The holidays are now officially over and your New Year’s Resolutions should be in full effect. They are, right? Right?? Well, it can be challenging to get health goals off the ground, especially after holiday breaks. That’s why we’ve dedicated our annual Health and Wellness issue to help you help yourself. We’ve tracked down a few of Maui’s best practitioners in yoga, acupuncture, massage, angel guidance and quantum touch to give you direction. The path to self-care is rarely easy, but you can rest assured knowing there are many professionals on Maui who can help guide your way.
Articles in this issue:
Integrative Medicine, Pediatric Acupuncture and Acupuncture on Maui
How acupuncture can do a lot more than just alleviate pain
Acupuncture, herbal medicine and Qigong make up a three-pronged approach to whole body health that’s been practiced in China for thousands of years. It was brought to America in the 1970s and has slowly become well known in Western medicine for pain management. But there are many more conditions beyond pain that acupuncture can help with.
Jeffrey Tice, the owner and acupuncturist at Longevity Health Center in Wailuku, knows this very well. His vision for Longevity is to create a new model of integrative health for individuals that includes practitioners of acupuncture, massage, chiropractor, Chinese medicine and eventually a medical doctor, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
“Our business is a bit different from many small healthcare offices in the model that I used to create it,” says Tice. “We are offering many common services and presenting them to the community with a unified front, but most of our providers are self-employed and run their own business within our walls. Our services are all built within the model of Integrative Medicine, a modern phrase, created by traditional and classical Chinese medicine, the ancient practice.”
Tice built a cohesive clinic where a person can make appointments for the different kinds of services–a one-stop shop, of sorts. At the clinic, you can choose from several different therapies, and they accept most forms of insurance. Longevity also offers a community acupuncture clinic Mondays through Thursdays.
“I don’t like paperwork,” he says. “Most of us as sole proprietors are tasked with a lot of stuff we do not like doing, just to get our practice running. I don’t like administration or dealing with insurance companies. None of us do. but it is a necessary evil, and in order to do what we love to do that part has to come with it. so i have envisioned that the medical professionals partner with a business person and divide the work. What we are trying to do is streamline the experience for the consumer. We want to provide education for patients so people can make better choices for themselves. What I am wanting to do is fill all the gaps for my patients. Right now, when you get injured you have to drive all over town to get different therapies. I want to prevent that from happening for our patients. There is no continuity of care, and I want to change that.”
The idea behind community acupuncture is to provide access to care at a lower cost. Tice also says that the level of healing energy in the room gets elevated when everyone is getting treated at the same time.
“The model of care we want to eventually have here is five branches,” says Tice. “One, acupuncture. Two, herbal medications and Chinese herbs. Three, massage and chiropractic. Four, exercise. And the last branch is Five, meditation.”
When you think of acupuncture treatments, probably the last thing that comes to mind is pediatrics. But at Iao Acupuncture in Wailuku, owner and acupuncturist Christine Asuncion is very familiar with treatments for children, and says it can be very advantageous to their health.
“People are unaware that kids can benefit from acupuncture, and one of the first things they ask is do the kids get needles?” she says. “They can but actually I do pediatrics mostly without needles. We refer to that as a treatment protocol called Shoni Shin–it’s a traditional Japanese treatment. We use certain tools to help move stagnation or blockage in a child.”
She says acupuncture can help keiki with colds, flu, fever, digestive, sleep disorders, skin disorders and asthma but can also work on building immunity and preventing future blocking of chi.
“It’s preventative medicine,” says Asuncion. “You don’t need to wait for something to happen. If you are getting vaccinations and flu shots, it’s important to get your child to see an acupuncturist to get a treatment alongside of that. A treatment can really help them process those harsh pharmacopeia. We can treat that child’s body so it’s more accepting of the medicine and decrease the byproducts.”
Asuncion says the energetics in children is much more mobile, and their treatments run shorter in time. She also says a lot of time you need to treat mother and child together because what happens is if the child isn’t sleeping, that will affect the mother. And the reverse is also true: if the mother is stressed, that will definitely affect the child.
“Bringing your child in while young is a good time to address what your child could potentially have issues with as they age,” says Asuncion. “While their bodies are young, their chi is easily movable. We work with the channel system but the treatment is lighter and they do not have to lay as long. We tap into their chi and organize the chaos brewing in the body. Anything from flicking to scrapping to little points of stimulation.”
Acupuncture can treat gastrointestinal issues and immunity; it can help pre- and post- dental work and address infertility issues; it can alleviate headaches and swelling; it can assist in circulation; it can treat thyroid, ulcer, fibromyalgia and diverticulitis, among other conditions. Right now, most medical insurance covering acupuncture will do so only for pain, headache and nausea related to pregnancy or chemotherapy. It will not allow for treatments related to other conditions. I asked Tice about that gap in coverage.
“You’re not going to find a strong lobby in acupuncture, we don’t have a lot of money,” he says. “More research is being done, but they claim to be an evidence-based model. There is something there that circulates in your body, besides blood and lymph. That potentially gets into new science conversations we don’t necessarily have answers for. And that is where the struggle comes from, we are using this word chi. Until that is proven, that chi exists. You can stick a needle here and see the brain light up over here and watch circulation change–we say the root of that is chi. That automatically makes us discredited. It always cracks me up when people call acupuncture an alternative medicine. It’s 5,000 years old. Western medicine is about 500 years old. Which one is alternative?”
Acupuncture on Maui
Jeffrey Tice, Longevity Health Center and Community Acupuncture Clinic 2045 Main St, Wailuku, HI 96793 808 242-8844
More to come! check back for more listings on acupuncture or request your maui acupuncture practice to be included by calling 808-244-0777.