The healing power of needles

Darryl Aiello was once skeptical of acupuncture until he tried it for himself. Now he is making a living helping others.

Suffering from an injury to his knees and living in pain, it was Aiello’s wife who convinced him to see an acupuncturist.

“I was very weary, I was brought up very Western medicine,” he said. “Using needles to cure was something that was foreign to me.”

But in need of relief, Aiello made the trip to the acupuncturist.

“He said ‘Let me know when the pain is gone’ and I laughed,” Aiello said. “But within 30 seconds he relieved me of the pain.”

That was when Aiello decided to make a career change — and a change it was. Retiring in 1988 from the electronics field in the Navy after 11 years, Aiello went on to be a carpenter. The field of natural medicine was far different, but he decided to make it happen and first attended Olympic College. After graduating from OC, Aiello attended Bastyr University in Kenmore. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science of acupuncture and became certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He also became certified as a detox specialist.

“In the state of Washington, you have to be certified,” he said.

Just recently, Aiello opened the Acupuncture and Pain Management Clinic on Silverdale Way behind Schuck’s Auto Supply to not only help others alleviate pain but also help relieve other imbalances that vary from anxiety and the common cold to menopause and stress. And while acupuncture can treat a variety of medical problems, treatment cannot be provided for cancer or epilepsy.

He says that since opening he has seen many patients for shoulder and back pain and being able to relieve someone’s pain is what he finds most rewarding.

He adds that there are two ideas, the Western and the Eastern, as to why acupuncture alleviates pain.

“The Chinese believe that the body has energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”) and pain is caused by a blockage of that energy,” he said. “Acupuncture helps Qi flow freely.”

The idea from Western medicine, he said, is acupuncture hyper stimulates the nerves so the body creates more endorphins which are a natural pain killer.

“A lot of times, the pain is relieved 75 percent by the first visit,” he said. “A lot of Western (medicine) doctors are now prescribing acupuncture for their patients. Although, I think we’re still a few years from it being mainstream.”

As for the thought of being needled, Aiello says some patients are a little leery at first.

“Some patients are not really jazzed about the needle, but then I show them what it looks like,” he said. “They’re very small, five or six acupuncture needles can fit into the hole of a diabetic needle. I try to talk them through the process to feel at ease. Nine times out of 10, they don’t even know the needle is in.”

While attending Bastyr University, Aiello, as well as the other students, were required to see 400 patients.

“I saw over 500 patients,” he said. “You pay attention to the reactions from the patients when needling them.”

For the month of October, Aiello is offering half-off the price of a first office visit. For more information or for rates, call (360) 698-4609.

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