Acupuncture is popularly known to bring relief in hypertension, headache, migraine, back and neck pain, arthritis, gout, allergies, digestive and sleeping disorders, infertility and other gynecological problems. It also helps in the treatment of weight loss, appetite control, stress and early stage cancer, substance and alcohol addiction, post-stroke rehabilitation and weak immune system, among others.
Balikbayan Noel F. Zosa, L.Ac., is a Licensed Acupuncturist who grew up in California. He decided to pursue a career in Complimentary Medicine traveling to China to learn how acupuncture is being practiced in the ancient eastern culture. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila in 1999 and graduated with a Degree of Master of Science in Acupuncture from South Baylo University in Anaheim, California in 2005.
In 1993, when the young Noel had a headache, he was amazed with the immediate relief he experienced with his father’s acupuncture treatment and he became inspired because of that incident. His father was a pediatrician who also trained in Medical Acupuncture because he believed that allopathic medicine alone cannot relieve the symptoms of pain experienced by his young patients and his professional friends. Together, they developed a community that shared the same philosophy and similar outlook in life.
DR. NOEL FRANCISCO ZOSA, L.Ac. (INTERVIEW) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Besides the reason that your father, inspired you, what made you choose acupuncture as your field of expertise?
A. I was always inspired by Eastern Philosophy. Buddhism, Feng Shui, and Tai Qi really intrigued me. Finding out that a person can be healed with needles and herbs is what made me interested in taking up acupuncture and going to school for it.
Q. What makes a good acupuncturist?
A. Patients experiencing positive results is what makes a good acupuncturist. Incorporating diet, meditation, and exercise in the program. Communicating and explaining clearly which points he/she will be needling to the patient and why. What sets me apart from most MD"s and acupuncturist is that when I prescribe an herbal formula, I give a xerox copy of what my patient will be ingesting. If you go to a doctor and tell him/her your chief complaints, all they do is write on a prescription pad a drug. From there you go to the pharmacy and pick up your medication. It's very important that people understand what the side effects are with these drugs. To me it's sad how all these celebrities are dying left and right and people still taking these drugs. My goal here in the Philippines is to let everybody know that there is an alternative to prescription medicine. There is a misconception that the more drugs a person takes, the healthier they will become. I believe that in order to maintain a healthy body, Food should be used as medicine first, and prescription meds should always be used last.
Q. If acupuncture is the best alternative medicine today, what do you think made it so?
A. The fact that it is natural, safe and effective makes it the best form of medicine out there. It has been around for thousands of years so you know that it is a superior form of medicine. My philosophy in life is to always go for the win/win situation. Acupuncture is one of them because it is in fact natural, effective and safe. Can't say that about prescription drugs can you?
Q. What are the most challenging and difficult health cases that you have handled?
A. I've had plenty of weight loss patients and only a few were successful. My job is to make losing weight as effortless and effective as possible. If people were to follow my diet regimen and come in for treatment once a week, it's guaranteed they will lose weight. The problem with the ones who were unsuccessful is that they quit the treatment and diet program after a couple of weeks. It takes patience and perseverance and I always have a game plan for losing weight for my patients. On my brochure I have a grocery list of all the fruits and vegetables. I check mark the fruits and vegetable which help with losing weight. To me walking around the mall for a couple of hours is just as effective and will burn just as many calories as going to the gym and running on the treadmill. Trying to find a hobby or a task that will burn calories but doesn't actually seem like exercising is what I aim for. The goal for losing weight is to make it as effortless as possible.
Q. Please explain. How does acupuncture work in maintaining a healthy body?
A. Sickness and diseases are cause by an imbalance in the body. What acupuncture does it gets to the root of the problem. Each condition whether it's headache, back pain, irregular menstruation has an imbalance in one of the organs. It's important to know if the pain is severe, dull, onset. etc, etc. What acupuncture does it figures out which organ is imbalanced and then treat that organ to achieve overall balance in the body.
Q. Does electric stimulation make acupuncture more effective?
A. Electro acupuncture is effective for certain types of pain such as knee pain and plantar fasciitis.
Q. Please differentiate acupuncture from acupressure.
A. Acupressure is superficial and has temporary effects while acupuncture is lasting because needles are being used and regulates the flow of qi in the body.
Q. What are the long term effects of acupuncture?
A. Living a healthy lifestyle and being prescription drug free are just a few of the long term benefits of acupuncture. If people were to neglect their health, it's going to cost them in the long run. You figure a stroke or heart attack will run a person in the hundreds of thousands of pesos. Acupuncture is about preventive medicine so they don't end up in the ER.
Q. Does acupuncture have any side effects?
A. There are no known side effects with acupuncture. If you were to type in the search engine acupuncture/deaths per year, it would be zero. Prescription meds/death per year are in the hundreds of thousands. It's important for people to know that every prescription med always has a side effect. It also does damage to the liver and kidneys and other organs of the body.
Q. Medicines have overdose, how about acupuncture?
A. How much is too much? Each herbal formula has a recommended dose. It's important that patients follow the recommended dosage.
Q. Acupuncture originated in China. Some people say, only Chinese Acupuncturists can do it best. What can you say about it?
A. Yes it did originate in China however it spread all over Asia over the last thousand years or so. So now there are different forms of acupuncture. But whatever the form (Korean, Chinese, Japanese) they all still adhere to the basic principles of acupuncture which is healing through correcting the body's imbalance. So nowadays it's a matter of personal preference for whichever technique a patient feels comfortable with. As long as the practitioner has studied under a credible teacher, went to a school, had training in a clinic, took the boards and are licensed in acupuncture.
Q. What’s your message to people who would like to try acupuncture treatment and to those who would like to be acupuncturists themselves?
A. I would definitely recommend acupuncture to people who have any health concerns. And to answer the most commonly asked question, no it doesn't hurt!!
Q. What do you think is the future of acupuncture in the Philippines?
A. The reason why I moved back is because I can see that the people here are starting to become very health conscious. It's my goal to educate the public on the benefits of acupuncture and how amazing this form of medicine is! I'm very optimistic because the people, especially my patients are getting tired of taking prescription medication and want to live a healthy lifestyle. I had the privilege of giving lectures to a group of medical doctors in China and they were totally receptive to the effects of success of acupuncture. Acupuncture is being utilized now in top medical hospitals like Harvard, Yale, John Hopkins in coordination with mainstream modalities or treatment. They have acupuncturist working hand in hand with them in treating diseases. I can see it as an accepted form of medical treatment here in the Philippines. Besides prescription medicines are very expensive here in the Philippines and very few people can afford to buy. In the long term, acupuncture when used with herbs has a safer and much better result.
The 5 elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal & Water
They are our creative and controlling energies and ideally should all be in balance. The Elements out of balance are known as the causative factor and become apparent in many ways. However, the causative factor is a POSITIVE thing. When a patient comes for treatment and is out of balance, then these problems will become evident to the trained practitioner. The acupuncturist will be able to diagnose problems within the patient by evaluating their colour, sound, odour or emotion. This enables the acupuncturist to put together a treatment plan that will treat the patient's causative factor or what element they represent. Which Element Are You? We are all made up of the five elements, but there is always one predominant element within all of us. Acupuncturists are trained to determine which one you are. It is when this element becomes sick or out of balance that we feel ill and require assistance. Source: http://www.5elementacupuncture.co.uk/5elements.html
Don't worry about your health problem. It always has a POINT.
Acupuncture POINTS are keys to promote good health and well-being. Consult your acupuncturist immediately. Better yet, get the help of Dr. Zosa's Acupuncture Philippines Manila Clinic. Call the expert. Call now for your appointment.