Hope & Healing for Chronic Health Issues

“I’ve tried everything else, can you help me?” 

As an acupuncturist I hear this a lot. These patients have been my greatest teachers. At the Cleveland Clinic Pain Management Dept., I saw patients from all across the US and abroad. Difficult or uncommon cases were business as usual there. If there were an easy cure for these patients, you’d never see them in your practice. But here you are . . . 

I often find one (or more) of 3 Great Imitators plaguing patients with persistent, treatment resistant symptoms. A Great Imitator is a disorder that mimics other disorders. This confuses diagnosis and treatment for practitioners and patients. The ‘Great Imitators’ include: 

  • 1) Myofascial Trigger Points, 
  • 2) Stealth Chronic Infections, and
  • 3) Iatrogenic Illness (injury caused by Rx drugs or medical procedures).

Myofascial Trigger Points

A Trigger Point is an irritable knot in muscle or connective tissue. TPs can be an unsuspected cause of back pain, tinnitus, sinus pain, TMJ/tooth pain, reduced range of motion with aching pain in shoulders, necks, hips, headaches, carpal tunnel like pain, autonomic phenomena, and more. TPs are very common, typically overlooked and undertreated.

Chronic Stealth Infections 

What people call Chronic Lyme is one of the most controversial topics in medicine today. Many people remain unwell after antibiotic regimens to treat tick borne infections – often there are other pathogens besides the “Lyme” bug at play. Many of these are intracellular and can be difficult to eradicate. Diagnostic testing is inadequate and treatment failures are common. Science based herbal strategies can be effective in restoring patients to functioning again after antibiotics have been used.

Iatrogenic Conditions 

Many drugs and medical procedures have potentially serious, often unforeseen consequences. Prescription drugs, taken as prescribed are the number 4 or 6 leading cause of death in the US (JAMA 1998) and a leading cause of Emergency Room visits (700,000/year). It only makes sense that Rx drugs cause numerous injuries. Medicine often has a blind spot when it comes to recognizing iatrogenic events. I recently spoke at an FDA hearing about adverse reactions to Fluoroquinolone antibiotics – it has taken decades for this issue to be recognized by the FDA, despite the evidence. Chalk it up to dogma & denial.

The Back to Zero Path to Wellness

Back to Zero is a philosophical and pragmatic approach to healing. Getting well from chronic illness is akin to practicing or training for a physical discipline such as yoga or martial arts. Healing is an active process and requires your participation. The path to restored wellbeing is a journey taken on with a sense of dedication & purpose – treatment, dietary practices and attending to one’s spiritual well being, however spirituality manifests for you, are all key. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” There is no substitute for doing the work. Let’s begin.