If you would have told me I was going to be an acupuncturist, I would have called you crazy. I had been primed my whole life to become a lawyer. Going to law school directly after college, I left the small town where I was raised for the booming metropolis of Des Moines, Iowa to study law. After three years of rigorous coursework, I graduated from law school making my family proud. I was lucky to be hired straight out of school to work for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in Springfield.
My First Acupuncture Experience
I first heard about acupuncture in 2007 when a friend in Springfield mentioned it had gotten rid of her low back pain. Her story made me wonder if acupuncture could help my chronic insomnia. After doing research online, I decided to call Dr. Na Zhai, a doctor from China. The following week I was in a dimly-lit room with a woman I just met, getting very thin, sterile stainless steel needles inserted into my arms, legs and abdomen. I was skeptical at first. However, within two weeks, I was sleeping through the night. I was happy with the results. Sparked by my success, I began reading about acupuncture and quickly discovered my penchant for Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”).
A Change in the Air
In 2009, I was still at the Attorney General’s Office and inundated with work, amidst budget cuts and layoffs. I was ready for a change of pace and decided to take my career path in another direction: health. My experience with TCM attracted me to a career in acupuncture. After looking at different schools and interviewing practitioners, I took the plunge and enrolled in the Master’s program at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago. I resigned from the Attorney General’s Office and arrived at acupuncture school wide eyed with a lot of passion.
The Oriental Medicine program I enrolled in was four years long and lasted through the year (including summers!) with short breaks between terms. In my first full-time term, I started a solo law practice. To say I started it with a shoestring budget is a compliment. All the while, I did my best to stay on track at school with the demanding schedule and rigorous coursework.
Why I Chose Oak Park
While I was acupuncture school, my boyfriend and I often went to Oak Park to visit friends, go out to eat, and see movies at the Lake Theatre. I found it to be a charming place with local shops and a real sense of community. When it came time to choose a location for my practice, I knew it was the right place for me. In my last year of school, I arrived in Oak Park from the city ready to become a full-fledged Oak Parker.
In August 2013, I graduated from acupuncture school and opened my practice the very next month in downtown Oak Park. The community has been incredibly welcoming and supportive. It has been an honor to be here and call Oak Park my home. I look forward to many more years here.
About Palmgren Acupuncture
Palmgren Acupuncture is a full-service integrative health center which helps people reduce stress, relieve pain, and improve sleep naturally. We offer acupuncture, massage, and Chinese herbs. To learn more about Palmgren Acupuncture, go here.
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