Relieve Migraine Headaches with Acupuncture

We treat a great number of patients with migraine headaches. These headaches are debilitating and often keep people from being able to perform daily activities or even function at all. While we must be grateful for western allopathic medicine in diagnosing and treating many life-threatening conditions, we are often left with limited options for alleviating more chronic and less diagnosable (from a western perspective) conditions, such as chronic headaches. Whether the cause is stress, diet, hormones or changes in the weather the majority of cases are treated very successfully with acupuncture.

Your headache is specific to you. It can often be difficult to discover the individual causes and triggers that contribute to them, but we want to help you find your way. At each patient’s initial exam we take a long health history to access each individual’s constitutional needs. (Though as with any severe condition we recommend you see your primary care physician to rule out any life threatening conditions). Often, we find an imbalance of the liver meridian combined with gallbladder disharmony, from excess stress and overwork. Migraine pain can also be from muscle tension and strain in the neck and upper shoulders. We will often do trigger point therapy to the muscles of the neckand upper back to get the muscles to release, which takes the pressure off of the occiput. The muscles pulling on the occiput can cause referral pattern pain to the temples, eyes, and side of the head.

These are a few patterns we tend to see in our patients with migraines, as there are many other possible diagnoses. Our job is to figure you out. We recommend that our migraine patients come in a couple weeks in a row for treatment. After consistent treatments things slowly get better. After 1-3 treatments people are usually 20-50% better. After 6-8 times you should be closer to 60-80% better. If we are not seeing any improvement, we will help you figure out what your next steps should be on your quest for health, but the good news is most people do get better here! If you have any questions feel free to give us a call and one of our practitioners will get back to you.

Relieve Seasonal Allergies


Spring is here, and with the blooming of trees and flowers comes the presence of pollen and seasonal allergies. For allergy sufferers, spring can be a miserable time, and many people are turning to acupuncture for relief. Not only can acupuncture immediately relieve allergy symptoms, it can also help build up your immune system to prevent you from reacting as strongly to the allergens themselves. Acupuncture is effective at helping with nasal congestion, sneezing, scratchy throat, itchy and watery eyes, headaches and sinus pressure. We treat patients every day this time of year for the annoying allergy symptoms that keep them from enjoying the outdoors.

Tree pollens are the most prevalent pollens in the spring and many trees are heavy pollinators. Grass and weed pollens follow in late spring and summer. Year-round allergens include airborne mold spores, as well as other common allergens such as dust, dust mites, and animal dander. Exposure to allergens like these causes a release of a number of chemicals in the body, including histamine, which produce the allergy symptoms we collectively know as hay fever, more formally called allergic rhinitis.

Many western medical therapies rely on inhibiting the allergic response, usually with drugs (decongestants, antihistamines or steroids), avoidance of the allergen, and the use of air filters to decrease exposure. While these methods may help relieve your symptoms, we believe that addressing the causes of allergies, treating the whole person, and focusing on balancing the immune system leads to more long-term relief and health benefits in managing allergies.

In Chinese medicine, allergic rhinitis is seen as related to Wind noting that symptoms come and go rapidly, cause congestion, and make the person want to avoid windy situations. This Wind often coexists with a deficiency of the Protective or Wei Qi, similar to how we think of our first immune defenses against colds and respiratory infections. People with Wei Qi deficiency catch colds easily, and allergy symptoms may be particularly bad in the spring or fall, seasons that are generally windy.

There are often other underlying patterns that exist in combination with Wind, and are equally as important to treat for better long-term relief. Often people with chronic allergies show signs of Spleen or Kidney Deficiency as well as Lung signs according to Chinese medicine. We develop a plan using acupuncture and Chinese herbs to treat the person’s acute symptoms and provide relief, while addressing the underlying immune system imbalance which is thought to be at the root of the person’s allergies.

If you are an allergy sufferer, spring can be miserable. We know how exhausting it can be to battle allergy symptoms every day. We can help you feel better and start to actually enjoy the season!

This Is Not A Dress Rehearsal

“This is not a dress rehearsal”.

Why do I love that quote so much? I’m really not that into quotes but I feel like that one says it all. We have to seize every week, every day, every minute. There are no guarantees in life, whether it’s for good weather, good relationships or good health. That’s why it is so important to feel well, now. It’s around this time of year, springtime, a time of renewal, when people start thinking more about improving their health and their lives. Why don’t we think that way all the time?

So many of us are willing to exist as a less healthy version of our ideal self. We all get stuck in ruts but it’s our job as individuals to find a way to improve our situations. Life is too short not to.

You can feel and be better, by getting more restful sleep, having more energy, better digestion, ridding yourself of allergies, living pain free and…being happy. The first step is always the hardest. Sometimes we need help. That is why we at Acupuncture Northwest are here to help you improve your life and become the best version of yourself you can be.

I always say life is about maintenance. We have to find our path and maintain our physical and emotional well being to get the most out of life before it’s gone. We need to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, have good friends and get acupuncture. We want to help you with all of this, especially with that last part.

Detox Yourself With A Cleanse!

It’s springtime, a time of renewal. The days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, change is in the air and it’s the optimal time to do a cleanse. A cleanse is the perfect way to get in tune with your body and really get back to basics. Beyond breaking yourself of bad eating habits and eliminating toxins from your body it’s a way to gain clarity about what your body and mind really need, not crave.

Everyone is asking if they should do one. If so, which one should they do? What are the benefits? Is it difficult? We have the answers!

According to your constitution and lifestyle, we will assess you as an individual and figure out which cleanse will best suit your needs and be most effective.

Due to our diets, our environment, our lifestyle, and the products we use on a daily basis, we are all toxic to varying degrees. We all should do a cleanse once or twice a year or whenever we get motivated and feel like we can fit it in to our schedules. It is best to work with a licensed practitioner to guide you through the process. While you are cleansing, acupuncture can be a big part of achieving desired results and assist your body in stimulating the liver and kidneys to remove toxins. Depending on your toxic load you may experience detox symptoms for the first few days to a week. These symptoms can include headache, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and brain fog. I know, sounds awful!! But once you get through the tough part you arrive at a place of euphoria!

After a cleanse, people end up feeling energized and clear minded with improved digestive health, increased stamina for workouts, better quality sleep and stronger immune systems, all with a renewed zest for life. Your energy lasts all day without hitting that afternoon slump. It’s worth it! Most people report that once they set their minds to it, it is actually not that hard. You get into the zone and feel like you’re taking charge of your health and life. There really is no better feeling.

Let us know if you are interested!