Practice type: Hybrid
Specialties: Back pain, musculoskeletal pain, sports injuries, stress
Styles: Japanese acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), motor point acupuncture
Why did you become an acupuncturist?
Between childhood broken arms and a blown-out PCL playing college rugby, I spent a lot of time in physical therapy. I think it was there that my fascination with the body and healing started. Somewhere along the way I came to the conclusion (through both my own and others’ experiences with injury and illness) that healing had to include both body and mind, that focusing only on one or the other seemed hopelessly incomplete. Despite having had acupuncture treatment, growing up doing martial arts, studying Japanese language and Eastern philosophy, it had never occured to me that one day I would become an acupuncturist. It sort of took me by surprise one day, while trying to figure out how I could best help people heal in both body and mind, everything clicked and I thought “that is exactly what I want to do!” And it still is.
What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
My particular approach comes out of a background in neuroscience and love for the scientific process, and it is also shaped by playing competitive sports, being injured, having to decide on major surgery, and experiencing how scary, lonely and challenging rehabilitation / recovery / healing can be. I strongly support integrative medicine. There is a time and a place for various techniques and philosophies, and my goal as a practitioner is to help my patient find out what choice is right for them and then support them as best I can on their path. Sometimes, I can use different modalities (bodywork, e-stim, kinesiotaping, etc.) to achieve this, but sometimes this means being in the recovery room when a patient wakes up from surgery, making a house call, or attending a PT appointment. Healing happens in many ways, and I encourage them all.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Meeting people, learning what they love doing, and helping them get back to doing it. What that takes is different for every person (sleeping better, reducing pain, improving digestion, etc.), but in the end it comes down to being able to do what they love.
What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
“I’m not sure I believe in it.” As far as I know, acupuncture is not a belief system but rather a form of medicine—one that may or may not work for you (just like any other modality in the world). To me, the most interesting studies on acupuncture are ones where “belief” has no part (e.g., animal studies that show how acupuncture mitigates the effects of alcohol withdrawal, or increases the ability of the animal to withstand a painful stimuli, or functional imaging studies on humans that show a point on the foot used for eye conditions lights up the visual cortex). These studies show a demonstrable effect of acupuncture that has nothing to do with belief. A positive attitude of healing is helpful (no matter what form of medicine you choose) and has been shown to improve outcomes. And placebo is a topic for another time…
How do you stay healthy in your own life?
I practice yoga; eat local, fresh and in-season whole foods; make sure to get sleep; receive acupuncture and bodywork; have alone time; and get outdoors.
Anatomy Acupuncture, LLC: 4804 N. Albina Ave, #1, Portland, OR 97217