Where to Find an Acupuncture Practitioner in South Florida and Miami?Nowadays, our bodies are more like fast food shacks than temples. Due to your active lifestyle, you may not have time to treat your body the best. Fatigue, restlessness, severe migraines, and agitation is your body’s cry for a healthy regimen. Refresh yourself with the healing hands of Michael Forman, DOM, P.A. Michael Forman is a Miami based Diplomat of Oriental Medicine of the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. As the proud possessor of the highest certification Forman is also a post doctorate in Applied Clinical Nutrition and can help restore you from the inside out. Many of Forman’s patients report reduction in the use of modern medication and leaned towards healthier alternative forms of care. Your body can be a temple again.
What is Acupuncture?Acupuncture is a Chinese healing technique designed over two-thousand years ago. Its method involves puncturing inch long needles into a patient’s skin. Used to treat back pains, migraines and arthritis, this practice spread quickly and is now used all over the world. Though not supported by modern day medicine, millions consider acupuncture an essential cure.
Classical Theory of AcupunctureThis form of traditional Chinese medicine relies on the theory of healing through proper energy flow. Qi, or spiritual energy, is believed to stream through the body like a rushing river. The benefits of acupuncture through Qi are:
- Each watercourse acting as a whirlpool centered on a part of the body.
- Releasing tension and stagnant vitality by applying pressure to the area.
- Relieving overall stress in much the same way one does by massaging the temples.
General Practice of AcupunctureOriginated in 100 BC China, acupuncture is an alternative form of medicine that is mainly used to alleviate pain. Licensed acupuncture providers are found in spas, chiropractic offices, and dermatologic studios. Used to relieve pain many have found that this process is also extremely relaxing. Around the 20th century, these methods have reached the United States and Western cultures. Though, the concept of qi clashed with Western beliefs, the process of delicately drumming needles into nerves translated smoothly.
Concept of AcupunctureAcupuncture unblocks clogged qi within the body. With the insertion of .51 to 5.12 inch metal needles, the balance of qi is stabilized. There are 2,000 anatomic points where acupuncture is thought to have the most effect.These areas begin from the forehead, face, and chest downward to the abdomen legs and feet. Refreshing the clogged oases in each spot is believed to promote self-healing. Different ailments are thought to gather around certain parts of the body. For example coughing and wheezing illnesses are held in the lungs. When that specific area is treated, self-healing can begin.
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Yin and YangYin and Yang is a concept known all over the world. It is the rejection of complete absolutes and the understanding of balance. The ideology explains that, there can not be light without darkness. It also suggests that neither are complete without one another and, though different, share qualities. As well, traditional Chinese medicine largely encompasses the intention behind the Yin and Yang symbol and incorporates it throughout its practices. Some common facts that are derived from Chinese medicine in respect to yin and yang are:
- Yin represents darker ideals and is mentioned with colder, smaller, solid, and female themes.
- Yang, as the opposite, revolves around warmer, brighter, and male-oriented motifs.
- Emotional turmoil can negatively affect qi and cause instability.
- Theories behind traditional Chinese medicine suspect that diseases are brewed when the body’s Yin and Yang are out of balance.
- An abundance of yang energy, or heat energy, for example, can bring on a heart attack. It is only through releasing the dormant energy that the body can return to its equilibrium.
QiDerived from Chinese culture the word “Qi” translates to “air” or “breathe”. Its meaning has grown to symbolize spiritual energy as the natural building blocks of the entire universe. The flow of qi through the body is essential for bodily functions and healthy growth. Qi is thought to have many different functions and appears all throughout Chinese history.
FlowMeridians are the passages that direct qi throughout the body. Unclogged flow of the qi is fundamental for overall health. The body contains twelve main meridians that begin at the lungs and travel all the way through the gallbladder. For every cell to receive life-energy the uninterrupted flow of qi, must be able to repeat without deviation.
What Physical and Mental Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?Scientific investigation has long rejected the notion of qi or the existence of life-force all together. Though not supported by scientific evidence, many across the planet still believe that acupuncture is not only a relaxing but a healing experience as well. Stimulating the nervous system releases the endorphins needed to relieve pain. The body naturally uses opioids to ease pain and suggest sound sleep. The process is still used to remedy common maladies such as:
- joint pain
- arthritis pain
- lower back cramps
AllergiesAcupuncture can help some people with their allergies. Various studies have been inconclusive with the effects of acupuncture on the body. However, according to the journal Annals of Internal Medicine those who were exposed to actual acupuncture had a dramatic decrease in their allergy symptoms. The group that experienced “fake” acupuncture, still documented temporary relief. This supports the idea of the strong placebo effect that some might have when enduring treatment.
Chronic back problemsLower back pain is universally the most common reason for medical inquiries. It is also the guiding cause for acupuncture seekers. Studies have shown that acupuncture relieves tension in the lower back and causes the temporary release of pain. Though these studies have proven effective, there have also been cases where a “fake” or “sham” acupuncture treatment has resulted just as effectively. Theories such as these support the idea that acupuncture may be aligned with the placebo effect. Regardless of where your beliefs stand, relief is the ultimate goal.
Cognitive declineCognitive decline occurs as a person ages. As neurons mature, normal responses from the brain may slow down. Acupuncture therapy has evolved over the years and new techniques have been set in place to target certain areas of the body. Improving the blood flow to the brain will increase functionality which in turn delays the damage of cognitive decline.
Digestive problemsTraditional Chinese medicine understands that regular digestion is essential to amazing health. There are several procedures that focus on the stomach directly. Modern day medicine has shown evidence that acupuncture can balance the digestive system. By stimulating the nervous system, acupuncture can improve the absorption of nutrients and the disposal of waste.
Headaches, migrainesFor years, many have battled their super migraines with the use to acupuncture. In 2012, the Canadian Medical Association Journal conducted a study that examined the effect of acupuncture on migraines. They divided a group that suffered from chronic migraines into a control and uncontrolled crowds. The first half underwent acupuncture in the traditional sense, while the second group had needles placed in unspecified areas. Both groups reported that they suffered from less migraines than before.
InsomniaTraditional Chinese medicine categorizes insomnia into five different groups. Treatment for each type varies based on the severity of the symptoms. It is generally believed that insomnia is a sickness that requires several trips to the acupuncturist. Many professionals may suggest daily or weekly visits to cure long term insomnia.
Irritable bowel syndromeResearchers at the National Institutes of Health investigated the relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and acupuncture. Their tests suggest that acupuncture can be used to relieve chronic pain, but may have little to do with the treatment of IBS. The American College of Gastroenterology claims that acupuncture has little to no effect on IBS, but suggests, “that does not mean that acupuncture might not be helpful.”
Knee painKnee pain is a common infliction regardless of age or sex. As a result, researchers in Australia, published a study in JAMA which reported that patients with knee pain had little relief. With the evidence resulted, this study concluded that acupuncture therapy was not a cure for knee pain.
Mood, depression, anxietyThe results of acupuncture remain inconclusive. When compared to traditional medicine, acupuncture, has not been able to prove more or less effective. Nonetheless, it is recommended for people who suffer from mood maladies, such as depression and anxiety to go see a qualified acupuncturist. Acupuncture can release of endorphins and increase serotonin levels that will stabilize and improve your mood. Like with most depression medication however, long term results are often uncertain and most patients relapse.
Muscle Spasms and PainWhen a muscle contracts involuntarily the action is described as a “muscle spasm”. A muscle spasm generally occurs in the:
- Lower legs
OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is the disintegration of muscle and bone that usually occurs in adults around the age of 65. This disease causes stiffness and pain in the joints. Though there is no scientific evidence that acupuncture can actually ease the pain of osteoarthritis, patients have come forward to suggest otherwise.
Parkinson’s diseaseParkinson’s disease is an attack on the nervous system, so there is no wonder that acupuncture may be useful in treating a disorder such as this. The Aizu Medical Center asserts that acupuncture will diminish pain, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, as well as mental illness. Famously, a case study conducted at the Yamagata University, proposed that when treating an eighty year old woman, acupuncture prevailed where modern medicine did not.
Pregnancy, labor and postpartum healthAs an alternative medicine, acupuncture has been scrutinized, especially when it comes to pregnancy. Most will agree, however, that the safety of anyone receiving acupuncture is based on the experience of the acupuncturist. As with anyone, the risks of acupuncture are very minimal. Alternatively, acupuncture has been used to induce labor in women who are overdue. Acupuncture may help with:
- hyperemesis gravidarum
- general morning sickness
- lower back pain
- bleeding or spotting
Reducing fatigue and addictionDespite the conflicting reports, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association has drafted measures which involve a three to five point acupuncture treatment that will weaken substance abuse related issues. For the past thirty years, auricular acupuncture treated patients in hospitals, prisons and substance abuse treatment centers. Several reports reference the placebo effect when assigning these results. However, it is undeniable that that these practices have worked for millions in the past.
Rheumatoid arthritisUnscientific testimony has implied that acupuncture can be a great treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Not much study has been conducted on the capability of acupuncture, though many reviews have proposed that the application of a qualified acupuncturist can pacify the pangs of pain. A full understanding of acupuncture is not yet known. “No one has figured out one single mechanism for acupuncture’s effects,” educated Jeffrey I. Gold, PhD, director of the pediatric pain management clinic at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.
Stroke RehabilitationAcupuncture opens blood vessels and allows for a steadier flow and fewer clots. Both China and Japan strongly suggest acupuncture therapy to treat symptoms such as depression, paralysis, speech and swallowing complications. Many stroke victims are placed into therapy shortly after they arise to minimize the long term effects of a stroke.
What Are The Different Acupuncture Meridians in The Body?Acupuncture is not simply the insertion of metal needles. The “science” behind this method revolves around the twelve main meridians, or energy passageways in the body. Once these aisles are identified, acupuncture points can be located. There are over two thousand points on the body and applying pressure to each effects change differently. Even though there have been studies, the anatomical placement of these points and meridians have not been supported by modern science. Vector illustration credit: Vecteezy!
Heart MeridianConsidered the “House of the Spirit” the heart meridian is a yin meridian. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the heart rules over facial complexion, sweat, blood and the tongue. Physical imbalances held within the heart include:
- memory failure
- shortness of breath
- cold feeling in the chest and limbs
Kidney MeridianThe kidney meridian flows upwards which classifies it as a yin meridian. Kidneys are necessary for the growth of bones and the nutrition of marrow. It is vital to keep this organ cleansed as imbalances include:
- Irregular menstruation
Large Intestine MeridianThe large intestine meridian is classified as a yang meridian, which suggests its energy is more on the lighter side. In the body, the large intestine is responsible for purifying the blood. Imperative for clarity and balance the large intestine also aids in the process of perspiration. Focus on the large intestine meridian will ease disorders in the abdominals and help with constipation and diarrhea.
Liver MeridianConnected to the gallbladder, the liver is a yin meridian. The liver meridian filters and detoxifies blood. When balanced the liver meridian promotes kindness and compassion. However, when energy is uneven negative side effects such as blurry vision and intense feelings of rage surface. To keep this meridian cleansed, acupuncture along with the consumption leafy greens are suggested.
Lung MeridianPresented as a yin or dark meridian, the lung meridian controls breathing and energy. Lung meridians connect with both the large intestine meridian and the heart meridian to oxygenate blood and assure proper circulation. This is considered one of the more important meridians as breathing is the foundation for meditation and many traditional Chinese methods. Treatment of the lungs may cure imbalances in the chest, throat, nose, and of course lungs.
Small Intestine MeridianLike the large intestine, the small intestine is a yang meridian. It, too, is responsible for purifying the body. When completely balanced, healthy emotions such as excitement, clarity, and joy are experienced. However, when the small intestine meridian is clogged, abdominal pain, emaciation, and swelling of the nodules are exhibited.
Spleen MeridianAnother yin meridian of importance is the spleen meridian. The spleen meridian begins at the big toe and travels all the way through the diaphragm to the heart. This meridian is connected to both the stomach and the heart meridians. Special attention to the spleen meridian is paid when there are digestive issues. Jealousy, gluttony, and self-pity are common emotional maladies that can be cured with acupuncture.
Stomach MeridianAs a yang meridian, the stomach meridian connects with the spleen meridian. The stomach focuses on the absorption of Qi from food. When acupuncture is applied to the stomach common ailments that are treated are:
- excessive vomiting
- sore throat
- upper gum pain
- and nose bleeding
Urinary Bladder MeridianA yang meridian, the bladder is connected to the kidneys. It begins at the eyelid and extends to the back of the head, then eventually the baby toe. Problems associated with the bladder include excessive urination and eye pain. It is also linked to exhaust and inflexibility.
How Does Acupuncture Work?: A Modern ExplanationTraditional Chinese medicine has conflicted with modern medical science for centuries. Though many researches have conducted experiments that tested the effects of acupuncture the results remain inconclusive. A strong placebo effect suggests that the traditional method is outdated. However, some modern day resources have claimed that the process of acupuncture is to simply stimulate the nervous system into releasing mood stabilizing hormones such as serotonin. These hormones elevates mood and eases emotion which can provide endless benefits.
What Happens During Acupuncture Physiologically?Once the body is laid horizontally and the acupuncturist has conducted a full body examination you are ready to begin your treatment. The trained professional will apply hair-thin needles to the areas of the body that will soften tension in the infected field. Reactively, the nervous system discharges chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain. Many doctors hold these natural liquids responsible for accelerated healing and emotional well-being.
Promotion of HealthAcupuncture boosts the body’s self-healing abilities. This can prove effective against emotional and physical maladies. Acupuncture can increase stimulation of the nervous system through:
- Needle insertion
- Light electrical pulses
Preventative careTraditional Chinese medicine has proudly based long lasting health on the use of preventative measures. Many orient physicians suggest the use of acupuncture before physical or emotional imbalances occur. In cases such as the recovery from a stroke, it is used to prevent the loss of facial functions or, difficulty with speech or swallowing. The general use of acupuncture will ensure the steady flow of qi through the meridian systems and maintain balance.
Treatment of medical conditionsYour acupuncturist will always inquire about your medical history before the process even begins. He or she will need to inspect the area of aliment and decided which acupoints are related to that illness. It may come as a surprise if pins are injected into the stomach when treating a toothache. This is because traditional chinese medicine focuses on healing through the meridian pathways which connect in various complicated systems.
How to Prepare for your Acupuncture TreatmentThough invasive, acupuncture is not considered surgery. Many medical procedures require prerequisites in order for the patient to be cleared to see the doctor. Acupuncture mandates little to no preemptive action.
What you should doIn these modern days, time is a precious commodity. You should step into your acupuncture’s office fully prepared as to not waste treatment time. Consider creating an organized list of your ailments so that your acupuncturist may clearly diagnosis the issue. Enter with a full, but not gored stomach. Patients should wear comfortable clothing because they may be required to partially disrobe during the process. Exercise proper hygiene before arriving to treatment as warm pins may raise your body temperature and cause you to perspire.
What you should not doWhen receiving acupuncture treatment, it is most important to limit the amount of factors that may temper with your body’s natural chemistry. This includes:
- Heavy perfumes
What to Expect on a Visit to An AcupuncturistVisiting an acupuncture clinic is not the same as going to a doctor’s appointment. However, if it is your first time you may be understandably nervous. Traditional Chinese medicine credit breathing as the foundation to healing all emotional turmoil. A trip to the acupuncturist is not a stressful moment. If you do however, feel apprehensive be sure to share this with your experienced professional.
Acupuncturist will ask about health historyYour medical history is crucial to your success with acupuncture. Every acupuncturist will survey your medical record to determine whether acupuncture may be a good fit for you. Certain preexisting conditions such as a weak heart or a blood condition may disqualify you for treatment. The more information you reveal to your acupuncturist will help them guide you to a form of treatment that works best for you.
Physical examinationsSubsequent to your medical interview, your acupuncturist will perform a physical examination. This will entail that the patient activate the part of the body that ails them. You may be asked to rotate a joint or stretch a muscle. Dependant on the source of the pain or discomfort, your acupuncturist will cite the appropriate acupoints.
Stimulation of Acupuncture PointsOnce the correct acupoints are discovered, the patient is instructed to lay flat and the actual process of acupuncture can begin. After the skin is sterilized, needles can be inserted. Acupuncture needles range from .51 to 5.12 inches in length and .16 mm to .46 mm in diameter. Methods of insertion include spinning, flicking, and moving the pins up and down. Typically, after the needles are placed they must remain in the skin for 5-30 minutes depending on the severity of the malady. Some chronic treatments can extend as long as 15-45 minutes. As each individual is different, the length of each treatment as well as the number of treatments are best determined by a qualified professional.
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Acupuncture as TherapyBenefits of acupuncture have broadened over the years. The process of unblocking stagnant qi can positively affect a patient not only physically, but mentally as well. Over the years, acupuncture has been used to cure depression and help emotional imbalances such as relentless anger or extreme jealousy.
Immediate BenefitsA patient can experience a positive gain their first visit to the acupuncture clinic. Though the source of the ailment may still inflect the person other benefits arise. After their first session, many have reported a more peaceful sleep. Commonly, easier breathing, clarity of the mind, and positive outlooks.
Effects over timeCompared to modern Western medicine, many have reported, traditional Chinese medicine works just as well when healing the symptoms of depression. According to the National Institutes of Health, a recent study was conducted where depressed patients were divided into three groups. The first set of women were treated using acupuncture and the second set were administered conventional treatments. Six-months after treatment the volunteers were interviewed and a large percentage of the group had relapsed. The results of the patients treated with acupuncture was comparable to the results of those treated with modern methods.
Is Acupuncture Safe and Are There Any Side Effects?Acupuncture has been practiced for over 2000 years with little to no injury done to its patients. Children as well as pregnant women have implemented the traditional method and achieved its benefits great success. Though many regard the process as harmless, always consult a doctor for more detailed information on how it may affect you.
Side EffectsWith the stimulation of the nervous system bodily awareness is activated and you may experience, rare, but substantial side effects. This can include, fatigue, minor soreness and bruising as well as muscle twitching and lightheadedness. Unless prolonged these side effects are hardly a means for concern. If they happen to last longer than a few days it is imperative to contact your acupuncturist and family physician.
Death during treatmentApproximately, ninety acupuncture related deaths have occurred since its record in medical literature. Traditional Chinese medicine has evolved throughout the years and many changes have been made to make this process safer. For example, nowadays, it is mandatory that needles are discarded after the first use to prevent the transfer of blood related illnesses. Throughout the years, dangers of acupuncture have diminished and rarely result in death.
When Should Acupuncture Be Avoided?Acupuncture is recommended to a wide set of people to treat an array of many different illnesses. However, that does not mean that acupuncture is right for everyone. There are a few conditions that increase the likelihood of complications.
Bleeding disordersEven with the diameter as thin as a hair, these needles can trigger medical obstacles. Excessive bleeding or injury can occur if you have a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia. If you use blood thinners like warfarin or Coumadin the risk of bruising can increase as well. To get the best performance from your acupuncturist, inform them of any medication you have taken or disorders you may have before the process begins.
PacemakersVarious acupuncture techniques exist and have its own set of liabilities. If you are the owner of a pacemaker, for example, it is mandatory to divulge this to your acupuncturist. Some acupuncture methods involve electric pulses that may affect the pacemaker.
What is the Governing Body of Acupuncture in the United States?Acupuncture needles were standardized by the Food and Drug Administration in 1972. Shortly after, licensing fell under the authority of three major institutions:
- Accreditation Commission For Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- National Certification Commision for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
What Credentials Should I Look for in an Acupuncturist?Acupuncture is not just shoving needles into your skin nor is it a trade that can be learned through Youtube. Though generally safe, there are still many precautions that an acupuncturist must practice to protect the client’s health. Be sure that your acupuncturists must carries an active license.
How to choose an acupuncturistA great way to choose an acupuncturist is to the recommendation of others. As accurately as you can determine the source of your ailment, conduct thorough internet research to narrow the results. When choosing an acupuncturist, keep in mind the geographical location as it relates to you as well as the price. Note that some acupuncture clinics may accept your insurance policy.
On average, how many treatments are needed at our acupuncture center?Many patients feel the effects of acupuncture within the first two visits. This can be accomplished in two days or two months. Frequency of visits can range from as little as twice a week to as many as five visits. The number of recommended acupuncture treatments is determined by the ailment and the suggestion of the acupuncturist. Some conditions take longer than others to clear, but there is gradual development. Many patients will seek treatment due to a headlining issue such as a stubborn migraine. Extended treatment may be the solution to an undiscovered problem. For example, while treating a headache, a patient may realize a decrease in nausea or a sounder sleep.
How much does Acupuncture Cost in Miami?Finances govern our lives, so cost is important when taking acupuncture into consideration. Important attention needs to be focused on price as an acupuncturist whose price point is very low, may not be the most qualified. Acupuncture does not have to break your bank. Ask your doctor for a referral.
Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?While the Affordable Care Act forbids insurance bias against any form of alternative medicine, it does allow room to control the amount allocated towards these practices. The insurance company may also reject what it considers to be “experimental” treatments such as music or aromatherapy. Whether your insurance company considers acupuncture medically necessary or not is their decision and each policy may vary.
How much does acupuncture cost (in general)?Typically, acupuncture therapy is charged per session. A forty minute session can range from $75-$95. If the condition is ongoing, regular visits may be reduced anywhere between $50 to $70 a conference. It is likely that your acupuncturist may have weekly deals or specials, so it is important to inquire as different ailments may have special prices.
- Treating Allergies with Acupuncture
- Treating Arthritis with Acupuncture
- Treating Headaches with Acupuncture
- Treating Insomnia with Acupuncture
- Managing Lymphedema with Acupuncture
- Acupuncture as a Physical Therapy Treatment
- Pregnancy and Acupuncture Treatment
- Acupuncture for Weight Loss and Management
- Acupuncture as Alternative Medicine
- Acupuncture Treatment for Back Pain
- Acupuncture Treatment for Foot, Ankle and Heel Pains
- Acupuncture Treatment for High Blood Pressure
- Acupuncture Treatment for Knee Pain
- Acupuncture Treatment for Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Acupuncture Treatment for Pain Management
- Benefits of Acupuncture Treatment