Delivering acupuncture + traditional Chinese medicine to Gippsland.
In 2007, I was sick. I’d lost a LOT of weight, I had the flu for 3 months, I had back acne, a constant headache, no energy, no period, and the skin was peeling off the soles of my feet in great disgusting sheets.
Not. Well. At. All.
The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me, my blood tests showed nothing (other than a slight iron deficiency), and yet, I could barely walk, let alone function. And with a small person to care for, I was starting to panic.
Then, an acquaintance suggested I try acupuncture.
Saved my fucking life.
I started seeing a really crabby old Chinese man twice weekly. He snarled at me, tutted at every question I had (and I had tonnes), and told me that my body didn’t like me very much. No shit, Sherlock. Twice a week for 2 months, then weekly for another 4 months.
He also (and this was non-negotiable) sent me off to a colleague, a Chinese Herbalist. Now, this delightful, ancient Chinese man was a completely different kettle of fish. To this day, I am not sure if he spoke any English, as I never once heard his voice. He’d smile, and gesture to poke my tongue out, take my hands and lay them on a pad and feel my pulse. But at least he smiled.
Then he’d give me a slip of paper to hand to his attendant on the way out and she would go make up packages of the weirdest smelling (and looking) stuff - twigs, shells, roots and what looked like pieces of cuttlefish. Half an hour later, I would receive 2 weeks worth of packages and detailed instructions (in English, thank goodness!) of how to prepare and take these parcels of who-the-fuck-knows-what.
This bi-weekly charade continued for almost 6 months. Even though the herbs tasted like shit, I followed the prescription religiously. I loved these ‘consultations’.
Then, the most amazing thing happened.
I woke up one morning, did the normal stuff and then stopped in my tracks.
Not only did I feel great, I felt the best I’d ever felt in my life.
For reals. It was amazing. I may or may not have burst into happy tears (bet your ass I did!)
I had a lightbulb moment.
THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH THE REST OF MY LIFE.
And so I started my journey. I applied for uni that day and started my first class 2 weeks later.
Never once did I waiver or question myself.
Never once did I consider throwing in the towel - because Chinese Medicine is NOT an easy thing to learn and I had not studied since high school.
Never once did I doubt that I would one day be able to provide the kind of care (minus the snarls) that I received.
2 degrees and 6 years of full-time study later I was (and still am) on a mission.
I love this Medicine so much and I am beyond stoked that I get to practice in a beautiful part of the world.
I pinch myself every day.