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April 6, 2013

Local therapist promotes body wellness

By Cathy B. Koplen
The Daily Star

---- — Asian medicine has traditionally focused on wellness.

Laura Reyda, licensed massage therapist and Diplomat of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, says she believes in the balance of wellness.

“When you practice this type of medicine, it is like you are encouraging a person’s body to rectify itself,” Reyda said. “Taking a wellness approach encourages the body to heal while preventing any other injuries from occurring.”

Reyda has a clinic in Oneonta, located at 531 Southside Dr. She specializes in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and massage. Working with each individual patient, she accesses their ailment and prescribes a treatment that may include acupuncture, herbal formulas, diet and nutrition counseling, massage and/or exercise.

“If a person can balance, it is helpful,” Reyda said. “Moderation is good. If people are able to eat right — as their body needs to eat, get some exercise — you don’t have to go crazy, and take care of themselves — to a certain extent, they should be able to return to a healthful balance.

“When they need help, when they have gotten too far out of balance — that is when they might need acupuncture or an herbal remedy.”

Chinese medicine has been practiced and theorized for more than 3,000 years. It is common in Asian countries where acupuncture is standard in most clinics. The herbal blends, acupuncture and body movements are specifically studied to combat many common ailments.

“There is a woman I treat, she had a prolapsed uterus,” Reyda said. “She was told she would need surgical mesh to fix the problem. There is a classical remedy for this. This is a common problem with women who have had several babies. It has been around for a long time.”

After one month of taking a full dosage of Chinese herbal medicine, the patient went on a half dose for another month. At the end of the second month, Reyda said, the patient was able to control her bladder and did not feel the pressure she had before.

The patient avoided surgery, Reyna said.

Reyda is one of two acupuncturists for the New York state addiction recovery program. New York Supports Opportunities for Accessing Recovery Services (NY SOARS) offers people with addictions help in finding wellness opportunities as a method to recovery.

“There have been studies in the West concerning the result of acupuncture treatment — what it does to the body and what it does to the mind,” Reyda said. “A University of Michigan study linked acupuncture with the opiate receptors in the brain. That is why it is so effective with addiction recovery.”

Reyda became interested in alternative medicine when she was in Peru working as a speech therapist in special education. She knew a career in wellness was her calling.

When she returned to the United States, Reyda went to Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, where she spent three years and 160 classroom hours attaining a master’s degree.

Reyda has been in her practice in Oneonta for the past wo years.