Dr. Dao Shing Ni has never taken an aspirin or ibuprofen in his life. Thanks to acupuncture and ancient Chinese medicine practices, Ni’s appendicitis at age 10 was cured. Later in high school, he was the only kid to go back to school the next day after having sprained his ankles. With one treatment, he was running and playing again.
The Yo San University co-founder, faculty, Board of Trustee, co-founder of Tao of Wellness, and ancient Chinese medical practitioner simplified this 2,500-year-old phenomenon to Santa Monica Rotarians at the September, Oct. 25 meeting, and extolled the countless benefits of acupuncture.
So, what is acupuncture, and how does it work?
“We have many, many theories,” Ni said.
When you put these extremely thin needles in certain areas or points, Ni explained, it elicits a range of neurological responses. It affects the central nervous system or neurological transmitters, which would help to reduce pain, among others. It’s healing powers essentially work as an opiate. But it can also cure a number of ailments like stress, sexual dysfunctions, or infertility, to name a few.
And the needles don’t hurt but instead prompt a little tingle, numbness, soreness, or heat. But ultimately it becomes comforting, Ni said.
“There is a tremendous amount of benefit in the sense of personal experience qith acupuncture,” Ni told Rotarians. “How it works is amazing. I can tell you guys that it elicits so many different responses. But the most important response is how you feel. Immediately I can relax within the first 10 minutes of treatment. I can sense the feeling of calmness and relaxation. And a lot of times I fall asleep.”
And when he wakes up he feels time is irrelevant.
At the age of 19, Ni became the youngest person to be licensed by the California Acupuncture Board. In 1989 he and his brother Moa founded Yo San University, a non-profit organization that educates students to become practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Taoist healing arts. Yo San offers two fully accredited degree programs: Master of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (MATCM) and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM). Both are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), the recognized national accrediting body for programs educating acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners.
Ni’s specializes in women’s health.
Ni told an anecdote of one of his associates who was suffering at work from menstrual cramps the other day. He stimulated a point by the ankle. Five minutes later, the cramps were gone and she was back to work.
“When pricked at a certain point, it brings forth regeneration or stimulation,” Ni said, adding its relief to joint issues and other degeneration that happens as we age. Other issues that come with old age or stress is sexual and erectile dysfunction stemming from stress. Ni can fix that.
“What it does it is teaches your body to rejuvenate. It re-teaches your body and re-teaches your body to stimulate to start getting better on its own,” he said.
Another service offered is cupping, which Ni mentioned you might have seen popularized by celebrities who have showed off their cup-marks on the red carpet.
“Cupping is a very common, very useful thing, used especially for blood flow circulation, as well as asthma and as well as coughing. Cupping is one of those things that can stop coughing very quickly. This is how it’s done: You take a glass jar and you suck out the air and create a suction. That suction brings a tremendous amount of blood flow to that area. What you’re trying to do again is trying to get your body to heal itself.”
Another approach to healing that Ni employs is herbs.
“Herbs are mostly from plants, different roots, branches, leaves, flowers,” he said. “We have an herb room that has about 450-plus herbs. I grew up chopping herbs, chopping branches, making powders, and learning smells and textures.”
They can put the herbs in tea, powder, or pill form. And a lot of times, he’ll incorporate different modalities to work toward the same goal. So he’ll use acupuncture along with herbs.
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine welcomed a gift of $1 million from the Thomas S. Blount Trust earlier this month.
To learn more about the facility, visit yosan.edu or call 310.577.3006.
For more information about Rotary visit rotaryclubofsantamonica.org.