If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:
In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.
Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.
These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.
In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.
One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.
Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:
Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.
When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.
Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.
Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.
Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.
This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.
During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.
Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.
There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.
Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.
That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.
When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.
If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Millstone, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.
A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.
The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.
For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.
A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.
Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.
While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.
Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.
The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.
Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.
To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.
There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Millstone, NJ, including the following:
You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.
Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.
It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:
At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.
Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Millstone, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.
Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.
Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.
When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:
Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.
New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.732-526-2497
MILLSTONE – While most New Jersey students have had access to expanded sex education lessons this year under the new state-mandated curricul...
MILLSTONE – While most New Jersey students have had access to expanded sex education lessons this year under the new state-mandated curriculum, Millstone students must rely on their parents for some of the most basic gender and reproductive information.
The Millstone Board of Education is one of the few school boards that chose to remove several elements of the new state-mandated sex education curriculum — ranging from transgender discussions to facts about sexual intercourse — and make them optional for parents to teach at home.
But after several months of that approach, tempers are flaring among some parents and LGBTQ advocates who contend the stripped-down curriculum is detrimental and puts an unfair burden on parents.
“You absolutely cannot be creating or maintaining a policy that no one is allowed to learn about their gender,” Natalie Biello, a Millstone parent, said at a recent school board meeting that included more than an hour of testimony on the issue. “If you feel personally that your family does not want your child to know the names of their body parts or how to protect themselves from being abused than you should absolutely remove your own child. But what we cannot stand for is to take that safety net away from our children.”
Millstone Township Schools serve 1,058 students from Pre-K through eighth grade, who then move on to Allentown High School in Upper Freehold.
At issue is the new state-mandated health and sex education curriculum that went into effect at the beginning of the current school year.
The Department of Education issued guidelines for the mandate the requires certain elements to be taught as early as the end of second grade but leaves specifics up to each district.
Parents are allowed to have their children opt out of any part of the curriculum.
Some of the lessons in older grades have sparked concern because they involve issues such as masturbation, anal and oral sex, and use of abortion as a birth control option.
Other portions relate to the issue of gender identity and seek to teach students that discrimination based on gender or gender choice is unacceptable.
But while most districts have implemented the majority of the required lessons, Millstone chose to remove many of the state-required elements, approving a version of the curriculum in August that bars teachers from discussing many of the mandated topics, leaving them up to parents.
“In this context, by thrusting the legal obligation of this education onto families, you are placing a significant burden on them,” Deb Smith, a parent, said at the Feb. 27 school board meeting where the topic drew heated discussion. “Families have different capabilities and capacities for learning, coping and managing, just like your students.”
Samantha Schubel, a Millstone Schools alum, said she was embarrassed to see her former district make such changes.
“I attended the Millstone School system from 2006 to 2015 and I was taught the majority of things you are taking out of this curriculum,” she said. “I would hate to be associated with this town if this continues and these changes are made. I would be ashamed to say I was from here.”
Superintendent Christopher Huss and Board of Education President Christine Reese did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the curriculum or the public response. Neither made any statement on the issue at the board meeting.
The State Department of Education had no immediate response to the Millstone curriculum changes.
A few Millstone residents supported the limited curriculum and at-home approach during the recent meeting, saying they appreciate having more input.
“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to the board for taking this curriculum out of the district,” said Ashley Dillon. “There are parents like myself who do come and advocate for our children and our beliefs and things that we want in education in our districts. If we don’t want to sexualize our children then we should have that right not to and not feel that we are being attacked.”
Some other districts such as Lakewood and Middletown now require parents to sign a form allowing their children to take the classes, not just if they want to opt out. Millstone removed instruction of many of the lessons altogether.
“The mandate has to be part of your curriculum in full except for optional items, they can only be opted out,” Michael Gottesman, founder of the New Jersey Public Education Commission, told the board. “This action subverts the mandate.”
Joe Strupp is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience who covers education and several local communities for APP.com and the Asbury Park Press. He is also the author of three books, including Killing Journalism on the state of the news media, and an adjunct media professor at Rutgers University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 732-413-3840. Follow him on Twitter at @joestrupp
PHILADELPHIA – Last April, Liam Murphy missed the Penn Relays with an illness. He was getting sick a lot, feeling run down and disappointed in his progress as a member of Villanova University’s storied men’s track & field program.“I definitely wasn’t committed to fully training hard and doing all the things I could have been doing,” Murphy said.So the Millstone resident and Allentown High School grad laid out a plan with Villanova’s head coach Marcus ...
PHILADELPHIA – Last April, Liam Murphy missed the Penn Relays with an illness. He was getting sick a lot, feeling run down and disappointed in his progress as a member of Villanova University’s storied men’s track & field program.
“I definitely wasn’t committed to fully training hard and doing all the things I could have been doing,” Murphy said.
So the Millstone resident and Allentown High School grad laid out a plan with Villanova’s head coach Marcus O’Sullivan, a former world-record holder and Olympian in the mile. It centered around getting more sleep, eating better and a laser-like focus on training.
“He said, ‘It’s up to you if you want to commit, but you have the potential to be really good,’” Murphy said. “I reevaluated what I was doing and changed my habits.”
Did he ever. Murphy is enjoying a breakout junior year that reached new heights Saturday when he anchored Villanova to victory in the 4xmile at the Penn Relays. And he didn’t just break the tape. He roared back from ninth place to first during a furious sprint over the final 150 meters. This was 24 hours after anchoring Villanova’s distance medley to second place with a 4:03 split for 1600 meters.
“It was surreal,” Murphy said. “(Friday's distance medley) didn’t really come out the way we wanted – I was in a similar spot and I unfortunately lost. I think I went (to kick) too early. Today the plan was definitely to wait.”
So he waited, and waited, and waited. At the end of a tactical anchor leg (his victorious split would be 4:10), there were seven runners in the lead pack as they rounded the final turn.
“I got a little nervous that I was too far behind,” Murphy said. “I trusted what my coach was saying – relax and be the last one to go –and it worked out.”
It worked out. You can say that for everything Murphy’s done since the summer. Banking eight hours of sleep per night, he became:
-- The NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional champion in cross country.
-- Big East gold medalist in the 3000 meters indoors.
-- A member of the sub-4 mile club. He ran 3:55.58 indoors.
“That definitely felt special,” he said of breaking 4 minutes. “Probably the biggest thing everyone talks about in distance running in trying to go under 4. It was on my lifetime bucket list. It’s cool to be able to check that off.”
Add a Penn Relays victory to the list. Murphy ran at the prestigious meet as a junior in high school but didn’t fare well, finishing eighth in the 3000. It was canceled the next two years due to the pandemic, then he was ill last year. It looked like the stars never would align for him at Franklin Field.
Murphy made them align. His comeback in the final lap was a year in the making.
“A coming-of-age moment,” O’Sullivan called it.
One of the biggest prizes in all of track & field is a Penn Relays wheel – a huge, round, ornate wooden plaque awarded to winners of the championship relay races. This was Villanova’s 95th wheel. Murphy has earned his place in the Wildcats pantheon and learned a valuable lesson to boot.
“There are a lot of ups and downs that come with running,” he said. “It’s very easy to lose confidence. But if you put in the work, it adds up. It will definitely pay off.”
Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996. Contact him at email@example.com.
Z Taco on Route 33 in Millstone, just west of Manalapan, is the brainchild of two restaurateurs offering elevated Mexican fusion. |Updated Sat, Jul 22, 2023 at 9:43 am ETMILLSTONE, NJ — Do you yearn for TacoZ, TortaZ and SaladZ?Then you may want to try the new Z Taco Mexican fusion restaurant that opened recently at 514 Route 33 west in Millstone.Created by two lifelong friends with a passion for food and entertaining - and the letter "Z," Z Taco features casual lunch and an "elevated sit-d...
|Updated Sat, Jul 22, 2023 at 9:43 am ET
MILLSTONE, NJ — Do you yearn for TacoZ, TortaZ and SaladZ?
Then you may want to try the new Z Taco Mexican fusion restaurant that opened recently at 514 Route 33 west in Millstone.
Created by two lifelong friends with a passion for food and entertaining - and the letter "Z," Z Taco features casual lunch and an "elevated sit-down dining experience" for dinner, the owners say.
Dan Bonham and Chris Zinna opened the restaurant June 17.
The lunch menu includes TacoZ and TortaZ, a Mexican sandwich made on freshly-baked, traditional bolillo bread, as well as plenty of AppetizerZ and SaladZ.
Dinner offers an expanded taco menu as well as a number of entrees such as Pineapple Marinated Ribs and Smothered Chicken. There is also Chorizo and Clams and Street Corn. The menu also includes locally sourced fruits and vegetables from area farmers - and their own gardens, when available.
Bonham said they saw an opportunity to bring a new type of Mexican restaurant to the Central Jersey area, and he said the feedback has been great from customers with a yen for the cuisine.
Z Taco is part of the Biztro Hospitality restaurants that includes Zinna's Bistro in Cranbury, and operates a fleet of food trucks, including New Jersey's biggest food truck, according to the owners.
Bonham and Zinna met when Zinna moved next door to Bonham in high school. Zinna went right to work as an entrepreneur and Bonham went to Rutgers University. Both men are in their early 50s, and so have lots of experience.
Bonham said he worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 20 years and now runs his own human resources and multimedia services companies. Zinna has operated Zinna's Bistro off Route 130 in an office complex in Cranbury for 13 years.
The two also have a big food truck business. Bonham said they have two actual trailers carried by truck cabs that serve major corporate or municipal events - Jerzey Eatz. Again the Z. They also have smaller food trucks, one for tacos, another for grilled foods and one for lemonade.
But despite juggling his many business ventures, Bonham said he is in the Z Taco restaurant four days a week, and Zinna is even more hands on. Plus they have a general manager for the restaurant, he added.
And their attention to detail has reaped rewards.
"The experience and feedback from the greater Millstone community has been nothing short of amazing so far," said Bonham.
And he said he and Zinna hope to build relationships with customers and businesses in the area.
And with special events planned, the locale can become quite a destination.
Some things to look for in the future are TacoZ and Tequila Tasting - and a "few other brainstorms that are in the works," Bonham said.
Co-owner Zinna gave the restaurant staff lots of credit for the smooth opening.
"Our kitchen along with the front of house staff has done a great job in such a short amount of time and we look forward to growing in the future," Zinna said.
The restaurant offers catering too, its website notes. It is open for brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. it is open on Mondays for catering, private parties, and food truck events.
You can keep in touch with the restaurant by following its newsletter. Also, you can follow Z Taco on social media at @EatZTaco and visit the Z Taco website at www.EatZTaco.com.
After two generations in business, an iconic Italian market and butcher shop in the Garden State is closing its doors for good.And this is where you could substitute "iconic" for the word "stereotypical" -- but in the absolute best way possible.This shop wasn't something that just sold a specific type of food because it happened to sell really well.This place was authentic to its core.Our culinary travels take us to, dare I say, ...
After two generations in business, an iconic Italian market and butcher shop in the Garden State is closing its doors for good.
And this is where you could substitute "iconic" for the word "stereotypical" -- but in the absolute best way possible.
This shop wasn't something that just sold a specific type of food because it happened to sell really well.
This place was authentic to its core.
Our culinary travels take us to, dare I say, Central Jersey, where a business that has a nearly 5-star Google review is closing after 45 years.
Before revealing the business, let's paint a picture with some of those reviews:
Now that you are hungry, perhaps you can make one last trip to A&S Salumeria on Route 33 in Millstone Township.
The owner of the business recently took to Facebook to share his news:
After 45 years in the business (21 of them in Millstone Township), I've decided to put down the knives and hang up the apron. What a ride it has been. I've met thousands of beautiful people along the way. Many of my customers and employees have become more than acquaintances but lifelong friends that mean the world to me.
The owner has decided to retire because "I have Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) and over the past few years I've come to realize that my condition has been deteriorating to the point where doing the job that I love so much has basically become difficult to the point that I've had to make this decision."
This is a business, as they put it, where you talked about, "different types of prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, how to make that prime rib roast, or talking about the old neighborhoods that we grew up in."
A&S Salumeria says it is fully stocked for the upcoming holiday weekend, however, Memorial Day Monday is their final day.
If you're [not] busy and have some free time, stop on by the store for an awesome Italian Sub, a delicious steak, a fresh mozz, or a quick "Goodbye."
Address: 480 State Route 33, Millstone Township, NJ
A dish of steak and eggs was the golden ticket for Ryan Walker of Millstone Township, a 33-year-old former construction superintendent whose culinary skills have earned him a spot on Fox's cooking competition, "MasterChef: United Tastes of America."Walker made his dish on the first episode of the show's 13th season, which premiered in late May. It wasn't the Jersey diner version of steak and eggs, either: He cooked a filet mignon medium rare, then topped it w...
A dish of steak and eggs was the golden ticket for Ryan Walker of Millstone Township, a 33-year-old former construction superintendent whose culinary skills have earned him a spot on Fox's cooking competition, "MasterChef: United Tastes of America."
Walker made his dish on the first episode of the show's 13th season, which premiered in late May. It wasn't the Jersey diner version of steak and eggs, either: He cooked a filet mignon medium rare, then topped it with eggs wrapped around caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese.
"It's definitely a risk to cook simple steak and eggs for 'MasterChef,' but they've never seen steak and eggs like this," he said on the episode. "I made it up, and it's delicious."
The winner of the show — which airs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays and is judged by chefs Gordon Ramsay and Aarón Sánchez and restaurateur Joe Bastianich — takes home $250,000.
"I think what we saw here is genuinely and extremely thoughtful preparation of an extremely simple dish, and at its core, beautiful cooking is that: It's simple things done perfectly," said guest judge Daphne Oz, who with Ramsay and Bastianich voted for Walker to move on in the competition.
Walker is relatively new to cooking, having embraced a healthy lifestyle after recovering from a decade of addiction. He learned to cook by watching others online, and while his culinary journey started with the keto diet — which explains the steak and eggs — he now focuses on whole, natural, non-GMO foods.
"After I got clean and felt right, I started looking at the aspects of my life," he said during a phone interview from Millstone Township. "I was 50 pounds overweight.
"I got so into food when I got clean. I started cooking, then I started posting on social media," Walker said. "As my social media account grew, I was doing some original recipes, some interesting stuff, and the show reached out."
"MasterChef: United Tastes of America" filmed earlier this year on the West Coast. Walker could not share details of how he did, but he credits the experience with putting him on a new path.
"It’s definitely a high-pressure scenario, cooking competitively like that with time limits," he said. "It definitely made me elevate my game and step up my cooking ... from having my mise en place to my knife-work skills.
"It was just a great experience," he said.
Walker has since left the construction business in pursuit of opening his own restaurant, which he plans to name The Steak and the Egg. He is raising chickens, tending his large garden, and creating a menu of dishes.
"I really can’t thank 'MasterChef' enough because the way the timing worked out gave me the kick in the butt to get started," he said.
Walker will next appear on the show on Wednesday, June 21.
Sarah Griesemer joined the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey in 2003 and has been writing all things food since 2014. Send restaurant tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.