About Michael L. Fox
Four dimensions of our life and health
Michael L. Fox, Ph.D., L.Ac
Acupuncturist Michael Fox, L.Ac. of Silverlake Acupuncture strives to help you enjoy the best health possible with many different tools of Asian medicine. You can choose to use these either as your primary health care system, or as an adjunct to Western allopathic medicine.
Michael has used Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to effectively treat patients with such health challenges as:
Many of his patients are men, non-binary and gender-fluid persons with andrological concerns such as prostate problems, erectile dysfunction, and infertility.
Michael Fox is a licensed acupuncturist in California, a diplomate in Oriental Medicine, and is certified by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). He graduated with honors with a Masters degree in Oriental Medicine from Samra University of Oriental Medicine in Los Angeles, California. He completed the Dermatology Diploma program at Avicenna in Brighton, UK, and his Doctoral studies in Treating Men’s Health Issues with Traditional Chinese Medicine at American Liberty University in Newport Beach, California.
He also studied modern-day applications of acupuncture and herbology in Beijing, doing clinical rounds at seven specialty hospitals. Prior to that, he obtained a Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and supervised water purification plants at gold mines in Quebec.
He worked for eight years as an Art Director for film and television, becoming familiar with the stressors unique to entertainment careers. His art direction credits include Atomic Train, Crossing Jordan, Ed, Under One Roof, and Space Rangers.
Michael is currently accepting new patients.
Please call for an appointment or use our online appointment system.
And Traditional Chinese Medicine
Many of our new patients have questions about Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbs.
What Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Treat?
Chinese medicine is successfully used for a very wide range of conditions. Among the more commonly treated disorders are:
Acupuncture is the use of ultra-fine single-use needles which are inserted in a precise way at specific points of the body. There are thousands of acupoints on the body, with over 360 being commonly used. Each has its own specific function. Depending on the desired effect, different techniques can be used to either stimulate, sedate, or regulate the flow of qi. A typical insertion can last from fifteen to forty minutes, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the desired outcome. Each point has its own specific depth at which the needle should be inserted. Every licensed acupuncturist is well aware of any organs, nerves, or vasculature underneath and surrounding every point and can thereby avoid any adverse effects. After a treatment, most patients feel relaxed and rejuvenated with partial or total relief of major symptoms treated.
Electroacupuncture can be used to treat the same variety of health conditions that regular acupuncture treats, and for conditions that do not respond to conventional acupuncture. It is effectively used as a means of reducing chronic pain and muscle spasms, and as a treatment for neurological (nerve) disorders. A battery-powered device is attached to pairs of needles with microclips, then the frequency, intensity, and waveform is adjusted depending on the diagnosis and desired result. Electroacupuncture is similar to use of a TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit) but the needles allow more precise control of the electrical current deeper into muscle tissue, compared to the broad-pattern surface-level stimulation of a TENS.
The goal of cupping is to decrease tissue restrictions between the layers of skin, fascia and muscle. These can cause pain and decreased range of motion (ROM). Sometimes I will see a significant improvement in ROM in one session, although these results are not guaranteed. The technique is essentially causing a local inflammatory response in the tissue that is theorized to help aid in recovery and stimulate the body’s natural healing process. Cupping received worldwide attention when many Olympic Swimmers, including 23-time Gold Medalist Michael Phelps, were seen with round discolorations on their bodies during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Dr. Fox was interviewed by the Miami Herald about cupping following widespread interest in Phelps’ circular cupping marks.
Although these cupping marks look similar to bruises, they cannot be called bruises simply because of the way bruises are caused. Bruises appear when the body experiences some kind of blunt injury or trauma. The impact can break the blood capillaries present under the skin, which is why you see the redness. The body responds to the injuries with a rush of healing fluids to the area that also contribute to the bruising or redness. When the proteins at the injury site begin to coagulate, blood circulation reduces and the patient feels pain. Cupping marks are caused by suction (negative pressure) instead of the (positive) pressure in case of trauma, and works to bring toxins to the surface. The most important differentiating factor is the cupping marks typically do not cause pain and if there is any discomfort, it is minimal and goes away quickly.
Cupping should not be used on open cuts or wounds, those with serious heart conditions or vascular conditions, active TB, hemophilia, active cancer, high fever or influenza, convulsions or cramping, elastic skin disorders or over hernias. Caution is used during pregnancy, over certain areas on the face, with healing or thin skin, those on blood thinners, and those with poor tissue healing.
Who Can Have Treatment?
People of any age or constitution can use Chinese medicine. Previous or current illness or medication will be taken into account before treatment is provided. With suitable adjustments for dosage and careful selection, children and pregnant women can very well be treated by Chinese medicine.
About Chinese Herbal Medicine
What Is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. Yet throughout its history, it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge. In California, acupuncturists are required to be trained and tested for competency in prescribing herbal medicine.
Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness, it has had a very great influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East for centuries, and more recently has grown rapidly in popularity in the West. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine.
Tell Me About Chinese Herbs
Chinese herbal medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance. However, the tradition as a whole places great emphasis on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs. Chinese medicine recognizes that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has a unique capacity to maintain and enhance our capacity for well being and happiness.
Herbal Medicine And Modern Pharmacology
A growing body of research indicates that traditional uses of plant remedies and the known pharmacological activity of plant constituents often coincide. However, herbal medicine is distinct from medicine based on pharmaceutical drugs. Firstly, because of the complexity of ginger plant materials it is far more balanced than medicine based on isolated active ingredients and is far less likely to cause side effects. Secondly, because herbs are typically prescribed in combination, the different components of a formula balance each other and undergo a mutual synergy that increases efficacy and enhances safety. Thirdly, herbal medicine seeks primarily to correct internal imbalances rather than to treat symptoms alone, and therapeutic intervention is designed to encourage this self-healing process.
What Are The Herbs Like?
Herbs are now available in a number of formats, both traditional and modern. The traditional method is to boil a mixture of dried herbs to make tea or to use pills. The herbs are also now commonly prescribed as freeze-dried powders or tinctures. The herbs will at first taste unusual and often bitter to anyone who has not tried them before, but the vast majority of people get used to the taste very quickly.
Are Herbs Safe?
Chinese herbs are very safe when prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner, however many herbs are toxic in certain conditions and in certain combinations. Over the centuries, herbologists have compiled detailed information about them and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient. Allergic reactions are rare.
In recent years, herbs have become popular to self-treat many conditions. They are available in health food stores, supermarkets and on the Internet. While herbs are promoted as safe, inexpensive “natural” alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs, many health care professionals have concerns about safety, effectiveness and potential misuse of herbal products, especially when self-prescribed or recommended by a grocery clerk. Herbs often have interactions with prescription pharmaceuticals, and often require monitoring of blood chemistry over the course of treatment. The California Acupuncture Board strongly recommends consulting an acupuncturist before beginning any herbal therapy. It is also important to inform both your physician and your acupuncture about all of the drugs, herbs, and other supplements you are currently taking so they can monitor and prevent any adverse reactions. Use of some herbs must be stopped before many surgical, chemotherapy, or radiation therapies although there are herbal formulas that are appropriate for use in assisting recovery from these procedures.
Silverlake Acupuncture New Patient Information
If you have never been to Silverlake Acupuncture before, please make an appointment and let me know briefly how I can help you. Your first appointment will usually last up to 90 minutes.
New patients will need to fill out an online Medical History Form which will provide your medical background and concerns, insurance information, and contact information. Once you’ve made your first appointment, you’ll get a link to our Medical History Intake Form. Please complete it prior to your arrival. There are a few additional things to sign which we will provide when you arrive.
If you need to cancel, please give us 24 hours notice so we can give that appointment to someone else. There is no cancellation fee for appointments canceled 24 hours or more in advance.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are requiring patients to wear a mask to their treatment and to maintain adequate social distancing while inside the clinic. All of the staff has been double-vaccinated, and each treatment room is equipped with an anti-viral UV tower with HEPA filter. This anti-viral tower exchanges air in each room several times per hour. Rooms are sanitized between each and every patient, as they always have been.
If you have health insurance, please contact your insurer before your visit to verify whether acupuncture is a covered service. Many insurers, such as Oscar Insurance, offer coverage for selected policies and some do not.
Medicare does not currently cover acupuncture.
When you come for your appointment. Please bring your insurance card and a photo ID and we will make and keep a copy of them. If there is a copay or deductible, you will need to pay those portions. We accept cash, checks, and credit card payments when our services are rendered.
Auto Accident Injury Treatment
If your injuries occurred as a result of a motor vehicle accident, your case is considered a “PI” case (“Personal Injury”) and the paperwork for a new PI case is different. Let us know when you call if yours is a PI case, and we will send you the additional forms in addition to the Medical History. This intake is quite extensive and must be completed prior to your first appointment.
If your injuries occurred at your workplace and this is a Workers Compensation (WC) case, you will need prior written authorization from your claims adjuster to receive acupuncture treatment. The paperwork for a Worker’s Comp case is also different. Please let us know when you call if yours is a Workers Comp case and we will mail or email your paperwork to complete before you arrive. We CANNOT treat you without prior WRITTEN authorization from your claims adjuster, even if your MD has written a “prescription” for acupuncture. The State of California has detailed rules about how and when we can commence treatment in these cases.
Your privacy is of utmost importance to us.
Your First Acupuncture Appointment
The first appointment will include an extensive set of questions pertinent to Eastern medicine which may seem unusual if you have never had an acupuncture treatment. In addition, the acupuncturist will sometimes look at the color, shape and coating of your tongue and check the characteristic feel of your pulse in different locations. Depending on your condition, vital signs and some screening tests may be performed. All of these things help lead to an accurate TCM diagnosis which will dictate a treatment plan for your whole-body health and your specific symptoms.
Parking at Silverlake Acupuncture
Free street parking is available on Tracy Street. Parking restrictions are actively enforced, so if your appointment is on Wednesday or Friday between 10 a.m. and noon, please read the parking signs carefully.