Many patients come to me for care because they want to get rid of their symptoms. People want their back pain to stop, their insomnia to cease, and so forth. I understand this and share that goal. Over time, though, people often realize that their process of healing is more than just making something go away. Often there is a realization of the journey that they stepped into with their diagnosis is not about only stopping pain and other symptoms. Some symptoms cannot be cured, whether with biomedicine or East Asian medicine.

One key realization is for patients to identify imbalances in life that promote pain: working too hard, for too long, being stressed out, not sleeping enough and eating poor quality of foods. All these things we do nowadays that rob us of health and vitality. I help patients identify these ‘robbers’ and to make sustainable changes.

My job as a healthcare provider is to provide not only treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine that will help eradicate pain and other symptoms, but to also provide help and guidance along the way. Sometimes I’m a signpost along the healing journey helping to remind patients of just how much progress they’ve experienced. Sometimes my job is to provide referrals to other reliable providers. Sometimes my job is to remind patients that healing is a journey, a process, and not only a destination without symptoms.