What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the modalities of East Asian Medicine. Although what is called acupuncture in the West comprises several different therapies (such as moxibustion, gua sha, cupping, and acupressure), mostly it consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. These points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of two thousand years. There are more than a thousand known acupuncture points. In the past three decades, electromagnetic research has confirmed the existence and location of these points.
What is Kiiko Matsumoto style acupuncture?
This style of acupuncture, which is predominantly practiced at my office, is a style based on the teachings of Master Kiiko Matsumoto, a Japanese practitioner who studied with some of Japan’s finest masters and who has been hugely influential in educating Americans in her techniques. Based on the Japanese interpretation of the Chinese classics, this style aims to relieve symptoms by addressing the root cause(s) that are the basis of the imbalance presenting. Additionally, this style is extremely gentle yet highly effective with lasting results. One of the reasons for the success of this style is because of the thoroughness of the treatments, which often require treating both the front and the back of the body for between an
hour and an hour and a half.
How does acupuncture work?
There are three main principles to consider when
understanding how acupuncture works.
1. The body has the ability to heal itself.
2. All parts of the body are connected and affect every other part.
3. Treating the root of the problem facilitates healing.
The body has the ability to heal itself.
When the body is not functioning at its best, we feel symptoms of dysfunction, such as pain, nausea, sleep problems, etc. These symptoms are important to listen to and acknowledge their presence because these tell us that something may be wrong.
When the body experiences dysfunction, it will work to correct the problem as best as it can. This is what we call bringing the body to homeostasis, or balance, a mechanism which is important for survival.
Sometimes, the body has difficulty correcting the problem. This is where acupuncture can help. When very thin needles (about the thickness of a human hair) are inserted into the body, it responds to them in several ways including improving blood flow, strengthening nerve signals, altering levels of hormones, and releasing tight connective tissue (which surrounds every structure in the body). Often times, several of these responses occur simultaneously. When these responses occur, symptoms can improve and the condition stops affecting the body.
All parts of the body are connected and affect every other part.
Eastern Medicine views the body as a whole. Symptoms affect the whole body and therefore the whole body needs to be treated. Often times, acupuncture needles are placed all over the body, not just near the problem area.
Treating the root of the problem facilitates healing.
Imagine a garden with a lot of weeds. There are two ways one can make the garden appear clean. One way would be to rip out all of the leaves, which can happen quickly and with little effort, but then the weeds grow back. The other way would be to pull out the weeds from the root, which takes a much longer time and a lot more effort. However, pulling out the roots means that the weeds will not return. The same analogy can be used towards healing. During an acupuncture session, patients sometimes wonder why health history questions may be asked that seem unrelated to their current complaint. The reason for this is because one’s entire health history can shape one’s current state of wellness, much like the health of a plant’s roots can impact the life of that plant. By addressing the body holistically, not only will the chief complaint start to heal but also the entire body will support a strong foundation for overall healing.
Susannah Pitman DAc (she/her) is a NCCAOM certified Diplomate in acupuncture and is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of New Jersey. In 2006 she earned her Master of Science in acupuncture with honors from Tri-State College of Acupuncture where she studied with some of the finest master practitioners involved in the expansion of acupuncture in the United States. In 2020, ahe received her Doctoral degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from Pacific College of Health and Science. She also studied at China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center where she attended lectures and assisted Chinese masters in treating patients. She has traveled all over Japan to study with several Japanese masters, including Dr. Shuichi Katai who leads the World Health Organization’s acupuncture point standardization team, and Yoshihiro Kawai, whose electrical stimulation inventions and techniques have heavily influence acupuncture in Japan and throughout the world. Dr. Susannah practices a Japanese style of acupuncture developed by world renowned master acupuncturist Kiiko Matsumoto, with whom she studied directly from at TSCA as well as traveled to Japan.
Currently, Dr. Susannah serves as Secretary of the New Jersey Acupuncture Society. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, Dr. Susannah co-coordinated stress relief teams at multiple clinics through Acupuncturists Without Borders.
Dr. Susannah is heavily involved in the Boonton community. She is co-founder of Boonton Rainbow Pride and a member if Boonton Elks Lodge #1405. She is a past trustee of Boonton Main Street.
Dr. Susannah's book Peace With Trees was published by Soleil Press. Her articles have been published by The Huffington Post, PTSD Journal, Elephant Journal, The Mighty and Thrive Global.
In her spare time, Dr. Susannah enjoys hiking, writing, and traveling to
Mexico, California, Arizona and Vermont.
SUSANNAH PITMAN DAc
NCCAOM Diplomate in Acupuncture
New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist
Acupuncturists Without Borders - NJ Co-coordinator for Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene relief efforts
Changing Health, Inc. - Former Secretary, Co-Founder
Boonton Rainbow Pride - Co-Founder
Boonton Main Street - Volunteer, Former Trustee
The Best of the Best by The Daily Record -
2016 + 2017 + 2018 “One of the best” in “holistic care”
Natural Choice Awards by Natural Awakenings Magazine -
2012 + 2013 “Favorite Acupuncturist”
Bachelor of Science, 1999
Institute For Therapeutic Massage
Massage Certificate, 2002
China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center
Tri-State College of Acupuncture
Master of Science, 2006
Pacific College of Health and Science
Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, 2020
Acupuncturists Without Boarders
American Red Cross
Eastern School of Acupuncture and
Goto College of Medical Arts and Sciences, Tokyo
Pacific College of Health and Science
Thousand Hands Institute
Tri-State College of Acupuncture