Inside the treasure chest: Justin Green
Reprinted with permission from the November issue of Montana Woman Magazine. Aritcle written by Katherine Johnson.
44 year-old Justin Green became involved with Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture because of his own struggle with chronic pain and fatigue in his early 20s. When Justin was younger, he spent 17 years competing in BMX bike racing. He was a national champion and traveled the world; however, years of competition took a toll on his body. He underwent two knee reconstructive surgeries, but was still in pain from arthritis and lower back issues. At 20 years old, Justin retired from BMX bike racing. Though he is very grateful to his surgeons and all who helped him, Western medicine could only do so much to treat his chronic pain.
Rather than merely learn to tolerate the pain and fatigue, Justin explored Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and found relief. Motivated by this successful form of treatment, Justin set out to help others discover and utilize Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture to improve their health problems. Justin attended University of California in Santa Cruz and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and studied at South Western Acupuncture College. Justin opened his private practice in Kalispell when he moved to Montana in 2003.
There are two major categories to Traditional Chinese medicine: herbal and acupuncture. The focus of Chinese herbal medicine is to improve the function of a body’s organs and glands, while acupuncture targets pain in a body’s muscular and skeletal system. Both, among other subcategories, can be used to treat a variety of health problems and chronic pain such as asthma, women’s infertility and endometriosis, back, neck, and knee pain. When Justin Green practices herbal medicine, he chooses from over 400 different herbs and creates formulas that are specific to each patient and their needs. Justin uses other methods such as cupping and Gua sha. Gua sha is a technique where he uses a square-shaped instrument with a dull edge to gently “scrape” across the body’s muscles. This form of massaging the muscles breaks up adhesions and scar tissue, improves blood flow in the body and alleviates one’s pain. In the past, the Chinese have used smooth porcelain spoons to perform this form of therapy and have also used coins which led to another name called “coining.” Each civilization has their own methods of herbal medicine but, Justin says, Traditional Chinese medicine is the oldest and most sophisticated; the Chinese’s herbal and acupuncture methods have been used for over 2,500 years. Chinese medicine is a combination of massage, herbal remedies, acupuncture, cupping, Gua sha, and changes in one’s diet and exercise. Justin Green uses herbal and acupuncture treatments at The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management in addition to his private practice named Montana Acupuncture and Wellness Pharmacy.
Justin’s arthritic pain, battle with cancer, fatigue, and a total of six surgeries throughout his life has motivated him to treat others with chronic pain and ailments. Having been a patient in the past, Justin can empathize with his patients and has had approximately 30,000 visits at his office over the last 15 years. He recently relocated his clinic to a bigger office so that he can expand his practice and raise awareness for acupuncture and Chinese medicine. As an acupuncturist, Justin Green’s vision is to “take over the [Flathead Valley] with Chinese medicine.” It’s difficult to know that modern medicine can only do so much for the body and people tend to be skeptical of exploring outside Western medicine practices. Many of his patients are women and the elderly. Justin treats fatigue, depression, anxiety, arthritis, chronic migraines and tension headaches, Lung problems, women’s health and much more.
Justin wants to not only alleviate his patient’s pain and treat their health problems, but he wants people to not fear methods that do not involve knee replacement surgeries, pain killer prescriptions and merely tolerating their illnesses. Justin is very passionate about his full time practice and even posts videos on his YouTube channel and Facebook page of live treatments to show viewers what happens in his clinic. One of his missions is what he calls his “Knee Crusade,” a current “war to save knees and prevent knee replacements.” Whenever he has successfully saved someone from a knee replacement surgery, he happily says that “another battle [has been] won.” Justin Green is a lively and compassionate man, and these traits are the reasons he is so driven to spread awareness for this form of treatment.
Justin Green lives in Kalispell, Montana with his wife Sunni and their two boys Dylan and Ezrah who are 16 and 9 years old. They love to spend every minute they can in the water during the summer, whether it’s boating or just a simple day at the lake. In the winter, Justin snowboards Blacktail Mountain. His wife is a yoga instructor at a gym in downtown Kalispell called Straight Blast Gym. In October, Justin started going to a six-month training program at SBG called “Wimp 2 Warrior” for personal growth. At the end of this challenging program, participants will be able to compete as MMA fighters in a ring built by the gym.
The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management is designed to bring together leading health care providers in an effort to deliver the best possible care to people with chronic pain. Our providers are uniquely skilled in the following areas:
- Interventional pain management
- Medical pain management
- Addiction medicine
- Osteopathic manipulative medicine
- Calmare® pain therapy treatment
- Massage therapy
- Yoga therapy/gentle movement