Wellness Club launches first meeting with a focus on acupuncture


Photo courtesy of the Becton Wellness Center

Licensed acupuncturists speak to Wellness Club members about alternative medicine.

“It is an opportunity to cultivate their own wellness and find ways to proactively manage their own stress,” said Mrs. Gatto, advisor to Becton Regional High School’s newly established Wellness Club. “I think this will be especially beneficial to students who cannot visit the high school’s Wellness Center during the day.”

Dr. Andrew Dubyna and Dr. Elliot Foster of the Wellness One Chiropractic Center of South Bergen kicked off the club’s first meeting with educating members on the history and benefits of acupuncture.

“Acupuncture is used to help move the energy around in your body. It’s used for anxiety, sore muscles, back problems, allergies, and so much more,” stated Dr. Dubyna. The licensed acupuncturist explained the process to students as he conducted a demonstration on SAC Counselor Ms. Klamerus. He began by stressing the importance of cleansing the area in which the procedure will take place by using alcohol pads before inserting thin, hair-like needles into the subject’s skin.

Dr. Dubyna, who studied acupuncture at the New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, warned students that the needles should not penetrate the skin deeper than one inch. In some areas, such as the hips and back, however, the needles can puncture the skin up to two inches. The objects are then left in the subject usually between 20 and 30 minutes.

According to Ms. Klamerus, the treatment felt no different than a slight pinch.

Photo courtesy of the Becton Wellness Center
Dr. Andrew Dubyna,L. Ac., performs acupuncture on Ms. Klamerus.

Dr. Dubyna then discussed what is known as “cupping therapy,” a form of medicine where cups are used on the skin to create suction and release pressure throughout the body. In some practices, a pump gun is used against the cup once it is placed over the skin to create vacuum pressure. Another method is lighting a flammable substance in the cup before pressing it into the desired area, also making a vacuum-like suction. 

Along with the demonstration, the club members were also taught a mini history lesson on acupuncture. The doctor described how the practice originated in ancient China. The Chinese believed that diseases were the result of a disruption in the body’s energy flow. Dr. Dubyna stated, “Whether it’s massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, etc, it’s important to help the energy in your body flow properly.” He has worked on patients from four years old to the elderly because acupuncture is extremely gentle.

I believe that this club will help shine a light on the importance of mental health.”

— Senior Lisa Squeo

Dr. Foster, who is very involved in the community, closed the meeting with a speech detailing how in our modern day society, people must rely on their own bodies and intimate practices to heal them rather than depend solely on drugs and medicine. “We live in a country that celebrates using pills to get rid of our problems rather than letting our bodies heal themselves. The power that made you is the power that heals you, and that comes from inside.”

Becton’s recently established Wellness Club was created by Becton Senior Lisa Squeo. “I was very inspired by Mrs. Gatto when she started the Wellness Center, and I wanted there to be a more focused group of people who were as passionate about it as I am.”

Lisa frequently visits Becton’s Wellness Center, which can be found right in the high school building, and has expressed how it has helped her better care for her well-being. “I believe that this club will help shine a light on the importance of mental health. With the help of Mrs. Gatto, the Wellness Center has opened my eyes to the many ways that I can prioritize my mental health and make myself a more centered and aware person on a daily basis.”

So far, over 30 students have signed up to be a part of the group, and Mrs. Gatto, the club’s advisor, has already reached out to meditation centers in the hopes of taking students on field trips to educate them on the importance of meditation. Activities such as hiking and trips to the New York Botanical Garden are in the works, too.