Long an integral piece of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture invovles inserting long needles into the skin to alleviate pain.
GODFREY — A long, sharp needle breaks through the skin, sliding effortlessly into the body. There is no blood, no pain. What initially may sound like a horror movie actually is accompanied by soothing music, a relaxing touch and relief from pain.
When a friend suggested acupuncture to relieve her husband’s health issues, Kay Mondin was at first skeptical.
“I had gone the conventional route because I was a nurse, but when that didn’t work I thought I’d better try something,” she said. “It worked. It wasn’t instant, but I could see improvement. I went from being very skeptical to very interested.”
Long an integral piece of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has gained momentum, popularity and respect in the West in the last several years. The act of inserting long needles into the skin at precise points to alleviate pain remains a controversial technique, particularly among more conservative physicians, but more offices, clinics and spas have begun to offer this service … and countless patients are singing its praises.
“Traditional Chinese medical theory says that acupuncture rebalances the body’s flow of energy, or life force, called Qi,” Mondin said. “Other theories explain acupuncture as a method of interfacing with the nervous system to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissues, to increase the activity of the body’s natural painkillers, to improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and to influence regulatory activities within the body.”
With Mondin’s interest piqued, she decided to take a stab. She commuted by train each weekend to attend classes at Chicago’s Midwest College of Oriental Medicine and received hands-on experience in the college’s busy acupuncture clinic. There, she earned a master of science degree in Oriental medicine and went on to become an Illinois state-licensed acupuncturist and an NCCAOM National Board Diplomat in acupuncture.
She practices out of her office at 5411G Godfrey Road, Godfrey.
Mondin demonstrates the technique, likening it to operating an old switchboard, as the acupuncture needles plug into ports that link up the nervous system over the body’s natural meridians. She uses sterile single-use needles that are less than a millimeter in diameter, very flexible, and taper to a cone-shaped point at the end so that the needles painlessly sink into the skin without cutting. She explains treatments may use as little as 11 needles.
“Acupuncture has a way of helping the body help itself. Its effects are like eating a good wholesome meal or getting an excellent night’s sleep — except all at the same time,” Mondin said.
Mondin says there are a variety of reasons people may seek out acupuncture.
“You can target specific issues, you can do it as a general health practice, or you can use it because you are going through a stressful time and need to support your body,” she said. “My patients and I work together to figure out which way we need to go.”
For more information call (618) 531-7307 or visit www.kaymondinacupuncture.com.