When William Southmayd, M.D. experienced an ankle problem for 2 years that caused him to limp and restricted his activities, he thought he would have to undergo surgery. After having acupuncture treatments from Dr. Ashley Hoyt, he was pain free after 6 weeks. As a retired orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Southmayd is familiar with what is involved with surgery and was happy to find an alternative.
Ray Jensen decided to try acupuncture after a shoulder injury. He reports that he was pain free after a few treatments. He was so pleased with the results that he referred his wife for treatments when she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and did not want to take medication. Her blood pressure was reduced to normal and has remained stable for two years with no medication.
Ray did some research and found that acupuncture has been practiced for over 3,000 years in China, and is utilized not only to treat pain or illness, but as a normal part of preventative health care and maintenance. Ray decided to make regular monthly acupuncture treatments a try for one year. He says that during that time he experienced improvements in hearing and memory. He notice that he didn’t have his usual bout with spring allergies. All in all, he says he feels great and he recommends acupuncture. One of the reasons that he prefers acupuncture over what some may consider more traditional methods is that he does not want to take medications with harmful side effects.
Dr. Ashley Hoyt established the Clinic of Alternative Medicine at 3420 Duck Avenue in Key West in 1994, and has dedicated herself to helping people achieve health and wellness through the ancient healing forms of acupuncture and massage. She has a staff of highly trained licensed experts including acupuncture physicians, massage therapists, and aestheticians who specialize in the enormous benefits of touch.
The western world has resisted the idea that noninvasive procedures such as acupuncture and massage could have a significant healing effect, but the medical community and the general population have undergone a change in attitude in recent years. Recent studies which show the benefits of alternative medicine have gained the attention of the medical community and many insurance companies now include coverage for these therapies. The NHI (National Institute of Health) and the WHO (World Health Organization) recommend acupuncture for over 100 conditions, including knee pain, musculoskeletal pain, asthma, anxiety, and many more.
The benefits of massage therapy have been documented for a variety of disorders, and can benefit both healthy and unhealthy people. Most patients note that when they receive massage therapy, they experience a feeling of total relaxation; even a 10 minute massage can lower your blood pressure and slow down your heart rate. Studies have shown that massage enhances mental performance and improves sleep quality. Massage therapy also lowers cortisol, a hormone that people produce in response to stress, and increases serotonin, which is a pain blocking hormone.
According to Chinese medicine, as long as there is a free flowing circulation of Qi (pronounced CHEE) throughout the whole meridian system, we are at our optimum health. The way we influence this circulation of of Qi, or energy, is through the acupuncture points that reside on the meridians or electrical channels in the body. Blood flows through the veins just like Qi flows through the meridians. If we increase the flow of Qi, we are increasing the flow of blood and therefore promoting healing. Like massage, countless studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain, stress, and a variety of other medical conditions ranging from allergies to infertility.
Dr. Hoyt has recently started using the AcuGraph digital meridian imaging program which is a computerized tool used to analyze and document the energetic status of the acupuncture meridians, the electrical energy pathways in your body. This system allows her to measure and analyze the energy balance of each meridian in order to provide the best treatment possible. Patients can see bar charts and pie charts to help them visualize the energy status and balance of the meridians. AcuGraph is the premiere measurement tool on the market, providing fast and efficient exams, intelligent analysis, and helps to easily track a patient’s progress.
“We have had a great level of interest in the AcuGraph system,” says Dr. Hoyt. “We recently utilized it at a local health fair, and people lined up to have AcuGraph exams. It’s a great way to combine modern technology with ancient Chinese medicine.” Dr. Hoyt chose to add this service to her practice because she believes in providing the highest quality care.