Years ago, Barbara Knoll had an “a-ha moment,” as she describes it, when she accompanied a friend to an acupuncture class she was taking.
“I worked in the corporate world, and my friend was studying acupuncture,” she recalled recently. “She said, ‘this stuff is so cool, you have to come to a lecture.’ I went, and for me, it was an a-ha moment, a lightbulb moment. Everything I was interested in was coming together at the same time.”
Knoll, who already held a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a masters degree in counseling, soon quit her corporate job and began studying acupuncture full time, earning a second masters degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York.
Knoll opened up a practice in Toms River and, for the past decade, saw patients on a part-time basis in Lavallette. Recently, she moved the entire practice to Lavallette, opening up the next chapter in her career.
“For me, it’s about helping people and their body, mind and spirit,” she said.
Knoll is focused on science-based acupuncture treatment, using AcuGraph technology to examine patients and acquire data on how their bodies function. After the non-invasive test, patients lie down on a comfortable bed on a blanket of jade stones while infrared heat provides its own virtual blanket of comfort. Soothing, new age music plays over speakers in the treatment room, and the lights are turned down.
“You’re relaxed when you lay down, the lights go down, and many people completely fall asleep,” Knoll said.
The needles are painless (this reporter tried one in the office) and Knoll focuses on relieving areas of bodily stress or blockage.
“From a Chinese medicine point of view, whenever you have a problem, it’s because things aren’t flowing the way they should,” said Knoll. “What we look for is what’s blocked and how to unblock it. Sometimes, people use the analogy of a kink in the hose. Once you unkink the hose, the water flows. The body is a self-correcting machine.”
Science backs up the benefits of acupuncture, with studies having shown concrete benefits for those with back, muscle and joint pains. But Knoll touts the benefits of acupuncture beyond its most common usage. One of the conditions she most commonly treats is migraine headaches.
“A lot of my migraine patients are completely relieved of their migraines,” she said.
Knoll said acupuncture can also be used to treat acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome as well as fertility issues. Some of her patients are undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer and come in to help boost their immune system or to seek relief from its side effects.
“It’s also extremely good for stress,” said Knoll. “I have several people who come and that is their chief complaint – whether it’s work stress, family stress or all of the above. Many come frequently in the beginning and then come once a month for treatment afterwards.”
Knoll is a noted practitioner in the acupuncture field, who is board certified by the NCCAOM, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. She is also part of the Foundation for Wellness Professionals, an association of professional healthcare motivational and keynote speakers.
“My primary way of gaining patients was referrals was from clients,” she said. “I always did very little advertising, and it’s always been word-of-mouth. I’m looking to build that here and establish my presence here.”
Knoll’s practice is located in the same building as Enright Chiropractic, at 907 Grand Central Avenue in Lavallette. Those interested in therapy can call 732-664-2922 or stop in. The first visit, which includes the AcuGraph test and an initial treatment session, is $125, with followups costing $75.