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Acupuncturist displays techniques to students

Costume gala to benefit local charity

by Sally Claunch
The Shorthorn staff

Gary Trott applied pressure to electrical engineering sophomore Apexa Patel's back in an attempt to reprogram her brain.

"Now your brain doesn't know what's going on-which may be normal," he said, and laughed.

Dr. Trott is an acupuncturist and was demonstrating the technique of acupressure Wednesday on Patel as part of EX-CEL campus activities Wellness Series. About 50 people watched as he tested Patel for various allergies and applied pressure to certain parts of her back to reprogram her brain's reaction to the allergens.

He said that pressure points in the back can be manipulated to cause organs all over the body to function better.

As he was pushing on her back with a special tool, Patel couldn't see what he was doing.

"Are you using needles yet?" she kept asking.

Trott said he was only applying pressure to specific areas of her back.

He explained that a brain functions similarly to a computer. When a neuron comes in contact with an allergen, he said, it sends a signal to the brain, and it reacts with allergy symptoms.

"We are reprogramming that computer to not act negatively when in contact with that material," he said. "Doctors that tell you it's all in your head are right."

Trott said acupuncture and acupressure have recently been recognized by the medical community for having therapeutic value. He said the technique has almost become mainstream and more than 200 insurance companies will pay for the treatment. The accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, as well, he said.

Trott said the technique is used to cure everything from allergies and headaches to drug addiction.

"Over 800 drug treatment programs are using acupuncture in the U.S.," he said.

Trott uses acupuncture and acupressure techniques on his patients as well as moxibustion, the burning of herbs close to the skin; cupping, in which suction is applied to the skin; and scraping the skin, in which oil is rubbed on the body and then scraped off.

Dominique Ighebosa, EX-CEL leadership and development director, said acupuncture and acupressure can help students with common ailments they face.

"Being this is allergy season, this can benefit students by helping them with their allergies," he said. "It can control headaches from too much studying."

Sally Claunch

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