Practice type: Hybrid
Specialties: HIV / AIDS, women’s health, cancer support, liver disease, viral hepatitis
Styles: Complex integrated Chinese medicine consultations, herbal therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Why did you become an acupuncturist?
When I was young in the 1950s, my grandmother was a health-food advocate and yoga teacher, and I was imbued with that sensibility. At age 19, I suffered with a severe illness, and at age 22, I almost died in a car accident. Along the way, I discovered herbs, Shiatsu and acupressure and began my healing process. In the 1970s, when I was in Cuba, I met the early teachers and providers of addiction acupuncture in the South Bronx. That began my journey towards Asian medicine, working with people with hepatitis, AIDS and other serious illnesses. So, I was guided along this path to Lincoln Hospital in 1975 to begin my study of acupuncture and Asian medicine.
What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
At Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine, we provide integrated Chinese medicine comprehensive treatment programs to people seeking support for such complex medical challenges as viral hepatitis (HBV and HCV), HIV/AIDS, cancer and post-cancer support, metabolic issues such as diabetes, and reproductive health. Many people who are struggling with complicated and/or chronic health issues find themselves stepping through a minefield of questions—about their medical problems, how different physicians will treat them, how they’re going to support their quality of life in the midst of dealing with their illness. Our practitioners offer complex consultations and treatment plans that incorporate all the pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine—acupuncture, herbs, moxibustion, diet, exercise, acupressure/massage—within a framework of integrated medicine. Through our consultations and ongoing case management, we develop relationships with physicians, practitioners and clients across the country as well as in San Francisco.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love working with people who are striving to become healthier and working to heal themselves, often despite severe obstacles. My first work with people who were severely ill was with people with AIDS and cancer. They have taught me incredible lessons about life and who we are (and are not) on this planet.
What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
That it is just needles. At my clinic, we provide integrated Chinese medicine—acupuncture is just one modality and sometimes it isn’t even the best one for a person. However, I started my career in Asian medicine with Shiatsu and then acupuncture—and saw amazing things in the 1970s—so it really is my first love.
How do you stay healthy in your own life?
I am the organizer for the San Francisco Shih Tzu Meetup. That is a blast and great for my mental health. I also love to walk around the city and visit areas I have not seen before. And, I take a least one long meditative soak in the Japanese hot tub every day.
965 Mission Street, Suite 405, San Francisco, CA 94103