by Tiffany Hyman
Infertility, diabetes, back pain, shingles, eating disorders, disc problems, depression, arthritis. These are a few of many health problems that can consume a person's daily life. And while these ailments are daunting, there may be a solution to resolve some of the associated aches and pains: acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Rehab Center is a comprehensive, alternative treatment center in Amherst. Owner Dr. Lisa Zhou, a licensed acupuncturist in New York and Georgia, is National Certification Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine certified. She says acupuncture is not painful, but rather effective and contributes to good health.
"Your health is so important since the quality of life matters," Zhou said. "Many people battle with pains and many other chronic diseases on a daily basis. I have patients coming in to tell me that their western doctors have told them that they have to live with the pains or the diseases for the rest of their lives. Traditional Chinese medicine provides an alternative solution for the treatment of these diseases."
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points. The practice is an ancient Chinese tradition that works to reprogram and restore bodily functions by stimulating "chi," a Chinese word for energy. In this process, energy is believed to circulate throughout one's body to maintain good health.
"Chinese medicine looks at the ... organs - lungs, kidney, heart, spleen - as interconnected with each as well as every part of our body," Zhou said. "The kidney is our body's generator, for example. A weak or disfunctioning kidney can cause a series of health problems. The Chinese medicine tries to identify the inter-relationships between diseases and parts of human body. It goes to the cause to find solutions for the health problems."
In that regard, Chinese medicine is different from western medicine. Its doctors diagnose with observation (hearing, smelling, touching) and background information, whereas practitioners of western medicine often depend on lab tests and biological symptoms to identify one's health problems.
"Chinese medicine works best to treat those diseases that western medicine cannot find causeful. Chinese medicine is best for chronic diseases, because it uses a holistic approach and a very different diagnostic methodology to find the causes of the problem rather than depending on machine and lab tests. It aims to treat the causes of the problems, not the symptoms of the problems," Zhou said.
Acupuncture assists in promoting good health by regulating the flow of chi through energy channels, or meridians as they are called in traditional Chinese medicine. Needling the acupuncture points can influence the meridians; the acupuncture treatment opens up the channels of energy that were blocked, thus improving functionality. Acupuncture re-establishes the regular flow of energy through the meridians.
Sherry, a Colden resident whose doctors told her they were clueless as to how to treat pain in the low part of her belly, turned to the Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Rehab Center.
"I knew there was something wrong with my body," Sherry said. "Doctors told me they couldn't do anything. All tests show everything is normal. I said to the doctors, 'I don't feel right ... someone has to be able to help me.' But that's when I found Dr. Lisa online. She's a wonderful person and she's easy to talk to. It separates her from other acupuncturists. She looks at the body as a whole, and it helps detect problems."
Thanks to Zhou's acupuncture and herbal medicine, Sherry's health problem is almost non-existent. Doctors told her they could not help her, but the miracle of Chinese medicine has enabled her to watch her teenage daughter grow up.
Zhou started to learn Chinese medicine at the age of 6 when she watched her grandfather practice medicine in China. She pursued medical degrees in Chinese and western medicine. Now, with 25 years of experience under her belt, Zhou practices acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medical treatment modalities, including tuina, cupping, guasha, moxibustion, acupressure and qigong.
Zhou has had success treating patients with both acupuncture and natural herbs. In many cases, this combination treatment works better than acupuncture alone. Together, these treatments can be effective on hard-to-treat chronic diseases such as asthma, insomnia, carpal tunnel, hair loss, tendonitis, post-stroke complications and weight problems.
"In addition to acupuncture, she provides me with herbs to be boiled as tea to drink," Sherry said. "At first it tasted bitter, but now I crave it. The acupuncture and herbal medicine is wonderful for me and, now, I am not in pain anymore. I have only been seeing (Zhou) since November and it's really helped me."
Zhou runs Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Rehab Center in conjunction with her husband, Dr. Zongqing Zhou, the company's president. She first opened her business in 1998 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, when her family members lived in Lewiston. When they moved to Amherst, they decided to relocate the center closer to home. In 2008, they moved to 4229 Maple Road.
The Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Rehab Center is currently offering special deals. Clients who mention the company's online advertisement will receive $25 off their first treatment session, plus a free initial consultation. For more information, visit www.acumedrehab.com or call 716-803-8899.
Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Rehab Center is located at 4229 Maple Road in Amherst. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 803-8899 or email [email protected].