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Chicago Nurse Chooses Acupuncture Over Prescription Pills

While some people just put off making doctor's appointments, others have legitimate latrophobia. Medication, white coats, hospitals, nurses and even medical treatment can send these folks into hysteria. But believe it or not, there are medical professionals who sympathize with the pill-popping stereotype that licensed medical professionals are accused of.

(Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Williams, MSOM, L.Ac, RN, CA)

"I love nursing," said Cynthia Williams, MSOM, L.Ac, RN, CA. "It was always my passion, but I wanted something more holistic that I could combine with my nursing. I didn't agree with the way patients were treated. I don't agree with pushing pills on people. I don't agree with that type of medicine; I agree with preventative medicine."

Williams' motto is: "Try to get patients better without immediately resorting to prescriptions."

"Medication can cause more problems," she said. "I'm not going to throw three pills at you and say, 'Hey, take this medication.' Let's work on your diet. Let's work on your exercise. Let's do acupuncture. We're going to get you off this medication. We're going to fix it instead of covering it up."

And Williams is serious. On October 1, she started her own acupuncture business called Holistic Integrative Wellness Center, LLC. She has a bachelor's degree in Science & Nursing from University of Tennessee, completed the Oriental medical program in acupuncture medicine, and is working on a master's degree in the Science & Nursing program at Northern Illinois University.

The registered nurse of seven years also enjoyed the "excitement" of working in the emergency room for three years.

She's tested the waters in several health departments, including working on the medical surgical floor. Two courses that followed her throughout her journey are her nutrition class in the master's program and an assessment class.

"In that assessment class, you learn how to approach patients," Williams said. "You learn the techniques that you look for in order to diagnose them correctly."

Being able to help others is what keeps Williams going.

"I love the hugs and thank you's. I love that type of energy from my patients. I love healing people. That's what I do."

Shamontiel L. Vaughn is a professional journalist who has work featured in AXS, Yahoo!, Chicago Defender and Chicago Tribune. She's been an Examiner since 2009 and currently writes about 10 categories on

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