Gillian Rose, L. Ac. of Twelve Rivers Medicine, in Seattle WA (2014 graduate)
Hi Gillian, please tell us about your practice.
I started my practice, Twelve Rivers Medicine, about 6 months after graduating from DT, in my hometown, where I hadn’t lived for 8 years. It’s a solo practice, but I share a common space, waiting room, amenities and good conversation with three other practitioners who practice a range of modalities.
I focus on the treatment of chronic pain, nervous system regulation, digestive problems, mental health, autoimmunity and hormone regulation. But seeing as Chinese medicine is a whole health system, I end up treating everything else as well. I have such humble gratitude to be treating a lot of people who are underrepresented and underserved in the health industry. It is an honor to care for them. Most patients continue to see me off and on as needed. Some have been coming regularly for the 5 1/2 years I’ve been in practice.
I was a little intimidated to move back to Seattle and start a practice somewhere that already has so many acupuncturists. But I have such a supportive community of friends and family, it was clearly the right decision. I have a thriving practice, and I think the fact that I practice a different style of Chinese medicine than most practitioners here is a benefit. One thing I’ve kept in mind, is a sense of abundance. I feel no need to compete with other acupuncturists. I want to work with other acupuncturists to educate those who have never tried Chinese medicine on how it can benefit their lives. I really believe in Chinese medicine. I have seen the difference it makes in people’s lives and the empowerment it offers by encouraging one’s own inner knowing.
Any nuggets of wisdom you can offer our soon to be graduates about life after DT and/or building a practice?
My education at DT allowed me to find my own deep connection to the medicine. Memorization of specific points, herbs and protocols is less important than learning how to think about Chinese medicine. If you really learn and understand treatment strategy, you can apply it to herbs, points, food, stones, anything. You can be creative and find your own style. I think staying engaged in the medicine this way keeps it interesting, keeps you paying close attention to each patient and each problem in the present moment. Then practicing Chinese medicine feels like a love, a passion, instead of just a job.
How did your education at DT inform your practice?
I felt like the education at DT gave me enough knowledge and confidence to start my own practice across the country from my cohort and mentors, which is a big deal. And Jeffrey Yuen really emphasized, and I took this to heart, how to understand treatment principles and strategies deeply so as to use them creatively. That concept allowed me to have a personal relationship with the medicine, to make it my own and keep evolving as I practice.
What currently inspires you?
Resilience inspires me. I see it on a personal level with patients who struggle but still find beauty and joy in the world. I see it on a national level in movements of people actively fighting against oppression and greed in creative ways. I see it universally in the way the natural world continues adapting its rhythm to survive.
What has made you laugh lately?
My own mistakes! I really try not to take myself too seriously.