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Five Questions for Donna Bunte, of Donna Bunte Whole Health

Donna has been practicing Chinese medicine, acupuncture and nutrition for twenty years.  She opened her practice in 1995 in New York and moved her practice to Old Greenwich, CT where she has been helping people since 1999.

This summer at GBC, Donna Bunte of Donna Bunte Whole Health is teaching a number of classes and workshops that explore the benefits of Chinese Medicine and the ways it can counteract the negative effects of living in fast-paced modern world.

For a list of Donna's classes at GBC, click here.

Happy 20th Anniversary! Your website bio says you moved from New York City to Old Greenwich in 1999. Any differences in how people perceive and respond to Chinese medicine and holistic health between then and now? Or between patients in the city and ‘burbs?
Yes there is. Actually I started in 1996 in nyc where more and more people were open to Chinese medicine. After coming out to Greenwich I realized that people were not that familiar with the system of medicine. Now it is much more accepted, referred by doctors and covered by insurance. People often choose it first rather than as a last resort.

What is the biggest misperception people have about what you do?
Most people think acupuncture is only for pain, specifically back pain and that the needles hurt when inserted. It is very effective for such a variety of issues such as stress related problems of anxiety, insomnia, headaches, digestive disorders, women’s issues, blood pressure as well as boosting the immune system, allergies, and to stimulate the body for all kinds of healing.

What is Qigong?
Similar to tai chi, qigong is a system of energy circulation that has been in use by millions of people for at least 2,000 years. It incorporates slow moving exercises that help to move energy throughout the body along with breath work, meditation, and mindfulness. It is accessible to virtually everyone, including the very young and very old with no prior experience needed to participate.

How does Qigong help practitioners cope with stress?
What I have found over the years treating clients is that stress is the number one cause of illness and pain in our modern, fast-paced life. The western medical practice of giving people medication to cover up symptoms is really just a bandaid. Stress reduction techniques can truly cure many of the manifestations of stress, and qigong–a great stress reliever–is becoming more and more popular at wellness centers, yoga studios and community centers across the US. Qigong works by circulating one's own energy (or Qi) through the slow movements and the use of breath work which removes tightnesses and blockages in all systems of the body. It also stimulates the body’s production of endorphins, powerful hormones that create a sense of well-being, calmness and invigoration at the same time.

GBC is a place for people to connect or reconnect with nature. Being surrounded by the 60 plus acres of the Pinetum make it a very peaceful environment. Can you make a connection between the practice of qigong and human connection with nature?

Oh yes! We are made of the same materials as the world around us and are truly one with the universe. Being in nature is the best way to experience the powerful effects of qigong. We can absorb the energy around us feeling the air, wind, sun, sights and smells and thus feel connected and one with the universe.

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