Another guest blog - a student’s perspective.

Hi folks. This month I would like to share with you an essay one of my students wrote at the end of our Community Acupuncture Practice Development (that's quite a mouthful) class at AIMC in Berkeley. Linda is a first year acupuncture student and she stumbled upon my class when she and a classmate sat in on the first session. I am grateful that she gave me permission to share this:

Except for a few minor adjustments, this is the essay that I sent to the administrators at AIMC about 8 months ago to familiarize themselves with me before they considered my application for admission. It is not that I am being lazy that I am sending this, but rather that I feel what your class has given me ties in most synergistically to my “statement of purpose” and I wanted to share that with you.In a way I think that my essay speaks to the “why I am here” while your class taught me the “how I can make it happen”. Did I say synergy? - With Gratitude. Linda

 

My father was an herbalist for years in the small village where we lived in China prior to 1962. His work was to provide herbal prescriptions to our neighbors and friends in the village. When we arrived in the US in 1970, when I was a mere 4 months old, it had been over 8 years since my father practiced since the profession did not yield enough money to support his 8 children, wife and elderly mother. However at home, the brewing of herbs and the rubbing in of tinctures never abated. In our dining room in San Francisco we had 2 floor-to-ceiling cabinets for medicinals. One cabinet was jam-packed with jars of roots, twigs, leaves, of dead animals swimming in tea-colored liquid. The other cabinet was filled mostly with miscellany, but one shelf comprised of our “western” pharmaceuticals where we kept bandages, cotton balls, alcohol, and one bottle of Bayer aspirin. So, it was with this armory that my parents raised all 8 of us to be healthy and thriving. I didn't realize how radical my parents were being by keeping close tabs of our bodies, before illness set in. We didn't have medical insurance so illness would have been a very expensive and confusing ordeal for us. All I knew was that they were always looking at our tongues and boiling soups and teas for us.How did my parents become so evolved to be able to foresee the power of prevention? I learned one can do so much with so little.

But actually it wasn't until relatively recently that I learned that in fact in China it was more common to treat people before imbalance and disease set in, than after the fact. Floored, I thought, what if all poor or working class families had access to affordable health care that allowed them to keep their families healthy and disease-free? America, our land of the free, would be a different place! Now as my parents are nearing the end of their lives, I realize that they have left quite the legacy in me and I am eager to forge ahead. The big difference is in addition to checking my family members' tongues and boiling soups and teas for them as needed, I am venturing to become a practitioner in TCM and I venture to explore the world of community acupuncture as a model. This model for a clinic is new to me as it has just been introduced during this class, but when I look back into my history, I find that it is closer to my purpose than I would have ever imagined.

Recently I have come to realize that at a high level, the apparent meandering of my educational pursuits reveal to me this decidedly particular path. Would it be so strange to say that this was all meant to be?Majoring in psychology revealed to me my proclivity to help people in need, engage people on a personal level, encourage awareness and responsibility. I was extremely attracted to learning a method with which I could heal. After my second year, I shifted my focus to sociology, as I unearthed my interest in creating effective change in communities in need, with a particular interest in working on imbalances of power with regard to sex and class. After graduation, and some traveling in Asia, I felt that academia and private practice psychological consultations were not for me, and that in fact I wanted something in which I felt less theoretical and more engaged, more practical and more hands-on.

Finally, the “education” that I acquired most recently while running a small but thriving technology business with my partner for the last 10 years has revealed to me my ability to handle and manage the operations of a business. That I can take these skills which I have acquired and apply them to work that is evermore compelling to me is really exciting. Because once I learn this medicine, I will be able to combine a whole life's worth of learning and discovery and ultimately build a practice that is socially, politically, and spiritually meaningful to me without having to recreate the proverbial wheel. Soon, it will be my turn to contribute.

This story was posted on May 12 2009 by tatyana.

Comments

  • May 12 2009 at 11:55 PM
    racheline writes:

    Thank you

    Thank you for sharing that, the stress of being in acupuncture school sometimes makes it hard for me to remember why I wanted to study this medicine at all.  Now I remember…

      0 likes
  • May 13 2009 at 9:47 AM
    keithananda writes:

    what a different reality to

    what a different reality to grow up in, hopefully that’ll be somewhat closer to the norm in the near future again…

      0 likes
  • May 13 2009 at 12:26 PM
    Justine writes:

    What a great post!

    Such a great story.  Love the story - this really is traditional medicine.

    Justine Deutsch, Lic. Ac., Acupuncture Together

      0 likes

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