2019 Retrospective

As we mark our 11th year effectiveness the clinic opened, I can say that I have never been so grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful patents. We have patients now that have literally been with us for the entire 11-year journey.


During the Thanksgiving break, I travelled with my son Ethan to visit schools in Japan, where he has decided he wants to study after High School. This trip involved direct parental involvement for the first half and some strategically placed neglect during the second half. After our school tours were done, I left Ethan and his friend to their own devices and headed to Northern Japan to study with my teacher. The goal was to be close — just in case the boys got in trouble — but no so close that they couldn’t get a feel of what it’s like being on one’s own in another country. The trip was a huge success and Ethan came back with a renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm in his choice to study abroad. Reflecting on the trip, I am reminded of the countless conversations I have had with patients over the years where information, tips nuances and painful parental failures were shared making mental notes as needed. Locked in these moments were countless nuggets of wisdom that formed a library of parenting tips and advice that I have had available to me over the years at those critical parenting moments. To all of you who shared — Thank you!

The second part of my trip marked the first time I had stepped foot in my acupuncture teacher, Iwashina Sensei’s, clinic since I set up shop in Peachtree City in 2008. Though I have continued to study and assist him practically every year during his seminars in Oregon, California and more recently in Texas, there is nothing like observing a master in his own workshop. In 2008, I remember watching him treat and saying to myself “I am not leaving (Japan) until I master such and such a technique.” Ten years and 14,000 plus treatments later, I can honestly say, I am well on the way. As powerful and impactful as the techniques I witnessed were in 2008, it pales in comparison to what I observed this time around. If the last experience was marked by awe of the techniques, this go-around was marked by awe at the complete lack of specific techniques. My teacher was just treating each person at their root, and they were getting better.

Those of you who have been in the clinic this year, may have heard me responding to inquiries about seemingly unrelated things getting better during the treatment process and asking “how is it possible?” To which I respond, “well, there is only one you, and we are treating all of it — it’s all connected.” I have never more powerfully, seen this demonstrated than I did in Iwashina Sensei’s clinic this year. As much as I was inspired to master the techniques I have learned, I am equally inspired to move beyond using techniques as my teacher has done. For more information about how we structure the treatments in the clinic read here. 

What does all this mean for the patients in the clinic and those who have not been in for a while? Well, simply stated, more efficacy with each treatment and shorter treatment intervals overall. This means that the clinic is increasingly able to tackle harder and harder cases.



This has been an admittedly difficult year for us for staffing. For a while it seemed like every time you came in for an appointment, there were new and different faces here to meet you. A patient asked me what was up, to which I replied “well, I thought we’d start an ‘Employee of the Month’ program and mistakenly thought it meant that we should get a new employee every month.”  In all seriousness, we learned so much this year and received so much support. Mid-year, we realized that getting just the right people in the clinic was going to take longer than we wanted, at which time a call went out via Craigslist for a massage therapist or two who wanted to make a six-month commitment and learn now to be an acupuncture assistant. To this call, Anika responded. In just a few short months Anika established herself as one of the most skilled and gifted clinical assistants we have ever had — a tall order if there ever was one. Thank you, Anika, for stepping up. While in the clinic she commuted several days a week from the North Georgia Mountains. Another thing that happened was that many of our wonderful patients were willing to give us valuable feedback about our hiring and training of new assistants this year. Speaking up is never easy and we greatly appreciate the honest feedback.

Most importantly, it became clear just how blessed we have been over the years with amazing, fantastic clinical assistants, going all the way back to the beginning, starting with Kathy, then Christine and Gina. This year, has shown us that ya’ll are a hard act to follow.

It took a painfully long while, but we are just so pleased with the talent we now have in the clinic. In April, a long-time acquaintance and friend of the clinic, Yonsuk Dickensen, joined the clinic to assist with the moxa treatments. In, October, Sarah Woods joined the clinic. We look forward to having them aboard and assisting with our patient’s ability to heal.

No discussion would be complete without mention of Ivette, who for most of her tenure, cloistered herself in the herb room, but this year came front and center and did everything from patient care, to filling herbs, moxa and scheduling. There is simply nothing that Ivette has not done (except doing the treatments, of course). It is not an understatement to say that without Ivette’s help this year, the clinic would not be here in its present form. Thank you, Ivette.

I am also appreciative for all feedback, collaboration and support ya’ll have provided over the years - you have truly helped us become the best version of ourselves. It was a patient who helped us articulate and define our mission statement: “We exist to Restore Your Ability to Heal.”


Facilities- We're not leaving

Finally, regarding our facilities. Many of you have noticed and commented on the “For Sale” sign that went up on our property early in 2019. This brought front and center the fact that the owner of our building has been looking to sell the building for quite a few years now. We are simply not going anywhere! The clinic exists to serve this wonderful population we aim to continue to do so. We spent a fair amount of time looking for a new long-term home for the clinic, found a location we were pursuing but the location ended up not being quite the right fit. As a result, we have signed a one-year extension and will continue look for just the right location close by.


As always, it is such a pleasure and joy to serve our patients and assist them in “Restoring their Ability to Heal.” Please continue to let us know how we can serve you better in 2020 and beyond.

Posted in Clinic News, Seasonal