Q&A Haley Honeysett: Acupuncture physician finds success in Riverside
Posted: June 10, 2010 - 9:07pm
The Sun visited Haley Honeysett of the Southside, a 29-year-old acupuncture physician who opened Honeysett Acupuncture about 18 months ago in Riverside.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Palatka, raised in the Fort Lauderdale area. I have a master's degree in Chinese medicine from Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale.
Why did you choose this career?
As a kid, my best friend's mother had severe migraine headaches and tried everything but couldn't get relief. She went for acupuncture, as a very last resort, and it worked. I was intrigued. I thought it was so weird, so I started to read up on acupuncture. It's amazing to be able to heal the body with hair-thin needles and no medicines.
So how does it work?
Well, here's the ancient Chinese explanation. It's 2,000 plus years of information. But I try to keep it simple for people. The body has channels or meridians. When there is disharmony in a channel, it leads to a problem. Acupuncture is the use of strategically placed super-thin needles on the body to clear or open or strengthen the channel. To remove a blockage, you could say. Needles can be placed at distal points, meaning places below the knees or above the elbows that correlate to different glands, organs and hormones. The Western explanation is that the needles cause muscles to relax instantly and increase blood flow in the area. It can help regulate serotonin and release endorphins, which are the body's natural pain killers. The length of a course of treatment depends on whether the problem is acute or chronic. Chronic problems take longer.
You live on the Southside. Why open an office in Riverside?
As a child, I loved visiting the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and this Riverside area. I loved all the brick homes and huge trees and the winding river. It's a pretty area. In my head, I made it my goal to someday work in this area. Plus, it is very centrally located. I have people come here from Baldwin, Middleburg and Valdosta.
What do you like about your job?
Everything. It's wonderful. I love helping people. It's the greatest feeling to help someone in pain find relief. It is very rewarding. It's one on one, no chaos. I play nice music and dim the lights. It's a very calming, relaxing atmosphere, for the patient and for me.
Tell us about your practice
I lean toward a traditional Chinese form of acupuncture. I treat people age 14 and over. Most of my patients are between 25 and 45 but I have clients from age 18 to 90. It's a nice blend of people. The most common reason people come to me is for back pain. Acupuncture is most widely used for pain relief, back, shoulder, knee or limited range of motion. But I also treat clients for headaches, infertility, weight loss and stress. Acupuncture also complements mainstream medicine. I also prescribe hundreds of different herbal formulas.
What does the future hold for you?
I hope to expand, hire more people and open a satellite office. Also, I am working on creating my own line of herbal products, topical ointments to treat conditions like eczema.
What's the current public perception of acupuncture?
There's been a steady growth and acceptance of it. In recent years, the mainstream medical community and acupuncturists have more compatibility and mutual respect. Television star physician Mehmet Oz, a highly respected and well-known M.D., has been talking about it on his show. I have gotten some calls from people who made appointments because they saw Oz talk about acupuncture on television. In major cities across the country, hospitals are hiring full-time acupuncture physicians to their staffs. That hasn't happened in Jacksonville just yet, but it is a growing trend.
How about in Jacksonville?
People seem to be very open to it. Even people who may not know much about acupuncture are still willing to try it. ...
For a while, my dad, a nuclear scientist, thought I was crazy. It is true that parts of Chinese medicine cannot be proven scientifically and it was hard for him to get his head around that. He wouldn't let me stick him with any needles until after I graduated. Since then, I have treated him for back pain and he felt better. So now he's a believer and pointing everyone toward my website, honeysett acupuncture.com.
Tell me a success story.
A lady in her 40s with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis had tried all kinds of medications and injections. She wasn't gung ho on acupuncture, but she was ready to try anything. After treatments, she got better and even was able to return to work.
By Mary Maraghy
As a child, I loved visiting the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and this Riverside area. I loved all the brick homes and huge trees and the winding river. I made it my goal to someday work in this area.
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