Yoon Carolyn Lee

I want to take this time to tell you a little about myself and why I came to study acupuncture.

As an undergraduate, I studied comparative literature at the University of California, Riverside. I enjoyed immersing myself in the great survey of literature, starting from ancient readings to modern classics.

While I read these stories of characters on an epic journey, I struggled to make sense of my own place in the world. This lead me to earning a master’s degree in Asian Literature at Cornell University. I wanted to understand the historical influence and cultural context of my experiences.

During my studies, I came upon Jungian psychoanalysis. In particular, Jung’s concept of the collective consciousness and his exploration of the subconscious resonated with me. The idea that archetypal symbols and energies in our imagination also live in our bodies opened up a new world for me. I continue to be fascinated by Jung’s journey into his own psyche and his discoveries of the subconscious world.

These insights led to many other questions about the meaning of life, how things came to be and why, and my growing unease that in our modern life there seemed to be a widening chasm between the body, mind, and soul. My continued pursuit for answers finally lead me to study acupuncture at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.

What I learned from the theories underlying East Asian Medicine is that nature exists as a web of intricate interrelationships.

At the very core of this medical knowledge is a philosophy and deep reflection of what it means to be human. East Asian Medicine examines the universal principle governing the body, mind, and spirit. The movement of yin and yang interaction is the law of the universe that gets played out in our bodies. One cannot isolate or take disease out of one’s context –  the context being the person’s environment. This is one’s daily thoughts, deepest wishes and pain, and one’s imagination about his past and future. A person continually unfolds – she carries the DNA of her ancestors, and this creates the material substance of the body and the energetic circuits necessary for its movement. This is the beginning of East Asian Medicine’s wisdom – an insight that opened up a new possibility for imagining the human condition.

Through my studies, I came to appreciate the experience we have as human beings – there are dimensions and realms of our existence that we have yet to discover. It is richer and far more powerful than I could have imagined. I am learning that the potential for healing is arduous and complex, yet limitless, and also full of joy and wonder. Spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle says,”We live in the dance between form and essence. And often suffering, pain, and disease are the best teachers we have to discover how to dance this dance well.”

The journey to healing can often be confounding, and understanding the connection between health, happiness, and sense of purpose can seem insurmountable. But it doesn’t have to be. I and many others can help. It begins with small steps building toward unlocking your full potential, creativity, and humanity.

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” – Rumi (Persian Sufi mystic and poet)

Acupuncture can address many practical aspects of your health, but ultimately, it’s a journey into yourself. The long-term goal of acupuncture is about bringing awareness to your deepest expression of who you are, how you move and interact with your world. It can serve as a guide to understanding where you feel stuck in life, what habitual thoughts, emotions, and movement patterns limit your potential and prevent you from living a freer and more creative life.