About

Hello and Welcome!

Thank you for visiting this page to learn more about me, my practice, and how I got here.

I’ll share about my professional background, as well as the windy personal path that led me here.

I hope you enjoy reading my story, and that I get to hear yours sometime very soon!

The Short Story:

I was a research scientist and lecturer with a Harvard Ph.D. and a passion for learning that
was not being fed by my day-to-day lab work. One day a friend suggested I get acupuncture
for my lower back pain. After giving it a try, I found that not only my back pain was better,
but my digestion, energy and mood improved as well. The epiphany was as sudden as it has been fortuitous. Acupuncture and herbs. This was it. This was my life’s work.

 

Here’s my Professional Background (the “Official” Bio):

Susan has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Connecticut, where she graduated Magnum Cum Laude. From there she went to Harvard University and earned her Ph.D. from the Program of Virology (the study of viruses).  She then went on to do post-doctoral training at several research centers including the CNRS in Toulouse France. She graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture with her Masters in Oriental Medicine (MaOM) and at that time was presented with the prestigious Tsay Award. She is NCCAOM board certified in both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs and is licensed by the state of Massachusetts. She worked for several years at the NESA as a Teaching Assistant. She also completed a 2 year post-graduate herbal internship with Dr. Tao Xie at Pathways to Wellness. Recently, she was certified in Brain Integration Technique. Susan lives on Boston’s South Shore with her husband, 2 kids and dog.  When she’s not working, she loves to paint floorcloths, go for walks in the woods and garden.

 

And here’s the “Real Story” of who I am and how I got here:

So how does a Molecular Biologist/Virologist become a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner? It’s a story that takes place over thousands of years.

Early in my collegiate life, I was passionate about my studies in biology. I knew that going the Western Medical route wasn’t for me, so I took the other well-trodden path—that of becoming a research scientist. I went to Harvard University and started doing research in a lab at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Years went by and I lived and learned. I got my Ph.D. I did some research. Studied overseas. I taught. I had two children.

Though I was still passionate about biology (and virology), I knew research wasn’t for me. But what to do? I read books endlessly, talked with people and reflected. Then one fateful day at a mother-child playgroup, another mom mentioned she was going to acupuncture school in the autumn. It was such an unexpected move and I was immediately intrigued and spurred to action.

I read Ted Kapchuk’s “The Web that has no Weaver.” I visited the New England School of Acupuncture to learn first-hand what’s was required to become an acupuncturist/herbalist.  Lastly,  I visited an acupuncturist for treatment of my low back pain. It took a bit of time to get me in the acupuncturist’s door as I have always had a terrible fear of needles.  The idea of asking someone to put needles in my body was almost too much for me to contemplate. My acupuncturist was very patient and after the first needle was inserted, I realized I had nothing to fear. The pain in my back improved, my mood improved and I felt better all over. In fact, the results of my treatment were so positive, and so drastic; it was suddenly clear what this Harvard-trained biologist was going to do for the rest of her life.

At first it wasn’t easy at first trying to reconcile my Western training with Eastern Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory. Like so many others, I kept trying to compare the two. But one day I was pouring through Kapchuk’s book once again, and I at last understood that it would be like trying to compare apples and oranges.   Both systems were created in different ways. Both are equally valid. After this epiphany I was ready to get down to the business of mastering TCM theory and techniques.

Now that I’m a TCM practitioner specializing in acupuncture and herbs,  I find that I’m still a researcher and a learner at heart. My office is lined with bookcases filled with acupuncture and herb books and you’ll often find me at my dining room table surrounded by piles of books, researching a patient’s condition or reading about differential diagnosis, herbal formulas and point prescriptions.

That’s the great thing about TCM. There is so much to learn and so many different ways to practice it; there are literally thousands of years of observations to draw from. But, unlike my days of researching in a lab, now I see the positive affect it has on my patients daily. This is the passion in my life.

Recently I have expanded my focus and been certified in Brain Integration Technique/Crossinology, which uses acupressure as well as muscle testing to remove emotional blocks that keep people from reaching their highest potential. For lots more info on Brain Integration, please look in that section of my website.