Michelle Blum, is a Naturopath and Acupuncturist based in the South Brisbane suburb of Moorooka. In her latest blog she looks at a recent study that validates the effectiveness of treating Migraines with Acupuncture.
There are more than 1 billion people throughout the world who experience migraines which can have an enormous impact on quality of life.
Whilst drug therapy is an effective option for some, it isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea.
Did you know that a recent study in China which has been published in the British Medical Journal, compared manual acupuncture with sham acupuncture along with usual care ?
There were 147 patients in the study who averaged around the age of 37. All of whom, had a history of migraines without aura.
The conclusion was made from the study, that those patients who received manual acupuncture experienced fewer migraine days as well as fewer migraine attacks than the other two groups.
It has been suggested that Acupuncture should be a preventative treatment offered to patients by doctors given that 90 % of migraine sufferers, generally have no preventative treatment available to them.
How do I treat migraines in my Acupuncture clinic ?
It is interesting how many clients visiting the clinic for migraine treatment expect that needles will be placed on their scalp or head region. Many do not realise that Acupuncture involves a complex set of meridians or energy pathways that run throughout the whole body. Often needles will be placed in parts of the body like the legs and feet to treat the head or upper body.
When assessing a patient who is suffering with migraines, I will always look for any structural mis-alignment affecting the neck and address this if it seems to be the causative factor.
I will also always be sure to ask the client if they have any head injuries or trauma and if so, I will treat accordingly. The reason for this is that past head trauma, no matter how long ago, can act as a driver for migraines and headaches, possibly causing disturbance at a later stage down the track.
In Chinese Medicine, it is thought that migraines and headaches are a symptom belonging to the Wood element which involves both the Liver and Gall Bladder meridians. These pathways are highly sensitive to stress and can easily fall out of balance giving rise to upper body heat and pain.
A Japanese style Acupuncturist will usually identify such a pattern using the neck, abdomen and pulse reading. Then needles will be gently inserted to address what the skilled practitioner deems to be the underlying cause.
Herbal medicines that address the Liver and Gall Bladder Qi may also be prescribed.
In the world of Naturopathic and Nutritional Medicine, supplements such as Magnesium will be recommended due to their effect on the muscular and nervous systems. Be sure to ask your Naturopath for the right type and dose of magnesium that will best suit your personal presentation. The oral form of magnesium is by far the more effective form with magnesium salt baths, sprays or oils being less so.
As a holistic practitioner who integrates Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Naturopathic and Nutritional Medicine, I will often ask my clients to bring into the clinic any recent blood tests that have been conducted. If these have not been done, I may send them off for testing to ensure that everything is as it should be.
If you would like more information about whether Acupuncture or Naturopathy treatments may be suitable for your health condition, feel free to contact the clinic here.
Acupuncture has been found to be an effective form of treatment for chronic pain. In this article, Brisbane south side Acupuncturist, Michelle Blum, explains how Acupuncture can do this.
Did you know that according to “Pain Australia” ………
So what is chronic pain ?
Chronic pain is pain that usually lasts longer than the expected recovery time after an incident such as an injury, trauma or surgery.
Usually chronic pain denotes pain that lingers for around 3 months or more.
Some of the conditions that produce chronic pain include migraines, osteo-arthritis, muscle and joint pain. Other less, well known chronic pain conditions include nerve, pelvic, abdominal and facial pain as well as pain that persists post-surgery.
Acute pain on the other hand is pain that exists for a short time following surgery, trauma or other condition. It is usually the body’s signal for help and if left untreated, acute pain can sometimes lead to chronic pain.
It is always worth visiting a GP for a chronic pain diagnosis however in most cases, allopathic treatment will address the symptoms of pain only, which can end up providing a mere short-term solution.
Some of the medications given for chronic pain include cortisone injections, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, paracetamol and codeine.
These medications provide short term pain relief only without considering what might be driving the pain in the first instance. This approach to treatment may also mean that once the drug therapy which can sometimes be addictive, ceases, the pain is likely to return.
Acupuncture on the other hand, aims at relieving the symptoms in a non-drug and non-addictive manner as well as addressing and treating the cause of that pain.
Often an experienced Acupuncturist will also do an assessment of the body to see what musculo-skeletal anomalies might be causing complications and treat these. This might involve helping to re-align the hips or pelvis.
In Chinese Medicine there is a saying that “when there is free flow of Qi there is no pain” hence painful conditions will often arise when the qi or vital force in the body is stagnant or blocked. Another way of saying this is that when there is poor flow of nutrients, oxygen and blood to an area then pain ensues. Hence a lot of acupuncture treatments for pain will involve the movement of blood, nutrients and oxygen by the needling of certain acupuncture points on the body.
More often than not an Acupuncturist will insert needles in places that seem far from the site of pain. This is because of the intricate meridian network that exists within the body. Often points on the feet may be used to treat pain in the head area or upper extremities. This may not make much sense to the patient but a great deal of sense to the experienced Acupuncturist.
A “stick it where it hurts” Acupuncture approach is only used by non – Acupuncturists who use the term dry needling which is often a very superficial and simplistic style of treatment.
So, if you think you have chronic pain and would like to try Acupuncture but feel afraid that it might hurt then I urge you to seek out a Japanese style Acupuncturist like myself, who has completed special post graduate studies.
Japanese style acupuncture is very effective, relaxing and non – invasive so great for individuals that are a little worried that Acupuncture might be painful.
So, a little about me. My name is Michelle Blum and I am an Acupuncturist of 17 years. I have a 4 year bachelor degree in Health Sciences majoring in Acupuncture as well as an Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy. In addition, I have a certificate in Massage Therapy and Oriental Massage Therapy.
My Acupuncture practice is located in Moorooka on the south side of Brisbane just 10 or so minutes from Brisbane’s CBD.
Often, I will combine Acupuncture with my knowledge of these other modalities to give the best possible results.
Chronic pain is also something that can be addressed using Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Medicine by looking at the body’s biochemistry as well as using supplements such as Magnesium, Curcumin and other natural anti-inflammatories.
If you’re curious about receiving treatment for a chronic pain condition, feel free to contact me to discuss the best ways in which I can help you with the pain you might be experiencing.