A Truly Holistic Approach
When looking for a place to help you navigate your health challenges, you might find it hard to find the right one and professional to help you. Where do you start? Your Primary Care Provider (PCP) should be the first place. You get an annual physical, maybe you get a clean bill of health, or maybe you have a few items to work on. Nonetheless, you most likely are sent on your way. Where from there?
If you're like many people in Colorado, you appreciate a healthy lifestyle. In order to be your best, I've seen success with treating every aspect of a person. At my clinic, we ask patients to fill out subjective self-assessment forms on their diet, metabolism and neuro-transmitter or mental/emotional health. We pair and compare our objective findings, such as any blood tests, X-rays or MRIs we have from your PCP like a CBC, metabolic panel and cholesterol tests, and see where we get double hits. This way, we have subjective and objective findings, combined with our lengthy discussion on goals, health history, physical exam and more detailed questions.
When looking at your blood tests, we note whether any results are borderline high or low. A qualified functional medicine practitioner can understand if there is a potential problem and help patients avoid future issues, hence the preventative medicine model. We flag potential issues for patients before there is a diagnosable disease, and if there is already a disease, for instance, Type II diabetes with high Hba1c, we have the opportunity to potentially help you reduce those numbers with diet, lifestyle changes and medical acupuncture.
Once we have a solid idea of the pathology or problem at hand, we can start treatment. Our treatment strategy is far different than any other acupuncture clinic. We take the information we gained from the functional medicine exam and apply it to what we work on with medical acupuncture. Let's say you have pain somewhere that wasn't from an injury. We would want to find the source of where that inflammation is coming from. Maybe it's from blood sugar that's out of balance, or a detox system that's inefficient, or essential fatty acids or cholesterol that isn't right, or gut bacteria that is out of balance. These are some factors that we assess that can contribute to pain syndromes and other symptoms.
Patients often tell us that they saw other providers for their pain and they just treated that pain over and over without success because the root cause was never identified. We zero in on both the root cause and get to work on helping you feel better right away. It's truly a holistic approach!
First, we administer medical acupuncture, which is unbelievably effective. Insertinga needle at certain points can promote the "degranulation of mast cells," which causes white blood cells to break open and spill their contents into the bloodstream. Needling into these "anti-inflammatory" spots enhances your bloodstream with serotonin (our happy neuro-transmitter) and histamine, along with other cytokines. If blood sugar is a problem, we needle over certain nerves in the body that help regulate the pancreas and hypothalamus functions. If gut bacteria regulation or constipation is a problem, we have areas we insert needles around that have been shown to vasodilate (increase the size of the blood vessels/flow) in the intestines. When treating pain, we will insert needles around the affected nerve, the nerve root (most likely near the neck or back) and the most distal portion of the nerve (near the wrist or ankles), which has been shown through research to stimulate the most amount of endorphins and pain-relieving substrates.
Often, we will use an electrical stimulation device, which is an FDA approved unit that helps your brain stimulate even more endorphins for longer. We might also use cupping, which helps increase blood circulation and decrease pain but also helps stimulate white blood cell activity, so it's great for injuries and low immune function. We sometimes use a low-level laser, Kinesiotape, or just general manual massage to help you feel better. And for more severe cases, we have herbal injection therapy, which works great to inject anti-inflammatory substrates directly into a muscle that is inflamed, bypassing the digestive system.
After the treatment, we refer back to your subjective and objective findings and may or may not prescribe herbal or supplemental formulas based on your needs, dietary or exercise changes, or lifestyle modifications. We base all this on the plethora of information we gathered, not just a guess or whim.We base what we do on logic and justified reasoning for giving our patients their prescriptions and homework. After a decade, we can say this model really works! We've helped thousands of patients in the area and we are proud to continue to do so year after year.
There's a new revolution in helping patients eat better and supplement smarter. Epidemiologic studies have found that high consumption of plant-based foods—rich in beneficial phytonutrients, as well as essential vitamins and minerals—is associated with better health and longevity.1-3 But 76% of Americans don't meet recommended daily fruit intake and 87% don't meet recommended daily vegetable intake.4 Plus, over 40% of US adults have inadequate intakes of magnesium and vitamins A, C, D, and E.5 A traditional multivitamin/mineral supplement may not provide preferred daily support that complements smart eating habits and promotes wellness and healthy aging. Now there's a growing recognition of the value of dietary phytonutrients—which help support antioxidant protection, DNA stability, and cellular communication that in turn influence metabolic pathways and body systems.6-10 And consuming an array of phytonutrients from a variety of fruits and vegetables may increase dietary value due to collective influences on health.11 Phytonutrients can also be provided in supplements when fruit/vegetable intake is less than optimal.*
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