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The other day, a patient asked me a familiar question: “How did I get into the field of acupuncture?” Usually, I answer that my childhood training in martial arts exposed me to the concepts that make up traditional Chinese medicine. This is true, but there is more to the story.
When I was in my 20s, I swam a lot, rode bike and under some protest, ran. I competed in several triathlons and usually enjoyed the experience. I began to notice, however, a plateau in my performances, and then I began to lose speed on my bike.
Now, as any athlete progresses in their sport, they will invariably hit a period where performance stagnates. But in my case, I just did not feel as energetic as I had been. My digestion was poor, I was not sleeping well and my skin was terrible.
My family doctor did several tests, all of which came back normal. According to the tests, I was healthy, but I still didn’t feel “right.” Riding my bike home, I thought there must be another way.
Not long after that, I had my first appointment with a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. This was a revolution of thought for me. They used “points” to help my body regulate itself, gave me some herbal medicine and made some suggestions for how I could change my diet to get my body to work better.
I felt great right away. My digestion improved, and my energy was better; I could sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. The whole week that followed saw many other symptoms I was experiencing improve or become completely nonexistent. Some of the adjustments took time, awareness and guidance to implement, but as I saw improvement, it encouraged me to continue.
It was at that time when I began the process of studying, practicing and living traditional Chinese medicine. Through the years, traditional Chinese medicine has helped me through knee pain, various injuries, stress, digestive issues, restless sleep and helped clear up my skin. I continue to ride my bike, practice yoga and martial arts, and even occasionally run (still under mild protest).
It was a process to get this far, and I have only just begun.