WESTWOOD, N.J. — Odds were slim that two moms from different worlds, both acupuncturists, would open their own Westwood practice.
Yet that’s just what happened with Aili Zhu of River Vale and Jannet Manteiga of Northvale.
The pair opened Bergen Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine on Old Hook Road in 2011.
Zhu, also a chiropractor, was born in Shanghai.
She first encountered acupuncture when her mom took her to a practitioner.
“I was getting nearsighted when I was in third grade,” she said.
“My mother didn’t want me to wear glasses so she took me to acupuncture.”
Zhu, now 40, has the same eyesight today as she did in third grade.
It never got better. However, it also never got worse.
“I’ve never needed glasses,” she said.
As a psychotherapist, 41-year-old Manteiga, whose ancestry is Ecuadoran, noticed patterns in her patients.
“When they came in with their psychoemotional issues, they also brought along some psychosomatic issues,” Manteiga said.
When they got better emotionally, she added, they also felt better physically.
Manteiga researched the mind-body connection, learned about acupuncture and toured the Eastern School of Acupuncture in Bloomfield, the only accredited school of its kind in the state.
“I loved it and thought, I have a toddler. Why not go back to school for three years for a master’s ?” she said.
That’s where Manteiga and Zhu, then an instructor, met in 2008.
Manteiga went on to open a practice in Ridgefield. Zhu had one in Northvale.
“We both were moms working part time,” Manteiga said.
“So we decided in 2011 to merge our practices and support one another as professional working moms.”
They treat all kinds of ailments – from digestive issues to tendinitis, migraines to anxiety.
They treat kids, too, for ADD and bedwetting and other issues.
But the two moms also have a specialty for which they are known: fertility.
Women who don’t want to take drugs – or want to limit their time on drugs – call for appointments.
The two acupuncture moms have heard it all.
Some women – and men – come in with so-called hopeless conditions, Manteiga said, and turn them around.
Or at least get relief.
“It’s not just the acupuncture we provide,” she said. “We travel the path with them, giving them support.
“We understand the frustration and emotional roller coaster that comes with infertility.”
In April, the practice will start a fertility support group led by Manteiga.
Bergen Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine can be reached at 201-497-8118.