under already poor conditions. Taking care of our minds and bodies will help our body prepare for the fight! Getting sick is inevitable, but we can greatly decrease the response time for our bodies to recuperate from illness.

Massage therapy works by increasing the number of natural “killer cells” and lymphocytes which helps to fight off illness. Massage has also been shown to reduce the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol. If we can decrease our stress levels, we can more easily bounce back after sickness.

Getting a massage also increases the effectiveness of the circulatory system which is responsible for bringing nutrients to the cells in our body. The circulatory system also aids in removing toxins from the body.

Give the CNY Healing Arts Center nearest you a call to find out more about our individualized massage therapy treatments:

195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205

38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110

2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2

Treating Allergies with Acupuncture

The soft, white puffs of cottonwood blowing through the air this time of year resembles a snow storm!  If you live near these trees, you might find yourself having to close car windows because of the possible build-up on the seats inside.  When you’re outdoors wearing black pants, they’re covered with dots of white fluff!  It’s beautiful and peaceful to look blowing in the air; however, not only is it a nuisance for decks, cars, (and pants!); it also can be an annoying and serious problem for allergy sufferers.  On top of that, the rains of spring not only help our flowers and gardens to grow, but it forces mold and mildew to grow which can further aggravate problems.

Some of the medications that are used to help alleviate symptoms for those dealing with allergies can create side effects such as drowsiness or insomnia, irregular heartbeat, decreased alertness, and dry mouth.  Sinus infections and upper-respiratory infections often result from chronic problems with allergens.  It also tends to be a very costly problem due to days of missed work, physician appointments, and the cost of medications.

Acupuncture is a great way to get relief from seasonal allergies.  Acupuncture strengthens the immune system, detoxifies, and relaxes the body.  Unlike most medication, acupuncture can provide a break in the cycle of imbalances from environmental factors.  This in turn can create a lasting change by strengthening the body’s resistance and natural healing, and regulating the antigen-antibody reactions.

Treating allergies with acupuncture allows for a customized treatment for your needs.  Acupuncture treats the symptoms locally, but allows the energy to flow throughout the body.  Depleted energy due to the body’s constant reaction to allergens such as sneezing and congestion can be restored through acupuncture as it helps increase blood flow and therefore, increases energy levels leaving you feel revitalized and relieved!

Our acupuncturists at CNY Healing Arts Centers would love to assist you in getting the relief you need!  Please call us or just stop in and give us the opportunity to help you.  It would be our pleasure!

195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205

38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110

2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2


Using Yoga Throughout the Day

Yoga is a holistic exercise that not only stretches and improves the body, it stretches and improves our mind!  What is learned in yoga can be taken out of the classroom and applied to our lives and everyday experiences and situations.

Whether at the workplace or working in our homes, frustrations arise and our daily activities can become hectic and fast-paced.  Feelings of anxiousness can further inhibit us to focus and get things done…Enter Yoga! Here’s where we can take what we have learned during classroom yoga sessions and apply to our lives.  Yoga helps us to become aware of our bodies and how we’re feeling when we’re in the state of relaxation and quiet.  During yoga you ‘scan’ your body and become keenly aware of sensations and in tune with heart rate and breathing, as well as any muscle tension.  Performing deep breathing and concentrating on stretching helps us to focus on the task at hand and calm us.  Yoga teaches us to become more grounded and clears the clutter in the mind.

Our day-to-day relationships with co-workers, children, and partners can sometimes bring about negative emotions…Enter Yoga! Yoga can help with these feelings.  In yoga, when we’re concentrating on the mantras or the music – that is often when ideas come to us or we think of ways of coping with challenges that we are trying to overcome in life.  Yoga also increases endorphins which help to provide mental clarity and mood elevation.

Adding yoga in our daily lives gives a feeling of serenity and encourages positive thoughts.  It also helps to direct our energy where we want it to go.  When feeling stressed, breathe deeply in through the nose and out several times.  Basic yoga positions and stretches can be done anywhere and added to our routine throughout the day!

CNY Healing Arts Centers –  Click here for class schedules

195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205

2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2


Rise & Shine-Start Your Day with Yoga & Meditation!

You awaken.  There is quiet and stillness.  The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and all is calm.  This is the perfect time to take just a few minutes for yourself and add some meditation and yoga.  Starting the day with these will help to reduce stress and prepare you to face your day with a sense of inner peace.

Meditation in the morning helps to ground you, unclutter the mind and helps you to feel more in control of your day.  First, get into position:

*Keeping the back straight, sit comfortably in a relaxed position with legs crossed.
*Keep the head straight, slightly bent forward, keep the teeth slightly apart, the tip of the tongue against the upper pallet.
*Keep eyes half-open staring down past the tip of your nose (or close the eyes).
*Relax your shoulders and place your hands on your knees, palms facing up or hands in prayer position close to your heart/chest.
*Take slow breaths in through the nose and out.
*Visualize a scene in your mind that you find calming (maybe it’s feeling the warm sand under your body, listening to the sound of the birds, feeling the warm breeze on your skin, and the smell of the ocean air).  Feel that serenity as you continue to breathe slowly for several minutes.

Next, add some simple yoga moves.  You will be stretching your muscles, awakening your body, improving circulation.  Here are some great poses to do in the morning:

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

Cat-Cow Stretch

Combine meditation with the physical benefits of practicing yoga in the morning and you’re ready to rock your day!

May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You,
All Love Surround You,
And the Pure Light Within You,
Guide Your Way On
~ Snatam Kaur

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

At our CNY Healing Arts Centers in Syracuse, Rochester and Albany, NY we perform acupuncture to treat many different health issues from infertility, sinus pressure, smoking cessation, migraines, arthritis and more. Clients sometimes come to us with different levels of anxiety regarding the needles used during acupuncture. Some have a lifelong fear of needles while others are just nervous about whether it will hurt.

Now that’s a logical fear, right? Will the needles hurt? We are taking a needle and inserting it into your skin in many different locations. Seems logical that it may hurt. The truth is most people who have had acupuncture describe it as virtually painless or far less painful than, for example, plucking out a hair. The sensations that follow needle insertion can range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight numbness/achiness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. These subside once the needles are removed.

The size of the needle is part of the reason that some people think the acupuncture treatment will hurt. Most people who are having a treatment for the first time don’t realize how small the needles actually are. The needles used for acupuncture are much smaller than the standard hypodermic needle. They don’t draw blood and are solid, not hollow.

We want to dissuade your fear of acupuncture and the needles that are used. Please don’t hesitate to call us and ask for more information. We have several acupuncturists waiting to assist you at all of our locations. We hope you will allow us to aide you on your path to better health and wellness by utilizing acupuncture.

Contact us today!

Syracuse – 315.671.5755

Rochester – 585.244.1280 ext 2

Albany – 518.724.5750

Acupuncture Session Transcript

Hi!  My name is Lisa Stack, and I’m the CNY Fertility Support Coordinator.  Today, Donald is going to walk us through an example of acupuncture for fertility session.  Now, we will show you exactly what you can expect, so you can take a look and see what you’re in for.  If you have any questions after this, please feel free to email Donald himself or you can post a comment, and we’ll get back to you.

Donald: Good afternoon everybody.  I’m just going to take this time to give you a nice example how acupuncture would go for your first appointment or for follow-up for people who have had acupuncture, you understand how it goes and what’s involved.  For people that have yet to have it, this will be a nice introduction as to what to expect.  What I’m going to do is treat the client here for fertility issues; mainly stress reduction, as well as to build lining and increase blood flow to the ovaries.  All that is beneficial for follicular development, lining issues, and general health.  So, how are you feeling today?  Is there anything that’s troubling you?

Client:  I’m a little tense.

Donald:  You’re a little tense?  OK.  From what I remembered from the last time that we spoke, you were having some constipation issues.  That is really common with a lot of medications.  If it’s OK with you, I’d like to continue with you treating moving bowels.

Client:  Yes, sure.

Donald: Oh, that’s wonderful.  So you’ll notice that we’re going to do some points in the abdomen.  These points are geared towards moving bowels and increasing blood flow to the ovaries and to the uterus.  We’re also going to move to the brow, and to the ears.  These points help relax clients, they also slow the brain wavelengths so that your brain is functioning a little bit calmer, and the body tends to settle as well.  We’re going to do a couple points on the wrists, points here on the wrists help to open and dilate blood vessels; they also help to calm the mind, which is very good.  We’re also going to do some points down on the lower leg.  These are the points that help strengthen blood and they help strengthen and process the developing blood, OK?  Do you have any questions?

Client:  No.

Donald:  All of the needles that we use are pre-packaged and disposable.  Nothing is reused, they’re all very safe.  We use a very high quality Japanese needle.  It’s very common for people to often say that they haven’t even felt the needles go in, which is a nice aspect.  Once we start the needle manipulation that kind of determines how much you feel and how much you don’t feel.  Today, we’re going to take it easy on you—you’re very healthy.

Client:  OK.

Donald:  I’m going to step around.  Needle insertion and angle are very important in the process when treating with acupuncture.  You can stimulate a point or you can take the energy away from a point.  It truly depends on the condition.  How are you feeling?

Client:  Good.

Donald:  Good.  Now, we’re going to move to the head.  Sometimes the points up by the brow area can be used for sinuses and sinus pressure which also results in a lot of headaches.  So, often times we’ll treat patients and they’ll find that conditions that they have other than their chief complaint ease as well which is a wonderful thing, a wonderful side effect of acupuncture is stress reduction and the treatment of secondary conditions.  Are you comfortable?

Client:  Yes.

Donald:  Is there anything that I can do to make you more comfortable?

Client:  No.

Donald:  Does anything hurt?

Client:  No.

Donald:  You’re OK?  The last thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to add some heat method/heat treatment.  We use simple heat lamps.  It helps circulate blood so it’ll help keep you a little bit warmer, OK?  Now, this whole treatment will last about 30-40 minutes depending on your comfort and your time schedule.  Is there anything that I can do to make you more comfortable?

Client:  No, it’s really good.

Donald:  What I’m going to do now is I’m going to add some music.  OK?

Donald Clarke, L.Ac.
CNY Healing Arts – Syracuse




The Health Benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

This pose in usually practiced with the yogi’s legs in Padmasana (Lotus Pose), but that is beyond the ability of most beginners. In this modified version of Fish Pose, the legs are kept straight throughout.

To practice this asana with a licensed yoga instructor, check out the yoga class schedule for each location of CNY Healing Arts (Rochester, Albany, Syracuse).

Getting Into Fish Pose:

Roll out your yoga mat and lie down flat on your back – knees straight, legs and feet together. Slide your hands beneath your thighs, palms downward, so that you are sitting on them. Keep your elbows and forearms tucked in close to the sides of your torso, pressing them firmly against the floor.

Inhale and lift your chest and head away from the floor; arch your chest until you are sitting halfway up. Then, release your head back onto the floor. Be sure to keep your legs straight and thighs active, reaching out through your heels.

You should support your weight on your forearms and elbows (absolutely not on your head). Either the back or top (crown) of your head will rest on the floor, depending on how high you arch your chest. It is important to lower your chest slightly toward the floor if you feel any pain or discomfort in your neck or throat.

As a beginner, hold posture for 3-6 steady, deep breaths. To release, exhale and gently lower your torso to the floor, activating your thighs and abdominals to do so.

Benefits of Fish Pose:

  • · Stretches your deep hip flexors and intercostals (muscles between the ribs)
  • · Relieves tension in your neck, throat, and shoulders
  • · Stretches and tones the front of your neck and your abdominals
  • · Stretches and stimulates the organs of your belly and throat
  • · Strengthens your upper back and the back of your neck
  • · Relieves stress and irritation
  • · Improves posture
  • · Therapeutic for rounded-shoulders, asthma, spasms in the bronchial tubes, and other respiratory issues

The Health Benefits of Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)

The full version of this pose is taught with the top leg raised perpendicular to the floor. Since that posture is too advanced for most beginners, we have a modified version told here that is suitable for any yogi.

To practice this pose with a licensed yoga teacher, check out our yoga class schedules at each branch of CNY Healing Arts (Rochester, Albany, Syracuse).

Getting Into Side Plank Pose:

Begin in Plank Pose. Lift your hips slightly up. Shift your weight onto your right arm as you roll onto the outside of your right foot, opening your whole body to the side. Keeping both feet flexed, stack your left foot on top of your right.

In this position, your legs should be kept very straight – so, press through your heels toward the floor. Your shoulders, hips and ankles should make one straight line. Do your best to stack your hips, knees, and ankles vertically on top of each other.

Reach your left arm straight up towards the sky, forming a line from your right wrist through your left fingers. Make sure that the supporting hand – your right hand, in this case – is not positioned directly below its shoulder. Keep the hand slightly in front of its shoulder.

Now, gaze up at your left fingertips and breathe steady and deep. Hold Vasisthasana for several breaths. To release, drop your raised arm to the floor and roll your body back into Plank Pose. If you like, rest in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) before repeating Side Plank to the left side for the same number of breaths.

Benefits of Side Plank Pose:

• Builds arm and shoulder strength
• Stretches and strengthens your wrists
• Strengthens your abdomen and legs
• Improves balance and coordination