|In the summer of 1995, I badly injured my finger playing indoor soccer. Determined to regain mobility, I put myself through two surgeries and endless hours of physical therapy. Each surgery only increased my discomfort and frustration. While skeptical and deathly afraid of needles, but ardently interested in regaining the use of my left middle finger, I went to my first Acupuncture treatment. The day after my very first treatment I had regained not only movement but also an incredible reduction in pain (60%) and swelling (30%) in my finger; something which previous doctors had told me would not be possible.
Up to that point my experiences with health care revolved around sports medicine and athletic training at Portland State University. I knew how to prevent and treat injuries through proper nutrition and exercise but I did not fully understand how to heal the person attached to the injured body part.
My interest in internal medicine began to blossom as I studied Chinese herbs and Acupuncture. At my first acupuncture treatment I was told that my finger problem was related to poor digestion. She needled several points on my back to help my digestion (I thought she was off her rocker; she didn't even examine my hand!) Furthermore, at the time I often equated health with fitness. Now, I know that just because a person is fit or physically strong does not mean he or she is necessarily healthy. My assumptions about fitness and my approach to healing radically changed as a result of my experiences with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for my injured hand.
The Vitality of Chinese Medicine
|As rehabilitative success continued with my Acupuncturist I began to use Chinese herbs and other natural therapies for minor ailments with similar, positive results. Simultaneously, I yearned to broaden my professional relationship with people and the healing process.
Chinese Medical philosophy provided a complimentary and needed insight into these pursuits. Before too long I had enrolled at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine for Acupuncture training. My desire was to combine the Western training I had received in nutrition, sports medicine, and exercise with the Eastern wisdom and practices of Chinese medicine.
My experiences in school and my inherent interest in movement naturally pulled me to Qi Gong. Qi Gong is the ancient Chinese practice of breath flow, meditation and movement to revitalize the body by removing stagnation of the body's vital energy (Qi is pronounced Chee). Qi Gong is still an active part of my daily routine.
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