KAPA‘A — The doctors at the Natural Medicine and Acupuncture Center have witnessed the power of natural and preventative medicine.
They often treat patients who visit the Kapa‘a office as a last resort — when prescription medicines have failed and surgery seems the only alternative.
They treat chronic aches and pains as well colds and the flu.
But above all, they treat problems, not just symptoms.
The center, which opened in January in the East Kaua‘i Professional Office Building on Kuhio Highway, provides a full-spectrum of holistic healing. And on Wednesday, the community is invited to see what it’s all about at an open house and blessing from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Collectively, the center’s four practitioners offer naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, Eastern and Western herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, massage and non-surgical facial rejuvenation.
Dr. Leia Melead is both a naturopathic doctor and an acupuncturist, while Dr. Richard Scheffer focuses solely on acupuncture. Dr. Zachary Young is a chiropractor and Natalie Joyce rounds out the group as a lomilomi and massage practitioner.
“Just take a pill and call me in the morning — we’re not that kind of doctor,” Melead said.
Naturopathy, her specialty, is medicine practiced without surgery or synthetic drugs. It uses special diets, herbs, vitamins and massage to assist the natural healing processes.
While Melead uses naturopathy to treat thyroid, endocrine and women’s health issues, to name a few, it cannot address chronic pain. It was for that reason that she became interested in acupuncture.
According to Scheffer, also an acupuncturist, muscles typically respond to injury by constricting. Placing pins in particular points stimulates blood flow — and therefore nutrients and healing — to damaged tissue.
Acupuncture is so powerful, he said, because it heals the pain, unlike painkillers, which mask it.
Both doctors contrasted the more than 4,000 years behind practices such as acupuncture and the 200-year history of modern, Western medicine.
According to Scheffer, traditional, Eastern disciplines dig a little deeper. While a physician might treat an ulcer’s symptoms with prescription medications, Melead said traditional Chinese medicine would seek to identify which of many possible and nuanced deficiencies was actually causing the condition.
Additionally, the preventative approach of holistic medicine takes some of the onus off doctors and places it back on patients where treatment is concerned. For example, a patient with headaches and ulcers might require a change in diet, the addition of exercise and daily supplements.
It’s really common sense medicine, Melead noted.
Both Scheffer and Melead agree that modern and traditional approaches are not mutually exclusive. There is a place for both, they said, but the most important factor in obtaining a good bill of health is the patient.
“If you don’t take an active role in healing your body,” Scheffer said, “the doctor is not going to do it for you.”
The center is located at 4-1579 Kuhio Highway in suite 209. For more information about the open house, contact Melead at 822-2087 or Scheffer at 634-8499.