Migraine and Holistic Medicine
I have been treating migraines, cluster headaches and their variants for 18 years using acupuncture, with a solid level of success. And while I do not begrudge Western Medicine for questioning a 2,000 year-old medicine that involves sticking pins in people, I am surprised when mention is made of say, acupuncture, in conservative media. In an article in the September 8 NY Times on whether Botox injections are valid treatments for migraine headaches, there is, buried near the bottom, a throwaway comment on acupuncture (regarding the value of a placebo over using Botox):
Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, the director of the health research group at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, said that a small benefit over a placebo was not worth the risk and suggested that acupuncture could be a less expensive alternative.(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/09/business/09botox.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=acupuncture&st=nyt&scp=3)
The simple fact that acupuncture, and alternative medicine in general, prove to be more effective (my add) and less expensive than Botox treatements is, for me, a given, and therefore less interesting than the subsequent line on the side effects of sticking a bovine toxin into your neck (yes Virginia, or Harry, sticking toxins in your neck can have deleterious side effects on you down the road):
While the most typical side effects from injections of botulinum toxins like Botox include temporary bruising and muscle weakness, there have been reports to the F.D.A. of more serious problems. The agency requires all botulinum toxins to carry a “black box” warning label that the drug could spread to other parts of the body — with the risk of difficulty in breathing or swallowing. “This is not to be taken lightly,” Dr. Wolfe said. “This is 30 needle jabs four times a year.”
Perhaps some might not have a problem with difficulty in breathing if there is a drug that masks normal the wear-and-tear of life. At my New York acupuncture clinic it’s not uncommon to see people who come to me after having had poor experiences with cosmetic surgery. And I’m not a moralist on this count. We all are meant to have the body and face we envision, so long as we don’t have to pay for it twice, the second time being with our health.
My biggest concern is that the stuff travels.
My other, and ultimately greater, area of concern is in giving acupuncture its due regarding migraines, headaches, TMJ, etc. etc. I’ll even go so far as to self-refer on this one: http://bluephoenixwellness.com/acupuncture-for-migraines/.
Much of why I write entails exposing the folks to relief methods that avoid the allopathic route, i.e. being exposed to the ‘traveling’ bug that using Botox might open one up to. In other words, it’s a case of ‘Buyer Beware’. And before committing to some questionable, moneymaking service that could impact on you negatively down the road, do your research. Please.