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Portland, OR: Sara Calabro

Fast facts
Founder of AcuTake

Why did you become an acupuncturist?
I had been working for 10 years as a healthcare business journalist, covering the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The experience, while inspiring at times, provided an up-close look at modern medicine’s shortcomings and led me to explore other perspectives on health. Acupuncture was the modality that intuitively felt right to me.

What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
Because of my background in writing about Western medicine, I feel I’m able to articulate acupuncture theory and principles in ways that make sense to people. I often use Western analogies to explain acupuncture concepts. I don’t see this as minimizing acupuncture, or as a suggestion that Western medicine is superior. I just know my audience and want to make acupuncture as accessible as possible.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
Acupuncture has helped me see the world in an entirely new way. In regards to health, of course, but in other ways as well. By teaching us to slow down and be more intentional, acupuncture provides a new lens for seeing all aspects of modern life. It brings awareness to our patterns and helps dismantle the ones that hold us back from realizing our full potential. Sharing this with people is the best part of my job.

What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
That it doesn’t work because it cannot be consistently proven through double-blind clinical trials. Clinical trials are to thank for many medications and technologies that have extended and improved life for countless people. That does not mean they have the answers to everything. They are merely one way of looking at efficacy. When we fail to acknowledge this, we miss the opportunity to consider other perspectives and limit access to the therapies that might help us most.

How do you stay healthy in your own life?
Running, cycling, walking and yoga keep me mentally and physically awake. Whenever I can, I like to substitute one of those with hiking—there’s lots of it in Oregon! Eating whole foods and remembering to step away from the computer / phone also have a big influence on my overall state of health.

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