The Qi House at 4059 Chicago Ave. recently welcomed the neighborhood for a grand opening celebration to mark the completed renovation of the former hair salon.
The center features four treatment rooms and offers acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage therapy and tai ji.
Cary Hakam studied the Chinese language in Asia, and he remembers seeing acupuncture for the first time while shadowing a doctor in Taiwan — he saw the needles and nearly vomited. But the practice immediately made sense to him, he said. As a yoga practitioner, he recognized similarities between acupuncture and yoga’s pressure on different parts of the body.
“This is something I know,” he said.
Hakam has practiced Chinese medicine for the past 15 years, and he serves as translator for two Chinese doctors. Hakam and his wife Chrystina decided to open the The Qi House so he can practice closer to home in Kingfield.
They created a space to serve tea by the fireplace, added windows to bring daylight into the dark building, and designed curved walls inspired by Chrystina’s former New York apartment.
“I’m not a big winter person,” Chrystina said. “I needed to have a fireplace in the lobby.”
The building features artwork by Paula Barkmeier and local photographer Paul Nelson, who captures birds in flight.
They also converted a university gemologist’s cabinet (found at Carver Junk Company down the street) into space for the apothecary’s herbs. Cary said the herbs help address everything from insomnia and anxiety to depression and colds. Whereas Americans might choose from a couple of different medicines to treat headaches, Cary said, Chinese doctors watch for 10 different patterns that can cause headaches, each with different remedies.
“You can really narrow it down, you treat the root of the problem,” he said.
At least 100 of the 400-plus herbs in Chinese medicine are considered food, he said. Ginger, for example, can be prescribed when someone is coming down with a cold or feeling nauseous.
“That’s the main way to heal, is healing through diet,” he said.
The Qi House also offers acupuncture by Meghan Loginov, massage therapy by Kathleen Crook and cranial work by Don Habermas-Scher.