Autoimmune Disorders are diseases of the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking your own body. Integrative therapies can be a crucial component of treatment of autoimmune diseases, as they seek to bring different aspects of the body back into balance. Different therapeutic modalities are like different languages that your body speaks – the key is to find the right language (or combination of languages) that your body will listen to. At Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness, we offer many services that can benefit patients suffering from Autoimmune Disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Grave’s Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, or Multiple Sclerosis. When it comes to holistic medicine, we find that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts.
A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness guide, who can help you to identify helpful and harmful foods for your autoimmune disorder. Health Coaching sessions focus on looking at all aspects of your lifestyle and how simple changes can improve your condition, such as diet, exercise, supplements, sleep habits, work stress, and relationships. Your health coach will provide you with dietary recommendations, as well as recipes and recommendations for helpful herbs, supplements, or self-care techniques to reduce inflammation and pain, improve functioning, and help you feel in control of your health again.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of single-use, sterile, solid needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to reduce tension and pain, overcome disease, and rebalance the body. Your acupuncturist will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your autoimmune condition from a Chinese Medicine perspective, and your treatments will be tailored to your unique presentation. Additional Chinese Medicine methods such as moxibustion heat therapy or cupping manual therapy may be included in acupuncture sessions, when appropriate. Acupuncture can reduce tension and inflammation, balance hormones, promote tissue health and healing, and change how the nervous system communicates with your body’s organs and tissues.
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on manual therapy technique. The craniosacral system extends from the head (cranium) to the sacrum and includes the central nervous system. A craniosacral therapist can feel and rebalance the rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid flow, which covers your bones, joints, and sutures. Craniosacral Therapy seeks to reset the nervous system, which operates on high alert when you are in a state of pain or imbalance. It is a gentle option for releasing tension and pain, as well as signaling your body’s systems to better communicate with one another.
Therapeutic Massage – which incorporates Swedish massage, myofascial release, deep tissue, and sports massage techniques – works to reduce muscle tension and pain, improve circulation, and increase range of motion. It can be highly effective at reducing chronic tension or pain that often accompanies certain autoimmune conditions. Our massage therapists are highly skilled at pinpointing where your pain is actually coming from and treating the source of the problem.
Cupping is a manual therapy technique from Chinese Medicine that uses special cups to create suction over some of the large muscle areas. Cupping helps to create space and movement in the layers of fascia, or connective tissue, that get stuck together over time. It also increases blood flow, reduces muscle tension, and draws toxins out of the tissues. We include cupping in acupuncture sessions when appropriate or offer stand-alone cupping sessions to target neck or back pain. Cupping can help reduce pain or tension associated with your autoimmune condition, as well as help the body release built-up toxins and inflammation.
Chinese Herbal Medicine:
Chinese Herbal Medicine works on the same principles as acupuncture – but the herbs work from the inside-out, whereas acupuncture works from the outside-in. Herbs are taken in a formula of 2-20 herbs working together to create balance in the body, reduce pain and inflammation, balance hormones, and boost your body’s natural resources. Formulas are customized to your unique autoimmune condition and how it affects you. Herbs are prescribed in pills, teas, tinctures, powders, or raw herbs to decoct at home.
Reflexology is a therapeutic treatment in which pressure is applied to particular points and regions of the foot to affect change in the whole body. Reflex points on the feet correspond to different organs and body systems, and by stimulating these points the practitioner can create positive change in a particular system and bring the body back into balance. Reflexology can target areas of pain or dysfunction associated with your autoimmune condition and aid the body in bringing them back into balance, as well as releasing feelings of stress or tension associated with your chronic condition.
Abdominal Therapy is founded on the ancient Maya therapy of abdominal massage, including pelvic assessment, treatment, and correction. Through specialized external massage techniques, your Abdominal Therapist guides your organs, soft tissue, and skeletal structure back into their optimal position, allowing for improved flow of energy, blood, and lymph through the abdomen and pelvis. By helping create better alignment and positioning of the reproductive organs, Abdominal Therapy can regulate digestion, and decrease abdominal, low back, and pelvic region discomfort, for autoimmune conditions affecting those areas.