In May, 2006, MaryEllen Velahos was featured in an article in the City Suburban News about acupuncture and her own personal interest in traditional medicine. The article is below.

Ancient Treatment for Modern Ailments

Acupuncture has been used successfully by one quarter of the world’s population for over 2000 years. Acupuncture is the insertion of tiny needles into several places on the body to balance the body’s energy and cause it to heal itself. The body energy is referred to as qi (chee) in Chinese but many cultures have expressions such as life force, prana, spirit, ruach, orgone and ether which refer to this energy of the body. “Recent research studies have proven the existence of meridians which are the pathways by which this qi travels,” explains MaryEllen Velahos, the founder of the Center for Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine in Bala Cynwyd. “When the qi is traveling along the meridians in a free-flowing manner we have health. When there are blockages we have pain and disease.”


When Richard Nixon visited China in 1972, a reporter on assignment there became ill and underwent an emergency appendectomy. He was treated with acupuncture for postsurgical pain. Because he was so impressed he wrote several front-page stories and the United States was introduced to acupuncture. Since the 1970’s acupuncture has transitioned from a foreign modality to a mainstream mode of treatment for disease. In 1997 the National Institute of Health declared that acupuncture was both appropriate and helpful for over 50 common conditions.


“Conditions such as arthritis and joint pain, uro-genital and digestive disorders, insomnia, and even diseases that cannot be diagnosed by a physician even through extensive testing—have been thought of by many people as just the condition of ‘getting old,’” states Velahos. Some previously active individuals find themselves confined to their homes because of pain and other conditions that they believe have no solution. Velahos adds, “In many cases, acupuncture has proven to be effective in alleviating these disorders suffered by senior citizens and people of all ages and allows them to resume active lifestyles.”


MaryEllen Velahos decided to become an acupuncturist after having a success story of her own with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. “Two months of weekly acupuncture treatments turned a chronic problem completely around for me.” She says that she was surprised to find that the needles were hardly “needles” at all and felt nothing like she had expected. There was virtually no pain and she found herself going to each treatment session wondering “what would happen next” as she saw her condition make a 100 percent improvement. She also discovered that the sessions themselves were very relaxing.


From that time 9 years ago, Velahos studied the concepts of Chinese Medicine first informally and then formally in a graduate program at The Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine in Montclair, NJ. She says she was intrigued to find that the concepts and language of Chinese Medicine were not like that of allopathic medicine but more closely follow the language of art—which was her previous profession. Velahos trained as a painter at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and The University of Pennsylvania over 20 years ago. “It seemed to be a continuation of what I had been doing for the past 20 years, only now the canvas was replaced by a human body,” she adds.


After becoming licensed in Pennsylvania, Velahos opened The Center for Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine in Bala Cynwyd. She says that what she loves most about Chinese Medicine is that it has a treatment for every condition because “we simply rebalance the body, which when in balance takes over and does the healing all by itself.”


The Center for Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine is located at 8 Cynwyd Road in Bala Cynwyd. The Center is a handicapped accessible facility. Office visits are by appointment Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday. Please call for a free consultation at 610-668-1338.