Accessing acupuncture: Ancient medicine for modern woes

November 2014 Posted in Business

By Dixon Bledsoe 

Marjorie Eng has helped people find their inner chi – natural energy or energy flow – through acupuncture for 30 years.

“I have been blessed to serve this community, starting with my first job in Silverton with the late Ralph and John Schmidt, doctors of chiropractic, who knew the value of natural healing and treating the whole person. They also knew well the differences in Eastern and Western medicine and that each had a valuable place in patient care,” Eng said.

Though acupuncture has been around more than 5,000 years, it has taken some time to catch on in the United States. Now covered by most insurance plans, it has gained nearly full acceptance in blending Western with Eastern medicine.

As Mika Watanabe, the latest licensed acupuncturist to join Eng Acupuncture Center in Silverton explains, “In some ways, Western medicine is like firefighting in that it is reactive to a crisis such as a house fire, where acupuncture is much like a housekeeping service where we look at the entire house and help keep it in balance. People are so stressed these days, with computers, caffeine, and the urge for quick fixes. We just don’t let ourselves heal. Our focus is really on people, not disease.”

Eng herself is proof of the value of acupuncture and the all-encompassing approach that it takes.  “I suffered from asthma in the Willamette Valley, like so many people. Even the Native Americans called it the ‘Pocket of Disease and Valley of Sickness.’ Having been to the ER many times from asthma attacks, it was questionable if I would make it to age 40. Out of ideas and at the end of what Western medicine could do for me, I tried acupuncture. I still have and will always have asthma, but it is so much better through treatment,” she said.

The clinic is in a good position to re-invent itself and Eng is now accepting new patients herself for the first time in a long while. Eng has added Watanabe and Hae Kim, an licensed accupunturist, and Susan Peterson, a licensed massage therapist.  When asked about the blend between acupuncture and massage therapy, Peterson says they are a perfect fit. “It is my favorite modality. We do not take a cookie cutter approach. In Western medicine, there is a ‘no touch’ approach, but in Eastern medicine, there is no real creation of other imbalances and every system of the body is addressed in a natural setting without creating side effects. Massage is a wonderful complement to acupuncture.”

But Hae Kim is quick to point out, “We work with MDs a lot and work well together. We get to work at a slower pace and can help get people slowly back in balance. An MD might look at your temperature and blood pressure, where as acupuncturists, we will look at the color of your face, take your pulse and look at the shape of your tongue. Most people just need a tune-up.”

Eng adds, “Sometimes for pain there is a quick fix, but acupuncture is so valuable in treating many different systems. There has been success with fertility, regulating menstrual cycles, treating hypertension, arthritis, Bells Palsy and a host of other conditions. Our hope is to get you back to a sense of well-being.”

Kim and Watanabe both use a modality that focuses on pressure points by applying radish seeds around the ear. They applied the treatment at First Friday and the Silverton Shindig held Oct. 4 to great reviews.

As Eng says, “Acupuncture is deeper than most people think. It is relatively painless, but we penetrate deep into the glutes for back pain that can’t be reached through massage. It has shown to be an effective treatment for some people needing hair or face rejuvenation, weight loss and tobacco use.”

Watanabe states, “People crave to be seen as a whole person. In Chinese medicine, it focuses on aligning the spirit, organic functions, touching and dialogue.”

Over her career, Eng has helped a lot of people, and trained other acupuncturists.  “Most people don’t believe until they get results, and we do that for them.”

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