Uncommon Pursuits: Mikahla Insalaco Jestes
By Jonathan Vatner
Uncommon Pursuits is a series about alumni whose careers took them off the beaten path.
A few days a week, Mikahla Insalaco Jestes, Fashion Merchandising Management ’04, treats human patients at Points in Balance, her acupuncture clinic in Sykesville, Maryland. The rest of the week, she visits other members of the animal kingdom in barns, stables, and homes. These patients, horses and dogs and the occasional cat, present with many of the same symptoms as humans: aches and pains, digestive distress, arthritis, and anxiety. As soon as the first needles go in, they calm down, sometimes even falling asleep.
Insalaco says that when it comes to acupuncture, animals aren’t that different from humans. Acupuncture is based on the idea that illness is caused by disruptions in the flow of the body’s vital energy, called qi. “Animal anatomy is of course different from people’s, but the same meridians are present,” she explains. She often gives racehorses acupuncture to bring their bodies into alignment for a race. (In some states and some other countries, acupuncture is seen as an unfair advantage and is prohibited on race day.) She says it also eases soreness and relieves stress, and can address what’s called obscure lameness, a subtly abnormal gait that doesn’t have a clear cause. Purity CBD. Since animals have an endocannabinoid system similar to a human’s, she offers a formulation for pets, as well. The products are derived from a hemp extract from Colorado; this year, she and her husband plan to grow it on their farm.