In search of relief from the cluster headaches that were dominating his life, Howard Sikora, 66, of Farmington Hills, made an appointment with Maureen Anderson, M.D., medical director of Beaumont Health’s Integrative Medicine program, after seeing her on a morning talk show.
“It felt like someone was sticking a knife in my head,” said Sikora, of the powerful headaches that occurred nightly at 3 or 4 a.m. “The pain medication other doctors prescribed barely touched it. This went on every night for maybe a month, then they’d taper off before starting all over again. I’d been dealing with it for four or five years.”
Dr. Anderson recommended Sikora eliminate beef, dairy, gluten, artificial preservatives and sugar from his diet, sticking to other proteins, healthy fats, fruits, veggies and nuts for 90 days.
“Within two weeks, the headaches were gone,” Sikora said.
Slowly, with Dr. Anderson’s guidance, he began re-adding food groups one at a time.
“Today I eat what is called a Paleo diet,” he explained. “If it comes from a box or a package, I don’t go near it.”
For Sikora, who continues to visit Dr. Anderson for maintenance, chemical additives - including artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, soy sauce, dairy and gluten - appear to have been the trigger for his headaches.
“To say I’m thrilled with the outcome is an understatement,” Sikora said. “Dr. Anderson was the only one looking to prevent, not medicate.”
As demand for gentler, non-pharmacologic treatments continues to grow Beaumont is expanding its popular Integrative Medicine program to the Beaumont Medical Center - West Bloomfield at 6900 Orchard Lake Road.
“Last year our program provided 24,000 patient appointments from clinical massage to acupuncture to naturopathic doctor visits across three locations,” said Gail Elliott Patricolo, director of Integrative Medicine, Beaumont. “We are so excited about this new location and proximity to our patient-base in the West Bloomfield area.”
Integrative medicine, based on ancient healing techniques and the most modern evidence-based methods, concentrates on mind, body and spirit to improve quality of life. These therapies can help people cope by enhancing wellness, relieving pain and managing anxiety and stress.
Treatments offered at the West Bloomfield location include:
- clinical massage
- medical facials
- integrative medicine consults with either a medical or naturopathic physician
“People who are healthy or fighting an illness will find benefits to the services offered at Beaumont’s Integrative Medicine Program,” Elliott Patricolo said. “All of our services are offered by highly skilled and specially trained practitioners who understand our patients’ unique needs and are also overseen by a medical doctor.”
Integrative Medicine programs at the Royal Oak and Troy hospitals also offer acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, guided imagery, reflexology, cupping, gentle yoga and yoga therapy. In addition to the new West Bloomfield facility, Beaumont has integrative medicine programs in Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe.