Dr. Michael Kowalski is an Acupuncture Physician and founder of the Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center. I had the opportunity to meet with him recently at his practice here in Jacksonville, Florida. Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
Debra: Hello Michael. What made you decide to practice acupuncture?
Dr. Michael: Hi Debra. I was originally a pre-law major at Yale. I initially was afraid of needles.
I had a knee injury and was suffering from patella tendonitis. My stepdad, Dr. Marcy Goldstein, introduced me to acupuncture. After being in pain for a long time, I was healed after two treatments. That really got my attention. Afterwards, I felt like a million dollars and I wanted to learn more. Instead of law school, I ended up studying with the eminent Professor J. R. Worsley at the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in Leamington Spa, England. This is a way of life. It is my calling and I love to help people. I am proud to say I have been practicing for 33 years.
Debra: That's great! How does acupuncture work?
Dr. Michael: I treat the whole person and we look at the root cause of a health concern; not just the symptoms. I practice 5 Element Acupuncture which is a unique system of medicine based on the ancient traditions of Chinese acupuncture and adapted for the modern Western world. Professor Worsley realized that every person has one original cause of disease, which he called the Causative Factor (CF). We work to restore balance and wellness in body, mind and spirit.
You asked how it works...
Dr. Michael: In Chinese medical diagnosis, any illness or symptom, either physical or mental, is associated with an imbalance in a person’s vital energy. This vital energy, known as Qi (pronounced “chee”), travels within the body through pathways called meridians. Each meridian is linked with a vital organ such as the heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys and liver. On each of these meridians there are precise locations where an imbalance in the Qi can be corrected, known as acupuncture points. Very fine acupuncture needles can be inserted into these acupuncture points to restore the person’s Qi to balance and harmony, thereby healing their illness.
Debra: How long does a treatment typically take?
Dr. Michael: The first appointment I evaluate and observe the patient and that takes about 90 minutes. The next appointment will be shorter (45 minutes).
Debra: How many treatments will a patient need?
Dr. Michael: The number of acupuncture treatments needed for a given health issue varies from person to person. It depends on the nature of the problem, how long you have had the problem, etc.
Debra: Can acupuncture help with anxiety and insomnia?
Dr. Michael: Yes, since we look at the underlying causes of health issues we can pin point (no pun attended) where a patient is out of balance.
For example, if your wood element is out of balance you may be experiencing anger. If your fire element is out of balance, you may be experiencing lack of energy. If your earth element is out of balance, you may be experiencing worry, and excessive sympathy (worrying too much about others which can cause anxiety). We work to restore balance in our patient and then the symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia are resolved.
With insomnia issues, we also get clues when a patient can share with us if there is a set time in the middle of the night when they are most prone to waking up. I would like to give you this book, Talking About Acupuncture In New York by J.R. Worsley, that goes into a lot more details.
Debra: Great. Thank you so much!
Dr. Michael: You're welcome Debra.
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