As I reflect back upon my 10 years of being an acupuncturist, I am in awe of all that I have learned. I have learned from my patients, from my additional training since my graduate school in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and I’ve learned from my teachers and colleagues. The theories of TCM have made a profound impact on my life.
When I started at the Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine, I was introduced to the theory of yin and yang which exemplifies the dualistic nature of all things. No one thing in life and in nature can exist without it’s exact opposite permeating it at some level. Hot cannot exist without cold, night cannot exist without day. It’s a simple concept but when applied to healthcare, is quite eye opening. In order for healing to occur, we have to balance the yin and yang of our own body!
My first formal office picture, in 2006
When I first started as an acupuncturist, I had the bright eyed innocence of a child. I thought EVERYTHING could be healed through TCM! Over the years of my journey I’ve witnessed the following yin/yang concept play out: both our genetics and our lifestyle are equally important to our health and wellness. We maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet, herbs, supplements, exercise, and relaxation. How we care for ourselves impacts how we feel. However, we are also born with a certain genetic predisposition to specific health patterns and conditions that are passed down to us. We have no control over this. In addition, how were we born/nurtured impacts our health as well. Did our mothers give birth vaginally and breastfeed us? Have we been exposed to heavy metals? These aspects of our health we cannot control, yet they can have deep implications on our long term health and wellness. I’ve learned that balance is relative and personal to each individual. We can do the best we can for ourselves and also be aware that not everything about our health is related to how we are living NOW. Its all about BALANCE!
Somewhere in the middle, around 2010….
I continue to uncover the beauty of the TCM theory of differential diagnosis. I may see 3 people in the same week with headaches. Each come to my practice with their own unique patterns and symptoms and they will each have a different diagnosis as to why they are having headaches. Each person will be treated uniquely based on their whole body. No one is exactly like anyone else (we are all snowflakes!) and when we honor that, we are so much more likely to find the root cause and provide the correct treatment for each patients.
2016 – ten years in practice!
Seeing so many folks come to me during a time of intense pain and suffering in their lives, I’ve learned that life isn’t fair. It just isn’t. I wouldn’t wish any of the traumatic events or illnesses my clients have dealt with on anyone. That being said, when considering the dualistic nature of all things, I believe that when difficult things happen, there is an opportunity for deeper growth and expansion. It is no mistake in life that what we fear and resist the most can manifest in disease and trauma in our lives. Our deepest fears and concerns often show up in our lives so that we can make steps towards releasing and healing them. Although I would like to simply relieve the pain of my patients, I would be remiss if I did not see and show my patients how to learn and grow from difficult experiences.
In closing I am deeply grateful to my friends, family, colleagues, and patients who have all supported and loved me along the way. Every day I am grateful to be involved in such a beautiful healing art that impacts so many.
Please feel free to watch my latest video below, which highlights my specialty and passion for the childbearing year.