Stewart Graham, chief-of-staff for Councilman David Oh, holds up the Proclamation from Mayor Michael A. Nutter declaring Friday, Oct. 24th Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, while Jan Wilson, new owner of Chestnut Hill Family Acupuncture and Tonyelle Cook-Artis, chief-of-staff for State Rep. Cherelle Parker, look on.

by Sue Ann Rybak

“From a tiny acorn, the mighty oak tree grows,” said Jan Wilson, the former owner of Cafette, referring to her decision to close her restaurant on Ardleigh Street and open Chestnut Hill Family Acupuncture Clinic, 7825 Germantown Ave.

Wilson celebrated the opening of her acupuncture business with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 24. City and state officials were on hand to shower her with proclamations.

Stewart Graham, chief-of-staff for Councilman David Oh, read from City Council’s resolution declaring Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day across the city of Philadelphia in recognition “of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine.”

“Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have a long rich history as components of a comprehensive traditional medical system that has been used for thousands of years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent diseases and improve well-being,” the proclamation said.

Graham added it was important for the city to recognize the benefits of traditional oriental medicine such as acupuncture and make the public aware of the different health options available to them in their community.

Wilson, who was presented with proclamations from Mayor Michael Nutter’s and State Rep. Cherelle Parker’s offices, as well as the City Council resolution, thanked city and state officials for recognizing Oct. 24 as Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day.

“Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is part of a worldwide effort to bring attention to acupuncture as a healing modality,” she said.

Wilson knows first hand the health benefits of acupuncture and oriental medicine.

In 1995, she was in a car accident that left her suffering with chronic back pain. Wilson said she tried all the western medical modalities for healing, but nothing seemed to work until her sister Ginger Wilson-Williams suggested she try acupuncture.

Wilson was skeptical, but her sister wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“When I got back in the car after my first visit, my sister asked, ‘how do you feel?’” Wilson said. “I said, my soul is back in my body.”

Wilson, who earned a Master’s Degree of Science in Acupuncture at Won Institute in Glenside, explained that in traditional Chinese medicine, the goal of acupuncture treatment is to restore the flow of Qi – the energy that flows through the body – so all parts of the body can work together in harmony.

“In acupuncture medical theory 101, you learn that after a trauma, the soul may leave the body like birds might leave a nest,” she said. “The birds might hover in the tree a little while before they decide it’s safe to get back in the nest. I didn’t know any of that at the time. I just knew that I felt whole again. The healing was so profound that I knew in an instant I wanted to do what my Qi Gong Master FaXiang Hou did for me.”

Wilson added that, as the owner of Cafette, she was able to provide comfort and nourishment to the community. Now, as a licensed acupuncturist, she hopes she will be able to provide healing not only for the physical body but also for the soul as well.