While treatment plans for allergies vary greatly, with results ranging from temporary relief to complete remission, acupuncture and related therapies can often relieve allergy symptoms within a short period of time. The first objective is to reduce the acute allergy symptoms so that an effective strategy can be developed to address the underlying condition. As we are able to develop a holistic program we can effectively work to prevent the disease process from reoccurring in the future.
Allergies usually occur when our immune system is unable to digest or effectively process (i.e. metabolize or protect against) something within our environment. Allergens can vary from pollen, pet dander, mold, various foods, drugs and more. The body tends to react via an inflammatory process as a means of trying to remove the allergen or protect the body from it doing further harm.
When a client presents with allergy symptoms, we’ll need to perform a full intake and make the proper diagnosis. Symptoms may include a stuffy nose, copious mucus, lung/sinus congestion, fatigue, headache, indigestion, irritable bowels, redness, swelling, etc. To develop a holistic program to reduce or eliminate the condition it is important that we consider the whole pattern of symptoms that the client is experiencing. This includes considering dietary habits, energy levels, sleep patterns as well as other lifestyle practices.
Together with your practitioner, you can begin to understand how all those elements of your life may relate to the allergy symptoms you are experiencing. Effective therapy strategies will first focus on the acute symptoms in an effort to reduce them enough to address the underlying condition, then follow-up care for the chronic, remission stage begins. Oftentimes the acute stage is so influential that the chronic symptoms must be address in the opposite season (i.e. fall vs spring, winter vs summer) to make an effective investment in the underlying cause.
Acupuncture as well as chiropractic therapy supported by dietary therapy and herbal therapy will form the main components of most people’s health program for the treatment of allergies. Acupuncture may include the use of point local near the nose/sinuses, on the arms/hands and legs. Dietary changes are likely to be very beneficial in the effort to control the symptoms through the elimination of food and drinks that may cause mucus to form. When our diet is optimized for our constitution and for our presenting condition, clients will experience less mucous, less inflammation, increased energy, better breathing and a greater sense of well-being.
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.
The pursuit of more refined personal health and quality of life requires that we shift our paradigm to a proactive partnership with the natural course of our lives. We must understand our own tendencies and the tendencies of the natural cycles of which we are often aware of but all too often ignore. By changing the way we enter into our day and our journey for better quality of life the process becomes more personalized and far more realistic. When entering into a personal commitment towards greater quality of life if we keep in mind the thoughts below it is likely that we find that they help contribute to the effectiveness of our efforts.
Be positive – In this modern world we are far too often told or too often decide for ourselves that life is a downhill experience. The truth is no one has a corner on the market for predicting your reality. Enter into your day as if the whole world is available as a resource to create the experience of peace and prosperity you desire. The benefit of pursuing quality of life is that there is always something we can do to make our day a little better and in many cases we can continue to refine that experience for as long we would wish.
Be realistic – As human’s we have a great talent to visualize the “ideal” reality in our minds. Too often, however, our vision is slightly skewed from the natural reality. It is certainly appropriate to have a vision of what we wish to accomplish but we must also be flexible in how that reality ultimately manifests in our daily lives. We must acknowledge that the governing force within our lives comes from nature and it is our responsibility to harness that force in the pursuit of greater balance. So when we decide improved quality of life is something that is important to us we need to be realistic about our expectations
Be responsible – Engage in the process. A good support system for health and quality of life will work with us to empower ourselves to make decisions and take actions that pay off. However, no matter how talented our support staff may be they cannot do it for us.
Be observant – Truly knowing what one wishes to accomplish requires observation. We need to know where we are now and where we would wish to be for any program to be successful. Improving our ability to be observant is a skill that will pay off manyfold and throughout most any area of our lives.
Be patient – When working to refine our daily living we need to keep in mind that it is daily living not a procedure it is a process. We have trillions of cells in our body so we should not assume that one workout, one meal or one treatment will solve our challenges. It takes time for our body to read the signals that we want it to change and then to have our cells turn over. The rule of thumb is that any commitment we make to change our bodies is 90 days and then to add one year on the end of that date to where our body will adjust to the “new you”. So if we lose a pound of fat it will take at least one year from the last day of burning up that pound for the body to adjust. Be patient!
Be disciplined – We need to set ourselves up for success. We need to be disciplined in our efforts to not only show up to our visits with our practitioners but to create an environment at home and work where we can succeed. Being disciplined in the beginning leads to practical lifestyle integration within a reasonably short period of time where the investment compounds thus providing substantially more effective and more permanent results.
Be persistent - Each day, every day is a new day, a new opportunity but also a new commitment we must make. What we accomplished yesterday was great because it got us to today but what we wish to experience tomorrow must come from how we live our life today. As Einstein said "Nothing happens until something moves" meaning that the actions we take lead us to results that we experience. A peaceful and productive life is an action not a destination. If we want peace, we must be peaceful. If we want productivity, we must be productive.
Be present – Enjoy the day. Live each day as if it was our only measure of our life because that is exactly what it is. Our lives are the aggregating experience of the each moment stored in the memory held in our bodies. The only opportunity we have to shift this experience in a direction we prefer is to focus on how we are living in this very moment. When we choose to embrace our true nature and to share that experience with those around us the only result can peace and prosperity.
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
Functional medicine focuses on prevention and understanding a person's core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions. Functional medicine seeks prevention as the key component for the cultivation of health especially with regards to chronic disease. By targeting the underlying cause of disease versus focusing on just accommodating symptoms functional medicine seeks to improve outcomes by targeting one objective, the disease, to accomplish multiple benefits, reducing the symptoms. In the cases of chronic disease with the goal of understanding each individual's physiological, environmental, and psychosocial contexts becomes a necessary part of the diagnostic process.
While functional medicine is perspective of more recent terminology the historical systems of healing (e.g. Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Tibetan medicine, etc.) have utilized the holistic view as a means of approaching disease. All of the healing systems mentioned above seek to target the disease to reduce symptoms in concert with constitutional/personal diagnosis all of which Everspring Health embraces and offers as a part of our service offerings.