Why I chose acupuncture as a profession?

A lot of patients ask me why I became an acupuncturist.  It is a long story, but I will try to be quick.

My interest in health and medicine began in high school (Metuchen, NJ) as a competitive runner because I suffered from a lot of repetitive use injuries.  It was quite frustrating because I loved running and didn’t want to be sidelined.  Every time I was injured, which was practically seasonal, the various orthopedic doctors I saw always said “6-8 weeks off and then come back and see me”. 

Not once did a doctor give me a recommendation on how to prevent the repetitive stress fractures and other injuries.  This sparked my interest for getting into sports medicine and help people that suffered like me.

So, I went to college and majored in biology with a psychology minor.  I took a humanistic psychology class and the professor assigned a book called “Body Fantasy” which was about Rolfing and guided imagery.  This book changed my life.  I was fascinated by the body mind connection discussed in the book and wrote a research paper on it. 

After graduating college, I took a job at a pharmaceutical company (various names over time including Beecham, Smith Kline Beecham, and GlaxoSmithKline) and studied massage therapy at night.  

Then I began practicing massage therapy part time and I loved it.  I wanted to take my skill a step further and considered studying Rolfing, but true to form I developed carpal tunnel syndrome…another repetitive use injury for me.

I wasn’t happy working at the pharmaceutical company and I really wanted a career in alternative medicine, it just made more sense to me than much of Western medicine.  I was talking to a friend about it and the friend said, “go to acupuncture school”. 

Acupuncture?  I never would have thought about that, in fact I have never tried it and I don’t think I know anyone that has tried it.  So, I picked up the phone and I made my first appointment.  There is always something to be treated, like the carpal tunnel syndrome that was ailing me.  Acupuncture helped the carpal tunnel syndrome (and IBS) and I loved how relaxing it was. 

A few months later, I was commuting to NYC 2-4 times a week to study acupuncture at TriState College of Acupuncture.  Despite working full time and going to school full time, I never looked back.

Today, I feel extremely fortunate to have a career that I absolutely love.  I know this is rare, so I am very lucky.

 OK, so it wasn’t short, but that was the short version.

Be well,

Why I chose acupuncture as a profession?

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