I want to tell you a secret. It’s a well-guarded secret. An important secret. And it can change your life.
Before I reveal the secret, let me ask…
Do you suffer from daily headaches? Migraines? Other pain that just won’t go away?
Have you ever thought about what pain is?
Is there a message in that pain?
The answer is YES, there is a strong message hidden in that headache or migraine or stiff neck or backache or whatever is causing YOU pain.
Pain is a messenger. Pain is the only way your physical body can communicate directly with your mind. Pain is your body’s way to yell “STOP! PAY ATTENTION! LISTEN TO ME!”
The big secret is... Pain exists so your body can heal itself. Your body is engineered to heal itself. You can see it in action everytime you get a papercut!
So, are you receptive to your body’s calls for attention? Or is your pain buried under medications designed to keep it quiet and hidden?
If you’re ready to hear your body’s message and banish your daily headaches, migraines or other chronic pain, contact us to schedule a consultation at 512-686-0777 or book online by clicking the blue button below.
Conventional medicine is great at some things, like emergency surgery. However, it often fails at treating more common problems, like frequent headaches or poor sleep.
Here are five common conditions that are poorly treated/managed by conventional medicine:
Acupuncture excels at treating these five conditions because it gets to the root of the problem. Conventional medicine only offers interventions (pharmaceutical or surgical) to relieve the symptoms of these condition, while acupuncture delivers long-term relief.
Often the quick-fix of drugs or surgery creates more health problems as the root cause of the condition is left untreated and/or undiagnosed. If you hear your doctor say the word "idiopathic" it means he/she does not know the cause of your condition. Not very comforting, right?
At your first acupuncture treatment, we’ll diagnose the root cause of your condition and get you on the road for long-term healing and relief. Acupuncture treatments not only prevent conditions from returning, it can prevent related conditions from arising.
About 12 years ago, I suffered from debilitating chronic migraines. They would start with an aura, usually consisting of a blind spot that would prevent me from reading anything, including my watch. The aura would last about 25 minutes, then the vomiting would start, followed by intense pressure building in my skull. The worst sensation of each migraine was the stabbing pain behind my eye that could last for 12+ hours. All I could do was lie in a dark, cool room waiting for the pain to subside. There was no sleep, just unrelenting pain and silent prayers for relief.
The migraines consumed my life, 2-3 days of every week. I lost work days, I lost friends, my marriage decayed, and I fell out of touch. People got tired of hearing me say “Sorry, I have a headache.” It was both depressing and terrifying.
I tried over-the-counter meds like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. I tried drinking coffee and dark chocolate during the aura. I had a CAT scan and a MRI, which revealed nothing. Neurologists prescribed an assortment of pharmaceuticals, but they either didn’t work or had terrible side effects (topiramate = hair fell out/slurred speech/memory loss). Plus, they were only mildly effective, reducing the rate of my migraines to about 2 a month. My neurologist warned me that I would need to take a beta blocker (propranolol) for the rest of my life to prevent the migraines from coming back.
I was only 28. The rest of my life sounded like a very long time.
As a last ditch effort, I gave acupuncture a try. There was an acupuncturist across the street from my office and she performed nothing short of a miracle.
The frequency and severity of my migraines diminished over the course of a few weekly treatments. After a few months, I was able to stop the topiramate. After two years, I weaned off the beta blocker. It was a long journey to relief, but manageable with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
At this point, I can look back and see how migraines caused me to stop and rebuild my life. The migraines called me to become a holistic doctor and help others find relief. They turned out to be an amazing blessing in an awful package.
What are your migraines telling you?
Let's talk about Chronic Pain...
A recent study in the scientific journal Pain found, “90% of the benefit of acupuncture over usual care is retained at 12 months after the end of a course of treatment.” Indigo Healing Acupuncture offers customized treatment plans designed to provide you with long-term relief of chronic pain.
If you're ready to live your best life and return to activities you love, schedule a consultation by calling 512-686-0777 or send an email to email@example.com
At Indigo Healing Acupuncture, we practice holistic Oriental medicine.
This means that we see living beings (human or animal) as a complete, interrelated entity composed of a mind (consciousness), physical body, and spirit (soul). Holistic medicine allows healing to occur on physical and metaphysical levels.
So, what is holistic medicine in a nutshell? Holistic medicine…
Modern medicine aims to identify the condition (and affix a label such as “heartburn”) and alleviate symptoms with drugs, physical therapy, radiation, or surgery.
Holistic medicine identifies the root cause of the pain/illness and treats the mind, body and spirit to provide relief and a return to wellness.
How does this work in real life?
Let me give you a real-life example of a common complaint. Let’s say you have lower back pain, labeled by modern medicine as lumbar spinal stenosis.
Modern medicine will measure the pain, document the location, order radiological scans (x-ray or MRI), and prescribe pain killers, physical therapy, surgery, or rest. You’ll likely walk out of the 10-minute appointment with as much pain (maybe more if you had to wait two hours for your five minutes of face time with the MD) as when you walked in.
A holistic practitioner will see you as a whole person. We'll ask specific questions about where you live, what you eat, your emotional well-being, your exercise schedule, and the quality of your sleep. Within the framework of Oriental Medicine, we'll combine these answers with tongue & pulse diagnosis to identify the root problem of your pain and treat it with acupuncture, moxibustion, tui na, gua sha, cupping, and/or Chinese herbs. With this holistic approach, the acupuncture needles may not be placed on your back at all and you could still leave the appointment with no lower back pain! And, as a bonus, you'll likely be in a better mood & sleep better that night as well!
Does insurance cover holistic medicine?
Many large medical insurance plans now cover acupuncture treatments for pain relief. Most employer-sponsored Health Spending Account and Flexible Spending Account (HSA/FSA) plans also include acupuncture as a covered service. Check your benefits summary for coverage details.
Are you ready to be seen as a whole person and give holistic medicine a try?
Oriental medicine provides a holistic approach to healing from a broken heart. Symptoms of a "broken heart" can manifest as difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety, poor appetite or overeating, inability to focus, acne, asthma, tight muscles and soreness, TMJ, sciatica, headaches, migraines, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and more.
Indigo Healing Acupuncture offers a comprehensive 12 week program to help you process the end of your marriage and reclaim a new vibrant life.
This customized package includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, traditional fire cupping/gua sha, and self-care suggestions to boost your Qi and bring forgiveness & hope back into your life. This program is offered on a limited basis and a pre-consultation by phone is required.
Contact Michelle to learn more about this one-of-a-kind Holistic Divorce Recovery program.
Now introducing love cups at Indigo Healing Acupuncture!
Traditional Chinese Fire Cupping is a relaxing treatment to remove stagnation and improve the flow of Qi and blood. Glass or ceramic cups are heated with fire to create a vacuum and applied to the skin to create suction.
Fire Cupping is pain-free and typically leaves painless circular marks that gradually disappear within 3-5 days as healing occurs.
I tell patients it feels like a reverse massage… instead of muscle compression via pressure, the cups pull up the skin which allows fascia and muscle fibers to lift & stretch.
Fire Cupping also supports the function of the lymphatic system by improving the flow of infection-fighting lymph fluid which helps rid the body of toxins and metabolic waste.
After a treatment with Traditional Chinese fire cupping, it's important to drink water and non-caffeinated beverages so the lymphatic system can work its magic.
To schedule an appointment for relaxing Traditional Chinese Fire Cupping, contact Michelle.
Chinese Medicine has known the health benefits of cannabis seeds (Chinese herb huŏ má rén) for over 2,000 years. Now, modern medicine is catching up and learning about the health benefits of cannabidol (CBD). There is a tidal wave of CBD oil products hitting the market... here's a quick overview of what they are and how they work.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the human body that is regulated by the endocannaboid system in the nervous system (central & peripheral). CBD can also be harvested from the Cannabis plant.
How does the body produce CBD?
Omega-3 fatty acids* are converted to CBD in the central nervous system. There are two types of cannaboid receptors (for the science folks: CB1 and CB2) distributed throughout the body.
*Wait, what are Omega-3 fatty acids?
This could be a whole blog post, but here's a quick explanation of Omega-3 fatty acids. There are three types:
What does CBD do?
The CBD produced in the endocannaboid system helps maintains homeostasis (biological balance) throughout the body. If your body does not produce enough CBD, you may experience chronic aches and pain, headaches, migraines, insomnia, poor appetite, digestive problems (heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel), reduced immunity to bacteria and viruses, allergies, fertility issues, and/or memory problems. As you can see from this list, the endocannaboid system works hard to keep us feeling good!
What are plant based sources of CBD?
CBD is harvested from Cannabis (Cannabis sativa). CBD is the 2nd most abundant compound in the plant (the most abundant compound is tetrahydrocannabinol aka THC).
What can CBD oil products do?
Cannaboids derived from the plant Cannabis sativa have many therapeutic uses. Research studies show CBD reduces anxiety (including social anxiety disorder), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), epilepsy, and pain. There are links to research studies at the bottom of this post for reference.
Is CBD oil legal?
Yes, hemp-derived CBD oil is legal to purchase and use in the US.
Who should not use CBD?
If you look at the latest research on pubmed.gov about "cannabidiol and pregnancy" or "cannabidiol and breast" you'll see that CBD crosses the placenta and changes the morphology and physiology of cells in a developing fetus. Animal testing has demonstrated CBD is excreted in high concentrations in breast milk. The many benefits of CBD do not outweigh the risk it poses to fetal or infant development; therefore, we do not recommend it to pregnant or breastfeeding patients. There are much safer herbal alternatives available.
Book an appointment to find out if CBD is right for you!
Have you ever wondered about Chinese Herbs? What they are? What they can do?
Before we dive into it, are you a fan of Harry Potter?
Do you remember how Professor Sprout taught a magical herbology class at Hogwarts?
Harry and his friends studied herbs for 5 years, which is the same amount of time most Oriental Medicine practitioners (a.k.a. an Acupuncturist-Chinese Herbalist) study Chinese herbs in medical school.
There are over 350 herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine Materia Medica, which is our version of an herbal encyclopedia. Herbs can come from plants, minerals, and animals. When they come from plants, they can be the whole plant, or parts of plants like seeds, leaves, flowers or roots.
High-quality Chinese herbs are grown and harvested in accordance with the season and carefully prepared to protect their magical, oops, I mean medicinal properties. Every herb in the Materia Medica is carefully categorized according to its function. For example, some herbs like rou gui (cinnamon) can warm you up, while other herbs like bo he (peppermint) can cool you down. Some herbs are minerals, like mang xiao (Glauber salt, similar to Epsom salt). Have you ever had a drink made with Epsom salt? If you have, you know that it drains downward and serves as a natural laxative. The Chinese figured this out over 2000 years ago!
Trained Chinese herbalists know how to use herbs effectively and safely. Some herbs can't be used together and some are only appropriate for specific conditions. There are over 100 ancient Chinese herbal formulas, each containing anywhere from 2 to 20 individual herbs that work synergistically together. Taking the right herbs at the right time for the right condition can have downright magical results!
Chinese herbs can be taken in several different forms and it's an acupuncturist-herbalist's job to figure out which way is best for you. Herbs can be taken internally as:
Herbs can also be absorbed externally through the skin as a poultice or by soaking the hands or feet.
So, what conditions can be treated with herbs?
For women, herbs can help with:
So, that's a quick overview of Chinese herbs. When used properly, they can accelerate healing in a safe, natural way and keep you on track between acupuncture appointments.
If you want to find out how Chinese herbs can help you feel better, schedule a consultation with Michelle today!
It primarily affects children who are three to ten years old and can show up suddenly with symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, sudden loss of appetite, skin sensitivity, and pale complexion. These symptoms also appear in more serious conditions, like appendicitis, so if your child is suddenly sick with the symptoms listed here, it is best to immediately call your pediatrician and/or visit the emergency room.
Cause of Pediatric Abdominal Migraine:
Scientists have not yet identified all of the biomedical mechanisms or causes of migraine, but migraine is known to be hereditary, meaning it runs in families. If Mom and/or Dad suffer from migraine, their child is more prone to experience migraines in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Pediatric Abdominal Migraine Triggers:
One way to help your child is to become aware of specific migraine triggers, or things/activities that can trigger the start of a migraine. Common migraine triggers in children include:
Treatments for Pediatric Abdominal Migraine:
When a child is suffering from symptoms that look like abdominal migraine, I advise parents to carry a small notebook to record the date, time, and events leading up to the abdominal pain, such as long car ride, up late last night, skipped a meal, etc. Your pediatric acupuncturist or pediatrician can review the log to help identify specific triggers and patterns.
At Indigo Healing Acupuncture we treat pediatric abdominal migraine holistically by examining all aspects of the child's mind-body-spirit to identify areas of imbalance. Lifestyle adjustments, needle-free painless laser acupuncture, and customized Chinese herb drops can reduce the frequency, severity, and pain of abdominal migraine attacks in children.
I’ve always had “problem” skin. Red, painful cystic pustule acne plagued me until my late 20s. After years of anti-acne face washes, toners, topical antibiotics and astringent creams, I had it under control enough to hide my problem areas with just a little concealer.
When I was in my early 30’s, my acne changed from cystic to a plethora of small red papules on my forehead, cheeks, and chin. My dermatologist prescribed retinols and steroidal creams to reduce the inflammation. They worked a little, but my skin was still red, irritated, and bumpy. The texture of it made me very self-conscious as there’s no way to hide bumps with everyday makeup!
At the same time, in my early 30’s, I started waking up in the middle of the night like clockwork. It was always 1am when severe abdominal cramps roused me from sleep. Dripping with sweat, I would sit in the bathroom not pooping or passing gas, but just breathing and waiting for the pain to pass. The cramping would usually stop within 20 minutes.
After a few weeks, I made an appointment with my primary care physician. She ordered a CT scan of my pelvis, which revealed nothing. She recommended taking an osmotic laxative once a day to ensure the cramping wasn’t caused by constipation (full disclosure: it wasn't).
Flash forward another two years, and I was in my first year of graduate school for Chinese Medicine. I was receiving almost daily acupuncture treatments from my teachers and classmates. My chief complaint was chronic acne.
One of my teachers observed out loud in class that the redness and papules on my face provided a visual map of the Stomach meridian. That’s when a light bulb went on in my brain that illuminated everything… food was the cause of it!
I quickly purchased a copy of Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet and devoured it in one day. The next day, I purged all processed foods and gluten from our family’s kitchen and started the Paleo lifestyle. As Robb recommended, I ate Paleo for 30 days. A few amazing things happened:
If you’ve read this far, then it’s time to acknowledge the biggest mistake I made about my health...
My biggest mistake was not listening to my body, when it was very clearly telling what was wrong!
If I had listened, I would have saved myself years of unnecessary pain, sleepless nights, worry, stress, and embarrassment about my appearance. And money. I would have saved a LOT of money by not trying every acne treatment program I could find.
My so-called healthy vegetarian diet was making me sick. Really sick. I had completely ignored all of my body’s warning signs. Even worse, I hadn’t realized the root of the problem… gluten-intolerance. I had eaten gluten all of my life, so why was there suddenly a problem now?
But the truth was, there were signs all along, I just chose to ignore them or call them something else.
Like mistaking a face rash for acne.
Side note: If I eat gluten now (always by accident), I'll wake up in the middle of the night with those terrible abdominal cramps and wear a face rash for 3-5 days.
The biggest takeaway from my story is that the human body is smart. Smarter than we typically give it credit for. If something is wrong, physically or emotionally, it’s going to show up as what Western medicine calls a sign or symptom.
Be observant because the longer a sign or symptom is ignored, the louder(!) your body will demand your attention.
So, is your body trying to tell you something? Sometimes we all need an outside perspective to uncover the truth, the root of our health problems. Let’s work together to get to the root of solving your health mysteries.
A new shipment of Enlighten Herbal Elixir just arrived at Indigo!
This ultra high-grade Chinese medicinal herbal elixir is farm-direct to only 150 clinics in the US.
Tastes amazing and makes Qi flow smoothly, diminishing pain and stress!
Improves sleep too!
One package is enough for a month of daily sips.
Only 20 packages remain today, they are selling fast!
Order now by contacting Michelle!
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM
Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM practices Oriental & Chinese Medicine in Hawaii and Texas.