Restoring Balance Through Integrative Care

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Category: Acupuncture

Is your back pain relentless?

Is your back pain relentless?

Going beyond medications, physical therapy, and injections.

Do you wake with a horrific backache each morning? Or wince with pain when you stand up after a long day at the computer?

Back pain is more likely with age, a sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, obesity, and stress. “Adjusting your lifestyle is one of the best ways to manage chronic back pain.

Standard chronic low back pain treatments include medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections. “Injections may not be as effective or long-lasting for chronic pain and do carry some risk.

Long-term use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can damage the kidneys and liver and cause GI bleeding or leaky gut. Acetaminophen can damage the liver and slow liver detoxification. Opioids may lead to anxiety, endocrine problems, dependency, and addiction. Muscle relaxers are often sedating.

Dr. Shen instead recommends taking five steps toward wellness:

1. Use food as medicine

Inflammation is the root cause of many types of chronic pain. Eating lots of sugars, refined carbs like flour and processed foods increase inflammation and pain.”

Step away from the standard American diet that’s high in calories and low in micronutrients. Embrace a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients instead:

  • Choose a variety of color in veggies and fruits. Different colors indicate a variety of nutrients. You can eat unlimited leafy greens and cruciferous veggies without gaining weight.
  • Eat beans in moderation. While beneficial, beans can add pounds and increase glucose levels when you eat too many. Anyone who wants to lose weight will need to limit portions.
  • Get moderate amounts of protein. Even better, consider eating more plant-based proteins.
  • Eliminate processed foods. Prepackaged and fried foods are often high in pro-inflammatory sugars, refined carbs, food additives, and bad fats.
  • Avoid food sensitivities. Food sensitivities often contribute to chronic pain. The most common culprits are wheat and casein, from cow’s milk.
  • Eat healthy fats. Coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado all contain healthy fat.

2. Manage the stress in your life

Pain triggers the release of stress hormones that make muscles tighten up. Muscle tension reduces blood flow to tissues, bringing them less oxygen and fewer nutrients. When this happens, you feel pain.

You can’t avoid stress, but you can learn to manage it. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and meditation are excellent tools, she says. Skilled therapists can change the way you perceive stress. Meditation can reduce anxiety, provide a calm sense of focus and reduce pain.

3. Don’t shortchange your sleep

Sleep is very, very important — it helps your body heal. Lack of sleep releases more stress hormones, lowers pain tolerance and worsens existing pain.

Sleep loss can complicate other health issues, making it harder to control glucose levels when you have diabetes, for example.

So practice good sleep hygiene. Avoid blue light from smartphones or TV for one hour before bedtime. Go to bed at the same time every evening and get up at the same time every morning to keep your internal clock regular.

Meditation is a great tool for a better night’s sleep.

Supplements such as melatonin can also help you sleep at night.

4. Make physical activity a habit

Motion is lotion for your back. Exercise— even when you’re in pain — is critical to recovery. Start out with an activity you like, and see yourself gradually progress from a less active to a more active lifestyle.

If you can’t move very easily, try chair yoga, walking, biking or swimming. Even a small increase in daily activity can bring major improvements in overall health.

5. Try acupuncture for relief

Acupuncture can help you resume the activity that back pain has limited. Used for thousands of years in China for everything from pain relief to stroke rehabilitation, acupuncture is now used in the United States and other Western counties for a variety of chronic pain.

The outpatient procedure is suitable for most people. Tell your acupuncturist if you are on blood thinners, or have a spinal cord stimulator or pacemaker. The acupuncturist will adjust your treatment plan.

Article from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-your-back-pain-relentless-try-5-wellness-fixes/

Don’t Fear the Needle!

Pain is debilitating and life-altering. If you suffer from pain from any source, you know how it can wreak havoc on your life. Daily tasks become insurmountable and it is difficult to focus on anything other than your pain. If this sounds familiar, you may be interested in learning about acupuncture, which is a therapy that has shown great promise in relieving pain.

Before an acupuncture appointment, do not eat a heavy meal. You will be lying down on your stomach most of the time during your session. This may cause your stomach discomfort if your belly is full. Instead, eat a light, easily digestible meal, or just nibble on a few snacks.

If you are going to an acupuncturist to treat a specific problem, make sure you describe the problem in detail. You might not get relief after only one treatment. If your acupuncturist recommends that you keep coming back until the problem is gone, you should schedule several appointments and stick to them.

Do not make the mistake of believing that all of your pain is guaranteed to be gone after one acupuncture treatment. It takes some people quite a few treatments before they see any type of results. This is why it is important for you to stay patient during the process.

Know what acupuncture is about before scheduling an appointment. You will encounter needles. There’s no avoiding it. If needles scare you, it is crucial that you face these fears and get over them. If necessary, talk to folks who have undergone acupuncture in the past and get their opinions.

Avoid having coffee before your treatment. You should abstain for about two hours before an appointment. This restriction is due to the fact that coffee is a stimulant which works in direct opposition to the goals of your acupuncture session. Coffee also makes the acupuncturist’s job more difficult because it is harder to get accurate heart rate readings.

Confirm that your acupuncturist has the necessary licenses and documentation. Some acupuncturists can get a license after taking just a quick class. It’s a smart idea to use a practitioner with a degree and a great deal of experience with the practice.

If you need to change position while you are undergoing acupuncture treatments, make sure you let the acupuncturist know. Never try to move around without giving him or her the heads up. If you do this, it may increase the chances of them making a mistake and causing you some injury.

Before receiving your first acupuncture treatment, check with your acupuncturist to determine if they will accept your insurance. If your insurance situation is sorted out before the appointment, you’ll be able to concentrate on feeling better. In this way, you can focus on treatment in a relaxed manner that will help your treatments succeed.

As you can now see, there may be a way for you to overcome the debilitating and life-altering effects of pain. Acupuncture has been studied for years and has shown great promise for the relief of pain. Keep what you’ve read here in mind and seek out a trusted practitioner. Soon you’ll be able to shift your focus away from your pain and back to leading a fulfilling life.

Article from: https://acupuncturetips4u.com/great-tips-about-acupuncture-that-anyone-can-use/

Don’t Fear the Needle!