After years as a researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. David Dai decided there was more to life than mice and rats.
"Clinical research is lots of fun. You can work with mice and rats, that's OK. But my major interest was to work with people," Dai said.
So, six years after leaving China to pursue a medical career in the United States, Dai combined his knowledge of western medicine with one of the oldest traditions of Chinese medicine and opened an acupuncture clinic.
He has spent the years since demonstrating how strategically placing needles on various points of the body can restore balance and alleviate everything from migraines to irritable bowel syndrome.
"Most people think, 'Oh, acupuncture works mostly for pain.' And, it does."
But, Dai explained, "Acupuncture is related to the philosophy of balance, yin and yang. You have white, you have black. You have day, you have night. You have highs, you have lows. Same with our bodies."
Each session starts with Dai listening to a patient's pulse and examining a patient's tongue.
"This is very important for Chinese medicine. It's like taking your temperature for a western doctor," Dai said.
Based on size, shape, color, even coating, Dai said, "The tongue can tell us whether the patient has a strong body or weak body, good circulation or bad circulation."
Those indicators help Dai decide where to place needles and what size needles to use, as well as whether to use gentle electrical impulses, heat lamps, cupping or Moxa (a tobacco-like plant that offers heat-therapy benefits when burned) to enhance the treatment.
Despite the differences from western medicine, Dai said most of his patients don't question his techniques.
"The biggest question is about insurance, since most insurances still do not cover acupuncture," Dai said.
That is changing; most insurance plans offer acupuncture-inclusive plans, but many employers decline the option to save money.
So, Dai said, he tries to keep his rates low, changing price only once in nearly 20 years.
After all, Dai said, "Whether you have money or not, you need help. And when you see the patients getting better, you feel so good."
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JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Day & Day Acupuncture Clinic
ADDRESS: 7020 W. North Ave.
PHONE: (414) 476-8388
OWNER: David Dai
TYPE OF BUSINESS: acupuncture clinic
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "When you see the patients getting better, you feel so good."
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