When it comes to avoiding headaches and migraines, creating a healthy lifestyle is a sure way to reduce the risk of them happening. Establishing a healthy diet, regular sleep patterns and an exercise routine can have an impact but at the same time, acupuncture has a much more accurate and direct purpose.
Are you ready to get rid of those stressful and frustrating headaches and migraines? Get in touch with our clinic to get instant pain-relief TODAY!
Acupuncture is used by practitioners to treat many health problems and is proven to relieve pain, ease nausea and strengthen the immune system. It uses specific points on the body to increase blood flow, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote the secretion of pain-killing endorphins. This is achieved by inserting very thin needles superficially into the skin and body tissues. In some cases, acupressure may be used effectively in the days following and between treatments to support pain management.
Interestingly, acupuncture was first introduced in Asia more than five thousand years ago and still features prominently as an important Chinese medicine. In spite of skeptic opinion, many studies have concluded that acupuncture is beneficial in terms of reducing both the frequency and severity of migraines.
Most noticeably, the Canadian Medical Association Journal carried about a series of experiments in which two groups of participants were monitored after receiving acupuncture. Although the first group proceeded with traditional acupuncture, the second group was unknowingly subjected to a fake or sham version of acupuncture with the intention of deriving some telling differences between the two. In the end, both groups claimed a reduction and improvement with regard to a migraine but only the participants in the legitimate group reported positive results in the long term.
In short, experts concluded that acupuncture should be used as a supplement to treat migraines at the very least.
As you may know, migraines can last for hours and even several days at a time. In most instances, these episodes are characterized by sharp, throbbing headaches, and a range of other symptoms including vomiting, sensitivity to light and lack of energy. In fact, stress is another consequence of migraines and this is especially true over a sustained period.
Although there are many variations of migraines and headaches, there is no proven cure and most people avail of over the counter medications to treat the problem. However, herein is one of the problems with modern treatment, for recent studies show that 73% migraine patients use far too many acute medications on a daily basis.
At the same time, severe headaches and migraines do not need to be chronic to require treatment. After all, even a single migraine is known to dramatically reduce a person’s productivity or efficiency while the stress involved is uncomfortable, to say the least. With this in mind, anyone who suffers from regular headaches or migraines should seek specialist treatment and as already mentioned, acupuncture is widely regarded as the most effective treatment available.
Migraines affect one in seven people in the United States on an annual basis which is a similar statistic in Australia, according to the National Library of Medicine. In case you might be asking yourself, this is more than thirteen percent of the population and several million of these suffer even more with a debilitating variation known as a chronic migraine.
Although there is no proven cause for migraines, most people are exposed to this condition as a result of genetics and recent studies suggest that diet, stress, alcohol and even erratic sleep patterns can contribute to the onset of the most common symptoms. Further studies also show that headache medications produce negative side effects and will most often result in negative long-term health issues.
With this in mind, acupuncture is widely recognized as one of the safest treatments for migraines. In fact, acupuncture is also one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of migraines.
When Sarah came to me, she was your average superhero mum happy juggling life with two kids save for one BIG problem.
Every month, for 72 hours, Sarah had difficulty breathing and lay in agony on the floor. She felt like she was giving birth all over again. This, folks, was just an average period.
I asked her to rate the pain out of ten, and she gave it 9/10. Imagine…
Everyone’s pain scale is different, but this reminded me of that experiment on YouTube that went viral. Two fathers had electric pads hooked up to their bellies that passed an electric charge in increasing volts to simulate the pain of childbirth at 10/10.
Lo and behold, these brave, gallant men didn’t make it past 4/10…
Naturally, I assumed she went to the hospital in times like this. Wrong.
“I don’t want to be a burden,” she told me. “There are other people who need help more.”
~>I Think My Jaw Dropped.
I have no idea where this belief came from that women had to tough it out each month, BUT I KNOW IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!
The real kicker was when I asked how long she had been dealing with this kind of pain.
“30 years.” she replied.
We broke down the time each month that she spent in pain. It added up to ¼ of her life. A QUARTER OF HER LIFE. Poof, gone.
Years dedicated to not being able to go swimming, living her life and being active. Years dedicated to being bed bound and missing family and friend’s birthdays, events and holidays, and forgoing career opportunities.
~> At that point, I made her a Deal.
I told her that I’d do everything I could to help relieve her pain, treat the underlying problem and help her get her time back.
All she had to do was show up consistently for treatment + action mygame changing tips.
No more, no less.
I can happily say she did just that. Sarah is now on the road to reclaiming her life back.
What Sarah learned for herself is powerful. That there are always powerful, natural solutions out there, and in my clinical experience, Acupuncture is 1#.
It is the Golden Keyto unlocking a Pain-free life.
Before we met, the only thing Sarah could turn to, the only thing she knew, was Panadol. And when the pain was really bad, she was prescribed more and more Panadol.
But here’s the BIG problem with painkillers, it doesn’t solve the problem. It only suppresses pain. And the key thing to remember is that pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong or out of balance, whether its bloating, distension, headaches, pain and/or severe pain.
Luckily, at Acu-Fit Acupuncture, we understand pain and better, we know how to beat it.
I am by no means suggesting I’m a Health Guru, but as an Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Practitioner who dabbles in all things in my pursuit of wellness, I find that a lot of the time people find joy in trying to catch myself and other health industry people out if our meals aren’t gluten free or if we haven’t meditated today.
Dealing with the expectation that you should act and feel 100% all the time is quite a confronting notion but a recent bout with gastro has put my mind at ease and, thank god, my stomach ;D
22nd June 2016 4pm:
I was cruising along enjoying my day when at about 4pm I felt some cramping in my stomach.. I thought it was nothing, but after a while i began to feel nauseous and that’s when I had to run to bathroom..! For about 2 hours I was in an out of bathroom and I was really frustrated. I no longer felt nauseous and actually felt my normal self- other than the fact that I had to go the bathroom.. constantly.
The first thought that went through my mind was “Oh sh*t.. The health professional is sick. Not a good look and not great for business” But then I thought, I’ll make my way to kitchen, take charge of my heath and start supplementing my way to glory. The positive approach is the only approach!
I started with ACV, Sodium Bicarb and 1 lemon, made up a concoction and that went straight down the hatch. It’s so important to make sure your blood’s pH is alkaline right off the bat because the acidity is what’s causing your problem and slowing your healing. The ACV has got the good bacteria that’s going to help smother whatever bad bacteria is causing your problem.
Once that was down I took One tablespoon of Diatomaceous Earth. If you haven’t earthed before- you need to get across that asap, but start in small dosages, its highly nutrient dense and can be a shock going through the digestive system. Every traditional culture in the world used the natural clays available to them to supplement their diets, treat illnesses and clean their water.
Diatomaceous earth and all clays are amazing as they are absorptive and adsorptive which means they have a dual nature in finding the ‘bad guys’, stopping them in their tracks and safely processing them out of the body.
Next I hit up my Iodine, MSM and Essential Minerals (all natural) with half a litre of water because not only do I want the problem to disappear, I want my immune system and every function in my body to be strong whilst its fighting. I also want it to be strong when the sickness is gone.
Finally, when that had all settled, I took a collagen supplement with a probiotic to ensure the whole process was as gentle on my digestive tract as possible and that my whole body was being supported.
After I went downstairs to chill out and do a small meditation, I reflected on something that was quite profound for me…
I don’t think the goal is to be and feel 100% all the time- chances are the stresses in life will affect your health in some respect at some point. I think everyone has to equip themselves with the information out there to be able to treat themselves and know where to look when the shit hits the fan. The knowledge is out there and chances are your body intuitively knows what it needs, you just have to take action.
I woke up today feeling amazing, and better than I felt before I got sick.. Sometimes the body needs a good clean out, and you need to let it happen. Remember the body only has a few ways to get toxins and disease out of the body. If you’re running to the bathroom, chances are your body needs it to happen. Shit happens, literally 😉
Try to source individuals who offer you solutions to your problems. Never tolerate the “unfortunately there’s nothing to be done, it’ll be with you for the rest of your life” & “Your cross to bear” BS.
Much love and gratitude for reading this and taking control of your health. Acu-Fit was founded on the notion that Health and Wellness are our rights and will continue to be there to assist and aid you in your own personal journey!
Using needles to take away pain? Treating the foot to heal the shoulder? Asking me about how I sleep when I’ve come in for a rash? Chinese medicine can be so foreign, so different from everything we understand in modern thought, that it’s hard to get your head around.
Now, I didn’t want to write a dry, yawn-fest, medical jargon-heavy blog post, but I believe it’s important to arm ourselves with as much information as possible. There’s a ton of conflicting and confusing information out there but it’s vital we know how to help ourselves so that we’re armed to the teeth!
So today, huddle in…Because we’re going in deep and we’re getting specific! Luckily, you’re in good hands though, because I’m the “funnest” acupuncturist out!
Acupuncture is actually really simple in essence. We insert hair-thin needles into specific anatomical sites, known as acupuncture points, to stimulate the body’s natural self-healing capacity.
But Eamon, how is this possible?
It’s because… the tiny, minute cells that make up our body carry such important information that any time something enters the body (e.g. needle penetration), it causes a change in the information carried in the cell.
It’s because… Our bodies are made up of electrical (neural) pathways that are stimulated instantaneously when we insert needles, which in turn stimulate a response from the brain to change our physiology.
It’s because… Qi (pro: Chi), the name given to the “energy” of the body, is linked in Chinese thinking to the embryological science of the body.
It’s possible because within this holistic paradigm, our limbs and systems and organs and skin are all part of the one body system. And it’s this understanding that breeds a radically different approach to medicine.
The human body is a m a z i n g.
It’s highly responsive, which gives it limitless capacity for change and progress.
We know that if we live and work in an environment without direct sunlight, we can become Vitamin D deficient. We know that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression and other physiological problems.
If something as small or incidental as not getting enough sun can radically change the body, it shows that something even smaller, i.e. Acupuncture, can have a profound effect.
Through my clinical experience, Acupuncture is a very experiential medicine, meaning you can feel, feel out and feel around, it’s effectiveness. As soon as the first few needles are inserted, you will be able to tell whether or not something has changed.
Especially if you’re in pain, but even so if you have an internal disorder. The heart rate slows to normal, the stress and tension in the body feels like it’s dissipating and you will feel.. “different”.
If I had read a blog like this before I’d ever tried Acupuncture, with someone telling me that doing something as simple as putting needles in the body could have such a profound effect on the body, I wouldn’t have believed it.
But ultimately it comes down to a choice:
Either you believe and accept that pain or discomfort are part of your life for the rest of your life…
Or, you believe this guy.
This guy who grew up in a family where conventional medical treatments were the go-to, and living with seem-ably ‘incurable’ injuries was a given.
This guy who one day came across an acupuncturist clinic and never turned back.
This guy who is writing to you today, who was you.
My first treatment changed my career path, invigorated passions I never knew I had, and lead to the happy and fulfilled person I am today.
Find what works for you, but know you always have a choice.
AS you get older you never really regret the choices you made quite as much as you regret the choices you didn’t make. Take control of your health. Your body will love you for it.
Let’s be honest, I didn’t skip or glide or fall into Chinese Medicine, I went kicking and screaming.
I’d only ever had “Dry needling” or “Western Acupuncture” done by a physiotherapist, and had left feeling pretty indifferent about acupuncture as a whole. *
That all changed in mid 2009 when I was training for a natural body building competition and finishing my PT certification. I was in the gym doing some basic olympic lifting when I slipped on a mat trying to launch the bar above my head and coat hanged myself instead.
Diagnosis: Bruised ego and a slipped disc at L2…
Even though the pain was debilitating, I expected my body to be back in the gym in a week. Bit of physiotherapy, a chiropractor and whoever else I could call on, and I’d be right, right?!
Two months later, referral after referral, to chiropractors and physiotherapists, and I was still having terrible sciatica pain. Pain that kept me up all night. Finally, a friend stepped in, said I looked terrible (thanks, friend) and recommended I try something different… You guessed it, acupuncture! Reluctantly I went… How much worse could it get anyway?
One session in, I was hooked. The pain went from a constant 8/10 to a 3/10 after one hour of treatment. Three weeks later I was back in the gym and living la vida loca on the dance floor!
How was this possible? I looked at my routine. Had I stretched more, slept more, eaten better? There was no way it could be-, no way it was the-, no way I was giving the credit to some woo woo needles. But the evidence mounted. I couldn’t argue with the results. Acupuncture had healed me.
Too often in our own health journeys, we are unknowingly limited by what’s close and familiar and been-done-before. I took a chance six years ago, desperate and having “exhausted all options”, to seek acupuncture. Fast forward to now, and I’m running my own chinese medicine practise at AcuFit, have a whole new and passionate outlook to health, and treat scores of clients for everything under the sun!
I’m not relaying this because I believe Acupuncture is the best thing for you (even though generally I would say it is) but because I implore you to find out and shop what works best for you.
If your health has plateaued or you don’t feel any better after weeks and months of treatment, make a change. If someone tells you won’t get any better or you’ll suffer with an ailment for the rest of your life, do not listen to them, make a change.
Find someone who provides you with solutions and answers to your questions and concerns. If you’re seeing a specialist, or a physiotherapist, or a chiropractor or a massage therapist, or an osteopath or even an acupuncturist, and you’re not feeling better- MAKE A CHANGE!
If I can’t help you then I will try my darndest to find a practitioner or treatment approach that will. Because first and foremost, my clients and their health/pain, matters to me.
Stay healthy and happy!
Your favourite acupuncturist,
*It was only until I started studying Chinese Medicine that I realised that dry needling and Acupuncture are definitely not the same thing!
We all know headaches and Migraines can be excruciating. They can last for a minute or an hour, or in some cases can be episodic over many years.
This kind of pain brings people to their knees; by the time they come to me, they’re willing to try anything. Luckily, I can help.
The key point to remember when it comes to pain there are generally SYMPTOMS and then there is the ROOT of the problem. The nature of the pain receptors in the body are incredibly complex. Just because pain is in one spot or covering an entire area, it doesn’t mean what’s causing the pain is in the same location.
This is where acupuncture comes in! The focus is to stimulate the body’s systems to re-correct the pathways that are causing the headaches and pain. When the needle is inserted, the brain registers the needle’s presence and sends information around the body to start relieving pain.
Acupuncture works amazingly for headaches by:
1.Stimulating Acupuncture points to encourage the production of endorphins (natural painkillers) to travel to the area of pain.
2.Beginning a process of reducing inflammation and pressure in the site of pain.
3.Encouraging the normal function of the Nervous, Hormonal, Circulatory and Physiological systems.
With this approach the body starts to address not only relieving the pressure and pain of the headache, but also addresses the real cause of the pain.
In my clinical experience, often times a general broad headache across the head, following needle insertion, focuses on one point of pain.
One woman in her 50s had a headache that was akin to a dull ache all over her head. She likened the pressure and pain to wearing a tight helmet. After the first needles were inserted she felt only pain on the left side of her head and the right side pain was alleviated. As we address the whole area, the root of the problem commonly falls into one spot.
If you spend all your time addressing or suppressing the symptoms with medication or supplements you will only see short term relief and it is impossible to treat the root of the problem. As your body gets used to pain-killing medication, it builds up a natural resistance to the drug. This means you’re unable to maintain the levels of relief you were previously experiencing.
The only solutions are to increase the dosage of your medication or to be prescribed a new, stronger drug.
Headaches and Migraines occur and effect people differently. Some come in fixed tension or clusters, others are constant and in an overall ache. All cases have different levels of severity but all are debilitating to daily life. It is time to take action and to look for natural solutions.
Key things to address when suffering a headache:
–Diet: watch out for foods containing sugars and preservatives (#1 baddies but not the only foods to address)
–Sleep: Quality and quantity of sleep is important
–Stress: Find 10 minutes of relaxation everyday- Lunchtime is the best time.
–Water: Making sure the body is properly hydrated and getting the right minerals.
And my Favourite:
–Keep a Headache and Migraine Daily Diary!
Write down the Severity, location of, duration, and the amount of headaches you suffered.
Diarising your headaches is ESSENTIAL for treatment and fast tracking your recovery. It allows us to focus directly on the pain and give you the fastest and longest lasting pain relief possible.
IF you’ve had enough of headaches and ready for a natural approach to feeling great.
Finding joy in the simplest things today. The Japanese and the Chinese have culturally embedded philosophies in that each seemingly menial task in your day has an intrinsic spiritual value. Each task is an art form within itself and takes years to study and master- gongfu. Today I make tea tomorrow enlightenment.