(Live Audio interview between Dr. Eric Koda, MD. and Linda Forsythe)
Transcription of LIVE interview
Linda: Welcome back to our radio show, Wholesome Pharma brought to you LIVE on the CVINE Network. I’m your host Linda Forsythe.
We’ve brought back onto our show by popular demand, Dr. Erik Koda who is an MD. Dr. Koda has a unique area of expertise for a Medical Doctor as he specializes in Acupuncture! Surprisingly, in many cases your health insurance will cover it. If your insurance doesn’t cover acupuncture, discuss this with your doctor; he/she may be able to work with them. It is a great way to naturally allow your body to heal itself or even to manage pain. On previous shows we discussed how acupuncture can manage or alleviate chronic or acute pain, Headaches and/or Migraines, Nausea and even Vertigo (Dizziness). Today we will discuss how acupuncture can help with Anxiety or Depression. Welcome to our show Dr. Koda!
Dr. Koda: Good to be here again, Linda.
Linda: Well I’ll tell you we just love having you on here! This discussion about how acupuncture can work with anxiety and depression…that is huge! I mean, especially because of all the psychiatric drugs that are used for a whole host of, oh my goodness, anything imaginable! You know with anxiety and depression, do you use this in tandem with actual medication, or can it completely handle it just with acupuncture?
Dr. Koda: Well, Linda, I give the patients the option oftentimes, unless it’s something very dangerous or a very dangerous situation. There are patients that absolutely positively do not want to take medicines for their mood or for their anxiety. Then there’s some that would like to have something that would allow them to take less medicines, or they would just like something in conjunction with counseling they’re doing; that’s great. So I’ll do one or both, so either way. Either way I think the acupuncture is helpful.
Linda: Let’s, instead of just going through doing both of them together, anxiety/depression, let’s start with anxiety. Anxiety as you know can be many things, maybe even phobias, or they’re just, for whatever reason you have anxiety. How does it help it? How does it manage it? How does it cure it? Does it just make you sleepy and calm, or full of energy? What exactly does it do?
Dr. Koda: It’s different for different people in terms of what exactly they experience. Typically people will have whatever anxiousness is in them greatly decreased or disappear in some cases for long periods of time, so it’s generally not a numbing sleepy sensation. There is a potential side effect of being tired but that usually goes away within the day if it even lasts that long. Generally, well it always is not that same sort of fog that people will experience either being on anxiety medicines or antidepressant medicines that people are often on.
Linda: That is fascinating! So just putting needles in certain areas can actually tone down the anxiety and/or just calm you down? What about, let’s go ahead and discuss with depression. Now I’ve had acupuncture before where I was just anxiety medicines or antidepressant medicines for a long time because of things happening in my life, and after I had it I just had a complete change in mood, it was really weird. How does that work? Why did that happen?
Dr. Koda: You know I really don’t know why. The why becomes very difficult because we can’t dissect the human body and find these connections that the acupuncture needles are making, and so it’s very easy to be skeptical. Even I was very skeptical of these sorts of treatments until I saw the results of a number of patients, especially…you know, OK…one person does really well…well, that’s very interesting. After a while…wow! I think it’s going to keep working with most of the people I treat, or at least a good percentage of them.
The why is difficult. Again, as I mentioned in a previous show, it’s possible that it’s directly affecting the brain chemicals, it’s possible that it’s doing something completely unknown, but no one has come up with exactly the smoking gun as to why it actually works, exactly. I will tell you that I came from the military, a military background, and some of the most shocking mental health changes are folks that are really having a hard time. A lot of it was done in the military with folks who had Post Traumatic Stress from horrific things that they experienced in the military and in war, and treatments can even help that.
Linda: Really? It can help PTSD?
Dr. Koda: Right. There are definitely some really good PTSD treatments that, some of the best ones were developed by some military doctors, and actually military psychiatrists who happened to also be trained in acupuncture.
Linda: Wow! So just with anxiety, depression, obviously PTSD because of traumatic events that happened in the past, what about other psychologically issues? Let’s say, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), or bipolar? Does it work with anything like that?
Dr. Koda: You know, potentially, although I have less patients that I’ve dealt with for those specific conditions. Some of those conditions are similar to things that are structural, like we talked about in other shows, especially like obsessive compulsive personality is something that is not medically―at least not in the medical field―that is considered changeable permanently. But I can definitely say that we can take people’s anxiety down so that they appear to have less symptoms. Now the more chronic the condition, in my experience, the more likely it is to need either ongoing treatment or periodic treatment as opposed to just a one-time thing. For instance, if a person has something bad happen to them, or a death in the family, or they’re just really down or something―their mental health is off―more often, one or very few treatments will take care of their problem. If it’s a more permanent condition, they could very well need ongoing treatment, or periodic treatment.
Linda: Well still better than taking all types of chemicals and putting them in your body that could potentially have serious side effects later on in life, so that’s huge that we’re able to do that. With that being said, I’m just kind of curious, some children have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and quite frankly my son had it really really bad. He was on a very high dose of Ritalin for a long time, because he took him off of it and he just was mutated (laughs), you know, going crazy! What about something like that? Could acupuncture actually help ADHD?
Dr. Koda: It can. I have several patients like that. The only difficulty comes with treating children, a lot of kids and kids that have ADHD, I found a lot of times, don’t like needles a lot. Just kids in general (Linda and Dr. Koda talk over each other – unclear) ___ gone through a lot of channels and getting a lot of vaccinations and just don’t want to be in a room with a needle, and so that’s fine. What I often do for them is electrically stimulate acupuncture points, without a sharp object. The electrical stimulation can be turned down to a very low level to where it’s not uncomfortable, and it seems to work well. Now the question is, I don’t think it works as strongly or as long as if we were to use needles, but you know you do what you can and you work with the patient. You don’t come out there with needles if it’s a little kid who is scared of needles. But yeah, it definitely can help their mood and settle them down.
Oftentimes, similar for those types of conditions, it would require repeated treatments because the effect might wear off after an X amount of time, and that’s going to be variable from patient to patient.
Linda: I can certainly see a child with ADHD, there is no way on God’s little green acres my son would have sat still for anything like that. But what about adults with ADHD? Or ADD, something to that effect? What about that? The needles don’t hurt, that’s one thing I can say. You know a lot of people question that, but needles, at least in my opinion don’t hurt, because they’re just so little and just so thin. For an adult with ADHD or ADD, can it help them?
Dr. Koda: Oh certainly. Basically almost the same points I’d use on a kid, you know, more preferential using the needles. Now there are a small percentage of adults out there who really don’t like needles either, and so I will also do electrical stimulation of acupuncture points for people like that, and that’s OK. If I can use the needles, that’s great. The other thing I can say about the soreness of the needles is it is variable from person to person, and certain techniques people do feel the needles more than other techniques. Now, for most conditions I can do one of two, three or four different techniques, and so if they really don’t like one style of acupuncture, or they don’t like the way it feels, I can go to a different one.
Linda: OK that is excellent! Very informative. Thank you for joining us today, Dr. Koda. Be sure everyone to stay tuned for our next show on Wholesome Pharma with Dr. Koda, where we will be discussing how acupuncture can cure addictions like tobacco or food addictions! You can read or listen to many more Natural Wholesome ways for preventative or even curative medicine on WholesomePharma.com.
Good Day everyone!