Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Using Acupuncture and naturopathic medicine to bring relief.

In 2010, I saw many  patients with digestive complaints.  One of the most common digestive conditions I treated last year was irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).   For those unfamiliar with IBS, the common complaints include: abdominal bloating, cramping, constipation, diarrhea (or combination of both) and excessive gas.

Naturopathic medicine and acupuncture can be very effective in treating IBS.  The goal is to reduce the symptoms, but more importantly, to find the root cause of the condition.

In the case studies below, I'll share with you how I helped these patients recover fully from their IBS.  They both came in with the same diagnosis of IBS, but as you can see, the treatment plan was unique to them.  I carefully listen to each patient's story and customize a treatment plan specifically for them.

Patient 1 was  a 77 year old female.  She had been suffering with IBS for the past 10 years.  She had uncontrollable diarrhea that alternated with constipation.  She began wearing adult diapers a few months before her initial naturopathic visit.   She was too scared to leave her apartment due to the uncontrollable diarrhea and was loosing her social life.   She also reported recent weight loss. 

Treatment Plan:
- Food Allergy Test (We discovered she was very allergic to eggs, dairy and bananas)
- Custom Diet plan (To help her gain weight and nourish her body)
- High-quality probiotics
- Series of 10 acupuncture treatments (to help re-balance her digestive system)

She experienced significant relief after beginning the acupuncture treatments.  Her bowel movements became more regular and her cramping was reduced.  After 6 months of following the diet, all her symptoms of IBS were gone and she felt stronger and more energetic than ever. 

Patient 2 was a 30 year old male. He developed IBS after taking strong medication for a viral infection.  For two years he had sharp pains in his abdomen (which he had an ultrasound to rule out any serious conditions), alternating diarrhea and constipation, and excessive flatulence.  He was taking a variety of medication for IBS with no relief.  His major concern was the urgency of his bowel movements.  He had less than 5 minutes to find a bathroom, once he had the urge to go.  He also had anxiety. 

Treatment Plan:
- Re-established a healthy routine for his body. (sleep routine, no skipping breakfast, regular exercise)
- Custom Diet plan (increased fiber in his diet, added more whole foods and green vegetables)
- Chinese Herbal formula (to heal the digestive system from the damage of anti-virals)
- Acupuncture Treatments ( for the anxiety and digestive system)

He responded in a matter of weeks to the treatment plan.  The urgency and sharp pain almost disappeared after starting the Chinese Herbs.  Although he was free of symptoms, I encouraged him to maintain a healthy routine so he can rebuild his digestive and immune system.  He was also amazed at how calming and relaxing acupuncture was, and has continued with regular acupuncture to help with his anxiety during stressful times.

The above cases are very typical IBS stories.  The naturopathic and traditional Chinese medicine approach is very gentle, yet very effective at correcting and balancing the digestive system. If you would like help with your IBS, please call our clinic in Richmond. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Low Level Laser Therapy in Richmond Vancouver BC

Over the next few months, I will be diving into a lot of research of low level laser therapy.  I'll share some of the research and my clinical experience on this blog.  To start, I would like to re-post an article I wrote a few months ago about the history of laser therapy at my clinic's website.

History of Low-level Laser Therapy

An important question I’m often asked by patients is whether laser therapy can burn or harm the skin. The laser therapy I offer is called low-level or low-intensity laser therapy, and will not harm the skin. In fact it does the opposite, it heals skin cells and soft tissue in the body.

To better understand laser therapy, it is important to understand light. Life on earth has depended on “light energy” since time began. Plants grow and flourish with sunlight. Human bodies need sunlight or we see health problems such as rickets, vitamin D deficiency and seasonal affective disorder in the absence of sunlight. The method in which laser therapy heals the body is through the photon energy found in light.

In 1917, Albert Einstein, in his paper “On the Quantum Theory of Radiation” laid the foundation for the invention of the laser. In the early 1950’s, the “MASER”, a precursor to the LASER was invented, which used microwave radiation instead of light. The first working laser was made in 1960. Following that, medical researchers focused on using high powered lasers for surgery.

In 1966, Endre Mester from Budapest, Hungary was the first to publish a paper on the healing properties of low-level laser. He then wrote several more studies on the wound healing capabilities of laser light. By the1970’s, more countries began investigating the healing effects of laser, including Italy, Japan, UK and China. Finally in the 1990’s laser therapy enters North America.
Currently, there are over 3000 publications on the positive effects of low-level laser therapy. Various organizations around the world are funding laser research including, NASA, U.S armed forces, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Association and Arthritis Society, to name a few.

At Brio Integrative Health Centre, we are proud to provide you with this truly effective therapy to compliment our naturopathic medicine and acupuncture services.