Acupuncture studio opens in Brattleboro

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BRATTLEBORO — Laura Thomas has opened a new Acupuncture for Humanity studio on Main Street.

Acupuncture is a treatment that can activate the body's self-healing mechanism. It's a practice that stimulates specific points on the body, most often with a very fine needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or help treat a variety of health conditions.

Thomas has been licensed to practice the art since 2003. She says, "I've been interested in traditional and alternative medicine for most of my life. I enjoy helping others. I've always been driven to understand how people tick and how we can tick even better every day. And with acupuncture, I've found my calling."

Acupuncture for Humanity is something of a departure from the acupuncture clinic norm. Rather than one-on-one between patient and specialist on tables in cubicles, it's a large room where several people can relax in recliners, allowing multiple treatments per hour — and thus reducing cost for each treatment, with patients choosing what to pay each time, $15-45 per treatment.

Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years, starting in China. It's used to treat everything from sprains to stroke to sciatica, along with the respiratory system, gastro-intestinal and muscle-skeletal disorders, anxiety, conjunctivitis, bronchitis, back and knee pain.

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"It's a simple and highly effective tool for healing and staying healthy," Thomas said. "I love how simple and powerful it can be. I enjoy witnessing the transformations it can bring to people's lives."

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The studio addresses

everything from general maintenance and balancing to the common cold, stress and pain issues. Working together with patients' primary practitioners, Thomas can provide effective complementary treatments to issues big and small, acute or chronic, including post-surgery, healing from injuries, chemotherapy, and pain management as an alternative to opioids.

"I guess if we had a motto, it would be 'Affordable, accessible, gentle, effective,'" Thomas said. Patients might add, "Compassionate, kind, inclusive, and above all it works!"

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Thomas studied nutrition on her own in her teens and then went to massage school in her early 20s. Undergraduate work was as a singer at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She then studied at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Seattle, and received her four-year Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine degree in 2003. She practiced privately for two years and then opened one of the first Community Acupuncture Centers in the U.S. in 2007.

In 2008, she moved back to Chester, to be with family and help run the Hugging Bear Inn & Shoppe. There she practiced acupuncture and energy medicine part-time. She also continued professional studies for three years with Donna Eden, a pioneer in the field of energy medicine, and became a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner.

Now living in Putney, she is a single mom with a daughter who attends Putney Central School. Laura tries to get acupuncture treatments weekly.

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