When I was a sophomore at the University of Utah, I made my income by computerizing office accounting systems. I was referred to a Chinese Medicine Doctor, who needed a new computer system. I clearly remember the first time I walked into his office, the incredible smells, the bottles of herbs, everything about it was different than any medical clinic I had ever seen. It was absolutely fascinating. After talking about their office needs, I had a tour of their clinic. I was swept away by the aromas, the hundreds of glass jars filled with herbs, leaves, sticks and minerals. It was my first introductory to the Chinese Philosophy of healing. Over the next couple of months as I developed a computer system for their office, I asked many questions and learned about a system of medicine different than anything I’d ever heard of. One day a new patient missed their appointment, and they offered to treat me.
Unbeknownst to them, I had been seeking care from a physical therapist the past six months for my knee problems. I was an avid basketball player, and runner, and had destroyed much of the cartilage in my knees. A week earlier a doctor explained to me the PT was not working and there was nothing to do to treat my knee pain. After several acupuncture treatments, I walked out of that office feeling like I could run a marathon. I wanted to learn more. They loaned a book to me called The Essential of Acupuncture.
The book filled me with questions. It was the first time I had ever heard of healing organ systems instead of removing them when they were not working properly. Little did I know this book would be the turning point of my life. Halfway through the book, I knew that I was going to change course and go into Chinese Medicine.
At the time I was at the University of Utah studying finance and Pre-med. They were doing the first mechanical heart transplants with the Jarvis heart, and I thought that would be the path I would follow. (This was to be my first big lesson on how things sometimes go a little differently than what we plan.) I made an appointment with Marilyn, my advisor in the pre-med program and excitedly explained what I wanted to do. I didn’t receive the response I expected: “No one has EVER done anything like that in the history of this school!” Let’s just say it was not a happy tone. I looked at her politely and said, “I will be your first”. Even though she continued to be my advisor, over the next two years as I finished my undergraduate schooling, I was never invited back.
During those two years, I stopped computer consulting and started an apprenticeship at the Chinese Medicine Clinic. It was an amazing time as the world of Chinese Medicine opened up to me. In September of 1991 I started school at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, one of the best internal medicine schools in the country. In January of 1995 I started my private practice.
In March of 1997 I joined the faculty of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. This was an amazing time of learning for me as well as teaching students. I was able to develop a system for teaching Chinese herbs, absolutely the most difficult topic for students to learn, which enabled them to safely and successfully treat patients. I absolutely loved this period of time. In September of 2004 I resigned from the college to give birth to a baby girl. I continued my private practice.
My love of Chinese Medicine continues to grow. I believe my greatest gift is working with people with extremely difficult medical situations. Certainly I practice a lot of Acupuncture but what really sets me apart is my ability to work with the Chinese herbs, which differentiates me as an internal medicine practitioner. Thus, I am able to work with cases like cancer, MS, colitis, migraines, diabetes, infertility, difficult cases that require both Acupuncture and Herbs.
I am lucky I was able to find my true path so early in my life. As I look back over the years, I am truly humbled as I think of the many people who have let me work with them, and have been open to changing their lives to work within a ‘whole body’ system of health.
As you look through our website if you have questions, or if there is any way I can be of service to you, please call me at 503-282-5666.