Traditional Chinese Medicine for Migraine | Cupping & Acupuncture

I just wanted to share my migraine treatment journey. For those who have been following my blog, you will have no doubt read about my migraine issues and my treatment journey.

For the past 2 years, I have been seeing a neurologist. I’ve been on strong pain relief medication. I’ve also been on migraine preventative medication, which I hated the side effects of and has since stopped. 

I am now trialling a Traditional Chinese Medicinal treatment, which encompasses massage, cupping, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. 

Firstly, there have been some new findings based on the cupping treatment. Interestingly, the findings align with my yoga therapy findings. 

And that is my kidney area or “hormonal function” is malfunctioning. TCM based this off the cupping markings and yoga therapy is based of the fact that my backbends are stuck around the same area. Obviously there are other diagnostic questions that lead to this hypothesis, such as my menstruation cycle, whether I had migraines during my pregnancy etc. 

So the latest is that I should consider seeing an endocrinologist to rule out any hormonal dysfunctions that may be triggering these migraines. 

So far, since starting the TCM treatment, I haven’t had any major migraine attacks. Praise God for finding me some relief through this. At the same time though, it’s as if my body is washing out all the toxins from inside, my immune systems seems to be undergoing some cleansing. I’ve been struck with the flu and feeling a little weak lately. On saying that, I’m pleased with the TCM treatment. It has only been 2 months. I hear that after 6 months, the body should start settling into ‘balanced’ health. 

Here are some progress pics of my cupping!

First time – notice the stagnation (deep red) in the lower back, kidney area. 

Second time – 2 weeks after 1st treatment: improvement 

Third time – 5 weeks after 1st treatment:  significant improvement

Photo source below : CuppingTherapy.org


[UPDATE : I’ve brought my TCM’s recommendation to see an endocrinologist to my Western GP. He isn’t in agreement with it but is happy to put a referral through to a gynaecologist. His basis was that ‘hormonal issues’ is too generic a diagnosis. Everything that controls are body has to do with hormones so he didn’t buy into my TCM’s prognosis. The conclusion? I have an appointment with my neurologist coming up and my GP has asked me to get a second opinion from him. After all, my GP says, “THEY are the migraine specialists!”  Let’s see… ]

[SECOND UPDATE : And after seeing my neurologist and bringing to him my TCM’s findings, he was grateful that I was seeing a practitioner who had genuine interest in the root cause and lateral thinking. At the same time, the suggestion of migraine being a “hormonal” and hence treating this dysfunction with “hormone” therapy is not new. It is also well-documented. Research suggests that hormone therapy yields the same results in the long run. I.e. No long term cure. There have been extensive studies carried out in this area. Essentially, my neurologist was not in agreement with going down this angle. However, he was very pleased to hear that my body seems to be in agreement with the acupuncture. Now, that [sic acupuncture], has seen a lot of proven success for migraine sufferers and I’m glad you are one of them. Keep that going and hopefully, it will provide good relief for a couple of years until the body gets used to it (and migraines return again, as can happen sometimes). And we can assess then. I guess by then, I might be more comfortable with finally trying the Botox treatment that was originally recommended. 

That’s it, folks! I hope this gave you some well-rounded information or at least, you may relate to this!] 

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Yoga for Menopause | Holy Yoga Therapy

Every week, I teach a seniors class and have a class full of mostly women well into or past their menopausal years.  Whilst there are still years away for me, it’s an extremely interesting and topical subject for me as a yoga therapist surrounded by senior women students and interacting daily with my mother who is currently experiencing symptoms.  I hope this is somewhat insightful to you, whether it’s you or a family member going through the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.

SPECIFIC ISSUE

Menopause
 menopause-depression-stress
Up to 70% of women experience menopausal symptoms during menopause which can last up to 10 years; although there are outliers which may extend beyond this duration.  Menopause can start as early as 40 years but most commonly experience in mid 40’s or 50’s – with the most commonly sighted average being 51 years.
Menopause occurs because of the sharp decrease of estradiol and progesterone production by the ovaries.   The rapid decrease in circulating estradiol levels at menopause impacts many tissues, from brain to skin.  Whether directly related to the lowered levels of oestrogen or not (contradicting research results), many women claim to experience hot flushes and other common symptoms such as:
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Lower sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin, itchy skin
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
  • Mild loss of bladder control, frequent urinary urgency, incontinence
  • Disturbed sleeping, night sweats
  • Psychological symptoms e.g. depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, mood swings, loss of self-esteem
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
In one study, yoga cut hot flashes by 31% and other research has found that regular yoga practise improved libido, mood   and craving control. [1]
Many menopausal women agree that heat, anxiety, stress and fatigue often bring on or intensify hot flushes.  Gentle yoga poses and practising mindfulness meditation can help sedate the sympathetic nervous system, in turn, allowing the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to take over.  The PNS slows the heart rate and brings the body’s systems back into balance.
Gentle inversion poses can sometimes help with insomnia to alleviate anxiety.  When done with restorative poses, the body can feel at rest.
Heart/Chest opening poses, such as Bridge pose or Supported Reclined Bound Angle, can help with lifting the spirit and opening up the emotional blockages such as depression and mood swings, with the overall effect of rejuvenation and fighting off fatigue.
Root lock (Mula Bandha) helps regain the control of the urinary urgency and frequencies.  Even just the bringing awareness to muscle groups and help manage the symptoms.
The breath work and meditation, particularly in Holy Yoga’s biblical intentions, will help with concentration and centering the mind’s focus,  lifting the ‘fogginess’ often experienced in hormonal fluctuations.

Biblical meditations on what The Word has to say about dealing with each of the menopausal symptoms is the most powerful tools in managing menopause.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga.
  2. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.
  3. If suffering from degenerative bone dysfunctions, such as osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis, or spinal dysfunctions, such as kyphosis or lordosis, ensure there is physician’s clearance before doing yoga.  Pay kind attention to reclining poses and let yoga instructor know of  any known pains.
  4. If there are any blood pressure issues, take care in getting into poses wear the head is positioned below the heart vertically, e.g. forward fold and downward dog
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Easy seated (10 sets of breaths relaxed, 3 sets of breath in Mula Bandha)
2. Mountain
3. Forward fold
4. Mountain with cactus arms -> Mini back bend
5. Childs Pose
6. Downward Facing Dog
7. Bridge
8. Plow/Shoulder stand/Legs up the wall
9. Happy Baby
10. Spinal Twist

11. Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/10-yoga-poses-to-relieve-menopause-symptoms
  2. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/the-graceful-change/
  3. http://www.replens.com/FAB-Blog/Fighting-Vaginal-Dryness/23/Menopause-FAQs-When-It-Start-How-Long-Does-It-Last.aspx
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menopause#Signs_and_symptoms
  5. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/articles/qa-what-happens-to-my-hormones-during-menopause.htm
  6. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/treatments.htm
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/yoga-for-menopause-7-pose_n_2991865.html
  8. http://www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/resources-library/yoga-and-menopause
*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Holy Yoga With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional.The suggestions and educational resource offered by Holy Yoga with LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.
The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.

Yoga for Menopause | Yoga Therapy

Every week, I teach a seniors class and have a class full of mostly women well into or past their menopausal years.  Whilst there are still years away for me, it’s an extremely interesting and topical subject for me as a yoga therapist surrounded by senior women students and interacting daily with my mother who is currently experiencing symptoms.  I hope this is somewhat insightful to you, whether it’s you or a family member going through the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.

SPECIFIC ISSUE

Menopause
 menopause-depression-stress
Up to 70% of women experience menopausal symptoms during menopause which can last up to 10 years; although there are outliers which may extend beyond this duration.  Menopause can start as early as 40 years but most commonly experience in mid 40’s or 50’s – with the most commonly sighted average being 51 years.
Menopause occurs because of the sharp decrease of estradiol and progesterone production by the ovaries.   The rapid decrease in circulating estradiol levels at menopause impacts many tissues, from brain to skin.  Whether directly related to the lowered levels of oestrogen or not (contradicting research results), many women claim to experience hot flushes and other common symptoms such as:
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Lower sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin, itchy skin
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
  • Mild loss of bladder control, frequent urinary urgency, incontinence
  • Disturbed sleeping, night sweats
  • Psychological symptoms e.g. depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, mood swings, loss of self-esteem
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
In one study, yoga cut hot flashes by 31% and other research has found that regular yoga practise improved libido, mood   and craving control. [1]
Many menopausal women agree that heat, anxiety, stress and fatigue often bring on or intensify hot flushes.  Gentle yoga poses and practising mindfulness meditation can help sedate the sympathetic nervous system, in turn, allowing the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to take over.  The PNS slows the heart rate and brings the body’s systems back into balance.
Gentle inversion poses can sometimes help with insomnia to alleviate anxiety.  When done with restorative poses, the body can feel at rest.
Heart/Chest opening poses, such as Bridge pose or Supported Reclined Bound Angle, can help with lifting the spirit and opening up the emotional blockages such as depression and mood swings, with the overall effect of rejuvenation and fighting off fatigue.
Root lock (Mula Bandha) helps regain the control of the urinary urgency and frequencies.  Even just the bringing awareness to muscle groups and help manage the symptoms.
The breath work and meditation, particularly in Holy Yoga’s biblical intentions, will help with concentration and centering the mind’s focus,  lifting the ‘fogginess’ often experienced in hormonal fluctuations.

Biblical meditations on what The Word has to say about dealing with each of the menopausal symptoms is the most powerful tools in managing menopause.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga.
  2. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.
  3. If suffering from degenerative bone dysfunctions, such as osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis, or spinal dysfunctions, such as kyphosis or lordosis, ensure there is physician’s clearance before doing yoga.  Pay kind attention to reclining poses and let yoga instructor know of  any known pains.
  4. If there are any blood pressure issues, take care in getting into poses wear the head is positioned below the heart vertically, e.g. forward fold and downward dog
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Easy seated (10 sets of breaths relaxed, 3 sets of breath in Mula Bandha)
2. Mountain
3. Forward fold
4. Mountain with cactus arms -> Mini back bend
5. Childs Pose
6. Downward Facing Dog
7. Bridge
8. Plow/Shoulder stand/Legs up the wall
9. Happy Baby
10. Spinal Twist

11. Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/10-yoga-poses-to-relieve-menopause-symptoms
  2. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/the-graceful-change/
  3. http://www.replens.com/FAB-Blog/Fighting-Vaginal-Dryness/23/Menopause-FAQs-When-It-Start-How-Long-Does-It-Last.aspx
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menopause#Signs_and_symptoms
  5. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/articles/qa-what-happens-to-my-hormones-during-menopause.htm
  6. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/treatments.htm
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/yoga-for-menopause-7-pose_n_2991865.html
  8. http://www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/resources-library/yoga-and-menopause

*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. The suggestions and educational resource offered by Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.