Acupuncturist of the Month

Napa, CA, Acupuncturist of the Month, Leslie Silver L.Ac.

This October, we sat down with Leslie Silver, L.Ac, to discuss health, healing, pulse diagnosis, patient success stories, tarot readings, and so much more. This #AOTM is one you don’t want to miss!  Get the full Acupuncturist of the Month interview below.

Leslie Silver, L.Ac holds a Masters in Chinese Medicine and is a Diplomate of Canonical Chinese Medicine. She is a skilled, caring, and compassionate acupuncturist, with a passion for bringing the best available care to her patients. She has studied alongside the pulse master Bob Levine, as well as Susan Johnson, where she studied Master Tung points, and Raven Lange, where she learned about Pediatrics and Pregnancy care. She also completed a two year mentorship program focusing on diagnosis with The White Pine Institute, and seizes every opportunity to learn from Michael Broffman at the Pine Street Clinic. Additionally, she completed the nine day ‘School for the Work’ with Byron Katie. Her passion for personal growth and development as well as her own health journey offers practical insights to engage her patients in multiple aspects of their wellness. Since opening her acupuncture practice she has received consistently great reviews from her patients, who often describe her as proactive, sensitive, extraordinary and helpful.

We really enjoyed this interview with Leslie, and think you will, too.

Welcome, Leslie Silver! Thank you for joining us for Acupuncturist of the Month!

So, how long have you been practicing acupuncture for, and what are your specialties?

I have been practicing since 2008.  My specialty is in reading the pulse, within a Classic Chinese Medicine Paradigm, and then translating that information so that my patient can see the pattern in their life that is enabling their chief complaint.  I will often graph what I feel in the pulse and review it with them.
From my own experience, I know, that whatever medical or other treatment you may undergo to extend your life, or removed diseased tissue, it is important to make the life changes necessary, to shift the pulse pattern that supported the pathology.  Otherwise your body will find another way to express it.  
That is why I focus on shifting my patients experiences and their relationships to their lives, challenges, and Illnesses.
Depending on what would be most effective for any given patient, we then work with Acupuncture, Supplements, Herbs, Functional medicine testing, Cupping, Moxa, Essential Oils, Inquiry or even Tarot, to support them in living a life that moves them away from this pattern, into one that is a foundation for health and wellness.

What inspired you to become an acupuncturist?  

I felt the need to learn a traditional, wisdom based, medicine.  Acupuncture was a good fit.  Once I began to study Acupuncture, I discovered how medical it was.  Once I understood this, I dove into that purely medical aspect almost exclusively for the first 8 years or so. 

We see that you offer complimentary healing services as well such as cupping, essential oils, and even tarot card readings! Cool! Can you tell us a little more about these services and how they are utilized in your practice? 

The root of classic acupuncture is the relationship of yin and yang. Each and every symptom my patients experience can be seen as yin and yang falling out of right relationship, resulting either in a yin substance, such as a tumor, or edema, tight muscles, or swollen joints, the body can’t use, or a yang energy, such as hot flashes, anxiety, or pain, that the body can’t use.  Or as some combination of both. 
Understanding where and how, yin/yang has fallen out of harmony and how to restore it, is my job. Working to restore the system so it no longer occurs is the basis of all treatment. In order for treatment to succeed, it has to be able to be received by the patient, absorbed by them and pivot from external, to internal experience, so it can be expressed in their lives. Finding the treatment that meets my patients where they are at, so they can absorb it, is the root of my using so many modalities. 
Cupping:  Moving cupping or stationary cupping comes in when there is tension or pain.  It really helps to relax the muscles, and relieve pain.  Also for asthma, or any excess lung condition, unless the lung tissue is damaged from radiation or other factors. Cupping can also pull unanchored yang Qi through the pores, when there is floating yang causing anxiety, stress or heat in the upper body, it often brings relief. Young people with ADD often benefit from cupping around the back heart shu point. 
Moxa: Moxa is about adding Yang back into the yin where it is deficient.  It blows my mind that we have a functional technology for doing this.  I love moxa as a restorative or grounding treatment. 
Essential Oils, Inquiry, 4 steps, guided imagery: If a patient comes in who is raw from an emotional experience, a difficult diagnosis, sudden loss of a close friend or family member, and they are too fragile, for acupuncture or cupping.  One of these modalities can be helpful. If they are truly fragil, and like essential oils, after intake, and pulse taking, I will use the Young Living emotions protocol with essential oils as a first step.  It is surprisingly effective for moving them to a stronger state.  That may be the end of treatment, or the resulting state may allow for more.  
Depending on what they can absorb and use, I will bring in other tools, such as inquiry, or the four steps, to guide them to discover an first hand experience of the support that is here for them in the moment. If they have a difficult diagnosis, I will focus on brining them to a first hand experience of wellness.  I will work with them until they can clearly distinguish the experience of being alive right now, in reality, as supported and well as they are, from the images of future loss and suffering, that are actually only imagined, and currently causing most of their suffering. 
From my own experience with a list of health issues, I know that it is not only possible, but very useful, to experience the reality of how well you are, in the moment, in the heart of your diagnosis. I know you don’t have to fear or fight your medical diagnosis to successfully treat it.  It actually is easier to treat if you are grounded in the wellness you truly have, while you go through your medical journey.
Let me be clear, I have no use for positive thinking or affirmations.  This wellness is a first hand experience, while ill or challenged, not a concept nor a promise of a future wellness. 
If they have experienced the loss of a close family member or friend, I will consider essential oils, acupuncture, cupping, moxa, combined with inquiry or the 4 steps to guide them to a first hand experience of undying connection with their loved one, or, if that is not useful, to a very compassionate and lovingly spacious relationship to themselves, as they journey through whatever grief they experience. I have a way I call the Guest House, of working with difficult emotions, that takes the fear out of them, and let’s people experience them fully, so they resolve. I also work with the 5 spirits of Chinese medicine when someone feels a disconnect between their reaction to a situation, and their understanding of it. 
Tarot: Growing up my lovely mother had debilitating mental illness. I saw her innocence and her suffering first hand.  I really wanted to be able to ease this level of suffering in the world. One of my first tools for this was Tarot.  Through the insight of the readings I would see the transformation that was needed to empower, or free my client, but the only tools I had to do this were the images of the cards and my words. It was labor intensive to try to communicate what I saw in a way that was transformative.  I wanted to be able to affect my client directly. Some people are very sensitive. They pick up energy and information from multiple sources, some sources are seen, some unseen.  
This can manifest in the pulse as wind, or excess (overused) liver Qi.  There is usually a weakness in the Kidney system and you will see that the pulse doesn’t root as deeply as it should. These people are processing more information than most. Their digestive system is often impaired. They may feel like the volume of the world, is turned up way too high. Or like they are pushed around by what they and others feel. It is challenging for them to go to the grocery store, or school. It is like being in a strong wind all the time. I refer to this type of sensitivity as having a big dog.  If untrained, it will pull and push you all over the place, even knock you down, but if you train it, you will have a very strong ally.  That is where the Tarot comes in.  It is a wonderful way to train your big dog.  
I teach people to read the cards without looking anything up in a book.  We begin with images they draw and add the cards in after.  Our outer point of reference becomes the tree of life, which is another yin yang diagram, this one has all the cards in the deck included. All of my training process, is a springboard for anchoring the yang of this energy that pushes them around into the Yin of meaning, guidance and understanding.  

On your journey to become an acupuncturist, what obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

When I decided to become an acupuncturist, I owned and operated a dye house, dyeing color standards for the fashion industry.  During that time I had a family, and the dye house supported us.  Technology was rendering my dyehouse obsolete.  So I knew, that when my contract with my biggest client ended, I would probably be out of business.  I had held a dream for over 15 years of becoming an acupuncturist.  So, I pursued my goal.
I was in my 40’s, had a family, including a 5 year old son, I was supporting, a business I was still running, and a 2 hour commute to and from school.  That was a challenge. I turned 50 during my second year comprehensives, and closed my dye house business in the same month.  Lawyers, documents, age, stress, testing, moving out of my plant, dispersing equipment, ending professional relationships, all at the same time. I wrestled with a lot of what I was learning, and how I was learning it.  I burned myself out on many levels and almost quit.  
My son didn’t understand why I was leaving so much.  As precious as his early years were to me, I knew I wasn’t going to raise my child, on food stamps, without a stable income.  My husbands job ended with the dyehouse closure, it it took him years to discover that he needed to work. I knew from running the dye house that I was done working for money, I needed a job that also fed my soul.  I knew from watching my amazing chiropractor work that I could design a practice that would fulfill me.  Quitting wasn’t an option.  I got as much support as I could from acupuncture, massage, spiritual leaders and personal work and other family members. 
I just kept studying.  I guess you could say I kept myself focused on the goal.  I told myself that my future clients would come in with these very issues that I was facing, and I needed to go through this initiation to become someone who could successfully guide them. Finding the right people to intern with and study from and actually getting an opportunity to do so, was another challenge. One of the people I most wanted to study with rejected me as a student in my early days.  At first this was disheartening and very disappointing. 
Through inquiry I found the spirit in me that was reaching for the information I thought he held.  I saw it as a sprout, reaching for the light.  If this teacher wasn’t going to be the trellis to take me there, I would still find it, because this spirit, this desire to know, was strong and pure.  It’s nature was to reach for it.  I trusted this. I let my passion to alleviate suffering guide my studies, with or without teachers.  Eventually, about 7 years later, he was impressed with my understanding and took me on as a student.  
This was a really important lesson for me.  If he had taken me on in the early days, I would have credited him with all my knowing.  Because it was the result of this passion led journey, I met him in it.  He can help me get to know it better, but I am not dependent on him for the depth of my knowledge. 

Share a recent success story you had with a patient.  What acupuncture points, herbs, or other interventions (meditation, yoga, nutrition, etc) did you use to help them achieve results?

I had new patient arrive, a man, who was tangerine in color, from liver failure, come in the clinic, with his wife and mother.  He had been told by his doctor, that though he was on a waitlist for a liver transplant, he would not live long enough to receive one. I brought the sad and worried family into my large treatment room. I took his pulse, did my intake, and as I inserted the needles I led him through a guided combination of meditation and inquiry. 
During this experience, he felt, first hand, the support that was there for him, in that moment. He was tangerine in color, with basically a death sentence, yet he was able to move out of his horrifying future projections, into an actual experience, of wellness in the moment. In that moment, he experienced being held, nourished, loved and well. He discovered this, absorbed it, and lived all of that.  
I asked him, “right now, how do you feel?” He said “I feel good.” From my own experience, I knew I could push further, so I asked him, “would you say, that anyone, who felt as good as you do right now, was lucky?” In front of his wife and mother, this tangerine man with a death sentence from his doctor, answered “yes.”  
Then it was their turns.  As I continued his acupuncture treatment I guided his wife and mother each in turn to find their own actual wellness in this situation, as it was.  In that they discovered the spacious peace, to be able to really be with him as he was, and to support themselves, and each other in this challenging journey. 
I sent him to get the support he needed for his liver failure, from the herbalist I trusted to treat him.  While he was with me, I took care of the part of the treatment, that I don’t think anyone else would give him. When it came time to pay, I was hesitant to charge my fee, after all, I didn’t treat his liver failure.  But I know better than to listen to those thoughts by now.  When I told them my fee, the mother in a shocked tone said “Is that all?”
I referred him to a very skilled herbalist.  That herbalist treated his condition, and he never needed the transplant.  He is still alive today. 

What makes you feel inspired about acupuncture?

I love that it grows as I do.  I can never stop learning.  Regardless of the direction my personal journey takes, there is an avenue of study to deepen both my personal experience and the level of treatment I can give my patients. It gives me the tools to keep myself and my family well. 

Looking back, what advice would you have given to the younger version of yourself, who was just getting started in this profession?

My advice would be to TAKE THE LEAP.
I went to school with some brilliant people, one of whom had an eidetic memory.  How useful is that in acupuncture! Another had a vast understanding of multiple styles from Japanese to Chinese and a deep skill with the pulse.  Neither of them practice today.  
Sometimes I wonder if my husband had been working, and I wasn’t facing the financial pressure to support my family, if I would have taken that leap of faith and hung up my shingle.  If need doesn’t push you to jump in, with what you know, and move toward what you need to learn, then jump anyway.  
Be honest with your patients, about what you know, and what you don’t know.  Give yourself 3 treatments to improve their complaint, and if you can’t get it done, refer them to someone you know can.  If you can, refer them to a teacher who will loop you into the treatment, so you can learn too.   If not, put the patient first.  They will trust you, and come back to you for the next thing, maybe even after you have gained more knowledge and experience.  

What keeps an acupuncture practice going?

My patients keep coming in because they know I will do my best for them.  Even if I need to refer them to someone else. I listen to each patient, and I meet them where they are. I bring all my skills to bear on moving them from there to somewhere healthier.  
So many patients tell me I am the only one who hears them.  Who takes into account the connections they make about their health. If patients feel heard and trusts you will care for them, even if it means loosing them as a patient, why not come to you first?  You become an essential and trusted vector for care. 
You have to keep an eye on your costs and income.  You have to do what you need to, to keep those in balance, whether it is raising prices, or lowering costs.  If your practice doesn’t make money, no one gets to play.
Stay in touch.  Post on facebook, Instagram, send out mailings, just let people know you are still here and still available. 
The last thing is to keep learning and growing.  Every time you add skills you deepen treatments and there is a new reason for people to come in, who haven’t been in a while. 

What are specific roadblocks to watch out for as a new acupuncturist?

Get some good habits going regarding charting, labeling of herbs etc. Anything you can do to support the legal structure of your business. 
Watch your own health, don’t burn out. 
If you sublease, even from a very dear friend, create a legal document that is specific and detailed.  This will protect a friendship if misunderstandings arise. 
Many people do not understand acupuncture.  Communicate what you are working with in ways they can relate to and understand.  For example: Stagnation can create heat, kind of like when people are stuck in traffic, they get hot under the collar. 

We have all occasionally had a patient come into our practice who is upset, frustrated, and a little angry. Maybe it’s from work, being stuck in traffic, or life in general – we have all been there! What advice would you give to fellow acupuncture students and/or colleagues on how to deal with situations like these?

Understand that treatment has begun.  Listen with an open heart and a diagnostic ear.  Diagnose if there is an opening for them to shift, or if this is a firehose situation, and it just needs to vent. This problem is the result of the meeting of life, (Bai Hui, the ten thousand things) and their constitution. It is a symptom, like a cough. 
Look to see what the picture of this specific upset is.  Is it driven by heat affecting the liver, or heart, or surface?  Or is it from a Qi deficiency, not enough funding to process life, resulting in frustration. Or a blood deficiency wind, blowing emotions all over the place? Or is this due to a specific horrible experience that would upset anyone? Or is it simply the result of imagination, either future projections or harmful self talk such as blame or shame?
Once you have a diagnosis, a partner treatment process should come to mind.  In a firehose or deep trauma situation, you may need to wait for the window of opportunity to proceed.  you can support the window, by moving to pulse taking, without saying anything, while they are talking or fuming, shaking or crying.

What are your favorite acupuncture points, and why?

When I learned the Mr.Tung points from Susan Johnson, I found the level of efficacy I had been searching for from acupuncture.  
Lately with all the fires, pandemic, politics.  I find the Mr Tung point “Jie” very useful.  It releases emotional shock from the body. 
I take the pulse throughout my treatment, to see how it is changing and what still needs to be done.  After putting in Jie, I generally feel a move toward a more moderate pattern. 
The most dramatic use was in my early days, when I had a community clinic. A young woman came in who had, years ago, been in a horrible car accident.  The accident resulted in multiple internal organs being damaged and emergency surgery to repair them. She complained of chronic pain, in her neck, back, abdomen, and legs. When I took her pulse, it was like static in every position. Like a jar being shaken, with everything in it jostled around. I understood that the shock of the accident was still being transmitted in her body, and that until that was cleared, I would not be able to communicate clearly with her systems. I used the single point Jie.  It was a one point treatment.  She never came back to the clinic, but I ran into her in town a few years later.  She came up to me, and said, I have been pain free since that treatment.  
I don’t expect anything this dramatic to happen every time I use this point.  And it was a clear and dramatic reflection of what it does.

How do you use pulse reading to help patients get to their root issues, and achieve success with acupuncture treatments?

Through pulse reading, we can clearly see that Qi and Blood move in the body the same way that my patient moves in the world.  I can often tell them about an area of challenge in their lives, from the pulse diagram. 
From this actionable information we both see what is supporting the pathology of their chief complaint, and what it will take to shift it. 
I will graph what I feel, and talk with them about the what I have drawn and how I see it reflecting in their lives.  I might say, “when I see a graph like this, I expect that there wasn’t much support for you in your family of origin” or “when I see a graph like this, usually the person doesn’t feel at home in their house” Or whatever the graph is indicating.  They usually follow up with a confirming personal story such as yes “my dad was an alcoholic”.  Then I show them how the kidney doesn’t feel safe to root deeply, store and build and how that puts a strain on the other organ systems, as we can see in the graph, and how that dynamic leads to their chief complaint.  
Then, as I am needling to unwind the dynamic, I will work with them to find a way to root deeply, sometimes past the family of origin, maybe to a more distant ancestor they loved and trusted.  Or bypass the human family and go for the earth, or life itself.  
As we work together over time, it becomes clear how this lack of original root is playing out in relationships, goals, fears, interactions ect.  At each juncture I look for the opening to share this insight with them, and then work with tools, on the spot, to shift it, and point out the tools for them to continue the work on their own. Often there are lifestyle changes, like reducing alcohol, the patient isn’t willing or able to make. If that is the case, I don’t see those prescriptions as currently applicable or useful. 
Like a very effective herb they are allergic to, I know it would be great, but it isn’t a match for them at this time. I try to prepare them to be able to consider it.  Do they need more support first?  Do they need a harm reduced substitute? If they can’t do it, it isn’t the right treatment for them today. No judgement. Just what is true. I see their beauty and wisdom and know to find the treatment they can use today. 
I read the pulse at the beginning during intake, and then throughout the treatment, and adjust treatment accordingly.  I will sometimes share a story, or personal experience, or bring up a movie or some topic during treatment.  It may seem like I am making conversation, but I am not.  It is all treatment driven.  I am looking for a specific shift in the pulses from the conversation and where it takes them. If I think it will help, I share these changes, and the mechanics behind the changes with them, so they can stay on track between appointments. Whenever possible I put the tools to make the changes in their hands and awareness. 

Sometimes, the best resource for improving our skills is by learning from the other acupuncturists we meet along our professional journey.  What is one thing you learned from a fellow acupuncturist or holistic practitioner, that has helped you in your professional growth, or in your care for patients?

A very skilled colleague of mine taught me that when learning from a teacher, implement their teachings exactly for two weeks before making any changes.  That way you can add their knowledge to yours.  If you make changes, from the get go, based on what you know, you will only have what you know.  If you follow their instructions exactly, even if they conflict with your knowledge, you will have a chance to learn why they do it that way, and expand to include something new.

Tell us more about your personal transformation coaching. What are typical issues people come to you with, and how do you begin addressing them this coaching?

Often coaching begins during an acupuncture session.  They report that they are stressed and link it to a life experience.  I choose the form of coaching, I think would fit the treatment parameters. Regardless of the format They leave with the tools to continue this work as independently as they choose.  Because brain neurons that fire together, wire together, the ability to bring a new experience to an old trigger, shifts their life in deep and sustaining ways.
Typically these issues involve relationship dynamics:
-feeling unheard or belittled by a boss or coworker
-being rejected by a friend or romantic partner
-being angry or hurt with a parent, partner, friend or co worker
-feeling overwhelmed by life demands; not enough time in the day.
-Procrastination. Can’t get it done. 
-not doing homework
Sometimes they are more situational:
-Grief over some kind of loss. 
-A terminal cancer diagnosis, or some other difficult diagnosis or difficult point in the health journey.
-Lack of meaning in life.
-Drudgery of tasks. 
-No “me” time. 
-Having made a big mistake at work or in life. 
Inquiry with Olive: In inquiry we begin by describing the exact moment that was stressful or problematic. 
We write down what they felt and why they felt it.  What they wanted, what should have happened, what they needed.  How they saw the others involved and what about that situation do they never want to experience again. 
Then the inquiry begins. Within this exploration they often have an actual first-hand experience of a less stressful perspective of this situation that is as true or truer than the one they came in with. Sometimes the experience is actually joyful. They see the kindness in the way they were treated. They can see how they suffered, not because of what happened, but because of something it reminded them of that was painful. 
If they find that this works, rather than the needles, herbs, etc. and is what they want, I am available to do provide it as a stand-alone service. It can be very powerful as a component of work in couples’ therapy or deepening of relationships. 
Guesthousing: Sometimes what is triggered is a very deep, overwhelming emotional state. Sometimes it is the threat of this state that keeps people stuck.  I have a technique, I call Guesthousing, inspired by the Rumi poem, guest house, for working with these emotions. In a nutshell, we bring on the feared emotions, and explore them at a somatic level. I have all my tools of acupuncture and more on hand, if they need additional support in this adventure.  
When this feared emotion is actually experienced as pure sensation, it becomes a movement of tingling, heaviness, pressure, numbness, wetness in the eyes, snot in the nose, shaking, and so on.  All of which, in and of themselves, if completely surrendered to are actually lovely, and at the very least not harmful, and completely doable. The difference is, that when you invite the experience to have its full life in you, it does, and then when it is done, it is done.  Nothing to suppress, or control or manage.  After a few experiences with the states of depression, terror, anxiety, revulsion, it becomes clear that it is all doable, and it is harder and harder to be afraid of life.  
The 4 Steps:  Anytime someone needs to attain something, a health state, an emotional state, a financial state, a relationship state to be OK, there is self-depreciation at work.  Then I lead people through the 4 steps. 
I guide them through a process of meeting themselves in the awkward, unfulfilled, moment, without trying to fix anything.  Then we discover what is beautiful about them in that in that moment, without anything changing.  We contemplate the cradle to grave nature of our relationship to the self, and look to see what a love relationship would look like.  We discover, from the beauty we declared and the failure of any other kind of relationship, the absolute existence of a love relationship to ourselves.  We clarify what it would mean to have our back in that situation, and we pledge this to us as well. Now, see the beauty we would have fast forwarded past, the value we were so eager to throw away for some future state.  It is a game changer.  Again, I equip people to continue this work as often and as independently as they choose, and I am available to guide them, with, or without acupuncture.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt had a significant impact on the acupuncture practice community and small businesses alike. How have you been handling the COVID-19 situation as an acupuncture practice owner and individual?  What advice or wisdom would you like to share with other acupuncturists who are also navigating through these sensitive times?

I applied for the PPP and that bought me a little time. I took classes and lined up the forms and venues to have a compliant telehealth practice. I explored distal forms of pulse reading. I studied Face reading to be able to get the information I needed without person to person contact. I began studying functional medicine, which can be done 100% remotely, and could substitute for the medical aspect of my acupuncture treatments. 
I looked at all of my expenses to see which ones could be eliminated or reduced. I arranged for virtual pharmacy options for my patients. I did everything I could to move the quality of service that I provide to a virtual format.  I kept my prices the same.  It is counter intuitive, but there are allot of costs to virtual work. 
When I re-opened in person, I set up precautions in the clinic. Since in California an acupuncturist can only treat existing patients who are currently in the state through telehealth, once opened, I encouraged new patients to come in, to establish that relationship while we could. 
I practice what I preach which is an awareness of my wellness in the moment. So, I keep using my own tools with myself to experience my actual state, rather than the effect of scary future projections or depressing memories of the past. I keep me well first. I stay in touch with my patients. I send out nearly weekly e-mails full of resources and ways of processing our experiences that they can use as independently as they choose, to be well. 
Sometimes they just need to remember you are there, and available to book an appointment and come in. Meanwhile I am also investing in building my Stillpoint brand with all the activities of coaching and tarot that are virtual friendly. My goal is to be able to have a thriving business that can move from in person to virtual and back on a dime. 

Do you have any daily habits or rituals that keep you at your “best-self”, both as an acupuncture practitioner and person?

Authenticity in all areas of my life keeps me at my best.  All my life, I have been a little unusual. I am 64 years old. In my younger days I would have traded myself in for a more normal model to gain the love and approval of my family and community. Now, I know there is no such possibility, besides, I have discovered what is lovely and precious about me. It is not my desire to cause anyone discomfort, and I cannot become what I am not. That authenticity and the love I feel for living out my true nature brings me the most health. That commitment to authenticity and honesty frees me and the Qi and blood that moves through me, to pulse freely through my life. 
If I feel a block, and can’t be authentic, I will do inquiry, consult my cards, do Qi Gong, have the difficult conversation or take a walk by the river. Every tool I offer as a coach is trail worn from use in my life and still working for me. I have Crohns disease, I have had 2 cancers, Genetic tested BRCA 2 positive, I raised a family, started and run my clinic and through it all, I am well. Not only in my own experience, but in the experience of others. I have road tested this stuff. I use it all the time.
Everyday there is a joy bubble ( do something that brings me joy) , and a Qi gong link on my to do list. When I am under deadlines, or have too much work, I find the free version of the focus keeper app, keeps me balanced under pressure. I also like the Todoist app for brain dumping all the tasks and then calendarising them.  It becomes so much more doable, one day at a time. I make sure to leave time for lunch in my work day.  

The funniest thing a patient said to you recently:

I can’t remember, and it is not unusual for both of us to wind up laughing in the latter parts of the inquiry process. 

As an acupuncturist, what are you most proud of thus far in your professional journey? 

My Institute of Classics in East Asian Medicine Certification felt like an immense achievement. 

If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it be and why? 

Today, it would say: black lives matter, because how can we be healthy if we don’t know this?

What is your definition of success?  

Living in this world in peace.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why? 

I know it sounds like a beauty pageant answer, but I mean it. To end suffering for all sentient beings. 
I come from a family of refugees, my mother had mental illness, family members were killed in the holocaust, I love Native American, black, hispanic and other people who have suffered deep and unspeakable unfair atrocities.  I really want to see it all stop. When I was a little girl my family was at a new years event in Tahoe. The MC was asking people what their new years wish would be. I said for peace in the world. I saw the look of disappointment on his face, he moved past me quickly to my sister. She said “to have a good figure like my mothers when I grow up”  Everyone laughed, he worked that one for a while.  
I don’t know how I can communicate, that I authentically wish for the end of suffering.  Unless, somehow, that would set us all up for something worse because, at the end of the day, what do I know?

*Rapid fire questions!*:

Morning or night? Night
Tea or coffee? Tea. I love coffee, but it doesn’t love me back.
Sun or moon? Sun and Moon
Cupping or Tui na? Cupping
Yin or Yang? Taiji
Meditation or exercise? Qi gong
Instagram or Facebook? Instagram. 

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