GREEN BAY – Green Bay natives treat ailments with a combination of needles and ancient Eastern medicine at a new acupuncture clinic.
Eric Vandenhouten moved to China in 2002 and spent the next 20 years studying acupuncture before returning home. This Friday, he opens his own clinic, WaoMirc, at 521 S. Military Ave.
Acupuncturists focus on helping others and not making money. After all, he said, he didn’t spend 20 years learning how to throw everything away.
“For me, it’s more about making it comfortable for the patient,” he said.
The clinic has three evaluation rooms and a large treatment area. An evaluation must be done first and the treatment takes between 30 and 45 minutes. A follow-up evaluation will be required after several sessions to assess changes and update treatment if necessary.
Vandenhouten said the cost varies depending on the severity of the illness, whether the person has insurance and if it includes acupuncture treatment. People who do not have insurance and choose to pay in cash will receive a 20% discount on all services.
“It requires more medical decisions for more complex treatments,” he said.
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Vandenhouten discovered his interest in acupuncture after reading a book on the subject from the Brown County library. He became so fascinated that at the age of 20, he moved to China to study.
“I was a carpenter working for my father,” he said. “But I can see the end of my life – lonely under construction – and decide to change my future.”
Vandenhouten said she decided to go to China after her taekwondo teacher suggested she study acupuncture in Asia. He did some research, and in 2002 made the decision to travel there, where he stayed until returning to Green Bay this year.
After a year of learning the language, he said he spent 12 studying acupuncture. At that time, he graduated and completed two masters in Acupuncture and Tuina, a form of massage similar to Shiatsu, at Zhejiang Chinese Medicine University. He spent the rest of his time working in acupuncture and earned his doctorate while obtaining certification to practice in the United States and England.
“This is a very useful therapy for several categories of diseases,” he said. However, he added, it is not viruses, bacteria or permanent damage to the muscle structure.
But that’s not all they do there. Vandenhouten also saw a business opportunity in exporting ginseng, a plant commonly used in Asian cuisine and medicine.
Vandenhouten said that after finishing his degree in 2008, he started a company called Global Wisconsin Ginseng Trading LTD in the United States to export ginseng to China from Wisconsin, which produces 98% of ginseng in the United States, according to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
“I started when I was little, but now I’ve grown up,” he said. “That’s what pays for all these (clinics).”
The export business, which is still ongoing, also gave us economic freedom to focus more on the needs of our patients.
For now, Vandenhouten said he will work alone but plans to hire more personnel in the future.
WaoMirc is open 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays. For more information, visit drericvandenhouten.nccaomdiplomates.com/clinical-practice or call 920-785-0398.
Ariel Perez is a business reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. You can reach him at [email protected] or see his Twitter profile at @Ariel_Perez85.