Healing is an art, and an act of kindness….Dr. Gloria Martin
Last September I returned to Hawaii from the mainland suffering from the lingering effects of a toxic tick bite. My mind was foggy, my immune system compromised. I experienced a miserable week of rolling hives that barely responded to drugs prescribed by patronizing doctors. I was scheduled to perform with my woman’s chorus at an all weekend event and didn’t know how I would get through it.
I called my best Supernal friend, Sue, with my tale of woe. Sue said, “I’m getting the word that you need to go for acupuncture. They’re saying if you don’t go, you will really be in trouble.”
Maybe it was fate, maybe it was luck, but I called Hawaii Kai Acupuncture and Massage, near my home. After hearing my distress, the kind office manager, Danielle, rearranged appointments and worked me in for treatment with Dr. Gloria Martin, the next afternoon. I arrived at the office dressed to go onto a performance I doubted I’d be able to make, my energy was so low. I followed Danielle’s instructions, entered the exam room, disrobed, donned a sheet and lay on the table, ready for the doctor. Dr. Martin walked in and gave me her full attention. She listened to my theory of the toxic tick bite. I was impressed when she said, “Sometimes listening to the patient is the best information.”
After a moderate examination, she stared at the small blister on my stomach still visible from a two-month old tick bite. She said, “Yes, that is still a problem. I will get to work.”
Dr. Martin applied needles in multiple places on my body, as one would expect in acupuncture. She also aggressively treated the bite with needles, burning, and extraction. She turned me over and cupped my back. Head to toe, front to back, Dr. Martin worked on the energetic channels of my body to stimulate and balance my system.
After I left her office, I felt better than I had in weeks. I was able to perform for three long days. Dr. Martin’s treatment helped me get back to myself. I was so impressed. Generally, with allelopathic medicine you walk out of the office feeling as lousy as you went in, hoping that the drugs prescribed will kick in within a couple of days. You don’t expect the doctor visit to actually make you feel better. I discovered acupuncture could deliver immediate relief and enhance speedy healing.
I wanted to learn more. Dr. Martin agreed to meet with me to discuss her life, healing philosophy, and holistic practice.
FROM SPAIN TO HAWAII
Born in Spain, the tones of Dr. Gloria’s birth country still ring through her words. Her father managed a mine in the town of Leon. When Gloria was nearly five years old, he took a job in Germany. Soon, her mother joined him in Germany and enrolled Gloria in a convent school in Spain. She quickly became attached to a motherly nun and looks back on that period with fondness. Her first spiritual experiences occurred at the convent.
“It was so beautiful to be there. The nuns would sing like a chorus. I felt like I was in heaven with the angels. It was the first time I had quiet, mystic experiences. I was in the church one time. There was a statute of the child Jesus on one side of the church. It was like my friend. One time when I was looking at him and feeling a lot of love and attachment for him, there was a light that completely filled the entire altar and it continued growing and growing and everything was immersed in that light. The level of love increased as the light increased until I actually passed out and lost consciousness. It felt like such a gift.”
Dr. Martin and her family eventually moved to Barcelona, where she finished her basic schooling. At seventeen she followed her soul’s yearning, spending time meditating and trekking the summer through spiritual sites. She studied ancient philosophies and modern quantum physics. As winter approached, she returned to Barcelona, intending to stay with friends, but instead found her way to a Hare Krishna school, where she studied Eastern philosophies. By age twenty, she wanted to move to the United States to explore the opportunities of the American culture and economy. She was sponsored by a Hare Krishna ashram in West Virginia. Unfortunately, she found herself in a highly controlling atmosphere.
“I soon realized they had made a cult out of the philosophy. Oh my God, the leader was nuts. I was horrified and scared to death. He ended up in jail years later. I met a young man there who was a musician and we became good friends. We escaped that place together and later got married.”
They lived in Miami for a while and then moved to California, pursuing his career in the music industry. They had their first of four children and lived in Berkley where Gloria learned English and studied philosophy. By 1981, the California congestion and urban pressures compelled them to follow friends to Hawaii.
She discovered a school for acupuncture on Oahu run by a medical doctor who had observed traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) while serving in the military. Amazed by seeing surgeries performed without anesthetics, he studied TCM and brought acupuncture to western students. Gloria enrolled as a full time student, graduated at the top of her class, and immediately began practicing her healing arts. For several years she was the manager of a holistic clinic, working with a chiropractor and other practitioners.
Like many kindred spirits, Dr. Gloria felt a spiritual connection to the islands. The marriage ended after twelve years, but she established Hawaii as the home for herself and her children. She has been practicing her healing arts for over thirty-five years in Hawaii.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
I asked her to give me an overview of the basics of acupuncture.
“There is a body system that is the energy system, the “Chi” system. It runs in channels. It is subtle energy, but it is still physical. It can be measured by machines. The channels are like rivers of energy. They are all connected, but at the same time, they are separated as to specific functions. There is the Liver Channel, the Kidney Channel, the Heart Channel and so on. Each channel connects internally with the named organ.
Each channel carries the functions of the organs. We concentrate on the functions of the organ systems, rather than the physicality of the organ itself. We also look for patterns of disease. We look at the patterns and the malfunctions, the interconnections of the organs, and treat the patient accordingly, taking many factors into consideration.
We do it by manipulating the Chi that is running on the channels. There are approximately four hundred acupuncture points. Each point is like pressing a button that goes directly to the brain and also to the sympathetic nerves in the spinal cord. It causes a certain reaction in the body. It can immediately treat pain by stimulating the brain to produce natural pain relievers. It can stimulate hormones and all the many functions of the body, depending on which channels are being treated.”
THREE LEVELS OF ACUPUNCTURIST
Dr. Martin explained there are three different levels of Chinese medicine doctors:
The first doctor concentrates on the physical body and only that. It’s very mechanical. They place the needles, let them stay in place for a few minutes, then remove them.
The second level doctor considers the mental and emotional health of the patient, along with the physical. They are more observational and conversational with the patients. Treatment incorporates other modalities and herbal recommendations.
The third doctor incorporates the first two, but also adds spiritually intuitive guidance. These practitioners have studied ancient philosophies such as Taoism. They might consider generational influences that in the West we call DNA, among ideas like past life connections. It’s a much broader scope of understanding by the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states of the patient.
Dr. Gloria is one of the third level of doctors. She offers treatments, but she also advises life style changes. Healing of emotions may necessary to promote over-all healing. Each client is unique and receives specialized treatments and recommendations tailored especially for them.
FROM HER WEBSITE at www.HawaiiHolisticAcupuncture.com
Dr. M. Gloria Martin, D.Ac., Founder of Hawaii Kai Acupuncture & Massage, has developed customized healing systems proven to be extremely effective, that integrates Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Herbology, Nutrition, Body Work Therapies, and Massage.She is a holistic practitioner who considers who considers the emotional genetic and environmental factors that determine your health. When treating chronic illnesses she will mindfully adjust to every individuals need, utilizing protocols to detox the body and build the person’s immune system. With her expert knowledge of natural remedies, she will bring the body back in balance.
What makes Dr. Martin special is that she was born with the gift of healing. She has a wide variety of knowledge and experience and practices with kindness and is skill full in guiding and educating her patients throughout their journey to health.