The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Holistic healing

    Renee Rosenow

    Afraid of needles? Lacking medical insurance? Still in the pediatrics sector of the doctor’s office? Does the Dr. McDreamy look-a-like make annual doctor visits uncomfortable?

    If these questions stop people from making an appearance at the doctor’s office, or if people are going through a period of youth rebellion or modern medicine seems a little too conventional for you, look no further.

    The Chippewa Valley offers a vast selection of alternative healing methods, including acupuncture, hypnotherapy, chiropractic and reflexology options.

    “The business is booming,” said Julie Geigle, a nationally-certified hypnotherapist at Eau Claire’s Heaven Sent Hypnotherapy of holistic healing, 3548 Cypress St.

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    Geigle believes that people are beginning to put more investment in themselves.

    “Pay now or pay later,” she said.


    One of the better-known alternative methods of healing, acupuncture has been practiced for hundreds of years around the world.

    Acupuncture is practiced in two different styles. One being traditional acupuncture, which, according to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, is the technique of inserting small needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain.

    The other form is medical acupuncture, which, according to the AAMA, is a form of acupuncture practiced by a physician who is trained and licensed in Western medicine. This “hybrid” approach to acupuncture combines classic and modern forms of the technique while using modern medicine.

    In both forms of acupuncture, the physician puts pressure on the patient’s meridian points throughout the legs and arms. Although the practice of acupuncture originated in China, it is widely practiced at several centers, including some in the Chippewa Valley, such as Two Rivers Clinic, 200 Main St., or Paul Lin Acupuncture, 3004 Golf Rd.

    Though needles are usually associated with pain, acupuncture is relatively painless, according to the Two Rivers Clinic Web site. The needles’ size will vary from place to place, but are usually half the width of human hair, thereby causing a virtually pain-free insertion.

    Side effects are limited to minor bleeding or rare allergic reactions to needles, according to the Two Rivers Web site, which also states that acupuncture is believed to treat an assortment of illnesses, including respiratory conditions, such as asthma and bronchitis, diabetes and fatigue.


    Hypnotherapy is a state of deep relaxation where all focus and concentration are on one thing. According to Heaven Sent Hypnotherapy’s Web site, it is a guided relaxation technique used to put the patient in a calming state.

    During the calming state, a patient is more receptive to receive positive suggestions that are claimed to help take control of a patient’s life and achieve goals, according to the site.

    Geigle said most people move in and out of and function in a state known as “walking hypnosis” throughout the day. During a session of hypnotherapy, a state of mind is achieved purposely, while “walking hypnosis” is subconscious.

    While in a hypnotherapy session, the patient is in a trance-like state where their subconscious attention is completely focused on suggestions made by the hypnotherapist, according to Heaven Sent’s Web site.

    Geigle said that people often have an altered perception of exactly what hypnotherapy is.

    “So many people think that stage hypnosis is the same,” Geigle said, adding that there is a vast difference between the two. “Stage hypnosis controls you, while in hypnotherapy you learn how to control yourself.”

    The goal of a hypnotherapy session is to unlock hidden burdens and make changes in life.

    Benefits of this practice include conquering phobias, fighting insomnia, decrease of blood pressure and strengthening the overall immune system, Geigle said.


    Chiropractic care is a method that focuses on treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

    Chiropractic practices were started in that late 1800s in Davenport, Iowa, by D.D. Palmer. Now over a hundred years later, according to the Mayo Clinic Web site, chiropractic treatment is practiced by millions of people each year to treat scoliosis and chronic back pain.

    Senior Paige Overby started seeing a chiropractor after being in a car accident four years ago. The accident caused severe damage in her right shoulder.

    “I felt like going to the chiropractor really helped my healing process after the accident, although the regular visits were a large time commitment,” Overby said.

    Overby continues to visit the chiropractor to keep her spine in regular alignment.


    Like acupuncture, reflexology is applied pressure to specific points in the feet, hands and ears.

    Reflexology is a non-invasive procedure that alternates pressures applied to areas within the reflex maps of the body, according to the Reflexology Association of America Web site. Reported benefits of the procedure include stress reduction, relaxation, pain management, health enhancement and improved body function, according to the site.

    In 1985, Eau Claire community member Judy Hagedorn turned to reflexology after seeing an advertisement for it in a magazine.

    After only two sessions with her reflexologist, Hagedorn said she was feeling better than ever. It was at that moment that she felt she could use her own experience of healing to help others.

    Many weekend seminars later, Hagedorn began running a reflexologist center out of her own home on the west side of Eau Claire.

    “Bodies can heal themselves,” Hagedorn said. “Your body just needs to send messages through pathways to the brain to relax.”

    Hagedorn believes in the mental and emotional aspects of the body.

    “You just have to ask your body to heal and trust that it will listen to you,” Hagedorn said.

    Hagedorn has not been to a traditional physician in over 10 years.

    “You cannot keep relying on the medical profession; they repair broken bones and stitch cuts.”

    Along with reflexology, Hagedorn practices yoga, belly dancing and tries to eat mostly organic food. For at-home healing and stress release, Hagedorn recommends meditation and drinking lots of water to replenish cells.

    If these holistic ways of healing are a little out of a person’s realm of comfort, Hagedorn’s advice is simple.

    “Just breathe.”

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