HOWACUPUNCTURE HELPED ME WHEN WESTERN MEDICINE COULDN’T My Path toWellness
I came to Chinese medicine because I was sick. I’d tried everything — injections, several medications, everything — that Western medicine had to offer, and I still found myself regularly struggling with crippling asthma, allergies, and migraines that landed me in the hospital at least once or twice a year. Even though I was in my early 20s, I was the sickest I’d ever been. At the time, I was studying at the University of Montana to get a master’s degree in anthropology, and it was through my studies there that I had my first exposure to Chinese medicine. I was editing one of my colleague’s thesis papers that was focused on the Hmong community in Missoula that used a lot of cupping, herbal medicine, and other traditional Chinese Medicine practices. My interest was piqued.
At the time, I was missing a lot of school because I was so sick. One of my professors was worried about me and gave me a few books on Chinese medicine, and because I had nothing to lose, I read through the books a bit and booked my first session with an acupuncturist. After just a few sessions with her, I didn’t need my medications anymore. Before that appointment, I thought I knew how to eat healthily, but I didn’t. That acupuncturist taught me how to improve my diet, and we worked together on stress reduction techniques. My work with her was life-changing. It gave me back a sense of control, and even though I had originally planned to go straight into a doctorate program in anthropology, I instead ended up going straight into a master’s program for traditional Chinese medicine from Five Branches Institute in Santa Cruz, California. I graduated from Five Branches Institute in 2001, but there were zero jobs for acupuncturists. Luckily, I had also earned my massage therapy certification, and I was able to pay the bills that way while learning everything I could about running a business. Within a year, I was able to build a full-time acupuncture practice in Monterey Bay. However, I love rock climbing, and I missed living close to the mountains. In 2006, I sold that first practice and moved to Boulder, Colorado. When I got here, I had to build everything from scratch all over again. Developing my practice here was much, much harder than I expected it to be. People weren’t familiar with acupuncture, and at the time, Western doctors were more reluctant to work with me than they had been in California. After several years in private practice, I expanded, moved, and took on a lot of debt to get the Dova Center off the ground, but these days, we’re thriving. I work closely with Western doctors from the community to develop the best possible treatment plan for our patients. Clinical observations, specifically in OB/GYN and fertility clinics, have been a large piece of the doctoral program I am currently in and I am learning so much that has really benefited my patients. I love giving to my patients what my acupuncturist in Missoula gave to me, and I look forward to continuing to do so for many more years to come!
MAR 2020 DOVACENTER.COM 303.955.7226
“My work with her was life-
changing. It gave me back
a sense of control ...”
DOVACENTER.COM • 303.955.7226dovacenter.com
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