Point Taken

October 1, 2012 | By Waikiki Magazine Team

Go with the energy flow at Kama‘aina Acupuncture.

Eastern medicine has always had a home in Hawai‘i with its strong Asian influences deeply imbedded in the local culture. And being the second state to license the practice of acupuncture in 1974, alternative healthcare hasn’t automatically taken the back seat to conventional Western medicine for some time now. Steadily, those seeking pain relief and mental clarity are starting to make the “alternative” their first step toward feeling better.

Acupuncture is just one of the techniques that fall under traditional Chinese medicine (herbal remedies and tuina are also part of the eastern framework). The practice involves using small sterilized-disposable needles, which when placed in specific areas of the body, are said to cause a rise in endorphins, increase the flow of blood, and balance energy along the meridian system—the path where this energy or qi flows. Acupuncture has been deemed by many to be an effective therapy for discomfort, pain and certain ambiguous disorders that have no clear cause. Those who have tried acupuncture might feel the effects immediately, while others may notice results after several sessions.

Insomnia? Back pain? Digestion problems? This is just a small sampling of ailments that licensed acupuncturist Joe Bright comes across on a regular basis at his clinic just off Kapahulu Avenue. How does he know what to treat? Aside from the typical paperwork and Q & A session, Bright also performs a pulse reading to diagnose his clients. Surprisingly informative, pulse diagnosis is the ancient art and science of detecting the existing status of a person’s body, mind, soul and spirit. Bright likens pulse reading to the weather—apparent, but ever-changing. What is discovered on one particular day may be very different the next, depending on the circumstances of that specific time.

When it’s time to get treated, clients then head to the clinic’s second floor—a tranquil open space furnished with beds and reclining chairs—where the acupuncture takes place. A session lasts about half-an-hour—just enough time to relax, listen to the soft music in the background and let the needles do their work.

First-timers may be a little fearful of being painfully poked, but acupuncture needles are much thinner than the syringe needles many of us are all-too-familiar with, so the pain factor is slim to none when needles are inserted. At the end of each session, even if you don’t feel immediate results for the specific issue you came in for, you will likely feel an overall sense of calm and comfort nonetheless.

Because Kama‘aina Acupuncture is a community clinic (as opposed to a oneon-one session in a private room), fees are considerably lower than other practitioners. Based on a sliding scale of $20-45, clients get to determine how much to pay. There is a one-time $10 paperwork fee on your initial visit, but it’s easily offset by the cost of the actual treatment. If you’ve been toying with the idea of giving this ancient healing method a try, there’s no time like the present.

Kama‘aina Acupuncture
3121 Mokihana St. [A:12 Waikiki Map]
(808) 735-6389