Migraines can be very different from one person to another, but whether they are hormonal, stress-related or have no obvious trigger, acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutritional therapy are very likely to make a big improvement. You could also consider doing one of our home-testing saliva analysis profiles to measure your hormone levels and find out whether that is the cause of your migraines, as there are natural supplements that we can offer to rebalance your system.
Conventional western medicine can alleviate some symptoms for some people, but for many the side-effects are as bad as or worse than the migraine itself so many people turn to acupuncture to help. Sadly, it is often as a last resort, but in my experience everyone I have treated for migraine, cluster headaches or standard headaches has said that they wish they had come sooner or known about acupuncture before.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine and 5-element acupuncture we look at the body in a totally different way to how it is seen in the West and treatments are tailored to the individual. While there are certain acupuncture points that will commonly be used, the point prescription will vary because we believe that each person has a root ‘weakness’ in their constitution that will give a tendency towards certain ailments. If we can get to the root cause of your health problems, then the body has a way of righting itself.
The acupuncture treatment itself is very relaxing. The initial consultation should be done at a time when you do not have the pain as it takes a good 90-minutes to do a thorough consultation and the first treatment. If you are in pain when you arrive in clinic, then that will be treated as a priority, but you would be advised to come back for the thorough consultation so that an accurate diagnosis can be made for you personally and a treatment strategy can be put together with the goal of alleviating your migraines altogether, or at the very least of reducing the pain and the frequency. It also gives you an option for those times when you feel a migraine coming on and you can book in for an appointment at the early stages before it develops.
In Chinese Medicine, nutrition is at the heart of all healthcare and as Simone is not only a fully qualified and experienced acupuncturist, but she is also a practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine, Chinese dietary therapy and western nutritional therapy, so your treatment will also include dietary advice and recommendations for you to follow at home.
It is hard to say how many treatments would be necessary as everyone responds differently, but you should start to notice an improvement right from your very first treatment.
If you would like to book an appointment, please use the tab at the top of the page.
We are at that time of year again when children go back to school and within weeks whole families start going down with ‘winter bugs’ that are spread in the playgrounds and are brought home by snotty-nosed children. Bacteria forms, mutates and evolves so very much faster than they can be identified in the lab that by the time any hope of an antidote has been developed, the thing it is trying to overcome has changed, so the scientists are forever playing catch-up.
Clearly the Western Medicine approach is not and cannot work when we are faced with such a huge epidemic of winter bugs every year and such a massive strain is put on our healthcare system every Winter.
The answer, I believe, lies in strengthening our own immune systems because it is only our own body that can evolve quickly enough to combat mutations. Given the right environment – microbiome – our gut bacteria can evolve faster than airborne bacteria that we can catch for one simple reason: our body’s early warning systems. An airborne pathogen will enter our body via our nose or mouth as we inhale. The mucous membranes identify it as a pathogen and trigger an immune response. In the case of pollen, for example, the immune response is simply to sneeze to blow it out, but stronger pathogens will require our immune system to respond at a deeper level with changes in our physiology that enable us to ‘attack’ the invading germs.
Given that our immune system is predominantly based around our gut bacteria, a healthy diet with a wide range of bacteria will be able to adapt and respond very quickly, which means that the more we protect our microbiome IN ADVANCE of the winter season, the less likely we are to fall ill, or if we do succumb, we will have a faster recovery time.
Hippocrates was, as we know, the father of medicine and he is renowned for saying that we should all use our food as our medicine. However, there are times when a regular diet is not enough because although that will maintain homeostasis, it will not be adequate to mount an attack against an abnormal surge of pathogens. This is when we need to supplement our regular diet with extra nutrients and it is at this point that herbal medicine comes into its own.
Garlic is well-reputed for its antibacterial properties, but many other herbs are far more effective for specific ailments. In general nutrition, garlic is going to strengthen our gut, our immune system and make the microbiome inhospitable for various pathogens including the common cold, however its main use is in lowering blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels and other herbs would be more appropriate but may not have the widespread reputation and easy availability of garlic.
Think of your digestive system like an internal eco-system: a healthy and well-balanced eco-system will thrive even when here are plagues and it will self-regulate if one species starts to take over. Our gut is exactly the same and has a tremendous ability to adapt very quickly and there are certain herbs known as ‘adaptogens’ that facilitate this function. That means that rather than having anti (against) biotics (the biota or live bacteria in our gut) that we can help our body to adapt to an ever-changing environment instead of just killing EVERYTHING that is alive in it, whether good or bad.
One side-effect of killing everything with antibiotics is that after a course of them, most people experience diarrhoea or constipation. You can often tell what is going on inside the gut by examining what comes out of it! Clearly, it is not normal or healthy to have diarrhoea so something must be out of balance and need to be regulated. This means that if you have a course of ANTI-biotics, then you must always follow it with a course of PRO-biotics or foods that are rich in good bacteria such as fermented foods.
So rather than reaching for the medicine cabinet when you feel ill, why not look at your body’s own internal pharmacy and give it the best nutrition you possibly can so that your gut bacteria can take care of infections itself. It is a cheaper, faster and more effective and efficient way to stay healthy, but the pharmaceutical companies will never tell you about it because keeping your healthy is not what keeps them in business.
If you would like to know more about particular antibacterial herbs, then please follow Barefoot Medicine on facebook and feel free to ask me questions about the posts, or to make suggestions about future topics that you would like me to cover.