The Hidden Message in My Migraines

About 12 years ago, I suffered from debilitating chronic migraines. They would start with an aura, usually consisting of a blind spot that would prevent me from reading anything, including my watch. The aura would last about 25 minutes, then the vomiting would start, followed by intense pressure building in my skull. The worst sensation of each migraine was the stabbing pain behind my eye that could last for 12+ hours. All I could do was lie in a dark, cool room waiting for the pain to subside. There was no sleep, just unrelenting pain and silent prayers for relief.

The migraines consumed my life, 2-3 days of every week. I lost work days, I lost friends, my marriage decayed, and I fell out of touch. People got tired of hearing me say “Sorry, I have a headache.” It was both depressing and terrifying.

I tried over-the-counter meds like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. I tried drinking coffee and dark chocolate during the aura. I had a CAT scan and a MRI, which revealed nothing. Neurologists prescribed an assortment of pharmaceuticals, but they either didn’t work or had terrible side effects (topiramate = hair fell out/slurred speech/memory loss). Plus, they were only mildly effective, reducing the rate of my migraines to about 2 a month. My neurologist warned me that I would need to take a beta blocker (propranolol) for the rest of my life to prevent the migraines from coming back.

​I was only 28. The rest of my life sounded like a very long time.

As a last ditch effort, I gave acupuncture a try. There was an acupuncturist across the street from my office and she performed nothing short of a miracle.

The frequency and severity of my migraines diminished over the course of a few weekly treatments. After a few months, I was able to stop the topiramate. After two years, I weaned off the beta blocker. It was a long journey to relief, but manageable with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

At this point, I can look back and see how migraines caused me to stop and rebuild my life. The migraines called me to become a holistic doctor and help others find relief. They turned out to be an amazing blessing in an awful package.

What are your migraines telling you?

The Top 3 Things to Avoid After Acupuncture

Congratulations! You’ve just had an amazing acupuncture treatment that has left you feeling completely relaxed and high on life.

You’re probably thinking, “Wow! I wish I always felt like this! How can I get this feeling to last?”

The truth is, despite how good it feels, only about 20% of acupuncture’s healing power happens while the needles are in. About 80% of the healing effect occurs in the 24 hours following the treatment.

To sustain the healing effect, you must avoid three things 24 hours after the needles come out:

1. Cold
Cold is the #1 arch enemy in Chinese Medicine:
cold air
cold drinks
cold shower
jumping in a cold lake
eating cold foods (ice-cream included)
sitting in front of a fan blowing cold air
drinking a cold smoothie or shake
using ice packs on your body

All of these cold things can all counteract the benefits of acupuncture by contracting the flow of qi and slowing down the healing process.

2. Alcohol and recreational drugs
After an acupuncture treatment, your body works hard to transfer the energetics of the needles into acute healing and homeostasis (balance). Alcohol is warming to the body, yet can significantly alter the 24 hour cycle of qi. Alcohol and recreational drugs disrupt the healing process (and in the case of getting drunk, can completely cancel out any treatment benefits).

Consuming alcohol or getting high after a treatment is effectively wasting your time and money.

3. Sex
Sex is considered an activity that promotes the free flow of qi. However, after an acupuncture treatment, sex can demand too much qi and inhibit healing. It is best to wait until the day after acupuncture to get your qi moving between the sheets.

So, now that you know what to avoid, what should you do during the 24 hours after an acupuncture treatment?

The best thing you can do is rest your body and relax your mind:
Read a book
Listen to music
Make art
Watch a movie or interesting tv
Spend time with friends

Allow the natural high to sink in for 24 hours while your body-mind-spirit take the time needed for healing.

Acupuncture for Long-Term Relief of Chronic Pain

Let’s talk about Chronic Pain…
Have your aches/pains persisted 12 weeks or longer?
Do you suffer from osteoarthritis, headaches, migraines, fibromylagia, tendonitis, neuralgia, knee pain, back pain or other pain that just won’t go away?
Is pain preventing you from activities you love?
If you answered YES, acupuncture can help you return to your best life without drugs or surgery!

A recent study in the scientific journal Pain found, “90% of the benefit of acupuncture over usual care is retained at 12 months after the end of a course of treatment.” Indigo Healing Acupuncture offers customized treatment plans designed to provide you with long-term relief of chronic pain.

If you’re ready to live your best life and return to activities you love, schedule a consultation by calling 512-686-0777 or send an email to

What to Expect at Your Consultation Appointment

Visiting a new doctor for the first time can be nerve-wracking. To ease anxiety and stress, we make it simple to get started on the path to healing.

At Indigo Healing Acupuncture, we offer consultation appointments to…

  • Meet Dr. Michelle Wendt, L.Ac., DACM one-on-one
  • Ensure you feel comfortable in the clinic space
  • Discuss your condition(s) and review your medical history

Discuss a customized holistic treatment plan, which may include…

  • Acupuncture
  • Laser Acupuncture
  • Auriculotherapy
  • Moxibustion
  • BioMat Therapy
  • Ozone Regenerative Therapy
  • Traditional Fire Cupping
  • Gua Sha
  • Chinese Herbs
  • ATP Resonance BioTherapy™
  • Supplements
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise

Before the end of your consultation, we’ll agree upon the frequency, duration, and cost of your treatments and answer questions you have about your customized treatment plan.

Consultations generally take less than 20 minutes. You’ll be asked at the conclusion of the consultation if you would like to start the treatment plan right away. You also have the option to schedule your first treatment at a later date.

​To schedule a consultation, contact the clinic at 512-686-0777.

3 Ways Acupuncture Solves Modern Medical Mysteries

Do you suffer from an illness that is mysterious in origin?
Do you have a condition that MDs have described as idiopathic (no known cause)?
Have you tried every tool of modern medicine (pharmaceuticals, surgery, rest) and still haven’t found relief?
When I was in my late 20’s, I suffered from debilitating migraine headaches and idiopathic tachycardia (fast heartbeat). I had monthly appointments with a neurologist who had me try at least a dozen different medications to decrease the frequency and severity of my headaches. The side effects were brutal: weight gain, memory loss, personality changes… the list could go on & on. As a last resort, a coworker suggested scheduling an appointment with an acupuncturist across the street from our office. The acupuncturist had helped her with chronic insomnia and she convinced me I had nothing to lose by giving it a try.

I will never forget my first appointment. For an entire hour, the acupuncturist asked me about my illness and actually listened to my answers. I had never had a doctor really listen to me before. After checking my tongue and pulse, she explained my diagnosis and explained how acupuncture could help. Three months later, I walked out of her clinic migraine-free. My neurologist was astounded when I told him I was no longer taking the daily cocktail of prescriptions and had not had a migraine in a month.

So how does acupuncture solve medical mysteries?
Acupuncture is based on an entirely different medical system based on over 2,000 years of clinical experience. Specifically:
Acupuncturists treat the body-mind-spirit as a whole. There is no division between the physical body and the mind, nor is there a division between the physical body and the spirit. Acupuncture is a form of holistic medicine that understands the whole person, not just a constellation of symptoms.
Acupuncture promotes self-healing through homeostasis in the nervous system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and immune system. Each acupuncture point stimulates these systems which allows the body to self-regulate and heal itself.
Through tongue and pulse diagnosis, acupuncturists can diagnose and identify the root cause of every illness or pain. Unlike modern medicine, there is no such thing as an idiopathic illness or a mysterious symptom. Everything is connected and explainable, much like a leaf on a tree is dependent on healthy roots in the ground.
These three aspects of acupuncture enable modern medical mysteries to be solved in a gentle, safe, and nourishing manner.

To schedule a consultation to solve your own medical mystery, contact Michelle.

Wanted: Emotional Wellness

​With the tragic loss of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade to suicide this week, I wanted to share my thoughts on emotional wellness and mental illness. It’s time to change the way we (as a society) view mental illness and shift our focus to achieving emotional wellness.
​According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.

What does this mean? As Americans, we are all touched by mental illness. It is prevalent in our families, our friends, and our communities.

Our conventional healthcare system simply does not know how to handle mental illness or promote emotional wellness.

Despite scientific advances in understanding brain chemistry, there is a shame-based social stigma attached to conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar syndrome. Some professions/societies go so far as to penalize those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. As a result, millions of Americans suffer in secret because they are reluctant/scared to seek help.

As we’ve witnessed this week, social status, wealth, achievements, age, race, religion, and outward appearances do not protect anyone from suffering in secret from a mental illness. It can literally affect anyone at any time. There are not always outward signs of an impending mental crisis. Everyone we meet is fighting some type of battle that we know nothing about.

As a holistic practitioner, I treat patients as a whole person, mind-body-spirit. This approach is particularly helpful to de-stigmatizing mental illness and promoting emotional wellness. Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, exercise, nutrition, meditation, gua-sha and tui-na are all helpful tools to promote a health emotional balance.

If you know someone whom is suffering, please know that help is always available, often at no-cost or low-cost. Now here is the shift to a societal focus on emotional wellness… as their friend (and as a fellow human), realize that you (yes! YOU!) have a responsibility to step up and find help when they cannot ask for it themselves.

Here’s where you can find help for your friend/spouse//lover/ex-lover/brother/sister/cousin/mother/father/aunt/uncle/teacher/colleague:
Mental Health America
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat. If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727). Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
The Child-Help USA 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453) crisis line assists both child and adult survivors of abuse, including sexual abuse. The hotline, staffed by mental health professionals, also provides treatment referrals.
If you know someone who is suffering, open your heart to them with love and understanding. If you are suffering, be kind to yourself and confide in someone to get you the help you deserve.

3 Ways Spirit Helps You Heal

  • Do you have health issues that don’t respond well to medical treatments or pharmaceuticals?
  • Have you been prescribed multiple medications for a constellation of symptoms? For example, one medication for arthritic pain in your hands, another medication for asthma, and a medication to relieve chronic back pain?

In Oriental Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, the body-mind-spirit is treated as a whole. The hands and lungs and back are treated together. There is no division between the physical body and the mind, nor is there a division between the physical body and the spirit. You are treated as a whole person, which is what we call holistic medicine.

Acupuncture treatments affect and heal the mind-body-spirit in ways that conventional Western medicine cannot.  During an acupuncture treatment, needles are placed on precise body points that activate healing and open your connection to Spirit.  Many acupuncture points are named for this ability, such as Shen Men (Spirit Gate).  During or after a treatment session, you may feel euphoric as physical pain diminishes and your Qi flows freely through your meridians. This is a wonderful window of time to easily connect to Spirit and express your true desires.

To you, Spirit may be God, the Universe, All-That-Is or whatever you perceive to be the origin and manifestation of your Life Force.  By connecting to Spirit through prayer, reading sacred texts like the Bible, meditation, or manifestation, Spirit will always respond to each of your requests in one of three ways:

  1. Yes, it is yours.
  2. The timing isn’t right, so keep the faith and remain patient.
  3. No, there is something even better coming for you.

When it comes to healing your whole self, Spirit will always answer your requests with one of these answers. It may come to you in a dream or daydream, as a special song on the radio, or as a physical symbol that holds a special meaning to you, such as a rainbow or bird. The answer is always there, the key is to give yourself enough time and space to receive it.  It is often in this space that the toughest health challenges are suddenly resolved.

To schedule a consultation or appointment to heal your mind-body-spirit, contact Michelle here.

Get Real: IVF

Reality: IVF is brutal. The bruises are real. The fear of failure can be overwhelming. The financial burden is heavy.

The antidote to this challenging reality is faith.

Faith in the Universe to unite a mother with the soul of her unborn child.

Faith in doctors to expertly prescribe the exact dose of Follistim or Gonal-F, Lupron, hCG,  Prednisolone,  Estradiol, and/or Progesterone needed to hijack a menstrual cycle and optimize the body’s conditions for conception & pregnancy.

Faith in holistic medicine to support & protect the body, mind, and spirit from such an invasive process.

Faith in traditional Chinese herbs to harmonize the body, mind, and spirit and nourish the Uterus.

Faith in yourself to answer the sacred calling of a Mother.

Fertility on a Budget: $10 a week

Getting pregnant doesn’t have to break your budget! If you have $10 per week, here’s how you can use it to increase your odds of a healthy pregnancy within three months.

Here are 8 fertility tools that cost less than $10 a week over the course of three months:

1. Basal Body Temperature Thermometer: The first step to accurately tracking your fertility cycle is to record your waking body temperature under your tongue at the same time every morning before getting out of bed.  This special type of thermometer records temperature to the 10th of a degree, which is extremely important when trying to conceive.

2. High-Quality Prenatal Vitamins: Prenatal vitamins are important because so much happens magic occurs inside an embryo before a positive pregnancy test (typically around 4-5 weeks pregnant).  Within the first 3 weeks of pregnancy, the embryo is busy building a spinal cord, brain, eyes, heart, digestive tract, liver and face!  Your little baby will draw upon mama’s stores of vitamins and minerals, but needs more!  When selecting a prenatal vitamin, talk to a health care professional (doctor or acupuncturist) to make sure you’re buying the best available for your specific needs.  My favorite professional-quality brands are Thorne and Innate Response. Contact Michelle to order online.

3. Fertility-Friendly Lubricant: If you use a lubricant, make sure it’s fertility-friendly and sperm-safe. I usually recommend BabyDance because it’s available at most major retailers including Amazon.

4. Fertile Living Library: Follow this link to access free fertility resources from fertility acupuncturist Heidi Brockmyre:

  •  Fertility Supplement Guide
  • Fertility Quiz + Solutions Guide
  • Top 5 IVF Tips
  • Top 5 Tips to Boost Fertility over 40
  • Top 5 Fertility Food
  • Top 5 Tips to Support Pregnancy
  • Natural Prep for IVF Success E-Book
  • Guided Audio Relaxations, including Call in Your Baby
  • Videos, including Introductory Fertility Self-Acupressure

6. BBT Chart: A Google search will reveal lots of free printable BBT Chart templates or there are several fertility apps that can capture temps to produce a chart. Choose what works for you! Here’s a printable PDF from BabyCenter to get you started.

7. Warm Socks: Simply put, Warm Feet = Warm Uterus. Wear socks in every season!

​8.  Reference Books: Learn all about fertility with these two tomes of knowledge:

At only $10 a week, these tools can help you achieve a healthy pregnancy! Sending you lots of baby dust!


Holistic Healing: A Different Approach to Medicine

At Indigo Healing Acupuncture, we practice holistic Oriental medicine.

This means that we see living beings (human or animal) as a complete, interrelated entity composed of a mind (consciousness), physical body, and spirit (soul).  Holistic medicine allows healing to occur on physical and metaphysical levels.

So, what is holistic medicine in a nutshell? Holistic medicine…

  • Sees a whole person, not a body part
  • Focuses on wellness, not disease

How does holistic medicine differ from modern medicine?
Modern medicine aims to identify the condition (and affix a label such as “heartburn”) and alleviate symptoms with drugs, physical therapy, radiation, or surgery.

Holistic medicine identifies the root cause of the pain/illness and treats the mind, body and spirit to provide relief and a return to wellness.

How does this work in real life?
Let me give you a real-life example of a common complaint. Let’s say you have lower back pain, labeled by modern medicine as lumbar spinal stenosis.

Modern medicine will measure the pain, document the location, order radiological scans (x-ray or MRI), and prescribe pain killers, physical therapy, surgery, or rest. You’ll likely walk out of the 10-minute appointment with as much pain (maybe more if you had to wait two hours for your five minutes of face time with the MD) as when you walked in.

A holistic practitioner will see you as a whole person. We’ll ask specific questions about where you live, what you eat, your emotional well-being, your exercise schedule, and the quality of your sleep. Within the framework of Oriental Medicine, we’ll combine these answers with tongue & pulse diagnosis to identify the root problem of your pain and treat it with acupuncture, moxibustion, tui nagua sha, cupping, and/or Chinese herbs. With this holistic approach, the acupuncture needles may not be placed on your back at all and you could still leave the appointment with no lower back painAnd, as a bonus, you’ll likely be in a better mood & sleep better that night as well!

Does insurance cover holistic medicine?
Many large medical insurance plans now cover acupuncture treatments for pain relief. Most employer-sponsored Health Spending Account and Flexible Spending Account (HSA/FSA) plans also include acupuncture as a covered service. Check your benefits summary for coverage details.

Are you ready to be seen as a whole person and give holistic medicine a try?

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*Any Service, Chinese herb and/or product mentioned on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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