One of my favorite things in life is watching a person’s face when I respond to their question, “So, what do you do?” No one expects in a million years that a blonde American woman would answer, “I am a Chinese Medicine Doctor.” Then as an added bonus I will throw in, “Oh, and I am also a Travel Photojournalist.” That is when their bewildered eyes look like they might just pop out of their head!
I have been quite hesitant to talk about my “other life” on My Beautiful Adventures. I never wanted to mix the two, as I feel like my followers come here for travel inspiration and I like to keep my patients stories private, but lately I have been receiving more and more inquiries about why I became an Acupuncuritist and what does it mean to practice Chinese Medicine, thus I thought it was finally time to divulge some information.
Growing up I was a competitive swimmer. For many years that was the essence of who I was and my entire life was shaped around the sport. Unfortunately, I became very sick, so much so that I was bedridden for almost a year and my dreams of one day swimming in the Olympics were shattered. High school was no longer an option either. I would rather not discuss my illness here if that is okay with you, since it is very personal, however I will say that Western Medicine completely failed me. Up until then I had dreamed of one day becoming a Western Medical Doctor, although after seeing that it made me worse and offered me no hope for the future, I was then forced to turn to Alternative Medicine. My Mom is the person responsible for me discovering Chinese Medicine. She refused to give up on me and begged a local Acupuncturist, who had a three-year waiting list at the time, to fit me into his busy schedule. Thankfully, he agreed to treat me, although I was so furious with my Mom for subjecting me to this “voodoo medicine” that I had to be bribed to go to the first appointment.
It took only one treatment for me to realize how extraordinary this form of healing is and about five treatments for me to realize that this was my calling in life — I wanted to give back to the world what Chinese Medicine had given to me. My Acupuncturist was the first Doctor to really try to connect with me and say, “You will get through this and I will be here every step of the way.” Within six months I was 75% better and within one year I was able to catch up on all of the schoolwork I had missed and graduated Valedictorian of my class.
From there I attended the College of Charleston completing a Bachelor degree in Comparative Religious Studies with a minor in Asian Studies. My grades earned me a place in the prestigious National Collegiate Honor Society (NCHS). I then achieved my Master of Science at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM); one of the most well-respected Chinese Medical Universities, as well as becoming Board certified in Acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). During my education I had the opportunity to travel around the world and work in various hospital and clinical settings. I was even awarded trips to China and South Africa by the NCHS in recognition of my academic success. On both trips I acted as a United States Medical Delegate. I also acquired the ability to communicate in Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, and German. One of the hospitals that I worked in was St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. I treated patients infected with AIDS/HIV. This valuable internship furthered my knowledge in auto-immune disorders, which is the area that I have chosen to focus on, along with pain management and women’s issues specifically infertility. I also interned at PCOM’s clinic for several years treating a wide range of health concerns with an extensive record for success.
Five years ago, I created The Healing Hands Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic, a state-of-the-art Chinese Medicine practice that offers nothing but first class service and is a one-stop shop for your healing needs. Here is a sneak peek at what it looks like:
For more information about me, my clinic, or Chinese Medicine please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at AndiPerullo@aol.com.