After 20 years in China, a Green Bay native returns to open acupuncture clinic ∣ Streetwise
GREEN BAY – A Green Bay native treats ailments with a combination of needles and ancient Eastern medicine at his new acupuncture clinic.
Eric Vandenhouten moved to China in 2002 and spent the next 20 years studying acupuncture before he returned home. This Friday, he opened his own clinic, WaoMirc, at 521 S. Military Ave.
The acupuncturist is focused on helping others and not on making money. After all, he said, he didn't spent 20 years learning to throw it all away.
"For me, it's more about making it comfortable for my patients," he said.
The clinic has three evaluation rooms and a large area for treatment. An evaluation must be done first and treatment takes between 30 to 45 minutes. A follow-up evaluation will be needed after several sessions to assess the changes and renew the treatment if needed.
Vandenhouten said costs vary depending on the severity of the disease, whether the person has insurance and if it covers acupuncture treatment. People who don't have insurance and choose to pay in cash will get a 20% discount on all services.
"It takes more medical decision-making for more complex treatments," he said.
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Vandenhouten discovered an interest in acupuncture after reading a book on the subject from the Brown County library. He became so fascinated that, at 20 years old, he moved to China to study it.
"I was a carpenter working for my dad," he said. "But I could see the end of my life — it's lonely in construction — and decided to change my future."
Vandenhouten said he decided to go to China after his taekwondo teacher advised him to study acupuncture in Asia. He did some research, and in 2002 made the decision to travel there, where he stayed until returning to Green Bay this year.
After one year learning the language, he said he spent another 12 studying acupuncture. In that time, he graduated and completed two masters in Acupuncture and Tuina, a form of massage similar to Shiatsu, at the Zhejiang Chinese Medicine University. He spent the rest of his stay working in acupuncture and getting a doctorate while acquiring certifications to practice in the United States and United Kingdom.
"It's an extremely useful therapy to several categories of disease," he said. But, he added, not viruses, bacteria or a permanently damaged muscle structure.
But that is not all he did there. Vandenhouten also saw a business opportunity in exporting ginseng, a plant commonly used in Asian cuisines and medicines.
Vandenhouten said after he finished his undergraduate in 2008 he started a company called Global Wisconsin Ginseng Trading LTD in the United States to export ginseng to China from Wisconsin, which produces 98% of ginseng in the United States, according to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
"I started small, but now I've grown a lot," he said. "That is what payed for all this (the clinic)."
The export business, which he still does, also gives him the economic freedom to focus more on his patients' needs.
For now, Vandenhouten says he will work alone but plans to hire more personnel in the future.
WaoMirc is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, visit drericvandenhouten.nccaomdiplomates.com/clinical-practice or call 920-544-4022.
Ariel Perez is a business reporter for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. You can reach him at APerez1@gannett.com or view his Twitter profile at @Ariel_Perez85.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Green Bay acupuncture clinic specializes in forms of Eastern medicine