I was the baby with ear infections every other month. I was the child with allergies before allergies were a thing. I was the lethargic teenager who preferred naps and reading to sports. I wasn’t *really* sick, but I wasn’t thriving like my peers either.
The allergy medicine I took made me loopy and the allergy shots left me wiped out. I knew there had to be another way.
I studied Biology at University thinking I would become an MD and find that “other” way—nbd. As I was listening to a lecture on oncology my senior year of Uni, I suddenly realized I wasn’t interested in what was happening at the cellular level. I wondered what the person’s experience of the cancer was and in turn their friend’s and family’s experience of it. I instinctively knew that health and wellness had just as much to do with what was happening in a person’s life, their relationships, and their environment as it did with what was happening at the molecular level. Later when I learned about the Taoist concept of the macrocosm reflecting the microcosm and vice versa, it resonated with me strongly.
Once I realized I didn’t want to study Allopathic medicine, I started looking for different systems of health and wellness. Around this same time, my Mother caught a virus on a flight out to California. She felt awful and was worried it was going to ruin her trip. Luckily, one of the first speakers at the conference was a Chinese Medicine practitioner. Somehow my Mom finagled a treatment that day. She told me she was laid out in the middle of the gardens of the Ritz Carlton with needles sticking out of her and she’d never been more relaxed in her life, which struck me, coming from a fine southern woman who’s culture is all about keeping up appearances while also keeping it real. She went and took long deep nap, woke up, and danced the night away. That seemed like a modality worth exploring.
I checked out a few books on Chinese Medicine from the Berkeley library: The Web that Has No Weaver and Between Heaven and Earth. My thoughts and beliefs aligned so closely with the ideas in those books that I knew I’d found the right path. I enrolled immediately in a four year program to get my Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine without ever having had a treatment.
I really love how Chinese Medicine easily accesses the mind, the body, and the spirit. It’s a system that treats an entire person rather than a symptom.
As for the present, I’m a full time Mama with a very part time Chinese Medicine practice. My undergraduate degree was in Human Systems & Cell Physiology at the University of St Andrews…yes with Wills and Kate (while she was still a commoner). I intensely studied Traditional Chinese Medicine at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco for four years with a semester in Kunming China. I continue to study it through electives and interests, my favorites of which are: dermatology, pediatrics, pregnancy and post-partum care. I met a French man in Oakland at a Yankee’s v A’s baseball game thanks to one of the many great housemates I’ve had in my life. We moved to Paris a couple of years after I graduated from ACTCM, spent 7 years in the city of light, had two children there and have recently moved our family to Westchester County, NY.