By Alex Davidson
Dr. Wen Guo Chen, a state-licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, was determined to keep his business alive despite having to close it for months following the World Trade Center collapse Sept. 11.
Chen and his assistant, Yun Chen, decided to relocate their office to Little Neck 16 months ago from the Manhattan office at Jones and Nassau streets, which they had to shut down following the terrorist attacks that paralyzed most Lower Manhattan businesses. The new office of Little Neck Acupuncture is at 251-19 Northern Blvd.
And with their relocation came their clients, who travel from as far away as New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine and all parts of New York City, the doctor said through Yun Chen, who translated.
“We came here, and we feel safe and comfortable,” Yun Chen said. “Especially in New York City, I see a lot of patients come in and say they’re very stressed from their daily lives.”
Wen Guo Chen said he came to the United States seven years ago after having studied and practiced acupuncture and herb therapy for more than 40 years in China. He moved to Fresh Meadows from Shanghai and is a registered professor of traditional Chinese medicine at Shanghai University.
To treat a host of problems and ailments from menopause to chronic back pain, the doctor uses acupuncture, herbs and acupressure, which is a form of massage routinely administered to patients after an acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture is based in the theory that needles strategically placed at more than 400 different pressure points on the body stimulate natural reactions to relieve pressure that leads to problems such as back pain and anxiety. The needles are left in the body for a certain amount of time, the doctor said, and the normal reaction is not a feeling of pain, but instead a heavy, sore feeling.
The doctor said many of his clients are former patients of Western medicine who have used treatments such as antibiotics that have not successfully treated their problems.
“Herbs are very good to treat viruses,” Wen Guo Chen said through his translator. He then pointed out selections of herbs from a book of hundreds that, when specifically mixed in different amounts, are used to detoxify the body, increase fertility, treat symptoms of menopause and increase the effectiveness of the kidneys.
Some of the herbs the doctor uses are isatis root, lonicera flower, isatis leaf and oldenlandia, and he said some people come to his shop just to buy their own supply from his inventory. He said he mixes different amounts in prescriptions for all patients, depending on their problems.
Wen Guo Chen said he offers his clients a Chinese massage that focuses on the body’s pressure points at the end of his acupuncture and herb treatments. The results for each patient depends on his or her problem, but those with acute ailments usually need at least two half-hour treatments, while chronic pain sufferers need five to 10 sessions, he said.
Each session costs $50 for at least a half hour, said Yun Chen, who is studying to be a licensed acupuncturist. She said the length of the sessions depends on the time availability of the clients, but it never lasts less than the standard half hour.
Little Neck Acupuncture is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The office accepts some forms of medical insurance, and it advises calling ahead to make appointments.
Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.