Perhaps the most well known and best researched reason to get acupuncture is for pain. While it may seem bizarre that inserting a needle into the skin (a seemingly painful event) could be such a source of relief, acupuncture can have remarkable and lasting benefits for people who suffer from acute or chronic pain. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine standpoint, pain is the result of a blockage in the acupuncture meridians caused by either something going on internally (hormonal, metabolic, digestive, stress, overwork etc.) or externally (traumatic injury or acute illness). Acupuncture removes the blockage and relieves pain. Research shows acupuncture:
Works on the endogenous opioid system (with no side effects or addiction!)(1)
Reduces sympathetic tone, which controls connective tissue, so fascia can release and trigger points disappear. With repeated sessions, it can increase parasympathetic (vagal) tone, which prevents muscle tissue from tensing spontaneously.(2)
Blocking the pain response to the brain and changes the sensitivity of the nerves in the central nervous system. It increases hypothalamic and decreases amygdalic activation in patients with chronic pain. (3-4)
Increases circulation to impoverished tissues.(5)
Reduces inflammation locally and systemically.(6)
So whether you suffer from headaches, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, herniated disks, bursitis, tendonitis, tennis elbow, arthritis, etc., acupuncture can help.
Here is how our clinic approaches Pain Management:
A detailed consultation, including all medical history and Traditional Chinese Medicine tongue and pulse diagnosis. This allows us to have an idea of the progression and prognosis of the problem, so we can form the perfect treatment plan.
Acupuncture: The number of sessions, as well as the kind of techniques used will be specific to your body’s needs. Some techniques used could be:
Homeopathic injection therapy
Chinese Herbs: Many chinese herbs are incredibly useful for their analgesic effects. In the age of the opioid and pain medicine epidemic, many people are wary of medications to relieve pain. Chinese herbs, when prescribed by a trained herbalist, are safe, effective, and can drastically reduce pain without side effects. They are also used for addressing the root cause of the problem, which will mean different things for different patients. For instance, someone with back pain and a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome will get different herbal formulas than someone who has chronic back pain due to injury. We compound herbs for patients in our Custom Herbal Pharmacy on site, so you will get a personally tailored formula each visit.
If you are in pain, get out of it! Our results-oriented, evidenced based approach is a treatment that works and has no side effects! Sign up for a consultation with our acupuncturist / herbalist: Coco Fortner A.P. Today!
Acupuncture for Pain Management at Om’echaye Integrated Medicine Center
Coco Fortner A.P.
Om’echaye Integrative Medicine Center
1) Han, J,S. (2004) Acupuncture and Endorphins. Neuroscience Letters 361, 258–261. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jisheng_Han/publication/8569823_Acupuncture_and_endorphins/links/5472727c0cf216f8cfae84b9/Acupuncture-and-endorphins.pdf
2) Li, Q.-Q., Shi, G.-X., Xu, Q., Wang, J., Liu, C.-Z., & Wang, L.-P. (2013). Acupuncture Effect and Central Autonomic Regulation. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine?: eCAM, 2013, 267959. http://doi.org/10.1155/2013/267959
3) Melzack, R. (1981) Myofascial trigger points: relation to acupuncture and mechanisms of pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 62(3):114-117. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/6972204
4) Napadow, V., Kettner, N., Liu, J., Li, M., Kwong, K., Vangel, M., … Hui, K. (2007). Hypothalamus and Amygdala Response to Acupuncture Stimuli in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Pain, 130(3), 254–266. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2006.12.003
5) Sandberg, M., Lindberg, L.-G. and Gerdle, B. (2004), Peripheral effects of needle stimulation (acupuncture) on skin and muscle blood flow in fibromyalgia. European Journal of Pain, 8: 163–171. doi:10.1016/S1090-3801(03)00090-9
6) Zijlstra, F. J., van den Berg-de Lange, I., Huygen, F. J. P. M., & Klein, J. (2003). Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators of Inflammation, 12(2), 59–69. http://doi.org/10.1080/0962935031000114943
If you’re trying to get pregnant, acupuncture could be a great solution on its own or in combination with conventional fertility treatments. Sign up for a Free Consultation with Coco Fortner, L.Ac to see if acupuncture can help you and your partner become parents!
The most natural option
According to the CDC National survey of Family Growth, 12% of American women and men have sought fertility treatments between 2006-2010. As societal influences push average age of first childbirth back, as our lives become increasingly stressful, and as our environment becomes even more chemical laden with hormone disruptors, natural pregnancy seems increasingly out of reach for many people. Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been balancing men and women’s bodies for centuries to aid in conception and carrying pregnancy to full term. Today, many people use a fusion of conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF), medications, acupuncture and herbs to achieve their fertility needs, with better results than either method alone.(1) For many conditions, acupuncture, herbal medicine, lifestyle and diet change can give you the support you need to restore natural balance and produce excellent eggs (2), or sperm(3), thick uterine lining with increased blood flow (4), ideal hormone balance (2, 5). In this way, it can aid in better ovulation, implantation and chance of carrying your fetus healthfully term.
The fertilization of an ovum as the quintessential yin/yang! It takes a balanced energetic (hormonal, structural, metabolic, emotional) state of both the man and the woman to create the miracle of life! Fertility treatments are most successful if both partners come for treatment. In many cases, the focus is on the woman, but couples should realise that in 40% of infertility cases, male infertility is the culprit. In either case, by addressing constitution, age, underlying conditions, environmental and social factors, we can fine tune the treatments so that each parent-to-be gets the treatment they need.
Course of treatment:
Lots of research has been done on how acupuncture can affect various factors of infertility. Studies that find acupuncture to be most successful when treatments are frequent and regular (5x -2x per week) and span the course of 3-6 months (2,4,5). Acupuncture 2-5x a week for 2 months has been shown to increase uterine blood flow. This “priming the uterus” is important because it can increase the chance of implantation and proper formation of the placenta.. Researchers suggested that the brain inhibits the sympathetic nervous system, which allows the parasympathetic, rest and digest, aspect of the nervous system to take over. More blood returns to and nourishes the organs, including the uterus. (4) A similar time is required on average to regulate menstrual cycles, painful periods and PMS(6) and to reduce FSH with respect to LH levels in cases of Diminished Ovarian Reserve(5).
Acupuncture and herbal medicine have also been shown to help women with certain syndromes that can make it more difficult to achieve pregnancy. For instance, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) achieve regular ovulations and become pregnant(2). Acupuncture can help women with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) by decreasing FSH, estradiol, and FSH:LH ratio(5). If this refers to you, acupuncture can still help, but we also focus on the root cause of the problem and tailor the treatments specifically to you.
Men can show changes in sperm motility and morphology in as little as 5 weeks. Twice a week for 5 weeks, men with oligospermia, asthenospermia and idiopathic male infertility received acupuncture. After acupuncture, sperm motility increased significantly, number of healthy sperm increased the natural fertility threshold (2 x 106 healthy sperm in ejaculate). Morphology of sperm significantly normalized, and (while not a statistically significant finding) there was a noticeable decrease in the amount of necrosis of sperm. In short, after 5 short weeks, men who had previously been infertile for 2 years were naturally fertile after acupuncture treatments. (3)
If you are planning to undergo IVF, it is best to prepare for 3 months before hand. At the least, plan to come in 5x a week prior and on the day of egg extraction and implantation. This approach has been shown to vastly increase the chance of successful implantation(1), and the rate of ongoing pregnancy was 10% higher in women who received acupuncture prior to implantaion. (7)
Acupuncture can help with the following conditions:
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Diminished Ovarian Reserve
- Irregular menstruation and anovulation
If you are just considering becoming pregnant, have been trying for a while or have even received several rounds of fertility treatments, acupuncture and herbal medicine can still help achieve a natural healthful balance in the body, which is conducive for making healthy happy babies.
Sign up for a Free Consultation with Coco Fortner, L.Ac to see if acupuncture can help you and your partner become parents!
1) Westergaard, L. G., Mao, Q., Krogslund, M., Sandrini, S., Lenz, S., & Grinsted, J. (2006). Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial. Fertility and sterility, 85(5), 1341-1346.
2)Johansson, J., Redman, L., Veldhuis, P. P., Sazonova, A., Labrie, F., Holm, G., … Stener-Victorin, E. (2013). Acupuncture for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, 304(9), E934–E943. http://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00039.2013
3) Pei, J., Strehler, E., Noss, U., Abt, M., Piomboni, P., Baccetti et al. (2005) Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment f0r idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and Sterility 84(1); 141-147.
4)Stener-Victorin E1, Waldenström U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. (1996) Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Hum Reprod. 1996 11(6):1314-7.
5)Wang. Y., Chen, R., Cui, X., Yu, J., Liu, Z. (2016) Electroacupuncture for reproductive hormone levels in patients with diminished ovarian reserve: a prospective observational study. Acupunct Med. 34(5):386-391.
6) Jang, S. H., Kim, D. I., & Choi, M.-S. (2014). Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14, 11. http://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-14-11
7) Smith, C., Coyle, M., & Norman, R. J. (2006). Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer. Fertility and sterility, 85(5), 1352-1358.
The problem with staying with very bland, consistent diets is that some may develop nutrient deficiencies simply due to lack of nutrients in their seemingly healthful foods. Mix up your menu, and give yourself something to look forward to. You'll feel like you're "cheating," but you'll be satisfying that dessert urge while still getting nutrient-dense nutrition.
2 Cups of Frozen Berries of Your Choice
2 Cups Plain Whole Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
1/2 Cup Soaked and Dried Nuts of Your Choice
Put all the ingredients in a blender for 10 seconds and serve a portion
Do you have Migraines? Our results-oriented, evidenced based approach is a treatment that works better than medicine(1-4) and has fewer side effects (1,2,4)! Sign up for a consultation with our acupuncturist / herbalist: Coco Fortner A.P. Today!
I experienced migraines off and on for years. They were related to my allergies, and when I got my allergies under control (with herbs and acupuncture), the migraines subsided. I was not alone in my suffering… migraines effect 6-8% of men and 16-18% of women in the US and Europe(1). They can be debilitating, scary, completely miserable and can significantly affect quality of life. In nearly 10 years of practice, I have had many migraine clients who come in for acupuncture several sessions a week for a few weeks and never have migraines again. The exciting thing is that this is also now verified by respected research and I have used this research to fine tune my clinical protocols to provide the most results-oriented treatments to my patients.
Dr. Albert Molsberger in 2012 wrote, “On the basis of the existing evidence, acupuncture should be an option for the first-line treatment of migraine to supplement other non-pharmacologic treatment options. It is at least as effective as prophylactic drug therapy, has longer lasting effects, is safe, seems to be cost-effective and reduces drug intake with possibly severe unwanted effects.” (2)
Although acupuncture has been used to treat migraine type headaches since ancient times, modern research has the power to help us understand what the best protocols are for timing and spacing of treatment in order to decrease the pain and duration of an acute attack as well as prevent future migraines. Even better, you can be sure that you will experience results, because research shows 95% statistically significant certainty. Our clinic uses this modern research to create our treatment plans to optimize results for you!
Our research based, results-oriented approach includes:
12 treatments spaced over a month or 12 treatments spaced over 3 months with 3 sessions the first week, 2 sessions the second week and the remaining sessions are once a week. (Both treatment methods are efficacious based on research)
Consultation will investigate lifestyle and diet for migraine triggers.
It will also include meditation training of what to do during an acute attack.
Herbal medicine can also greatly reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines, especially if they are related to trauma, diet and or allergies.
Here is a review of some of the research used to create this approach:
One study assessed how acupuncture could limit the time of a migraine attack. They looked at 476 people (they did not include people with migraines related to hemorrhages, allergies, arthritis or hypertension) and provided 20 acupuncture treatments over a 4 week period and looked at results on week 4, 8 and 13. Acupuncture was effective at reducing duration of the migraine, and the effects continued to increase even after treatments ended!(1) One study even found that at a 9 month follow up, the positive benefits remained.(2)
Another study looked at how effective acupuncture is at preventing migraine and found that “patients receiving acupuncture took fewer prescription medications, missed fewer days at work and visited general practitioners less frequently.”(3) It was a metaanalysis, meaning it drew statistical conclusions from previously published studies. It found that acupuncture was more effective than prophylactic migraine meds without the side effects. They concluded that the most efficacious treatments included about 20 sessions within a 1-2 month period. Results persisted for at least 8 months, which is consistent with the previously mentioned study. (2) Another randomized study found that 16 sessions over 12 weeks was effective in reducing frequency and duration of migraines and rate of rescue medication usage between 40-50%. They compared acupuncture sessions vs conventional treatment from a GP and found “persisting clinically viable benefits from Chronic HA, Increased quality of life, decreased use of meds, visits to GP and days off from work.(3)
Does acupuncture work during a migraine? Studies suggest the best course is to take your migraine meds right away and book the first possible acupuncture appointment. It can shorten the duration of the attack to get the most effective and efficient relief. (4)
Since everybody experiencing a migraine is different, sign up for a consultation with the Coco Fortner A.P. Today!
1)Li, Y., Hui, Z., Witt, C. M., Roll, S., Yu, S., Yan J. et al.(2012). Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ March 6.184(4); 401-410. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291665/)
2) Molsberger A. (2012). The role of acupuncture in treatment of migraines. CMAJ March 6. 184(4); 391-392
3)Linde, K., Allais, G., Brinkhaus, B., Manheimer, E., Vickers, A., & White, A. R. (2009). Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Online), (1), CD001218. Advance online publication. http://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD001218.pub2
4) Vickers, A. J., Rees, R. W., Zollman, C. E., McCarney, R., Smith C. M., Ellis, et al. (2004) Acupuncture for chronic headache in primary care: large, pragmatic, randomised trial. BMJ. 328(7442): 744.doi: 10.1136/bmj.38029.421863.EB
By Diego F. Rutenberg A.P, C.F.D.M., GAPS
It is a common mishap – the loss of appetite, but individuals suffering from this state should not solely depend on time to produce diverse results. The steps that must be taken need not be drastic, but they need not be none either. If you are complaining about dry skin and hair, or feel nauseated on a regular basis, these are the signs that you’re not digesting fats well. You might be the kind that doesn’t have dramatic symptoms, but you feel your digestion works on a low-fat diet. Most individuals naturally avoid fats because it makes them feel sick. A history of following a low-fat diet, or eating fats that isn’t natural to your body, like vegetable oils, canola oil, and margarine, don’t stimulate your gallbladder to make enough. The gallbladder operation is the number one surgery performed in the United States every year, with about 700,000 people undergoing it. Good fats keep your body fit. Bile is essential for your stool, so in some cases of constipation this is really key to resolving it. Of course natural fats are also crucial to making all of our hormones, cell membranes, and for keeping our skin soft and wrinkle-free. It is crucial to get good fats into your system.
These steps should be followed:
- The natural remedy to boost your fat digestion is to drink Beet Kvass. Two to four ounces of Beet Kvass before each meal will help stimulate your bile production, and get it to the right place at the right time.
- Beta-TCP will help you if Beet Kvass does not work. It acts like a strength version of Beet Kvass in a convenient tablet form. Taking two or three Beta-TCP with each meal will provide a similar effect as Beet Kvass. If you do not like the taste of beet roots, these tablets should fulfill the purpose.
- Ox bile is helpful for people whose gallbladder has been removed, and is considered a requirement. The absence of a gallbladder makes your liver produce bile, but the amount secreted isn’t adjusted to the amount of fat you’re eating – there’s just a constant drip of bile into your small intestine. A recommended supplement would be the ox bile called BetaPlus, with a dose of 1-3 tablets per meal, depending on how much fat you’re eating. The dose can be individual and you’ll have to find the dose that alleviates your symptoms.
Fats are an important part of daily diet and should not be avoided at any cost. It is imperative that an individual consumes a daily dose of fat to keep himself energized and function his body properly. Fats are an essential part of daily life and to maintain a balanced diet should be consumed. It should be remembered that these are general recommendations on how to use supplements for better fat digestion and use them at your own risk. It’s always best to discuss your personal health and needs with your healthcare practitioner.