Sciatica

6 Dec 2019 Medical

This is one of the most common causes of pain in the low back, buttocks with symptoms that travel down the leg. It is commonly self-diagnosed, but immediate care is rarely sought making it one of the more common and frequently untreated conditions in our country.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is pain, weakness, numbness that descends from the low back, buttock and radiates in a pattern down the sciatic nerve. Symptoms generally are on one side of the body and can be from several causes. The medical diagnosis of true Sciatica is Lumbar Radiculopathy. Many soft tissue injuries will mimic radiculopathy and may be diagnosed with sciatica without a true lumbar issue.

What causes Sciatica?

Lumbar disc disease which is pressure or stimulus on the nerve causing radiation, caused by disc collapse, herniation or spinal stenosis. Muscular cause of sciatica is caused by tightness in the piriformis muscle(buttock), and can be a combination of piriformis with gluteus Medius, tensor fascia lata and quadratus Lumborum. Swelling in the lumbar disc area or surrounding muscles can also lead to a diagnosis of sciatica trauma or repetitive strain. The most common reasons for getting sciatica are the following:

During Pregnancy
Long hours working in a seated position
Jobs that have squatting regularly
Runners
CrossFit athletes
Commuters in a sedan style vehicle (angle of the hip puts them at risk)
Long or new workouts

How is sciatica diagnosed?

It is diagnosed by MRI and orthopedic testing that your Orthopedist or Chiropractor will do. Symptoms that a patient describes which will sound like the following:

Low back pain
Hip pain
Pain in the buttock and into the leg
Burning or tingling down the leg
Shooting pain in the buttock or leg
Aching pain in the buttock (early stages)
Pain is worse with sitting
Pain is better with standing and walking around

How is sciatica Treated?

The most common treatment in the USA for sciatica is massage to the piriformis muscle and the low back muscle complex. The second most common treatment and highly recommended to prevent re-occurrence is chiropractic care along with muscle therapy. The chiropractic treatment insures that there is alignment in the lumbar spine, pelvis and sacrum which can be common triggers to tightening up of the muscles responsible for the nerve pain in the buttock and low back. However, alignment alone is not enough to treat this condition and muscle work performed by your chiropractor or a trained massage therapist is required to get rid of symptoms and pain.

What happens if I think I have sciatica?

Begin by stretching or rolling out the piriformis; follow this up with ice to the area. If it is only aching and causing a mild limp and hasn’t progressed into radiating pain yet and rolling hasn’t taken care of the problem, contact your chiropractor or massage therapist. More serious cases may take injections or acupuncture in conjunction with the manual therapies.

We have a complete foam roller guide for your body and we would love to give one to you. Feel free to come by our office and ask for a foam roller sheet.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

13 Feb 2019 Medical

What is ESWT?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, also known as ESWT, is a non-surgical treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, shoulder tendonitis, and other chronic tendinopathies. “Extracorporeal” means “outside the body.” Shock waves, also known as pressure or sound waves, are generated by a special ESWT device and focused onto the targeted tissue. The shock waves are delivered to stimulate and reactivate the body’s repair mechanisms to advance normal tissue healing.

What is involved in the procedure?

On the day of the procedure, you will arrive at our office at the designated time prior to the scheduled appointment where you will meet your physician and technician. You will lie back comfortably with the area to be treated resting on the machine on a soft, water-filled membrane. The practitioner will make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. During the treatment, you will hear repetitive clicking sounds.

ESWT benefits patients because their condition can be treated extracorporeally, meaning outside of the body. Since ESWT is non-invasive, there is no lengthy recovery period, virtually no time off from work or risk of causing further damage. The same cannot be said with surgery.

What conditions can be treated by ESWT?

ESWT can effectively treat a range of musculoskeletal conditions. Complaints involving attachment points for tendons and ligaments in major joints such as the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, shoulder, elbow and knee are common areas for ESWT treatment. Please contact In Health Clinic to discuss your individual condition with one of our practitioners.

How can I prepare for ESWT?

You will need to be available for the full course of treatment.

You should not take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, for two weeks before your first procedure, and throughout your treatment. If you are unsure if any of your medicines contain NSAIDs then please check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

What kind of recovery can I expect?

ESWT forces your body to create new tissue cells in the damaged area. Expect gradual healing to take place over days, weeks or months. Though not typical, some have mild soreness or bruising after treatment. Some people experience no more pain from day one. Most will have noticeable to significant improvement by the thirteenth week. A second treatment after sixteen weeks may be necessary in approximately 20% of patients. As it took time to create the injury, healing also takes time. Total healing of the area can take up to one year.

The best thing about ESWT is that unlike surgery, you avoid getting worse before getting better. You do not need to plan lengthy time off from work or your life for painful post-procedure recovery.

Are there any side effects to ESWT?

Compared to invasive or endoscopic surgery, ESWT has fewer side effects and a much shorter recover time. The most common side effects include temporary pain (bruising and soreness,) swelling and petechiae (broken blood vessels that are generally of no concern.) These possible occurrences, however, usually clear within a few days. Moreover, the risks associated with surgical incisions and general anesthesia are eliminated.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments varies depending on the indication and tissue response. The effect of the treatment is cumulative, so you will typically need more than one (3–5) treatment. Very often though, you will experience relief right after the first treatment.

When should I consider ESWT?

If you have had your condition for more than six months and have tried three conservative therapies with no results, don’t wait. It is natural to procrastinate, but it is not a good idea for tendonosis conditions, since continuously using degenerative tendon tissue can cause further damage.

For example, every time that you feel pain when you place weight on your heel or lift something with your arm, it’s because you are pulling against the tendon fibers. When the condition progresses to a rupture, ESWT is no longer an option and you will have no treatment alternative but invasive surgery.

Additionally, if left untreated, you can experience new problems. With heel pain in your foot you may naturally compensate by walking on your toes or limping to protect yourself from pain. These abnormal movements will, in time, cause strain to your knees, hips and lower back, or even worse, may result in the same condition in the other foot. Compensation issues occur whenever you have chronic pain left untreated.

If your pain has just begun, you may be able to avoid ESWT by early intervention. Please feel free to call us and we will recommend a specialist who can help you take care of the problem today. Take care of yourself. Fix the problem, don’t delay.

I’ve tried other things but they didn’t help. How do I know ESWT will?

Tendonitis sometimes resolves by itself or with the help of treatments such as strapping, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or cortisone injections. When the condition is new (usually less than six months) it is called acute tendonitis.

Acute tendonitis is an inflammation. All of the treatments used at this stage are meant to rest the area or deal with the inflammation. Those who do not get better in the “acute” phase have what is called chronic tendonosis. The difference between tendonosis and tendonitis is simple: Tendonitis is an inflammation. Tendonosis is degenerative or damaged tissue. You can use steroid injections repeatedly with no result if the problem has gone beyond inflammation. Surgery used to be the only option for tendonosis. ESWT treats tendonosis because ESWT forces the damaged tendon to heal.

How do I know ESWT is right for me?

Our In Health Clinic practitioner will perform a thorough examination and will decide if ESWT treatment is right for you after looking at all the options. For instance, you could be a candidate if you have been diagnosed with chronic plantar fasciitis for at least six months and if your symptoms have failed to respond to three conservative treatments which may include rest, physical therapy, heel cushions, non-steroidal medications (Motrin or other anti-inflammatories), cortisone injections, taping, orthotics, shoe modifications, night splinting and casting. In the past, surgical intervention for chronic plantar fasciitis was required when these other treatments had failed, but today, ESWT is available as an alternative, noninvasive treatment option.

Is ESWT covered by my insurance?

Our Clinic are happy to contact your insurance company to find out if there is coverage for ESWT. Please call us for an informational packet and to discuss your condition and insurance coverage.

Brain Fog and Dementia

13 Dec 2018 Medical

Millions of Americans are suffering from what we call brain fog and they often worry that it is dementia. But brain fog is when the brain’s ability to think quickly or to respond to more complex tasks or speed of remembering something is compromised; just like the processor speed of a computer that is running too many applications. Dementia is a general symptom of several diagnosis and only impedes memory. We are going to delve into the most common causes of brain fog and how you can work to make sure your brain is protected and working at its best possible speed.

What are common reasons for brain fog to occur?

Menopause
Reaction to allergen’s – food or seasonal
Hormone shifts
Early Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Extreme Stress
Lack of regular sleep (often due to not getting 6-8hours a night)
Depression and anxiety
Medications
Blood sugar dis-regulation

What are the symptoms?

The definition of brain fog is temporary diminishment of the mental capacity, reasoning and memory. How we experience them is different and these are the things you can expect someone to say who has brain fog.

Repeating the same question cause their brain doesn’t actually take the time to wait and listen to the answer
Trouble remember details of an event or daily life
Trouble remembering names and even faces
Getting distracted in the middle of a task and not being able to come back to that previous task to complete it.

What is the difference from brain fog and dementia?

Brain fog effects several areas of the brain such as, conscious reason, confusion, poor spatial awareness (clumsiness), memory and lack of concentration; while dementia only effects the memory part of the brain. Brain fog can be brought on by a lot of different causes such as stress, dementia is most often the symptoms of a more serious disease such as Alzheimer’s.

How do I prevent Brain fog or dementia?

By knowing that brain fog or dementia runs in your family, you can create ways to prevent it from progressing or effecting your life.

Get regular sleep of 6-8 hours
Manage your blood sugar by making sure you eat protein with food even snacks
Get exercise which improves blood flow to the brain and to the body
Reduce stress
Remove any vitamin deficiencies
Learn new things

Once I have dementia or brain fog is their any thing I can do?

So even though diminished brain function can’t always be reversed, you can recover significant amounts of ground through correcting imbalances in neurotransmitters, nutrient deficiencies, hormones, digestion and work – stress balance, and here is how:

Take B- vitamins, especially B6 which is very important in the function of nerves and the brain
Take nutritional sleep aids if you are having trouble sleeping such as melatonin, phospatidylserine etc. (please always consult a doctor first)
Detox from either heavy metals or toxins to help the brain function better
Fix digestion issues since the brain and gut function on an axis that is necessary for them both to work
Avoid food’s that tend to cause brain inflammation or what we call molecular-mimicry, such as wheat which molecularly looks like the cerebellum and can cause brain fog and other issues
Huperzine a and lion’s mane can be very helpful in improving cognitive function by improving neurotransmitter levels. (consult your doctor before use)
Brain exercises can be done through programs like Luminosity.com or taking a class and learning something new to you. Do what you are not good at -for example, an athlete will take an art class or an artist will take a sports class.
Exercise 20 minutes a day to improve blood flow and function of the heart as well as the brain.
Anti-inflammatory supplements and diet can also help if auto-immune disease is present such as fish oil, turmeric, boswellia and gluthione etc.

Autoimmune Disease

23 Sep 2018 Medical

With Autoimmune issues on the rise today, people are more and more concerned with prevention and how to protect themselves.

What is a Auto-immune condition?

Whenever the body starts attacking its own tissue and cells, we characterize this as auto-immune. Some of the most common auto-immune conditions are hypothyroidism, gastro-intestinal issues, arthritis and many more. Auto-immune conditions are categorized by the organ they attack and are not currently being treated as an attack on the whole immune system.

Here are a small sample list of auto-immune diseases:

* Rheumatoid Arthritis
* Sjogren’s arthritis
* Lupus
* Celiac Disease
* Polymalgia Rheumatica
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Ankylosing Spondylitis
* Vasculitis
* Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis
* Type 1 Diabetes

What causes Auto-immune conditions?

As a growing number of conditions falls under the auto-immune category, we wonder the possible causes. Some are more likely to have auto-immunity in their families, some from toxins, more from poor diet (weight can play a factor), smoking, drug use (including prescription), severe or chronic stress and hormonal imbalances. There are more than 80 classified autoimmune diseases and they can be difficult to determine where they come from and which one you have.

What are the most common symptoms of Autoimmune disease?

* Fatigue
* Joint Pain
* Swelling
* Skin problems (like eczema)
* Abdominal pain and discomfort
* Recurring Fevers
* Swollen Glands

If these symptoms sound vague and like the symptoms of a lot of different diseases, you would be right and this makes diagnosis so difficult.

What testing is done?

Doctor’s start with laboratory testing to determine which type or category of disease a patient has and may order the following tests:

* Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA)
* Autoantibodies (thyroid or other organ based)
* Immunoglobulin A (IgA)
* C-reactive Protein (CRP) Test
* Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
* Complement Test C1, C1q, C2, C3, C4, CH50, CH100, Total Complement

How is it treated?

Autoimmune conditions are treated in several ways such as diet, exercise, nutraceuticals, hormones, anti-inflammatories and sometimes steroids if the attack is severe enough. Most people try and use natural alternatives and only steroids when more severe attacks occur. Below is a list of treatments including Dr. Walker’s favorite functional medicine strategies:

* Diet: Auto-immune Protocol Diet (AIP) similar to paleo but much stricter (see a basic list on our website link)
* Exercise: Low impact exercise such as yoga, biking, swimming and walking with mild weight lifting being done as ability allows
* Nutraceuticals: Vitamin A and D, Liposomal Glutathione, Short-chain Fatty acids, Turmeric, Boswellia, L-Glutamine, essential minerals (some of Dr. Walkers list)
Steroids and auto-immune suppressants: in more severe cases
* Hormones: Estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormone, melatonin to help balance the system.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Ibuprofen and Naproxen

If you are struggling with what you think may be auto-immune don’t suffer alone, there are lots of health care professionals to help you and at our office we work together with your specialist to make sure you are uniting both functional medicine and Western care to have the best and healthiest you possible. We don’t want the feeling of sickness to prevent you from enjoying life!

10 Best Food High in Calcium

17 Oct 2017 Medical

10 Best Foods High in Calcium:

  1. Collard greens: 268 milligrams per 1 cup cooked
  2. Broccoli: Calcium content: 86 milligrams in 2 cups raw
  3. Broccoli Rabe: Calcium content: 100 milligrams in one 2/3-cup serving
  4. Kale: Calcium content: 101 milligrams in 1 cup raw, chopped
  5. Edamame: Calcium content: 98 milligrams in 1 cup cooked
  6. Bok Choy: Calcium content: 74 milligrams per 1 cup shredded
  7. Figs: Calcium content: 121 milligrams per 1/2 cup dried
  8. Oranges: Calcium content: 74 milligrams in one large orange and 27 milligrams in a    cup of orange juice
  9. Tofu: Calcium content: 434 milligrams per half cup
  10. White Beans: Calcium content: 63 milligrams in 1/2 cup cooked

UTI’s

17 Oct 2017 Medical

Urinary Tract infections are categorized as a bacterial infection of the urethra, bladder or kidney. This infection is usually from a bacteria in the intestinal tract such as E.coli and can infect both males or females.

What are the symptoms of Urinary Tract infection?

  • Strong and frequent urges to urinate
  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating
  • Strong smelling or Foul smelling urine odor
  • Back pain
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Chills and aches

How do we get a Urinary Tract infection?

The two most common ways to get a urinary tract infection are not wiping properly and during sex (coitus). Men have gotten a bad wrap for having the dirty penis causing the UTI’s but typically in either scenario the infection of the urethra comes from transmitting bacteria in the ones own intestinal tract to the urethra. Our own bacteria is causing the infection. When our own intestinal E.coli or other bacteria go up the urethra, we get an infection. Women are more likely to get UTI’s than men due to the relative short nature of our urethra, but men also get UTI’s and unfortunately for men if there isn’t some sort of contact infection, it can often be an indicator for prostatitis or other male health issues.

How do you diagnosis a urinary tract infection?

Doctor’s direct a patient to do an in-office urinary dipstick test and if this is positive they may decide to send it out for a culture or they may not. Treatment is usually given based on a lab culture, if a doctor thinks that the white blood cell count in the urine is high enough. Blood in the sample usually indicates the infection is in the bladder and possibly to the kidney. The doctor may perform what is called a kidney punch test to determine if the infection has spread that high and if sensitivity is present to that point or not.

How are Urinary Tract infections Treated?

Western Medicine will usually treat using antibiotics but as many know, antibiotic use can alter the flora in your gut and reduce the body’s natural immunity.  There are alternative methods of treating mild UTIs that are just as effective and have fewer side effects than antibiotics.

In Chinese Medicine, we view a UTI as a damp heat accumulation in the Kidney and Urinary Bladder channels.  There are several acupuncture points along these channels that specifically benefit urinary function.  We would also use points on these and other channels to clear excess heat from the body.

If a patient has a full urinary tract infection they are treated with a course of antibiotics, our office will add D-mannose and Saccromyoces Boulardii to help prevent side-effects of the antibiotics and to prevent adherence of the bacteria while the antibiotics work. Cranberry pill or cranberry juice unsweetened are also excellent choices to help getting over an infection.

If you are someone who has chronic infections, it may be wise to do a stool sample to determine your good and bad bacteria that are present and balance them so future infections are not as easily contracted. Drinking cranberry juice somewhat regularly also can help prevent UTI’s. Practicing good habits, such as wiping front to back and urinating after sex can both be helpful. Changing toilets to the oval shaped bowel so that when men sit their penis doesn’t have contact with the toilet rim during bowel movements.

Chinese Herbal Remedies:

  • Ba Zheng Tang: This is a classic Chinese formula that clears damp heat from the urinary organs.
  • Long Dan Xie Gan Tang: This formula also clears damp heat from the kidneys and bladder but targets liver channel symptoms as well such as headache and dizziness.
  • Chuan Xin Lian: This formula is antibacterial and antiviral and is great for decreasing inflammation and clearing toxic heat.

What are the best Herbs for Preventing Urinary Tract infections?

  • Uva Ursi
  • Oregon Grape
  • Horsetail
  • Berberine
  • Corn silk
  • Cranberry

What are the best Home Remedies?

  • Drink natural cranberry juice (not the sugary kind)
  • Take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day
  • Up consumption of healthy fats to balance hormones (cod liver oil, butter, chia)
  • Vitamin C
  • Acidophilus based probiotics
  • Crushed garlic as a natural antibiotic

 

Acid Reflux & Acupuncture

6 Jun 2017 Medical

What is acid reflux?

Also commonly known as heartburn, acid reflux can range from mild and infrequent to severe and constant.  There are many causes of this painful problem.  Some cases are diet sensitive, meaning the issue is caused or exacerbated by the intake of specific foods and drinks.  Some common culprits are coffee, alcohol (especially red wine), citrus fruit and juices, eggs, chocolate, and spicy foods.

Other cases involve structural problems such as a hiatal hernia.  This is when a portion of the stomach pushes up above the diaphragm.  Other people might suffer from overproduction of stomach acid.  This is also a common issue during pregnancy especially during the later months as the uterus takes up more space in the abdomen and creates upward pressure on the stomach.  Also, during pregnancy, the hormones relax the valve separating the stomach from the esophagus, allowing acid to move up out of the stomach.

Not only is heartburn unpleasant and painful, it can also cause damage to the lining of your esophagus if left untreated.  You can read about the long-term effects of untreated heartburn here: http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/untreated-heartburn#1

How does Traditional Chinese Medicine help?

From a TCM perspective, acid reflux is diagnosed as Rebellious Stomach Qi.  The flow of the 12 main channels in the body all have a specific direction they follow.  The stomach channel flows from the face down to the feet.  This makes sense when you think about digestion in general.  We want the food to move down and out.  When the flow of qi is disrupted for whatever reason, the natural direction can be reversed which can cause belching, hiccuping, vomiting, and reflux. Think about when you have experienced indigestion.  Instead of food moving through your digestive tract as it should, it feels like it won’t go down and you may feel that upward movement of gas or food for several hours as your stomach and other digestive organs work hard to move it through.

Acupuncture redirects the qi in the stomach channel by opening blockages along the channel and restoring the channel’s natural downward movement.  Herbs are also extremely helpful, especially in cases of chronic heartburn.  Herbs can replace your over-the-counter heartburn medications such as Tums, Zantac, or Pepto Bismol as a natural alternative with fewer side effects and issues with long-term use.

What else can I do to lessen my discomfort?

Here are some simple tips for beating the burn:

  1. Sleep with your upper body slightly elevated.
  2. Don’t eat late at night.  Try to eat several hours before going to bed to give your body time to digest before laying flat.
  3. Try peppermint or ginger to aid general digestion.
  4. Take probiotics to ensure proper gut health.
  5. Reduce intake of exacerbating foods.  Pay attention to what flares your heartburn and remove it from your diet.
    Iris Martin, Light & Joy Acupuncture Inc.

Stomach Pain: Peptic Ulcers And Acid Reflux

6 Jun 2017 Medical

What are the common causes of stomach pain?

Some of the most common causes of stomach pain are gas, acid reflux, peptic ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, SIBO, food sensitivities and over eating.

What helps to differentiate the cause of the pain?

• Gas – Bloating and pressure in the tummy that may cause flatulence or just pain.
• Diarrhea – bowel changes and frequent bathroom trips.
• Stomach flu – Bowel changes, vomiting
• Food Sensitivities – stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea or bloating.
• Constipation – bowel changes, straining during bowel movements, feel like have to go but not being able to
• Acid Reflux – burning in the throat, pain in the stomach or chest pain
• Peptic ulcers – stomach pain, burning in the stomach, belching
• SIBO – stomach pain, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, joint pain, fatigue

What is the treatment for each of these conditions?

• Gas – Activated Charcoal, removing gas causing foods, digestive enzymes or probiotics
• Diarrhea – change diet, probiotics, l-glutamine powder, food allergy testing
• Stomach flu – Drink broth and electrolytes when able, rest and BRAT diet
• Food Sensitivities – Remove irritable foods from diet, get allergy testing that tests both IgG and IgE antibodies (blood test), do a gut healing protocol with a doctor (see a standard protocol below).
• Constipation – change diet, probiotics, aloe vera liquid drink, fiber, food allergy testing, plenty of water, exercise, omega 3’s, prunes
• Acid Reflux – spoonful of baking soda (1/2 tsp baking soda in glass of water), aloe vera juice, no laying down after a meal, apple cider vinegar, stop smoking or drinking, chamomile tea
• Peptic ulcers – H. Pylori testing (stool or breath test), fenugreek, bananas, cabbage juice, DGL supplements
• SIBO – Glucose and lactulose breath testing, oregano oil, berberine, antibiotics, probiotics

When to go to the Doctor for stomach pain?

Any stomach pain that has lasted greater than 2 weeks and hasn’t responded to any of the home remedies you have tried warrants further investigation by a competent doctor. Pain that wakes you up at night is a good time to see the doctor, blood in your stool, eczema or rashes that won’t go away, not pooping daily even after taking probiotics, trouble eating or significant weight loss. If you have any of the above symptoms going on it is important to seek out a doctor. Our digestive health is very important and this is how we absorb nutrients to fight off infections. Living with an unhealthy gut can be detrimental to your overall health and your doctor will take these complaints very seriously.

What are Gut Healing Protocols? How would I do one?

Gut healing protocols usually come in several forms.
A stool sample can be taken to determine what imbalance exists. This type of individual should consult with a doctor to determine which substances can be used to help kill the harmful bacteria and restore balance to the Gut.
To determine true leaky gut, a blood test is needed and zonulin (intestinal permeablilty marker) is tested to determine if extra healing is needed in the tract to close the gaps and restore balance. If symptoms aren’t very severe you can attempt an at home protocol like the one seen below; however if more severe symptoms persist or the protocol isn’t helping, please seek a doctor for help.
Remove commonly Gut harmful foods: Sugars, wheat grains (that aren’t sprouted), Conventional meat products, Dairy products, and sometimes eggs.
Add healthy Gut healing foods: Bone Broth, Fermented Foods (sauerkraut, kombucha, veggies, kimchi), Coconut products (medium chain triglycerides are easier to digest than other fats), Sprouted seeds (Chia, flax, pumpkin, hemp etc.)
Repair with Healing supplements: L-Glutamine, DGL, Quercetin, Digestive enzymes
Probiotic Balancing: Probiotics that have diverse species count and a prebiotic either from food (Soluble fiber items: legumes, beets, okra, apples, peas, carrots) or in a supplement form

Pregnancy Protocol for Acupuncture

30 Mar 2017 Medical

Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for pregnant women.  At Light & Joy, we specialize in caring for you during this special time.  We often get questions about how it can help and how often patients should be treated throughout pregnancy.  Our basic protocol for pregnant patients is as follows:

Weeks 0-14

Weekly treatments are invaluable to support the pregnancy during the early weeks if there is a history of miscarriage and/or infertility.
For patients undergoing various western infertility treatments such as IVF or IUI, acupuncture can help to moderate the side effects of synthetic hormones the patients are taking and improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

For more typical pregnancies, treatment is recommended on an as needed basis for the variety of things that can come up and cause discomfort during the first trimester.  Women are often more anxious during the first trimester as they wait to get confirmation that the pregnancy is viable and the baby is healthy. Acupuncture relieves stress and anxiety and also helps with fatigue, headaches, and changes in mood as our bodies adjust to everything going on within. Chinese medicine is beneficial for managing nausea and hormone fluctuations as well.

Exercise tips: It is very important to stay active during your pregnancy.  We recommend getting some form of exercise 3-5 times per week. For the first trimester, exercise can be very difficult if you are not feeling well.  If nothing else, do your best to take walks.  You can take shorter walks 2-3 times a day if a longer walk doesn’t seem feasible.

If you are feeling good and want to be more active, just make sure you aren’t overdoing it. A good rule of thumb is to not start any new kind of exercise that your body isn’t accustomed to doing.  Stick to the basics and don’t overdo it.  The hormone relaxin is pumping through your body helping to prepare your body to carry a baby and birth it, so be careful not to overstretch as the relaxin makes your joints and muscles more mobile than normal.  Ask your health care practitioner if you are unsure about what types of exercise are appropriate for you.

Weeks 15-35

In the second trimester, pregnancy symptoms have usually subsided.  This is a time to take care of yourself and allow your baby and body to do their thing. We recommend treatments only as needed for things that may come up such as aches and pains, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, and dermatological changes.

During week 34 or 35 the baby is checked for position.  If you find out that your baby is breech, we highly recommend coming in for treatment as soon as possible as this gives us the best chance of helping to turn your baby to a head-down presentation with our breech protocol. For breech presentation, we work in tandem with the chiropractors of In Health Clinic to achieve the best results.

Exercise tips: In the second trimester, most women are starting to feel much better, have their energy back and can eat normally.  Take advantage of the energy spurt and consider upping your exercise frequency or intensity. Yoga and swimming are great choices for pregnancy because they are very strengthening but gentle on the joints.

Weeks 36-40+

During these final weeks, we recommend weekly treatments to prepare your body for birth.  Again we focus on relaxing and opening up the hips and sacral area, creating space for the baby to move down into the birth canal.  Depending on your doctor’s instruction, we tailor the treatments to fit your birthing schedule and will often move into labor induction treatments just before or at 40 weeks. Induction treatments are usually performed every other day leading up to the birth. If there is a set medical induction date due to high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, for example, treatment will be performed daily.

Exercise tips: Kegels are always a good idea throughout pregnancy to help strengthen your pelvic floor and vaginal muscles.  This can help to prevent prolapse, incontinence, and more.  As you get bigger and maneuvering becomes more difficult, you may need to scale down your exercise program.  Consider taking more walks, as walking is good for birth prep as well.

Iris Martin LAc.
Light & Joy Acupuncture Inc.

The WooHoo of Chiropractic

30 Mar 2017 Medical

How Adjustments can benefit more than just the bones, joints and muscles.  The most common time for a patient to seek out a Chiropractor is when they are in pain or have just been injured.

We as a profession are known for our ability to treat Headaches, Neck pain and Low back pain.  For optimal health of the back, neck and head, it is suggested to get adjusted at least twice a year? We get our teeth checked twice a year but we never really think about the spine and how the nerves are affected when a spine or muscle isn’t functioning properly.  The common objection people have against seeing a chiropractor is: “if I start going, I will always have to go”.  The answer is, “Yes, if your body would only be so lucky to see a chiropractor all the time!”. The actual answer is NO, you will not have to keep coming back week after week.  We ask that you get checked two times a year to make sure you are maintaining proper function.  Every function in your body is determined by the nervous system as a whole and we know that the nervous system protector is the spine.  When a nerve is affected because your body is mis-aligned in the spine, we can measure that its electrical output goes down, meaning whatever that nerve controls will have a decrease in function.

Based on research, an adjustment of the L4 vertebra in athletes will strengthen the quad muscle.  We can measure this and see an improvement after an adjustment.  Do we know exactly how this happens?? “No” this is the WooHoo factor.  We also see that babies with constipation getting adjusted will suddenly be able to poop more effectively; we can observe it and measure it but we haven’t exactly been able to explain it yet and until our understanding of neurology expands in the medical profession we may not know, we have idea’s but no proven mechanism.

In our office I have also seen where adjusting the T9 vertebra will improve someone’s stomach pain and because I am a bit of a skeptic myself I always try this as a last resort looking for more organic and more explainable causes first.  But we are now taking a more holistic approach if someone comes in with stomach pain or a cough we will treat those symptoms and disease classically through oral supplementation as well as to adjust the patient, because there is no known way to tell by examining a patient externally if the nerve and interference to the nerve are part of that problem or not.  So we always make sure the spine is aligned so that we remove nerve impingement as part of problem, leaving other issues to be treated and dealt with.  Here is a short run down of what nerves innervate what organs:
Heart T1-T8

Lung T3-T9

Esophagus T5-T6

Stomach T5-T9

Doudenum T6-T10

Jejunum T8-T11

Large Bowel T8-L1

Appendix T9-L1

Liver T6-T11

Spleen T7-T10

Gallbladder T6-T11

Pancreas T7-T10

Kidney T9-L2

Ureter T9-L2

Testis/Ovary T10-T11

Prostate T10-T11

Uterus T12-L1

Before you go too long between your next adjustment remember two things; first, your nerves affect your organs and mis-alignment’s don’t just come from falling down but simple repetitive activity like sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Second, a joint that is unmoving for as little as one month will begin to show and develop arthritic changes (meaning that arthritis can develop from simply sitting at a desk and allowing a joint to remain stuck for long periods of time).

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