My journey to becoming a Chinese Medicine provider started when I was 9 years old growing up in Pacifica, California - just outside San Francisco where I was born. My mother was (mis)diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and when western medicine provided no answer or relief, she turned to Chinese medicine and found help.
Every week from the time I was 9 until I left for Portland at 18, I would accompany my mom to see Dr. Yat Ki Lai in San Francisco's Chinatown to get Acupuncture and bring home a big bag of leaves, twigs and bugs which we'd brew into tea. My house growing up always had the faint tang of a Chinese herb shop. Chinese Medicine provided great relief for my mom and I accepted it as a normal part of taking care of yourself.
Fast forward 11 years to my Junior year of college. I was preparing to spend a year abroad in China studying language and culture but had horrible digestive pain that I’d experienced daily for 7 years. An eating disorder as a teen had caused me to greatly injure my digestive system, and even though by 20 I’d resolved those issues and “quit the habit” my digestion was still awful. My western doctor said I had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and offered no intervention. I was terrified to go to China - a land full of unclean water and parasites - and turned to my mother’s Acupuncturist in the city for help. Three months of herbs and acupuncture later, my digestive pain and IBS were completely resolved. I spent a year in China and had no digestive complaints whatsoever.
My experience has given me a special understanding of digestive problems, weight issues and the mental, emotional and physical challenges they present. My background in Martial Arts and dance has also given me special insight into musculoskeletal complaints making digestive disorders and pain syndromes two of my top specialties. I also feel blessed, however, to practice the art of medicine and have such a plethora of tools at my disposal that I feel no matter what the chief complaint, I can always help everyone who walks through my door in one way or another.
I believe in Chinese medicine as a holistic approach to health that awakens and optimizes the bodies’ natural healing abilities. I believe that every body is unique and different and I will work with you to determine your individual health care needs. I also believe in limitless potential – to live, to love, to laugh and to heal. My intention as a health care provider is to use all my tools to help you achieve your wellness goals, maintain your health and live life to its fullest.
My interest in Asian culture was sparked in San Francisco during the Fall of 1992 when I began studying Choy Li Fut style martial arts, Wu style Taiji and Qigong. This led me to seek an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies with a minor in Chinese Language at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. While attending Lewis & Clark I spent a year in China studying language and culture. After graduating I worked at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden as their first Membership Director for several years, and then attended the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) in Portland, Oregon. I graduated with a Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (M.Ac.O.M.) and became a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.). While attending OCOM I also completed certification courses in Thousand Hands Buddha Qigong with Master Liu He and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture with Virgina Doran M.Ac. L.Ac, LMT. I continue to actively study Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and holistic health and wellness techniques to improve my practice.
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photo credit to Annie's Sweet Pea Photography