EMMA ROUTLEY/CHRONICLE PHOTO

Marco Caturegli in his acupuncture studio at the Creswell Wellness Center on Oregon Ave. He said patients help determine the course of treatment.

CRESWELL – Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that has healed ailments across many cultures for 5,000 years. A key component of Chinese medicine, acupuncture is used to reflow chi or “energy” in the body where it may be stuck.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, “chi” refers to the vital life force that runs through all living beings. Stuck chi causes issues within the body, and acupuncture is used to remedy many internal aches and pains. Migraines? Digestive issues? Bladder problems? A few sessions of acupuncture may be able to help stimulate the body to help itself heal.

Acupuncturist Marco Caturegli‘s office at Creswell Wellness Center reflects his work. Peaceful, serene music plays non-disruptively, the salt lamp light glows low and sets anxiety at ease. Caturegli has studied and practiced acupuncture for 10 years. He even uses acupuncture on himself to help nourish and strengthen his immune system.

“What can it not do? It’s hard to say, really, because in theory you can treat anything,” he said. “We base our diagnosis and needle prescription based on what each individual feels.”

The needles are thin and if done right, hardly noticeable once in the skin. Communicating with the acupuncturist is important, because they can readjust a needle if it’s uncomfortable. 

Caturegli said he tries to be as gentle as possible with his technique. “The needles, they’re really thin. A lot of people have that concept of a needle and they think of injection. I agree, it’s not the most comfortable.”

What matters in acupuncture is finding where the chi flow is located in the body. Caturegli said chi is in different parts of the body throughout the day. After inserting the needle into the skin, Caturegli knows when he’s detected the chi.

“The needle sort of grabs on,” Caturegli explained. “If you try to bring it out, it has a resistance because it’s being pulled. That’s how you know you’re in the correct spot.”

Caturegli said with more practice, the Chi becomes easier to find. “There’s a cycle where the chi is present in the organs. Let’s say from one to three in the morning, the chi is more present in the lungs. If you have coughing or congestion, it’s common during that time.”

There are many methods to practicing acupuncture, such as Chinese, European or Western Medicine. Caturegli said he uses a European acupuncture system method of acupuncture pinpoints on the ears, which has warranted better results.

Puncturing these chi pinpoints is not the same as piercing an ear. Popular trends suggest getting a certain ear piercing called a “daith,” which is said to ease migraines. Daith piercings pass through the crus of the helix, through the ear’s cartilage fold just above the ear canal.

Caturegli isn’t convinced that it works.

“They say that when you get piercings, it does disrupt the flow. If you have a big piercing then there’s nothing there, no movement.”

There are energy points all over the body that acupuncturists can use in combination for all kinds of conditions. Caturegli said that throughout the treatment, occasionally the punctured points might get more active and painful as energy flows to those points. Then, the needles require some tweaking.

“Sort of like opening a valve or a pipe,” Caturegli said. “You open it more, or you close it down more.” 

Perhaps, the most important part of considering acupuncture is finding a practitioner with a technique like Caturegli’s that will help heal the body and ease the mind at the same time.