I get asked all the time what led me to studying acupuncture and herbal medicine. And I don't have an easy answer to this question. My first love was painting. Oil painting, portraits and still life. In college I was trained in a unique way that taught me the importance of seeing your subject clearly - of not skewing your artistic interpretation with your own ego, but instead to pay respect to your subject and the life within it by using the act of painting as an opportunity to study what it is about that person or object that makes it unique. I was also taught early on how to use meditation as a grounding tool to inform my process, both artistically and as a person in the world.
While living in Brooklyn in my late twenties I was lucky enough to get an apartment with a garden, and I fell in love with plants. I still feel like a day spent gardening is among the best of my days, and I learn so much from my successes and failures there.
Traditional East Asian Medicine is rooted in many of these same principles that I hold dear. It teaches you to look at your patient as a whole person, not just a sum of their ills, and encourages gaining insight through observing the subtleties of what makes them unique both in their sickness and their health. It also stresses the importance of self-cultivation for both patient and practitioner, and things like meditation, tai ji and qi gong are integral. And my connection to plants is satisfied through the study of Chinese herbology, a complex, powerful system of healing that has earned my utmost gratitude and respect.
I started my education in Traditional East Asian Medicine living in NYC at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in 2008. After 3 years of study, my husband and I moved to Los Angeles to be closer to family, where I then enrolled in my alma mater, Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, CA. It was through Emperor's that I had the opportunity to practice as an acupuncture intern for 6 months at the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Hospital in Burbank, and also for 3 months at the Being Alive HIV Clinic in West Hollywood. I was also awarded the Dean's Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude.
Along with my love of plants, I am also a lover of food, so nutrition plays a big role in how I treat. I really believe in 'food first', and that many basic imbalances can be corrected with basic nutritional adjustments. I have trained with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) in applying the principles of Functional Medicine clinically, utilize the lab work recommended within the Functional Medicine model when relevant, and am enrolled in the IFM Certification Program to become a Certified Practitioner.
I have also completed CranioSacral Therapy training (CST 1 & CST 2) through the Upledger Institute, and incorporate elements of this modality into my treatment strategy when appropriate.
And my latest accomplishment about which I am most passionate, is that I have completed 18-months of study and have been accepted into Mazin Al-Khafaji's International Registry of Traditional Chinese Medicine Dermatology and Inflammatory Disease, where I have had dedicated study in the herbal treatment of acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, urticaria, herpes zoster, herpes simples, warts, impetigo, lichen planus, lichen simplex, vitiligo and alopecia.
I truly believe that the future of an intelligent health care system is in between Eastern and Western medicine. Both have their strengths and should be utilized as such - together. And while my training is in Eastern medicine, I feel it is my responsibility to work in a way that can be compatible with Western medicine so that my patients never feel they must choose one modality over another.
I look forward to working with you. Thanks for reading.