Beware the “Good Enough” Attitude

This isn't good enough.

This isn’t good enough.

This is a funny trait that I think we all have, to some degree or another.  The attitude that things are ‘good enough.’ That, while our health might not be perfect, it’s liveable and we aren’t apt to complain or do anything about it.  Yes, our shoulders and back hurts, our sleep is poor and we get headaches from time to time, but it’s too much hassle to do anything about it and as long as we can continue to show up for work, we’ll just deal with it.

I see this all the time in my practice – patients come in with a variety of ailments, get to a place of, say 70% improvement, and then discontinue their treatments, because they are now able to get back to work, or sleep four hours without pain, or stand at the kitchen sink long enough to do the dishes.  It’s good enough.

It’s important to stop for a moment and ask yourself why ‘good enough’ is good enough.  Don’t you deserve to be pain free, to be able to throw a ball around with your kid, to dig in your garden, to be able to sit comfortably and sleep peacefully?

Yes you do.

The question you need to be asking yourself is, “how much better can I be?”  After every treatment I ask my patients, “how are you feeling?” as a way to get them to check in with themselves.  I am now beginning to get them to think about this next question.  How much better can they feel, how much more can we improve their quality of life?  It should be an ongoing dialogue, one that continues through one’s life, and NEVER stopping at “good enough.”

Because “good enough” isn’t good enough. You deserve better.

 

Is Acupuncture Safe?

A recent A-Channel Segment (see below) talked about a study done in Hong Kong regarding the safety of acupuncture. The study claims that acupuncture is a vehicle for AIDS, Hepatitis, and as Arlo Guthrie would say, “all kinds of mean and nasty things.”

While it is true that anything that penetrates the skin could potentially be a carrier of disease, in actuality acupuncture as it is practiced in North America is extremely safe.

Past Tense

In the past it was not uncommon for practitioners to sterilize and re-use needles, as it was more cost effective to do this. However, these days when even the more expensive needles are less than $0.10/needle, there is no reason at all to re-use them.

Strongly Regulated

As well, in any state or province in North America that has a governing body for acupuncturists there is a requirement to adhere to strict clean needling protocols. This includes swabbing the acupoint with alcohol before insertion, and using disposable needles, among other common sense practices, such as washing one’s hands before handling needles.

Not In Our Backyard

Perhaps in parts of the world where regulations are not as tightly enforced, and in very rare occasions where a practitioner fails to follow the most basic of clean needle standards there is the potential for contamination. However, it is very safe to say that acupuncture in North America is very safe.

Speak Up!

If you are ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask questions! Any practitioner worth his or her salt would welcome a patient’s inquiries as to the safety and efficacy of the treatment they are about to receive.

A-Channel segment on “unsafe acupuncture”

craniosacral therapy

As each Fibromyalgia patient presents with a unique set of symptoms, there are many ways to go about treating it.  The degree of pain, where that pain sits in our bodies and what other conditions we might have that over lap with FM, it’s a long list of differences and similarities that FM sufferers share.  It’s important, therefore, to know what your options are when it comes to finding relief.
The idea of Integrative Medicine has come about as a way for health professionals to expand the effectiveness of their care.  At West End Chiropractic Clinic we find that sharing the patient care load great increases the results that patients get from visiting us.  Having acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, chiropractic and massage all under one roof allows us to offer a much more complete model of healing for our patients.
Chiropractic comes from the Greek words that mean “done by hand.”  Chiropractic works effectively on the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems to create and maintain balance in the body.  This in turn can often provide a great amount of relief from the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. To know if chiropractic therapy will work for you it is a good idea to get regular treatments for at least a 6-8 weeks before determining if it provides relief of your FM symptoms.
Chiropractors primary form of therapy is the spinal adjustment. The chiropractor will often use his fingers or hand to move the vertebrae slightly beyond the normal range of movement, creating enough space in the joint for the bone to re-align itself.  Although this is often what we think of as a chiropractic adjustment, chiropractors also use a variety of muscle and soft tissue release methods to allow for a longer lasting adjustment.

Craniosacral Therapy was developed by osteopathic physician, William Sutherland, and greatly furthered by John E. Upledger, following extensive scientific studies at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Bio mechanics.

Craniosacral Therapy is an extremely gentle but effective method for promoting the free movement of the craniosacral system. CST has many benefits, and people are finding that it strongly enhances the body’s own defenses against disease. Craniosacral therapy may be recommended for many disorders, including: migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, motor-coordination impairments, central nervous system disorders, orthopedic problems, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, scoliosis, infantile disorders, learning disabilities, chronic fatigue, emotional difficulties, stress and tension-related problems, neurovascular or immune disorders, Fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders, autism, colic, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), post-traumatic stress disorder, and post-surgical dysfunction.
As with any form of treatment, you must decide whether something is right for you.  However, you owe it to yourself to try various treatments in your quest for health and healing.  Chiropractic and craniosacral therapy may just hold the answers you seek.

Benefits of Acupuncture

Here is a quick run down of some of the syndromes and disorders acupuncture can  benefit.  Acupuncture is commonly known to treat pain and injury of all types: back injury, tennis elbow, migraines, sports injuries, knee pain and the like.  However, acupuncture does more than just relieve pain.  Acupuncture has been shown to also treat anxiety, women’s issues, weight loss/obesity, infertility and conception, as well as insomnia and digestive disorders.  Even after listing all these disorders above, we still have only touched the tip of what acupuncture can be good for.Because acupuncture works on the somato-energetic level predominantly, it is safe and side-effects free.  Acupuncture performed by a trained professional is also almost completely painless, though at times mildly uncomfortable.

As the ancient Chinese did not, as a rule, have a problem with obesity, acupuncture does not have any set method for treating weight control.  However, as there is a large psychological element to weight control (cravings, etc.), acupuncture is often found to be very helpful with weight management.  Acupuncture has been shown to relieve cravings, both for food and substances.  Acupuncture is also a great stress reducer, as it stimulates the release of the body’s natural pain management chemicals, dopamine and seratonin.  Although there is never a replacement for willpower, acupuncture can help the dedicated person manage their weight.

Acupuncture can also treat eye disorders, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), nearsightedness, and cataracts.  Toothache and other forms of dental pain can be significantly reduced through acupuncture as well.  Other facial disorders such as Bell’s palsy and facial paralysis can, if treated quickly after onset, be well treated by acupuncture.   Studies have shown that getting acupuncture soon after a stroke can increase the rate and degree of recovery.

Acupuncture treats the whole person (not just the symptoms they are experiencing) on a physical, mental and emotional level. This means that treatment of physical problems also affects the way you feel about yourself.  Therefore, emotional disturbances such as anxiety, depression and mania may benefit from acupuncture.

Whatever your symptoms or disorder, it pays to educate yourself about different forms of effective therapy.  Studies have shown that educated patients often have a greater degree of recovery and a better outlook overall.

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