Acupuncturist joins Guttenberg's Riverside Wellness Center

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Muni Ceulemans has been a practicing acupuncturist for over five years. He joins Riverside Wellness Center in Guttenberg this month and will be taking appointments every Friday. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

We learn as students that blood flows through our veins and arteries from our hearts all the way to the tiniest capillaries in our fingertips, and we learn that hormones travel through our bodies activating necessary processes. We learn that electrical impulses sent by nerves running from our feet to our brains will notify us of a pebble underfoot or a pain in the stomach. 

Acupuncturists, who practice some of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine, learn that alongside veins, arteries, and nerve pathways, there are also 12 conduits, or meridians, on which energy flows through the body. “If you watch ants walking on the street or in your house, they follow a certain pathway. Even when you cannot see that pathway, they seem to know exactly where to go. It’s that way the energy travels through the body,” explains acupuncturist Muni Ceulemans. Ceulemans will begin practicing in Guttenberg this month at Riverside Wellness Center. 

Ceulemans is often asked how acupuncture works. “If you put an obstacle on the pathway that an ant is traveling, it will try to move it, then go around it. It is the same as what arteries would do when blocked, and the same with energy,” he says, explaining that acupuncture assists the body with removing energy blockages or finding alternate paths. But how do the tiny siliform needles acupuncturists use actually do that? 

“Everything that is alive has an electromagnetic field – that’s energy, electricity. If you go outside when it is storming and attract some lightning with a pole, electricity goes through you and then to the earth,” Ceulemans says. “Needles are made out of stainless steel, so you can say that they attract little lightning bolts to move the obstacles.”

Ceulemans currently practices in Prairie du Chien, Wis., and is looking forward to practicing in Iowa. He has a bachelor’s degree and an additional four years of training in an acupuncture school, where he studied acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, the use of herbs, and human biology. Ceulemans has been a practicing acupuncturist for over five years. “I’ve seen incredible things, so it’s very exciting,” he told The Press. 

Acupuncture is best known as a pain reliever for musculoskeletal issues like carpal tunnel, arthritis, or back pain, but is also used to treat headaches, asthma, allergies, menstrual issues, lyme disease, and to relieve stress, build up the immune system, improve the mood, and even ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or mulitiple sclerosis. “We do a whole bunch of things, and like in western medicine, that doesn’t always mean that we can heal it,” Ceulemans says.  “But we can make life much easier for people.”

Let’s say, for example, that you do lots of office work, sitting at a computer and typing, and now you have pain in your wrists and arms. Western medicine would say you have carpal tunnel. “Most of the time when you come to me you have already gone to a western doctor and have already exhausted your options with pain killers or cortisone shots. The next stop is surgery and you’re not likely to do that,” Ceulemans explains. “For most people acupuncture is the last thing to do, not the first thing to do, which we don’t mind because it’s good to know the western doctor’s point of view on the illness.” So for a client with carpal tunnel, Ceulemans says, “We put the needles on those places where we know we can adjust that meridian going through the wrist so that it can help clean up the obstacle or bring the inflammation down. Usually the points on the body where we put the needles they have a harmonizing effect – in the traditional view, acupuncture brings balance to the body.”

What about those with a fear of needles? “It can hurt, but it is like a mosquito bite, and most of the time you do not feel the needles,” Ceulemans explains, admitting that he, too, is not fond of needles – but the siliform type acupuncturists use are much, much finer than the familiar sort used for vaccinations. Sessions typically cost around $60 and can take 30-45 minutes. “I would say if you need surgery, try acupuncture – if it works, it saves you lots of time and money. You’ll be so much happier,” says the acupuncturist.

“There will always be some new people who are curious and there will always people who have been helped and will come for new things,” Ceulemans told The Press. To schedule an appointment contact Ceulemans at 715-969-9255. Look for an upcoming evening of “Get to know your acupuncturist” at Riverside Wellness Center. 

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