“Acupuncture is not all hocus pocus,” says Anthony Cerabino who is the owner and practitioner at Healthcare Wellness Center in Bay Shore, a leader in acupuncture and holistic healthcare. Cerabino spoke with Pulse about his practice and separated acupuncture fact from fiction.
Tell me a little bit about your background and how you got into this field?
I was a college educated and trained professional musician completing a B.M. curriculum in jazz studies. Teaching at a college level and performing in recording studios, on concert stages and jazz clubs throughout the US and abroad was a full-time career. As time progressed, it became clear to me that I had a higher calling to help people and the healing arts was “the way.”
What makes your work unique?
The human body is designed to heal itself. Acupuncture facilitates the self-healing process by combining a scientific holistic health model of mind, body and spirit. Through the lens of keen intuition, spending time with patients and meticulously documenting a health history, I integrate a scientific-based treatment protocol that has solved many “health issue puzzles” for my patients. I often call it “healing through the eye of the needle.”
Is there scientific proof that acupuncture works?
Acupuncture has been recognized in the United States since the 1970s. There is scientific evidence-based proof and double-blind research trials with meticulous documentation that it works. The Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed journal featuring high-quality studies related to basic and clinical acupuncture and meridian research. It includes integrative research, covering East and West and traditional and modern medicine. The journal also covers areas of integrative biomedical research and health science in general and other modalities.
Who makes a viable candidate for acupuncture?
Acupuncture can help with any regulatory system in the body. Back and neck pain are common ailments that acupuncture relieves, however, at Healthcare Wellness Center we are successfully treating a wide range of pathologies including but not limited to; migraines, post-chemo nausea, addiction protocols, allergies, auto-immune disease, neurological disorders, Bell’s Palsy, and digestive issues. Therefore, anyone is a suitable candidate for treatment.
What do the acupuncture needles do?
Acupuncture works with the electromagnetic system of the body. The needles stimulate specific anatomic sites—commonly referred to acupuncture points, or acupoints. Humans are electrical beings made of 80 percent water. Water acts as a conductor of electricity and energy. This energy commonly referred to as QI improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process.
How does acupuncture work to relieve pain?
Traditional Chinese acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely fine needles into the skin at specific “acupoints.” Acupuncture relieves pain by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals, and by affecting the part of the brain that governs serotonin, a brain chemical involved with our moods.
What should someone do before an acupuncture appointment?
It is important that the person is hydrated and has proper nutrition to heal.
If someone has chronic pain and is receiving acupuncture, what are other treatments and dietary supplements the person can use to complement it?
Acupuncture is just one part of the five branches of Chinese medicine. The acupuncturist may also include superfood dietary considerations, moxibustion, (a heated herb that can be applied in a variety of ways), cupping, massage therapy and exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong.
What is one myth about acupuncture you wish would go away forever?
I wish people understood that acupuncture is not hocus pocus. In fact, it is a scientific-based medicine with a history of more than 2000 years. It’s practiced because it works. A minimum of a Master’s of Science Degree is required to practice in the state of New York. What differentiates me is I have a diplomat title which requires me to take continuing education classes every year.
How can acupuncture help with allergies?
NAET (Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique) is a modern fusion of chiropractic, kinesiology, biochemistry and Chinese medicine techniques. This painless, medicine-free treatment protocol resets the nervous system to accept any allergen that is creating a disharmony or weakness in the body. The results are truly amazing!
How often do you need to get acupuncture?
Originally, acupuncture was intended to get immediate results; it often does for muscular-skeletal conditions such as muscle strains and sprains. However, long-term chronic illness will take more treatments due to the biochemical changes that need to be made at the blood level. In many cases the combination of Chinese herbs and nutritional supplementation will be added to support long-term illnesses.
Is acupuncture painful?
Very rarely will a patient report the feeling of any pain after a needle is inserted. Acupuncture needles, which I like to call “healing sticks,” are super fine needles, which are about .16mm thick. They are hair-like and are gently inserted into the surface of the skin.
How long is an acupuncture session?
The length of an acupuncture session varies depending on your condition. Typically, your first acupuncture session will be 75 minutes since 20 to 30 minutes is spent covering the health history. Subsequent treatments will range from 30 to 60 minutes.
Is acupuncture covered by insurance companies?
Yes. Healthcare Wellness Center accepts any insurance that covers acupuncture. Acupuncturists are primary healthcare givers. You do not need a script from your doctor.
This article was originally seen in Long Island Pulse Magazine.