Joseph E. Samuels, Doctor of Oriental Medicine

Veterans

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

 

Having served in the United States Army 101st Airborne division himself, Dr. Samuels understands some of the difficulties veterans face after returning home from active duty.  Oriental Medicine is very beneficial for treating veterans because Oriental Medicine in its theory treats the patient as a whole entity (physically, mentally and emotionally). In my personal experience of working with veterans over the past 19 years I have found this approach to medicine is well received and very much appreciated by our veterans.

According to the philosophy of Oriental Medicine, the physical body, mental body and emotional body cannot be separated.  If a patient has a symptom occurring in the physical body, the patient will also experience symptoms in the mental body and emotional body as well and vice versa.  Therefore, all three areas are addressed during the course of treatment.

A good example of how this interaction is viewed from an Oriental Medicine perspective would be a veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of being in combat.  This patient like all patients, will always experience symptoms that manifest in all 3 bodies at the same time. Listed below are a few examples of symptoms patients may experience simultaneously.

 

The Emotional Body:  Such As

  1. Fear and Panic Attacks
  2. Anxiety
  3. Depression
  4. Instant and Intense Anger
  5. Emotionally Numb
  6. Constant Worry
  7. Extreme Remorse

The Physical Body: Such As

  1. Extreme Fatigue
  2. Muscle and Joint Weakness
  3. Digestive Disorders
  4. Overall Physical Pain
  5. Weak Immune System
  6. No Stamina
  7. Always Sick

The Mental Body: Such As

  1. Insomnia
  2. Nightmares
  3. Suicidal Thoughts
  4. Disturbing Memories
  5. Feeling Distant from Others
  6. Difficulty Concentrating
  7. Severe Mental Restlessness

When a Doctor of Oriental Medicine examines a patient for the first time, the physician will thoroughly document all information and then start the process of discussing each symptom step by step, asking what symptom manifested 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.  The physician will then briefly explain how the physical, mental and emotional bodies interact with each other and as time goes on, more detailed information will be given so that the patient can develop a clear understanding of how this process works.  This aspect of Oriental Medicine is very important because it helps the patient understand why they are experiencing their symptoms and what can be done to correct their condition.

Neck and Shoulder Pain

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

 

Neck and shoulder pain is a very common medical condition in today’s society and can occur for many different reasons.  As of 2016, it is estimated that over 10 million people a year in the United States will be treated for neck and shoulder pain caused by musculoskeletal and connective tissue injury alone.

Neck and shoulder pain falls into two different categories, an acute condition or a chronic condition.  An acute condition is characterized by rapid onset of pain, inflammation or possible bleeding, that last for less than 90 days.  A chronic condition is characterized by a slow onset that gets worse over time and is often irreversible.

A few examples of why people experience neck and shoulder pain are as follows:

  1. Muscle tears, spasms, cramps and overall tightness
  2. Ligament or tendon damage
  3. Bone fractures or deformities
  4. Vertebral disc herniation or erosion
  5. Nerve damage or impingement
  6. Reduced range of motion, swelling and inflammation
  7. Joint deterioration

Neck and shoulder conditions for the most part are treated very successfully through a wide variety of medical modalities.  As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine operating a family practice for the past 19 years, I see patients every day with neck and shoulder issues and have great success in treating them with acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine.  However, some patients do require surgery to correct their conditions.

Acupuncture needles are very fine in diameter, about the thickness of a hair.  They are inserted into specific locations on the body and left in place for approximately 30-45 minutes.

  1. Acupuncture relieves muscle spasms, cramps and overall muscle tightness
  2. Alleviates nerve impingement caused by muscle contraction
  3. Increases and restores range of motion
  4. Greatly aids in the quick recovery from surgery
  5. Most importantly acupuncture is very effective for relieving pain, even if there is structural damage to, or deterioration of, the neck or shoulder

Traditional Chinese medicinals are generally administered in two different ways:

  • Internally – injections, pills, liquid medicines, etc.
  • Externally – Plasters, soak compresses, liniments, etc.

Traditional Chinese medicinals are effective for:

  1. Chondroprotective function to protect joint destruction and cartilage erosion
  2. Osteogenic function to promote generation of new bone
  3. Anti-inflammatory effect to reduce inflammation and swelling
  4. Analgesic action to alleviate pain
  5. Muscle-relaxant effect to relieve muscle cramps and spasms
  6. Greatly aids in the quick recovery from surgery

I also address nutrition as well as lifestyle instruction.  As an example, neck and shoulder pain can be reduced by eating whole grains, dark green vegetables and nuts because they contain B complex vitamins and magnesium which are essential for nerve health. Adding calcium and potassium can also reduce pain, spasms and cramps.

Low Back and Hip Pain

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

 

For as long as human beings have existed, it would be fair to say that all people have suffered and will continue to suffer with different medical conditions and that many of us will experience low back or hip pain at some point in our lives.  Physicians in every culture throughout the history of our world have tried to relive this suffering by creating different diagnostic techniques and treatment strategies.  Oriental Medicine is the oldest form of medicine known and has successfully treated more patients than all other forms of medicine combined.  This field of medicine has existed for over 5,000 years and contains the largest body of accumulated medical knowledge to date.  Over the span of this time, millions of Doctors of Oriental Medicine have experimented with, wrote about and shared their knowledge, creating what is known today as “Traditional Oriental Medicine”.  There are many different reasons why people experience low back and hip pain.  There are also many different treatment strategies for correcting this condition from both an Eastern and Western medical perspective. As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine here in the State of Florida, I see patients who suffer with this condition on a daily basis.  Oriental Medicine is very effective in treating this medical condition although some patients do require surgery.

Listed below are a few examples of why people experience low back and hip pain as well as some of the therapeutic actions Oriental Medicine has on the body.

Examples:

  1. Muscle tears, spasms, cramps and overall tightness
  2. Ligament or tendon damage
  3. Bone fractures or deformities
  4. Vertebral disc herniation or erosion
  5. Nerve damage or impingement
  6. Reduced range of motion, swelling and inflammation
  7. Joint deterioration

Therapeutic Actions:

  1. Chondroprotective function to protect joint destruction and cartilage erosion
  2. Osteogenic function to promote generation of new bone
  3. Anti-inflammatory effect to reduce inflammation and swelling
  4. Analgesic action to alleviate pain
  5. Muscle-relaxant effect to relieve muscle cramps and spasms
  6. Greatly aids in the quick recovery from surgery

From an Oriental Medical perspective, Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicinals are generally used to treat low back and hip pain along with counseling on proper nutrition and life style instruction which is essential for a quick, healthy recovery.

Also, in some cases, Doctors of Oriental Medicine will incorporate Western medical diagnostics such as X-rays, MRIs and other medical imaging techniques into their initial medical evaluation because certain structural deformities and medical conditions can only be seen through the use of this technology.

Headaches

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

 

Oriental Medicine is very effective for treating patients who suffer from headaches.  The key to success lies in the way Doctors of Oriental Medicine diagnose a patient. From an Oriental medical perspective, people suffer from headaches for many different reasons.  Listed below are a few examples of why people suffer from headaches as well as some of the therapeutic actions of Oriental Medicine.

Structural abnormalities of the head or neck: which can be seen through medical imaging.

  1. Intra-cranial pressure due to brain tumors, aneurysms, or cerebral stenosis
  2. Misalignment or deterioration of the cervical area of the spine
  3. Muscle tightness, spasms, cramps, swelling or inflammation of the head or neck

Internal organ disharmonies and external pathogenic factors: which in part are determined by the location of the headache as well as the quality of pain the patient is experiencing.

Location of Pain:

  • Top of the head
  • One side of the head
  • Both sides of the head
  • Temporal area of the head
  • Back of the head
  • Front of the head
  • Whole head
  • Pain behind the eyes

Quality of Pain:

  • Dull headache
  • Feeling of heaviness in the head
  • Distending pain in the head
  • Pain and stiffness in back of the neck
  • Stabbing pain in the head
  • Feeling of emptiness in the head

Other factors also include:

  • The time of day a person gets a headache
  • Headaches that get worse with activity and better with rest
  • Headaches caused by certain weather conditions (hot, cold, damp, wind)
  • Headaches that manifest from stress or anger
  • Headaches due to poor posture and improper positioning of the head
  • Headaches caused from toxic poisoning
  • Headaches caused by different menstrual disorders

The therapeutic actions of Oriental Medicine include:

  • Analgesic effect to relieve pain
  • Anti-inflammatory effect to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Muscle relaxant to relieve stiffness, spasms and cramps
  • Improves peripheral and micro circulation to relieve and prevent cerebral ischemia
  • Invigorates blood circulation and clears blood stagnation

 

Diet and lifestyle instruction are also addressed in addition to acupuncture and Oriental Medical pharmacology

From a Nutritional Perspective:

Avoid foods that contain (Tyramine) such as alcohol, chocolate, banana, citrus fruits, avocado,cabbage, potato, coffee, tobacco, most dairy products and junk foods.

From a Lifestyle Perspective:

Avoid direct exposure to air condition, fans and wind.  Also avoid stressful situations whenever possible.  Regular exercise, adequate rest and good sleeping habits are also essential.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

 

Here in the United States and throughout the world, millions of people suffer from GI disorders on a daily basis.  There are many different types of GI disorders as well as many different reasons for having them.  A few examples of common GI disorders are:

Gastritis – An inflammation and in some cases, erosion of the lining of the stomach characterized by abdominal pain, abdominal distention, abdominal burning, indigestion, loss of appetite, etc.

Gastric Reflux (Acid Reflux) – A medical condition where stomach acid moves upward into your esophagus and creates symptoms such as heart burn, nausea, a sensation of food being stuck in your throat, etc.

Peptic Ulcers – An ulcer in the lining of the stomach or small intestine that creates symptoms such as bloating, heart burn, nausea, vomiting, etc.  In some cases a patient can also have a peptic ulcer and not have any symptoms at all.

Generally speaking, GI disorders are caused by 4 main factors.  The first is incorrect lifestyle habits, such as high stress levels, smoking and consuming excess amounts of alcohol.  The second is improper diet. This includes type of food, volume of food, cleanliness of food and time of day we eat food.  The third is infection which can be viral or bacterial and the forth is pharmaceutical drugs (NSAIDS).

Oriental Medicine is very effective for treating GI disorders in a safe and effective way.  Listed below are some of the therapeutic actions Oriental Medicine has on the digestive system.

  1. Antiulcer effect to decrease production and release of gastric acid
  2. Antacid effect to neutralize gastric acid
  3. Analgesic effect to relieve pain
  4. Gastro protective effect to restore normal digestion and gastrointestinal functions
  5. Antitoxic effect to treat acute diarrhea due to drug or food poisoning
  6. Hemostatic effect to relieve constipation
  7. Anti-inflammatory effect to reduce swelling and inflammation
  8. Antispasmodic action to alleviate abdominal spasms and cramps
  9. Antibiotic effect to treat infection
  10. Antidotal function to eliminate toxins

As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine operating a family medical practice for the past 19 years, I believe the best way to treat GI disorders is to combine Eastern and Western medicine.  Western trained physicians who specialize in gastroenterology are very effective in detecting problematic conditions in the digestive system through advanced technology. I always refer my patients for testing if the patient’s condition requires it. I also know Oriental medicine is very effective in treating GI disorders in a safe way.  This combination of western testing and eastern treatment is a great way of incorporating “the best of both worlds of medicine”.

Cold/Flu Season

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

 

Build a powerful immune system through the use of Acupuncture and Chinese pharmacology.

Oriental Medicine is well known for its ability to treat most medical conditions as long as the condition does not require surgery. However, what you may not know is the fact that Oriental Medicine is one of the most effective health care modalities for preventing illness.

The human body is made up of many different organ systems and the overall health of a patient is generally determined by how well each system functions and interacts with one another.

The respiratory system for example, is composed of 6 basic parts, the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi and lungs.  One of the main functions of the respiratory system is to bring oxygen into the body.  This system will always be compromised during a cold/flu invasion because the virus enters the body through the lungs and decreases the function of the entire respiratory system.  Oriental Medicine has the ability to strengthen the function of every organ system in the body and in this scenario, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine needs to strengthen the function of the lungs so the patient will be able to fight off the infection.  This medical condition can be treated with the use of Oriental Medicine.  But more importantly, a cold/flu can be prevented from occurring in the first place.

During cold/flu season, I treat dozens of patients who come into my office complaining of cold/flu symptoms and I have a very effective treatment protocol for reducing the intensity of symptoms as well as the duration of time.  But more importantly, by using Oriental Medicine on a somewhat regular basis, we can build a powerful immune system to prevent many illnesses from manifesting to begin with.  There is a lot to be said for Oriental preventative medicine and because we have such easy access to it in this country, I believe we should take full advantage of its ability to protect us.

Massage Therapy

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

 

I would like to acknowledge all of the massage therapist in Citrus, Marion and Hernando counties who have worked with me over the past 19 years as well as all the other excellent massage therapist out there.  Your hard work and dedication to the field of massage therapy is very much needed in today’s society and I would like to personally acknowledge and thank each one of you for the compassionate work you do every day.  Having been Nationally Certified for 25 years during my own carrier as a massage therapist, I thoroughly understand the benefit of incorporating massage therapy into our health care.

There are over 150 licensed massage therapists in Citrus County alone to choose from.  Many have been massage therapists for a long time and are very respectable.  I also recommend trying several different licensed massage therapists so you can find one you really like.  Although all massage therapists have the same basic level of education when they first graduate from school, every massage therapist is also an individual and will develop in their own way.

Every licensed massage therapist in the State of Florida starts out with the same basic level of education, either a 500 hour or 750 hour course in massage and bodywork.  After that a licensed massage therapist will take continuing education classes on different techniques every two years.  If a licensed massage therapist has been in practice for 2 years, they have accumulated a little more knowledge and experience than when they 1st graduated from school.  If a licensed massage therapist has been in practice for 20 years, they have accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience.  As with anything, the longer someone practices, the better they become.

I was recently asked by a representative of a Florida State massage school to give a few examples in this article of what to look for and what to avoid when choosing a licensed massage therapist.  Listed below are a few important notes to be aware of.

  1. A well-educated massage therapist will always establish good communication with you right from the start. They will help you work through sensitive areas and will always lighten up on pressure if an area becomes too painful.

Always avoid a massage therapist who uses the term “no pain, no gain” or causes significant pain during the massage.  If this happens to you, tell them to take their hands off of you immediately and leave.  There will always be 1 or 2 bad apples in every profession and this is a clear example of a massage therapist who does not know what they are doing.  This incorrect behavior is rare and is usually seen in a massage therapist who is in their 1st few years of practice.

  1. A well-educated massage therapist will always know several different massage techniques. They will do their best to educate you on each technique so that you can make a choice that will best suite your needs.

Always avoid a massage therapist who tries to convince you that their technique is better than anyone else’s or they make a statement like I am more than just a massage therapist because I have this certificate.  This arrogant behavior is very unprofessional and should always be avoided.  Massage therapy has literally been used for thousands of years.  Over that span of time, hundreds of different techniques have been created.  The fact is “there is no such thing as the best technique”.

  1. A well-educated massage therapist will always recommend you see your physician before receiving a massage if you have an injury due to trauma or if you have other medical concerns. This is very important because only a physician can diagnose you.  If your massage therapist would like you to obtain a prescription from a physician before they start working with you or you are not sure if it would be safe to receive a massage, you can contact my office and I will evaluate you.

Always avoid a massage therapist who tries to diagnose you.   A massage therapist does not have the education to diagnose and this behavior is illegal.

Here at Citrus Alternative Medicine we are dedicated to education and we have over 40 years of clinical knowledge and experience in the field of massage therapy.

Business Reviews

Citrus Alternative Medicine

By: Joseph E. Samuels, D.O.M.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

 

 

As a consumer living in the “information age”, when searching for a product or service, I believe it is a good idea to read the business review section because this information can sometimes give us a general idea of what other people think about a particular business.  However, some reviews can also be misleading.

Business reviews generally fall into 3 different categories:

  1. A Favorable Review – Something a person likes about you
  2. An Unfavorable Review – Something a person does not like about you
  3. A False Review – When a person lies about you

In October of 2017, I created a new website and at that time, I discovered someone posted a false review about me back on January 7, 2013 which completely took me by surprise so I decided to write this article.

This person basically said I spoke to her on the phone in a very demeaning way and therefore she would never step foot into my office. This event never happened and whoever wrote it should be ashamed of themselves.

In my 25 years as a healthcare provider, I have never spoken to anyone in an unprofessional manner nor has anyone ever accused me of such behavior. As a business owner it is common to have favorable reviews written about you as well as an occasional unfavorable review. This is just part of the business world. However, when someone intentionally makes up a lie, this makes you wonder who is trying to benefit from it.

The moral of the story is, there are always two sides to every story.