I would like to introduce myself to you. I am an L.Ac, or licensed acupuncturist. In 2001, I graduated from Bastyr University in Bothell, Washington just north of Seattle. I completed the University’s 4 year MSAOM or masters program of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. I organized and participated in the University’s first preceptorship of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) in Wakayama, Japan. In the fall of 2001, I finished my studies in a hospital in Shanghai, China. I did rounds in the internal medicine, gynecology and traumatology departments. The hospital is known for its integrated use of both Western and Eastern medicines.
Before finishing my schooling at Bastyr, I took and passed the national test for licensure. I then decided to relocate to California where I passed California’s exam and now practice in the foothills between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.
What started me on the path to practicing TCM? Personal experience. One day I suddenly realized that I had become part of a statistic: I was one of the 80% of Americans who have lower back pain. I had no history of any long-term, chronic health imbalance and I couldn’t remember any trauma which might have explained why I “suddenly” had this pain.
After thinking about it for awhile though, I had to admit that there had been prior contributors to the problem. My pain had finally gotten strong enough to show up on what I call a person’s “radar screen of awareness” but the problem had been growing long before the pain.
I had worked at jobs which could’ve helped lead to the pain, plus I had fallen in a skiing accident, years earlier. At the time I believed it hadn’t affected me much but later I realized it did have a long-term impact on my pain. Also, after spending 4 years learning about Chinese medicine I could look back and know that there were other contributors to my chronic pain.
By the time the pain had grown enough to have a negative impact on my activities of daily life, I was about 3 weeks away from moving to Japan. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to start my education in complementary medicine. I started chiropractic visits and boy did that feel great! But because of the looming deadline to move and all the time and effort required for that, there wasn’t enough time for the adjustments to “take”.
When I arrived in Japan I had no idea whether they had chiropractic medicine and I didn’t feel entirely comfortable getting adjustments from someone with whom I couldn’t yet communicate. The cousin of the family who “adopted me” happened to be an acupuncturist.
With the help of my bi-lingual Japanese friend I started going to Akio, my acupuncturist. At first I went twice a week. I would feel so relaxed and balanced that it was hard for me to navigate my bicycle home. Not only did my back begin to feel great but I had an overall feeling of mind/body harmony and at times euphoria .
It took about two months of bi-weekly visits which eventually went down to once-a-week, to once every other week, down to me looking for excuses to go because it felt so good (although my back had long ago returned to normal).
And there you have it- the old story of inspiration- it worked great for me, so let’s share the wealth!
Professional Organization Membership: CSOMA