Is Acupuncture Scientific? Interview with Dr. Fields
Dr Fields, Coral Springs Acupuncturist, discusses with Qi Gong Master Teresa Yeung.
Full transcript below video.
#38 of 50 Healthy You Conference: Is Acupuncture Scientific or is it B.S.? Coral Springs Acupuncturist Jonathan M Fields, Founder of Integrative Medicine US, Acupuncture Physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Coral Springs Florida USA
Hi everyone. So, welcome to the healthy you conference. Find health and balance with Qi Gong and other techniques. This is your host, Masters Teresa, and today we want to welcome Dr. Jonathan M Fields to the interview. And he is in South Florida. So let’s read something about him to you. So today he’s going to talk about acupuncture, scientific or whether is BS, right? So Jonathan, is the founder of Integrative Medicine US, practicing acupuncture physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine. So he’s trained with doctors at the legendry Shaolin Temple. So and then in the Beijing the Gou Lou hospital and in the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. So, Jonathan is actually a martial artist also. He really loves martial arts. He’s been practicing it, I would say all his life. He won national awards and he trained professional fighters. He performed for celebrities, televisions and films, and he’s also on the board of directors for numerous organizations in China, UK and US. So he found his way to Chinese Medicine, I guess through martial arts. So welcome you, Jonathan.
Thank you, It’s my pleasure to be here. It’s an honor to be a part of the event. I think what you’re doing is terrific and giving away all this free education to people and I’m just very pleased to be able to participate with all these great speakers that you put together.
So you are a great speaker too. Thank you so much. And then we have much to learn from you today. So I know you are a martial artist and that you really enjoy going to the Shaolin Temple. I saw you’re practicing there with the monks and etc. So now you become a Chinese medicinal Doctor, right? Must be difficult to wear that uniform. Maybe you should be like this, right?
It is but yeah, that’s how I found my way into Chinese medicine. I’ve been like you said, I’ve been in martial arts my whole life. And as you get a little older and you start accruing some injuries from all the martial arts training, and you start learning how to put your ego down and learn how to bring other people up, you look at what can I do besides just learning how to hurt people. And you want to use those same abilities to be able to heal people. As well as a true martial artist and as you learn, get closer to a level of mastery and excel in your field, you should be able to do both if you want it, all how you use your intentions.
It’s just really amazing. So, it must be a lot of struggle is to figure out what you actually want to do, What I mean, to wear that white uniform now is must be a long journey right?
It has been a long journey and I had been interning and basically studying with a Chinese medicine doctor for a long time. He introduced me to Qi gong and Chinese medicine, Dr. George Love. And for many years, I was very interested in acupuncture but I just wasn’t ready to make that move and get into it. And it was really after I had my own personal struggles with health and adversity that kind of brought me around to it. About seven or eight years ago, I had a health meltdown. I started having hot flashes and chills and I had tendonitis, carpal tunnel, and depression and fatigue and all these symptoms. I was only 32 years old at that time. And it’s like I was going through menopause or something. It was really bad. I mean, I had to take a year off. It really was scary. And the more horrifying part is that I could not get any help from Western medical Doctors. I spent a year going to doctors. I went to neurologists and endocrinologist and specialists and hand surgeons and all these tests. All my blood work was perfect. They all figured nothing wrong with me and it’s all in my head and they gave me muscle relaxers and painkillers. I knew that wasn’t going to solve any problems. So I never took them.
So what do you say to that? So in the eyes of your medical report, you were good.
Yeah, except I felt like…
Except you felt terrible.
I felt like I had cancer or AIDS. I was sure I was dying. I was miserable. I had been healthy my entire life up to that. I guess I was about 32 at the time. I never had any health issues except for minor injuries. And all of a sudden, just everything was wrong. I mean, my hands were ice cold. I was sleeping 12 hours a day I’d get up out of bed be fatigued right away, go back to bed. My back pain was so bad. I couldn’t even sit in a chair. My hands were so bad. I couldn’t even touch a computer anymore. I couldn’t work. Yeah, so that after a year of going all these doctors and not being able to get any help, and then making me, feel like I was crazy. The system just completely failed me. I went to see a nutrition shop owner friend of mine, and he ended up figuring out. Reid Eckert, I work with him in a vitamin shop. We have a practice together now in Tamarac, Florida. We do nutritional counseling there for people, he sells vitamins and supplements and I have a few rooms in the back where I do acupuncture and Chinese herbs. But he figured out my problem was an iodine deficiency and he gave me iodine that was made from seaweed. He gave me some vitamins and some supplements. I didn’t think it was going to work. I thought, you know, I already went to all these doctors, they couldn’t figure out how is this guy going to figure it out? Within two weeks, most of my symptoms were gone. No more chills, no more hot flashes, no more depression, no more fatigue, it was a miracle. It took me a while to get my body back into shape though, because, I had the back pain and the carpal tunnel, he put me in touch with a chiropractor, who helped me tremendously and I was getting acupuncture on and off with my doctor as well. And I got better. And after going through all that and having to live through it, I realized, the most noble thing for me to do now after being humbled by disease is to help other people with these unsolvable diseases, as you know, I mean, sometimes it’s like magic, what you can do with Qi gong or Chinese medicine or any alternative medicine.
So, I know you said the symptoms gone very quickly, but how long did you actually take to recover I know you also felt bad all over.
Well, it took about a couple weeks for the hot flashes, the chills, the depression and the fatigue to go away. But for me to get my tendinitis and carpal tunnel and get rid of the back pain and all that, I mean working with a chiropractor and acupuncturist, it probably took six to eight months until I was mostly fully recovered. And then it was still like another few months after that when I actually had enrolled into Chinese medicine school to where I was getting consistent treatments two days a week. I say I was about 80% better within about eight months. Once I got into Chinese school and I was getting treatments twice a week, and I started with Chinese herbs. It was like that the rest of it went right back up. Because your healing is in plateaus. It’s in stages. It’s not always linear, everybody wants to heal like this, but we do a little bit up and down. But as long as it’s two steps forward and one back, You’re still one step ahead. About a year I would say to make a full recovery.
Yeah. So this is good and like the journey is good too. Because it’s not about you anymore. Because you already good, become a doctor, heal people and give herbs and acupuncture. But it seems for other people to listen is very interesting. Because they are all were sick and they were hopeless. And then when we started to do something, they felt something good for a couple weeks and then they continue to improve. So it’s really a few months, but then it’s not finished. And then you have the hang on to continue to do. I know healing is just like a lifetime to me. But it is so much really so much physically and so beautiful. So many things. Yeah, so I like to ask you today your topic you want to talk about acupuncture? Is it scientific or not? Right? So, this is a beautiful topic indeed. So, I love to listen more to you. How would you, I mean, tell the people that are not very used to thinking of the needle on the body or something? And then how it connects with the Chinese medicine or the herbs, right? The actual work to summarize on, and then how it connects with the Western supplements and so it’s very interesting how it works together. I I’ve been doing all these things. Really nice to listen from you, right? Professional to me.
Yeah, absolutely. So like you said, you have experience with this stuff. I know some of the people listening might not so we’re here to explain it. Is acupuncture real? Is it placebo? It’s a very controversial topic, especially in this country. A lot of us heard about acupuncture, maybe we know somebody who had acupuncture, but a lot of us have not, may not be familiar with it, or don’t know how it works or why it works. So I’ll make this very clear, nice and simple. It definitely works. It’s incredible. It’s miraculous. It works just as good as any other type of therapy just as good as drugs or physical therapy. Yes, it works.
So this is to recap this light Maybe you can explain what is acupuncture so people understand that with step by step would be nice. What is acupuncture?
Sure, what is that? So, acupuncture I guess is the art and science of using very tiny, small filiform needles. They’re a hair thin, they’re not like injection needles. They’re maybe a 10th of the size of an injection needle. And we put them into certain points on the body along the Chinese meridians and we use them basically to move blood, move Chi, to tonify and nourish certain deficiencies, and also to drain or reduce different excess within the channels, the organs or the emotions within the body. And do you want me to get into the way it works or why it works or?
Well, I mean, why it works is nice.
Okay, fantastic. So, why it works I will give you from a from a Chinese medicine standpoint. We’re looking at basically moving blood and moving Qi. Now a lot of people. I think in a Western culture, they hear the word Chi, and they think it’s some kind of superstitious, mystical thing that doesn’t exist. Because they can’t relate with the concept. Having not felt it or been a practitioner, or not growing up in a society or a culture that kind of explains it. And just to simplify it, we’re going to label it for now it’s much more complicated than this, but let’s just say energy, right? People want to say energy, not confusing, nothing mystical about it. Our bodies are full of energy, we have thermal energy, we have a electrical energy, right? Our nervous system is electrical signals going back and forth. Our body is warm, it’s 98.6 degrees. So that’s thermal energy. There’s all sorts. We have chemical energy, all sorts of chemical processes happening in the body and metabolism, hormones. Everything runs on energy, right. The universe works on energy. Electrons. That’s what we’re made out of. So it’s very scientific and it makes perfect sense. Do we know exactly the process of how it works for certain things? No. But we do know it works. Because there’s thousands of years of recorded history that’s been tested on, arguably the largest population on Earth. There’s a case study of billions and billions of people. And it’s still around and we know it’s effective. Now, it’s very different from how it used to be practiced. In ancient days, they had a whole bunch of different acupuncture tools. Some of those needles were not really needles, they were more like surgical instruments. They were big for blood letting, things like arrowheads. Today, we just use very tiny little needles. That doesn’t cause the patient a lot of pain. And we could get the most amount done with the least amount of impact. So the least invasive as can be, yes.
Do they feel anything when the needle goes in?
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a good question. So everybody is different. Most people do not have a problem with it. I found that probably 99% of patients are very receptive and have no problem. Every now and then, you’ll have somebody who’s just overly sensitive. People who we consider to be excess are usually a bit more sensitive to needles and people who we consider deficient, usually I have no problem with it. That’s one of the tests that I do for somebody when a patient comes in. I ask if it hurts. I poke them in the arm and the shoulder. If they say ”ouch” I say, okay, you’re going to be very sensitive case to deal with. Certain points on the body are more sensitive. Right on the bottom of the foot, kidney one, the bubbling spring is a very sensitive point. Most of the points in the body are not as sensitive; the feet tend to be kind of sensitive. Rest of the body is not so much. Generally, you’ll feel a little pinprick when it goes in, almost like a injection or something except much smaller needle. So it’s less and then it kind of goes away. You may have sensations once the needle is in. though that’s the fun part. You might get the feeling of Qi as we’re inserting the needle, looking to get de Qi, which means that the body should kind of grab the needle is what we’re looking for. And while it’s in there, you might feel pressure, you might feel tingling. You might feel electrical signals running up and down the arm. Everybody experiences it differently in different locations.
I will look at that is a good sign, because something is happening to you. So you’re calling for something, right?
Absolutely correct Sifu. And people at their first time, sometimes they’re a little nervous, and they start feeling the tingling and they say what’s going on? We have to be very patient and patient education is very important as well. So I tell them before we do the procedure that you might feel things moving around, you might feel some pressure, it’s perfectly normal. And then after you put the needles in, you spend a couple minutes with them. Just make sure they’re okay, they’re comfortable. And then you know after they’re all set up and ready and they’re feeling fine, then I can turn the lights off and let them relax.
No big deal. It’s so simple, I heard that you really don’t actually feel anything at all. So I will ask you what kind of problems are the usual things that you see often treated by acupuncture?
So that’s a great question too. And that’s another one of the areas we have a lot of misconception. I think in the West, because people look at acupuncture is just for treating pain. And it’s true, I would say probably, I don’t know, maybe 60 70% of what I do is treat pain, back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, arthritis, you know, Runner’s knees, plantar fasciitis, all sorts of things like this. We do treat all that. But what a lot of people don’t know, especially with acupuncturists who practice herbal medicine as well, is that we do primary care and internal medicine. We treat colds, we treat flus we treat on a lot of Gastro-Intestinal issues. I have tremendous success with people with digestive issues. Fertility is a big thing we treat. We do tremendous work with anxiety, depression, addiction, weight loss. And we have different protocols. Yes,
I want to know more. The ear is an area I don’t know too much about how acupuncture works on that.
So there is auricular acupuncture method. The Chinese always had auricular points for the ear. But there’s auricular method that was actually developed by a French doctor in the 50s. On David Nogier, who’s very famous for it and it’s practiced all around the world. The Chinese actually adopted some of his system into their current regular systems. But there is a protocol of about five points in the ear, that have to do with different organs and different functions of the brain. And we use this in Detox. There’s a protocol called nada. And they use it in rehab centers and clinics all around the country. If you ask people in the industry, it’s very well known to people in the drug rehab industry. If you ask acupuncture, they’ll tell you, yeah they do it in the ear. For weight loss. similar thing and for quitting smoking.
I saw people left something in the ear sometime. A little acupuncture, maybe a little metal or something.
Yeah. So right now they use the magnets. Traditionally, it was seeds. It’s a Chinese herb. And what they do is they put a little sticker on it right, and they stick him in the ear over these points. When you go home with the sticker, it kind of keeps the treatment going for a few days. The stickers are sometimes say on three, four or five days. And what the patient can do is you tell them hey, if you’re feeling stressed out, you press on it, you squeeze it, and it hurt because it’s actually like a little metal ball or a little seed pressing in your ear, and when you start applying pressure to it, it reactivates the treatment. And then just with magnets, some people have a magnet on the points.
I know people trying to quit cigarettes are trying to do acupuncture on the ears too
Right, and they have electric stimulation that they do and all sorts of things like that. Yeah,
Yeah. You have success with that?
Yes, but, that is a great question. We do. But I always tell people up front. I say, “Listen, we’re here to help you. I’m not here to waste my time or yours if you’re not 100%committed. You don’t want to quit , if your wife wants you to quit. Forget it, unless you want to quit.”
I have had people tell me after they stimulated acupoints, they find when they smoke, it doesn’t taste good anymore. Is that what it is?
So what happens is with any acupoint, one of the side effects and this is where it gets scientific and they’ve measured this and they’ve done on blood studies and functional MRIs, and all sorts of things at Harvard and MIT, john Hopkins and UCLA. They found that acupuncture releases endorphins in the body. So with cigarettes, a lot of it is the addiction, right? And when you’re, when you need your Fix when you’re have your addiction problem, what’s going on is that you need, you’re short on your oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine and feel good hormones. So the acupuncture releases endorphins. So if you get that fix of the endorphins and you’re already feeling good, then you don’t necessarily need the cigarette or to keep eating to make yourself feel good, or to do some kind of other addictive or destructive behavior. Because you’re already getting those hormones that kind of take you out of depression. And then they find a lot of those same hormones are involved in diseases, like deficiencies of them, like Alzheimer’s and dementia, and things like that. So I’m not making the correlation that it cures, Alzheimer and dementia, but we know that without these hormones, you have a serious problem and you’re open to these diseases, and that acupuncture or acupressure are different types of methods can help stimulate the production of these hormones.
It’s just wonderful. I guess knowledge is really just amazing, right? Other things coming together, and then to have you in Florida to a show people have a lifetime of experience in kung fu martial arts too, and have your own, I guess difficult times too. I wish you never have to experience difficult times anymore.
And I think, it’s one of those things, you got to try to believe it, I would say probably 60 to no, probably more, I would say it depends on the case and what you’re treating, but probably 60 to 80% of my patients do get better. Pain is one of the easiest things to treat. Complicated internal stuff is a little more difficult. But I think our results are probably, it is better than medications or physical therapy and things like that. And for me, when I started with Qigong, you could feel it. You could feel it not the first day maybe, but after you start a regular practice. You know, you start feeling the changes in your body.
It’s nice to teach people Qigong and they also have acupuncture or, you know, a little combination is always nice, and that’s really wonderful. So it’s something that is very important. We should mention to the people today. Yeah.
Yeah, absolutely. I would say the most important thing is, NEVER GIVE UP! And don’t be discouraged if the doctors tell you there’s no cure for your condition. If they tell you there’s nothing wrong with you, if you know something is wrong. Don’t let their very limited scope of knowledge have an effect on you because there is a placebo. Placebo is real, whether it’s negative or positive or acupuncture or medications or surgery. There’s still a placebo effect in everything. So when someone tells you; it’s not possible for you to heal, a lot of people get very depressed and they get much worse after that. So just never give up. And if one acupuncturist doesn’t work for you, or one chiropractor doesn’t work for you, or once Qigong master is not good for you, try another one. They’re not all the same. The systems are different and just do not give up on yourself. I think it is the most important thing. And another thing is to have balance in life, you know, emotional balance, I think its one of the hard things that we don’t talk about in this country and we neglect. And you know, in Chinese medicine, the root of all internal disease generally comes from spiritual or emotional issues in the life. So I think people need to be more aware of what’s going on with their emotions and kind of learning how to get them moving. So they don’t have stagnation in the body. I’s stagnation, right stagnated qi and blood that causes pain and disease. So, exercise I guess would be the other important thing, right? Because all of it is built into the Chinese medicine and I do actually teach when I treat patients if they come in for back pain. I give them Qigong exercises. You don’t expect me to fix every problem you’ve ever had in your life. It’s a team. Right? We got to work together.
Yeah, so it’s true. It’s really beautiful what you said. So if people want to experience you and setup appointment, your website is the www.integrativemedicine.us, Right?
Exactly. Yeah, that’s integrativemedicine.us. They could find more info there. So it’s not .com, it’s .us. I have a vanity domain. www.imedicineus.com , if that’s easier for some people to find.
Yeah. So which part of Florida are you in?
I’m in South Florida on the Eeast coast and near Fort Lauderdale. I’m kind of in between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. A little bit less, maybe about 20 minutes from Boca and 20 minutes from Fort Lauderdale. Kind of right in the middle. So it’s nice. We’re situated in Broward County. So we’re close to Miami and West Palm Beach. Very nice.
Just for anyone with interest on your Kung Fu class, because you are very good at teaching with Women also.
So I teach a style of Jun Mo Wing Chun. It’s actually UK based, but we teach other styles of Kung fu as well. Shaolin, Meihua Quan Kung fu, Tai Chi, which is very internal as well. Our school in in Lauderhill.. I’ve been with the same school now for 14 years under my master, John Phoenix Le Grand. Lost Legacy Systems is the name of our school and if anybody wants to look that up, it’s www.LostLegacySystems.com . We have classes going on three days a week currently, So they could come train with us as well, where we teach a bunch of different Chinese martial arts and whenever I teach I always start off the classes with some Qigong and Tai Chi,
Is it okay for people to Facebook Message you? Is that something you will check sometimes?
Yes, please. I’m happy to help. We’re here to help as many people as we can. We’re always open to connecting with other good people, other likeminded folks. So if it’s something we need to make a referral to somebody or just a simple question, I’m always happy to hear from anybody. My Facebook handle is @JonathanMFields .
Okay, wonderful. So thank you very much. Thank you for joining me today. And thank you audience and then we’ll see you again in another episode. So we have like another week or so to finished with the conference. Okay, so thank you.
Thank you everybody on Facebook. Sifu, Thank you so much for having me.
You’re welcome. So, thank you.
Okay. Good luck with the rest of the conference.
Thank you. Well, I’m going to actually call you again actually. Goodbye.
Okay. If you’d like to find out more info about, Dr. Fields and the Team, click on: Integrative Medicine Coral Springs.
If you’d like to get help from us with reading your bloodwork and labs, click: Coral Springs Functional Medicine