When acupuncturist Elisa Wong was growing up in a small community on the island of Maui, traditional Chinese medicine did not seem like a strange or foreign concept to her.
Asian herbal medicine was integrated into her upbringing in many ways through her parents.
“My mom used to make different types of herbs and we had to take them,” she said.
Last March, Wong moved Ohana Acupuncture and Herbs to Monrovia and began providing acupuncture needling at .
Wong’s interest in acupuncture is in part also due to her mother, who urged her to try it after she began receiving treatments for tennis elbow. Wong said that she was successfully cured of severe migraines after acupuncture treatments.
“As I learned the foundation behind it, it put personal interest with culture and family. It really ties everything together. It was kind of like it was meant to be,” Wong said.
As an undergraduate, Wong studied biology at the University of Nevada and was interested in physical therapy and occupational therapy. But after her own positive experience as a patient of acupuncture, she began studying traditional Chinese medicine so she could share the treatment with others.
Wong graduated with a masters degree from the Southern California University of Health Sciences. While she attended SCUHS’s Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program, she also traveled to various cities in Mexico and California and provided acupuncture clinics to local communities as a member of the organization Helping Hands for Humanity (H3).
“It’s nice to know that our patients really appreciate acupuncture. The people are so awesome here. You’re always learning everyday, and every patient is different,” she said
Wong said that part of the goal of the sessions is to help the patient’s body heal itself.
“With acupuncture, we want to bring the body back into balance,” she said.
In addition to acupuncture, Wong also provides herbal and food consultations.
“I like to engage them in helping themselves, too,” she said of the food consultations with patients. “It gives them control. They are able to control part of the healing process,” she added.
Some of the ailments she frequently treats with acupuncture include back and neck pain, skin disorders, stress, anxiety, infertility, menopause, and many issues relating to women’s health.
Wong also practices three days a week in Redondo Beach. She finds the rewarding part of her practice comes in the outcomes of the acupuncture treatments.
“They’ll have a smile on their face. They’ll say they feel refreshed and they’ll feel more energy,” she said. “Knowing that your patients are voicing that they feel like their health is better, that’s very rewarding.”