Just down the road from Mississippi State University, Dr. Jo Anne J. Turner spends her days treating patients out of the small oasis built in the back of her Starkville home.
Turner — an acupuncturist and member of the Diplomate American Board of Medical Acupuncture — has devoted her life to an endless array of needles and energy exchange since 2003.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that aims to balance a patient’s chi — flow of energy — through pathways in the body called meridians. It is not restricted to but most commonly uses the insertion of thin needles in strategic patterns to unblock the flow of energy and restore balance.
“In a natural way, acupuncture opens up this flow by stimulating different needles in different places in your body,” Turner said.
When balancing a client’s chi, says Turner, there are two different components: an individual’s yin and yang.
“Nothing is ever completely yin and nothing is ever completely yang,” she said. “So if you are in an excess state, you are in a yang state. If you are in a deficiency state, you are in a yin state.”
Although commonly misunderstood, acupuncture treatment is grounded in researched practice that can provide relief for a wide variety of medical issues including: chronic and acute pain, menstrual cramps, shoulder and back pain, anxiety, allergies, stroke and more, said Claire Mallory O’ Nan, owner of Starkville Acupuncture.
There is a wide variety of treatment techniques acupuncture experts use such as acutonics, acupressure, traditional acupuncture and personal evaluations. Therapists say a patient’s emotional, spiritual and physical state lead to a highly personalized acupuncture treatment approach.
“I really talk with patients and listen to them,” Turner said. “So I’m talking to you, finding out what makes you who you are and what’s really going on with your body.”
Acupuncture treatment can cost hundreds of dollars depending on the type of treatment and the number of sessions a client schedules. The first session typically at Turner’s home lasts three hours.
“I’m just trying to make people better than when they came in,” Turner said. “That is my legacy.”
O’Nan — like Turner — has dedicated her life to helping others heal through the curious world of acupuncture. O’Nan, is a licensed acupuncturist who holds a doctorate in oriental medicine.
She found a passion for acupuncture after the treatment helped her quit smoking and has continued her work for the last 20 years.
“I actually quit smoking through acupuncture,” O’Nan said. “I was intrigued so I checked it out and ended up studying.”
Starkville Acupuncture provides a wide range of treatments, the most notable being a new method of treatment that targets Alpha-gal Allergy. Alpha-gal allergy is carried through ticks that makes anyone infected allergic to any mammalian food products.
“More and more people are getting this in our area because we have so many ticks,” O’Nan said. “Western medicine can diagnose it but not treat it and my medicine can treat it.”
To treat the Alpha-gal Allergy a tiny 2mm needle is inserted sideways into the ear and stays there for three weeks. Surgical glue is put on top of the needle alongside adhesive bandages.
“In my practice, I really focus on complex medical conditions. People that have been to doctor after doctor with strange symptoms that cannot be diagnosed,” O’Nan said.