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More African Americans Trying Acupuncture

Washington Afro American, News Feature, Valencia Mohammed, Posted: Sep 14, 2007
Editor's note: Valencia Mohammed has been on the health beat for years at the Afro in Washington, D.C., particularly monitoring alternative therapies.

More and more African Americans are seeking alternative means of maintaining healthy lifestyles and combating diseases. One such alternative is acupuncture and acupressure.

Kokayi Patterson, an acupuncture specialist began his career over two decades ago after recovering from his short bout with drug addiction. Patterson's self cure acupuncture detox-techniques became his signature to help others cure themselves of drugs, toxins, relieve stress and adopt holistic lifestyles.

"I took her aside, provided acupuncture and she was able to breathe and function properly. Some people said I saved her life."

Patterson and several natural health care professionals opened The African American Wholistic Association at 3830 34th Street, in Mount Ranier, Md., an area known for its non-traditional methods to healthy lifestyles.

Patterson's techniques have been used in emergency situations in which acupuncture is not normally considered.

"I remember going to a funeral of a young teenage boy a few years ago. I was not thinking about providing acupuncture on the spot. However, the mother reached out to me in pain and begged me for help. I took her aside, provided acupuncture and she was able to breathe and function properly. Some people said I saved her life," said Patterson.

Other people who attended the funeral contacted Patterson for services.
"I took her aside, provided acupuncture and she was able to breathe and function properly. Some people said I saved her life."
Patterson has also been used for long term projects at well-known drug centers such as RAP, Inc.

Three years ago Paterson remembered, a young Black woman came into a residential treatment program in her third-trimester of pregnancy with an inverted fetus and ask for help.

"I provided her with acupuncture treatment and suggested a change in her diet. By her next obstetrician visit, the baby had corrected its position and there was no need for a C-section," said Patterson.

In Asia, acupuncture is a normal way of healing. Some western states have adopted alternative treatments to aid patients in need of non-emergency care.

"Unlike in the past, traditional insurance companies are paying for holistic care. California is a leader of holistic approaches to curing ailments in the U.S.," said Patterson.

Patterson said the National Institute of Health has its own component of approved natural health care remedies and treatments. "Acupuncture is approved by NIH. People are opting to investigate about better ways to cure common ailments rather than take dozens of prescription drugs. We want our clients to make educated, sound and conscious decisions rather than operate on fears and following the status quo," said Patterson.

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