CLINTON — Clinton has a new acupuncturist in town.
After spending about 15 years practicing throughout the Mohawk Valley, including offices in Sherrill, Rome and Utica, Dr. Greyson R. Ross decided to make the historic 2 Fountain St. building, that formerly housed Cannonball Theater, his new home.
Dr. Ross, who set up shop in Suite 201 in December, is board certified in New York and has helped thousands of patients manage pain through acupuncture and oriental healing arts.
“It’s been great,” said Ross of his time in Clinton so far. As for his building, “I remember coming here as a kid with my parents to see movies. This building just has so much history to it.”
Ross’ career came about through a brush with fate, or perhaps a stroke of irony, depending on how one wishes to look at it. He was practicing martial arts and a karate kick by his opponent landed him with an ankle injury. It just so happened the man who administered that hurtful blow during that sparring match was an acupuncturist who offered to treat him.
“You can say I discovered acupuncture by accident, through an accident,” he laughed.
Through acupuncture Ross was quickly back on his feet — “figuratively and literally” — and he became engrossed in reading up on the subject. It wasn’t long before he discovered that being an acupuncturist would be a “great job” where he’d be able to help people in a similar way.
A native of the Sherrill-Kenwood area, Ross would leave his job at Oneida Limited and attend school for acupuncture in Santa Barbara, Calif. for nearly five years, a decision that was “one of the best” he made in his life, he said. Although a beautiful area, Ross said he missed the four seasons and grew homesick. So he came back and started his own practice, originally opening an office in Sherrill.
Ross deals with patients mainly suffering from acute and chronic pain-related issues, such as the neck, back, shoulders, knees, sinuses and even those with chronic migraines. Acupuncture, he said, is also good for treating stress and anxiety, as well as addictions, such as cigarettes and food. Some patients also seek acupuncture for overall wellness.
During treatments “everyone is restful,” said Ross, adding that people’s natural reaction to stress and anxiety is the “fight or flight” response, which “takes a toll on the body.” Stress can be at the core of several ailments.
Asked if patients ever have a fear of needles, Ross said of the thousands of treatments he has performed, maybe only 6-7 patients have expressed discomfort or asked to stop the procedure.
“The needle is so thin and fine, and they go in quickly,” Ross said, adding that about 14 acupuncture needles could fit inside a hypodermic needle. “It’s nothing like getting your blood drawn.”
While acupuncture is a licensed health care profession in the U.S., it has suffered from certain stereotypes or skepticism in American culture, being thought of as “supernatural.” Ross said that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Experts say acupuncture works through the vascular, nervous and endocrine systems of the body.
“There’s nothing mystical or strange about it,” Ross said.
Acupuncture “has been around for thousands of years,” he said, “and that’s why it’s so effective.”
An acupuncture treatment helps to get oxygen and blood flow to the area of the injury, and also stimulates the production of natural opioids, like endorphins and other neurotransmitters, that aid in pain management and the healing process.
Acupuncture is not meant to treat people for the long-term. The goal is to always relieve as much pain as possible in as few treatments as possible, Ross said. However, some patients dealing with a chronic pain management situation may require abbreviated treatment if they are unable to achieve long-term relief.
As for the number of local patients he treats, Ross said he’s been “busy from the start,” with no shortage of residents suffering from pain-related issues. He said he appreciates the “centralized location” of his business in Clinton for the convenience of all his patients from throughout the Mohawk Valley region. He said he also appreciates the familiarity and home-away-from-home feeling he gets from practicing in the small village.
“I missed living in a small town,” said Ross of his Santa Barbara days.
Clinton “is more comfortable,” he said. “I like the people and the area, and it’s quite familiar to me.”