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Jung Tao School Offers Alternative To Western Medicine in Sugar Grove

By Troy Brooks

A fantastic alternative to western medicine is sweeping across the High Country at the Jung Tao Clinic for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Located at the Historic Cove Creek School in Sugar Grove, the clinic offers low cost acupuncture treatments to the public and school community performed by student interns in their final year of training to become professional practitioners of Chinese medicine.

Patients come from all over the county to treat a wide variety of conditions. The clinic is located on the Jung Tao campus on the first floor of the old rock building.

“One really important aspect of the clinic is the affordability,” said Amber Kent, a current student of Jung Tao. “We charge on a sliding scale so it makes it incredibly reasonable for patients. Healthcare is expensive these days and many of our patients are either on fixed incomes or rely on expensive surgeries and medications.”

Students are required to finish three years didactic study in medical theory, diagnosis and treatment, acupuncture point location, western biomedical anatomy and physiology and pathophysiology, and professional ethnics and practice management. Interns are required to finish 210 hours of observation with licensed acupuncturists and senior students are prepared to undertake responsibilities.

As stated on the school’s main website, “the main purpose of the clinical training is to effect a transfer of knowledge from theory learned in the classroom to the actual acquisition of skills in clinical acupuncture, with the ultimate goal being the attainment of professional competency by each student graduating from Jung Tao School. This transfer is accomplished by ensuring that each student receives a continuum of clinical experiences that correlate closely to the classroom and clinique experiences previously obtained. Students are exposed to a wide variety of patients and experiences to give them a solid foundation in the application of the principles and doctrines of Classical Chinese Medicine.”

“I think the program is great. It’s not that different from walking into a regular doctor’s office,” said Christine Clare, a former patient of the school. “The students as Jung Tao really know what they’re doing and they always have a lot of backup. The atmosphere is also very reassuring and I find it to be a very trusting place. I often remember walking into a doctor’s office and being very tense as I sometimes didn’t have everything explained to me. It’s so different at Jung Tao. I feel calmer. The healing process starts as soon as you walk through the door.”

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine and key component of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into the body at acupuncture points.Application of heat and pressure to these acupuncture points relieves tension and pain. Acupuncture can be used to cure a wide range of conditions, including asthma allergies, mental and emotional disorders, arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, fatigue, cessation, weight control and menstrual irregularities, just to name a few.

“My husband and I started using acupuncture several years ago and it’s been a blessing in helping to allow the body to regulate itself,” said Amber Kent, a current student of Jung Tao. “We just need to give it what it needs. I felt that I wanted to learn more about the science behind it and I find it amazing. It has you looking into all types of subjects, such as physics and biology, and there are still many things I have yet to learn. You’re able to manipulate what happens in the body. Your intention has an effect on the treatment.

Studying Chinese medicine is very profound because it observes how organs work with one another in the body. It also doesn’t have the same side effects that come with a lot of prescriptions these days. Would I want to take this prescription and develop these other symptoms it warns you of?”

Jung Tao approaches Chinese medicine through classical methods with an eastern style of instruction that emphasizes natural remedies and physics compared to techniques used in western medicine.

“Chinese medicine is based on physics. It’s all about moving energy in the body,” said Kent. “When somebody gets a fever in the body, they recognize it as heat. Western medicine allows you to record that heat using electroencephalography to detect electric waves in the body. On the other hand, Chinese practices can sense that heat in the body with the use of needles. Think of them as little antennas. They pick up energy waves in the body and allow the acupuncturist to tap into those waves and move energy to where the body needs it.”

The foundation of Jung Tao dates back to 1976 with Sean C. Marshall, who offered apprenticeship training in Chinese medicine and taijiquan. Eventually, Marshall established a graduate program and the Chinese medicine school in Boone. The first classes began in Sept. of 1998.

Jung Tao teaches students in a plethora of ages ranging from college studentsto people in their mid 50’s

“Everyone has a passion here for wanting to help others,” said Kent. “That’s the root of why most students are in the program. They want to serve and support others in their journey to wellness. The students here come from a wide range of backgrounds from doctors and nurses to engineers and marketing directors. Many of them have had their own challenges in the past and the program helps them learn how to take care of themselves.”

For more information the Jung Tao School and the Acupuncture Program, visit  http://www.jungtao.edu/index.php.

Photo provided by Amber Kent.
Photo provided by Amber Kent.
Photo provided by Amber Kent.
Photo provided by Amber Kent.
Photo provided by Amber Kent.
Photo provided by Amber Kent.