To answer the question. Yes, Everspring Health has a number of strategies to help clients reduce or eliminate chronic headaches. There is growing research demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture as a great resource for reducing intensity and frequency of headaches. For the millions of people who regularly suffer from chronic headaches, the experience can be debilitating and affect our quality of life. The spectrum of primary type headaches are quite diverse, ranging from the common tension headache to the more painful chronic migraine and cluster headache. Secondary headaches result from another medical condition, such as hormone imbalance, sinus problems and other inflammatory processes. Associated symptoms can include muscular tension, mood changes, appetite irregularities, stress and sleep cycle changes.
As suggested above the means in which headaches manifest in our lives can vary so it is important that we not focus solely on the isolated symptoms or one isolated treatment method. We should seek to balance the whole person so that optimal results are achieved. It is important that we have a conversation with each client about their particular sleep patterns, dietary habits and the levels of stress. Each client’s unique symptom pattern will help us plan the right combination of therapies, lifestyle considerations and beneficial dietary changes.
In addition to beneficial diet and lifestyle changes, an effective therapy program for headaches may include acupuncture, medical massage therapy and herbal therapy. If the client is experiencing a headache during their office visit, this can give us an opportunity to help provide some measured relief before they leave the clinic. This experience can be understandably challenging at times. While immediate relief may not be possible in all cases, the benefit of our clinical approach is that we will take the time to determine the most effective course of therapy. For example, acupuncture and targeted massage therapy has been effective in our clinic for relieving headache symptoms and reducing chronic resurgence of the headache symptoms. To offer more complete relief, herbal therapy is often used resulting in rather significant relief within the first few months of a program.
The course of therapy is determined by the goals discussed during the initial few visits. The goal of therapy may be to relive the headache symptoms, but the true goal for any program should be to reduce or eliminate the condition permanently. By properly implementing a complete therapy program we can begin to reduce the underlying cause while making positive progress in reducing pain levels and lowering headache frequency. We have the opportunity to reduce pain symptoms in the short term and also enhance the client’s long term quality of life.
Fibromyalgia is a debilitating chronic condition that often involves long-term, widespread pain throughout the body most often focused in the muscles and nerves. Often experienced with Fibromyalgia are symptoms such as distinct fatigue, insomnia/sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition where the diagnosis primarily refers to the severe and prolonged tiredness or exhaustion that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions. Secondary symptoms for chronic fatigue often include body aches, headaches and depression.
The similar nature of these conditions has these two diagnoses often going hand in hand and/or are often interchanged depending on the pattern of manifesting symptoms. This often makes it challenging to effectively treat, which in turn is understandably frustrating for client. So, when we get asked if acupuncture can help with either Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue we confidently say yes but with the caveat that a holistic program should be the base of any program whether it includes acupuncture or not.
Like so many chronic conditions these conditions are not a simple one-to-one, cause and effect situation. To effectively address the personalized symptoms one may be experiencing we must look at the whole picture and then determine the appropriate strategy for optimal long-term quality of life. As a part of a holistic program based on personalized diagnosis acupuncture can be a great resource for those suffering from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue and, besides many personal case results, the research supporting this conclusion becomes more and more prevalent every day. (See references below).
The challenge in any holistic program is that it often takes time to provide optimal results. Conditions like these require a layered approach often including many integrated therapies. Therapies require consistency and time to provide optimal long-term results. This is mostly because we do not want to just address the symptoms we want to dissolve the condition as a whole. Effective personalized diagnosis leading to the appropriate treatment program plus a consistent time frame leads to the best possible results.
There may be times where acupuncture is not appropriate and so you want a practitioner who can substitute and integrate therapies to provide the optimal treatment each time you visit your practitioner. At the same time focus should be on developing a lifestyle that supports each individual in his or her own experience. This is where success rates go up, as our ability to incorporate a program within an individual’s lifestyle improves so do the results.
Understandably, this can be a challenge for the client in the beginning so having the ability to customize the program for each client and as best as one is able support them through the initial stages until there is traction on the condition is crucial. The benefit of this approach is that success won’t only be measured by management of the symptoms but slow and gradual improvement across one’s lifestyle.
Many individuals ask about herbs or supplements they have found via various advisory resources and the truth of the matter is that supplements will likely prove to be the primary source of a long-term solution. However, the most common mistake across the board is people taking supplements because someone mentioned it might be good. The truth is that with the appropriate diagnosis the precise supplements for each client’s specific condition can be identified which reduces the risk of side effects, regression or relapses, wasteful spending and most importantly dramatically improves outcomes. All supplements have a time and a place and we will always improve our investment when we have the right supplement for the appropriate condition.
It is important that we understand that no one can guarantee specific results. However, by customizing treatments, whether it include therapies like acupuncture, dietary therapy, supplements or lifestyle practices, if they are based on a sound diagnostic protocol we dramatically increase the chances of improved quality of life.
Excerpt from Fibromyalgia Research Article
“CONCLUSIONS: The limited amount of high-quality evidence suggests that real acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture for improving symptoms of patients with FMS. However, because this conclusion is based on a single high-quality study, further high-quality randomized trials are needed to provide more robust data on effectiveness.” Source: UK PubMed
Medical acupuncture is acupuncture that has been adapted from traditional sources for use within conventional health practices. Traditional acupuncture practice originates within many of the whole system traditions in Asia such as Chinese medicine and even some evidence suggests historic European sources. Today acupuncture is practiced in both traditional, integrative and CAM related forms in almost every major health care system in the world.
Medical acupuncture is the classification of the acupuncture for use within the conventional medical construct. The foundation of medical acupuncture is the therapeutic insertion of solid needles in various combinations and patterns. The patterns can be based on traditional principles, modern anatomical concepts or both.
While Everspring Health is a full supporter of any therapy that is applied appropriately for the benefit of the individual and the individual's quality of life. It is equally important to note potential challenges of medical acupuncture so that the client can understand how to use this resource most effectively. Medical acupuncture can be used by licensed practitioners (MD, DO, DC) with as little as 100 hours of training, which can make it difficult to qualify the practitioner's full scope of training with this therapy. Compare this training to a fully licensed and nationally board certified acupuncturist where the practitioner has approximately 1000 hours just on acupuncture, plus clinic application experience.
Again this does not discount the opportunity for benefit via medical acupuncture but one must note that if one is not getting results from medical acupuncture or any source of acupuncture no matter the training one should not discount acupuncture therapy as a whole. Like any therapy, any service for that matter, experience does matter and we should seek the appropriate support for our specific needs.
Acupuncture has shown in many ways to help with athletic performance. Mostly utilized for recovery and maintenance, acupuncture offers support for post workout recovery by reducing pain and improving range of motion. This allows for better blood flow to aid in the recovery process thus allowing for more challenging workouts, greater frequency of workouts and better pre-event taper. Acupuncture also helps prevent potential negative posturing that one may develop by accommodating injury, post-workout soreness or any posture resulting from the "muscle bound" experience of high intensity training.
"Newsweek reported that in 1999 scientists at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine made athletes run 5,000 meters, and afterward had some of them sit for acupuncture treatments before they had a chance to catch their breaths. The heart rates of the ones who received the treatments recovered more quickly than those in the control group."
Yes, acupuncture is a great resource for a pregnant woman or a woman who is thinking of becoming pregnant to consider. Acupuncture can be effectively used when planning pregnancy, for women who are currently pregnant, for those preparing for birth and finally for those ladies who have entered the postpartum phase of their pregnancy.
There is growing research that suggests that acupuncture leading up to and during implantation phase helps improve implantation chances. This is especially true for IVF and the current recommendation is to receive acupuncture within 24 hours before egg transfer and within hours post egg transfer to improve odds as best as possible. Odds continue to improve when acupuncture is a regular part of any program leading up to IVF and the transfer itself.
While acupuncture is more readily known as being a part of programs addressing issues of infertility it is important for a woman to know that acupuncture is a very low to no risk, high reward resource that supports a woman’s overall quality of life, including during pregnancy. Acupuncture can be helpful for many of the discomforts a woman may experience throughout the course of pregnancy including pain, swelling, constipation among other issues that do not need to be a normal or acceptable part of a woman’s pregnancy. Everspring Health offers acupuncture as a part of a holistic program that is customized to the needs of the client.