Giving integrative wellness a try in clinic setting

Sanford acupuncture patient says her debilitating headaches are gone

Giving integrative wellness a try in clinic setting

Katie Day knew she needed to do something about her daily headaches and hip pain.

Along with those issues, Day noticed other signs of a hormonal imbalance. She had hot flashes, night sweats, lethargy and some gut issues as well.

She needed help, but didn’t know where to go. That’s when she said she found the “one stop shop” that is the Sanford Integrative Health & Wellness clinic at the Women’s Health Plaza in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Treating the whole patient

Jennifer Connors is an exercise specialist at the clinic. She said the number of ways patients can be served is what makes the clinic unique.

Find a location: Integrative health near you

The clinic offers:

  • Acupuncture – inserting very small needles into specific areas of the body to initiate a healing response
  • Acupressure – applies physical pressure to specific points on the body to relieve stress-related ailments
  • Aromatherapy – usage of aromatic essential oils made from plants or plant-based aromatic essential oils
  • Craniosacral therapy – noninvasive, hands-on treatment that gently applies pressure to the head or neck to alleviate pain
  • Guided imagery – visualizing a calm and relaxing setting
  • Healing Touch – activates your natural energy to improve physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and stimulate healing
  • Healthy lifestyle coaching – overall health and wellness
  • Mindfulness meditation – stress reduction
  • Progressive muscle relaxation – deep muscle relaxation, oftentimes to help patients with anxiety
  • Yoga – physical activity of postures, breath and flowing sequences

“It works really well that we can kind of see to the patient’s needs multifaceted. We can all use our skills to help that patient with whatever the diagnoses are to get them to achieve optimal health,” Connors said.

“I think it really offers the patient an opportunity for holistic health. So, they’re not seeking outside of where they normally go for their primary care. We can incorporate it all into one, and their primary care physician can collaborate with the integrative health team and make it a whole package for the patient,” added RN program specialist Karrie Heckman.

Breaking the stigma 

Blake Blowers, DAc (doctor of acupuncture), said these types of offerings fall into the “complementary medicine” category, meaning they aren’t traditional or mainstream therapies, like those offered at many hospitals.

Because of this, he said he understands why some patients would second guess if these therapies can really work. In fact, he encourages patients to be curious if the therapies will work.

“I would say that’s natural and good to question what it is that we do. The one thing that I would say is that before people make those assumptions, really read about what it is we’re doing and try to understand that what we do, and what I am doing with acupuncture, is a different paradigm of medicine that can help,” he said.

“A lot of people are finding that it is worth trying, and they do find results maybe where they haven’t found results with other forms of care. There are a lot of hospitals across the country that are starting to employ acupuncturists as well,” Dr. Blowers added.

A night and Day relief

And Day is one of those people.

“I feel great. I was having pain or discomfort, things like that, and by having the treatments done, I feel like they have helped tremendously,” she said. “I think between all of the providers working together, something’s working because I haven’t had a debilitating headache for probably three months now.”

Day said even if a patient isn’t experiencing chronic issues, integrative health and wellness is worth trying.

“Just the overall health and wellness you feel by getting the acupuncture and the Healing Touch and things like that, even if you don’t have something wrong, the relaxation of it and things like that just help you feel better,” she said.

Patients can schedule appointments in Sioux Falls; Fargo, North Dakota; or Bemidji or Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

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Posted In Healthy Living, Internal Medicine, Sioux Falls, Symptom Management