Skip to content

Acupuncture: An Alternative Approach to Pain Relief

March 10, 2011

by Valeriya Ponomarova

Eric Renaud, M.Ac., standing next to Shiatsu Meridian Charts at Acupuncture Balancing (Valeriya Ponomarova)

Eric Renaud has been practicing acupuncture in the Pine Hills neighborhood for about 10 years now, providing help to those seeking pain relief.

Renaud, 44, has been a licensed New York state acupuncturist since 2000. His office is at 485 Western Ave. inside the Acupuncture Balancing building, previously called Albany Classical Acupuncture. Nearby landmarks include the  Mobil station and Citizen’s Bank.

His search for office space to practice acupuncture brought him to the Pine Hills. He chose this neighborhood for his practice because it is convenient for people who seek his help to get here. His clients can walk or take a bus; or, they can drive and use the parking lot behind the building.

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that can be used to treat various conditions including stress, anxiety, depression, migraines, the common cold, asthma, and many others. This is done by the insertion and guidance of sterile needles in specific points of the human body. Renaud also uses a technique called “cupping” which could provide effective relief for muscle pain, spasms, and more.

“Acupuncture could treat pretty much anything that exists,” said Renaud. For example, a patient who came in with a severe headache from sinus pain was healed after only two treatments. This miraculous treatment could also provide relief in certain parts of the body, such as knee pain, back pain, hip pain, and neck pain.

Renaud finds happiness in dealing with people who are in pain because they are often open to being helped. Through this

The front of the Albany Classical Acupuncture building where Eric Renaud’s office is located (Valeriya Ponomarova)

connection, he establishes relationships with his patients, which allow him to better understand how to help them and treat similar conditions in the future. He treats his patients independently in a secluded room inside the building in which he rents space. There, the patients are able to feel a sense of privacy and relaxation.

“I think that he is extremely well trained; he’s very interested in acupuncture as a whole,” said Carole Griner, who has been Renaud’s patient since August 2010. Griner found Renaud through her insurance provider and chose him because his office was nearest to her home. Griner was in need of pain management and found the relief she sought from acupuncture that she had not found from over-the-counter medicine. Her pain relief lasted for several days after each treatment, which she was grateful for. “I found the relief was immediate,” she said.

Renaud’s interest in acupuncture grew out of his past experiences. Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, he spent much of his childhood outdoors because nature was important to him. Inspired by the actor Bruce Lee and a TV show called “Kung Fu” from the 1950s, Renaud became interested in martial arts. He took up classes such as Tai Chi and Kung Fu, which taught him something his previous sports such as baseball and football did not. It was the connection between the body, mind, and spirit that allowed him to find balance within the self. This unification is important in acupuncture to reconnect with the self and enable the body to feel and accept the treatments being provided.

“I like his approach to acupuncture very much,” said Dagny T. Alexander, a licensed massage therapist and certified Shiatsu practitioner, who said that her practice is also based in the same traditional Chinese medicine as Renaud’s. She works in the same building with him and has known him for about nine years; she said that the two of them talk a lot about ideas concerning their work. “I think he’s very kind to his patients and…he is a good practitioner,” Alexander said.

The first to do so in his family, Renaud graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Attending UMass, he took several different classes, such as Philosophy and Comparative Religion, which provided him with a new way of looking at the world and how different philosophy was in the east. He majored in sociology because he had the most credits in that field and he liked the professors that taught it; however, he had “no idea,” he said, about what he really wanted to do.

Renaud did Aikido between 1990 and 1997. He also taught Aikido classes for a few years. However, he injured his knee while he was teaching and his meniscus was torn. It had to be operated on and taken out. The surgery, while minor, was still costly but because of that, he was able to try physical therapy which inspired him to try acupuncture. ”In a way, it was a blessing. You don’t know it at the time, but if you have a big perspective, sometimes it turns out to be a positive thing,” Renaud said, referring to how his incident led him to his current passion: acupuncture.

In 2000, he received his master’s degree in acupuncture from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute, now called Tai Sophia Institute, in Columbia, Maryland, where he learned how to be a practitioner and relate to patients. He also completed a two-year clinical integration internship, where he learned about the integration of pulse diagnosis and herbs. He learned about how to make healthy choices, along with the belief that emotional problems shouldn’t be suppressed, but instead reconciled to prevent the occurrence of physical illnesses. One of the differences between eastern and western medicine, Renaud said, is that in the west, those seeking treatment may only receive physical help; however, in the east, physical pain is often tied to the emotional state and the treatment there seeks to provide help to both states, because the body and the mind are connected. In addition, Renaud also completed progressive studies in Master Tung’s Acupuncture, from which he learned ways he could offer relief from hard-to-treat conditions.

Aside from spending most of his time providing relief and healing to his patients, Renaud is currently assisting in the publications of a few books. His collaboration includes helping with organizing some medical terminology from Chinese Medical Texts in an easy-to-understand way. “I think the books that we do will last for a long time,” he said.

Renaud currently lives in Averill Park, with his wife, three children, and two dogs. He has an office inside his home where he practices acupuncture on the days he is not in his Pine Hills office. He plans to move his practice across the river when he finds professional space for it, so that he can progress in his business and be able to survive practicing acupuncture full-time, while at the same time being closer to his home. Renaud hopes to build his practice so that he can charge his patients lower fees. He also hopes to be able to charge students and seniors less. Currently, one treatment session costs $60.

“He’s just a kind person and I would recommend him to anybody who’s in a situation who would benefit from it,” said Griner, who received more relief from Renaud’s acupuncture than she ever found in over-the-counter medicine. – 30 –


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: