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Hawaii. A boy dives off a cliff into shallow water and loses his eyesight after impact. Over the next months, the boy undergoes acupuncture treatments with Dr. Maekawa. As the doctor arranges the needles that restore blood flow to the boy's injured areas, her apprentice, Regan Archibald, watches closely. When the boy's eyes fill with vision again, Archibald understands the power of Chinese medicine to heal the body.
In 2004, Regan Archibald opened East West Health in Salt Lake City. He draws together complementary aspects of Eastern and Western medicine with the help of a medical doctor and nurse practitioner on staff. Together, they use acupuncture, clinical testing, and nutrition programs to treat disparate ailments, from anxiety and allergies to tennis elbow and whack-a-mole shoulder. According to Archibald, many patients are surprised to learn that acupuncture and ancient herbal medicine can also remedy gastrointestinal disorders, such as chronic diverticulitis.
Three times a year, Regan Archibald leaves the bamboo plants and earth tones of his clinic to return to Hawaii on a raft made of needles and mugwort. On the same island where he watched Dr. Maekawa restore a boy's eyesight, he broadens his knowledge of Chinese medicine and hones his skills in acupuncture modalities such as seitai shinpo. Archibald is one of only 13 certified practitioners of seitai shinpo, a method centered on the spine and its network of nerves.