Original article by By Journal Sentinelof the
Christine Warrix recently became a licensed acupuncturist at the Pavlic Center on the campus of Wheaton Franciscan-Elmbrook Memorial.
Warrix graduated from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Racine in March, and passed her boards in June. She now is working on a master’s degree in oriental medicine at the college.
“The first day of school, I said I want to do acupuncture at the Pavlic Center, and I made it happen,” she said.
In addition to being an acupuncturist, Warrix has been a massage therapist for more than 12 years at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-St. Francis Reiman Center and at Elmbrook Memorial.
Q.How did you get interested in acupuncture? “I had a treatment by an acupuncturist probably about seven years ago, and he made my shoulder feel brand new for two weeks. I thought I want to do that for my clients.
“It took me quite a few years to come up that I was going to spend that kind of money to become an acupuncturist. But I’m glad I did, because I absolutely love the field, and I can actually do more for my client.”
Q.What do you have to do to become an acupuncturist? “Apply to a school that you are interested in, where you feel it is a good fit. You have to research what the state requirements will be. I was in school for three years. It’s a little over 2,000 hours that I completed. I have 664 hours in just clinic time.
“There is a student clinic at the school, and that’s where we do our hours. We take in patients. We do our assessments and treat them. We are under the supervision of licensed acupuncturists. They sign off on our treatments. During those hours you are supervised the whole time.”
Q.What are some of the courses you take? “Orthopedics, nutrition, theory of Chinese medicine. I am in the herbal program right now, so that is part of the program.”
Q.How does it mesh with Western medicine? “It is a good support for Western medicine. If someone is coming out of surgery and still has pain in their knee, an acupuncturist could help with that pain.
“In cancer care, acupuncturists have helped with people who are going to chemo, to help with the nausea and maybe the lack of appetite or pain. So it’s a good support system for Western medicine. Both have their limitations, and where one might have a limitation, the other one can help.”
Q.What does acupuncture do? “There might be a blockage in an area. In the instance of arthritis, there might be some inflammation in a joint. If we put a needle in that area, that can help reduce the inflammation. You are removing the energy from that area, you might be removing heat from that area, to relieve the pain.”
Q.Has it become more accepted by mainstream medicine? “I think it is. It’s just everywhere. More people are talking about it because it has been helping them. More people are finding it because they get frustrated and they say, ‘I’m just going to try this.’ And then when it ends up working for them, they tell a lot of people.
“Twelve years ago, when I started massage, it was the same thing. People thought it was a feel-good thing and only for the rich. Now it is hard to meet someone who hasn’t had a massage. And I think that is where acupuncture is going.”
Q.What do you like about the job? “I love being able to help someone who has been frustrated with whatever condition they are dealing with. I just love my job. I love coming to work. I love the place I work. I love the people I work on and the people I work with. It’s just all over a great feeling. It’s a good feeling to want to come to work.”
Compensation: The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect earnings data on acupuncturists. According to the BLS, acupuncturists charge between $40 and $70 for a one-hour treatment on average.
To get in: Wisconsin requires certified acupuncturists to complete the equivalent of a master’s degree program from a nationally accredited professional school and to have passed the national board exam, according to the Wisconsin Society of Certified Acupuncturists.
Outlook: The state Department of Workforce Development projects that the professions of health diagnosing and treating practitioners, which include acupuncturists, will increase 10.6% between 2010 and 2020.
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