by Sheila Julson
Acupuncture, a system of healing that dates back thousands of years, is based upon balancing the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”), or the body’s life energy flow, to achieve wellness. Once a modality that received little recognition in Western nations, the National Institutes of Health formally recognized acupuncture as a mainstream medicine healing option in 1997, with a statement documenting the procedure’s safety and efficacy for treating a range of health conditions.
Today, Oklahoma City patients seeking this holistic healing technique have a community of acupuncture professionals, each with unique styles they bring to their practices.
Bryan Frank, M.D., of Re-Genesis Health, first discovered acupuncture nearly 43 years ago—before he entered medical school—as a patient, when conventional medicine had failed. He studied with a Japanese master and also through the UCLA Medical Acupuncture for Physicians post-graduate program. For the past 23 years, he’s been integrating acupuncture into his medical practice, and he has served as president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and the International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques.
Frank has practiced both classic needle and contemporary laser acupuncture. “While the classic needles are well tolerated by most, the laser is gentle for all and offers not only classic acupuncture point stimulation but also the added benefits of biophoton stimulation, which in its own right has therapeutic benefits,” he explains. “Laser is energy and can be quantified based on the strength of the laser output and the time the points are stimulated. This is real hard science.”
Conditions Frank treats include acute and chronic pain, sports acupuncture, men’s and women’s wellness, asthma, allergies, gastrointestinal disturbances, anxiety, stress and most functional illnesses.
In addition to acupuncture, Frank offers complementary services, such as auricular therapy and auricular medicine; prolotherapy; Prolozone Therapy; Biomagnetic Pair Therapy; laser and microcurrent therapies; anti-aging and regenerative medicine, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy; and metabolic and functional medicine concerns.
Chinese Healing Arts
Scott Rigsbee, of Oklahoma Healing Arts Institute, has been involved in the study and practice of Chinese healing arts since 1980 and began practicing acupuncture in 1998. His interest in acupuncture came about through the familiarity of other Chinese healing arts. “There are eight branches of Chinese medicine,” he explains, “meditation, qigong, dietary therapy, tui na (bodywork), feng shui, Chinese internal (herbology) medicine, acupuncture and philosophy.
Rigsbee practices and teaches the Eight Principle and Traditional Chinese Medicine types of acupuncture, and both are based on bian zheng, or identifying the patient’s pattern of imbalance.
“I feel and have observed for many years now that acupuncture has a broad spectrum impact on health recovery and improvement for both the short term and long term,” he observes.
Acupuncture for Everyone
Licensed acupuncturist Karen Wilson, of Central Oklahoma Community Acupuncture, has been in private practice since 2002. While living in Washington, D.C., she was first introduced to acupuncture through a friend in a graduate acupuncture program.
Over Wilson’s years of practice, she has continually studied and learned different methods and techniques to add to her Five Elements background. In addition to Five Elements and Traditional Chinese Medicine, she has studied Dr. Richard Tan’s Balance Method, and she’s a certified detoxification specialist through the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.
Central Oklahoma Community Acupuncture is a family practice that treats people of all ages. Wilson observes how she is treating more people that are living with chronic conditions, and are concerned about the side and long-term effects of prescription drugs. She works with physicians and therapists, supporting the treatment the patient is getting from other professionals, thus offering patients the opportunity to work with a variety of healthcare providers that look at health conditions from different viewpoints.
Central Oklahoma Community Acupuncture offers services on a sliding scale fee in a community setting. Wilson’s patients have been choosing what they pay for treatment since 2008, when she became a member of People’s Organization for Community Acupuncture. “Acupuncture won’t work if you can’t afford to get in for enough treatments, and acupuncture doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. This fee range allows more patients, regardless of income or insurance, to receive enough treatments to make a difference,” she says.
Raised with Acupuncture
Dr. Amit Gumman, of Harmony Healing Center Inc., was born and raised in Hyderabad, India. His parents lived a holistic lifestyle that embodied yoga, meditation, prayers, herbs and spirituality. As a young adult, he saw his grandmother’s health issues improve through naturopathic treatment, which inspired him to pursue a career as a doctor and holistic health professional.
Gumman has extensive training in ayurvedic medicine, which includes Five Elements acupuncture as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine. “Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic approach to healing, originating in India approximately 5,000 years ago,” Gumman says. “The purpose is to maintain balance in the patient’s body, mind and spirit.”
From pediatrics to geriatrics, Gumman says people often come to him after seeking conventional treatment. Common conditions he treats through acupuncture and Ayurveda include allergies, autoimmune disorders, colds and flu, drug and alcohol addictions, infertility, sleep disorders and more.
“With the spread of Buddhism from India to Tibet, China and the Far East, ayurvedic and acupuncture found its way into the culture and current popularity,” Gumman observes. “They share a common ground, similar holistic outlook and approach toward health, wellness, prevention and managing sources of diseases rather than masking symptoms.”
Acupuncture Promotes Health
Myung Kim, of Myung Kim Acupuncture Clinic, has been practicing acupuncture for about 50 years, originally learning the healing art from his family and later during martial arts school in Korea. He studied Western science at New York City College of Technology and graduated from Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine and Samra University of Oriental Medicine (now known as Samra Clinic of Oriental Medicine).
Kim’s acupuncture promotes health and helps prevent injury from martial arts, and he infuses his acupuncture needles with chi energy. He specializes in treating sports injuries, infertility and diabetic mellitus. He’s authored three books, Acupuncture for Self-Defense; Oriental Medicine and Cancer; and Chi Gong: Medicine from God.
Kim holds certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). He stresses the importance of verifying education and certification of acupuncturists when seeking care. “There are many self-claimed acupuncturists who attended an institution that is not recognized as a college or university by the Federal Department of Education,” he says. “This rule can be applied also to people that graduate school in foreign countries. One should hold an NCCAOM certificate.”
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-area freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.
Re-Genesis Health, 65 S. Saints Blvd., Edmond. 405-763-7603. Re-GenesisHealth.com.
Oklahoma Healing Arts Institute, 4045 NW 64th St., Ste. 160, Oklahoma City. 405-662-2650. OklahomaHealingArts.com
Central Oklahoma Community Acupuncture, 4301 NW 63 St., Ste. 202, Oklahoma City.
Harmony Healing Center Inc, 3701 NW 62 St., Oklahoma City. 405-947-4325. HarmonyOK.com.
Myung Kim Acupuncture Clinic, 6444 Northwest Expy., Oklahoma City. 405-470-7131. MyungChillKim.com.