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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Alternative Natural Healthcare

Jun 30, 2013 12:32PM ● By Linda Sechrist

Michelle Brown

When Michelle Brown sold her successful 15-year law practice in Indiana and opened up Alternative Natural Healthcare, an acupuncture medical spa in Bonita Springs, it appeared to outsiders that she was taking a big leap of faith. However, Brown felt confident that her personal medical history with acupuncture provided enough indisputable evidence to sway any jury in favor of her decision to pursue a career as a licensed acupuncture physician—the healing practice eliminated her need for seven medications prescribed for asthma and allergies.

Brown’s encounter with acupuncture began as a result of her husband’s transfer from Indiana to China. “We were living in Indiana, where I was practicing law, when my husband was offered the chance to transfer to Suzhou, China, and open up an automotive parts factory. By the time we arrived in 2005, I’d already been suffering for years from asthma and allergies. My symptoms had worsened, even though my doctor had me on seven medications,” recalls Brown, who found it challenging to accept that she could be so sick at age 40. She thought that her health problems could have been due to over-exposure to the dust and mold that she had stirred up during extensive home remodeling.

After settling into her home in China, Brown remembered a friend’s recommendation to try acupuncture. “I had never heard of it then, but now I was in the country where it had been used for thousands of years. I asked local people for a recommendation, and they pointed me in the direction of a well-known doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). When I arrived at his clinic I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, because it wasn’t my version of a sterile Western medical clinic,” quips Brown, who handed the doctor her medicine bottles. Upon checking the appearance of her tongue and feeling her pulse, the doctor gave his assessment—“I think you’re not sick. Your symptoms are all allergic reactions to your medicines.” Brown stopped taking the pills and began a series of acupuncture treatments. Six months later, she was feeling great.

On a return visit to the U.S., Brown made an appointment with her physician, who found that her lung function was normal. “Keep doing what you’re doing,” he said. Brown seized the moment and admitted that not only hadn’t she taken medication for six months but she’d also been responding well to a series of acupuncture treatments. The doctor replied, “I know acupuncture works, but I don’t know how. Come back in another month, and if your lung function is normal, I’ll believe it works.”

“I went back the next month and had my blood tested, and he saw the same normal function,” says Brown who, back in China, continued various TCM treatments such as cupping and gua sha, scraping the skin to move stagnant qi, the life force energy. She also encountered a German physician who offered training seminars in TCM for foreign nationals. “It changed my whole life,” Brown affirms. “I became interested in medicine and three years later, I no longer had the heart to practice law. In 2008, my husband and I returned to the U.S.; he retired and I went to medical school.

After graduation, I joined a friend who had a conventional chiropractic clinic. My business grew so quickly in one month that I had to trade my one room for a small wing of the clinic.” This is not uncommon in China, where more than 100 people a day visit a TCM clinic to use acupuncture, cupping and gua sha for prevention and wellness as well as health problems.

Brown and her husband only intended to spend the winter of 2011 in their Bonita Springs home. “We’re still here, and I have an acupuncture spa, which includes homeopathic injection therapy and aromatherapy,” advises Brown. “Used together, these forms of natural medicine are very effective for primary health care.”

Location: 16517 Vanderbilt Dr., Ste. 3, Bonita Springs. For more information, call 239-947-6234 or visit

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