Acupuncturist of the Month, Margot Dragon, MAOM, L.Ac
Margot Dragon, MAOM, L.Ac, Macrobiotics, Hypnotist, NLP Practitioner, and Author, is a graduate from the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Houston, TX. She participated in clinical research with Baylor College of Medicine, and Texas Women’s University, and runs a medical practice in Concord, NC, for 13 years. Margot also is a retired athlete who competed at a world championship level in martial arts. She is an avid reader, hiker, tea drinker, loves to cook, and has coached martial arts, softball, and lacrosse. “The Silent Suicide, the Link Between PTSD, Addiction, and Breast Cancer” is Margot’s first book, designed to help give the reader a better understanding of how these cancers occur by looking at both TCM, Western Medicine, and emotional factors.
Welcome, Margot Dragon, MAOM, L.Ac!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 for 13 years as well as macrobiotics and hypnosis. I have cooked for cancer patients across the country and used hypnosis with them as well.
What inspired you to become an acupuncturist?
I had a full ride to medical school, but it didn’t sit well with my soul. So during my undergrad classes, one of the other students said they were going into Chinese Medicine, so it piqued my curiosity. I applied to American College of Oriental Medicine in Houston, TX thinking I wouldn’t get in, and I did thankfully, and I’m so grateful for the experience.
You also wrote a book, that’s amazing! What was the motivation behind creating “The Silent Suicide, the Link Between PTSD, Addiction, and Breast Cancer”?
My very first cancer patient in grad school was a breast cancer patient.I have always had the drive to solve mysteries and when I worked for a bank for 21 years, I did fraud investigation. It was important to me to make “sense” of why people get cancers. There is an old saying in Chinese Medicine: “All diseases start with an unresolved emotion”. I wanted to publish a book that combined western, eastern, chakras, emotions, musical tones, people’s stories, and foods together to form sort of the “last book someone needs to buy”.
What were you hoping to convey to readers with your book, both acupuncturists and patients?
Don’t give up hope. When you take the time to find a deeper understanding at a universal level the pieces will come together. This will allow the reader to not take things personally, so they can begin to heal.
What advice or lessons-learned would you like to pass along to other acupuncturists who also want to publish a book?
There is no right or wrong way to publish. When you are determined you will find away, so don’t give up. Publish because you believe in your work and don’t let someone change what you want to accomplish.
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 a cancer patient who I had cooked for, did acupuncture and hypnosis and before they passed they had discovered the reasons for their cancer and understood theirunresolved trauma. Sometimes success isn’t about someone getting better but someone finding peace and coming to terms with themselves.
On your journey to become an acupuncturist, what obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
I think once you get past school which is a hard enough feat to begin with, going into business is a whole other ball game. I was lucky because I had other income. Keep it small and simple so you can sustain yourself for the long haul. Keep your work space separate from your home and treat it like it is a regular medical office. When I was in school the doctors who were my teachers said, “be prepared to treat anything that walks in your door.” I have stayed true to that philosophy. I have seen everything from a common cold up to stage four cancer.
What makes you feel inspired about acupuncture?
Seeing results. Seeing people make healthy positive changes in their life.
Looking back, what advice would you have given to the younger version of yourself, who was just getting started in this profession?
To be honest I copied my schools clinic.We saw 1,200 patients per month so I used the same herbs, needles, cups, and even paperwork. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Start as simple and small as you can then grow from there. Especially if you want to work on your own. Ask for Google Reviews. Word of mouth is your best advertising.
What keeps an acupuncture practice going?
Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to start fresh. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Keep your practice as simple as possible.
What are specific roadblocks to watch out for as a new acupuncturist?
Don’t be confident to the point that you’re not willing to learn. There is always something you can learn to better yourself. Also you may not know what the disease is, so focus on the symptoms and build off what you know. Set you intention to help with love and compassion.
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?
Listen first and be patient. I also have the patients take some nice deep breaths.
What are your favorite acupuncture points, and why?
I enjoy ear points a lot, especially when I was doing the acupuncture for the Marine Corps. It’s also good when you have a setting where you want the patient to walk around.
Tell us about some herbal formulas and foods you find yourself consistently recommending to your patients, friends, and colleagues. What makes these herbs/foods so helpful?
I do a lot with food and I place the foods into yin and yang as well as their symptoms, which helps the patients get a clear picture of the foods that contribute to the symptoms.
In the pursuit of your Master’s degrees in Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine, what obstacles did you face, and how did you overcome them?
I sang my way through Chinese Herbs. Those classes were the hardest. I can still after 15 years can sing or recite many of the categories for the herbs.
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?
What really made a difference for me was taking the time to learn about all the wonderful doctors who were teachers at my school. Many of them were MD P.Hd’s from China who had years of experience and appreciating what they had taught us. When you graduate in the back of your mind you represent the school and all the people who trained you over the years.
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 precarious times?
Educate yourself as much as possible and follow the CDC guidelines.
Tell us more about your credentials in hypnosis. What inspired you to pursue hypnosis?
I am certified through the International Association of Counselors and Therapist and certified in NLP through National Federation of NeuroLinguistic Programming. I wanted to help unlock the unresolved PTSD in my cancer patients. It’s been quite interesting to see the changes and I incorporate the Five Elements into my hypnosis.
Do you have any daily habits or rituals that keep you at your “best- self”, both as an acupuncture practitioner and person?
I practice gratitude and eat plant based. I also focus on the moment and take the time to listen to peoples stories.
The kindest thing a patient said to you recently:
“You saved my life.”
The funniest thing a patient said to you recently:
It was an 11 year old who cried and wouldn’t let me put any needles in them. I did a 3 minute tapping technique that I learned from my NLP training. When we got done they immediately said, “Okay I’m ready for acupuncture!” Their mom and I were shocked. They got acupuncture with no problem and even returned for another visit.
As an acupuncturist, what are you most proud of thus far in your professional journey?
The ability to help people see a different perspective in their illnesses.
If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it be and why?
“Stop self abandoning.” I believe this is one of the major downfalls of being a human being.
What is your definition of success?
At the end of the day when you rest your head on your pillow and you can find the gratitude and blessings in each day, is success.
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
To give people access to their own self love. When we seek the love from others we fail to see the love that exists within ourselves.
*Rapid fire questions! *:
Morning or night? Morning Tea or coffee? Tea Sun or moon? Sun Cupping or Tui na? Cupping Yin or Yang? Yang Meditation or exercise? Both! Instagram or Facebook? Neither
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