Chronic illness is on the rise in America. According to the National Health Council, about 133 million people have a chronic health condition lasting longer than 3 months. That is 133 million Americans that miss out on fun, family, and life because of their chronic disease. These diseases can include – but are not limited to:
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Heart Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Asthma

Sadly, our current healthcare model isn’t set up to deal with this constant increase in chronic illness. As a result, chronic disease is on the rise. It threatens to steal the life expectancy of an entire generation and bankrupt our society. Furthermore, chronic disease is an epidemic on the rise. Here are some overwhelming facts to consider:

  • 20% of children age 6-11 are obese
  • 600,000 Americans dies of a heart attack annually
  • 16-25% of Adults suffer with an autoimmune disease
  • More than 50% of American take prescription drugs
  • More than 40% of elderly adults take more than 5 prescriptions
  • The cases of autism has double since 2000
  • Depression is increasing every year
  • Nearly 10% of Americans have Diabetes and that is increasing every year
 (Source: Chris Kresser, Unconvential Medicine)

Medication use has resulted in an opioid epidemic rather than providing a real solution. Equally important, they don’t address the core issues of chronic disease which results in further dependence. Furthermore, these medications suppress our body’s natural response creating unwanted side effects. Many patients that I see dependent on medication soon discover they are on a merry-go-around of increased drug strength, medication side effects, and long-term consequences.

What is the better approach to managing chronic illness?

Your secret weapon is health professional who understands and is able to treat the underlying issue. You may be surprised to find out that chronic disease is relatively new. In fact, for many generations we have lived in balance with nature. As a result, we remembered we are a part of nature not opposed to it. 

Imagine a medication that was able to reduce chronic inflammation without side effects. You could use this medication easily without concern for long term damage. In fact, the longer you used it the stronger it would become. This secret medication actually describes acupuncture. From research, we know that acupuncture for chronic disease relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and restores balance (homeostasis).

What types of pain and chronic illness does acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago and is currently being practiced throughout the world. Poor translations and a lack of research lead to many misunderstandings. Namely, acupuncture became controversial. However, today’s research has demonstrated with scientific authenticity that acupuncture is effective. Overall, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine when done by a trained professional is both safe and effective.

Some of the most compelling research has shown these specific conditions to be relieved by acupuncture:

  • Seasonal and year-round allergies
  • Osteoarthritis in the Knee
  • Nausea and vomiting due to Chemotherapy
  • Migraine prevention
  • Tension and chronic headaches
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Post-operative nausea, vomiting and pain

More research is being done to prove the degree of effectiveness. Current studies show a high level of success with the following conditions when treated with acupuncture:

  • Back, shoulder and neck pain
  • Acute stroke and stroke symptoms such as insomnia, pain and spasticity
  • Mental health including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and schizophrenia
  • Plantar heel pain
  • Adult asthma
  • Insomnia
  • Cancer pain and fatigue
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Dry Eye
  • Hypertension
  • Sciatica
  • IBS (irritable bowl syndrome)
  • Smoking cessation (up to 3 months)
  • Pregnancy discomfort
  • Obesity

Can acupuncture help the opioid crisis?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that over 130 Americans die daily from opioid overdose. The financial cost of our opioid crisis, based on estimates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is around $78 billion annually. This includes the costs of criminal prosecution, treatment, job inefficiencies, and health care.

Medical providers are being urged to provide non-pharmacy solutions. In fact, acupuncture is one of the most prominent, evidence-based options available. As a result, numerous studies have demonstrated acupuncture’s positive effect on reducing pain as well as inflammation from chronic illness. Subsequently, the evidence is so compelling that even the Centers for Medicare Services now pay for acupuncture for chronic low back pain. 

The solution

Together, we will create a plan to reduce pain and we’ll get to the root cause(s) of your chronic illness. My expertise with modern functional medicine allows me to integrate the most recent research with a traditional approach. If you are struggling with a chronic disease your next step is to schedule a new patient appointment so we can get started today. 

Contact Dr. Mark VanOtterloo for an appointment or free consultation today.