In an August 2010 Newsweek article, it was reported that “22 percent of Americans polled by Gallup in 2001 were afraid of needles.”
Carrie Oleston, a Carrollwood chiropractic physician certified in acupuncture wanted to subside this fear, and in the process, improve the overall health and well-being of her patients.
Oleston became interested in the field during college, when she was a runner. But an unsuccessful treatment with contemporary medicine for pain in her knee ended up directing her career path.
Now, she treats patients aged 2 to 94.
Patch sat down with Oleston, founder of Oleston Chiropractic, 6575 Gunn Highway, to learn how she combined chiropractic practices with acupuncture to offer a holistic approach to Western medicine.
Patch: What interested you in this field?
Oleston: When I was in college, I went to a chiropractor for my knee with no expectations – I had no idea what they did. He was able to help me feel better. He not only got me running again, but he opened my eyes to this whole other profession. That’s when I decided to go to chiropractic school.
Patch: How did acupuncture become part of your practice?
Oleston: In my first year of practice, I was working with another chiropractor who incorporated acupuncture into her practice. I saw how you could take a traditional practice and open it up to so many more people by incorporating acupuncture. In my opinion, the two therapies go hand-in-hand, and I couldn’t see any reason not to continue my education in acupuncture therapy.
Patch: What makes you different from other chiropractic practices already available?
Oleston: I’ve taken a focus of chiropractic and acupuncture together. When people come to see me, I do an in-depth examination of what’s going on, and I determine whether a chiropractic or acupuncture route - or both - may truly help their problem in a holistic way.
Patch: What conditions do you treat?
Oleston: Chiropractic can be safe and effective for any age, and can help infants and children with scoliosis, torticollis, colic, and even ear infections.
I help a lot of my patients with different types of pain, so neck and back pain are the most common. I help people with sports injuries, should rotator cuff, knee and foot problems, as well as sprains and strains. I also have people coming to me with conditions that they either want to lessen their dependence on their medication or they want to take an alternative route.
I see people with allergies, asthma, headaches and migraines, couples having problems with infertility, people with irritable bowel syndrome, colitis – it spans the whole spectrum of health. Some people need help with stress – they can’t sleep. People want to take their health to the next level.
Patch: Can you elaborate more on how it helps with these issues?
Oleston: As a chiropractic physician, I determine if there is any physical imbalance, how the spine and joints are positioned and functioning. If there is a problem, they are definitely a candidate for chiropractic.
I also do a test called EMI, Electro Meridian Imaging. That is a test that measures the 12 meridians of a person. A meridian comes from Eastern medicine thought of looking at the body in 12 energy lines that control every function of the body, every organ and every system. I can actually take an objective measurement of where they are functioning – just like you would go and get some lab work done; I can measure those 12 meridians and see where any imbalances are.
There’s an interesting thing for me as someone who practices Western and Eastern medicine: if you take a map of the actual nerves and nervous system and you take a map of the meridians – they overlap, almost identically.
Patch: What happens if there are imbalances shown?
Oleston: I would prescribe a treatment of acupuncture that uses points along the body with needles inserted in different points of the body. This sends a signal back up to the brain, and the brain sends that signal to the rest of the organs and systems saying we need to tone things down here or give more energy here. It helps the body become better balanced.
Patch: I’m going to ask what many needle phobic people want to know. Does it hurt?
Oleston: The needle is the size of one strand of hair. They are nothing like needles that people are used to for shots or injections. Most people don’t feel much during an acupuncture treatment. Some people who are a little more sensitive feel a little tiny poke as the needle is going in. Once it’s in, they don’t feel anything. Those who are sensitive may feel a heaviness or tingling, but it’s not pain. It’s actually a fairly pain-free treatment.
Patch: How soon do people see results?
Oleston: It varies from person to person. I’ve had a lot of patients that feel relief after one treatment. For some people it takes a few weeks for the treatment to have an effect. It depends on how severe the condition is and how long it has been going on.
Patch: What about someone without issues? Is this recommended for a healthy person as well?
Oleston: Yes, that is the ideal time to come. It is always easier to prevent disease rather than treat it. Any type of doctor will agree with that. In coming to get checked out, we can detect problems: imbalances in the spine or in the meridians; treat those and make a positive change in preventing symptoms and disease before it actually becomes a problem or becomes really painful.
Patch: Do you take insurance?
Oleston: We work with insurance companies as an out-of-network provider. I have reduced all my rates to a flat rate fee and we always submit claims to a person’s health insurance. If they have out-of-network coverage, the insurance reimburses the person directly.
Patch: What are your prices?
Oleston: We charge $95 for a new patient exam, and $40 for follow-up appointments, whether chiropractic or acupuncture. We set up a simple, easy and affordable fee schedule to really make it accessible to most people.
Patch: What do you like best about your practice?
Oleston: I love coming to work every day because I can touch a person’s life and make it better.
I have people in pain, through the course of their treatment become in less pain, but you can actually see the person coming out. You can see the person having more fun, enjoying their job or their family more. It’s the reason that I wake up every morning excited to come to work. It’s a blessing not a lot of people can say about their jobs.
To learn more about Oleston and Oleston Chiropractic, visit www.olestonchiropractic.com.