E.L. acupuncturist speaks to MSU Chinese Club students
Philosophy senior Brittany Collins held perfectly still as needles were inserted into her ears and wrists Tuesday evening, while other students watched in amazement.
Collins was one of several students who volunteered to try the treatment when East Lansing acupuncturist Shalena Havens visited the MSU Chinese Club Tuesday at Wells Hall.
The presentation was one of several activities used to teach members of the club parts of Chinese culture and prepare them for study abroad in China.
“We try to bring different aspects of Chinese culture to the club, utilizing both culture and language skills,” said Chinese Club president and international relations and economics senior, Elyse Gatt. “This is one step to bringing Eastern medicine to the members of the club. It gives us more insight to Eastern medicine practices and how Shalene applies being an acupuncturist in a Western culture dominated by strict medical guidelines.”
Havens gave a presentation about Chinese medicine, the benefits of acupuncture and performed several demonstrations of acupuncture on club members who volunteered.
“We have had movies, dinners and homework sessions, basically anything that would be language integrated to prepare members of the club for studying abroad, but never anything like this,” Japanese and Chinese senior Jason Gauruder said.
After getting mononucleosis in college, Havens was tired of constantly feeling sick and began to see an acupuncturist. She felt better after a month of treatment, and began to look into acupuncture as a career. Since studying at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Havens has seen her share of medical miracles.
“I treated a child when he was 6 months old. He had cerebral palsy and his doctors had told his parents he would never be able to walk or function any of his arms or legs,” Havens said. “I saw him until he was 3 years old, and by then, he could feed himself, stand on his own and the doctors were so amazed. They said they must have misdiagnosed him.”
Acupuncture has been used in Chinese culture for thousands of years and more than a billion people regularly use acupuncture to treat their medical problems, according to the Web site of the Creative Wellness Holistic Health Center, where Havens practices.
It is known to be helpful in the treatment of pain, fatigue, insomnia and can help relieve the cravings associated with alcohol, drug and nicotine addiction, according to the Creative Wellness Holistic Health Center’s Web site.
“I’ve seen lots of people that have had pain for years and after a few sessions with me, they said the pain was gone,” Havens said.
Using needles to stimulate acupoints and release energy blocks known to cause disease or pain, acupuncture can be relaxing and stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself, Havens said.
“It didn’t hurt, but I definitely felt it; it’s like a stinging sensation,” Collins said.
“It did make me feel more relaxed and it made the room feel cooler.”
Collins said the experience was an eye-opener for her to the holistic side of medicine and she said she would explore it in the future.
“This is definitely something new that I wouldn’t think to try, but I’d do this again,” Collins said. “Next time I’d get a full relaxation treatment.”