“I used acupuncture as a teenager to help with my seasonal grass allergies. Like many of my patients, I tried acupuncture on a whim to see if it could help me. After my first session, not only could I breathe easily out of my nose, but I could feel energy moving in my body. At that age, I was drawn to wildcrafting herbal medicine and made my own tinctures. The idea of relying on natural methods of healing was very appealing to me. My parents raised us in Southern Oregon to be self-sufficient: we hunted and raised our own meat, grew our own vegetables, cut wood, and learned to sew and fix things. Gathering my own herbs and learning how to regulate my energy through Qi Gong and acupuncture seemed a natural continuation of a simple way of living.
I moved to Seattle to begin my Master’s program in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at The Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine, an apprenticeship-style school that emphasized skilled needle technique, rigorous herbal training, and that we learn to read medical Chinese language so we could conduct our own primary research. It was there that I began training in Japanese acupuncture, which uses thinner needles and is considered a more gentle technique, especially for those suffering from anxiety or depression.
After graduation, I established a thriving practice in Tacoma, WA in an integrated acupuncture, chiropractic and massage clinic. Working closely with practitioners who specialize in musculoskeletal conditions gave me valuable experience in effectively treating low back pain, headaches, and sciatica. Because of my interest in women’s health, I also worked one day a week at a birth center providing acupuncture to women in labor. The midwives and Obstetricians with whom I worked inspired me to take another year’s worth of courses in prenatal acupuncture and fertility. I became well known for helping high-risk pregnant women and those who had suffered miscarriages. Our clinic had such a solid reputation for holistic care that we were an externship site for Family Practice doctors in their first year of residency. Several new doctors a year shadowed me to learn how acupuncture can be a valuable part of primary care.
Despite my fulfilling clinical practice, I missed Oregon and my family. My husband and I made the decision to return to the sagelands and are overjoyed to call Bend our home. I feel like I’ve been blessed twice: Mountain View Acupuncture is dedicated to integrative care, and I am part of a gracious and talented team. When I’m not treating patients, I love to travel, hike and write. My husband and I recently co-authored a book about going on Buddhist pilgrimage in India.”