How did you become interested in the practice of acupuncture?
I have been interested in healthcare my entire adult life. Chinese Medicine was a perfect mix of the exotic and effective healthcare.
What do you think acupuncture is particularly good at doing?
Acupuncture is very good at treating many ailments. Some examples of common health problems I address in my Chicago office are pain relief, fertility and other gynecological issues, anxiety, allergies, and headaches. One of the major benefits of acupuncture is that it not only helps many problems, but does so without the negative side effects of drugs.
You completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing. Do you have any special memories of that time?
The time in Beijing was special for me because it completely solidified my love and faith in Chinese Medicine. I also got to explore the city which is so exotic and difficult to manage because I didn’t speak Chinese or read Chinese characters. While I was in Beijing, my hair was blonde and I traveling with a friend who had super curly dark hair. We were a very noticeable pair walking through the streets. People stared and a few stopped us to take photos or touch my friend’s hair. That was a little weird.
As well as your website, you have a blog. Is this another tool you use for your business, or is it more a personal endeavor?
I started my blog in 2008. It has gone from being a marketing tool for my practice to a true passion. I love being able to connect with people all over the world through the magic of the internet. I have “chatted” with people in India, Israel, Ireland, and Australia and thousands of people from many other places have visited my site.
According to a recent post on your blog, the AAAOM (American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) is “working hard to get acupuncture included in the Affordable Care Act as an Essential Health Benefit.” Why do you think it’s important to make acupuncture available and affordable to the general public?
Acupuncture, just like all healthcare, should be affordable to the public. Ultimately each person manages his or her health and deserves options so that they can be informed consumers. Coverage by all insurance plans would certainly go a long way to making acupuncture available. If readers are interested, they can sign a petition that asks to have acupuncture included in president Obama’s HealthCare Act.
Given your passion for blogging, do you have any other writing projects in the pipeline – a book, for example?
I am currently working on an e-book, my first venture into longer writing, because I believe that a book will connect me to more people. Chinese Medicine can be very complicated for the lay person and I plan to create a book that explains the treatments and philosophy in ways that people can understand and appreciate.
Our theme for January is Enlightenment Through Travel. Did you travel to any other countries apart from China when you were learning about acupuncture, or is there somewhere you would like to visit in the future to further your knowledge in this field of medicine?
I had the opportunity to spend a couple of months traveling in Southeast Asia after my internship at the hospital in Beijing. I loved exploring other countries and was able to visit other parts of China and the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Something I love about Chinese Medicine is that there is always more to learn. Therefore, I know it would be to my benefit to travel back to Asia because meeting with other practitioners is often like finding someone in another country who speaks your language. Knowing Chinese Medicine is like being in a special club so there is always that connection, despite the often wide cultural gap.
Do you have any gurus whom you look up to?
No gurus, but I have had one teacher, Dr. Tan, who has hugely influenced my practice since I graduated from school. I’ve learned so much from him about how to use my needles to their best advantage.
Would you ever consider living anywhere else? If so — where and why?
Yes — some cities I’d love to live in at least for a while would include Rome and London. Who knows – if an opportunity comes up, maybe I’ll be hopping on a plane to somewhere else😉
STAY TUNED for tomorrow’s episode of Libby’s Life, where Libby is finding that high school popularity contests don’t end with high school.
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Image: photograph of Jennifer, supplied by herself.