Not long ago I went to see Bryon Sparks, who has a beautiful tattoo on his calf of a Chinese man showing the kidney meridian. I was feeling stressed and irritable. I wasn’t sleeping or eating properly, Basically, I felt uncomfortable in my skin.
After taking my pulses and thinking a few minutes, Sparks decided on a treatment. He told me that I was possessed, though it didn’t mean that I had demons in me.
“People can be possessed by substances or behaviors,” he said. “You just need this negative energy trapped in your cells to be released.”
Since coffee was my only drug of choice, I smirked at his diagnosis. I’m stubborn regarding any change in my life, and this was no different. But I let him proceed.
As each needle went in I found I could actually feel the chi or energy literally moving through its pathway. It was as if Sparks had opened the channels of energy in my body. I immediately felt at ease and open to my healing. After the session I felt more stable and grounded than I had been in a long time. He continues to be my doctor to this day.
Acupuncture is one of the most ancient healing methods. Though its effects are sometimes unexplainable, it does seem to help with a variety of pathologies.
Sparks practices Traditional Chinese Medicine. He began 10 years ago after being fired from his job as an art director. “I was too cutting edge,” he told me.
When he came home there was a message on his answering machine advertising a free treatment at the Shiatsu school near his home. Deciding it was a sign, Sparks signed up.
“I had clients who had cured themselves of things like cancer with something simple like changing their diet or taking herbs and it made me realize how simple and beautiful Traditional Chinese Medicine is,” he said. “Body, mind and spirit are connected, so any imbalance in the body will effect the mind or spirit and likewise. The real beauty in this medicine is that it can treat psychospiritually as well as physically.”
Sparks divides his time between his private practice in Makawao and Northshore Chiropractic. He also performs acupuncture on a volunteer basis for the Maui AIDS Foundation every week.
“My work at the Maui AIDS Foundation is mainly centered on increasing immunity with acupuncture and herbs but I end up treating the side effects from many medications they are on,” he said.
Sparks often combines bodywork with herbs and acupuncture in his sessions, which he said makes for a highly effective treatment. “When you just poke needles in people without any touch sometimes the client feels more guarded and may tense up which makes them resist the needle work,” he told me.
“I love what I do,” he said. “I have the best clients and a really great connection with them. It’s nice to be in a profession where you get to form relationships with your customers. I have met such a variety of people with many different conditions. A lot of them have never had acupuncture and aren’t too sure if it can help them. But I love making believers out of skeptics.” MTW