Unimpressed by Gabapentin? Try Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain by Adam Okerblom, LAc

Is Gabapentin effective for chronic lower back pain (CLBP)?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication which is also indicated for nerve pain. Doctors frequently prescribe this drug to help manage chronic pain, such as chronic lower back pain (CLBP). However a recently published review of medical research indicates that Gabapentin may be less effective for treating back pain. It also has substantial risk of side effects. The medical review concludes that: “Existing evidence on the use of gabapentinoids in CLBP (Chronic Lower Back Pain) is limited and demonstrates significant risk of adverse effects without any demonstrated benefit.”

This is disappointing for patients suffering debilitating pain patterns. It is also bad news for doctors seeking alternatives to opioid narcotics. We have all read about the current public health crisis of opiod addiction, so we know how important this issue is.

Is Gabapentin safe?

This study mentions “Risk of adverse effects”. Is this drug safe to use? Yes! It is perfectly safe to use this drug as prescribed by a doctor. The side effects of gabapentin may include dizziness, fatigue, reduced mental focus, or visual disturbances.  These side effects are unpleasant and undesirable, but are not shown to be dangerous or linked with any permanent harm. This study found no cases of death or hospitalization related to Gabapentin use.

The point is that this commonly prescribed medication may be of little benefit for chronic lower back pain, and it carries a significant risk of unpleasant side effects. This leaves many people suffering from chronic lower back pain aching for an alternative.

Try acupuncture!

The good news is that acupuncture is a safe, effective and cost-effective treatment for chronic pain. The Western Medical community recommends acupuncture as a first-line treatment for back pain, before the use of pharmaceuticals. We whole-heartedly agree! If you are dealing with chronic lower back pain or other pain pattern, come in for a course of acupuncture. Experience the benefits for yourself!




Making a Postpartum Plan

Workshop: Making a Postpartum Plan

Are you expecting a baby? Congratulations! Undoubtedly you have heard a lot of opinions about how to take care of yourself during your pregnancy. But how do you plan to take care of yourself during the postpartum period? Care often drops off abruptly once baby arrives.

Chinese medicine encourages the “Golden Month” or “Sitting a Moon” tradition of spending 4-6 weeks postpartum focusing on recovery and replenishment. Specialized teas, soups, herbal formulas, and body care techniques provide warmth and nourishment to help new mothers heal. Make sure you’re prepared for this critical period!

Join licensed acupuncturist Courtney Moore as she shares information about how you can prepare for an optimal postpartum recovery. This 75-minute workshop will include:

  • Discussion of what you can expect immediately postpartum, and self-care suggestions
  • Demonstration of moxibustion techniques and acupressure massage routines
  • Supplementation strategies for the best possible recovery
  • Traditional soup and tea recipes, and ideas for creating meal plans
  • Tips for preparing for labor, naturally
  • Q&A session to address any concerns you have

Upcoming Dates:
June 4,2016
July 2, 2016
August 13, 2016
September 3, 2016
October 1, 2016

Craniosacral Massage Therapy

What is Craniosacral Massage Therapy?

Craniosacral massage therapy is a form of bodywork that bolsters the functioning of the central nervous system, allowing the body to enter a deeply restful state and unwind from the inside out. By applying therapeutic touch to the cranial and sacral bones, the practitioner works to enhance flow of the cerebral spinal fluid, which promotes whole body functioning. Recipients of CST report a calm, restful state during which muscle tension, as well as emotional tension, subsides.

The Results

As a result of massage, clients often experience relief from chronic pain or recent injury, in addition to emotional release and healing of past and recent trauma. CST may be a helpful modality for anyone facing pain or injury, emotional or physical, but offers particular relief for clients experiencing headaches, jaw pain, back and pelvic pain, arthritis, circulation issues, digestive challenges, and anxiety.

Written by Reed Kolber

Reed Kolber Massage Specialities: Craniosacral Therapy, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Injuries Trauma Available: WedReed Kolber is available: By Appointment at Glen Park and Bernal Heights offices.

New Office

New Location….New Practitioners….New Convenience

406 Cortland Ave. in Bernal Heights.

Book an appointment.

Find out more about EastWestSf Bernal and other 406 Cortland Ave. practitioners on Facebook.

Tips For Optimal Mental Health

Courtney Moore Acupuncture and Massage Specialities: Pain Management, Mental Health, Healthy Digestion Available: Mon, Thur, Fri, 1st Sat. of each month

Courtney Moore Acupuncture and Massage Specialities: Pain Management, Mental Health, Healthy Digestion Available: Mon, Thur, Fri, 1st Sat. of each month

Tips for optimal mental health, 7/19, 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the group room!

This weekend Courtney Moore will be teaching a class on how to best support your mental health naturally. She will focus on the importance of gut health in relation to mood. The class will end with a guided meditation.

Here are some interesting articles with a similar focus:



Dirty Dozen

Do you want to buy organic but feel like you can’t afford to do shop all fruits and veggies at the organic price?

Each year the Environmental Working Group produces a list of the top 12 most pesticide ridden foods. Here are those 12 for 2015-


Apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell pepper, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, hot peppers, kale and collards.


Asparagus, Avocado, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, onion, papaya, pineapple, sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potatoes.

Here is the link to the full report!


By Liz Williams

abio_lizWe are so often drawn by the busy mind to list all of the things we need to do to take care of ourselves – sleep more, eat well, stay hydrated, exercise, get a massage, take deeper breaths, relax…the list goes on and on. While I am a firm believer in all of these things, I also find value in stillness.

I’d like to introduce you to what I call the pause. It’s a practice I return to again and again when I get caught up in my busy mind. It’s fairly simple, and can be done anywhere at any time. And it can take as little as 15 seconds to complete. It goes like this:

Wherever you are – stop what you are doing. If it is appropriate, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Let the chaos of your day fade into the background – even if only for a few seconds. Chances are, when you open your eyes you will have a bit more clarity about what actually needs to happen next.

Cleanse Recipes

1/2 cup frozen bananas and strawberries
2 scoops SP Complete powder
2 scoops Whey Pro powder
1c water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp coconut oil

Spaghetti squash with capers, chili pepper flakes, caramelized onions, and collard greens
Roasted beet, mandarin, and avocado salad with shallot vinaigrette
Sliced strawberries with mint and balsamic vinegar for dessert