When practicing functional medicine, we are looking for the underlying cause of disease and how the body can function better. This type of diagnosis and treatment is not one-size-fits all and focuses on more than just symptom management.
Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites–commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints.
Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being
The Chinese Medicine model of the 5 elements is an intricate feedback loop of communication between the organs. Similar to the HPA axis, we look to the endocrine system as the communication between Kidney (Water) and the Chinese organ system.
- Fire: Heart houses Mind, or Shen, and controls the Blood vessels
- Earth: Spleen is charge of our Digestion and production of Blood
- Metal: Lung controls Breathing and therefore, responsible for our Qi (or life energy)
- Water: Kidney is in charge of Prenatal Qi (genetics),Reproductive organs/hormones and producing Blood
- Wood: Liver stores and moves blood during menstruation and is also harmonizes Emotions
Genomics Testing – Genetic testing is primarily used to evaluate common genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The presence of specific SNPs may indicate a predisposition for health vulnerabilities and we can then, focus on lifestyle changes to maintain health and wellness. SNPS may be assessed in multiple functional areas including cardiovascular, detoxification, methylation, immune modulation, and estrogen metabolism.
Genetic testing uncovers potential susceptibility to diseases and conditions such as:
- Breast cancer
- Heart Disease
- Autoimmune conditions
Functional stool tests assess three critical areas of gut health: digestive function, gut inflammation and the gut microbiome (good and bad bacteria). These areas not only affect digestive health, but overall health and function within all the body systems as well. For women with specific symptoms that may have gastrointestinal dysfunction as the root cause of hormonal imbalance, a comprehensive stool test can provide insight into a more effective treatment plan.
Imbalances in the microbiome have been studied extensively as the source of certain conditions which may include:
- Autoimmune disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Celiac disease
- Mood disorders
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Food allergies
A comprehensive nutritional evaluation to identify specific deficiencies of vitamins and nutrients that are essential for optimal health and wellness.
A comprehensive view of organic acids shows the body’s cellular metabolic processes and breakdown. This 24-hour urine test looks at energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown and intestinal bacteria or yeast. Women’s health is often complex and this test can give us information on which body systems are out of balance for the most efficient treatment plan.
An organic acids test is ideal for patients who may suffer from:
- Weight issues
- Sleep problems
- Mood disorders
- Chemical sensitivities
Serum lab testing of hormones is an easy, inexpensive way to get an overview of a women’s health. Some of the typical blood tests that can be important include complete sex hormone testing, complete thyroid panel with antibodies, a chemistry panel, iron/ferritin/homocysteine and vitamin-D levels. Other specific lab tests are also considered individually.
Dutch Test (dried urinary for comprehensive hormones) – This innovative test shows a complete picture of hormones and their metabolites, including cortisol circadian rhythm, to assess adrenal health and melatonin. It is useful for women who are considering taking bio-identical or synthetic hormones or for perimenopausal women. It can tell us not only how much estrogen, testosterone, etc. she is making but how it is being detoxified and broken down in a healthy or not-so-healthy way. This information can help us be aware of the risk for breast or uterine cancer for each women individually.
The Dutch test is also a more accurate way than saliva testing to measure free cortisol and to monitor hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) regulation, which is how our brain and adrenals communicate. Since we know that our hormone balance is closely connected to our HPA axis, it is important to test them at the same time to get the big picture.
Acupuncture should be a relatively pain-free experience. There are times where the initial insertion will be felt by the patient, but there is never an occasion where the patient should be in pain through the duration of the treatment. Acupuncture can cause dull achiness, heaviness, tingling, heat, and increased sensation around the area needled. Almost always, these sensations are accompanied by a deep quality of relaxation and tranquility. Acupuncture should be a relaxing experience. In fact, this is one of its therapeutic benefits.
After your initial visit, when you return for your follow up appointment you will receive a personalized treatment plan that will state your concerns, your treatment goals and the step by step plan to help you reach your goals. This may include therapeutic diet, specific lab tests, recommended supplements and mind-body practices. This is your unique treatment plan that continues to evolve as lab test results are reviewed and as you continue to heal.
- menstrual cramps, PMS, irregular periods, fertility
- hot flashes/night sweats/ heavy bleeding
- musculoskeletal pain
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