For years, patients have been telling me to start a blog. “We would love to read your rants!” they said. Well, that day has finally come. I know that this blog will be controversial because I plan to attack deeply rooted beliefs about health and medicine.
If you don’t like me, fine. My feelings will be hurt (they do that, those pesky emotions), but I’m okay with that. My purpose is to help people, and to do that, I need to to provide them with good information so that they can be better prepared to make important decisions that will impact their health, as well as the health of their children and grandchildren. If I have to do that at the expense of my ego, so be it.
But Dr. Akemi, there are thousands of blogs out there in the Internet. Why should we read yours? That’s a really good question, actually. There are a lot of really smart healers out there.
Here are 6 reasons you might want to read my blog:
1. I Had Cancer
I don’t typically pull out the cancer card – in fact, it is a running joke with my husbandthat on most days I forget about the ovarian cancer that was killing me at age 20. But I want you to know that I’ve been there. In pain. Thinking about dying. With crappy health insurance, and limited choices for treatment.
I was lucky enough to be in the middle of my graduate program in Chinese Medicine when it happened. I found out that I had cancer thanks to my acupuncture doc (she’s the only reason we found it early enough for it not to metastasize), and I had surgery because the darn thing grew really fast. I said no to the chemo because, really? I’m going to kill my immune system, the weakness of which allowed the cancer to grow? Uh – no, thanks.
I was scared, don’t get me wrong, because my oncologist assured me I would get cancer in my other ovary within two years. (Do you think he realized how awful that was to say to me? Considering the nocebo effect?) But I made a decision, it turned out to be the right one, and I’m so grateful.
2. I Fixed My Immune System
Rather than use chemotherapy, I used lots of amazing tools like Flowing Zen, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, chiropractic and nutritional supplements. You might say I was irresponsible for refusing conventional treatment. I say it was a logical decision based on what the doctors told me. They had no idea what caused my cancer. No clue. They don’t have a good grasp as to how to cure it. In fact, all they do is try to beat it back by poisoning, cutting, or burning the body.
That’s when I realized I had to be my own advocate. I started thinking about healing and the immune system. And then – voila! Logic won. Fix the immune system. Fix cancer!
And I was right. Six years later, I’ve proved the doctors wrong. I’m completely cancer free, and I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my life. So there.
3. I’m Passionate About Your Right to Know
Throughout my recovery, I asked myself the following questions: What if I had not already known about Chinese Medicine? What if I had only known about the Western Medical paradigm? What might I have done out of fear and ignorance?
This is one of the main reasons why I have become impassioned about patient education. I can’t imagine trying to go through the healing process, immersing myself in this scary world of contradicting information while working a full-time job. Luckily, I had already decided to make a career out of alternative medicine. I’ve been super blessed with the amount of energy and time I’ve been able to devote to my research, and with the amount of patients I’ve been able to test my theories on and help.
4. I’m a Ninja, and Ninjas Kick Butt
Okay, not a ninja. But close. There are many styles of Chinese Medicine, just like there are many styles of kung fu. TCM, Five Element, Daoist. Pretty much every province in China had their own style.
What’s my style?
I don’t know. It’s unique. I honestly haven’t met anyone else who practices like me. I’m calling it ninja style. And I’m only half joking.
Over the past 9 years, I’ve traveled all over the world to learn from the most successful healers, and to become masterfully effective in order to help as many people as possible. I use techniques that are both mind-bogglingly simple, yet deeply profound in their results.
I’m not rigid or dogmatic. I’m not a purist about Chinese Medicine. I’m about results. So I’m not going to ignore some innovative breakthrough just because it’s not classical Chinese Medicine. I think that’s dumb. But that’s just me, the crazy ninja.
Speaking of which, I have skills. My husband calls me the human MRI. He says this because I’m known for being really good at diagnosis.
I’m good at diagnosis because I have some excellent tools.
1. Chinese Pulse Diagnosis
This sophisticated diagnostic method gives an uncannily accurate picture of what’s going on inside your body – and I’m not just talking blockages in those pesky acupuncture meridians that scientists find so difficult to measure. (As an aside, I believe science needs to put aside some dogmatic beliefs, and also create better technology, before they’ll ever understand Chinese Medicine.)
Back to the pulse – it is so accurate, we can actually measure levels of damage to the blood and organ level. I’ve sent patients back to their doctors forcing them to do more thorough blood work because their pulses were off. I can’t tell you how much resistance I meet from the doctors. It’s just lab work, people! And I was right! You’d think they’d listen to me after the first few hundred times.
2. Tongue Diagnosis
Believe it or not, your tongue reveals a lot of information about your health. So don’t stick your tongue out at me unless you want me to know everything. (You don’t want to glance through my iPhone album unless you want to see pictures of lots of tongues).
3. Asking Diagnosis
Quite simply, I know what I need to know to help patients, so I know exactly what to ask. Patients tell me that, during my initial exam, I always seem to know what questions to ask. That’s because I’m well trained.
4. Other Diagnostic Methods
I also use newer technology like Professional Applied Kinesiology, Nutrition Response Testing, Namburipad’s Allergy Elimination Technique, and Dr. Scott Walker’s Neuro Emotional Technique.
It’s not diagnostic method, but I’m not going to leave out the fact that I’ve been seriously training qigong, tai chi, kung fu, and zen meditation for years. The stuff is freaky powerful, and I feel like I’ve been given some minor superpowers as a result. Ninja!
I don’t blame you if the above bored you to death, so we’ll get on with the butt-kicking. While I’m well known by my kung fu classmates for my never-ending kicks, I’m talking about patient results here. I’m privileged to be at the center of a lot of healing for my patients. I’m not entirely sure how I do it, but all I know is that I get crazy results with my patients, even if they’ve previously seen acupuncturists and medical doctors with decades more experience.
I suspect that it is a combination of factors: one being that I am a balanced meld of Eastern and Western medicine. This means I speak both languages fluently. (I have far more training in Western medicine than MDs do in Chinese medicine.)
The second is that I can actually see the whole picture. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from patients that they are blown away because I can explain what’s happened to their bodies for them to end up where they are. This, after they’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars on specialists. I’ve even had a few who, prior to making an appointment, have gone to the Mayo Clinic and brought home nothing except a lighter wallet and less blood in their veins.
Over the years I’ve realized more and more that the body is an amazing thing – 50 trillion intelligent cells that function simultaneously as individuals and communities. My job has been to assist in the removal of whatever type of stress is blocking those cells, provide them what they need, and when I do that, they do their job quite well. I’m completely enthralled, and I’ve never left a session with a patient without feeling a sense of awe.
5. I’ll Tell You What the Heck to Eat
There is a ridiculous amount of conflicting information about food and nutrition out there. The general lack of journalistic integrity means that a half-assed study can be turned into an attention-grabbing headline, even if the study is inconclusive or just plain bad.
I’ve struggled with nutrition my entire life. I was raised vegetarian, and then went vegan for spiritual reasons. And then I ended up with an aggressive form of cancer. I thought, what the heck is going on?!? I was eating healthy! So began my reticence in trusting such ideas on faith alone just because it seemed like it should be healthy.
I was also about 25 lbs overweight due to thyroid, adrenal, hormonal, and blood sugar handling imbalances. I’ve corrected my metabolism enough to slowly and healthfully lose 20 of those 25 lbs over the past few years.
There are also a lot of awesome Paleo, Primal, GAPS, Weston A Price, and fitness blogs out there. There are a lot of good people sharing their personal experiences. I think that’s great, but I’m going to provide you my opinion based on years of clinical experience, in addition to my years of training.
6. I’m quirky
I was born in Venezuela, given a Japanese name at birth, I practice Chinese Medicine, and I look Indian. Can you beat that?
My husband and I live with a vivacious miniature schnauzer named Sergeant Pepper who has epic eyebrows and strives to be a therapy dog. To be honest, I’m convinced that Pepper thinks in a French-German accent.
I read more romance novels than my husband believes possible, and I proudly use Apple products. I like to eat food, take pictures of food, and talk about food.
I’ve been known to have a purple faux hawk and I take way too many pictures of my dog. And myself.
I also have a lot of fun at work. I’m not kidding. Maybe too much fun.