“I feel like my practice is always evolving and I look forward to coming to work every day because I know it is an opportunity for me to learn something new and help people feel better at the same time….For me, the human body is endlessly fascinating.”
What led you to establish your practice and what are you most excited about right now in your field?
I started my career as a massage therapist and loved the idea of healing people with my hands. As I was building my skills in massage, I knew it was a stepping stone to something else but I wasn’t sure what that was. I have always been fascinated with Eastern medicine so I started exploring acupuncture and fell in love with it. I love the ancient wisdom and teachings that are a part of acupuncture and, because it is thousands of years old, the learning never ends. After I earned my license, I had the privilege of meeting Craig Danehy (Tru Functional Health) who allowed me to work out of his office and create exactly the kind of practice I envisioned. It was a gift, and it is what allowed me to eventually open the space I have currently which has 5 treatment rooms with multiple providers of acupuncture and massage. I feel like my practice is always evolving and I look forward to coming to work every day because I know it is an opportunity for me to learn something new and help people feel better at the same time.
Acupuncture covers a vast range of healing so it’s sometimes hard to narrow down what I am most excited about. For me, it ultimately boils down to three things: anti-aging, orthopedics, and family lineage.
The anti-aging part of acupuncture is actually rooted in Chinese royalty. They were on a constant quest to maintain their glowing skin and defy the aging process.
More and more, I am seeing people move away from more aggressive treatments and toward things like facial rejuvenation with acupuncture because it allows us to age with grace and feel our best. I give my aunt a lot of the credit for my interest in facial rejuvenation because she is the one who really encouraged me to explore it. Helping people bring their inner resilience back to the surface is hugely rewarding for me.
I’ve always had an interest in orthopedics and I treat a ton of neck, back, and shoulder pain, etc. In the past few years, I have started treating middle and high school-aged athletes. It has just been fascinating for me to watch young people be exposed to this form of medicine because I get to see someone who is young respond with only a few needles and one or two treatments, versus people who are older and take a bit longer to respond. And it allows me to educate kids about acupuncture so they are more apt to turn to it as a mode of healing as they get older.
The third thing that really interests me now that I have been practicing for about 10 years is family lineage. Traditionally, this medicine was passed down apprentice-style through generations, typically to the oldest son. Each lineage had a particular style or approach that was unique. There is a family lineage that I’m fascinated with because they used distal style healing which means that you can treat
one area of the body with a mirror image in another part of the body. So, for example, if a person comes into my office with raging back pain and I can’t treat their back directly because it’s too sensitive,
I can treat the crux of the elbow to provide relief. The ‘mirror image’ is that the bending of the waist mirrors the bending of the elbow so the healing is able to transfer through the body. For me, the human body is endlessly fascinating and having different healing lenses to look through makes it so much fun.
What is your favorite way to connect with others?
For the most part I really like to connect in pretty simple ways. I love to sit and talk with people, go for walks or share a meal. And, if you want to ride your bike with me, I am always ready to roll. I also believe that small moments can offer deep connection. Just making eye contact with someone at the grocery store can make someone’s day.
At work, it is really important to me that you feel welcomed and valued as soon as you walk in the door. I make a point of greeting each person and, even if I can’t get to them immediately, they know I will give my full attention to them once they are in the treatment room.
I want each person to feel valued and cared for so that the treatment experience is calming from start to finish. It’s really important to me that I provide this to my clients because I don’t always feel that way when I am out in the world.
What are the key things you do to take care of your brain and body?
I really try to limit my screen time when I am at home. I read every day, mostly in the evenings. I use the PEMF mat which helps me to feel grounded.
I exercise consistently with a trainer and am on my bike as much as possible in the warmer months. I also stopped fighting the urge to stay up late.
I get tired by 9 or 9:30 pm so I get in bed. I am up early each morning, usually by 5:30am, and it helps me set the intention for the day, get focused and handle anything that I was too tired to do the night before.
What is one habit you have firmly established that helps you and what is one thing you would like to make a habit that you haven’t been able to yet?
A habit that I have adopted more recently is I listen to motivational speeches on my way to work. It’s been really helpful to me because it moves me into a constructive mindset even when things feel hard or when I have moments of self-doubt. It’s also great to get out of your car feeling ready to take on whatever the day has store because you’re jazzed up from the speaker you just heard.
Something that I’d like to get back to is some kind of mindfulness practice.
I’m not a ‘sit still and meditate’ kind of person so I am drawn to things like Tai Chi and Chi Gong which involve movement as well. I used to train in martial arts and then, over time, got involved in other types of exercise. I miss the spiritual and grounding components of these practices and I’d like to reincorporate that back into
my life. I interact with other peoples’ energy all day long so it’s really important that I stay solid in my own footing.
When do you feel most grounded and what are some practices that help you get there?
I am very close to my family — I adore my sister’s kids — they absolutely ground me. In my family, I often describe myself as the weight on the bottom of a bunch balloons. I am typically pretty steady, but there are times when I feel squirrely. The fastest way for me to find my way back to feeling centered is to get on my bike. I’ll be riding for the rest of my life until my legs refuse to work anymore.
Healing people with my hands is very grounding for me. It’s always been hard for me to articulate, but I feel like I listen with my hands a lot.
Even something as simple as giving someone a neck massage and intuitively helping them to feel calm has a residual grounding effect on me. I sometimes wear Angelica oil as well, which is known as a protector and strengthens resilience. Wearing it helps me feel more rooted when I am working with someone whose central nervous system is unsettled, or on days when I am feeling less steady myself.