Tetyana Vasylenko, a native of Ukraine, has practiced acupuncture in Ewing for seven years. (Staff photo by Kait Kelly.)
Tetyana Vasylenko, a native of Ukraine, has practiced acupuncture in Ewing for seven years. (Staff photo by Kait Kelly.)

For 13 years, Tetyana Vasylenko was a medical doctor in Ukraine until she decided to move to the United States for a better life.

Soon after her move, Vasylenko attended acupuncture school, and in 2005, she opened Healing Point Acupuncture in Ewing. At Healing Point Acupuncture, Vasylenko is not only the sole owner, but the sole employee.

She said she enjoys acupuncture much more than traditional medicine.

Acupuncture is a method of Chinese folk medicine, where needles are inserted into a patient at points which are said to be related to the flow of “chi” energy through the body. Chi has never been measured or proven to exist, leading skeptics to believe that any perceived health benefits from acupuncture are mainly due to the placebo effect or a small physiological painkilling effect as a response to irritation caused by the needles.

But Vasylenko said acupuncture had advantages over science-based medicine.

“Eastern [alternative] medicine can explain many things that Western [traditional] medicine is not able to,” she said. “Sometimes Western medicine can be too aggressive of a treatment for a person. Eastern medicine looks at the person or patient as a system. We don’t just look at one symptom or complaint.”

Vasylenko said her field is very rewarding and satisfying.

“It’s amazing when people complain, and they get release in only like 10 minutes of acupuncture,” she said.

Most of the patients entering Healing Point Acupuncture are brought in by some sort of pain, though Vasylenko feels the general population isn’t aware of other problems acupuncturists claim their art can attend to.

“Acupuncture is not only pain relief,” she said. “It can help things like irritation, allergies, breathing problems, asthma, arthritis, IBS, PMS, infertility, headache and emotional issues such as depression.”

Vasylenko said she loves to talk to people and explain what she does. She enjoys educating her patients on how acupuncture allegedly works.

“I like that I have time to talk to my patients,” Vasylenko said. “I have time to answer their questions. I’m not limited to five minutes with my patients like most medical doctor visits.”

Vasylenko also offers nutritional programs at her office.

“As my teachers said in acupuncture school, it doesn’t matter if you believe in acupuncture or not,” Vasylenko said. “It does work.”

She described the process as gentle. She said most people are put off by acupuncture because of the thought of needles. However, the needles used for acupuncture are nothing like medical needles. They are mostly very tiny, and Vasylenko said her patients usually can’t feel them at all.

“I deal with short needles for a short period of time, making sure I don’t overstimulate,” she said.

Vasylenko said acupuncture releases hormones and endorphins which are natural pain killers.

“When people finally try it, they’re very surprised.”

Healing Point Acupuncture is located at 1330 Parkway Ave. in Ewing. Phone: (609) 771-6192.