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Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness Treats Health Ailments in Ancient Ways

By Pamela Sosnowski

For those that have tried conventional Western medicine to treat pain or an ailment with little luck, Marcie Bower thinks you should give acupuncture a try. As the co-owner of Wellesley-based Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness, she and her team of practitioners have seen first-hand the positive effect acupuncture has on a variety of health conditions.

"An ideal candidate for acupuncture is really anyone who is in pain; physical or emotional, acute or chronic," she said. "Acupuncture can treat symptoms of many common pain conditions, such as back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, headaches and migraines, menstrual cramps, TMJ pain, sinus pain, or emotional pain like depression, anxiety, loss, or grief."

Acupuncture has existed for thousands of years and is a form of Chinese medicine. It's based on the theory that the human body contains energy pathways called meridians and when these pathways are blocked, it leads to discomfort in one form or another. The insertion of hair-thin acupuncture needles opens up these meridians or redirects energy to bring balance back to the body and promote healing. For those that are squeamish about needles, Bower assures that the needles are tiny and don't hurt.

Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness can also treat children, sometimes incorporating non-invasive acupuncture and magnets. Other holistic treatments available at the clinic include massage therapy, cupping, Chinese herbal medicine, Reiki, and more. The services are not New Age as some may consider them to be. According to Bower, many health insurance plans are now starting to cover acupuncture sessions, and she and her staff often see clients that were referred to her by primary care physicians, ob/gyns, pediatricians, and other doctors.

"The therapies we provide are not voodoo, fringe therapies," she said. "They can be an essential part of a healthcare regimen, and there is more and more clinical research that supports that notion. That is why these therapies are now termed 'integrative' as opposed to 'alternative.' We work closely with medical professionals to ensure quality care for our mutual patients."

Bower, who received her Masters degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine from the New England School of Acupuncture, actually aspires to help integrate Chinese medicine with Western treatments to make more people readily aware of what is available to them. In addition to treating clients at the clinic she's also administered treatments at inpatient and outpatient hospital clinics, community health centers, public health projects, and more.

Aromatherapy, another service offered at Stepping Stone, can help treat headaches, sleep disorders, sinus issues, stress, and more. Completely natural essential oils derived from plants components such as seeds, bark, berries, roots, and more are consumed by inhaling their aroma, digesting them in various forms, or receiving them topically on the skin. As Bower explains, there's a science to aromatherapy and a therapist must use the perfect ingredients and percentages to treat a patient.

"A lot of people don't realize how complicated aromatherapy really is, and what goes in to making a blend," she said. "Our aromatherapist makes personalized blends for patients, sometimes targeting a particular health issue but sometimes just to support them on their journey, in mind, body, and spirit."

Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness is conveniently located on Washington Street in a large brick building with plenty of parking and open every day except for Sundays. For Bower, there's no greater feeling than helping someone feel their best thanks to the array of treatments offered at her clinic.

"I love what I do," she said. "I get to work with all different people at all different points in their lives, and I get to help them feel better. What could be better than that?"

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