A tenant for more than 12 years, Cindy E. Levitz, L.Ac., Dipl OM, C.SMA, has been in private practice since 1996. She specializes in all types of Acute and Chronic Pain Treatment, Stress and Anxiety Reduction, and Women’s Health Issues.
Priding herself on making a client’s whole system better, she doesn’t simply treat a particular condition but is committed to reading the symptoms so she can diagnose the internal problems they evidence—the internal problems that must be resolved to produce true healing. Then she develops a treatment plan tailored to the client personally.
We sat down with Cindy and we learned a lot about her incredible breadth of knowledge in natural medicine. We think you will be astounded by some of the conditions acupuncture and programs of nutrients and herbs can treat.
An Unexpected Career Dedicated to Using the Best of Eastern and Western Medicine
As a young person, Cindy was interested in Eastern art, culture, and meditation, and as life happens, she became a painter and a dental hygienist. Then, at about 30 years of age, something happened that was to change her life. She began to experience a condition involving episodes of vertigo that occurred without warning and usually lasted twenty minutes to several hours. The suddenness of the attacks of dizziness left her vulnerable on city streets and made her fearful of driving. When Cindy had an onset of the condition, she could only correct it by sleeping for two days. The doctors of Western medicine she sought out for treatment couldn’t be sure of the cause and didn’t have a cure, but categorized it as Meniere’s Syndrome. None of the medications that they prescribed worked for her.
Finally, after five years of suffering, a friend referred her for acupuncture. Within three months of treatment, acupuncture relieved the severe attacks, and she never experienced them again. The effectiveness of the treatment was a revelation. Once cured, she decided to go back to school—weekends and nights—to become an acupuncturist. That road would lead her further not only into acupuncture but also into the world of natural medicine.
Cindy’s journey has been continuing, resulting in an impressive list of credentials. Most notably, she has an M.S. degree in Acupuncture and is a Licensed Acupuncturist in NYS, Nationally Certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine (Dipl. OM) and is one of only a small number of Certified Sports Medicine Acupuncture Specialists (C.SMA). The full list of her impressive credentials can be found here.
The Powers of Acupuncture vs. the Myths
Acupuncture and Eastern medicine are increasingly recognized by an ever broader segment of the public and Western medical doctors as effective, safe, and valid forms of treatment alongside mainstream Western medicine and other alternative therapies. Yet, even today, many hold outdated, preconceived notions of acupuncture without really knowing much about it. Many see it mainly as a “pain reliever,” but speaking to Cindy, we were surprised to find out how extensive its application is and how she uses it to treat a wide range of issues including women’s health, male and female fertility. Yes, fertility.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world —it was first practiced in China more than 3,000 years ago. Basically, the principle of acupuncture is that human beings have a natural flow of energy, or Qi (pronounced “chee”), throughout the body. Good health of body and mind depends on the smooth flow of Qi circulating in energy pathways called meridians. Pain and disease occur when there is imbalance, deficiency, or blockage of the energy.
Acupuncture uses fine, hair-thin filaments at points along these pathways to help unblock and re-balance the body’s natural energy, reestablishing the flow of energy (Qi). It may often appear a bit magical, but the results are emphatically physiological—increasing blood flow and relaxing muscles, resulting in the reduction or elimination of pain and promoting your system’s natural healing abilities.
You’ll find a FAQ on Acupuncture here.
“I Have a Lot of Acupuncture Babies Running Around Out There.”
What a great legacy! Cindy told us that she has effectively used acupuncture, in combination with nutrients and herbs, to promote fertility in both women and men. Who knew?
In women, she uses acupuncture to: balance hormones; regulate menstrual cycles; adjust irregular periods; encourage better quality egg production; build a proper bed in the uterus; and in general, increase the healthy functioning of the reproductive system to encourage conception, fertilization, and fetus development. Treatments during the pregnancy reduce the fatigue, stress and back pain while promoting a smoother term. Some women come to Cindy before beginning IVF treatment to enhance IVF’s effectiveness or after they have had unsuccessful IVF cycles to maximize their chances of conception.
On the male side of the equation, Cindy told us that about 40% of the problems for couples conceiving is due to the male’s fertility issues. Acupuncture can increase the number and motility of sperm as well as the morphology of the sperm cells themselves.
Acupuncture can also help with the issues around conception and birth, too. In men, it can be used to address erectile dysfunction and libido and, in women, to treat post-partum depression, ease the process and pain during labor, and even correct the position of breech babies.
Women’s Health Issues
Few if any women see our current health system as anything other than a male-dominated, myopically dude industry. As Cindy points out, Western medicine has basically two solutions to the entire range of women’s health issues: hormones or surgery, both immoderate and risky.
In her practice, she has targeted treatments that address: all types of menstrual issues such as cramps before or during menstruation, irregular cycles, PMS, mood swings, morning sickness, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia, pain and heavy bleeding related to fibroids, cervical dysplasia, PCOS, abdominal distention and bloating, and breast tenderness, as well as back pain, fatigue and nausea during pregnancy. She even works with midwives to guide them in acupressure methods to ease delivery.
Treating Pain Issues – from Acute and Chronic Back Pain to Serious Sports Injuries
Perhaps the most common reason people seek acupuncture treatment is for back pain, but it is very effective treatment for all types of pain including neck, shoulder, knee and headache pain – as well as the aching pain of arthritis. Cindy’s approach combines her knowledge and experience of acupuncture and Chinese medicine with biomedical understanding. As an herbalist and nutritional consultant, she may suggest herbal formulas or nutritionals when appropriate.
When it comes to serious pain from a sports injury, Cindy, as a Certified Sports Medicine Acupuncture Specialist (C.SMA), integrates advanced acupuncture techniques, tuina medical massage, Western orthopedic tests, evaluations and myofascial release bodywork skills to heal patients faster, get them back to their activity sooner, and prevent re-injury.
Addressing Stress, the Underappreciated Effects of Digestive Issues and Other Issues
Stress and Anxiety. Cindy uses acupuncture, stress reduction exercises and often herbal formulas and nutritionals to successfully treat: stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, sleeplessness, and irritability. Stress blocks the smooth flow of energy in our systems. When acupuncture opens up those blockages, healthy functioning is restored. One of the things that research has shown is that endorphins, your body’s feel-good bio-chemicals, are released during acupuncture. The effects are cumulative and lasting, which means that acupuncture reduces not only the symptoms of stress, but the stress itself!
Digestive Issues. We are seeing many more auto-immune problems than ever before; and now we understand that good gut health is key to immunity. One reason is that we aren’t getting the nutrients we need to help our mind and body get and stay healthy. In our discussion, Cindy touched on the problems with our food source. “We try to eat healthy, but our food is coming from depleted soil and much is treated with pesticides and highly toxic chemicals, which we are ingesting. Quite simply, the American diet has greatly compromised gut health and immunity.
If your system isn’t strong, because it doesn’t have sufficient resources, it cannot fight all of the foreign invaders or prevent cell necrosis and inflammation. And, if in addition to that, the body is already fighting so many toxic elements from the food chain, the body’s immune system can’t deal with all of this, and is overwhelmed.
With acupuncture, diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications she can treat the whole system – body and mind. Cindy helps guide her patients so they can heal, feel better now, and achieve even greater health as time goes on. Taking just diet as one example: Cindy helps her clients eat better, and recommends specific nutritionals and herbs from an organic farm with replenished soil, thereby supplementing the clients’ diet with nutrients that are missing in our produce. Such steps combined with acupuncture and lifestyle modifications have been highly successful in improving gut health for her clients.
Other Issues. There are many other disorders that Cindy treats, including weight loss and smoking cessation, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory conditions and more serious diseases such as auto-immune problems. You can find a full description of these here.
She even has a certification in acupuncture facial rejuvenation, which is a less costly, safe, comfortable, and a no-risk-of-disfigurement alternative to surgery. The benefits of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture can be found here.
How Cindy’s Client Base is Evolving
Cindy points out that over the past 10 to 15 years, more people are aware that acupuncture and Chinese medicine are viable options for treatment, and have seen the success of these therapies. “People don’t want to get into the cycle that Western medicine so often starts.” Cindy described the cycle, “You begin to go from one doctor to another. The medications prescribed mainly mask a symptom and often cause side effects leading to other medications. Before long, a person is taking a list of medications—all the time filling the body with toxins. There is also an inclination with many doctors, to perform surgery and other invasive procedures, which can often be avoided. People just don’t want to start down that path. They would rather take steps to prevent problems and try natural approaches first – and that’s great.”
Cindy knows that as we get older, more illnesses can develop. That is why she is happy that she is seeing lots of patients in their 30s, to prevent health problems and treat issues early, before they get on lots of medications. They are more open to acupuncture and natural medicine than many older people are. She loves the opportunity to help them with their immediate problems, and help them live a longer, healthier, and more rewarding life.
A Special Offer in Appreciation of 12 Wonderful Years Here
Cindy told us, “Over the years that I have been a tenant, I have seen so many great changes to the neighborhood. Clients love coming to my office, because they can visit Eataly on the way, go to local restaurants, or sit in the park for a while. I love the building, too – and my fellow tenants, so many of whom have been patients over the past decade.”
And as a sign of her appreciation, Cindy is offering a complimentary consultation to Kew tenants and 10% reduction on the first treatment to tenants and clients referred by tenants.
Cindy E. Levitz
Licensed Acupuncturist, PLLC
1123 Broadway at 25th Street, Suite 418
New York, NY 10010