I actually had attended my first birth when I was 14 years old, and by the time I was 17 I knew I wanted to work in women’s health but I wasn’t sure how.
When I had just left high school I was living in the leafy suburb of New Farm in Brisbane, working in a wonderful retail store selling beautiful westernised Indian clothing. While others around my age were reading novels and magazines (there were no mobile phones or internet back in the 80's can you believe?!) I would be sitting and devouring entire textbooks on iridology or herbal medicine, or healing methods from the Phillipines.
I had been influenced to do so from my Mother probably, who had had cancer while I was a teenager and had utilised both naturopathic medicine and surgery to find a cure. I had been influenced and shaped by her integrative medicine experience, no doubt. It dawned on me that if I was reading health textbooks for fun perhaps it would be a good idea to do it for a living!
I started studying naturopathy, and truly loved it, but it wasn’t until I took an 'Intro to Chinese Medicine' elective that something inside me just clicked and I knew I was born to practice this medicine. There was something about the way this medicine has stood the test of time and has evolved over thousands of years. I was inspired by the way that Chinese medicine has a theory- a colour and emotion for every organ system, and the way that meridian lines integrate all the organs if we were to imagine them drawn on our bodies, it appears like a naturally occurring eco-system. I just fully fell in love with the beauty and practicality of it.
I took some time out from studies as I got married and had children in my early 20's, but resumed the course once I moved to Sydney and graduated a bit later down the track. I’ve now been practicing for 15 years, but have had the Chinese medicine knowledge for over 30 years, since I was very young. It’s imbibed in who I am and how I see things.
I had also wanted to be a midwife but having made the choice to study Chinese medicine instead, and as I have over the years been asked to attend several births, I decided to study to be a doula for when such occasions arose. I’ve never been a full-time practicing birth doula as it’s very difficult to be a doula and have a clinical practice, but I do have a special passion for this area and absolutely love to help women prepare for birth with acupuncture, educate them on acupressure and techniques for having a more beautiful, empowered birthing experience, however that may look for them (whether it’s physiological/natural, induction or planned Caesarian births).
I feel so incredibly fortunate to love my work. When I’m in clinic, I’m fully present in the moment and with the patient and feel very grateful to be doing the work that I do.