Thursday, November 25, 2010 Chestnut Hill Local Page 13
Oriental medicine practice moves to Chestnut Hill
Empirical Point Acupuncture, an acupuncture and Oriental medicine practice that since 2002 was located in Mt. Airy, is now located a mile up the hill at 40 W. Evergreen Avenue.
Since September, its founder, Sharon Sherman, M.S.O.M., D.O.M., L.O.M., has offered the 2,000-year-old medicinal technique practiced in China, Japan and other eastern countries at her new Chestnut Hill location.
This October, Sherman’s practice was selected by members of the Merchants Fund to receive a competitive grant that will enable Sherman to finance a transition to an electronic, paperless filing system at her practice.
“This grant will allow us to streamline our filing system into an eco-friendly paperless process and free up my time to spend with patients,” said Sherman, 46, who was raised in Chestnut Hill and now lives just outside the city line in Montgomery County with her partner of 15 years, and a Rottweiler, German Shepherd and cat.
“Sherman presented the Merchants Fund with a great opportunity to fund the computerization of all of her client records allowing her to eliminate space consuming file cabinets, improving her green footprint and allowing her to repurpose the space saved for an additional treatment area,” said Patricia Blakely, executive director of the Merchants Fund in a press release.
The Merchants Fund makes small grants to small businesses in the City of Philadelphia to help those businesses respond to opportunities as well as barriers to growth and profitability.
Acupuncture strives to restore a physical, spiritual and psychological harmony that can be jostled out of place by incessant everyday life processes that direct the body to perform thousands of activities including circulation, sensation, awareness and the ebb and flow of emotions, also known as the undulating energy called Qi, Sherman explained.
Qi moves along pathways called meridians that lie at different depths throughout the body. These meridians correspond to specific physiological systems and organs, forming an energetic survey of the body. Acupuncture is about locating these meridians and using extremely thin medical acupuncture needles at select pressure points on the patient’s body to monitor and correct deficits or obstacles in the flow of Qi.
Before Sherman graduated with honors at the top of her class from Tri-State College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in New York City, she ran her own graphic design firm for almost 20 years. Her firm facilitated high-end graphic media for print, video and onsite corporate meetings for Fortune 100 corporations.
Sherman, who also has an office in Center City, originally graduated from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and was granted a BFA with a concentration in glass and sculpture. She said she remained in school at Temple, Philadelphia University and the University of Pennsylvania as a part-time continuing education student, “a full pre-med curriculum that has proven invaluable in my clinical practice.”
Whether cliché or not, the reality is “I wanted to move on to a career that made a true difference in peoples’ lives,” Sherman said.
She thought she would become a veterinarian, but one way or another became immersed in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
Chinese herbal medicine is a polypharmacy system of formulation, Sherman explained. “In the West, we are more familiar with the system of using single herbs for a particular complaint. The polypharmacy system enables a practitioner to write a prescription that treats the whole patient, or, encompasses both the root and the branch of the disease process.
“This means that Chinese herbal medicine aims to manage a patient’s immediate symptoms while also addressing the slower unraveling of a deeper imbalance in the body,” Sherman said. “In a Chinese herbal formula often up to over a dozen ingredients are utilized.”
Sherman has earned certifications that only eight percent of practitioners in Pennsylvania can claim to have received. She also holds a license in the State of New Mexico as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. According to Sherman, New Mexico is one of the most rigorous states in the nation for licensing.
A patient can expect Sherman to return his or her calls personally, as well as collaborative sessions that can last up to 90 minutes.
“I think that taking this time with people has helped both my patients and Empirical Point immensely,” Sherman said, “I have been able to develop countless successful treatment regimens for my patients.
“I am excited to now be a Chestnut Hill business and have had such a warm welcome from my colleagues, the business association and patients, both old and new,” she said. “I am looking forward to working in Chestnut Hill for many years to come.”