That’s me, Gabrielle, licensed acupuncturist and TCM herbalist,in the header photo. I’m doing one of my favorite things; standing outside somewhere beautiful, enjoying nature.

That is opposed to one of my least favorite things – confinement. Before I was an acupuncturist, I worked as a medical technologist ( a less kindly word would be “lab rat”) in hospitals, starting in 1986. I saw a lot of confinement. By the time the patient reaches ICU and CCU she is imprisoned, both psychologically and physically. The good news is that most of the doctors and nurses (and lab rats) really do care about the patient’s welfare. The bad news is that the sicker someone gets, the more options narrow, until only that hospital bed, IV, oxygen tank, and feeding tube are left, or perhaps, dying at home, if a caretaker is available.

That’s scary. So I think one of the goals of integrative medicine is to keep the patient having options as long as possible. Death is inevitable. Suffering is always present. But suffering can take away your life and replace it with monotony and an impersonal setting, or you can alleviate your suffering, perhaps even eliminate it, if you take steps right away.

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