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Jing River Acupuncture opens

Dr. Xiangdong Yu's clinic is still young. He just opened for business about a month ago.

Yu is a licensed acupuncturist with a Ph.D. in integrated Chinese and western medicine. He's also a M.D. in China. He's been a professor, clinic director and faculty member at the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Roseville. Before that, he has held roles as assistant professor, postdoctoral fellow, attending physician and acupuncturist, resident physician and teaching assistant.

Now he's the owner of Jing River Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine in Hastings.

Yu was led to acupuncture by his family. When he grew up in China, parents selected the careers of their children, and Yu's family had a history with acupuncture.

"In my family, every generation has an acupuncturist except my father's," Yu said.

His father wanted Yu to become an acupuncturist, and luckily, Yu enjoyed the work.

Acupuncture isn't just about needles.

"The basics of the theory is the yin and yang," Yu explained.

A person's chi, or vital energy, needs to be balanced with the blood, he said, and acupuncture works to achieve that balance.

Yu went on to explain the theory behind the method. The body has 14 channels, he said, and each channel has multiple points along it he referred to as holes.

"We use the needle to puncture the hole," he said.

Doing so can help bring balance to the body.

Why is balance so important? Some physical ailments can be treated by correcting the balance of chi and blood, Yu said.

"We can treat many types of diseases," he said.

His specialties are neurology and gerontology, and he's used acupuncture to successfully treat patients who have suffered strokes, have Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, various types of pain, and some degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Acupuncture can't treat everything. As a western medical doctor in China, Yu also uses western medical methods, including prescribing medications.

"Some diseases you do need western medicine," he said.

But others, he added, are more successfully treated with traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. One example he gave was hepatitis. The western method uses an anti-viral medication and vitamins to treat hepatitis, but that's not as effective as herbs and acupuncture have proven to be, Yu said.

The results aren't theories. There have been many scientific studies on the effects of traditional Chinese medicine, Yu said, and they prove that it works. He talked about one study that compared the recoveries of stroke victims after six months. One group was treated with western medicine and the other with Chinese medicine.

"The results are much different," Yu said.

Patients treated with acupuncture had more improved skills than those treated with the western method, he said.

For those worried about needles, they're not like a typical syringe. The needles are much thinner, and Yu likened being pricked by them to being bitten by a mosquito, if the patient feels anything at all.

"Many people don't feel anything," Yu said.

Yu hopes that his clinic can help people improve their quality of life.

"I want to help the people," he said.

Eventually, he wouldn't mind opening a second clinic so he could help even more people, he added.

Jing River is located in suite 105 of the Central Commons building, located at 925 Highway 55. The clinic's website is The phone number is 651-674-3351.