Monday, July 26, 2010

Integrative Medicine: How many medications do you take?

Good Monday to all. I hope everybody had a great weekend. I sure had a great weekend. When my injury happened I can't even remember how much medication I was given. Some of the medication I received worked well, others made me completely sick. When I arrived back at Ft Bliss from Iraq, every doctor I went to prescribed medications for me. Please do not misunderstand me, all the meds were reconciled and had a purpose. I have always heard that some medication can be addictive, so with that frame of mind I was always a little bit hesitant to take medications.
The good news for me was that here on base they have a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic in which acupuncture and chiropractic are some of the services provided. Dr. Richard Petri offered acupuncture for my headaches, tremors, emotional issues, and to help many of my BI symptoms. I have to say, that works like a charm. My headaches are not like a regular headache, it is more like a soreness in the right side of my head. It was pretty much present most of the day. Dr. Petri with the acupuncture therapy was able to bring my headaches down to a 2 out of 10. And whenever I have the shakes or tremors he would do some other acupuncture and within 30 minutes after the treatment the tremors were almost gone. Also, with the acupunture he hits a point that are meant to improve memory, balance and control emotions.
As a result from the blast I also had a neck and a back injury. The chiropractor, Dr. Harris, the chiropractor would treat my neck and back. The neck treatment was targeted to help with the balance problem. This chiropractic treatment works very well. It helps me keep my neck and back pain at a tolerable level and most of the time is completely gone.
Another treatment I get that is not offered by the military is massage therapy. This helps relax the body, and with the techniques used by the masseuse I feel like new. It help, the overall pain, to include the ones mentioned before, stay at a tolerable level. And like the acupuncture and chiropractic, some times the pain goes away completely.
The integrative treatment, like any other treantment, continues at home. My wife make sure that in the house we have an optimal healing environment. She accomplishes this by maintaining the house organized (which I help doing), we have water fountains for relaxation, and aromatherapy. This works very well as it creates a peaceful place for me and her. Doing this helps me get a good night sleep. Being relaxed and rested helps my body heal and I do feel that.
Normally a person with a Traumatic Brain Injury takes multiple medications for multiple symptoms. Thanks to the integrative medicine modalities that I have put in practice, I have been able to keep my medications to only two: Celexa 20mg and Adderall 20mg. The last is for attention and focus and Celexa is used in me as a preventive medication. Both doses are minimal. I'm happy that I take little medication.
Notice how I use the term "integrative". I use it that way because this are treatment is complimentary the regular therapies and treatment I receive.
Please share with us what type of integrative medicine do you use, how it works for you, and its usefulness. If you can't leave it here as a comment please email me at Your input will be greatly appreciated.

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