People will often ask me how I got interested in Chinese medicine in the first place. I was in my mid-twenties, going to music school in New York, and feeling awful. After numerous invasive medical diagnostic tests, I was told that there was nothing at all wrong with me. I felt quite the opposite: lethargic, lightheaded, no energy or motivation. I couldn’t practice my instrument because I just didn’t have the energy. My girlfriend at the time suggested I try acupuncture, as it helped with her severe migraines.I was highly skeptical of acupuncture’s legitimacy as an effective medicine, and reluctant to even try it. I only went to an appointment after she set it up and insisted that I at least try it once. I was expecting yet another medical let-down that would leave me back at square one, trying to figure out what was wrong with me, but what happened was just the opposite… First of all, I felt heard. The acupuncturist actually cared about what I had to say about my subjective experience, and I began to feel like more than the numbers of my blood counts or ECG graphs or thyroid hormones; I felt like a whole human being. I could go on, but this is the crux of why I became an acupuncturist: I wanted to share the experience of how a medicine can compassionately address a person in their wholeness and their complexity, how a medicine can be so much more healing than just an attempt to pinpoint and eradicate an often-elusive “disease.”
Now for the more "nuts and bolts" part of the bio:
I’m a licensed acupuncturist currently practicing in Oakland, California, focusing on the treatment of pain (especially migraine headaches), digestive issues, and emotional/spiritual issues.
I hold a Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Pacific College of Health and Science in New York, and am nationally certified as a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
My commitment to giving patients the best possible care led me to continue my studies in China with Dr. Wang Juyi and Dr. Yun Ku at Fuxing Hospital in Beijing. I also went to China to study the medicine as it's practiced in Daoist temples, specifically Jian Fu Gong in Sichuan province. I've been ordained a 23rd generation Daoist priest in the Longmen lineage of Quanzhen.
In addition to my dedication to classical Chinese needling skills, I am particularly passionate about herbal medicine, and I make it a top priority in treatments. I'm currently teaching this subject to grad school students at ACCHS in Oakland. My lifelong enthusiasm about Chinese cultural and religious studies rounds out my dedication to China’s medical traditions. My focus on Daoism (especially qigong), Chan (Zen) Buddhism, and Wuxing (Five Phase theory) is utilized in my treatments. As a devoted practitioner of Buddhist meditation in the Zen lineage, I bring my practice of mindfulness to acupuncture treatments, and encourage it as an adjunct therapy along with acupuncture and herbs.
Jiang Shifu (one of my Daoist teachers) and I in Sichuan, China, 2018