To hear Chih-Chen Wen tell it, there isn’t much that acupuncture can’t accomplish. Except, that is, qualify for reimbursement from insurance companies.
“I always tell my patients, they (insurance companies) don’t have to cover it,” Wen, owner of Wen Health and Wellness Center, said. “Some do cover it.”
Wen said acupuncture is effective enough that most patients are willing to pay for it out of their own pockets.
In addition to acupuncture, Wen offers massage, nutritional and fertility counseling, treatment with herbs and “cupping,” in which suction cups are placed over body parts to draw blood to the area.
Wen, who opened his center in May, said he became interested in non-Western forms of medical treatment after suffering a sports injury. At the time, he said, he was working as an auditor in Champaign, Ill.
“Basically what happened was I was playing soccer with a few friends, I got injured and went to see a chiropractor in Indianapolis,” he said. “He said I had a knack for medicine, I could follow along with what he was telling me. I said ‘I’m an auditor.’ ”
Wen said he started researching nontraditional medicine and “felt a strong pull toward acupuncture.”
Wen trained in massage therapy and acupuncture in Chicago, and finished his acupuncture training at the Kansas College of Chinese Medicine after moving here with his wife, who is from Wichita. He worked at Evergreen Wellness Center, which is affiliated with the college, before opening his own place in a 1,000-square-foot space near 13th and Maize.
Wen’s website claims that acupuncture is effective in treating dozens of ailments, ranging from anxiety and asthma to insomnia and urinary tract infections.
“Obviously, acupuncture is best known for pain management,” Wen said.
Chen said he isn’t sure whether his Chinese ancestry played a role in his interest in Oriental medicine.
“I’m from Boston,” he said. “A lot of people here think that’s a foreign country.”