Are All Acupuncturists the Same?
Acupuncture is an art as well as a science
Each acupuncturist develops her or his own style and ability over the years as she or he practices. The preferences, beliefs and teachers the acupuncturist works with over time color how they grow and their power to heal or help you heal.
It's really important to have a good relationship with your acupuncturist. Each one is different. If you go to one acupuncturist and you don't get good results, try another. The differences between acupuncturists and how they practice are big. Those differences can make the difference whether you heal or not.
What I've developed and how I did it
I believe my acupuncture practice is unique in a number of ways. This is a short explanation of what I've developed and how I did it.
My history with acupuncture is a long and interesting one.
It all started when I was an infant. I can remember very clearly being a baby and wondering when, where and how I was going to learn acupuncture. I don't know how I knew what it was, but I did.
When I was a child, I would often "borrow" my mother's sewing needles. I'd spend long hours after school discovering the acupuncture points and meridians on myself with those sewing needles. Sometimes my more daring friends would also offer themselves up for my esoteric medical experiments. Nobody got hurt. We had a great time and learned a lot.
I grew up in Northern California during the 1970s. There weren't many masters of acupuncture here to study with at that time, but it was the first decade of Kung Fu in America.
Taoist arts, kung fu and Chinese culture
Some Kung Fu teachers knew about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. So while I was growing up I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the world of Taoist arts, Kung Fu and Chinese culture. Looking back on it, I can say that I was fortunate to have been in step with the culture at that time. I helped me to create who I became later in life.
Indigenous healing rituals and practices
At the age of sixteen, I left home to study Buddhism and meditation in Sri Lanka. Among many other wonders, I was exposed to the native Ayurvedic medicine of that land and its indigenous healing rituals and practices. Some of these experiences saved my life and health from unusual tropical illnesses. Their medicine helped me where modern medicine couldn't. This opened my eyes first-hand to the power and practicality of indigenous medicines and sciences.
Psychology and native American medicine
By eighteen I was studying psychology and medicine in college. During this time I arranged self-directed independent study courses for myself in Central America, Mexico and the Southwestern United States. It was in these places that I began to learn about the incredible native medicines and practices of the ancient cultures of the American continent.
My acupuncture studies then took me to Taiwan. From there, an interesting turn of events brought me back to San Francisco.
It was in San Francisco that I was finally able to focus completely on studying acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. This process ultimately earned me one of the first four Master of Science degrees in Traditional Chinese Medicine granted in the United States.
After obtaining my California and National licenses I began to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sonoma and Marin Counties.
The journey continues
My ongoing study and love for the ancient medical sciences and traditions has continued. This journey has led me deep into the world of the ancient Taoists. I've gone on amazing adventures through the highlands of Central Mexico with Aztec shamans. I've taken initiatory rites deep in the mountains and jungles of Central and South America. I've met with mystical indigenous teachers and healers and built lifetime friendships with them. Many of these experiences have left me humbled. I've learned, let go, changed and moved forward. The journey continues.
A daily practice every day
Going through all of this is one thing. What it leaves you with is another. What these adventures have left me with is a lifestyle that is similar to the lives of my teachers.
What does that mean? It means I practice every day. It means that I'm taking what I've been given and I'm doing my best to turn it into more and more all the time. It means that my life and priorities are different from most of those around me.
This life, different as it is, is something that I cherish. Is it glamorous? No way. Is it something you would willingly choose if you had the opportunity? I very much doubt it. But it comes with the territory.
The wisdom of experience
You can benefit from my experience. Bit by bit, as it's appropriate, I can share what I've learned with you. It can help you heal.
This is the wealth of experience and wisdom that I bring to you in my acupuncture and Chinese herbal practice today. I love these ancient and profound medical sciences. I live them. That's why I can bring you to the heart of what each of these systems has to offer.
The heart is big. The path to it is yours.
John Mini, M.S.C.M./ L.Ac.