Have you ever wondered about acupuncture and how the treatments can cure chronic pain, help with infertility, dissipate stress and aid with weight loss? I was always intrigued by the centuries-old Western treatment, but reluctant to try it -until I met with Dr. Amy J. Cortis.
After having two babies back to back in under two years, I needed a jump start in order to lose weight. My main course of treatment was articular therapy, a form of acupuncture where needles are placed in your ear on the pressure points to kick start the metabolism and regulate the thyroid. What’s great about this therapy is that the pins stay in your ear for weeks at a time (or until your next appointment), so it’s constantly working.
After working with Dr. Cortis for about two months, I’m happy to say that I have lost over ten pounds and counting and have learned some valuable tips and tricks from her along the way. She’s a doctor that’s there 100% for her patients, 24/7 and anytime you need her, be it a phone call, in person appointment or via email. Read on to find out what you can expect while being treated by her, learn about the three lifestyle changes everyone should make and find out about all of the ailments she treats (like treating infertility with a 100% success rate).
FACTIO MAGAZINE: Tell us about some of the best benefits of acupuncture.
Dr. Amy J. Cortis, D.C.: Acupuncture is safe, gentle, and has very few side effects. For effective pain control, I use it in combination with other types of treatments. Acupuncture is also successful for those individuals looking for alternatives from traditional remedies such as medication or surgery. With a tailored approach, it can address a vast array of ailments and provide improved and faster recovery from injury and illness.
Tell us about the ailments you treat (weight loss, fertility, depression, stress, pain, etc.).
Throughout my 11 years in practice, I have treated numerous conditions. I take care of the traditional musculoskeletal pain such as neck, back, shoulder, knee, ankle, hip, disc herniations, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. I also address non-traditional issues such as stress relief, mood/hormonal regulation, weight loss, depression, insomnia, & infertility. In today’s, “do more with less society”, patients have complained of increasing stress from work and family life, especially mothers. Infertility has become an integral aspect of my practice. So far I’ve had a 100% success rate in treating patients with a combination of fertility issues such as improving egg quality/quantity, increasing uterine blood flow, regulating menses, reducing probability of miscarriage, and improving sperm count. Having gone thru IVF twice myself, I am acutely aware of the physical and emotional toll this process can have on women and relationships. It is extremely gratifying to assist my patients in their journey to parenthood.
Weight loss is another commonly performed treatment in my practice. My bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology (the study of the body in motion) has supported my counseling of patients around nutrition, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
What is the difference between auricular therapy and regular acupuncture?
Auricular therapy is a form of traditional acupuncture in localized points of the external ear in which are connected to the central nervous system. In the example of a weight loss patient, I can select the correct auricular points in the ear to increase metabolism and regulate the thyroid. On the other hand, traditional acupuncture uses fine needles in specific points along a channel or meridian in other areas of the body such as the legs, arms, and back. It is these meridians that regulate energy flow (chi) and correspond to specific organs in the body.
What should someone expect when coming to you for treatment?
Upon arrival, patients can expect a comfortable, relaxing, and professional environment. I don’t have a waiting room so treatment begins the moment they arrive. I schedule patients far enough apart to accommodate early arrivals and to spend plenty of time with each patient. For first time patients, I conduct a thorough medical history, physical exam, diagnosis, and then provide a clear treatment plan. Once the plan is agreed upon, I equip my patients with nutritional advice, postural correction, and therapeutic exercises they perform at home as part of the recovery process. Even after patients leave my office, I check in with them periodically to ensure the plan is being adhered to. Lastly, I’m available for my patients 24 hours / day / 7 days per week.
What should one expect from each session with you (first treatment and then follow up treatments)? What is the duration of treatments for most people?
For first time patients, I conduct a thorough medical history, physical exam, diagnosis, and then provide a clear treatment plan. Once the plan is agreed upon, I equip my patients with nutritional & lifestyle advice, postural correction, and therapeutic exercises they perform at home as part of the recovery process. Even after patients leave my office, I check in with them periodically to ensure the plan is being adhered to. I’m also available for my patients 24 hours / day / 7 days per week.
The first visit, which includes treatment, will typically last 1½ hours. Depending on the condition, subsequent visits typically last 45 to 60 minutes. As progress is made, the frequency of visits decreases and time in between each visit increases. My goal is to educate and collaborate with my patients so their rehabilitation & achievements are sustainable.
Do you remember the first moment you became interested in becoming a chiropractor and acupuncturist?
In my teenage years, I was a competitive, nationally ranked gymnast with high levels of stress on my body both physically and emotionally. Even though I did physical therapy and had surgery, I still suffered back pain. A family friend suggested a chiropractor. Throughout my own rehabilitation, I was able to see first hand all the benefits a chiropractor could provide. It was during this period of my life that my interest in chiropractic & acupuncture blossomed.
What are the top three lifestyle changes most people should make, along with your treatment?
The first is a commitment to yourself to change for the better. All the treatment, advice, and education won’t carry on unless the patient is fully engaged in the process.
The second is to simplify your life. Focus on small changes that turn into positive habits and over time, you will be better prepared for the challenges of every day life.
The third is to exercise mentally and physically. Treat your brain to fun experiences with friends and loved ones. Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Eat a variety of foods all in moderation.
During my individualized treatment plans, I encourage my patients to implement these types of lifestyle changes, which lead to a balanced and fulfilling life.
What are some of the issues that can be fixed with chiropractic?
Headaches/Migraines, Pregnancy Pains, Sinus Problems, Neck Pain, Back Pain, Joint Pain (Ankle, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hip, Knee, Allergies, Sciatica, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Whiplash, Sprains/Strains, Arthritis, Disc Herniations, Stress/Fatigue, plus many more ailments.
Tell us about the main mission of your practice (include how you tailor treatments to patients).
By combining chiropractic and acupuncture, I tailor an individualized and focused treatment program to address the imbalances of each patient. My mission is to treat your immediate needs while providing a sustainable program that leads to long-term health and well-being. I empower patients with education and lifestyle changes necessary to achieve a balanced approach.
What is something most people are surprised to know about acupuncture and chiropractic treatments?
The needles don’t hurt. You will feel immediate relief after adjustment. It’s a viable alternative to medication, and the sheer amount of ailments that can be treated.