Archive for July, 2014

Severe hayfever treated with great success

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Multiple techniques make patients more comfortable, sooner

Some of my patients go through a lot of side effects with their allergy medication, for which the drug(s) does not work or at best only takes the edge off of the symptoms.  Fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, it just didn’t seem worth it for such little benefit.  They also report having tried ‘allergy shots’, or other alternative therapies like herbs and even acupuncture but nonetheless, the symptoms are still there, they live in the Willamette Valley ‘allergy megastorm’ and their symptoms are grim.  In difficult cases, I find one cannot always rely on a single treatment approach, that creating multiple influences on the body all at once acts as a catalyst, creates a synergistic effect that takes care of each factor that contributes to the problem. When you cover all the bases, the body can more rapidly adjust into long term clearing of the symptoms.

One diagnosis, many contributing factors

These cases can present with strong sinus headache, totally blocked nose, sore throat from mouth breathing, eye irritation, cough, social problems.  In my practice I find that a patient in this situation has many issues in the body allowing such strong symptoms.  The blocked nose can be due to or worsened by trigger points in the face and strain in the fascia relating to the mucous membranes.  Diet may be promoting metabolic activity that continually creates inflammation.  Life stress and adrenalin may be pushing the immune system into overdrive.

In the first visit, I evaluate these various types of factors and, together with the patient, create a set of therapeutic goals.  Each modality has overlapping effects but the basic outline could be as follows:

Trigger points are cleared with manual body work.  Life stress is calmed with CranioSacral therapy and acupuncture.  Herbs are provided to counteract the diet and reduce inflammation. Electroacupuncture is applied to reduce inflammation and rapidly open the nose so the person can breathe normally.

I have been practicing so long that I understand my tools, and in a 45 minute session can apply different procedures in a harmonious, smooth manner.  Most people just fall asleep on the table while I work, and afterwards find that they can breathe, that the itching is gone and that they can speak without throat pain.

The goal is to move towards a long term, stable clearing of symptoms.

Repeated treatments are given to make the effect last longer and longer.  The different contributing factors resolve at different rates, so the treatments change over time.  The complicated, multi-modal session I describe above eventually reduces to just one of the techniques, applied with decreasing frequency until no longer needed.  So just before ending regular care a patient may need an acupuncture treatment once every 6 months, or just need a $5 bottle of herbs to take a few days a month.  It does vary.  Often the results last into the next allergy season or longer.  From a biomedical perspective the allergy may still be detectable in blood tests (or not), but the body’s reaction to problem antigens has been successfully and stably eliminated.




Do you think its age causing the trouble?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

In many cases I see, it’s not really age.
Our bodies need three things to be thrive –
…Good Sleep
……..Good Nutrition
…………..and Good Movement!

Many of my over 80 patients (and even younger) experience poor mood coming from how their body just isn’t what it used to be. I regularly hear “My mind is so much better than my body but I don’t know why.”

My response is that the answer is obvious – the mind has received all the attention! They do crosswords, listen to music, watch TV, read, socialize. But over the course of the day they are largely immobile. Use it or lose it, if you spend time with the “equipment” it lasts longer.
The amount of movement you need to feel a lot better is not a lot of movement. This is the surprising thing.

Of course if you do Tai chi and take a regular class you will feel improvement.  But in my clinical experience many people can increase mood and reduce pain by developing the habit of moving something every 15 minutes. Just like a dog or a cat – every few minutes, move something for a few seconds.  Reach up in the air, jab a few shadow boxing moves, lift one leg, then the other.  Even people with severe disease who are in bed can usually find some part of their body that can move freely. Even just straightening up and breathing deeply once or twice can help.

The classical chinese medical view is that the blood flows to where function is happening, the function happens in places where the mind engages that function.

For the average person, who is well enough to walk into my office when they come for a session,
Here’s the plan to start:

Every 15 minutes over the course of your day, stand up.
Every 15 minutes move your arms or your legs for 7 to 10 seconds, try a variety of directions including up and behind the back.
Move within a range of motion that causes no pain what so ever, no matter how small a movement this may be.
Give it a week and see how you feel!