Sciatic Pain Relieved with Acupuncture

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Do you suffer with sciatic pain running down your leg? Have you tried different therapies to get relief? Have you considered acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine? Maybe you should.

I have new clients coming in to my clinic every week who are dealing with sciatic pain. Sometimes they come as a “last resort,” having tried other therapies including surgery without success. I myself over the years have dealt with sciatic pain. The pain can be excruciating to the point where a person cannot sleep. Pain relievers and muscle relaxers maybe addictive and not always effective at relieving the nerve pain.

I have successfully treated clients with sciatic pain using a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutrition and if necessary homeopathic injections. Here is a recent testimonial of one of my clients:

Jay Rodriguez Says:
April 22nd, 2018 at 11:28 am edit
Hello I recently came to Merle Friedman for sciatic pain after an L4-L5 surgery on my discs. I had excruciating pain down my buttock, side of my leg, and down to my ankle. Couldnt do much of anything during the day and couldnt sleep at night due to the pain. Merle is very informative and knowledgeable about the steps to get the best healing. We tried a few different things and im happy to say im totally pain free and can walk without a problem anymore. Merle also suggests ways to improve your health as well to keep symptoms at their low. I couldnt be more happy with the results. Thank you Merle.

Acupuncture to Treat Macular Degeneration

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Is Macular Degeneration the end of the road? Can acupuncture help? WOW!!! Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) just gets better and better every day! I am thrilled to announce that I am now performing acupuncture treatments for individuals who are dealing with Macular Degeneration. The results so far are very positive. It is so rewarding to see a person’s vision and their quality of life being restored. About a year ago, my business neighbor came to me to ask if acupuncture could help in treating macular degeneration. He provided me with written information from an acupuncture physician who is successfully treating this condition. I reviewed the information and then filed it away.
This past month, the same neighbor told me that his vision is deteriorating, and his eye doctors have told him that there is nothing more that they can offer him. He seemed to be very frustrated with his situation. So I pulled out the information from my file and told him that we would need to begin treating him with acupuncture every day for 14 days. He said that he was ready to give it a try.
He decided, that in addition to getting acupuncture, he was willing to start drinking more water and to increase his intake of vegetables. So now, he is reaping the benefits. The following statement is his story about the results so far: “I’m an 80 year-old realtor and I have Wet Macular degeneration. I’ve been getting injections in both of my eyes by my ophthalmologist for the past 3 1/2 years. A year ago, Merle Friedman, Acupuncture Physician, suggested that I try Acupuncture for my eyes. I couldn’t believe that acupuncture would help my eyes until recently when I went online and downloaded some testimonials of people my age having the same problem and having good results from acupuncture treatment. I finally said OK to Merle, and after just 2 treatments, I noticed my eyesight improving. First, I noticed faces that were always blurry are now clearing up! Then, I found that I could read the newspaper again. Before, I could only see the headlines and I needed to use a magnifying glass for the fine print. Now, I can read the paper and books without a magnifying glass! The cob webs are disappearing (almost all gone) from my vision. My vision is getting clearer every day. Also, I can see much better driving now…it’s Amazing! I am now a believer of Acupuncture helping someone with Macular degeneration.”


Monday, September 18th, 2017

I am happy that I am able to provide acupoint injection therapy for my clients. I usually suggest trying acupuncture treatments first. Last week, I had a new client who came to my office suffering with sciatic pain. Even though she is young, she needed to use a walker due to the severe pain. I treated her with acupuncture and she experienced some relief. She returned in 2 days for her follow-up visit still using the walker. I treated her with acupuncture which again provided some but not significant relief of her pain. I then treated her with acupoint injection therapy using Neuralgo Rheum made by The Medinatura company. She experienced significant relief from this treatment and she walked out of my office without the walker. Needless to say, she and her husband were very pleased with the results.

I chose the Neuralgo Rheum product for this client because she is dealing with nerve pain. This product is indicated for treatment of disc protrusion and nerve related conditions. If a client is dealing with inflammation and muscle pain, I would choose the products Traumeel and or Zeel. I also inform clients who come to my office dealing with osteoarthritis that these products are available.
I personally use the acupoint injection therapy to get relief from chronic neck and low back pain.

Acupuncture Relieves Stress

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Everyday, I have more clients contact me to ask if acupuncture can help them to get relief from stress.
Many people are working very long hours and are suffering from lack of sleep. Anciently, people
would run from a threat to preserve their life (known as the fight or flight response). Now, people
are under constant extremely high stress situations such as: commuting long distances in traffic to work, working long hours, talking on cell phones, sitting in front of a computer screen all day, living with threats of road rage and terrorism, and listening to prime time news.

There is a difference between healthy and unhealthy stress. Healthy short-term stress can help us to stay motivated and keep our body strong. The way we cope with stressors can either strengthen or weaken our body. Overthinking can negatively affect our body and make it difficult to relax. Acupuncture can help to stop overthinking and produce endorphins (the feel good chemicals in our body). The favorite acupuncture point of my clients is “Yintang” which is located between the eyebrows. It helps to stop overthinking. To prevent burnout and relieve stress on the adrenal glands, I encourage my clients to limit their work week to 40 hours or less. I also encourage them to engage in regular exercise, meditation and eating healthy foods.

According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) blocked or depleted Qi(pronounced “chee”) can occur from chronic stress. This can affect the kidneys and the adrenal glands. Our vital energy is called Qi. With acupuncture, we can encourage the optimal flow of Qi through the channels or meridians which supports circulation to our organs. We believe in promoting a balance between a calm nervous system and a healthy stress response.

If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may want to try acupuncture (TCM) to get relief: Anger, Anxiety, Asthma, Depressed mood, Frequent Illness, Digestive problems, Frequent Headaches, Tight Muscles, High Blood Pressure, Aches and Pains, Inability to lose Weight.

I also educate my clients about herbs, nutritional supplements and essential oils to support a healthy stress response. My clients benefit from taking adaptogenic herbs such as rhodiola and ashwaganda as well as by using aromatherapy oils such as lavender to calm their nerves.

My clients enjoy receiving acupuncture treatments while lying on the Biomat. The Biomat emits negative ions and far-infrared sound waves which have many benefits. The mat contains amethyst which has healing properties as well. The Biomat not only enhances the acupuncture treatment, but it also helps to improve circulation and calms the nervous system to induce a deep state of relaxation.

Auricular therapy is another service that I provide to my clients. I treat my clients ears by using either small acupuncture needles or ear seeds that I place on the surface of the ear. My clients love the ear seeds which allow them to continue to treat themselves after leaving my office.
So, why wait another day? Call my clinic for a consultation today and you too will see why my clients are so happy to come in for acupuncture and why they call my office “the zen zone.”
CALL TODAY: 813-381-3835

Cupping. What is cupping?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Michael-phelps-cupping-large-300x169At the start of the Rio Olympics, several members of Team USA arrived to compete with what some people have described as odd-looking marks on the skin of such athletes as swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Alex Naddour. Although the red circles may appear accidental, they are actually markers of cupping, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique used for performance improvement and healing.

Cupping: An Introduction
Cupping is one of the oldest methods of traditional Chinese medicine. The earliest recorded use of cupping dates to the early fourth century, when the noted herbalist Ge Hong wrote about a form of cupping in A Handbook of Prescriptions. Later books written during the Tang and Qing dynasties described cupping in great detail; one textbook included an entire chapter on “fire jar qi,” a type of cupping that could alleviate headaches, dizziness and abdominal pain.

How does cupping work? What does it treat?
Michael-Phelps cupping In a typical cupping session, glass cups are warmed using a cotton ball or other flammable substance, which is soaked in alcohol, lit, then placed inside the cup.
As the substance burns, the cup is turned upside-down so that the practitioner can place the cup over a specific area. The vacuum created by the lack of oxygen anchors the cup to the skin and pulls it upward on the inside of the glass as the air inside the jar cools. Drawing up the skin is believed to open up the skin’s pores, which helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body.
Depending on the condition being treated, the cups will be left in place from 5 to 10 minutes. Several cups may be placed on a patient’s body at the same time. Some practitioners will also apply small amounts of medicated oils or herbal oils to the skin just before the cupping procedure, which lets them move the cups up and down particular acupoints or meridians after they have been applied.

Is cupping safe? Does it hurt?
While cupping is considered relatively safe, it can cause some swelling and bruising on the skin. As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin expand. This may result in small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are usually painless, however, and disappear within a few days of treatment.

I would like to learn more about cupping. Where can I find out more information?

Several articles on cupping have been published in peer-reviewed journals and acupuncture websites. To learn more about cupping, you may visit:
◾Alternative therapies. Cupping. A World of Acupuncture website. Available here
◾Dharmananda S. Cupping. Institute for Traditional Medicine website. Available here

Merle Friedman AP is Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM)® so contact her @ 813-381-3835 if you’d like to discuss cupping therapy.

Headaches – Acupuncture Helps

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Headaches – How Acupuncture Helps

If you suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Over 50 million of us experience some form of a severe headache at some point in our lives. Whether you experience minor head pain or severe migraines, headaches can take valuable time out of your day and your life, and leave you searching for relief. Many seek relief by reaching for drugs and other medications. This may work temporarily and can help you get out of pain fast. Unfortunately, common headache medications do not address the root cause(s), and when used over long periods of time can cause unwanted side effects. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer a safe and effective approach to relieving headache pain without causing harmful side effects. These healing modalities provide a comprehensive diagnostic protocol that can help your acupuncturist understand and address the root cause(s) of your headaches.

Causes of Headaches: There are many factors in TCM theory that may play a key role in the root cause(s) of a headache. These include body constitution, emotional health, excessive work, social activities and exercise, improper diet, physical trauma and hormones. Headaches can also be diagnosed according to specific symptoms, times of occurrence, location, type of pain, and triggers.

A natural path to relief: Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. Your practitioner will take a detailed health history, and perform a physical exam to determine how and why your body’s vital energy, or Qi (pronounced chee), is out of balance and identify what type of headache you are experiencing. To determine the most effective care, he/she will focus on illuminating the root cause(s) of the problem.
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a quick fix. Changes may occur quickly or over a longer period of time, depending upon your overall constitution and health. Whether it is one visit to address an acute problem, or several visits to address a chronic problem, it is suggested to closely follow care recommendations of your acupuncturist to maximize your healing potential.

Below are a few ways that you can make simple lifestyle changes that may help alleviate or even prevent headaches:

Track your triggers – Try to keep track of when your headaches start. Migraine sufferers may find it especially helpful to keep a diary of symptoms. Certain types of foods and hormonal changes can be possible causes.
Stress relief – Stress can contribute to many types of health concerns, including headaches. Talk to your practitioner about healthy ways to handle stress.
Exercise – Physical activity is an important part of any healthy lifestyle and is a great antidote for stress.
Healthy habits – Do your best to eat healthy, organic foods, stay hydrated and get enough sleep every night.
Acupuncture care – is extremely effective in reducing the frequency and severity of many types of painful conditions, including headaches and migraines, naturally. By working with Merle Friedman, AP, Board Certified Acupuncture Physician and adopting some simple lifestyle changes, you will be on your way toward a healthier, happier, painfree life.

Our Newsletter is Available

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Please read our newsletter. Go to our website and click on the green boom-bar at the top of the page.


Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Can acupuncture really help to relieve depression and improve your mood?  The answer is “YES, Acupuncture Relieves Depression.”  Chinese medicine evaluates the function of the different organs to find which organs may be out of balance which can result in depressed mood and anxiety.  The main organs that are evaluated include the heart, the spleen, the liver, the kidneys and the lungs.  Emotions associated with each organ include anger (liver), fear (kidneys), over-thinking (spleen), joy/fright (heart) and grief (lungs).

In order for a person to be balanced emotionally, one must have freely flowing Qi (pronounced Chee) or the vital force flowing throughout the body.  Blockage of Qi can result in physical and emotional symptoms.  By stimulating specific acupuncture points, an acupuncture physician can regulate the flow of Qi  and blood throughout the body to improve mood, relieve stress and calm the mind.

At The Brandon Acupuncture Center and Wellness facility, Merle Friedman, Dipl .AP,  Board Certified Acupuncture Physician provides the added benefit of the Biomat far-infrared technology which enhances the effects of acupuncture to induce a deep state of relaxation. Some people comment “I feel like my reset button has been pushed” after a session on the biomat.  Merle also provides homeopathic and herbal remedies as well as essential oils which help to balance mood and relieve depression without side effects.

Merle also discusses with her clients the importance of a healthy diet in improving mood.  Merle’s clients are so happy to learn that they can improve their mood naturally without side effects.


Allergy Relief Using Natural Medicine

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Natural Medicine

As I sit by my pool and look at the yellow-colored pollen coating the surface of the water, I am reminded that allergy season is upon us here in the Tampa Bay area.  I have suffered with allergies for most of my life. Along with the allergies comes symptoms like runny nose, wheezing, itchy throat and itchy eyes and ears.  In the past, I resorted to using over the counter allergy relief medicine which works for a while but has side effects like drowsiness.  Now, I have an arsenal of natural products which consist of herbal and homeopathic remedies without side effects.  In addition to these supplements, I can insert some very fine acupuncture needles into a few strategic points to help strengthen my immune system and stop the allergy symptoms.  The acupuncture works by fortifying the defensive energy or “wei qi” of the body to stop the allergy symptoms.  This works great without side effects.

Another great tool that I can use to get relief of allergy symptoms and to choose the best homeopathic remedy or herbal supplement is my electro dermal screening technology.  This is the zyto bioscan.  It helps me to identify what is causing stress on my body.  Since I have cats, I decided to test to see if the cats are causing some of my symptoms.  Sure enough, cat hair showed up  as one of the stressors affecting my body.   Based on the results of the zyto scan,  I was able to choose a homeopathic remedy to effectively stop my symptoms.  I also have a wonderful air purifier in my home that takes the animal dander and dust out of my indoor air  (go to and check out the “Fresh AirBox”).                                            

I am happy to offer these services to my clients so they too can get relief of annoying allergy symptoms.  Nutrition is also important to strengthen the immune system.  Excessive consumption of sugar will weaken a person’s immune system and can contribute to allergy symptoms.   I offer nutrition consultation, detoxification and purification programs  and a variety of Chinese herbal supplements to help my clients stop allergy symptoms.  I also carry some wonderful herbal supplements made by Standard Process.   I treat adults and children.      So you too can breathe easier this allergy season.  Call today for an appointment: 813-381-3835.  Merle J. Friedman, Dipl. AP, NCCAOM Board Certified Acupuncture Physician, Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist.






Who is Dr. Lichun Huang?

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Merle Friedman has studied for three years with Dr. Lichum Huang.  She was awarded the title Master of Auricular Medicine. Auricular Medicine is a method of detecting and treating conditions using the ear. Auricular  Medicine is proven natural Chinese medicine. The following is taken from Dr Huang’s  website to introduce you the foremost authority in the world about Auricular Medicine.

Dr. Lichun Huang is recognized as the world’s top expert in the field of Auricular Medicine. She has received the Recognition of Mastery and Lifetime Achievement Award at the World International Symposium on Auricular Therapy and Auricular Medicine. She has received a metal plaque award from the President of Italy, in recognition of the series of the treatments given to him during his visit to China. She led the delegation of the Chinese Acupuncturists to teach these skills to doctors in Cuba, and received the Friendship and Struggle Award and Certificate from Cuba’s President.
Dr. Huang worked in the “301” Military Hospital, the premier hospital in Beijing, for over 35 years before coming to the United States. She was Chief Director of the Acupuncture Department of the “301” Military Hospital for more than 10 years.

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