Chiropractor and acupuncturist John Hamada stands in his Pennington office. Hamada moved his practice from South Trenton around a year ago. Photo by Diana Pichardo.
Chiropractor and acupuncturist John Hamada stands in his Pennington office. Hamada moved his practice from South Trenton around a year ago. Photo by Diana Pichardo.

For 19 years, Dr. John Hamada practiced holistic healing mixing chiropractic with acupuncture at 899 South Broad St. in the Trenton neighborhood where he grew up. But as of last summer, Hamada made the move to a cozy property in a suburban setting at 2405 Pennington Road in Pennington.

“It has definitely been a social change,” he said. “I remember being raised in Chambersburg. There was an innocence there.”

Hamada said his optimistic outlook partially influenced his long stay in Trenton amid the escalating violence and economic disparity.

“I had a dream that the practice and the city would be a wonderful place again,” he said.

But reluctantly he claims that progress has not been made in the capital city and partly blames gang violence.

The last straw was the shooting of 21-year-old Carlos Diaz, who worked in ice cream shop Hamada used to own, two doors down from his old office in Trenton. The tragedy made him realize it was time to go, not only for his own well being but for “the love of (his) life,” Hamada’s 9 year-old-son, Joseph.

There’s a new office, but the methods and message are still the same, he said.

“My goal is to address not only patients’ existing problems but to address their health for the long and short term,” he said.

Hamada, who started out as a business major and even studied engineering, said he comes from a family of chiropractors but is the only one to have a holistic practice. Keeping with the science, he said he looks to heal patients using herbal medicine, dietary recommendations, exercise and acupuncture.

Hamada said he takes a whole-lifestyle approach to treatment. In doing so, he focuses on many aspects of the patient’s life to assess the best treatment, which in some ways seem more complicated or difficult than traditional medicine.

“In the beginning, to get to know the patients, it’s a little bit of a longer process,” Hamada said. “But once you get an understanding of the patient it makes it easier to treat them. It is certainly more thoughtful and definitely more fulfilling. I can safely say that I have a personal relationship with every patient treated.”

Hamada has big plans for the practice, including turning the garage, located in the back, into a tai chi, Qi Gong, Buddhist meditation center. Overall, he said he would like the place to be recognized as a healing center. Office manager Marika Denhardt will also be taking on more of a visible role as a wellness consultant and may even have presentations on her health strategies.

Education and prevention are key terms that Hamada would like to put to use at his business, because health is important.

“Staying healthy is a full time job for anyone. It’s hard work but the long-term effects are simple enough to appreciate.”

The office is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Hamada can be reached at (609) 737-7217.