Clinic plans free treatment for vets with PTSD
Bob Brewster, of Ormond Beach, said the doctors told him in 2008 that he needed back surgery. He decided to try acupuncture, and after 24 treatments, has no back trouble and is pain free.
Gretel Timan had success with treatments for her diabetes and bursitis.
There are adherents for the practice of acupuncture, but it’s still relatively new in the U.S., after being practiced in China for 2,500 years.
“It’s growing very slowly,” said Lorenzo Phan, doctor of oriental medicine and acupuncture physician, of Acupuncture & Skin Care Clinic, 725 W. Granada Blvd., Suite 15.
“It’s one of the oldest noninvasive procedures,” he said. “It’s safe and effective.”
He points to the World Health Organization as the most important advocate of acupuncture. It recommends acupuncture for 40 conditions.
Phan said that acupuncture was virtually unknown in the U.S. until President Richard Nixon visited China in the 1970s. James Reston, a journalist travelling with Nixon, had an appendicitis attack, and doctors used acupuncture for anesthesia. When he got back to the U.S., Reston wrote columns on the success of the procedure.
Phan said acupuncture treatments can balance chemicals and stimulate the nervous system to help the body repair itself. It inhibits pain messages, opens nerve pathways and regulates oxygen and nutrients, proponents say.
“Instead of popping pills, the body can produce what it needs by stimulation with acupuncture,” Phan said. “My passion is preventive care, to prevent things from happening.”
The most important part of the body is the mind, Phan said.
Phan said that 80% of doctor visits are stress related and stress contributes to 50% of all illnesses in the U.S.
“Happy thoughts mean a happy body,” he said. “Always think positive. Mind control is everything.”
In mid-September, he is going to offer free treatments for returning veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder, from 4 to 6 p.m. each Monday.
“I want to help as many veterans as I can,” he said.
Phan earned a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry at the University of Hawaii, and received his D.O.M. degree at the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Houston. He is also a message therapist and laser therapist.
He said currently about 3,000 doctors in the U.S. practice acupuncture and he predicts that in three to four years it will be covered by Medicare. Classes are taught in many major medical schools.
It’s covered by insurance in New York, New Jersey, California and Arizona, but growing slowly in Florida. The only insurance company that lists him as a provider is Florida Health Care Plus, which is for those over the age of 55.
Cecil Pearce, president of the Florida Insurance Council, a trade group, said that it hasn’t been discussion industrywide.
“I’ve never seen the issue come across my desk,” he said.
Robert J. Mills, spokesman for the American Medical Association, said some medical doctors practice acupuncture.
However, Phan said a person should be careful about who they choose for acupuncture. He said a person should go to a doctor of oriental medicine, because it’s a complex practice and takes four years of study.