My journey as a physician began at a young age with my exposure to two models of medicine: one was from my grandfather who was an infectious and tropical disease specialist, and the other was from my father who was a psychiatrist.
My grandfather was the only physician living on the Malaysian island of Sabah in the 1950’s who knew how to diagnose and treat malaria. He was much sought after and deeply revered for his skills. His relationship to my father was stoic and emotionally cut off. World War II took place in their backyard and my father witnessed the travesties of the Japanese air fighter jets and prisoners of war. As a result, my father went into psychiatry to explore and understand trauma as well as the deep underpinnings of the human psyche.
My father became a renegade in psychiatry. He stopped prescribing medication, practiced analysis with groups of patients, used psychodrama and bioenergetics therapy, and incorporated the somatic (bodily-felt and expressed) approaches of Alexander Lowen and Wilhelm Reich. I was raised with a belief that most human ailments have an emotional basis at their core.
These were my models. In my life as a physician I have made a conscious choice to integrate two empirically verifiable truths: a specific compound, herbal or pharmaceutical, can help “cure” an illness; mental thoughts and cellular trauma or feelings locked in the body can both cause illness and heal illness.
In my twenties, I majored in philosophy and I focused on Existentialism. I wrote my 124- page Honor’s thesis to answer the question, “What is reality?” This question was at the core of my intellectual pursuits. It persists to this day and is an integral part of my medical practice. I attended an osteopathic medical school, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, because it honored the principle that the body has an innate intelligence and ability to heal itself. Osteopathic manipulation can enhance this natural healing ability.
I also learned traditional medicine, which involves the diagnosis of disease and treatment with drugs or surgery. I was fortunate to professionally bridge the gap between my grandfather and father’s medical philosophies. During my first 10 years of medical practice I holistically treated common primary care maladies such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, coronary heart disease, acute infection and musculo-skeletal pain disorders.
As a doctor of osteopathy, I was trained to take a different approach to treatment. For example, a woman came to me with a sinus infection. I gave her an Indian herb called Andrographis, which is helpful for upper respiratory tract infections, and a prescription for an antibiotic to fill only if she wasn’t better in 3 days. I told her to stop consuming all sugar, dairy and wheat and to eat garlic and onions, which have strong anti-viral properties. I performed cranial manipulation to optimize the movement of her maxillary and frontal bones and then asked her, “Is there anything stressful going on in your life”? She admitted that her husband had lost his job and that she had to go back to work.
She felt as though she was failing to be a good mother to her 6-year old and was inadequate as a wife, now that she had to return to work. I explained to her that she would find a solution more easily if she released her anger and found a ‘neutral’ place inside herself. I applied a technique called Neural Integration which involves touching acupuncture points and moving the feet and eyes (much like EMDR) to proactively condition the nervous system’s response to ingrained belief patterns.
In 6 weeks she returned to my office a new woman. She discovered a way to create a business out of her home that she loved and she started earning a good income. She attained an extremely high level proficiency in the aspects of her life she cared most about: career, finance, relationships and physical health. This is an example of how I practice.
Since 2000, I have worked to hone my skills as an integrative physician by attending one conference each month in herbs, functional medicine, heavy metal detox, osteopathic manipulation, nutrition, bio-identical hormone balancing and functional lab analysis. I’ve kept my own life in balance by working 4 days a week and spending 8 weeks a year on vacation. Seven years ago, I began meditating for just 10 minutes a week and progressed to thirty minutes a day.
This transformed my personal life. My intuition becomes increasingly more powerful and accurate. I predicted the death of two of my best friends, accurate to the day. One of them was my boyfriend and I was able to say “goodbye” to him just one week before a drunk driver (whose face I saw in a dream) killed him. That event changed my life. I realized I had not been living in alignment with my own deepest desires to stay close to nature and have a loving personal relationship in my life. Within 6 months I was engaged to a beautiful and soulful man, moved from Ohio to Muir Beach, California, and awakened to the power of intuition.
In 2012 I enrolled in a Master’s Certification program in Intuition Medicine, The Academy of Intuition Medicine in Sausalito, California and began working with photonic divine energy that runs through our subtle energy anatomy (meridians, chakras, auric field). I call it “divine” because it exists all around us. Some people call it the “zero point field”. When I make contact with it, tremendous wisdom beyond my own knowledge and spiritual awareness come to me by which I can guide my patients. I do this by combining the psychometric abilities in my hands and skillfully optimizing the natural cranial rhythm, thereby balancing the chakras.
Through the palms of my hands I can ‘see’ areas of grey or dark in the different chakras. I call in my Guide and a form of universal healing energy manifests to clear and lift these areas of grey. As the areas of grey lift, harmonic light enters in and various chakra colors emerge and connect with other chakras. It’s a form of ‘wisdom language’. My goal is to connect the patient to their truth, their wisdom and their own innate healing force within their body. I have been astounded by these treatments. Some patients report dramatic results. For example: three months of shoulder pain gone despite a series of steroid injections by an orthopedic surgeon in just one session; an abusive relationship fundamentally altered for the better despite ten years of therapy after one session, then settlement of a contentious divorce that cut through a tremendous amount of animosity in one session.
As a holistic medicine physician I believe that compassion, presence and grace are crucial healing forces along with intelligently applied clinical knowledge. Mutual collaboration with patients is essential and non-attachment is a key skill with this form of treatment. The power and effectiveness of these sessions comes partly from my own intentionality regarding their healing, and partly through close, on-going communication with my patients.
I feel honored to practice this kind of medicine. It is a contemporary manifestation of universal and ancient sacred knowledge. There is no doubt that it empowers people in their healing. I personally feel very fortunate that holistic medicine has found me, and that I have found it.
My medical practice is part of a universal energetic continuum that both my grandfather and father were also part of. This is a tradition that links me to their lives as physicians and healers. Speaking both personally and professionally, it’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of this.