Monica Mae Leibson has been part of the Acupuncture Healthcare team for over 3 years! She is a breath of fresh air and brings many great strengths to our practice.
What made you decide to become an acupuncturist?
I started having asthma attacks that were seemingly out of the blue. Because I didn’t know what they were or how to cope, I ended up in the ER one night. Thankfully, they gave me a shot and helped me to breath (I definitely think that western medicine has it’s place!). After that, they did all the tests on my lungs and said that they were “fine”. So I was given an inhaler and sent on my merry way. I used the inhaler during my next attack and found that it did not help. I tried to use it in between attacks and quickly learned that there was no preventative value to it for me. So I felt stuck. What next?
My dad decided to take me to his doctor who was an MD but also practiced holistic medicine. He assessed my situation and recommended herbs & diet changes. He also gave me some deep breathing exercises and recommended yoga. I started doing all these things and was surprised at how quickly I was benefitting. The next time I went back to him he recommended that I assess my “internal emotional state” regarding what might trigger my asthma attacks. I thought this to be very interesting so I started keeping a journal of how I was feeling and the severity and frequency of my attacks. I noticed that they were related to me disliking my job and also to one aspect of my relationship to my parents. I worked on this by having a candid relationship with my parents and also I ended up quitting my job. I decided, instead, to go to Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine School! I started to realize how much better I was feeling and how much I enjoyed the idea of healing the body and the mind. By the time I went to school Acupuncture school (about 9 months later), I wasn’t having any more asthma attacks!
Tell me about your practice?
I began focusing on fertility because I was working with Julie’s patients. It soon became my passion as I learned more about how it affects couples emotionally and physically. As a natural progression, I started treating women who were pregnant. This led me to advanced training called “acupuncture during pregnancy” which showed how acupuncture could treat a variety of women’s symptoms during pregnancy. The seminar also presented information about helping women to prepare for birth. I became fascinated with the preparation for birth, the birthing process, and the post partum period. The studies have shown that acupuncture helps a woman to prepare for birth and can decrease labor time and medical intervention! I recently completed training to become a Doula and am in the process of becoming DONA certified. I am excited about how this new facet of my trainings will affect my practice!
Advice for patients?
My advice for patients would be to aim for balance in all areas of life. I say this because I find that people can get caught up in the latest diet or research and accidentally let that information cause more anxiety. I think it is important to remember how capable and adaptable our bodies are to all of life’s influences. Our mind is similar ~ it is best to be open to new ideas and experiences as that mind frame will make for easier life transitions and set you up for a positive aging experience.
Health tips for spring?
Walk outside! Say hello to the blossoming flowers and let yourself enjoy this time of renewal!
Favorite Restaurant in the area?
Anita’s Kitchen in Ferndale, Seva in Ann Arbor, Whole Foods in West Bloomfield.