How I Became an Acupuncturist

I get this question all the time!  “How did you get into this?”

Which is great, because I actually love telling the story if I am honest 🙂

It all started once upon a time, when an idealistic human was enjoying various jobs in the social care field……

I worked in group homes, as an educator and as a case manager.  What I was noticing was how many people’s lives were affected by physical and emotional symptoms – not just the social context of their lives.  We are all helped and hindered by our health.

I thought several times of Western Medicine, but this never seemed the right fit for me specifically (I love science, but my brain demands connections between systems and refuses to stick to the specialization required for good scientific inquiry).  None of the other health practices seemed the right fit either and so I continued in my work with this occasional nagging feeling that I really wanted to be part of the process much earlier – before people’s health became so complicated it was having very severe consequences in their lives.

Then along came good ol’ benefits and my let’s call it “frugal” nature wanted to ensure I used as much as possible.  I started seeing an Acupuncturist and TCMD.

Actually I saw a couple.  My first experience was unfortunately pretty terrible, but I tried again on a recommendation from a friend and then – wow!  I actually felt high after treatments. I had never had healing like this in anything I had ever tried (and that included a lot of different things – I am almost pathologically curious!).  This healing wasn’t just physical – I felt emotions I had carried for years pass and patterns I was stuck in reveal themselves effortlessly.

After about my third or fourth treatment I floated out of the clinic and while walking along I had a movie worthy thunderclap moment: I wanted to make other people feel like this!!  

From there it moved so smoothly – processes like researching schools and filling out application forms, which normally felt so heavy and burdensome felt easy.  The pieces kept falling into place and with each step I fell more and more in love with Traditional Chinese Medicine (and discovered to my relief that I did in fact like doing acupuncture – you really have no idea before you commit to the schooling and get to try!)

The schooling was 4 years and we did 10 months a year like we did in high school!!  It was truly very hard, but I always wanted to be there – always wanted to continue.  Even for someone like me that liked things to be linked, TCM really challenges a person to see how everything is connected.

The qualifying process was over 4 months and involved 4 different exams.  By the end, honestly I was exhausted – but I passed and have now been in practice for three and a half years.  It has been an amazing process of finding my style and my unique voice. I have had days that I wanted to quit, days where I questioned my abilities, and days where I can’t understand how I got lucky enough to do a job I love so much!  

I am so grateful that I got to learn this (and get to continue – it is never ending) and so amazed that I fall more in love with this medicine with every year.  I am so grateful that China continues to so generously share this medicine and wisdom with the world and I am forever grateful for the way it has changed my life.

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