Caroline Blanke-Pena of Holistic Health Palm Beach Specializes in Herbal Medicine
Caroline Blanke-Pena of Holistic Health Palm Beach discovered her calling after dealing with a condition that, for many years, couldn’t be cured by traditional western medical practices.
“As a last resort, I decided to try acupuncture,” Blanke-Pena recalled. “I didn’t even know what it was, but I found an acupuncturist I loved and went to her three times in seven days. The very first time, I felt this massive block in my abdomen move. It was a mind-blowing experience. By my third treatment, I was completely cured — never needed another drug or another treatment. That’s an incredible result.”
Convinced that eastern and western medicine could — and should — work well together, Blanke-Pena’s life had new purpose. Many courses and four state board exams later, Blanke-Pena is now a licensed acupuncturist and a nationally certified diplomate of Oriental medicine, acupuncture, herbology and Asian bodywork therapy. She graduated from the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Florida with a master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in science from Ohio State University.
“Chinese medicine really depends on what is going on with the patient. You have to listen in order to tell what would benefit them the most. Is it emotional pain, physical pain, post-traumatic stress?” Blanke-Pena said. “Chinese medicine works best in some cases, western medicine works better in others. That’s why I partnered up with a doctor when I opened Holistic Health Palm Beach. We refer back and forth to do what is in the best interest of the patient.”
Blanke-Pena said most of her patients are complaining of three things — physical pain, emotional pain and fertility issues.
“Chinese medicine can help with physical pain, especially pain in the back, joints, knees, elbows and fingers — and arthritis,” she said. “Acupuncture has an anti-inflammatory effect. Eight out of 10 of my patients move out of pain within one or two sessions, although some need more. Acupuncture is also particularly successful in treating insomnia and emotional pain.”
Blanke-Pena said local doctors often refer patients with pre- or post-menopausal symptoms for help with issues such as night sweats. Reproductive issues can also be treated. Perhaps a woman is having problems getting pregnant or needs support after previous miscarriages. Perhaps a man has a low libido or sperm count. “Chinese medicine has great success in those areas,” Blanke-Pena said.
She is particularly happy to see that eastern and western medicine are starting to work together and does her best to unite the two.
“I take the shame out of it,” Blanke-Pena said. “If a patient comes to me and says, ‘I’ve been on Prozac for 20 years. Do I have to go off it?’ I ask, ‘Would you come to me for 20 years and take my meds and do my treatments if you still felt lousy?’ I ask them if they want an alternative. We taper off, and I’ve had excellent results.”
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be an effective alternative to treatments that may require the use of invasive procedures, she said. Rather than resorting to surgery, knee or back pain can be controlled with acupuncture because it improves circulation to relieve pain, Blanke-Pena said. It also tends to have a positive effect on circulation throughout the body, improving energy and stamina while reducing stress and improving emotional well-being, she added.
While western medicine tends to concentrate on relieving specific symptoms, the goal of acupuncture is to resolve the underlying source of symptoms, she explained, by focusing on alleviating the origin of the ailment rather than on relieving the symptoms.
Holistic Health Palm Beach is located in Palomino Park at 3347 State Road 7, Suite 200, in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 601-0999 or visit www.holistichealthpalmbeach.com.