Do you feel alone in your battle against headache and migraine pain? Does it sometimes feel that no one truly understands your struggle? Here at Family Acupuncture and Wellness, we understand and want to offer treatment that works. That’s where functional medicine comes in.
Headache and Migraine Sufferers
Thirty-nine million men, women, and children in the United States struggle with migraines. So, when you’re struggling, you are not alone. In fact, that’s the theme of National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month — “You Are Not Alone.” Fitting, right?
While there are millions of other sufferers, we want to surround you with help. At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, we offer a holistic treatment that aims to get to the bottom of your headache and migraine pain.
First, let’s make sure you understand the basics of functional medicine.
What is Functional Medicine?
In functional medicine, instead of asking, “How do we treat your headaches and migraines?”, we ask, “What’s causing the headaches and migraines?” We want to understand the root cause of your symptoms and create a plan to treat it.
Functional medicine puts you in the driver’s seat of your health and wellness plan. It takes a full-body approach to your headache symptoms. Instead of giving you another medicine that may or may not help, our functional medicine practitioner, Adam Learner, LAc, works with you to understand the cause of your headaches and create a comprehensive treatment plan.
What to Expect
When you come to Family Acupuncture and Wellness, you meet with Adam to go over your headache symptoms, past treatment, and what you feel may be causing your headaches. He is going to want a lot of information from you to better understand your history and how he can help.
All of our Functional Medicine programs start with thorough lab workup of the patient. Instead of guessing what might be causing your headaches, we will test you with a series of lab tests (blood, urine, and sometimes stool, hair, and saliva) designed to help us find the true underlying cause of the headaches. The lab testing and the answers it uncovers is in many cases the key to resolving the condition and eliminating headaches once and for all.
Once we figure out what is causing your headaches, here are some of the tools that we use to resolve them:
Explore the benefits of acupuncture
Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine, and has been used to very effective treat headaches for at least 3000 years. The acupuncturist, based on your condition, inserts skinny needles into acupuncture points in your body. The needles provide a signal to the body that trigger targeted healing responses. Acupuncture is very effective in treating headaches: many patients with an active headache notice a significant change in their headache before leaving the office. Several studies have shown very significant relief for headache symptoms, and one study published by Duke University found that acupuncture was more effective for preventing migraines than the most commonly prescribed preventative medications.
Consider diet, vitamins, and supplements
Once we figure out the root causes of your headaches, you may start to identify a relationship between what you eat, your overall health, and your headaches. Common triggers of headaches and migraines include foods, additives, changes in estrogen levels, and alcohol intake. Diet, vitamins, and/or supplements can address all of these triggers.
No one vitamin or mineral will cure or prevent your migraines. With help from Adam, you can create a vitamin and supplement plan that works.
Practice mind-body therapies
Understanding the connection between each body system and your mind is essential to the treatment of your migraines. Functional medicine practitioners believe that the better acquainted you become with the mind-body connection, the more headache relief you will find. Mind-body therapies include:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Biofeedback and relaxation therapy
Meditation is a form of mental training that helps attention and regulation of emotions. One study showed that practicing mindfulness meditation may reduce the intensity of your pain.
Yoga is not just for physical fitness. It can help create calmness and deepen your understanding of the mind-body connection. Researchers have found that regular yoga practice can decrease the intensity and frequency of your migraine headaches.
Biofeedback helps you reduce muscle tension in your head and neck. This can change the blood flow and decrease headache symptoms. It’s often coupled with relaxation training, which focuses on your breathing, the way certain body parts feel, and visualizing positive images.
Find your Functional Medicine Team
If you are ready to end the feeling of being alone in your headache and migraine treatment, schedule a free consultation with Adam online or book your appointment by calling us. We are here to give you the support and relief you need.