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As Holiday Season Kicks Off With Thanksgiving, Acupuncture With Special Twist Becoming More Popular On Main Line

BERWYN, Pa. (CBS) -- There are alternative ways to deal with holiday stress. Old Chinese techniques are new again and becoming more popular in some places. The special treatments are being offered on the Main Line.

The holiday season of stress is kicking off on Thursday with Thanksgiving. Doctors say acupuncture can be helpful for a variety of issues, including stress and now in Berwyn, it's being combined with a heated herbal treatment.

Megan Scott is focused on getting through the holidays with all the extra stress while also dealing with her four children and working full time managing a financial services team.

"The holidays are always crazy right, especially this year because we have less time between Thanksgiving and Christmas," Scott said, "so there's this crunch of, 'Oh my gosh, get everything done in less than four weeks.'"

But Scott has her stress under control with the help of acupuncture.

She first turned to Village Wellness for severe bouts of vertigo that were usually sparked by stress.

"Acupuncture really changed my life," Scott said. "I think because it works on lots of levels."

The idea behind the ancient practice is the needles activate pathways called meridians to stimulate energy or chi that promotes healing and relieves stress.

"Acupuncture is about balance," Village Wellness acupuncturist Lance Isakov said. "It brings you to this natural place of balance in your body and that's when healing occurs."

Isakov says it's especially popular for holiday stress relief.

"It's actually the busiest time of the year for us," Isakov said.

To make acupuncture even more effective, it's often combined with moxibustion, where the herb mugwort is ignited.

"It's like taking fire, taking energy and transferring it into the body," Isakov said.

"Moxa at first, it was like, what am I doing?" Scott said. "But it is this really great treatment that's complementary to the acupuncture."

The herbs are strategically placed. For Scott, they're on her ankles for stress relief. First, it smolders, creating a calming scent. When it turns red and heats up is when Scott says she starts to feel it. Then it's quickly removed.

"There's only a moment when you feel get a little sensation it never burns," Scott said. "It never hurts. It's never painful."

Just like with acupuncture, there's special training for moxibustion so it's important to make sure you're going to someone like Isakov, who's certified.

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