PIn It Up owner Hannah Sykes
PIn It Up owner Hannah Sykes (Courtesy Photo)

A Massachusetts native is treating animals with acupuncture in the Sykesville area. Hannah Sykes, who grew up outside of Boston, has been in Maryland for over 10 years and currently resides in Sykesville, where she runs Pin it Up out of a studio on Main Street.

She serves areas primarily within commuting distance, such as Alexandria, Virginia north to Elkton, Annapolis west to Winchester, Virginia. Sykes also has some international clients who fly in for sessions.


Sykes has been practicing acupuncture since the clinic process started in her master’s degree program in 2010, and she started her business when she graduated in 2011. The “Pin It Up” name came in the autumn of 2017 as a result of her noting the pun relationship between her specialty and her “pin up” style. Pin It Up is currently in “soft opening mode” and will be adding treatment rooms and she will hold a grand opening in the spring.

Q: What got you started with acupuncture?

A: I spent a lot of my adult life listen[ing] to people who were in pain and western medicine wasn’t able to do anything to help them, and I was desperate to help my friends and family live with less pain. Life is too short to be in pain. I was in school finishing my bachelor’s degree heading into theoretical physics. I quickly learned I was not a “lab person” and needed to change fields. I literally googled, “practical application of theoretical physics,” and acupuncture came up. I had gotten it done on my horse in high school and thought it was insane. I became a believer so to speak, because he was drooling and falling asleep with his pins in. “OK, there is no placebo effect on a horse,” I thought.

I kept acupuncture in the back of my mind. Then it came up in the google search. It sounded like a mental health therapy combined with an effective tool for treating pain. I am the child of a social worker, and raised by generations of church officials. Being in a field that helps people also really called to me. I saw acupuncture as a field with a low burn out rate, and was slowly being confirmed/ proven by science, as our science caught up to what the East had deciphered centuries ago.

Q: How does acupuncture help the animals?

A: Acupuncture helps animals in the same way it does people, and it works faster in our pets because their minds aren’t as bogged down with “stuff” like humans are. If they have aches, pains, congestion, chronic or acute pain issues; acupuncture has points to help each pet. And like humans, each animal has a unique personality and point prescription is designed for them.

Q: What are some ailments that your acupuncture treatments help?

A: What can’t it help is a shorter answer. What commonly comes through my office is chronic back and knee pain, migraines/ headaches, tension headaches, general anxiety, infertility, focus issues, all around wellness.

Q: What would you like to inform people about acupuncture that might be skeptical about the treatment?

A: You don’t have to believe in it to work. It is literally a medicine with 3000-plus years of evidence showing it works. It’s becoming quite common and there’s a good chance there is someone they know that has been helped by acupuncture.

Q: What can people expect from Pin It Up’s grand opening in April?

A: We plan to have a great party! I’ll be there to answer any questions about acupuncture. But really it’s a meet and greet for me to the community. I jump when I see an opportunity I don’t want to miss. We are 100% self-financed so it has taken a little time to pull together the resources needed to expand to our comfortable size.