Amy Lavendar – On Her Way to Becoming a TCM Doctor

“You don’t have to be Chinese to do Chinese Medicine. It was like an epiphany”, she said. Amy is at Five Branches University on her way to becoming a one-of-a-kind acupuncturist and Doctor of Chinese Medicine.

She has identified a very important linguistic obstacle that rules out the chance of people thinking about or pursuing a wonderful, holistic, meaningful and highly rewarding career in Chinese Medicine.

Amy is in her second term at Five Branches University. Among the first things raised as we sat down was the fact that Amy had been to Africa, and I asked her which African country she had visited. It turns out that she had been in Ethiopia.

Amy is well traveled; a travel experience she spoke about nostalgicly was about the time she spent teaching English in Chile, and how laid back and calm the pace of life and society is there, compared to California, which by comparison is rushed and frenetic.

Her deep love for and commitment to her family is evident in the warm tones with which she speaks of them, of her nephew, her sister’s son, to whom she has been practically a second mother, or her aging mum and dad, whom she recently helped relocate.

Amy speaks captivatingly about her business experience, her cool job running a skateboarding business, her job as manager of a Starbucks store, or her job as a trainer, and her passion for dance.

I then asked Amy how it is that she became interested in and involved with Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, thinking possibly that her time in Shanghai may have been the turning point for her. I was wrong.

She smiled, paused a moment, and said that she had something rather important to say on that topic, adding, that on the face of it, it might seem trite, but that it is something which we need to hear, to recognize as being hidden from us by our language. In the same way that many become involved with Chinese medicine and acupuncture, Amy had had a longstanding health issue for which she had sought help, finding more affinity with the holistic approach, and had been treated with acupuncture by a chiropractor earlier on. Amy more recently went to Kaiser for treatment and was lying quietly in one of the treatment rooms, pinned down with needles, when it dawned on her…

“You don’t have to be Chinese to do Chinese Medicine. It was like an epiphany”, she said.

I’ve had quite a few students say to me that when people hear that they are studying acupuncture they are met with an almost incredulous… “ Chinese Medicine?!…. but you’re not Chinese!!….”

Amy has put her finger on a very important linguistic obstacle that rules out the chance of people thinking about or pursuing a wonderful, holistic, meaningful and highly rewarding career in Chinese Medicine. “You don’t have to be Chinese to do Chinese Medicine.”

And now Amy is at Five Branches University, studying acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, on her way to becoming, in her own right, a one-of-a-kind acupuncturist and Doctor of Chinese Medicine.

– Interviewed by Trevor Huntley, LA.c, Five Branches MTCM program Graduates of 2017

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