At 50, I’m at a time of reflection with our only son having headed off to college this Fall and my husband and I starting a new life in sunny St. Petersburg, FL.
Growing up, I used to travel with my mom from Louisville, KY to Boston, MA so she could get acupuncture and herbs for health issues. Acupuncture was “illegal” in KY back then. As a child, I deeply connected with the atmosphere of the office. There were big pickle jars of fragrant herbs and my mom sleeping on the table with tiny needles in her body. During my undergraduate years studying Environmental Conservation at the University of Colorado, Boulder I considered dropping out to go to Chinese Medicine School. At the time, it was a certificate program.
After college, I spent a year teaching English in Japan. Upon returning to the States, I considered studying Chinese Medicine again. By then, it had become a 4 year Graduate Program with prerequisites. I wasn’t quite ready to take that on so I went to the Downeast School of Massage in Maine and married my husband.
After massage school I became a student of the East West School of Herbology. I completed the first 12 lessons of the course. My husband and I have been married 22 years if that tells you how long ago I became a student of Michael and Lesleys course. After a few years of loving practicing massage and herbs I finally decided to go to Chinese Medicine and chose an apprenticeship style program in Honolulu, HI. Though my semester there was fascinating and Hawaii was fantastic, I decided to transfer to the New England School of Acupuncture in Watertown, MA. They only had room for me in their night track. Our son was born in my first year there. My husband and I were like ships passing as new parents with our schedules.
After 2 years, I transferred to Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. They had a cooperative daycare for their students. After 2 more years, I graduated with my acupuncture degree but not herbs. It had been a long academic road and I needed a break. But, it was hard for me to not do both because herbs to me are an extension of food. I think of food as the first line of “internal medicine” in the body. Though I had not had time to study the East West course during my acupuncture training it was still right there and I took it along with me.
Post graduation from Chinese Medicine School I practiced in North Carolina for a few years then back to Maine where I picked up the East West Course again. I knew when our son graduated from high school we would move South to a state where there may be certain herb requirements in order to practice acupuncture. So, I commuted to the Won Institute of Graduate Studies in Philly, PA from Maine for two years to get my full Chinese Herbal Medicine training. I passed the board. Our son graduated. We moved to St. Pete, FL. I have continued with the East West Course and I am nearly done.
Now, we are building a little studio on our property to put a roof over my years of study and clinical practice.
At this time of reflection, my strongest emotion is gratitude. With this gratitude comes a powerful need to be of service. I look forward to channeling this energy into my practice as the upcoming years unfold.
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