This was a question I asked my teacher, Dr. Chieko Maekawa, which in turn opened up a very interesting conversation, and I thought you cool people would like to hear her response.

But before we jump into some pearls of wisdom, some background of Dr. Maekawa will be helpful.


My teacher was born in Japan and lived there until she came to the Big Island of Hawaii around the age of 30. She’s a lady with passion and has always had the dream to build a healthcare bridge from Japan to the US. Her commitment to furthering acupuncture is unwavering as is her devotion to teaching.

To say that she’s an intense mentor would be a gross understatement.

“Regan your back is not straight, your needle is too rough.” Was always followed up with, “You have a gift and will inspire thousands of people.” When I receive compliments on how gentle my needle technique is I give all the credit to my training with Dr. Maekawa. I had no choice but to master gentle, effective needling. I owe a great deal to my many mentors but the greatest debt of gratitude goes to Cheiko.

Back to the original question that was spurred on by a conversation about a patient with several autoimmune diseases: “Why is it harder to heal now than it was 10 years ago?”

Dr. Maekawa said, “From what I see there are 3 reasons people take longer to heal:

#1 Computers.

People are sitting in front of computers and the electromagnetic frequencies are toxic to our neurological system. Several studies are showing a dysregulation between our hormonal, immune and nervous system can be attributed to computers.

#2. Food in a box.

The processed food is causing more digestive issues and people’s health has declined since the quality of food declined. You know this.

And #3. Because people aren’t choosing to be happy.

Dr. Maekawa said, “My healthiest patients are also my happiest patients. I have met patients who have faced enormous challenges, but they don’t look at it like something had been done to them. My patient Ann is 96 and still riding horses. So I decided to ride horses for my 80th birthday because I’ve never ridden a horse before!”

She went on to explain that when she first moved to Hawaii she met a group of elderly Japanese ladies whose hands were withered with arthritis. They had worked in the sugar cane fields from sunup to sundown their entire adult life — but they were all very very happy. Even though their bodies had suffered the ravages of hard physical labor, they saw their lives as meaningful and productive.

“Find your own happiness, no one can give it to you.”

Regan Archibald, LAc., CSSac.