Melissa Wick believes modern medicine and traditional medicine complement each other.
“I think there is a common goal for any health care provider to help people feel better, be healthier, feel less pain,” she said. “People need good health care options. I’m just one of the options.”
Wick is a physical therapist at Riverside Medical Center and also a state licensed acupuncturist in Wisconsin.
She has worked at RMC for 18 years, and in February, she opened Sunrise Acupuncture.
Sunrise Acupuncture is located in Bella Wellness & Aesthetic Center, 105 Western Ave., where skin care services, electrolysis and permanent cosmetics are also available.
“We’re all medically trained practitioners,” Wick said.
Skin care products, make-up, candles, nutitional supplements and herbal formulas are available in the center.
Wick continues to work at RMC and has hours at her business on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. She may be reached at 715-942-6887.
“It felt like a good fit, to do something for myself,” she said.
Growing up in the Dakotas, Wick was always physically active.
For her, studying physical therapy came naturally to her.
She earned her master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of South Dakota in 1995.
In addition to working at RMC, Wick has also worked in home health and school settings.
Three years ago, she decided to go back to school.
“I think I went to a PT conference, and it had a lot to do with acupuncture points and using acupuncture to manage pain and deal with the psychological problems with pain,” Wick said.
For her, that idea peaked an interest, and in 2012, she graduated from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Racine with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine.
The program was based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, which traces back to more than 3,000 years ago, she said.
“Acupunture points and pressure deal with the connections to the physical structures, as well as connecting to the organ systems, like the heart, lungs and kidneys. In the Chinese philosophy, organ systems have a connection to emotions. There’s physical, and there’s organ and there’s psychological,” she said. “It’s about bringing the body, organs, different parts of life into balance.”
Wick said the human body is a physical, ever-changing, dynamic system that can recover and restore its health.
“That is where acupuncture comes in,” she said. “What acupuncture and Chinese Medicine do is nudge the body in the right direction to restore and recover. In our busy, daily lives, we don’t let ourselves heal and recover.”
She said acupuncture promotes the flow of energy in the channels.
The acupuncture needles are thin.
Some people may not feel the needle insertion, while others may feel a tingling, warmth, heaviness or sense of energy moving along the channels.
Healthy eating, getting enough sleep and exercise are the three main principles for good health, she said.
“When someone comes to me with an ache or pain, I want to know about their digestive system, sleep patterns, their ability to manage stress,” she said. “In the end, the big picture is to get the body to be a stronger, healthier body, to be a better healer. When you have a good, strong, healthy constitution, when you get stress or life issues or go through a trauma or injury, you are able to heal more quickly or manage it.”
Wick completed her state tests and credentials in May. She took four state exams – in acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Chinese herbs and bio medicine.
She offers various services and treats such conditions as allergies and asthma; arthritis, back and neck pain; circulatory and respiratory conditions; common cold and sinusitis; fertility and fibromyalgia; headaches and migraines; joint pain and muscle pain; menstrual and menopause symptoms; smoking cessation and weight loss; and stress, anxiety and sleep disorders.