I am a Certified Herbalist and I have a Master's degree in Chinese Medicine. I am actually a member of the first class to graduate from Daoist Traditions, Asheville's College of the Chinese Medical Arts! I originally began practicing in 2001 when I received my certification in western herbal medicine from Sage Mountain, Rosemary Gladstar's school in Vermont, and then went on to get a Master's degree in Chinese Medicine. I am now board certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and I carry a license to practice from the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board. Before I studied medicine I pursued a Master's degree in Philosophy, with a concentration in Asian Philosophy and Medical Ethics. This degree definitely helped me prepare for the huge theoretical shift that is Chinese medicine.
Why did you decided to become an acupuncturist?
Though I had studied herbal medicine informally for years, at some point I got frustrated with not having enough time or education to effectively help people with their health care concerns. My formal training started in 2000 with a certification in western herbal medicine. This training just didn't seem comprehensive enough and the certification didn't legally allow me to diagnose or prescribe so I had no way to officially practice. My answer to this dilemma was to go on and study Chinese medicine, learning the eastern approach to herbal medicine and the theory and practice of acupuncture along the way which was utterly fascinating.
What sets you apart as a practitioner?
I like to work in a relaxed, unhurried manner. This gives patients plenty of space to ask all of their questions and say what they really need to say, and results in a treatment experience that is comprehensive and stress-free. I really strive to offer quality health care and I think that requires a lot of time, care, and attention.
What aspect of healing are you most interested in?
Right now I am thinking a lot about the different patterns of healing that people go through. Sometimes things take a bit to get rolling and then progress steadily in a positive direction. Sometimes things go back and forth, though the overall pattern is upward. Sometimes healing comes in steps, with things plateauing at regular intervals, and sometimes things get a little worse at first and then get noticeably better. It's really interesting to think about. Basically, the process seems to be as unique as the individual going through it.
How did you arrive in Asheville?
I came here to go to school for Chinese medicine. I used to come here to camp and when I heard that there was a school in the area I knew that's where I had to study. Within three months of living here my husband and I decided that this is where we wanted to settle.
What's your favorite nature spot in Asheville?
I love the woods! Especially if there is a great swimming hole or waterfall. I also love spots that have unique plants, like the Pink Beds trail in Pisgah, a rare mountain bog where the flower Swamp Pink grows.
What do you love about Asheville?
The sense of community. Everybody here is intertwined into one big, beautiful family. I know all of my neighbors by first name and can't go to the supermarket without seeing someone I know. That is something very special. I really feel a profound sense of connection here.
What is your philosophy about health?
Prevention is the key. It is so much easier to treat things when they are in their infancy, before they have had time to advance and take root. Always aim your compass toward higher levels of health.
What do you like about working at the Center?
I love working in my neighborhood! I love being within walking distance to the Center and downtown West Asheville. I have also always been interested in working with practitioners from other fields of medicine and it is very exciting to see this come to fruition.
What's your favorite music?
My favorite genres are jazz, especially bossa nova, and west african. I'm also a sucker for classic new wave. In my treatment room my favorites to play are Marina Raye and Deuter. Both are so beautiful and relaxing, they really enhance the whole experience.
What are your hobbies?
I've been doing a lot of gardening lately. We are replacing our lawn, which doesn't grow under the shade of our maples anyway, with native woodland plants like blueberries, wild ginger, trilliums, service berry and elderberry. It's so nice to be naturalizing our little suburban plot. I also love to go out hiking and do plant identification. There is an unbelievable diversity of life here in the mountains and on every trip out I always learn a new plant or two.
How has your practice evolved over time?
At first I was just an herbalist. Once I studied Chinese medicine I came to see the value and effectiveness of acupuncture and now I use it all the time. It was also great to study Chinese medicine, which is so ancient and different, and have my brain expanded with the total paradigm-shift thing.
What were you doing before you entered your field?
I worked in health food stores for 15 years. This started when I was an undergrad and joined the local food co-op. I always worked in the herb department and consider my years in this field as a kind of informal education. I also studied philosophy as an undergrad and in graduate school at New York University. This introduced me to important concepts like Daoism, Confucianism, and medical ethics that I still use in my practice today.
What is the most common response after a treatment?
Seems like no matter what folks come in for, whether it be shoulder pain or seasonal allergies, they always leave feeling more relaxed than when they came in. There is something very special about acupuncture that helps people really get in the zone. I think it is so important to take the time out to rest and devote a little bit of your day to taking care of yourself. Even just 30 minutes of your time once a month can be so beneficial.
"In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties." ~Henri Frederic Amiel
We are open by appointment Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturdays 10am to 5pm.
779 Haywood Road, Downtown West Asheville, NC 28806 (828) 505-3174