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Reasons Why Series – Reason #1 Treat Medication Side Effects

Treat side effects from drugs without adding another drug.One Good Reason:  Treating Medication Side Effects

Drugs are amazing.  They help a lot of people prevent and manage illnesses.  But let’s face it, most drugs have side effects.  Not for every person, but for the majority of patients one or more side effects shows up, sometimes to the point of outweighing the benefits.   In response, your doctor may suggest or prescribe a secondary medication to address that side effect.  And so the cascade of pharmaceuticals goes.  
As an acupuncturist, I see a lot of people who are trying to avoid or reduce dependence on medications.  
 

Here’s the story of a woman we’ll call A. 

She takes a medication daily to prevent cancer recurrence.  A. is so grateful for this important drug, however she happens to be one of the 27% who gets a non-serious heart problem as a side effect.  For her, it’s thumping and skipping beats – really uncomfortable.  The doctor reassures her the palpitations, called PACs, are benign, and prescribes a beta blocker to address the misfiring of the heart’s rhythm.  Concerned about the beta blocker’s own list of various side effects, she takes a friend’s advice and tries acupuncture.  And guess what – after one week of treatment – the disturbing heart-attack-like feeling decreased dramatically to mild and less often. 
In less than 3 weeks, the skipping and thumping abated so much, and stayed so mild, that we were able to incorporate treatment of secondary complaints while continuing to address the heart’s signaling imbalance to ensure it continued to regulate and heal.  
Now we’re starting to space treatments further apart as symptoms continue to improve and not return between visits.  She went from having to take this beta blocker when it got bad (a few times a week), to not touching the stuff! 

Neuro Emotional Technique – finding hidden causes that interfere with healing

Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) is a non-invasive bio-energetic healing method that can uncover underlying stressors, including unresolved emotions, that are linked with and contributing to your sense of dis-ease.  Some of our pain is emotional, some is physical, and some is intertwined.  NET compliments acupuncture therapy and helps to speed healing, especially for very chronic problems. 

 

Stress and Emotional Blockages

Emotions are healthy and normal responses to stimuli, and normally pose no long-lasting physiological or psychological problems. While the conventional wisdom holds that emotions are separate from the physical body and its functions, modern research has now offered compelling evidence that emotions are physiological in nature and actually manifest throughout the body in the form of biochemicals called neuropeptides.

It is human nature to have emotional responses to significant events in our lives, and our bodies most often will deal normally with those responses at some point. However, sometimes the emotions become “stuck” and we develop conditioned response patterns that manifest as physical symptoms of some level of disease.

The skillful application of NET can normalize unresolved physical or behavioral patterns. The correction uses Muscle Response Testing along with specific NET inquiries to identify these blocks and to release them. While the events and their details are brought to consciousness, this is all very natural and safe. NET is not a “talk it out” therapy. Certainly, some patients can benefit from such therapies (and some should), and those therapies can be utilized along with NET, where applicable.

 

Mind-Body Healing

NET removes energy blockages, using the principles of Traditional East Asian Medicine and the associated organs and meridians. It is a true mind-body approach.

NET is effective in addressing emotional conflicts in the areas of relationships, family life, finances, career, and other personal issues that negatively influence health.

 

The Four Bases of Healing in NET

NET helps us find what the mind-body needs in order to assist deeper healing of the issue we’re exploring.

First Base finds and corrects a stressor, called a Neuro Emotional Complex,  

Second Base indicates a homeopathic remedy to assist in healing,

Third Base implicates nutritonal support

Fourth Base indicates a needed structural fix.  

NET is complimentary to acupuncture, and is based on the principles of Chinese Medicine in addition to incorporating chiropractic theory, nutrition, and homeopathy.  Acupuncture treatment assists in deepening the corrections done via NET, and can be used to correct a 4th base issue and sometimes is used in lieu of or in addition to the 2nd base finding. 

My patients love how they feel stronger and lighter after a session.  Pain improves, and overall wellbeing moves forward.  If you are curious if NET is right for you, call 630-335-1069 to schedule a complimentary consultation.  

 

Happy and Free

Retraining the Diaphragm to Enhance Your Health!

Believe it or not, but the way you breathe can impact your health! And vice versa.  The diaphragm is a muscle that sits under the lungs between the chest cavity and the abdominal cavity.  As with any muscle in the body it can get tight or spastic or out of shape.  What’s more, is the connective tissue surrounding the diaphragm connects it to so many different parts of the body, thus implicating it in any type of pain or dysregulation in the body.

Luckily, we can affect the health of the diaphragm and its movement through breathing exercises. practicing mindful breathing every day does more than just calm you down for a few minutes. It retrains and exercises the diaphragm thus helping to relax and reprogram many other muscles and tissues they connect with all over your body.  

 

Diaphragmatic breathing

 

How does diaphragmatic breathing (also called deep breathing or a 3 part breath) detoxify and restore our bodies?

Deep breathing stimulates the lymph nodes and assists lymph drainage (think of the lymphatic system like the sewage system of the body, where debris and toxins are collected and then eliminated).  In fact, it increases the rate of elimination as much as 15 times!

When the diaphragm moves up and down in deep breathing, it stimulates the vagus nerve, which houses many of the parasympathetic nervous systems’ fibers.  This is important because the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the ‘rest and digest’ response.  When we are able to digest we absorb more nutrients to build and protect our bodies and when we can rest, our bodies are given a chance to repair. -Deep breathing assists the circulatory system, improving blood circulation, another major channel of elimination and detoxification.

 

So, how do we practice diaphragmatic breathing?

I found it helpful when I was first learning to lie on my back and place one hand on my lower belly and one hand on my ribcage. Begin by slowing down the breath and relaxing the mind, using the nostrils to breath. Then take an inhale sending the breath down into the lower belly, feeling the hand rising up, keep inhaling and now fill the ribcage with air, feeling the sides of the ribs expand, and finally feel the top of the lungs, the upper chest fill with air. Exhale, reversing the flow.  So, upper chest empties, then side ribs, then lower belly. If it’s helpful, imagine filling a balloon. Inhale, sending breath down to the bottom of the balloon, filling the lower belly, then the side ribs and up to the top, a full balloon. Exhale, top of the balloon, chest deflates, then side ribs contract and finally lower belly, almost squeezes the last of the air out. You can begin with a 4 second inhale count and a 4 second exhale count and as your lung capacity increases you can gradually lengthen each, keeping the length of the inhale the same as the exhale.

Who Can Benefit from breathing exercises?

This practice is appropriate for anyone experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, pain, menstrual difficulties, urinary frequency and urgency, sleep trouble, and really anything!  I encourage all my patients to incorporate mindful breathing – breathing without doing anything else for a few moments – as part of their home work.  They love knowing this simple practice can help them, and it’s a life skill worth practicing!
If you are suffering from a condition that interferes with the life you want to be living, please call 630-335-1069 to schedule a free consultation!

Acupuncture Supports Breast Cancer Patients

 

As a holistic practitioner specializing in women’s health, and the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, I feel deeply connected to the work I do to support women going through cancer treatments and women dealing with the after effects of treatment.

While cancer treatments are life saving they’re also harsh to the body and spirit.  Acupuncture is a safe way to support a woman receiving chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.  It allows the body to enter a resting state so it can heal and repair. And it’s not just the needles.  As the practitioner, I am not just a technician inserting needles.  There is a patient-practitioner synergy that has its own value in the healing process.  The result is very supportive and healing.

This article on cancer.gov discusses how several studies show that acupuncture can reduce side effects of treatment such as joint pain.

And this breastcancer.org article cites studies showing acupuncture as being effective for other sides effects including nausea, hot flashes and fatigue.

Let’s not forget the mental-emotional strain cancer causes.  Acupuncture is very effective for anxiety, insomnia, and depression as well.

Acupuncture does not interfere with medications and can be modified to accomodate each patient individually.  Please share this article with someone you know who needs support as she makes her way through this difficult journey.

Why Get Cupped?

I love turning nouns into verbs!  So ya, in my world, I cup people. It’s fun for me and my patients love it too!!

 

What is cupping?

 

Cupping is the application of suction cups to any area of the body on the skin.  Either glass, plastic, or silicone cups are applied and the air removed from inside them to create suction. This creates a negative pressure, meaning a pulling away from the center of the body, and there are many benefits to this type of bodywork.

 

Cupping Methods

There’s two ways to cup – leave them in one place or slide them around,  pulling  up the tissue with the suction like an inverse massage.  Instead of pressing into muscles, the muscles are gently pulled up, and the amount of suction can be adjusted to comfort.

 

What does Cupping Do?

Cupping is a deep tissue therapy that breaks up adhesions,  promotes blood and lymph circulation,  and releases tension in the local tissues.  Often joints, muscles, and various connective tissues can accumulate toxins due to tension and lack of circulation.  These toxins contribute to pain and discomfort.  Because cupping releases blockages, this in turn means it promotes qi circulation.   The result is looser tissues allowing waste products to be flushed out and blood and lymph and qi to circulate more freely.

Common Benefits

  • relieving pain or tension in the muscles
  • relieving pain or tension in joints
  • relieving symptoms of colds and coughs
  • relaxation and stress reduction
  • digestive support
  • general detoxification and metabolic support

Why Get Cupped?

 

Cupping can help treat the following problems:

  • Respiratory disorders: asthma, bronchitis, colds, coughs
  • Digestive disorders: IBS, Constipation, Crohn’s, etc
  • Post-surgery
  • Post Cancer Treatment
  • Scar Healing
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Menstrual cramps, menstrual pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Headaches

What Are Side Effects and Contraindications?

Most patients will have marks in the shapes of the circular cups for a few days after the cupping session.   This is normal and discoloration varies from hardly anything to very dark purplish or red marks.  These are not bruises, but instead reveal toxins and old dead blood and waste products that had been trapped in areas of poor circulation. The discoloration shows that these waste products are pulled closer to the surface, where the blood and lymph can flush them out through our natural detoxification pathways such as sweat and urine. Most importantly they don’t hurt!

To determine if or when cupping is right for each patient, I create individualized treatment plans.  I can do a quick short amount of cupping with acupuncture after, or we can do a whole cupping session to cover more areas and spend more time with it.

Cupping is not done on open sores, broken skin, active cancer patients, or over a pregnant belly.  They are overall extremely safe.   Amy Rieselman is a Certified Cupping Therapist who’s received training from the International Cupping Therapy Association.

 

Questions? We’d love to hear from you.  Drop us a line.

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