Union Tribune San Diego Article on Acupuncture, Reiki and other treatments

Union Tribune San Diego Article on Acupuncture, Reiki and other treatments


Nontraditional practices offer healing therapy and more


Acupuncture, Reiki and other treatments support conventional medicine

By U-T San Diego Contributor 6 A.M.AUG. 6, 2013

Kayleen Walsh performs acupuncture treatment to fellow student Alia Mrowczynski at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Rick Nocon photo


Alternative medicine is increasingly becoming a method of supporting, but not replacing, conventional medicine throughout America.

Alternative medicine describes a variety of healing treatments not used by medical doctors. Such practices are no longer considered outside the mainstream as people turn to them for relief from a variety of ailments.

From acupuncture to Reiki, alternative medicines look for ways to work with the body’s natural energies, systems and balances to promote healing from within.

Reiki, a Japanese medicine brought to the U.S. in the 1930s, is a non-invasive healing therapy that promotes healing through relaxation and release of stress.

Sara Burns, a Reiki Master Teacher and Wellness Coach from Sacred Transformations in San Diego, describes Reiki as “uncovering blockages that are occurring in clients through movement of energy.”

After dealing with her own pain caused by several hip surgeries in her youth and a later auto accident, Burns discovered Reiki in the 1990s after earning a master’s in social work. Burns said she found Reiki to be calming and helped her release pain to the point of longer needing to take medication.

When a client visits Burns for a Reiki treatment, the therapy begins with an initial conversation about his or her medical condition and their expectations for the therapy. She then prepares the client for a 90-minute treatment that involves lying on a massage table with soothing music playing as Burns begins her work.

“I envision my clients as I would a sleeping child while I am working on them,” Burns said. “I do my healing quietly with gentle light hand movements.”

Burns said this relaxed environment helps the client receive healing energy with ease. She is then able to pinpoint where blockages or ailments are occurring. “This allows for me to focus my thoughts of releasing their blockages because energy follows through while instilling Reiki energy through the meridian channels,” Burns said.

After treatment, she said, clients feel rested, lighter and more peaceful with noticeable reduction in pain and tension.

Clients come to Burns for Reiki treatments to heal both physical and emotional ailments. Many have tried other methods of treatments with no benefit. Clients seek relief from pain caused by migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disorders, back problems, insomnia and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Burns said most people feel immediate results with one treatment, although some come for several.


“I think the most significant benefit to Reiki is helping to educate my clients on how their physical problems relate to their emotional issues,” Burns said. She added that they begin to have more awareness of their body and, in turn, make better choices in life.

For those suffering from arthritis, nerve pain, back and neck pain, migraines and other issues, acupuncture has been shown to have healing impact.

According to Chinese medical theory, acupuncture works by influencing and balancing the life energy flow through the body, called Qi, with the stimulation of specific points on the body. Other conditions, too, can benefit from acupuncture. Chang Acupuncture and Associates, for example, specializes in treating fertility clients who credit their treatments with providing spiritual support and stress relief.

Julie Chang, of Chang Acupuncture and Associates, described how acupuncture works.

“Once an acupuncture needle breaks through the skin creating a ‘microcut’ that’s invisible to the eye, the normal physiologic process of wound healing is immediately set in motion,” Chang said. “This complex biochemical process brings all sorts of healing factors to the area where the needle is placed such as hormones, proteins, cells, etc.”

Chang is a master in traditional oriental medicine. She holds a bachelor of science in microbiology and molecular genetics from UCLA and is a graduate of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego.

While acupuncture uses needles, the process is painless and the flexible needles are only the thickness of a hair. Chang said many clients fall asleep with the needles in them. The amount of time a client needs acupuncture is determined by how long an ailment or problem has persisted.

Another non-invasive alternative medicine is Quantum Energetics Structured Therapy, or QEST. QEST practitioners describe it as a holistic energy medicine that works with the body through energy healing to help improve the immune system and overall health.

Andrea Reuth, a certified practitioner with Quantum Energy Healing Therapy in San Diego, said QEST looks at the entire body as well as the root of an ailment. “A disruption of energy in one part of the body usually is affecting other parts of the body as well because everything is connected through the fascia structure throughout the body,” Reuth said.

Various procedures are used such as muscle testing, touch and directional breathing. These procedures help to fix disrupted energy patterns so the body can repair itself.

Ailments treated through QEST include concussions, head injuries, structural injuries, sleep disorders, immune disorders and hormonal imbalances. Reuth described two types of procedures: energy healing given through the hands of a practitioner and purposeful energy healing combined with breathing.

“We do follow a sequence, and because various systems and components of the body are so interrelated, it is very common that working with one condition will allow for positive changes of a seemingly unrelated symptom,” Reuth said. She added that the sequential approach can help restore the body to a healthy balance.

Another unique aspect of QEST is the use of numeric codes or numbers. These are tapped onto the body in a Morse code way and the body responds with a yes or no answer. This allows practitioners to know how to proceed with treatment.

“QEST naturally assists the body energetically to make its own repairs thus bringing the body back to balance, greater energy and a healthier immune system,” Reuth said.

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