Nancy Bellard, AP
Licensead Acupucture Physician
Acupuncture is an ancient, holistic form of medicine that has been utilized for centuries to treat and prevent illness, disease, and injuries. Super- fine, needles are inserted into specific points along the acupuncture meridians that regulate the flow of energy to the channels that connect to the vital organs.
The majority of people find the needles are extremely tolerable, and many people find deep relaxation accompanies their treatment. Acupuncture needles come in a variety of lengths and circumferences that gently penetrate the skin. Acupuncture needles are solid, sterilized, filiform needles that are utilized only once.
Adjunctive therapies may be utilized during your treatment such as cupping, moxibustion, gua-sha, and/or herbal and lifestyle recommendations.
Nancy Bellard is a Florida licensed and board certified Acupuncture Physician who takes the utmost care to make sure her patients are comfortable and safe. She is also certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), and has extensive herbal training.
Please flip through the following tabs to see how acupuncture can help you!
Acupuncture can help you manage a spectrum of digestive issues including, but not limited to IBS, acid reflux, heart burn, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, fissures, bloating and gas. With a combination of acupuncture, herbs, dietary changes, and specific supplements, Nancy can provide a targeted treatment plan to treat underlying problems in the digestive system, encourage healing, and maintain a healthy gut.
Allergies occur when the immune system mounts an attack on something harmless such as pollen or pet dander. Asthma, hay fever, eczema, behavioral problems, insomnia, and digestive problems can all stem from underlying allergies and can be treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. For many patients, acupuncture brings almost immediate relief. Acupuncture has shown in recent studies to help regulate the immune system by decreasing allergic responses and improving the ability to fight off viral and bacterial infections.
Respiratory problems respond very well to acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Whether you are coming in for an acute cold or cough or a chronic problem like asthma or emphysema, acupuncture can help improve lung function, calm inflammation and clear phlegm congestion.
ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be effective forms of treatment for mild to moderate cases of anxiety and depression. They can also be safely combined with conventional treatments such as talk therapy and pharmaceuticals for more severe cases.
Interstitial Cystitis can cause pain and pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvis, urgent and frequent urination, and can affect quality of life. Symptoms can be episodic and medical treatments are not always effective. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can provide relief for patients with interstitial cystitis during episodes of symptoms as well as prevent recurrence.
Some women are prone to frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and can experience them regularly, particularly after sexual activity. While most UTIs should be treated by your doctor with antibiotics, over time, repeat doses of these drugs can interfere with digestion and lead to other problems like yeast infections. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help women prone to UTIs by preventing recurrence and treating symptoms before it becomes a full-blown infection.
Chronic fatigue affects more than one million Americans and can cause pain, insomnia, a weakened immune system and other symptoms leading to a poor quality of life. Many patients with this diagnosis find relief with the combination of Chinese herbs, acupuncture and dietary changes prescribed by licensed acupuncturists. Fatigue that has not been examined by a doctor can be associated with a multitude of disease states and should be assessed by your primary care physician. If your fatigue is associated with stress, insomnia, mild depression or other known causes, treatments with Chinese medicine could give you more energy and correct the underlying cause of fatigue.
A combination of acupuncture and massage can relieve most headaches during an episode. However, Chinese herbs, regular acupuncture, and dietary changes can help prevent migraines and headaches by correcting the underlying imbalances creating them.
Acupuncture has been widely studied and is accepted as an effective treatment for back pain including sciatica. From acute sprains to long-term chronic back pain, it can be a safe and natural way to treat pain and prevent recurrence.
NECK AND SHOULDER TENSION
People who work on computers all day or experience intense stress often suffer from neck and shoulder tension. Patients find that acupuncture is a great way to relieve muscle tension and spasms, promoting relaxation in any area of the body.
Pain in any joint can be effectively treated with acupuncture. From pain in the fingers to the shoulders, knees, ankles, and elbows, acupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, promote healing, and stop pain.
Acupuncture has been proven to reduce inflammation in the joints. It is a safe and effective treatment for suffers of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been shown to regulate the immune system, which can aid in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
Quick healing time is crucial for an athlete with an injury. Adding acupuncture to your healing plan can increase recovery time by reducing swelling and inflammation, while promoting muscle and tissure healing. Acupuncture can also be utilized to strengthen and prevent repeat injuries when patients are asymptomatic.
Nerve pain is a highly variable condition that can present with sharp pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of range of motion. Acupuncture can help some types of nerve pain such as sciatica, neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, shingles, and post herpetic neuralgia by reducing inflammation and assisting the nerve pathways to heal and regenerate.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help address many types of amenorrhea or absence of a menstrual period. These include exercise-induced amenorrhea, PCOS, hormonal insufficiencies, and some types of imbalances with the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Customized Acupuncture treatments and herbal formulas are prescribed based on each specific case to promote ovulation and regular cycles.
Endometriosis is a leading cause of pelvic pain and can seriously affect a woman’s ability to conceive and cause uncomfortable heavy periods. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help to improve blood circulation, clear inflammation, and relieve pain. Dietary changes may also be recommended.
It is estimated that 30-60% of women and at least 50% of women of childbearing age experience fibrocystic breasts. These women develop non-cancerous lumps in their breast tissue that are responsive to the fluctuating hormones of the menstrual cycle and can sometimes cause pain and swelling, especially in the days preceding the menses. We associate this symptom with stagnation in Chinese medicine and treat it with acupuncture and Chinese herbs to improve the circulation of qi and blood. Specific dietary changes can also help this condition.
Many women experience periods that come irregularly each month, which can make trying to conceive difficult. Irregular menses can be due to an imbalance in hormone fluctuations throughout the month. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs excel at balancing the hormones and encouraging a more predictable ovulation and regular menstrual cycle.
Specific treatments are available for infertility and recurrent miscarriage as a stand alone treatment of in conjuction with Assisted Reproductive Technology. Studies have shown that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus, regulate menstruation, and decrease stress and anxiety. Lifestyle and nutritional suggestions are recommended to increase your conception results.
Chinese herbs are very effective in treating many of the symptoms that arise during menopause including hot flashes, irritability, insomnia, weight gain, night sweats, low libido, and mood swings. Acupuncture is also beneficial for balancing hormones, which eases this transition.
About 50% of women who are menstruating experience cramping and pain during their periods, while about 10% of them have debilitating pain. Our patients are often thrilled to experience relief from their menstrual cramps, even when that is not the focus of treatment. We often see changes in the severity of menstrual cramping within one to three months of regular acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and appropriate dietary changes.
POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)
We have found Acupuncture and Chinese herbs to be very effective at stimulating ovulations, regulating cylces, and decreasing stress and anxiety to increase you opportunities for conception.
Premenstrual symptoms are very responsive to treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Headaches, cramping, breast tenderness, bloating, moodiness, acne, insomnia, and changes in bowel movements can all be resolved with regular treatments. In combination with specific dietary changes, most women see an improvement in their PMS symptoms within one to three cycles.
Uterine fibroids are benign growths in the uterus and are often are associated with heavy periods, cramping, bleeding or spotting between periods, abdominal swelling, and sometimes pain during intercourse. They can also interfere with the ability to conceive. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be effective as treatment for fibroids or as adjunctive treatment with Western medical interventions when fibroids are advanced in size.
Acupuncture has long been used as a treatment for nausea. In fact Sea Bands, which are recommended for motion sickness, are effective because they stimulate the acupuncture point P6. Acupuncture performed during pregnancy by qualified and experienced practitioners is completely safe and can be helpful in reducing early pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness.
Fatigue during pregnancy is a symptom many women experience, especially in the first and third trimesters. Most patients receiving acupuncture for any reason report improvement in energy levels, and it is especially noticed during pregnancy.
PREGNANCY BACK PAIN
During pregnancy, back pain can be a common experience as the baby starts to put pressure on the back and pelvis. Acupuncture is widely accepted as an effective treatment for back pain, and is particularly effective for pregnancy related back and hip pain. It is best to treat this type of pain as soon as it starts to develop as it can worsen as the baby grows. Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy and can help resolve pain in any part of the back, neck and shoulders and hips, including sciatica.
Water retention and swelling is a common side effect of advanced pregnancy and can be helped with regular acupuncture treatments. Dietary and lifestyle changes can also be recommended to assist fluid metabolism for the remainder of the pregnancy.
At around 34 to 37 weeks gestation, a fetus becomes positioned for birth with its head down. When not positioned this way, it is considered a breech presentation. By using moxibustion (the warming a specific acupuncture point with an herbal incense), babies can turn into the correct position 69-85% of the time.
Several acupuncture points have been shown to stimulate uterine contractions. While these points are avoided throughout most of the pregnancy, they work wonderfully for signaling the body to go into labor at full term. This type of treatment is completely safe and should be started at around week 37+. Labor induction with acupuncture was recently shown in a study to reduce medical inductions by 35-43%, the use of epidurals by 31% and emergency Cesareans by 32%.
POST PARTUM DEPRESSION
After giving birth, the body goes through hormonal changes that can manifest both physically and mentally Acupuncture can help moderate these hormonal changes and smooth this transition. Chinese herbs can also be prescribed safely to help speed recovery and stabilize.
POST PARTUM RECOVERY
Women experiencing symptoms after giving birth can benefit greatly from acupuncture. Acupuncturists often help women who have constipation, urinary and pelvic floor problems, insomnia, back pain, hip pain, low milk supply, insomnia, night sweats, post partum depression, or fatigue associated with the post partum time.
There are specific acupuncture points and Chinese herbs that can increase the milk supply in lactating women. Michele can also discuss dietary and lifestyle changes to support healthy milk supply.
LOW LIBIDO/SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
It is estimated that 30% of men report issues with low libido, erectile dysfunction, stress, and anxiety. Chinese herbs and Acupuncture can help reblance hormones, alleviate stress, and improve energy levels and sexual function.
MALE FACTOR INFERTILITY
Male factor infertility accounts for 40% of couples struggling to conceive. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have shown in recent studies to improve sperm count, motility, and morphology, as well as correcting some immune factors such as anti-sperm antibodies that can interfere with conception.
Inflammation of the prostate gland in men can cause urinary dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and pain. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used as an adjunct treatment for acute bacterial prostatitis as well as some chronic types. It can also help manage and reduce symptoms of an inflamed prostate.
BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERTROPHY
As men age, the prostate gland can swell and cause discomfort and urinary symptoms. Most cases do not require medical intervention, but can still cause symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used as a way to manage symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy and slow the progression over time.
Quick healing time is crucial for an athlete with an injury. Adding acupuncture to your healing plan can increase recovery time, getting these patient back in the game faster. Acupuncture can also be used to strengthen and prevent repeat injuries when patients are asymptomatic.
Some men experience hormonal fluctuations with age as levels of testosterone decrease including hot flashes, abnormal sweating, fatigue, anxiety, decreased libido and depression. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help manage these symptoms and regulate the hormones through this transition.
Your initial appointment will be a complete acupuncture evaluation and initial treatment lasting apx 1.5 hours. This time will be spent reviewing your past medical history, completing a comprehensive examination, discussing your goals, and concluding with your first treatment. Please bring any relevant medical information you would like to share with the acupuncturist, including a list of current medications as herbal products may be recommended. Follow-up appointments may be scheduled following your initial evaluation and last apx 1 hour. During these subsequent appointments your health be will be re-assessed and treatment provided. Prenatal appointments are also available. Support with acupuncture is a safe and gentle way to optimize health during your pregnancy. From preventing some types of miscarriage to relieving pain, nausea, constipation, and preparing you for labor and delivery, our skilled practitioners will safely help you through any stage of your pregnancy.