Benefits of acupuncture widely recognized, accepted

Ancient approach now integrated into Western medicine

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Ted Jagusztyn loves the South Florida scenery, so in 2000, he decided to start training for the 7 Mile Bridge Run in the Florida Keys.

"I thought it was a great way to get out and exercise. I'd set a goal to make that run and my pay off was getting healthy and getting to enjoy a beautiful setting," said Jagusztyn.

But in 2008, his running days seemed numbered.

"I started having a lot of hip pain. It got to the point where if I sat in a chair for a while, my hip would lock on me," said Jagusztyn.

Jagusztyn's doctor said he needed a hip replacement.

"I met a bunch of people with hip replacement and I said, 'No, there's got to be a better way,'" said Jagusztyn.

After conventional medicine failed to ease Michelle Barnett's chronic foot pain, she too went looking for a better way.

Barnett and Jagusztyn found it with acupuncture physician Rodney Dunetz.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams I would do acupuncture for any type of anything," said Barnett.

"This thing of acupuncture, I don't know how it works but the Chinese have been at it for 4,000 years, so it can't be wrong," said Jagusztyn.

Dunetz said acupuncture works by stimulating the body to heal itself.

"It does it through stimulating the endocrine system and the hormonal structure of the body. It does it by going and balancing out electrical activity in the body," said Dunetz.

Acupuncture can be used to address a variety of health concerns from chronic pain to allergies to infertility.

"Many times I treat people for a pain condition and they say, 'Hey, that rash I had went away,' so it really can improve the quality of life for everybody," Dunetz said.

The benefits of acupuncture are so widely accepted, treatments are often covered by insurance.

When confronted with the cost of hip replacement or a few acupuncture treatments, Jagusztyn said his insurance company didn't hesitate to pay for the latter.

"If they see success from acupuncture, avoiding a $100,000 expense is just good business," said Jagusztyn

With the aid of acupuncture, Barnett and Jagusztyn are finally free from the pain that interfered with their lives.

"It has been night and day. I've had a 95 percent turn around in my activity and my social life," said Barnett.

Acupuncture resources include:

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