My education includes the Human Physiology program at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. In the winter term of my last year at the U of O, I took a course called Complementary and Alternative Medicines and I was immediately fascinated with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I transferred into Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in my hometown of Portland Oregon.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a relatively non-invasive and time proven modality that uses the body’s own energies and immune system to keep the body in balance and can be a very effective medicine to athletes and weekend warriors. My clinical experience at OCOM proved to me that acupuncture is a great medicine that can not only treat pain, but can also be effective for people suffering from insomnia, menopausal symptoms, digestive disorders, colds, flu, and allergies.
Acupuncture is most commonly known for treating musculoskeletal pain and injury. However, acupuncture has also been used successful for thousands of years as treatment for stress and anxiety, digestive disorders, and insomnia. Each of these issues can manifest and be debilitating on their own, but one of these conditions can lead to another and also feed off of one another.
We are all constantly under some sort of stress, be it related to family, work, or circumstances in life that are under or out of our control. Without having an outlet for these stresses, they can lead us to other health issues, physically and emotionally, including digestive disorders and insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety, and PTSD. Acupuncture has been shown to naturally decrease the production of cortisol and corticotropin, or stress hormones, in the body. Patients can usually feel the effects of treatment after only one to a few treatments. Patients have reported not only decreased stress, but also better stress coping abilities after treatments.
Digestive disorders affect a large amount of people all over the world. These disorders include cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, IBS, Chron’s disease, and GERD (heart burn, acid reflux), to name a few. I’ve had personal experiences with IBS symptoms, and acupuncture treatments are one of the only therapies I have found to help regulate my digestion without needing medication. Acupuncture is very effective in regulating digestion, and reducing digestive pains, bloating, and intestinal inflammation.
Insomnia is any difficulty sleeping. This may include trouble falling asleep, waking often, feeling unrested after sleep, or vivid dreaming. Some patients have told me the best sleep they experience is during the night after being treated, and even during the nap they take while being treated. Acupuncture has been shown to increase melatonin production, total sleep time, and decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.