When my own health was compromised due to over-work as a dance student and performer, and because of a serious injury sustained outside of dance, it was acupuncture, nutrition, lifestyle changes, and advanced chiropractic care that allowed me to regain my health. A back injury at age 19 left me with constant and severe lower back pain. Despite the pain, I continued to pursue ballet and jazz full-time. I discovered that the pain decreased as long as I kept moving, and increased with sitting. Just before completing my last dance course at Towson University I suffered a collapse from just shear exhaustion and debilitating, unrelenting pain to my back, neck and knees. At age 24, following what was supposed to be my last dance performance as a student, I found myself so deficient and in so much pain that I was unable to work. I thought all I needed was a couple weeks of rest from my busy and demanding schedule and that I would be back to life as usual, which included six to eight hours of dance per day. Weeks—then years—went by and I could not recover my strength or escape the chronic pain. I saw many medical doctors who offered me physical therapy and medications. Finally, knee surgery was recommended. Thankfully, I sought a second opinion from another surgeon who recommended against it. Once again, my hopes of recovery were dashed.
Then, a friend, who happened to be an acupuncturist, coaxed me into trying acupuncture. Reluctantly, I agreed. My expectations were low and my anxiety level was high. To my surprise, the treatment was quite relaxing and my back pain lessened during that very first visit. Needless to say, I continued treatment—and began to adopt other incremental lifestyle changes. Not only did I recover my own health, I also decided on a new career path. I was so grateful for the help that I received—and so determined to help others for whom answers were so elusive—that I earned my National Board Certification in acupuncture in 1993, and of course, continue to further my knowledge through continuing education.