Oak Park acupuncturist’s interest sparked in Japan
Mary Jane Neumann (right), owner of Ginkgo Acupuncture in Oak Park, with client Sarah Najera Friday. | James C. Svehla~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 20, 2012 11:26AM
OAK PARK — Mary Jane Neumann is in the business of helping relieve aches, pains and stress through the holistic approach of acupuncture.
The Oak Park resident owns Ginkgo Acupuncture, 600 N. Kenilworth, Oak Park. Neumann lived in Japan for a year and taught English, which is where her interest in Asian medicine grew.
While in Japan, she was introduced to acupuncture.
“I had a master’s degree in basic medical science, and I was looking to go to medical school,” Neumann said. “While I was in the application process, I decided I wanted to practice medicine in a more holistic way.”
Neumann was interested in preventative medicine and Asian philosophy and health, which led her to acupuncture. To practice acupuncture, the program includes a four-year master’s degree, which was what Neumann pursued.
An acupuncture needle is a stainless- steel solid needle the width of a human hair. According to Ginkgo’s website: “Acupuncture is based on the movement of vital energy that circulates along unseen lines of energy, called meridians, that traverse the body. When this energy, or Qi (pronounced “chee’), is blocked, disease may arise.”
The belief is that blockages can be removed by using these needles, which frees the flow of Qi, allowing the body to heal itself.
After Neumann got her master’s degree, she began her practice in New York in 2005. Neumann later moved to Oak Park and started her local practice in 2006. Her business grew by teaching Chinese medicine and receiving referrals.
“It kind of grew naturally,” Neumann said. “We currently moved our business to the Hemingway house. It was originally built for Hemingway’s father to practice medicine.”
Neumann’s clients vary from week-to-week and from month-to-month. Some patients come in for wellness treatments quarterly or once a month. Sometimes she will treat an injury for three to five weeks.
“My top three things I treat are pain, women’s health issues, or anxiety and stress,” she said.
Neumann treated runner Will Picciotti. He was treated for knee pain and recommends Neumann.
“When I hurt my knee running in August, Neumann was quickly able to get me back to training for the Chicago marathon,” Picciotti said. “If you are in the Chicago area and need relief from stress, migraines, or any types of pain, please contact her, you will be amazed.”
Neumann also sells a device that puts pressure on acupuncture points, called HeadEase, designed to relieve headaches and stress. The product can be purchased online and Neumann will have a special offer during the holidays, a high stress time in itself.
Neumann admits marketing can be tough, but she loves owning her own business. She especially loves the flexibility.
“I have a young family with two young boys,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to grow into my practice as the boys have gotten older. I love helping people.”