I often have a similar conversation with my patients, whereby they want to know how I got into acupuncture. They see how I really love what I do and the passion I have in educating people about the benefits of Chinese medicine, and what it has to offer. And this is what I tell them.
I had been working in the fitness industry for over 10 years, managing 2 fitness clubs, personal training and teaching aerobics. Life was good. I was doing triathlons, adventure races and running marathons. My friends were all fitness buffs and we spend our time hiking, training or eating!
But somehow I felt this wasn't enough! I was meant for something more... I've always been drawn to anything connected to health improvement. I constantly devoured magazines and books on natural health. I treated myself to good food, supplements, and the use of practitioners such as chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopaths, homeopaths, and acupuncturists, to keep my body and mind in balance.
When personal training, often clients would complain about having a migraine, or not sleeping, or having painful periods. I was frustrated because I wasn't sure how to help them. So one quiet Friday night, I sat at work and decided to change my career path.
I love my what I do!
It took me almost 2 years! Yes, you read it right, 2 years of research before taking the plunge. I visited and read about many colleges, talked to different practitioners about their craft, their burn out rates, their incomes, the good, the bad and the ugly of their fields. In the end, Chinese medicine really called out to me.
I hadn't told anyone of my decision and my research. Now that I was sure, and had a plan to start school in 4 months, it was time to share my exciting news. Well, let me tell you, my balloon deflated real fast! Everyone, I mean everyone, my family, my friends and long time clients, all thought I had lost my mind. This is what I was told: - Acupuncture? Seriously? - Why rock the boat? You have such a great job. - You're too old (I was 33 at the time) to go back to school. - 5 years? How will you support yourself and pay for tuition? - Have you lost your mind? - Why would people get acupuncture from you, you're not Chinese!
Not one person supported me in this choice. I panicked. Maybe they were right, I was crazy! I started doubting myself and rethinking the whole thing. But in the end, I followed my heart and my gut, and took the plunge anyway. I went to school full time while working part time, had not much of a social life (my free time was spent studying), and didn't travel (no money) to France. But it was all worth it.
THIS was the best decision I have ever made, bar none!!! I love what I do so much. I teach it to eager students, who I hope I can inspire to become as passionate about Chinese medicine as I am. I help patients on a daily basis and feel blessed to have such a great fulfilling career.
Follow your gut, dream without limits, don't be afraid. It won't be easy, but the reward is that much sweeter.
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