Michael D. Martin, MD
Until a few years ago, my medical training and career followed a traditional path of western practice.
I graduated with honors from Baylor College of Medicine in 1978, following undergraduate studies at UT Austin. I completed my Internal Medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine and earned Board Certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1982. I then spent two years as an instructor and assistant professor of medicine at Baylor, teaching medical students and residents at Ben Taub County Hospital in Houston.
I moved to Austin in 1984 and practiced internal medicine in the private sector for 17 years. In 2001, I became a primary care physician at the Austin Veterans’ Clinic, where it was my privilege to serve our nation’s veterans for 13 years. During my time at the VA, my attitude toward “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” began to change.
In my daily interactions with veterans, I found traditional western medical treatments to be inadequate or ineffective for many who suffered from chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and stress. I began to explore alternative modes of therapy and found a large body of research supporting acupuncture and neurofeedback for nearly all the conditions in which I saw our standard approaches failing. I decided to pursue training in both neurofeedback (through EEG Institute) and acupuncture (through the nationally recognized Helms Medical Institute), and, as my learning and experience with these techniques progressed, I was excited to find both to be effective in facilitating the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms.
My hope was to provide these services for veterans, but due to indefinite delays, I made the difficult choice to leave the VA and start a new practice devoted solely to providing acupuncture and neurofeedback.
I am by no means rejecting western medicine, which is the foundation of our healthcare system and the best and only means of treating many diseases. Rather, I am embracing a new philosophy of self-directed healing, which can work either in concert with a traditional western approach or, for some conditions, as primary, stand-alone therapy.
I view my delayed enlightenment as a significant positive, in that my knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology, along with my years of experience as an active listener and diagnostician, enhance my abilities to practice the “alternative” healing modalities I have come to embrace.
Medicine is a continuously evolving discipline, and experience has taught me that we must always remain open to new ideas and approaches.