301 S Bedford St., Madison WI

Acupuncturist Treats Illness, Relieves Pain

Wisconsin State Journal :: BUSINESS :: E1
Thursday, January 11, 2007

JAMES EDWARD MILLS

Set aside your fear of needles and find balance at a traditional Chinese medicine practice called Acupuncture Works.

At 1605 Monroe St., licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist Amy P. Crikelair specializes in the relief of pain and the treatment of ailments that range from gastrointestinal disorders to depression.

Crikelair said her use of needles is completely painless and helps the body realign meridians of vital energy to speed healing.

“The purpose of acupuncture is to help people get healthy and stay healthy,” she said. “In Chinese medicine, all pain is caused by energy blockage. And if I can figure out where the imbalance is and put needles in the right places, not necessarily where the pain is, the pain goes away.”

More than 2,500 years of traditional Chinese medicine — or TCM — has revealed key points that channel the flow of energy throughout the body. The placement of needles at these points directs that energy where it’s needed most.

“So you can think of them as remote traffic switches making things work,” Crikelair said. “Because it’s all about energy in the body.”

Unlike Western medicine which deals with specific symptoms and prescribes treatments for a particular illness, TCM treats the body as a whole. While a western doctor might treat a patient for a headache, a TCM practitioner like Crikelair will treat seemingly unrelated parts of the body to alleviate the headache’s underlying cause.

“They have to tell me everything that’s bothering them,” Crikelair said. “Each disharmony, each complaint relates to a different kind of condition. Sometimes they can be put together into one picture.”

Crikelair has been practicing TCM in Madison since 2001. She earned a master of acupuncture degree from the New England School of Acupuncture in 1997. Though most of her patients come to her for the treatment of pain, Crikelair said anyone can benefit from acupuncture.

“It helps keep you in balance,” she said. “I think all of us are out of balance most of the time. I think that acupuncture help us get back.”

A body in balance functions well under ordinary circumstances and rebounds with little difficulty when things get tough. “It can be anything from the holidays to your grandmother dying. Everyone has these things,” Crikelair said. “This is life. The question is, does it affect you so much that you can’t function or can you return from that center.”

The initial acupuncture treatment is $75 and takes about an hour. Follow-up treatments are $63. And if you’re worried about needles, don’t be. They’re tiny, some less than 0.18 millimeters in diameter. They’re so small in fact they don’t tear through tissue as they are inserted and the tissue almost never bleeds.

There’s no pain and Crikelair said they can help reduce stress, relax the body and calm emotions.

“I think that people should understand that they deserve to be feeling good,” Crikelair said. “They deserve to feel well, to not be in pain and be able to sleep and to be able to live rich full lives. And acupuncture does that.”

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