Written By: Robert Cocuzzo | Photography By: Brian Sager

Exploring the healing power of acupuncture with Erica Marrero.

Erica Marrero has been passionate about acupuncture since she was in her twenties. Through acupuncture, she was able to resolve her severe anxiety and back pain, as well as the underlying emotional issues that caused them. Due to this transformation, Marrero focuses her own acupuncture practice on Nantucket on not only the physical body but the emotional life of each patient, empowering them to make transformational changes in their own lives. N Magazine spoke with Marrero to learn more about the life-changing healing power of acupuncture.

For those completely unfamiliar with the treatment, how does acupuncture work? Acupuncture is all about balancing energy and making sure that the channels of energy in the body—known as meridians—are open. When the energy is flowing properly, you have perfect health. There are twelve major channels in the body. Each channel links up with the next, creating a giant circuit. Through repetitive use, sicknesses and emotional trauma, these channels can get small blockages, which can eventually become a dam in the channel. When this happens, it causes pain or dysfunction in the body. As an acupuncturist, I find where these blockages are and release them with fine needles, allowing the energy to flow with more ease and ultimately allowing the body to heal.

Would you recommend acupuncture as a regular treatment, as opposed to one addressing an acute need?
I recommend both. Often, a patient comes in for one acute condition, but because acupuncture is a whole-body medicine, they notice a positive change in other areas of their health. I have patients who come regularly for pain management. Acupuncture also promotes deep relaxation by calming the sympathetic nervous system and releasing endorphins, which ultimately is preventive medicine.

What are a few of the lesser-known benefits of acupuncture?
Acupuncture is known to benefit overall wellness and relaxation, but it also has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol over time. It improves the immune system and increases energy levels and mental clarity. One of my favorite secrets is the scar work that I do. Often, people have issues in their bodies that are stemming from scars that impede the flow of energy in the body. I have seen pain, swelling and insomnia all reverse from breaking up scar tissue on a seemingly unrelated scar.

What kinds of ailments can acupuncture make a significant impact on?
Acupuncture is really meant to be used holistically, addressing the balance of the entire body. By balancing the body, the system knows how to heal itself. With that in mind, I find that acupuncture is good for almost any health condition. However, the most common ailments I see are pain conditions (chronic or acute injury), anxiety, depression or stress, fertility, headaches, nausea, cancer treatment side effects and menstrual or menopausal symptoms.

Does acupuncture have mental wellness benefits?
Acupuncture can make a significant difference in mental health for a few reasons. In modern society, we tend to be in a constant state of fight or flight. Acupuncture allows the patients to come out of that state, putting them in a deeper state of relaxation. This calming of the nervous system improves mood and emotional regulation and increases feelings of well-being. Additionally, to appear “OK” to the outside world, people often hold their feelings inside, not allowing them to come to the surface, which can cause a lot of emotional and physical issues, including autoimmune disorders. By putting the body in balance and allowing it to relax, these emotions that have been carried around for years can surface and be left behind in the treatment room, allowing the patient to leave the appointment feeling calm, centered and overall lighter.

A graduate with a Master of Science in Acupuncture from Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York City, Erica Marrero has continued to study and incorporate various techniques, along with reiki, to create her own unique style of acupuncture. Book an appointment with her by visiting

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