Why I Decided to Study Acupuncture

While attending an annual meeting of the Acupuncture Association of Missouri (AAM) in Kansas City, visiting and discussing with colleagues from around the state, I was reminded of my days in acupuncture school.

At that time, the school was located halfway between Washington, DC and Baltimore. Treating inmates in the Baltimore jail was an essential part of my training as an acupuncturist. Here, I practiced point location, diagnosis, and needling. But the inmates taught me much more than that. The power of rapport, the effects of acupuncture, and the longer term impact of treatment were what impressed me the most while working at the jail.

Witnessing the changes that occurred from week to week in the eyes, communication skills, and presence of the men and women we were treating impressed me. For many of them, this was not the first time they were in jail, but it was the first time they were receiving acupuncture as part of their “time.” They told me how this time, they were able to sleep better, with much fewer side effects from withdrawal; how they were able to hear and integrate the rehab counseling as their capacity to listen and reflect was enhanced by the new calm they felt after acupuncture.

It was here, at the Baltimore city jail, that my decision to study and practice acupuncture was most deeply confirmed. My decision to become an acupuncturist evolved after three years as a resident at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. At Kripalu, my passion for self-awareness and mastery using the tools of yoga lead to my desire to support others in finding and mastering their own energy, their own consciousness. The men and women I met in Baltimore encouraged me to continue my development through the practice of acupuncture. The patients I treat today, also provide me the opportunity to continue to grow in my awareness and skill in the practices of wisdom and presence. I am grateful for the opportunity to be your practitioner as you develop your capacity to heal in body, in mind, and in spirit.