Five Natural Treatments for Winter Aches

Ready to give acupuncture or reiki a try? Here’s what you need to know before you go.

Illustration by Jeannie Phan

Have you been hitting the gym hard as part of your New Year’s resolutions? Now that it’s February, some of us may be suffering from weekend warrior injuries. I was struggling with a nagging pain in my arm after playing an extensive amount of tennis, but nothing seemed to help. My tennis pro recommended I see an alternative-medicine practitioner who rid him of his golf elbow (yes, a tennis pro had golf elbow from trying the wrong sport). He warned me that it would be painful but worth it, as it would ensure my swift return to the courts. Spoiler alert: It did. If you’re interested in trying natural treatments, check out these highly recommended local alternative-medicine practitioners.


What it is: Suction power from glass treatment cups is used to lift the skin and muscles, drawing new blood and oxygen into the area.

What it helps: For thousands of years, people have used cupping to treat ailments such as back tension, neck pain, and even acne and depression. You might leave with some hickeys on your back, but it’s only because the redder or more purple the marks left behind, the worse off you were!

Where to try it: Cupping sessions at Kim Foster Acupuncture pair well with other techniques, including acupuncture and sound therapy.

Beacon Hill,

Tui-na Massage

What it is: An ancient Chinese form of massage that’s designed to release tension and create harmony in the body.

What it helps: In my case, it worked wonders on my tennis elbow. But it’s also ideal for all manner of aches and pains.

Where to try it: Book an appointment at Chi Wellness Clinic, where Miles Chen created and coined the term “tensiology” for his own, more effective method of tui-na.



What it is: A practitioner inserts micro-fine needles into certain parts of the body to relieve tension and help rebalance your energies.

What it helps: People use it to help combat the common cold, sports injuries, allergies, infertility, and back pain.

Where to try it: Erin Walker of Boston Integrated Health is a specialist in women’s health and has an excellent bedside manner.

Back Bay,

Herbal Medicine

What it is: Tired of downing OTC pills on the regular? Consider adding the healing power of herbs to your routine. Most are powders that can be mixed with hot water to form a curative tea.

What it helps: Patients take plant-based supplements as a natural way to help treat conditions such as asthma, eczema, arthritis, and IBS, often in conjunction with

Where to try it: Kan Chen of Bamboo Wisdom Acupuncture & Herbs is popular with the Wellesley set because he produces results.



What it is: A type of healing that involves a practitioner using their hands to help balance the energy in your body while promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

What it helps: Proponents of the traditional Japanese practice say it can aid in the treatment of digestive problems, chronic pain, and psychological issues such as depression.

Where to try it: Laura Corrigan of Laurel Wellness understands the value of multitasking: Her treatments combine reiki with acupuncture.


First published in the print edition of the February 2023 issue, with the headline “Aches Be Gone!”