After twenty plus incredibly fun years flying around the world as a fashion stylist, I started to hanker for a different kind of career and a way to give something back. I was already experiencing the benefits of acupuncture, however, it wasn’t until I stumbled upon a book on Chinese Sports Medicine that I had my epiphany. It only took a chapter for me to be hooked, blown away by the utter logic and brilliance of the medicine’s theory. I knew without a doubt that this was what I was meant to be doing and immediately enrolled in acupuncture school.
While I relished the relationships with my patients, I found that the reality of running an acupuncture business in New York just wasn’t satisfying the urge that pushed me to change careers in the first place. At the end of 2015, I closed my office, packed my life into as few boxes as possible and started volunteering for acupuncture focused projects abroad in underserved communities. So far, I have made four trips to Nepal, two to Guatemala, and one to Peru. I try to stay with each community for as long as is practical with the goal of following at least some of my patients through enough visits to consolidate change and instill useful lifestyle practices. In Nepal, there is also a mentoring aspect to my work, both as team lead to visiting practitioners, and to Nepali students from the acupuncture school in Kathmandu. I understand both the benefits and the limitations of foreigners coming in to volunteer for brief periods of time and my hope is that I can create more enduring and sustainable changes this way.
My work is funded partly by fundraising, partly by savings, and partly by the sale of clothing that I pick up on my travels. Please contact me if you think you might be interested in supporting these trips or the organizations that I collaborate with.