When I was a sophomore in college I was doing computer jobs for people and I was referred to a Chinese Medicine Doctor, who needed a new computer system for his office. I so clearly remember the first time I went 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. When I asked them about what they did I was given an amazing explanation about Chinese Medicine. 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 capable of repairing an organ system instead of removing it, when it wasn’t functioning properly. This was absolutely intriguing to me. Eventually they offered to treat me for free because I was a poor student at the University of Utah.
Unbeknownst to them, I had been seeking care from a physical therapist for my knee problems. I was an avid basketball player, and track runner and had destroyed much of the cartilage in my knees. After the fourth treatment, I walked out of that office feeling like I could run a marathon, that day ended up being the turning point of my life. I ordered one of the few books in print, “The Essentials of Acupuncture” and started reading. 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 in their pre-med program. 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 where this all started. It was an amazing time as the world of Chinese Medicine opened up to me. After graduating from the U of U I was accepted at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, one of the best internal medicine schools in the country. In January of 1995 I opened 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 on October 23, 2004. I continued in 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 herbs, which differentiates me as an internal medicine practitioner. Thus, I am able to work with cancer, MS, colitis, migraines, diabetes, and infertility, difficult cases that require both Acupuncture and Herbs. To learn more about Chinese Herbs click ‘here’.
I feel so lucky that 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.
To your health,