People often ask me how I got into Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I have a long and short version of my story. Here is the long version with a bit of a surprise update if you make it to the end.
My introduction to complementary medicine began with my parents, who were born in the 1960’s. They chose an unconventional way of living and raised me on a small gulf island where I was surrounded by an imaginative community and nature. I was exposed to yoga, acupuncture, reiki and many more body-mind practices. This was my introduction into the realm of integrative medicine.
I began practicing yoga at the age of sixteen. After graduation I traveled Asia, Australia, and New Zealand where I came into contact with eastern healing methods and spirituality. When I was eighteen, I began to working with Milagro Yoga and Surf Retreats and Home Grown Living foods. While working with these two organizations and traveling the world, I began to see how the food we put into our bodies affects our whole system.
At the age of twenty one I took my exploration to India where I studied yoga, volunteered at an orphanage and learned about ayurvedic acupressure massage. After I returned home from India I studied social sciences, biology, nutrition, and psychology at Camosun College. It was there that I took a course called Holistic Health and Healing; this was an introduction to an range of healing modalities. It was through this course that I knew my career path was to follow the way of integrative medicine. I was captivated by the Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) approach to well being.
I began taking pre-requisites, as set by the CTCMA, for licensing in British Columbia as an Acupuncturist, Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Doctor. In 2007, I began taking bodywork courses to access a deeper understanding of the physical body, energy, and health. While attending college, I worked front desk at health centers and clinics to gain practical experience. I found this time valuable and very rewarding.
After completing my pre-requisites at Camosun College, I decided to pursue a yoga teacher-training program in Tofino, BC. My intended short pause turned into a few years of diving into the practice of yoga, yoga therapy, and massage. In 2012, I moved to California to study with some credible teachers and schools including; The California Holistic Institute of Therapeutic Massage. I studied yoga therapy at The Mount Madonna Institute and I started my study of craniosacral therapy with the Upledger Institute. In 2014, I moved back to Canada to start my massage and yoga business and reconnect with my original intention to attend school for Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In 2015, I finished the final courses at North Island College for my Associate of Arts Degree. For many years I have been interested in the practice of Shamanism and invested a year of study in the South African Zulu Shamanaic tradition.
This journey of learning has opened me to self-healing, discovery, and empowerment. I have experienced the health-giving power of Chinese herbs and Acupuncture. After completion of the Acupuncture program at Pacific Rim College in 2018, I moved back to Tofino. In this time I immersed myself in nature and reconnected with my passion for surfing, while I studying for my R.Ac licensing exam. With a successful pass of this exam, I have been in practice for one year now, minus the COVID-19 time. I have greatly appreciated the growth that has occurred in many areas of my life. I have absorbed experience in business, hands on practice and the dynamics of being a medical professional in a small community. I am now being called back to Victoria to deepen my study of Chinese medicine. I look forward to mentorship and absorbing from my professor’s wisdom and experience.