Acupuncturist in Shelton, CT.

Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center welcomes patients for acupuncture treatments in these towns and surrounding areas: Shelton, Bridgeport, Trumbull, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Monroe, Fairfield, Milford, and Orange. If you’d like to learn more, contact Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center to schedule an appointment. You can book your visit by phone or online.
Acupuncture has received a great deal of attention in recent years, but this form of ancient Chinese medicine is nothing new. Acupuncture has been in use for nearly 5,000 years.

Joseph Downer, LAc, of Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center in Shelton, Connecticut, has completed extensive training in this healing method. People of all ages and needs in the area rely on his acupuncture skills to find relief from a wide range of health concerns.

If you’re curious about how acupuncture might be able to work for your specific needs, schedule an appointment to meet with Joe for a personalized consultation.


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Acupuncture Services

acupuncture for pcos


Acupuncture FAQ's.

  • What is acupuncture?

    Acupuncture is a treatment rooted in ancient Chinese medicine. The anthropological record shows evidence of this type of stimulatory treatment dating back thousands of years.

    During the 14th and 15th centuries, acupuncture was a widely embraced medical treatment in China and was taught as a form of medical specialty. While acupuncture fell out of favor for a time beginning in the 17th century, it entered a revival period in the 1940s and has expanded to many other cultures since then.

  • How does acupuncture work?

    Acupuncture works by correcting the flow of energy through defined pathways in your body. The traditional understanding of that energy, called qi, was akin to a life force that keeps the body properly balanced and functioning at optimal levels.

    When faced with an obstruction, that energy can no longer move freely and begins to build up. That can lead to numerous health issues as the “downstream” organs and systems become starved of energy.

    Traditional Chinese medicine holds that there are 350 acupuncture points on your body, all of which connect to meridians that act as rivers to transport qi. Acupuncture strives to correct blockages in your meridians by inserting thin, flexible needles into the body.

  • What health issues can acupuncture treat?

    Because your body and mind function as an interconnected whole, acupuncture has the ability to correct an astounding variety of health concerns, both mental and physical. According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture can effectively treat:● Sciatica.● Menstrual pain and issues.● Nausea.● Fertility.● Lower back pain.● Osteoarthritis.● Decreased libido.● Pregnancy-related nausea.● Postpartum depression.● Knee pain.● Migraine, cluster headache, and headache.● High or low blood pressure.● Side effects of chemotherapy.● Rheumatoid arthritis● Dental pain.● Nausea associated with chemotherapy.● Allergies.● Weight loss.● Mild depression.● Certain stomach ailments.● Children's health issues, including anxiety, ADD/ADHD, bed-wetting, and allergies.
    This is far from a comprehensive list. Many people have achieved lasting relief from many other mental and physical conditions through acupuncture.

  • Why choose acupuncture over other treatments?

    Acupuncture offers several distinct benefits when compared to other treatments. Some of those benefits include:● The ability to control pain without medications.● Very few side effects.● Well tolerated by most patients.● Ability to incorporate into most other treatment plans.● Impressive safety record when performed by a qualified professional.

acupuncture new haven

Pain Management

If you live with chronic pain, you understand just how debilitating the condition can be.
Joseph Downer, LAc, of Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center in Shelton, Connecticut, is proud of the results he’s achieved using acupuncture to manage chronic pain in patients of all ages.
This natural method of healing taps into the power innate in all human beings to self-heal.

  • What is chronic pain?

    Occasional pain is simply part of life. In fact, pain serves a very important function, alerting you that something in your environment or body is amiss. For some people, however, pain continues even when no clear source has been found.
    Chronic pain can be absolutely devastating and is a leading cause of disability in the United States. Finding an effective way to manage that pain is a top priority, but many Western approaches simply miss the mark and can even bring about more pain.

  • How does Western medicine approach chronic pain?

    A great deal of research has gone into managing chronic pain. Unfortunately, much of that research has centered on creating new drugs to treat pain. For many, drug therapy leads to an increasing reliance on pharmaceuticals and can even develop into addiction. The current opioid crisis is a prime example of the failure of Western medicine to effectively treat chronic pain.
    Surgery is another treatment option for chronic pain that’s related to joint damage and certain other physiological issues. While surgery can sometimes correct the source of pain, many people find that surgery only worsens their pain, whether from complications or nerve damage.

  • Could acupuncture make chronic pain worse?

    When performed by a trained practitioner, acupuncture is an incredibly safe treatment. It certainly has lower risks than those associated with drug therapy or surgery.
    Some patients experience a brief intensifying of symptoms in the days following acupuncture sessions, and some notice shifts in their emotions, sleep patterns, appetite, or bowel and urinary function. If such changes occur, they’ll fade in a short time and should be viewed as signs that the treatment is working.

  • How does acupuncture differ in approaching pain management?

    Some people have a hard time accepting the traditional Chinese conception of how acupuncture works. The idea of a river of life force flowing through undetectable pathways in your body is hard for many to envision and embrace.
    Western medicine also offers explanations for why acupuncture is demonstrably effective. One theory is that the treatment needles prompt your nervous system to release certain chemicals that alter your perception of pain. Another approach holds that acupuncture stimulates your body’s natural healing power, addressing the source of pain in a way that drug therapy and other approaches simply can’t match.
    Regardless of how you conceptualize acupuncture, a growing body of research supports the practice as a safe and effective means of managing chronic pain.

Children's Acupuncture

Children's Acupuncture

We all want to keep our children safe, healthy, and free from discomfort and pain. It’s no wonder, then, that there are healing arts focusing specifically on children.
Shonishin, more commonly known as Japanese pediatric acupuncture, dates back to 17th century Japan in the Osaka region. Since the 1960's it has become extremely popular in Japan. Shonishin is an Acupuncture practice with adjustments to make it more comfortable for children up to about 12 or 13 years old. Shonishin is performed without needles except in special cases.
Shonihari, another form of Japanese pediatric acupuncture, is a totally non-needle therapy for children of all ages. It also includes certain healing techniques for parents to perform at home. In the past 120 years, Shonihari has become an especially popular treatment for children in Japan.
Both practices have developed based on the energy meridian philosophy of acupuncture.

  • The Shonishin practice

    The Shonishin practice uses blunt tools and techniques that gently stroke, tap, massage, and press the various energy meridians and acupuncture points of the child.
    This facilitates healing through the return of the body’s blocked or unbalanced energy systems to homeostasis. Home treatments, including rubbing and tapping, often are taught to the parents. For certain conditions, specially designed children’s acupuncture needles may be gently applied.

  • What Shonishin accomplishes

    Successful Shonishin treatments have been noted when treating colic, indigestion, GERD, constipation and diarrhea, ADHD, allergies, asthma, eczema, hives, bed-wetting, and stuttering.

  • The Shonihari practice

    Because children’s acupuncture points and energy pathways are more sensitive and respond more quickly than those of adults, Shonihari treatment is quite gentle, consisting of massaging or mild scraping of different parts of the body with specialized scraping tools.
    Press balls may be placed on the body before returning home to extend the effect of the session. Parents are taught simple techniques to be performed at home, as well.

  • What Shonihari accomplishes

    Asthma, eczema, and digestion issues are common conditions treated. Other conditions often treated with Shonihari are crying at night, coughing, excessive quarreling, poor appetite, biting, insufficient sleep, atopic dermatitis, and much more.

Eye Health Issues

Eye Health Services

If your eyesight isn’t what it used to be, or you’re experiencing symptoms of eye health issues like glaucoma, acupuncture could offer a safe and effective treatment path.
At Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center in Stratford, Connecticut, Joseph Downer, LAc, helps men and women achieve improved vision and enhanced eye health through professional acupuncture.
To learn more and explore the full range of treatments available at Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center, book your visit today, either online or by phone.

  • What causes eye health problems?

    Many different factors can lead to eye health issues or problems with healthy vision. Some of the more common causes include:
    ● Genetic predisposition.● Age.● Smoking.● Certain medications.● Certain diseases.● Environmental factors like exposure to ultraviolet light, chemicals, and other toxins.
    As you can see, some of these factors are within your control while others are not. It’s important to seek care whenever you notice changes in your eyesight or experience symptoms of eye health issues.

  • Can acupuncture help improve eye health?

    At Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center, Joe uses a specific type of acupuncture to address a number of common eye health issues. Known as micro acupuncture 48, the approach focuses on 48 acupuncture points on the hands and feet.
    Micro acupuncture 48 was developed in Denmark in 1984. Although the practitioners who developed the technique believed they would see results throughout the body, they were surprised to find that every patient who received the treatment experienced improved vision.
    Micro Acupuncture 48 can yield improvements in the following:● Macular degeneration (wet and dry).● Glaucoma.● Dry eyes.● Stargardt’s macular degeneration.● Retinitis pigmentosa from Usher syndrome.● Blurry vision.● Nearsightedness and farsightedness.● Floaters.● Diabetic retinopathy.● Cataracts.
    Micro Acupuncture 48 can also help reduce eye strain caused by electronic devices and help with vision symptoms brought on by migraines.

  • How is micro acupuncture 48 performed?

    Micro acupuncture 48 is performed in a series of treatments on the same day. You can expect three 20-minute sessions with a break of about two hours between sessions.
    Joe will advise you on the need for additional sessions after he determines your response to the initial sessions. Some men and women achieve noticeable improvements after just one week of treatment.
    You’ll also receive counseling on various nutritional supplements that can help improve your vision and boost your overall health and wellness. Only supplement lines that use the highest quality ingredients and embrace strict manufacturing standards are recommended.
    A combination approach is a great way to enhance your eye health. You might want to consider incorporating improved nutrition, regular massage therapy, and low-impact, mindful movement into your existing health routine.



Your peripheral nervous system acts as the communications network for your entire body. When neuropathy interrupts or distorts those communications, relief is available through the services of Joseph Downer, LAc, of Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center in Stratford, Connecticut.
An extensive background in acupuncture and traditional Chinese healing techniques allows Joe to deliver lasting results, even when Western medical interventions have failed.

  • What is peripheral neuropathy?

    Your peripheral nervous system works to send messages between your body and brain via your spinal cord. The nerves within that system can suffer damage from traumatic injury, metabolic issues, genetic conditions, infection, and exposure to environmental toxins.

    When your nerves are damaged, wide-ranging symptoms can follow. You might notice:
    ● Sensitivity to touch.● Numbness.● Sensations of tingling, burning, or pain.● Changes in blood pressure, heart rate, bladder function, or digestion.
    Because these symptoms are common to many other conditions, peripheral neuropathy can be challenging to identify.

  • What types of peripheral neuropathy can be treated with acupuncture?

    Acupuncture can improve all types of peripheral neuropathy, but some of the areas where Joe has achieved impressive results include:
    ● Diabetic neuropathyThis occurs when excess blood glucose places a strain on nerves throughout your body.
    ● Foot/hand neuropathySensations of tingling, or “pins and needles,” in your hands and feet are a sign of this type of neuropathy. Sensory changes can spread to your arms and legs over time.
    ● Chemo-induced neuropathyChemotherapy places enormous strain on your body and can damage your peripheral nerves.
    ● Exposure to Agent OrangeAgent Orange was a powerful herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Veterans exposed to the chemical often suffer from neuropathy.
    Neuropathy can affect many other aspects of bodily function.

  • Won’t acupuncture needles worsen neuropathy symptoms?

    Many people worry that acupuncture might aggravate their symptoms. This fear, combined with a general lack of public understanding about acupuncture, leads many to avoid a treatment that could yield impressive results.

    The needles used in acupuncture are extremely thin. They’re also sterile and used only once, so there’s virtually no risk of infection. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, these needles won’t cause any harm.

    Acupuncture stimulates your nervous system, triggering the release of endorphins. That provides a natural source of pain relief, something that many who are suffering from neuropathy prefer over pharmaceutical pain-relief drugs.

fertility acupuncture

Fertility Services

If you’re trying to have a child but struggling to achieve the desired results, acupuncture can help you on your journey to parenthood.
At Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center in Stratford, Connecticut, Joseph Downer, LAc, offers acupuncture and other wellness care that can improve your chances of conceiving.
To see what acupuncture can do for your infertility struggles, schedule an appointment today, either online or by phone.

  • What causes infertility?

    In order for a pregnancy to occur, a woman’s ovaries must release a viable egg that then travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. The male partner must produce viable sperm that travels from the testicles through the vas deferens and urethra. Once an egg is fertilized, the woman’s uterus must maintain a hospitable environment to support proper development.

    If anything goes wrong at any point in this process, fertilization and pregnancy won’t happen. Many think of fertility as primarily a woman’s issue, but only about one-third of cases are due to an issue with the female partner. Another third is due to problems with the male partner, and the remaining third doesn’t have a clear cause.

  • How can acupuncture help treat infertility?

    Acupuncture allows the practitioner to direct the flow of energy, or qi, throughout your body. While it is most commonly used to correct blockages of that energy, it can also be used to direct more qi to targeted areas.

    When treating infertility, acupuncture needles are positioned in such a way as to direct energy through the meridians associated with your reproductive organs. Researchers also believe that acupuncture can stimulate hormone production, which is directly related to ovulation. One study found that acupuncture can alter the number of egg follicles present during fertilization, which increases your chance of becoming pregnant.

  • What role does stress play in fertility treatments?

    Few things are more stressful than trying to conceive and not achieving that goal. After a period of trying, both partners can become overly stressed. That’s not an environment that supports relaxation and increased intimacy, which only makes matters more stressful for everyone involved.

    Your acupuncture sessions can also incorporate needle placement to release stress and promote relaxation and endorphin release. That can make a world of difference as you focus on bringing a new child into your family.

    Acupuncture can also help men achieve their goals of fatherhood. By increasing blood flow and redirecting energy to the reproductive organs, fertility can be enhanced. Acupuncture for stress relief is also important for men as they work through fertility treatments and support their partners.

acupuncture Migraines


Few things can disrupt the routines of a normal day faster than a severe headache. For many men and women in Stratford, Connecticut, relief is found through the care of Joseph Downer, LAc, of Stratford Acupuncture & Wellness Center.
If you have any questions about how acupuncture can help relieve headache pain, schedule an appointment to meet the team at Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center today. Click here to see a migraine acupuncture treatment at our office in Shelton, CT.
There are many different types of headaches, and understanding which type you suffer from can help you search for the proper treatment path. The more common headache types include:

  • Tension headaches

    These are the most common type of headaches. The discomfort can range from mild to moderate and can come and go. No other symptoms are usually present.

  • Cluster headaches

    These headaches are severe and marked by intense piercing or burning pain often felt behind or near one eye. Cluster headaches can cause eye redness, tearing, and constricted pupils. Your eyelid can droop, and you could experience a stuffy or runny nose during attacks.

  • Migraine

    A migraine is technically not a headache but a collection of neurological symptoms. A migraine brings on a throbbing, pounding pain that can occur on one or both sides of your head. You might also experience sensory changes like abnormal vision and heightened sensitivity to sounds or smells. Some women experience hormonal migraines just before their periods begin.
    These are just some of the more common headache types; there are many others, some exhibiting a blend of symptoms.
    Several studies support the use of acupuncture in treating headache pain. When performed by a skilled and thoroughly trained professional like Joseph Downer, LAc, of Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center, acupuncture can make a world of difference in managing headache pain.
    Acupuncture works by restoring the proper flow of qi throughout your body. The process also removes any negative energy that could be causing headache pain. Stimulating your body’s systems triggers your natural healing response, which can help prevent future headaches.
    It’s perfectly natural to have a degree of anxiety about trying something new, especially when you’re looking for relief from an already painful condition. Joe takes the time to sit down with you and discuss your symptoms and overall health prior to developing a treatment plan.
    Acupuncture is a natural healing method that requires no anesthesia or pharmaceuticals, so you’ll remain awake and alert throughout the session.

acupuncture ear


Esogetic Colorpuncture is a state-of-the-art mind and body healing technology. It combines knowledge derived from Chinese medicine and other energetic healing systems, modern photon Biophysics, and new biology with insights from ancient esoteric healing philosophies in order to create a new and unique system of informative/energetic healing.
The primary method of treatment involves the application of colored light frequencies to acu-points on the skin — hence the name “Colorpuncture.” As this system has developed further, treatments using special crystal devices, biofeedback or induction tools, sound therapies, and wellness products, all based on the Esogetic healing principles, have been added.
The originator of Esogetic Colorpuncture is Peter Mandel, a German naturopath, acupuncturist, and well-known figure in European natural medicine. Mandel has conducted over 50 years of clinical research in developing this work.

  • How and why does Esogetic colorpuncture work?

    Esogetic Colorpuncture uses points and zones on the skin to transmit light through the body’s energetic pathways. From the Esogetic perspective, the skin contains a grid or hologram of information pathways that can be used to send corrective light signals into the body’s mind structure.
    According to recent scientific findings, light frequencies can penetrate deeply into our cells, restore cellular communication, and support the body’s natural healing processes. In developing Colorpuncture, Mandel collaborated extensively with a world-renowned biophysicist who has this to say about the effects of light on the body.
    In a Colorpuncture treatment, precise frequencies of colored light are applied to the skin using a hand-held acu-light wand with specially designed, interchangeable glass rods that emit different colors of light through focused tips. Each colored tip communicates different wavelength information into the system. Each Colorpuncture treatment consists of a specific set of points treated in sequence using a prescribed pattern of colors. These treatments regulate the energy and information flow related to all the different systems of the body.

  • Healing subconscious traumatic stress with colorpuncture

    Light and color have a unique capacity to enter the subconscious and bring suppressed material (feelings and memories) up into conscious awareness quickly and effectively. In Esogetics, we say that light is able to release and clear the imprints of past psychological stress stored in the cellular memory banks. In fact, an important premise of Esogetics is that illness and pain are often signals of deeper disharmonies in the psyche and spirit.
    If left unhealed, these deeper disharmonies gradually disturb the physical body. The healing practitioner must assist the client in uncovering and listening to these deeper signals of their souls and their subconscious. Esogetic Colorpuncture offers a powerful tool for addressing the very roots of illness at emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.
    Many of these treatments are designed to gently excavate and release buried emotions as well as blocked psychological and even spiritual information. At the same time, other treatments work to support the brain and nervous system in clearing and processing traumatic imprints. Patients often report dramatic improvements in their psycho-emotional state and sense of life purpose, even as their bodies are supported in healing.

  • What can colorpuncture help treat?

    ● Anxiety.● Stress.● Hormonal Imbalance.● Digestion.● Insomnia.● Physical and mental well-being.● Immune system boost.● Connecting with the higher self.● Ancestral work, unhooking.● Birth or prenatal traumas.● Trauma or known conflict burdens.● Allergies.● Pain.● Lymphatic detoxification.● Dream work.

acupuncture for anxiety

Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety and depression are serious mental health issues that can be devastating on both the personal and public health levels. Joseph Downer, LAc, of Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center in Stratford, Connecticut, offers a holistic approach to treating these conditions.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, as many as one out of every five Americans will experience some form of mental illness each year. For some, serious mental health problems will alter the course of their lives. Others will struggle with episodic or short-term bouts of anxiety and/or depression.
If you’re curious about how traditional Chinese medicine can help improve anxiety, depression, and a range of other mental health concerns, book an appointment with Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center.

  • What causes anxiety and depression?

    A number of factors can cause mental illness. Some issues have a genetic component, while others are caused by physiological conditions within the brain itself. In many cases, nutritional deficiencies, poor health habits, lack of adequate sleep, and other environmental factors play a role in mental illness.

  • How can acupuncture help with mental health issues?

    Acupuncture is a form of ancient traditional Chinese medicine. The practice is based on the idea that all humans have an essential flow of energy – qi – that runs throughout their bodies along channels called meridians. When that flow becomes blocked, your body can no longer function properly.

    Chinese healing wisdom recognizes the link between body and mind. Because the mind and body interact as one entity, imbalances in one can directly influence the function of the other.

    Acupuncture works by using a set of extremely thin, sterile needles to stimulate targeted points along your meridians. That releases qi that might have become backed up or blocked, restoring proper energy flow throughout your body.

  • What mental health issues can acupuncture help with?

    Many mental health issues can be improved or corrected through acupuncture, including:● Anxiety.● Depression.● Stress.● ADHD/ADD.● Post-traumatic stress disorder.
    If you’re living with these conditions or are looking for effective treatment for a loved one, acupuncture is certainly something to consider.

  • More traditional Chinese medicine to treat mental health issues

    Traditional Chinese medicine offers several treatments for mental health issues. All focus on restoring a proper balance of energy by correcting clogged or blocked energy pathways. A few examples include:● Jiu-Jitsu.● Karate.● Kampo.● Qigong.● Sotai.
    These practices use carefully controlled body movements to improve health and wellness. They train you to focus on the mechanics of your body, teach you to calm your mind, and focus on intentional movement. Each of these treatments can help you grow physically stronger, more flexible, and better able to adapt to your environment.

acupuncture for anxiety

Battlefield Acupuncture

Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) is a specialized form of acupuncture that has gained recognition and popularity for its effectiveness in managing pain, particularly in combat situations. It was developed by Dr. Richard Niemtzow, an Air Force physician, with the aim of providing quick and efficient pain relief to military personnel on the battlefield.
At Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center, we understand the value of Battlefield Acupuncture in treating various types of pain, and we are committed to offering this innovative approach to pain management. Our highly trained and experienced acupuncturists specialize in administering Battlefield Acupuncture techniques to help alleviate pain and enhance your well-being.

  • What is Battlefield Acupuncture?

    Battlefield Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, semi-permanent needles into specific points on the body. The needles used in BFA are very small, about the size of a hair, and they remain in the ear for a short period, usually a few days. This technique is non-invasive and generally painless.
    The primary objective of Battlefield Acupuncture is to provide rapid pain relief. It is particularly useful for acute pain conditions, such as musculoskeletal injuries, post-operative pain, headaches, and other conditions that cause discomfort. BFA is known for its ability to reduce pain intensity quickly and promote a more rapid recovery.

  • How does Battlefield Acupuncture work?

    By promoting the release of endorphins, Battlefield Acupuncture can effectively reduce pain and improve the overall well-being of the patient.

  • What to expect during a Battlefield Acupuncture session?

    During a Battlefield Acupuncture session at Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center, Joseph will begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your pain condition and medical history. This evaluation allows us to tailor the treatment to your specific needs.
    Once the assessment is completed, Joe will gently insert the tiny needles into the designated points in your ears. You may experience a mild sensation during the needle insertion, but it is generally well-tolerated.
    The needles used in Battlefield Acupuncture are designed to remain in place for a few days, allowing for continuous pain relief. After the session, Joe will provide you with proper care instructions and any necessary information about how to manage the needles during their time in your ears.
    It's important to note that while Battlefield Acupuncture can offer significant pain relief, multiple sessions may be required for optimal results. We will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that suits your needs and ensures the best possible outcome.
    Don't let pain hold you back. Contact Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center today and discover the transformative power of Battlefield Acupuncture in managing your pain.