I was born raised and lived in NYC for 50 years. My college degree is from Cornell U., in Nursing, 1966, (then in NYC) . I graduated from the Tri-State Institute of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture 1986, after working in assorted allopathic medical settings for 20 years, including 12 hour Home Care shifts with terminal AIDS patients, 1985,86, while still in acupuncture school. I studied Chinese Herbs with Ted Kaptchuk, Western herbs with Simon Mills and completed a 2 year graduate program in 5 Element Theory and Practice with Bob Duggan and other faculty members of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute, Columbia Maryland, 1986, 1987.
I learned, in the first 20 years, that I didn’t want to be a cog in an allopathic system where the doctor was the God/father figure, the nurse a powerless slave, and the patient, a dependent infant. I discovered Oriental Medicine by chance and quickly saw its’ potential to change my personal health and professional life. I “retired” five years ago after 35 years of intense involvement in Alternative Medicine, AIDS and HIV treatment as well as almost every other diagnosis under the sun of New York City, India and Asheville, NC. I consider myself lucky to have been in 1982, facing some of the first undiagnosed AIDS patients in NYC, as an RN…and following that slim thread into 35 years of profound medical experience, tragic as well as totally compelling.
I have learned that a sound academic foundation provides freedom for creative thinking which often works, amuses, satisfies and keeps the mind moving forward. Even when the consciously desired result is not realized, there is a special joy in a self-determined inner mission, over many years duration. It is the events of travel that really do count, not just ultimately arriving at one’s chosen destination. I have discovered this through 25 years working as a medical volunteer in India, 2-6 months /year, in Tibetan refugee camps, hospitals, clinic dispensaries, and most recently, for 15 years with an orphanage of 250 children with full blown AIDS. Simultaneously, I maintained private practices in NYC and Asheville NC, 1986-2013. I have taught and spoken at conferences in France, India, Canada and around the USA. I have had successes and failures and it has all been a great adventure. I truly love and consider Oriental Medicine and all its permutations to be a sacred body of knowledge, non-judgemental, compassionate and generous in extending love to the patient; an enormous gift to the world.
I have also learned that the schemata of the 5 Element Chart is all one needs..almost, to understand every phenomenon of life and process, if you know how to utilize it. I do not consider myself to be a 5 Element practitioner, but I see each patient through the filter of 5 Element theory, primarily…and through the 8 Principles secondarily. It works very well for me. I have found enormous satisfaction through my medical career, beginning when I stopped working as a nurse, and first opened my private practice in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs in New York City, 1986.