I have always had an interest in medicine, and in the healing relationship between patient and practitioner. When I was 17, my mother became ill and my observations of her treatment left me disenchanted with the medical field. It was not just that she was repeatedly misdiagnosed (which she was), or that she was given unnecessary surgeries and medications (which was also true). It was the utter lack of communication and respect she was given while at her most vulnerable that left me cold. The doctors were so busy chasing her various symptoms, they seemed to forget that she was an actual person, a whole being that was more than the sum of her physical parts.
This experience marked the beginning of my journey into the world of acupuncture. Intrigued by this mysterious medicine, I applied to the New England School of Acupuncture, the oldest acupuncture school in the U.S. After applying, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. After all, how could simply inserting a few needles really affect someone’s health?
I quickly learned the necessity of disregarding my preconceived notions. An incapacitating back problem led me to the school clinic, and I had my first personal experience with Chinese medicine. Within two treatments, the back pain was gone. As I was only in my first trimester, I didn’t yet know the “how” or “why”; I only knew that it worked. It was the first time in my life that I couldn’t rely on science or logic, and I loved it.
My passion for this medicine led me down all sorts of pathways: I traveled to Japan to study Shakuju (a non-insertive acupuncture technique); I practiced community-style acupuncture in an AIDs clinic in the Dominican Republic. I’ve even studied facial rejuvenation techniques!
The wonderful thing about acupuncture is that, if you love what you do, it is impossible to grow complacent. We acupuncturists are constantly learning and growing, and our treatment style evolves along with us. After practicing for a few years, I developed an interest in the concept of combining acupuncture with hypnosis. I became certified in hypnotherapy at the Thomas Institute of Hypnosis, and began to incorporate this into my sessions. The results were better than I ever imagined, and now the majority of my patients come in for what I refer to as “hypnoacupuncture.” While I still see a steady base of clients for acupuncture alone, I find that hypnoacupuncture can powerfully address imbalances in every area. This technique is truly a catalyst for change on every possible level, and many patients deem these sessions to be life-altering.