Backupuncture - Ben Hawes


I began my journey into the world of alternative medicine in college. I had chronic sinusitus and back pain and western biomedicine offered little but temporary relief. The antibiotics got stronger, the side-effects more unpleasant, and I couldn't believe that my body wasn't designed to get better.

So I sampled the world's healing traditions: Naturopathic, Ayurvedic, Tibetan, Homeopathic and more. But for me, in the end, it was Chinese medicine that gave me what I wanted — to feel better. I was impressed that it was based in a 2000 year-old written medical tradition, a body of meticulous scholarship longer than any in history.  It impressed me so much, in fact, that I decided to make it my career. 

Though I did my fair share of prescribing herbs when I opened my practice, I spent even more time doing acupuncture, and I became curious about what, exactly, was happening to the body to change it when I inserted needles. Since I was treating a lot of back and neck pain, I was most interested in what was changing in the spine. Through careful palpation of the spine, I realized that specific distal (non-local) points mapped to specific vertebrae; I found I could realign the spine through using these points to eliminate pain, improve range of motion, nerve function, and posture... and this became Backupuncture.

Finally, as a long-time Zen meditator and student of shamanic healing and energy work, I found myself able to perceive other more subtle sources of suffering in my patients. I found that Craniosacral Therapy offered me an avenue to address these old traumas, not only physical but psycho-emotional and even karmic hindrances. And in combination — acupuncture to clear the energy blockages and realign the structure, Craniosacral Therapy to dive deep into old patterns of holding and imbalance — I believe one can experience a revelatory recentering of the self in one's life and in the world.