Acupuncture in Lancaster is On Point
Dec 28, 2014 10:32AM
● By Sheila Julson
Renown acupuncturist Miriam Lee, largely credited with introducing the traditional Chinese holistic modality to California, and thus the American mainstream, during the 1970s, noted in her book Insights of a Senior Acupuncturist, originally published in 1992, that many Americans suffered from emotional stress, such as depression and hyperactivity, which caused blockages in the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”), or the universal life energy, even in the ‘70s when she first introduced acupuncture.
Fast-forward to the present day, where life can be overloaded by technological gadgets, longer commutes and more sedentary time indoors, away from nature–all things that can disrupt physical and emotional energy flow throughout the body. The general philosophy behind acupuncture is that qi is responsible for overall health; therefore, imbalances in the flow of qi are the root of disease. Applying needles at acupuncture points is believed to improve the flow of qi, thereby correcting the imbalance and enabling whole body healing.
Acupuncture has gained a reputation in America as an effective form of naturally rebalancing the body. A 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the most recent survey results available, estimate that 3.1 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture during the previous year. The number of visits to acupuncturists tripled between 1997 and 2007. Today, Lancaster patients seeking this holistic form of whole body wellness have a community of acupuncture professionals, each with unique styles and specialized qualities that they bring to their practices.
Naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist Ann Lee, founder of Health for Life Clinic, reiterates that acupuncture is a whole body medicine, increasing blood flow and circulation throughout the body to promote healing and increase the distribution of oxygen to the organs.
“How acupuncture benefits people the most is by balancing the nervous system,” Lee remarks. “Many people suffer from chronic stress, and therefore the body is in the fight-or-flight response mode. Acupuncture helps put the body back into rest mode. I tell people that it’s like a mini release valve for chronic stress.”
Lee specializes in fertility. She describes her comprehensive natural fertility formula, “When most people get a fertility workup, there’s no specific reason that comes up as to why the patient is infertile; it’s unexplained. I work to optimize their nutrition and make sure they’re getting the right vitamins and minerals. Chronic stress often plays a factor on the body’s sympathetic response, so the body is in a survival mode and not in a reproductive mode. That’s an important piece.” Acupuncture, along with natural supplements and homeopathy, are several tools Lee recommends for optimizing fertility naturally.
Jo Ellen Wisnosky, licensed acupuncturist and owner of Blossoms and Roots Wellness, offers acupuncture, massage and Chinese cupping. She finds acupuncture particularly effective to treat women’s health issues. “For women’s health, it can help naturally balance the hormones during periods of great fluctuation, such as before, during, and after pregnancy and during menopausal shifts.”
As a classically trained acupuncturist and a licensed massage therapist with an extensive background in the study of myofascia, Wisnosky also specializes in injury rehabilitation and pain management. She appreciates acupuncture’s unique ability to stimulate a healing response in the body. “Even thousands of years ago, though rare, the Chinese did dissections and described pathways, organs and structures as vessels or channels,” she explains. “Now, research is beginning to recognize these as what we call neurovascular bundles and myofascia today. In rehabilitating injuries, one of the ways acupuncture therapy promotes tissue healing is by stimulating certain junction points of myofascial tissue.”
Returning to Nature
Beverly Fornoff, founder of Traditional Acupuncture, practices Five Element Acupuncture. She describes it as a philosophy connected to the natural world and awareness of changes within the body during the seasons. “Five Elements picks up imbalances and realigns energy to correct them so the body can heal itself,” she says.
Fornoff integrates herbs with her acupuncture program, preferring raw herbs over capsules or powders. She combines flowers, roots and twigs into healing tea blends that patients can take home, facilitating the opportunity to continue healing and learning even after they leave the office. “Patients appreciate the connection of touching, feeling, tasting and smelling,” she notes. “We’ve become detached from nature, and this helps build a deeper connection to the natural world.”
Fornoff believes that rising insurance costs and high deductibles are factors pushing more Americans to become educated about holistic care and to take responsibility for their own health. “They’d rather spend their money on something that may not harm them as much as pharmaceuticals that just mask symptoms, but don’t address the cause.”
Jennifer Kegel, M.D., opened Lancaster Medical Acupuncture in July. While practicing diagnostic radiology for 22 years, she discovered acupuncture through personal and professional experiences. Recently, she trained in acupuncture and found it to be an excellent integrative complement to Western medical care.
According to Kegel, 80 percent of visits to primary care physicians in the U.S. are for stress-related conditions. “As Western physicians, we treat high blood pressure with anti-hypertensives, chronic pain with analgesics and narcotics, irritable bowels with anti-spasmodics and depression with anti-depressants. What we overlook is the body’s innate capacity to heal itself,” she explains. “Acupuncturists are trained to ask, first and foremost, why the patient has this disease.”
Kegel uses palpation-based Structural Acupuncture techniques, which involve working directly with the patient to uncover areas of stagnation of qi and blood. “The placement of needles restores the flow of both, which is essential for whole health and wellness,” she says.
Sheila Julson is a freelance writer in Milwaukee and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect with her at [email protected].
Acupuncture Resources in Lancaster
Health for Life Clinic. 112 N. Cornell Ave., Lancaster. 717-669-1050. DoctorNaturalMedicine.com.
Blossoms and Roots Wellness. 122 E. Chestnut St., Lancaster. 717-723-1362. BlossomsandRoots.com.
Traditional Acupuncture. Leola Business Center, 28 Keystone Ct., Leola. 717-381-7334. LancasterAcupuncture.com.
Lancaster Medical Acupuncture. 90 Good Dr., Ste. 101, Lancaster. 717-575-9816. [email protected] (email).