I absolutely love my job. I can honestly say that I go to my office with a smile on my face.
I know that being a Chinese Medicine practitioner is what I was meant to be.
Many of my patients ask me the same question: how did I become an acupuncturist?
Before I tell my story, I need to share that in California becoming an acupuncturist takes four years of intensive schooling where we get our Master’s in Chinese Medicine (probably the longest Master’s programs ever!). In order to practice, we need to pass a very challenging Board Exam to get California Licensed. It’s a grueling four years of studying, exams, and clinical practice (with pretty much no vacation).
Getting licensed has been one of my biggest accomplishments. You would really only do this because you LOVE it and you want to help people. Unlike medical doctors, you definitely don’t pass your boards with a six figure salary waiting for you.
My path to Chinese Medicine has been a blessing.
Since I was a young girl, I had the calling to medicine. I loved science. I loved school. And I always knew I wanted to help people.
I was pre-med at Brandeis University and I knew that my path was medicine.
And then things changed. I felt uninspired by the medical paradigm (yes, I was also studying sociology. you know, question everything). I wanted to help, but I wasn’t so sure of conventional medicine, the influence of pharmaceutical companies, and the whole focus on prescription medication being the solution to everything.
I got an email looking for volunteers at the Aids Care Project in Boston. I did a ton of volunteer work during college and this was a great opportunity. I showed up and what this turned out to be was an acupuncture clinic for people with HIV and AIDS.
So at the age of 20, I learned about Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. I received free treatments as part of my volunteer position and I really loved the experience. The practitioners offered personalized attention, genuine caring, and they spent time really getting to know me and my body.
The clients of the clinic left each treatment with appreciation, energy, and vitality. I had never seen anything like it. It certainly wasn’t the experience I knew of going to my doctor’s office.
I didn’t exactly know it then, but this was the start of it all. When I graduated and moved to San Francisco, I worked as a receptionist at an integrative medicine clinic associated with a hospital. I continued receiving acupuncture treatments and noticed the many benefits of this medicine (for me this included balanced hormones, less headaches, clearer skin, more energy, and much more).
When I made the decision to apply to Acupuncture school, it felt completely in alignment with what I wanted to contribute to the world. And this is how I’ve felt every single day for the past twelve years.