News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters Acupuncture marks 20 years in Sisters

"I give you three months," Jack the barber told Greg Wieland. "You'll be broke and you'll be out of here. This conservative community will never support what you do."

Wieland was just establishing his Sisters Acupuncture practice in his new hometown.

"Boy, I did not need to hear that then," he recalled.

Twenty years have rolled down the line, and Jack has long since left town. Sisters Acupuncture is still here - and thriving as it serves a community that has come to embrace healing alternatives.

Despite naysayers, Wieland always had a certain faith that Sisters would welcome his work in Chinese medicine and alternative methods of supporting health and well-being.

"I just felt that people were going to understand what we had to offer," he told The Nugget last week.

That's not to say it was easy - nor is it for just about anybody trying to establish themselves in Sisters.

"I will say, the first few years were scary," he said. "We counted every penny."

Drawn to Sisters for its natural beauty and small-town ambience, and the opportunity to raise a family in that environment, Wieland gradually built a thriving practice. In a way, his timing couldn't have been better. Sisters was growing and changing, and many people moving into the area already had an open attitude toward alternative health practices. And the entire national culture was shifting to embrace the kind of work Wieland was engaged in. The medical profession itself has become more open to alternative care.

"Over time, enough people have benefitted that there's not as much resistance from the medical community, either," Wieland noted. "Enough patients went back to their doctor and said, 'it helped.'"

Sisters attracts many people who are devoted to a healthy lifestyle, and who do not want to use a variety of medicines or drugs that carry significant side-effects to manage health conditions if they can find an effective alternative.

Wieland also cited the opening of Sisters Athletic Club as a significant milestone in shifting people's outlook.

"They're a piece of this town being more conscious of (people) taking better care of themselves," he said.

In 2016, Sisters has a thriving community of practitioners in a range of healing arts.

It's not just patients' attitudes that have shifted over the past two decades. While Wieland still offers a combination of acupuncture, massage and cupping, he has evolved his own approach to accommodate a significant focus on gut health - "and in particular yeast overgrowth."

In recent years, more and more has come to light about the critical nature of gut health in overall well-being. Studies and experience indicate that problems from depression to auto-immune disorders can be traceable to diet and gut health. Adjustments to diet, aggressive efforts to restore healthy flora and shifts in lifestyle can have a significant positive effect.

He notes that he has healed himself through walking his talk, and notes that at 58, he can still hit a basketball court with people a fraction of his age - and hold his own pretty well.

Healing oneself - and making positive changes to stay healthy - is what it's all about. In a way, Sisters Acupuncture's business model could be described as a counter-intuitive effort to get rid of customers.

"My goal is to make it so you don't need me, if possible," Wieland told The Nugget.

Wieland sees his practice moving more and more in the direction of tackling issues of gut health.

"It's likely to evolve toward those metabolic issues," he said.

So, far from being run out of town by an indifferent population, Sisters Acupuncture has been embraced. For that, Wieland is very grateful, and he extended his thanks to the supportive community of Sisters for two decades of health and healing.

Sisters Acupuncture is located at 352 E. Hood Ave., Suite E. For more information call 541-549-1523.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author photo

Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit www.frontierpartisans.com.

 

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