Dr. Amanda Carter, Dr. Matthew Dean, and Dr. Courtney Spafford's, passion for acupuncture, Chinese herbals, holistic nutrition, and supplements along with their enthusiasm for learning about health and wellness makes them more sensitive to each patient’s individual needs. Our mission at Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness is to empower others to achieve greater health using integrity and compassion and to support and inspire them to maintain their health in a harmonious and balanced way.
Dr. Amanda Carter is a Nationally Board Certified Acupuncturist Physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine. She is the founder of Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the 5-year Traditional Oriental Medicine graduate program at East West College of Natural Medicine. The journey that led Amanda to study Chinese medicine began at the age of 25 when she found herself suffering from chronic pain which manifested in a continuous headache that lasted for seven months. In addition to that, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, and a sleep disorder. After years of going to allopathic doctors to treat these ailments, she suddenly found herself on 6 different pharmaceutical drugs at this young age. The medications began to lose their effectiveness over time until they were no longer effective and she felt as if her health was declining more every year. Frustrated and completely desperate, she weaned off of the drugs with help from her doctor and started to read every book she could get her hands on about holistic nutrition and its role in the body’s health. After completely changing her diet and going off of the drugs she realized a spark of passion for learning had been ignited and she desired to learn as much as she could about natural health.
Dr. Carter first received a certification in Holistic Nutrition from Trinity College of Natural Health, then went on to receive her Bachelor’s in Natural Health from Clayton College of Natural Medicine. Learning about natural health led her to be more curious about Chinese Medicine so she sought out a Doctor of Oriental Medicine to see if this would help with her health problems and possibly be even more powerful than the nutrition therapy she had been experimenting with on her own. The results were amazing and over time her health was restored completely. She decided to learn about this medicine that had been so instrumental in healing her body so she enrolled in East West College of Natural Medicine, in Sarasota, Florida, where she received her degree in Oriental Medicine. She also received her certification in acupuncturist point injection therapy, which treats a wide variety of ailments and is an excellent adjunct to receiving traditional acupuncture. Dr. Carter completed residency programs at East West College of Natural Medicine’s general health clinic as well as Health South Rehabilitation hospital in Sarasota where she worked with pain management, digestive disorders, post-accident, post-stroke and post-surgery patients.
Dr. Carter's own history of health problems has given her compassion and understanding for her patients and she is caring and completely focused on each individual. She truly desires to see each patient healthy and in physical and emotional balance and is motivated to help them achieve their own optimal health.
Dr. Matthew R. Dean is a nationally board certified (NCCAOM) Florida licensed acupuncture physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Dean specializes in pain management cases dealing with acute or chronic muscular skeletal injuries, as well as preventative treatments to help each individual with their specific needs.
Dr. Dean earned his degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Traditional Chinese Medicine graduate program at East West College of Natural Medicine in Sarasota, FL. During his clinical education, he earned a certification from Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, China where he studied under some of the top doctors in the fields of Orthopedics and Tui na (Clinical massage in China).
Dr. Dean has received additional training and is certified in AIT (Acupuncture Injection Therapy). The injection of homeopathic remedies and vitamins into specific acupuncture points helps stimulate and speed the progression of the healing process in all stages of musculoskeletal injuries. AIT is effective in treating acute or chronic pain, especially of the back, knee, shoulder and neck. Dr. Dean also uses AIT techniques for injection of vitamins such as B-12, B-complex, and Lipovite which medical studies have shown naturally to increase energy levels as well as aid in weight loss.
Dr. Courtney Spafford, DOM, AP, is a nationally board-certified (NCCAOM) and Florida licensed acupuncturist. Her primary focus is on women's health and fertility. She earned her degree from East West College of Natural Medicine where she graduated summa cum laude and won the prestigious Founders Award. Spafford also received additional training in acupuncture injection therapy.
Prior to becoming a practitioner of Oriental Medicine, while on a full scholarship for tennis, Dr. Spafford earned a degree from Hillsborough College in Tampa, Florida. It was Dr. Spafford’s prowess as a tennis player that, ironically, led her to her new career. She was sidelined by an injury on the court that delayed her transition to the professional circuit. It was that injury, however, that exposed her to acupuncture for the first time. It was truly a blessing in disguise.
A continually evolving practitioner, Dr. Spafford remains inspired by this endlessly fascinating system of healing. She aims to empower her patients physically, mentally and spiritually through patient-centered care.