Acupuncture Reduces Arthritis Pain


Research shows that acupuncture reduces arthritis pain and improves mobility. 
Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world, and is a safe, natural and effective option for people who want non-drug options for treating arthritis pain. Acupuncture is so safe that its “side effects” are positive: better sleep and mood, less anxiety and use of medications. The usual reaction to acupuncture treatment is a pleasant feeling of drowsiness, warmth and relaxation.

How soon can I expect to see results? Most people experience some pain relief during their first treatment. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, so you can expect the degree and duration of your pain relief to increase with each treatment.

How will I know I’m getting better? You’ll likely feel a significant decrease in you pain, and at each visit, I’ll ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. We’ll keep track of these numbers to give you a good indication of your progress.

How many treatments will I need? For just about any issue I recommend clients plan to come in for 6 weekly treatments to start with, though you will probably feel improvement from the first or second treatment. People with arthritis usually find receiving acupuncture every week or so on an ongoing basis helps them manage their pain and improves their quality of life.

What are the side effects of acupuncture? Unlike medications, acupuncture does not cause negative side effects, but you’ll likely experience positive side effects like better sleep, a sense of calm and enhanced well-being. Also, when people receive acupuncture treatment for one symptom, they often find other symptoms improving. Don’t hesitate to tell me about symptoms that you are experiencing in addition to your pain because I can usually address them all in one treatment.

Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no contraindications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, people often use acupuncture to help them decrease or stop taking pain medications.

Why doesn’t my doctor recommend acupuncture or think acupuncture works? MDs are generally not educated or well informed regarding alternatives to what they learned in medical school, i.e. drugs and surgery. IHowever, research shows that acupuncture can be better than medications for reducing pain, so I would say that anybody who doesn’t think acupuncture works, particularly for pain, probably hasn’t actually had personal experience with it or looked at the research with an open mind.

Acupuncture Reduces Sciatica Pain


Research shows that acupuncture is more effective than standard medical care in alleviating sciatica and back pain. Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world, and is a safe, natural and effective option for people who want non-drug treatment options for sciatica pain. The World Health Organization has reported that research shows acupuncture effectively treats many types of pain, and sciatica responds particularly well to acupuncture. Acupuncture is so safe that its “side effects” are positive: better sleep and mood, less anxiety and use of medications. The usual reaction to acupuncture treatment is a pleasant feeling of drowsiness, warmth and relaxation.

How soon after beginning acupuncture treatment will I start seeing a decrease in my pain? Most people experience pain relief during their first treatment, and can expect the pain reduction to . Because it is a new experience, some people have a hard time relaxing during the first treatment, but feel significantly more relaxed during their second treatment. Some people take longer to respond, but most experience some shift in their sense of well being within the first few sessions.

How will I know I’m getting better? When you come in for treatment, I will ask you to rate yourself 1-10 on your level of pain, and we will keep track of these markers to give you a good indication of your progress.

How many treatments will I need? Generally for just about any issue, I recommend clients plan to come in for 6 weekly treatments, though you will probably feel improvement from the 1st or 2nd treatment. People with longstanding, chronic conditions often find that coming in for a treatment every week or two significantly improves their quality of life.

What are the side effects of acupuncture? Unlike medications, acupuncture does not produce negative side effects. Positive side effects you may experience include better sleep, a sense of calm and enhanced well-being. Also, when people receive acupuncture treatment for one symptom, they often find other symptoms improving – don’t hesitate to tell me about all the bothersome symptoms that you are experiencing in addition to your pain because I can usually address them all in one treatment.

Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no containdications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, people often use acupuncture to help them decrease or stop taking medications.

 

Acupuncture Treats Migraine Headaches

Image of bright orange flower and bright blue sky.
Happy orange flower.


Research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than standard medical care in reducing the frequency, intensity and duration of migraine headaches. Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world, and is a safe, natural and effective option for people who want non-drug treatment options for migraine headache pain. Research shows acupuncture effectively treats many types of pain, and migraines respond particularly well to acupuncture. Acupuncture is so safe that its “side effects” are all positive: better sleep and mood, decreased anxiety and use of medications. The usual reaction to an acupuncture treatment is a pleasant feeling of drowsiness, warmth and relaxation.

How soon after beginning acupuncture treatment will I feel an improvement in my symptoms? Fortunately, migraines respond particularly well to acupuncture. Most people experience pain relief during their first treatment, and the following week, experience a reduction in the frequency, intensity and duration of their migraines. As I write this, I have a client on the table who after only 3 acupuncture treatments had his first migraine-free week in a very long time. People with more severe symptoms may take longer to respond, but most experience a significant improvement in their symptoms within the first few sessions.

How will I know I’m getting better? At each visit, I’ll ask you to rate yourself 1-10 on your pain, in addition to tracking the frequency and duration of your migraines. We will keep track of these numbers to give us an indication of your progress.

How many treatments will I need? Generally for just about any issue, I recommend clients plan to come in for 6 weekly treatments, though you will probably see an improvement from the 1st or 2nd treatment. At the 6th treatment, we will discuss your progress, and make a plan for going forward. That usually involves coming in less frequently, though people with longstanding, severe migraines often find that coming in for a treatment every week or two on an ongoing basis significantly improves their quality of life.

What are the side effects of acupuncture? Unlike medications, acupuncture has no negative side effects. Positive side effects you may experience include better sleep, a sense of calm and enhanced well-being. Additionally, when people receive acupuncture treatment for one symptom, they often find other symptoms improving – don’t hesitate to tell me about all the symptoms that you are experiencing in addition to your pain because I can usually address them in your treatment.

Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no containdications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, people often use acupuncture to help them decrease or stop taking medications.

Why doesn’t my doctor recommend acupuncture or think that it works? MDs are generally not educated or well informed regarding alternatives to what they learned in medical school, i.e. drugs and surgery. It’s just not covered in their training. However, research data shows that acupuncture does decrease pain, so I would say that anybody who doesn’t think acupuncture works, particularly for pain, probably hasn’t actually had personal experience with it or looked at the research with an open mind.

 

About Acupuncture

Image of acupuncture tools including needles, cups, healing salves and essential oils.
My tool kit includes acupuncture needles, cups, healing salves and essential oils.

Acupuncture doesn’t hurt! Acupuncture needles are tiny, about the size of a hair. And they are inserted very gently and shallowly. Most people are surprised to find that they don’t feel the needles at all. If you feel more than a tiny pinch, please let me know so I can remove or adjust the needle. I want you to be completely comfortable during your treatment because part of acupuncture’s magic comes from the deep relaxation it induces.

What can acupuncture treat? Acupuncture enhances your body’s ability to heal itself. I regularly see people get relief for sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, neck, shoulder and back pain, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, insomnia, migraines, PMS, menstrual cramps, excessive menstrual bleeding, menopausal symptoms, allergies, addictions, stress-related and autoimmune disorders.

How many treatments will I need? For most chronic health problems, I suggest clients plan on 8 weekly treatments to start with. In that time, you should experience an improvement in your symptoms and overall well-being. Most people notice a positive change in their symptoms during the first treatment. Acute pain conditions typically respond quickly, improving in the 1st treatment. People with chronic pain conditions usually come in every week or two because it improves their quality of life so much. For women’s health issues such as PMS, heavy bleeding and irregular periods, the best plan is weekly treatments until symptoms are alleviated, and then monthly treatments to maintain that improvement. Resolution of menstrual issues usually takes 2-3 months of weekly treatments.

Do you take insurance? I don’t currently do insurance billing, but I am happy to provide you with an invoice that you can submit to your insurance company. You can also use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and card to pay for acupuncture.

What forms of payment do you accept? Cash, checks, credit and debit cards.

What can I expect on my first visit? Come a little early to fill out some simple paperwork. We’ll talk about your goals for treatment and the relevant details. Then you’ll lie down on a comfortable massage table and I’ll insert the needles, usually on your head, ears, arms, legs, and sometimes on your back and/or belly. People are always surprised to find that acupuncture mostly doesn’t hurt, and that it is deeply relaxing. It’s best to wear shorts or stretchy pants that roll up easily, because I usually want to do points around your knees. You may also need to remove or pull up your shirt so that I can put needles and cups on your back. Once the needles are in, you will have a nice nap for about 30 minutes. Most people find that they feel deeply relaxed during their treatment. It is best if you can schedule your treatment so that you can relax afterwards, rather than rushing back to a busy day.

Why doesn’t my doctor recommend acupuncture or think acupuncture works? MDs are generally not educated or well informed regarding alternatives to what they learned in medical school, i.e. drugs and surgery. However, research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medications for many conditions, so I would say that anybody who doesn’t think acupuncture works probably hasn’t actually had personal experience with it or looked at the research with an open mind.

How do I find a qualified acupuncturist? Look for a “Licensed” acupuncturist with “LAc” following their name, as opposed to a “certified” acupuncturist. In Missouri, medical doctors and chiropractors can be certified to provide acupuncture with only 100-300 hours of training, while a Licensed Acupuncturist like myself has completed a 3,000 hour (4-year) accredited master’s degree program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine that includes an extensive clinical internship.

New: Holistic Pure Pampering Package!

 

Image of woman receiving facial acupuncture with tiny intradermal needles on her forehead.
Acupuncture with these very tiny intradermal needles softens forehead lines and calms the mind.

Summer Special – Holistic Pure Pampering Package. Enjoy a 90-minute mini-retreat to recharge yourself for a busy summer! $75 for a healing 90-minute treatment. Your visit includes acupuncture to strengthen and balance your body; facial acupuncture to calm your mind and soften forehead lines; ear acupuncture and ear magnets for anxiety, cravings and pain; cupping to release shoulder and back tension; crystals to soothe emotions; aromatherapy to deepen relaxation; and a comforting guided meditation to help you connect with your intuition. Call Abba at 417-353-8868 to schedule your mini-retreat.

Facial Acupuncture: “No-Tox” Not Botox!

Acupuncture softens forehead lines and balances mind, body & mood.  Special rates through February 29, 2016:  $75 1st treatment / packages: $500 for a course of 12 twice-a-week treatments (for best results) / $300 for a course of 6 weekly treatments

*face acu English paper

Lately I’ve been doing acupuncture on my forehead, and the foreheads of a few select friendly clients, and the results I’ve seen have really changed my ideas about what acupuncture can do. 

My story goes like this:

I got my bangs cut shorter than usual and new glasses about the same time, and those two factors conspired to make the two vertical lines between my eyebrows suddenly jump out at me when I looked in the mirror. I remembered the facial acupuncture certification course I’d taken back when I was still in acupuncture school. At the time, I was 40 years old and not yet concerned about the faint lines between my eyebrows. Fast forward a decade plus, and things are different now!

I dug up the special, extra tiny face needles I had stashed away in a box, and gave them a try on my forehead lines. I thought I noticed a subtle change after the first treatment, but after a couple of treatments, I was pretty sure those lines were less noticeable. One day I asked my esthetician office mate Pat Preuss, “What do you think?” I held my bangs up so she could see my forehead. “Remember my forehead lines? Do they look different to you?”

Pat was effusive. “What did you do?” she asked. That spurred me on!

And the thing that really got my attention was how calming it is to have tiny needles in your face. It makes the body release a lot of the endorphin hormones that make us feel good. Plus, I notice that my forehead feels relaxed – I hadn’t realized how much tension I was holding in my forehead until it was gone. Now when I’m feeling anxious or stressed, I can notice that my forehead feels relaxed, and it helps me relax mentally, too.

This calming effect makes sense from the perspectives of both modern science and ancient traditions around the world. The forehead area is seen as a key to emotional balance and spiritual connection in many ancient traditions.

Modern science tells us that the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that sits right behind our forehead, is where we process our emotions. When it works right, we feel good, calm, mellow.

The pineal gland sits in the center of our head behind our eyes. The pineal gland is sensitive to light and regulates our biological clock by making melatonin, a hormone which helps us go to sleep.

In Chinese medicine, the acupuncture point between the eyebrows called Yintang is used for anxiety and insomnia. Yintang is located in the same place as the Third Eye, a concept found in Taoist, Hindu and other traditions. Taoist and other Chinese traditions teach third eye training, which involves focusing your attention on this point. I realized I’m doing a version of that ancient practice when I just stop and notice that my forehead is relaxed!

While Botox comes with risks, the side effects of acupuncture are all positive – stress reduction, relaxation, improved sleep, mood, and digestion. Curious? Call me for a free phone consultation at 417-353-8868. 

 

 

 

What’s Your Element?

2e8f76b6936943d18c0651d2b0c2bcadTraditional Chinese medicine philosophy is partly organized around the Five Elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each of these elements are associated with a particular organ and energy meridian in the body, and can be applied to all things in nature, including the human body and psyche. We are all always ebbing and flowing among these elements, but will usually resonate most with one of the following patterns. 

Fire / Heart Element – quick mind, “wears heart on sleeve,” outgoing, enthusiastic, excitable, expressive, empathetic, affectionate, optimistic, sensitive, impatient, sees the humorous side of life, easily shares innermost feelings, easily frustrated, prone to circulatory and heart problems, anxiety, insomniaSpirit Remedy: Ask yourself what brings you joy, and bring more of what brings you joy into your life. 

Earth / Spleen Element – sincere, easygoing, agreeable, accommodating, peacemaker, nurturing, loyal, diplomatic, conservative, methodical, prone to overthinking and worrying, digestive and intestinal issues, most content in company of other people but can be needy or too giving. Spirit Remedy: Do something by yourself to build self-sufficiency. Create clearer boundaries with people you habitually overextend for.

Metal / Lung Element – neat, orderly, self-contained, enjoys solving puzzles, likes procedures and organization, logical, systematic, meticulous, discriminating,intellectual, organized, prone to colds, allergies and asthma, hyper-rational, detail-oriented. Spirit Remedy: Do something creative to balance your hyper-rational tendencies.

Water / Kidney Element – cautious, sensible, enjoys solitude, curious, imaginative, intellectual, patient, persevering, self-sufficient, independent, reflective, will power, endurance, timid, susceptible to urinary and reproductive problems, low back pain. Spirit Remedy: Nurture social relations and plan activities with other people – your self-sufficiency can isolate you.

Wood / Liver Element – intense, type A, smart, decisive, prone to stubbornness, control freaks, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, high blood pressure, acid reflux. Spirit Remedy: Add non-competitive, relaxing activities to your routine, like meditation or hiking in nature.

Resources

Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold, New York: Ballantine, 1991.

Second Spring: Hundreds of Natural Secrets for Women to Revitalize and Regenerate At Any Age, by Maoshing Ni, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Acupuncture Speeds Healing for Bell’s Palsy

Research shows that acupuncture speeds recovery from Bell’s palsy and facial paralysis.

Image of an acupuncture model showing acupuncture points on the face commonly used to treat facial paralysis and for facial rejuvenation.
This acupuncture model shows acupuncture points commonly used to treat Bell’s palsy.

Bell’s palsy affects about 40,000 people in the United States every year, and approximately 1 person in 65 people will experience it in their lifetime. Bell’s palsy causes facial paralysis resulting from inflammation of the facial nerves known as the seventh cranial nerve. Symptoms include one-sided facial paralysis, pain, tearing, drooling, hypersensitivity to sound and impairment of taste. Bell’s palsy was named for Sir Charles Bell, a Scottish surgeon who studied the facial nerve and muscles 200 years ago.

The onset of paralysis caused by Bell’s palsy is sudden – people often wake up in the morning to find that one side of their face is paralyzed. They may be afraid they’ve had a stroke, but Bell’s palsy is not related to stroke.

Most Bells palsy symptoms improve with time, but acupuncture can speed up the recovery process considerably. I have personally seen people improve so dramatically in one treatment that we’ve both had a hard time believing the change in their face.

It’s best to begin acupuncture as soon as possible after onset of Bells palsy – within days is ideal. But acupuncture can also be helpful if you have lingering symptoms from a long-ago bout of Bells palsy. A client who had numbness on the left side of her face for five years following her bout with Bells palsy told me her numbness was almost gone after her first treatment!

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

Image of acupuncture needle being inserted into a client's hand to treat arthritis pain.
Acupuncture is commonly used for arthritis pain.

Research shows that acupuncture alleviates chronic pain better than standard medical care. 

Acupuncture is a safe, natural and effective option for people who want non-drug treatment options for pain. Research shows that acupuncture effectively treats all types of pain. In fact, the US military uses acupuncture to treat pain in combat settings. Acupuncture is so safe that its “side effects” are all positive: better sleep and mood, less use of medications. The usual reaction to acupuncture treatment is a pleasant feeling of drowsiness, warmth and relaxation.

How soon after beginning acupuncture treatment will I start seeing a decrease in my pain? Most people experience pain relief during their first treatment, and can expect pain reduction to increase with subsequent treatments. Because it is a new experience, some people have a hard time relaxing during the first treatment, and feel significantly more relaxed during their second treatment. Most people experience a positive shift in their sense of well being during the first session.

How will I know I’m getting better? The proof is in how you feel – most people will feel some pain relief from the first treatment. Also, I will ask you to rate yourself 1-10 on your level of pain – we’ll keep track of these numbers to give you a sense of your progress.

How many treatments will I need? Generally for any issue, I recommend clients plan to come in once-a-week for six weeks. You will probably feel improvement from the first or second treatment. People with longstanding, chronic pain conditions usually find that coming in for a treatment every week or two significantly improves their pain level, mobility and quality of life.

What are the side effects of acupuncture? Unlike medications, acupuncture has no unpleasant side effects. Positive side effects you may experience include better sleep, a sense of calm and enhanced well-being. Don’t hesitate to tell me about all the symptoms that are troubling you, in addition to your pain, because I can work on multiple issues in one treatment.

Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no contraindications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, people often use acupuncture to help them decrease or get off their pain medications.

 

Acupuncture Heals Plantar Fasciitis

Image of acupuncture needles in the feet to treat plantar fasciitis and any foot pain.
Acupuncture is an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis and any foot pain.

“If you have plantar fasciitis, Abba is the cure. In six weeks I went from a pain level of 10 to virtually pain free. Acupuncture does not hurt, and it is not expensive.” – Robin Van Gorp, Springfield, Missouri

“I cannot believe how quickly acupuncture resolved the pain in my heels – the pain in one foot was reduced by half after the first treatment, and after six sessions, I am 90% pain free. My doctor had told me I’d have no relief without surgery!” – Jackie Mayo, Springfield, Missouri

Plantar fasciitis is one of my favorite things to treat because it responds so well to acupuncture. Clients usually experience some pain relief with the first treatment, and typically feel their pain is resolved with 8 once-a-week treatments. Plantar fasciitis literally means inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue that stretches from your heel to your toes on the bottom of each foot. Plantar fasciitis is typically one-sided, or worse in one foot than the other, and usually related to overuse.

Plantar fasciitis causes heel and foot pain that can range from mild to severe. The pain can limit how much you can walk and exercise. Mild heel discomfort can develop into more severe pain, so it’s best to get in for acupuncture while your pain is still mild.

Most cases of plantar fasciitis resolve themselves within a year without treatment, but if your foot pain is preventing you from doing things you want to do, acupuncture can improve your quality of life immediately. My clients typically experience decreased pain from the first treatment and only require eight treatments to resolve their foot pain completely. Sometimes the pain will recur in a year or two. If the pain does recur, a few acupuncture treatments are usually enough to get you back to pain-free walking and exercising.