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.