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West // West Oahu News
Christina O’Connor

Area Acupuncturist Launches Scholarship For Waipahu High

To mark the 10th anniversary of Tokuhara Acupuncture, owner Jon Tokuhara will donate a portion of his proceeds in August to his alma mater Waipahu High School for a $1,000 college scholarship.

After establishing and operating his own business for the last 10 years, Tokuhara intends to give back to the community.

“The kids who are there now need people to be there for them, whether in athletics or academics,” he explained.

The scholarship will support a student-athlete who is in Waipahu’s Health Pathway – one of six small-learning communities on the campus.

“The high school is where a lot of things came together for me, as far as athletics, clubs, student government,” he said, “as well as the biggest part of it, the academics.

“It would be a great way to donate … to a student with similar interests as mine were in high school.”

Tokuhara first became interested in acupuncture while attending college at University of Portland in Oregon. After injuring his knee playing rugby, someone suggested that he give acupuncture a try.

Following a series of treatments, he found that the pain had decreased, and his range of motion had improved.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Tokuhara went on to study acupuncture at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine before returning to the Islands.

“The plan was always for me to come home and start my business here,” he said. “One of the things I feel is important is the community in Waipahu.

“I wanted to be back in Waipahu, mostly because this was the community that helped give me the opportunities that I had.”

Tokuhara said that acupuncture can help both chronic and acute pain – and that his regular patients run the gamut from sufferers of lower back pain to migraines.

Longtime patient Shalei Aoki, of Ewa Beach, also believes her regular treatment is helpful preventative medicine. Aoki has been seeing Tokuhara since he first opened his practice, after she sustained a knee injury. She has continued her treatment over the years because she believes it improves her immune system, reduces headaches and cramps, and boosts her energy.

Waipahu High principal Keith Hayashi was “ecstatic” when Tokuhara first contacted him about the scholarship plan.

“Our students do have a financial need, and (Tokuhara) is supporting them in pursuing their dreams,” Hayashi said.

Health Pathway applicants may be interested in medicine, nursing, biotechnology and more. The WHS curriculum offers a number of professional partnerships – such as national-level biotechnology research – to give them a taste of potential college and career prospects.

“Any time we have generous individuals there to help support our students, it is always a great thing, especially from an alumnus,” Hayashi added.

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