In the United States, the term “pain management” has become synonymous with “pain medication.” Have a headache? Take an Advil. Lower back bothering you? Take a few Oxycontin left over from your relative’s back surgery. However, unlike holistic pain management, standard pain medications do nothing to solve the root of the pain problem. All they do is mask the symptoms, and leave you with a painful condition that often grows worse over time.
When you visit a doctor who takes a holistic approach to medicine, you will receive the best combination of eastern and western medicine treatment options. You can get the medications you need for temporary pain relief, as well as the evaluations, tests, and accurate diagnosis to treat your pain at its source.
Do You Suffer from Chronic Pain? Consider a Phoenix Pain Management Specialist.
Here are the ways holistic pain management will transform your relationship with pain, medicine, and your life.
Spend time with a doctor who cares. In the traditional medical establishment, patients are often seen and not heard. Doctors don’t have time to take the time to truly listen to their patients, carefully evaluate their medical history, and get to the root of the problem. This can result in incorrect or inaccurate diagnoses, over-prescribing of pain medication, and a missed opportunity to correct the source of the pain.
A holistic pain management specialist will take the time to figure out what is causing your pain. S/he will make recommendations based on their estimate of impact from lifestyle, diet, and nutritional status. These recommendations may vary broadly since each person is different and their are many causes for pain. The use of supplements and other natural pain treatments will be used liberally to facilitate and support the healing process and stop the hurting!
Experience chronic pain relief without the negative side effects. Can you imagine feeling relief from chronic pain without any negative side effects? No confusion, constipation, itchiness, and so on. The most common prescription drugs for chronic pain, such as Vicodin and Oxycontin, are opiate based. These medication can cause serious long-term side effects. They are the most commonly abused medications. Often times the addiction starts from a legitimate use of the medication. Over time, tolerance, neurotransmitter imbalance, and inactivity can lead to inappropriate use of these medications. They can also cause respiratory depression and accidental overdose. The more you do to manage your pain effectively without medications, the healthier you will be, and the less likely you will have to worry about these.
Re-gain, or increase, your pain tolerance. In addition to getting options on treating your pain naturally, holistic pain management will increase your pain tolerance. This is especially beneficial for those who have taken opiate based medications for long periods of time. Many of these people develop a condition called opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Using prescription pain medications to reduce pain can cause your nerve pathways to become more sensitive to pain from all sources. This requires increased medication doses, which furthers the pain sensitivity; it’s a vicious cycle. Holistic management techniques help you, sleep, relax, and uses other treatments such as acupuncture for pain, which can re-train nerve pathways, stimulate natural pain relievers, and reduce pain.
What if the Natural Pain Relief Treatments Don't Work?
Luckily we have more than just natural pain medications in our arsenal to treat your pain. While we prefer to use the least invasive treatments, sometimes these do not work alone. In these cases we use a combination of holistic and non-opiate based medications to treat your pain. The bottom line with opiate based medication is they are not good for chronic pain. Some people can get away with using them long term and still get pain relief. However most cases just lead to dose escalation over time leaving you more and more dependent on the medication. Be careful though, stopping these medications abruptly will lead to withdrawal and painkiller detox. Talk to a qualified opiate detox doctor if you are considering coming off these medications.
What can Holistic Pain Management Treat?
- Shouler Pain Acute and Chronic
- Neck Pain Acute and Chronic
- Back Pain Acute and Chronic
- Other back and Disc Related issues
- Knee Pain
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Neuroapathy and other Neuropathic Pain
Phoenix Pain Management is Available at Southwest Integrative Medicine
Take control of your life and make an appointment with a Phoenix pain management specialist. We have worked with hundreds of clients to heal their chronic pain using holistic pain management strategies that work. You can transform your life and reduce, or eliminate, your dependence on pain medications using natural pain relieving techniques. Click on the link below for a free conusltation.
We hear quite a bit these days about how acupuncture is an “alternative medicine practice”. But how “alternative” can it be when acupuncture is being used by the United States Marine Corps? Lt. Cmdr. Brian Kleyensteuber, stationed at the K-Bay Marine base in Hawaii, is a psychiatrist, and licensed acupuncturist. He uses acupuncture to treat Marines for a variety of physical and psychological disorders. “I don’t do the healing,” Kleyensteuber said, “I facilitate the body healing itself.”
Phoenix Acupuncture Treatment Facilitates the Body’s Natural Healing Processes
Here is a list of some of the ways Lt. Cmdr. Kleyensteuber uses acupuncture to treat his fellow Marines by facilitating their bodies’ natural healing processes.
Acupuncture for Back Pain
Due to the heavy lifting and repetitive motion often required of active duty marines, back pain is a recurring issue. An example is Sgt. Maj. Paul Davis. He wanted to relieve back pain without medication, and had heard about acupuncture for back pain. Davis has a herniated disk, and also experiences pain in his trapezius muscles (the muscles that run from the neck to the shoulder). After a series of regular acupuncture treatments, his back pain has gone from “pretty severe” to non-existent.
Acupuncture for PTSD
Because acupuncture treats anxiety, it has been beneficial in treating those who have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Acupuncture for PTSD works with the parasympathetic nervous system to reverse, or calm, reactions to perceived fears and stressors. For a veteran with PTSD, the ability to re-train the body’s reaction to triggers, stress, and fear is critical for integrating back into society, maintaining human connections, and functioning in the day-to-day work world. Using acupuncture for PTSD allows veterans to heal from their trauma, without the negative side effects common to prescription psychiatric medications.
Acupuncture to Treat Addiction
For most people with addictions, stress is the Number One trigger. By working to manage stress, while simultaneously re-programming the nerve pathways, acupuncture can be an important element in an addiction treatment program. Sgt. Kevin Ivey sought acupuncture to treat alcohol addiction, as well as stress. He said he feels, “more relaxed, better at handling stress and has physical relief from his previous back pain.”
Take Your Cue From the Marines. Seek Treatment From a Phoenix Acupuncturist
Here at Southwest Integrative Medicine, we’re thrilled to read the US Marine Corps is using acupuncture as a part of their medical and psychiatric treatment programs. The Department of Defense plans on expanding its acupuncture treatment program, and it turns out the the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery has recently added best practices for acupuncture and other alternative medicine treatments as well. Ready to take your cue from the Marines? Contact Southwest Integrative Medicine and see how acupuncture can improve your health, and your life.
As a thank you for their service, we are offering community acupuncture to our veterans. This Phoenix acupuncture treatment is something we offer on Saturdays to our existing patients at a discounted rate. Military and veterans can take advantage of this service as a new patient. In short community acupuncture is acupuncture done in a group setting where multiple people can be treated at the same time. It is modeled off of the treatment approaches in China. You could read more about our phoenix community acupuncture here.
For interest in acupuncture or community acupuncture click on the link below.
Where do you go when you have a medical question? Do you get online and check Web MD or Shirley’s Wellness Café? Do you go to see your family physician, a local vitamin retailer, or call your grandmother? The answer depends on who you trust. Who has the most knowledge and the best reputation for providing relevant information that will lead to wellness?
Last week a good friend of mine was very sick. She was coughing so badly she thought that she had a few cracked ribs. Because I always control my symptoms with over-the-counter medications, I couldn’t understand why she was deliberately prolonging her own suffering by not taking some kind of medicine.
Then she told me she was going to see her acupuncturist for treatment. I was really surprised. How is that going to help her cough? How can sticking little needles in her skin going get rid of a chest cold? I thought it sounded strange but I decided to wait and see.
The next day when we talked, she told me that she was feeling much better. She had gone to the acupuncturist and, after her treatment she had gone home with a special preparation of natural herbs. After she saw her chiropractor and had her ribs eased back into place she was getting back to normal.
I guess there can be more than one right answer?
Her experience reminded me of one time years ago when I went to the doctor to be treated for a sinus infection. I had waited through the customary three days of suffering after my over-the-counter antihistamine and decongestant stopped working. I knew from experience that this was the point at which I needed an antibiotic. Why else would I go to the doctor?
The family practice resident who was available that day told me that it would be very helpful to use a nettie pot to flush out my sinuses. I scowled as I thought: “Look lady, I don’t want to hear about this. I know what I need, now give it to me!” I did get my antibiotic that day, but I have since learned to love the practice of rinsing my sinuses with saline. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to take any antibiotics.
Maybe you too have been skeptical about this ‘go natural’ trend. We’ve all had years of indoctrination teaching us that the medical community knows best and we shouldn’t question their authority. Why should we venture beyond what we know and trust?
Fortunately, there are some special healthcare providers, like the doctors at Southwest Integrative Medicine, who keep you from having to choose sides. They bring together the benefits of traditional medicine and naturopathic medicine.
A holistic practitioner will ask about all aspects of your life and surprise you with their ability to prove that there are connections between what seem to be unrelated health issues. This is the beauty of integrative medicine.
Another benefit of adopting a more natural approach to health and wellness is avoiding adverse side effects. We have all heard: “Don’t worry, this nausea, headache, and body aches usually only last through the first week; after that you’ll be fine. Just hang on.” Who wants to have to tolerate feeling worse in order to get better?
Most naturopathic remedies work by stimulating your body’s built-in healing mechanisms. It may take longer than swallowing a pill, but it also lasts longer and will likely prevent a recurrence.
At Southwest Integrative Medicine, acupuncture treatments, nutritional therapies, hormone balancing, herbal remedies, and many other naturopathic treatments are blended with traditional medical therapies to help you achieve and sustain optimal health and wellness.
Hormone replacement therapy in women and men have many favorable and health protective effects. Yet, even though there are health benefits to hormones, they must be added to the body in balance to one another. This is more true for women than men and many are not aware of are the effects of different types of estrogen and estrogen metabolites on the body. Knowing your estrogen quotient along with the levels of different estrogen metabolites will help identify risk factors and prevent future problems for those on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and those not on HRT.
Knowing your Estrogen Quotient
There are three main types of estrogen, estrone E1, estradiol E2, and estriol E3, and each having associated risks and benefits. Some of these estrogens and their metabolites have higher correlations with cancer, for instance. This is true for any women whether she is taking hormone replacement therapy or not. Through testing we can identify the levels of each type of estrogen and alter their levels accordingly.
Most of the risks with estrogens are related to the strength of each estrogen and the location the estrogens bind. The estrogen quotient (EQ) looks directly at this, comparing the ratio of the strong estrogens to the protective. The mathematical equation is EQ= E3/E2+E1. E2 and E1 are the most potent of these estrogens and therefore have a greater risk of estrogen dominant cancers, where E3 can have a protective anti-cancer effect. The reason for this is because of E3's preferential binding at the estrogen receptor beta. This receptor is the anticancer, anti-proliferation receptor. E2 and E1 bind here very little or not at all. So, the higher the estrogen quotient the better and you want to have an EQ above 1.0, with 1.5 being optimal.
Women with a positive estrogen quotient have reduced risks of breast cancer. If your estrogen quotient is not high enough, your bioidentical hormone doctors can help you improve it with certain nutrients to ensure your body preferentially makes more E3. To know where your estrogen quotient is, you need to be able to measure a three forms of estrogen and there is currently only one method for doing this accurately (see measuring estrogen metabolites below).
Looking at Estrogen Metabolites
The other thing to think about with regard to lowering risks, is to see how your estrogens are being metabolized. All hormones are broken down into different molecules before they are eliminated from the body. Estrogens are broken down into either 2-hydroxyestrogens or 16-hydroxyestrogens. The 2-hydroxyestrogens are good and protective against cancer while the 16-hydroxyestrogens are procarcinogenic estrogens. Ideally you want to have a 2/16 ratio of greater than 1 with 2 being ideal. If your ratio is below 1.0, eating vegetables in the Brassica family with raise your level. These vegetables include, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. If you already eat these, it is still a good idea to get tested because you may still be under a 2/16 ratio of 1. As naturopathic doctors, our job is to evaluate what your current nutrition plan is and help you make adjustments to get the ratio in a healthy range. Lets look more at the options for testing your estrogen levels.
Measuring Estrogen Metabolites and Guiding Your Hormone Replacement Therapy
Accurate testing is needed for accurate dosing. There are 3 main ways to test hormones, saliva, urine, and blood. Blood testing is convenient because insurance covers it, but only gives a static level at the time of the test. It does not take into account fluctuations in hormone levels. Salivary testing is good because you can get several salivary levels easily and quickly, allowing us to see the fluctuations. The problems with the salivary test is that the results are often inaccurate or unreliable. The last option for testing is through urine. This is by far superior because it looks at 24 hr levels accounting for highs and lows and is highly accurate. The one issue with this one is that insurance does not cover it and can be several hundred dollars. Still it is well worth it given the detailed amount of information you get from this test. From the perspective of getting the estrogen quotient and 2/16 ratio, urine is the only way to accurately test for these.
A 24 hour urine can look at all your hormone metabolites (progesterone, DHEA, Testosterone, Estrogens, Cortisol) which will give you and your doctor a clear picture of how your body breaks down and metabolizes your hormones. This is valuable information for treating hormone imbalance symptoms but also for the preventative factors mentioned above. While this is a great test for any women to have, it is particularly good for those women how have a family history of cancers and still want to use hormone replacement therapy.
Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
With regard to hormone replacement therapy, the first thing to get straight is that not all hormone replacement therapies are created equally. There are two main types of hormone replacement therapy for women, conventional hormone replacement therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. There are dramatic differences in safety and effectiveness, between the two. Biochemically, the difference between the two is that bioidentical hormones are identical to what the body makes, whereas conventional hormone replacement are derived from horse hormones or synthetically chemicals. We know from very large studies that these conventional forms of hormone replacement therapy cause increased risk of cardiovascular events and cancer of the reproductive organs. The reason behind this is thought to be linked with the structural differences in the molecules and how they bind to the hormone receptors in the woman's body. Similar studies have looked at bioidential hormones and have not found the same risks of cancer or cardiovascular disease. The other advantage of bioidentical hormones is that they are dosed specific to the woman's needs, down to the milligram. Conventional HRT is, more less, a one size fits all model.
In most cases the signs and symptoms a woman presents with will lead the doctor to diagnose hormone imbalance symptoms. The labs are there to help guide the treatment with the right doses and proportions of each hormone. So any testing method could be used. The bioidentical hormone doctors at Southwest Integrative Medicine recommend a combination of blood and urine. Using the urine periodically to check the estrogen quotient and measure risk and blood to fine tune hormone levels.
If you have questions about your hormone levels and testing, come in and see one of our bioidentical hormone doctors. To schedule a free consultation, click on the link below.
If the warmer days and more frequent sunshine weren’t enough to tell you spring is on its way, your tickly throat and itchy, watery eyes probably are. This spring, rather than running to your local pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter or prescription allergy relief, why not try some treatments by your local naturopathic doctor, heal your body naturally and without any negative side effects?
While traditional allergy medications work to mask your symptoms, they do nothing to treat the cause of the allergic reaction(s), i.e. balance your overactive immune system. As a result, you become dependent on allergy medications and the true cause of your allergies is never really addressed. Naturopathic doctors work with you to identify the cause of your allergies, and then stimulate or balance your body’s inherent healing mechanisms to get your immune system back into balance.
What is an allergic reaction?
An allergic reaction is your body’s attempt to combat a foreign invader. When something foreign comes in contact with your body, be it pollen or dust particles, foods you are sensitive to, or pet dander, your body will try to eliminate the offending entity. To do so, it stimulates the immune cells to take action. They produces a substance called histamine, which triggers inflammation in the affected areas. Once tissues are inflamed, the capillaries allow more white blood cells to enter the affected area(s) in an effort to remove/deactivate the foreign objects. Unfortunately, your body can begin to go into overdrive, continuing the immune response longer than necessary. This is particularlly pronounced in those that are very senstive to specific molecules. The hightened sensitivity increases the imune respoince and therefore the symptoms too. This is when you begin to feel miserable and look for quick fixes to feel better again.
Most traditional allergy medicines don't treat with the underlying hyperactive immune system but rather the result of the hyperactive immune system. For instance antihistamines, decrease the histmine that the immune cells make from their hyperactive state. The decongestants, decrease the mucus created by the overactive immune system. The underlying cause is the excess senstivity. When you treat this the symptomsatic treatmetns are not needed or are less neccassary. This is important because your body can become dependent on some allergy medications, eye drops, and nasal sprays.
Naturopathic Doctors in Phoenix and Scottsdale Provide REAL Allergy Relief
Wouldn’t it be nice to work with your body’s natural healing mechanisms, allowing it to process allergens as it should, without needing to rely on a pill that is accompanied by negative side effects? Naturopathic doctors provide allergy relief by helping to facilitate and balance your body’s immune system.
Acupuncture for Allergy Relief
Acupuncture has been used to balance the immune system for thousands of years. Recent studies have concluded that acupuncture for allergies is a safe and incredibly effective treatment for those who suffer from rhinitis, which is the irritating, itchy, stuffy and/or runny nose that often accompanies allergic reactions. In addition to balancing the immune system response, acupuncture for allergies also releases endorphins, often called “feel good hormones”, that reduce pain and increase sensations of pleasure - definitely a positive benefit of acupuncture for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.
Naturopathic Doctors Provide Natural Allergy Relief
In addition to acupuncture, your naturopathic doctors can use other natural allergy relief treatments to keep your body healthy and balanced throughout allergy season. These treatments include:
- IV Vitamin C Therapy: Vitamin C helps to stabilize your immune cells’ histamine production, decreasing the uncomfortable symptoms of allergies. Even if you have a healthy Vitamin C intake, medications, dairy products, and other factors can block your body’s Vitamin C absorption. IV Vitamin C treatments ensure the Vitamin C gets directly into your bloodstream and into your cells where it is needed most.
- Nutraceuticals. The term nutraceuticals is a fancy way of saying isolated components of plant-based materials that work naturally with the human body for healing. Vitamin and mineral supplements are an example of nutraceuticals, as are teas, herbal supplements, and certain homeopathic treatments. Your naturopathic doctor will determine which nutraceuticals would work best to address your allergies.
- Lifestyle and Dietary Evaluation. Sometimes we are just plain allergic to things. Other times, our lifestyle and diet make us more susceptible to certain allergies. Naturopathic doctors work very closely with their patients to determine the cause of the allergies. Often times it is a cumulative effect where the environment, diet, and lifestyle all play a role to create a body burden large enough to create symptoms. A close look at each can help to eliminate or curb the allergic reactions. You might be shocked to learn the cause of your allergies is something you can easily eliminate from your life with nearly instantaneous relief.
Contact a Phoenix Naturopathic Doctor and Live Again!
Instead of saying indoors, tissues in hand, dreading the onset of spring, go ahead and contact Southwest Integrative Medicine. Our compassionate naturopathic doctors will work with you to elevate your overall health, and begin working on a holistic and nutritionally sound plan that will restore your immune function. We look forward to working with you using natural allergy releif treatments. Take advantage of our free consultation to get started today.
There is often a physiological connection between the foods you crave and your overall physical health. In certain cases, food cravings can be an indicator that your body is deficient in specific vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t always crave foods or products that contain those nutrients, which can lead to more intense cravings. IV therapy
delivers vital nutrients directly to your bloodstream, can help to replenish your depleted body and reduce or eliminate your cravings. In many cases, IV nutrient therapy can help you lose weight naturally because you are no longer consuming empty calories. Together, IV nutrient therapy and a guided personalized weight loss program
, can be key to restoring energy, eliminating food cravings, and living a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Before we begin, it’s important to highlight that hunger and food cravings are two different things. If you feel physically hungry, your body is signaling to you that it’s time to eat. That is not necessarily a craving. A craving can be a physiologic or psychological event and will start and/or persist even when your physical hunger has been satiated (more on this below).
A Phoenix Doctor Can Use IV Nutrient Therapy to Help Stop Food Cravings
IV nutrients have been shown to improve a variety of physical conditions from chronic fatigue and migraines to depression and seasonal allergies. Sometimes our patients come to us for one condition or ailment and find that IV nutrient therapy helps to reduce other health-related symptoms. Delivering an intravenous supply of specially tailored vitamins and minerals allows your body to absorb them quickly and efficiently. Depending on your nutrient deficiency, you may require one or multiple IV nutrient therapy sessions before diet alone will keep your body in balance.
There are two types of food cravings: psychological and physiological. Psychological cravings are those in which your emotional well being is benefited by consuming certain foods. For others, cravings begin when the body is depleted of vital nutrients. In an effort to gain these nutrients, your body will begin seeking food sources which may or may not contain the particular nutrient you lack. A phoenix doctor will do lab work and/or a detailed history to determine whether or not you are deficient and may choose to use IV nutrient therapy, combined with a nutrition-based health plan, in order to restore your body’s vitamin and mineral balance.
Here is a list of common cravings and their associated nutrient deficiencies:
- Chocolate - Dark Chocolate contains a host of beneficial minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamins A, B1, C, D, & E, and flavonoids. While all of those are essential, researchers believe Magnesium is what most chocolate cravers are after (subconsciously). That is not surprising since magnesium is a very common nutrient to be deficient in. The problem is that in order to be effective, chocolate needs to be 70% cacao, rather than milk chocolate. So, popping M&Ms when you have a chocolate craving will pack on the pounds, temporarily satisfy the craving, and leave your body even more depleted.
- Sugar. Similar to chocolate, sugar cravings can also be associated with magnesium deficiencies, as well as other vitamin/mineral deficiencies. Just like in the case of M&Ms, eating sweet foods will rarely gain the nutrients your body is after, which results in sugar crashes, undesired weight gain, and a continued lack of essential nutrients.
- Ice - Ever had the irresistible urge to crunch away at the ice in your glass, or to go and get a glass of crushed ice without the beverage? Where others find a glass of ice bland, you may think it’s absolutely delicious. This is a common symptoms of Anemia, or iron deficiency. Once your iron levels are returned to normal, your ice cravings will become a thing of the past.
- Salt - In its normal state, salt is incredibly rich in minerals. Unfortunately, most developed countries eat salt that is perfectly white but has been processed and stripped of its nutrient value. As such, salt cravings (which leads to the consumption of unhealthy and often processed foods) are often an indicator of mineral deficiencies. Talk to your doctor about switching to sea salt or Himalayan crystal salts, which still contain essential minerals. Since these salts are not iodized, make sure to include iodine-rich foods in your diet such as eggs, navy beans, cod, and seaweed.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you were no longer a slave to your food cravings? Balancing your health could be the first step to kissing food cravings goodbye. Whatever your cravings may be, it is a good idea to have lab work done to see if you are in anyway nutritionally depleted. A balanced diet, IV Therapy, and routine follow-ups can return you back to health - and you may find you lose weight without as much effort!
Having Trouble Controlling Your Cravings? Phoenix Integrative Doctors Can Help.
If you suspect your food cravings may be the result of nutritional deficiencies, or are looking for a natural weight loss solution that work, contact Southwest Integrative Medicine. Our compassionate doctors will work with you to evaluate your overall health, and begin working on a holistic and nutritionally sound plan that will restore your energy and overall health.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a safe and effective way to treat hormone imbalances in adolescent women, young women, perimenopause menopausal, and menopausal women. In fact, medical research published as recently as December of 2012
states, “Until evidence to the contrary, bioidentical hormones remain the preferred method of HRT.” While many people associate hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with women in and around menopause, doctors have been using various forms of HRT to treat younger women who report hormone imbalance symptoms
. There are of coarse certain times and circumstances when HRT is a more viable option than not.
In women in their 20s typical symptoms of hormone imbalance can include things like acne, late, infrequent, or irregular menses, and severe PMS. Early in their menstruating years, irregular menses are not that uncommon, but as she gets into her late teens and early 20s the cycle should be well
established. A very common hormone imbalance symptom in younger women is know as PMS. PMS (premenstural syndrome) is a number of symptoms that occur around the menstrual cycle and can include irritability, pain, and cramps, acne, etc. different hormones account for each symptoms and sometimes these imbalances are caused by nutrient or vitamin deficiencies. Correcting these deficiencies will correct the PMS symptoms and the hormones themselves. Left untreated can lead to worsening of symptoms and possible frank anxiety disorder or other mental/emotional problems. For instance there is some evidence linking hormone imbalance with common eating disorders
such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
Bioidentical hormone doctors work closely with young women to find the source of the imbalance and use the least amount of natural hormone treatments for maximum effects.
Bioidentical Hormones Phoenix | Treat Female Hormone Imbalance Symptoms Safely
Bioidentical hormones are made from plant derivatives and are the exact same size and shape as human hormone molecules. Because of their identical molecular composition, bioidentical hormones are more easily recognized by the body and are associated with fewer negative side effects than traditional synthetic hormone replacement therapies. If you live in the Phoenix or Scottsdale area, bioidentical hormone doctors can work to relieve common hormone imbalance symptoms that have been traditionally treated with synthetic oral contraceptives. Traditional oral contraceptives (birth control) are a one size fits all method and as such there is no attention on the overall balance of the women's hormones. In fact it is rare that a woman on oral contraceptives even gets her hormone levels checked. Bioidentical hormone doctors frequently check the hormones to make sure that stay in balance throughout her cycle and lifestyle changes.
Your Phoenix bioidentical hormone doctor can use BHRT to treat the following symptoms, which typically affect young women and those still menstruating.
- Frequent headaches
- Abnormal mood swings
- Excessively painful periods and/or cramps
- Uterine Fibroids
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Ovarian cysts
- Excessive hair growth
Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy Has a Long History of Negative Side Effects
In many cases, traditional medical doctors will prescribe oral contraceptives in order to relieve hormone imbalance symptoms in younger women and women in their childbearing years. Depending on the type of pill that is used, these contraceptives will elevate estrogen and/or progesterone levels beyond the natural levels and decrease testosterone levels. Synthetic contraceptives have been linked to severe side effects
such as frequent headaches, migraines, severe mood swings, depression, weight gain, and several different forms of cancer.
Oftentimes, women who are successfully treated using oral contraceptives will find that the negative side effects are worse than the symptoms of their original condition, and they will cease synthetic hormone replacement therapy altogether. If you are currently taking oral contraceptives and suffer from any of the aforementioned side effects, speaking with a medical professional who specializes in bioidentical hormone therapy.
For more information about bioidentical hormones Phoenix and Scottsdale, or to make an appointment with a bioidentical hormone doctor
, please contact Southwest Integrative Medicine. Our practice is dedicated to providing the best of eastern and western medical traditions in order to provide the least invasive most effective treatments . Click on the link below for a free consultation. We look forward to working with you.
Acupuncture is an effective means of treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) because it works with the body’s natural energy flow to restore biochemical balance, and to relieve the anxiety and depression which often accompanies this debilitating condition. The news is flooded with information regarding our returning veterans and the rising diagnoses of PTSD. Of those diagnosed with PTSD, approximately one in three will have symptoms that
impair many aspects of their life. Unfortunately, the condition is somewhat of a mystery for modern medicine and most people diagnosed with PTSD are simply prescribed prescription medicines - many of which have undesirable side effects and are not all that effective. For the most part medications do help but medicine alone doesn’t get to the root cause of the problem, emotional and psychological trauma. For example the medications can help with anxiety and depression but leaves victims of PTSD feeling angry, frustrated, and helpless underneath. Integrative medicine and acupuncture are an effective means of treating the anxiety and depression of PTSD as well as the underlying feelings.
Phoenix Acupuncture Doctors Provide Natural Treatment for PTSD
In short, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological response to witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, usually involving violence, death, and/or the threat of injury. In an article published in USA Today
, Warren Kinghorn, a VA psychiatrist, discusses the complexity of treating returning veterans with PTSD and how prescription medications and short-term therapy are simply not enough. As many as 20% of returning veterans suffer from PTSD, and they need more longterm treatment not simply medications. Psychologist Shira Maguen has found a distinct correlation between soldiers who took the life of another human being and more severe cases of PTSD, such as a higher risk of suicide.
Acupuncture for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been shown to be beneficial in multiple ways as it treats a variety of conditions linked to the disorder. In a research study done at NCCAM (national association of complimentary and alternative medicine) acupuncture was shown to be as effective as group cognitive behavioral therapy (group discussions and explorations). Cognitive behavioral therapy is typically highly effective for PTSD but is not always available to the veterans and when it is the length of treatment is not long enough.
The effectiveness of acupuncture in this study shows that veterans have another option to support their mental health. What's more is the study showed the effectiveness of treatment stayed for 3 months after treatment finished. A Phoenix acupuncture doctor can help those suffering from PTSD in two main ways. First by evaluating his/her symptoms and create a natural individualized treatment plan to relieve these symptoms and second by using acupuncture to support their overall mental health.
Acupuncture For PTSD Relieves Anxiety and Depression
Those suffering with PTSD often struggle most with anxiety which can then lead to depression. Acupuncture for PTSD is so successful because acupuncture is a a great treatment for anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.
Physical and mental health issues arise when the energy is out of balance. Acupuncture works by creating an energetic balance. When this balance is restored most people feel a sense of relaxation an ease. This ease can bring clarity and perspective to one's current struggles, especially when repeated over time.
Acupuncture is also successful at treating chronic pain
, which often accompanies war injuries. Each acupuncture treatment you receive will work to facilitate healthy energy flow along meridians - or pathways - where energy has become blocked or lethargic. This catalyzes the release of endorphins and other “feel good hormones.” Acupuncture also improves circulation, which helps to detoxify the blood, and increases your body’s access to oxygenation and vital nutrients, which are essential for a healthy body.
Acupuncture improves the mind-body connection. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that a balanced mind-body connection is essential to mental and physical well being. As such your acupuncture doctor should discuss your diet and lifestyle habits to help you create a physical routine that promotes health. Combined with acupuncture, breathing exercises, and other body-based healing practices, such as meditation, those with PTSD will begin to experience a holistic return to health.
Contact a Phoenix Acupuncture Doctor for Natural Relief from PTSD
If you or someone you love suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, contact the doctors at Southwest Integrative Medicine. "It is our deepest desire to heal our patients by using a combination of ancient healing arts and the best that modern medicine has to offer. Our unique and individualized treatment programs can bring natural and sustainable solutions to your PTSD symptoms. We work to reintegrate the physical, mental and emotional well being of our patients using the healthiest means possible." Click on the link below for a free acupuncture consultation.
There is a reason why most weight loss programs fail: they aren’t holistic. In most cases, weight management issues begin for one of two reasons: a person has underlying health issues that cause their metabolism to slow down or they have formed an unhealthy relationship with food in response to emotional triggers. Oftentimes we find our patients are dealing with a combination of both. Either way, a traditional “eat less, exercise more” mentality is not enough to promote real and sustainable weight loss.
Holistc weight loss programs work to integrate weight loss through the mind, body, and emotional levels. When all three of these are addressed, our patients finally get to experience the joy of losing weight and keeping it off. We will discuss some of these approaches in this article.
Scottsdale Weight Loss Begins with Identifying Underlying Causes in the Body
The first step to any holistic weight loss program is to receive a thorough medical exam. Your doctor will want to discuss your family medical history, as well as your personal medical history. S/he will also want to have an in-depth conversation about your lifestyle, eating habits, and emotional health. You will probably be asked to keep a food journal in order to track exactly what you eat and drink each day. This comprehensive exam sets integrative medicine apart from traditional western medical practices. We take our time to really get to know our patients in order to receive as much information as possible and begin working towards a holistic weight loss solution.
After a standard physical exam and routine blood work, your doctor will be able to analyze the data, as well as the information you have provided. Together, this will help to identify the root problems or causes. Common medical causes for weight gain - and/or difficulty losing weight - include:
Believe it or not, many overweight people are actually malnourished. Their bodies will begin signaling food cravings in an effort to ingest nutrients. Overconsumption of the wrong foods will cause weight gain. Once their diet is in balance, the food cravings subside and weight loss occurs naturally, with minimal intervention.
Scottsdale Weight Loss Clinic Finds Mental and Emotional Solutions
I have yet to meet a patient that is wanting to loose weight that didn't have some idea about what they are doing wrong. Nor are the things that they need to do very difficult. Some cases are more dramatic than others but you get the idea. Why are these changes so hard to implement and maintain? Those that do find ways to loose weight and keep it off do so by modifying their behavior (aside from addressing underlying medical issues). The behaviors that they modify are learned and can be implemented by anyone. Here are a few common behavioral difficulties that arise with weight loss .
- Neurochemical imbalance
- Poor environment
- Time management
As mentioned above, many people have ideas about what they are doing wrong but not sure where to start. They don't have an issue on what to do but how to do it. Day by day and step by step implementation of the ideas. There are a lot of conflicting ideas on what to eat and many times it is simply easier to stick with what they know. For these people a diet plan with a specific list of foods to eat and a menu can be very helpful because it take the guess work out of the process. Over time the things that they go to gets better and better.
Along the same lines, your environment plays a big role in your choices. So if you have a list of foods you are supposed to eat and and a kitchen full of junk food, there is not much hope for you. However, removing the junk food and shopping for a specific list of foods can make the process so much easier. If you live with someone that is following a different diet, try to set up designated areas where your food is, so you won't be tempted by the foods you are trying to avoid. People that are supporting your health goals can also go a long way.
Of course, all this planing and change takes time that most of us feel, we don't have. Upon a closer look it is clear we all have "wasted time". Some of us more than others, but the point being when we really dissect what we do each day, there are opportunities to focus on planing for our diet and health. Having a realistic well thought out plan is more than half the battle. A few examples of time sucks are facebook, email, you tube, internet, and watching TV. 5-10 minutes here and there is more than enough time to plan out shopping, meals, etc.
The other piece that ties in to all of the above is the balance of neurotransmitters in your brain that support or impede your behaviors. For some the inability to actually plan things out and execute come from an underlying neurochemical imbalance or deficiency. They simply cannot focus or they simply feel too overwhelmed by their daily activities. In these cases naturopathic doctors can help identify the imbalance and provide neurotransmitter or neurosteroid support. Cognative behavioral change can also be used. The bottom line is that you have to be able to implement the diet in order for it to be effective. Looking at each person as an individual and finding where they need more support, make the whole process work better. Behavioral modification can be challenging but it is not without reward. Loosing 10-15 lbs now can put your health in a much better place tomorrow and in the future.
Scottsdale Weight Loss Solutions
If you live in, or travel to, the Scottsdale or Phoenix area, make an appointment with one of the weight loss doctors Southwest Integrative Medicine. We are happy to meet with you for a free consultation. Our doctors recognize the need for holistic weight loss programs that honor the patient and their journey towards a healthy body. Our Scottsdale weight loss clinic gets results because we treat the roots of the problem and deliver personalized weight loss solutions that work. Click on the link below for a free consultation.
When babies present in the breech position, studies show acupuncture doctors can help tun the baby into cephalic position (head down) using various techniques. Approximately three to four percent (3 - 4%) of all babies present in the breech position when the mother goes into labor. Unfortunately, for mothers who desire a vaginal birth, this news can be devastating as it is a near guarantee their baby will be delivered via C-Section. This is especially traumatic for women who plan to have a natural birth. The medications and chemicals used during a C-Section have been linked to breastfeeding difficulties and other mother/infant bonding issues. Non-vaginal births may also been linked to digestive problems in baby later, due to not being inoculated with good bacteria during the vaginal passage. These are among the top reasons many women desire a natural birth experience. Fortunately, there is a potential solution for women who are carrying a breech baby at their 32 week prenatal visit: Moxibustion and acupuncture.
According to a 2012 study, moxibustion is successful in turning a breech baby almost 60% of the time. This is excellent news for women who desire a vaginal birth. If your baby is presenting in the breech position, find an acupuncture doctor and ask how moxibustion and acupuncture can help.
Use of Moxibustion and Acupuncture to Turn a Breech Baby
Moxibustion is a common treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It uses the warmth and herbal properties of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) to stimulate a specific acupuncture points. In the case of breech presentations, your Phoenix acupuncture doctor will use moxa at UB 67, which is along the Bladder Meridian. In some cases, moxibustion will turn a breech baby within the first or second session. During the treatment the baby can often be felt moving and kicking. This is a good thing as we want to encourage a different positioning of the baby. By encouraging movement gravity will cause the heaviest part of the baby down head first. While moxibustion is a big part of the treatment to turn the baby, acupuncture is also used. Using a few acupuncture points can help relax mom and which can help facilitate and further encourage the baby to turn.
If the first 2-3 treatment are not working often times women are encouraged to use moxibustion at home, up to three times a day, in order to facilitate the baby’s movement. We find as do most other acupuncturists that moxibustion is most effective between 32 and 36 weeks, when the baby is descending into the birthing position but still has enough room to maneuver effectively. This is more comfortable for both mother and baby. Waiting until 36 weeks or later may decrease your chances of a successful breech turn to a head down position.
Other Techniques Used by Phoenix Acupuncture Doctors
At our integrative medicine clinic in Phoenix the acupuncturists are also trained in naturopathic medicine and use additional techniques to help assist in turning a breech baby, to ensure the baby remains in a head down position. An example of some positional techniques can be found in the following article, published by Birth International - a respected midwifery and birthing education resource. It includes information on what to do if your baby is breech in order to facilitate a head down position. It also provides pictures and instructions for how to use moxibustion to turn a breech baby at home. Combined, these solutions can help you and your baby work together to achieve a vaginal birth and avoid the need for a C-Section.
In addition to using moxibustion to turn a breech baby, the naturopathic physicians and phoenix acupuncture doctors at Southwest Integrative Medicine can help you with breathing and relaxation techniques to facilitate a natural birth. S/he can also provide information regarding nutrition and other other holistic treatments during pregnancy, such as acupuncture to relieve inflammation, lower back pain, insomnia, and other pregnancy-related discomfort.
For more information on natural techniques for pregnancy health click on the link below for a free consultation with an acupuncture doctor in Phoenix.