Welcome to the first post for our blog series, Women Who Inspire. Since embarking on my journey with La Lune Apothecary, I noticed how much I have always enjoyed connecting with inspiring women who come across my path. My intention with these interviews is to inspire women and young girls to pursue their passions, break social norms, challenge the status quo, & make this world a better place.
Which brings us to Melissa. Melissa is a Chinese medicine practitioner and acupuncturist. Aside from her medical practice she also has a delightful blog called The Guide To Wellness, where she shares healthy recipes and natural products for home and body.
When and how did you first learn about your field of work? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I had always wanted a profession where I could help people. I had been diagnosed with scoliosis in my early 20's and decided to get chiropractic treatment. The treatments helped, but they also started to cause tightness and pain in my hip. Someone suggested that I try acupuncture for my hip and after a few treatments the pain was completely gone! I was amazed at how well the acupuncture worked. During this time, I wasn't in a happy mental space and wasn't taking care of myself. I continued the treatment for my back (since the hip wasn't an issue) and during the course of the sessions I found my self healing mental and emotional scars as well. I remembered the exact moment I found clarity and it was as if a dark cloud had been lifted from my mind. Acupuncture healed me not only physically, but it also helped me mentally and spiritually. After that, I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue.
Aside from being a Chinese medicine practitioner and an Acupuncturist, you have a beauty and wellness blog called ‘the guide to wellness’. When did you become interested in natural skincare products, and why are they important to you?
It started with food. After learning about how our commercial food industry is run I really started to think about what I ate. After that, it led to what I was putting on my body and using in my home. All these are important because the quality of the ingredients you use in daily life effects you in the long run. Commercialized body care products have fragrance and chemicals that extend shelf life, but these are not necessarily good for the human body.
What is your favorite La Lune Apothecary product and why?
I love the Besame lip balm. It goes on smoothly and keeps the lips hydrated. I also love the coffee scrub. It smells delicious and is invigorating, leaving my skin silky. I love the La Lune line because of the simple formulations and that many of ingredients come from farms!
What are some lessons you've learned while running your practice?
You want to help everyone, but sometimes there are people who come in and aren't the right fit. A lot of people come in with the mentality that you are going to heal them with a magic needle after one session because we are all accustomed to a quick-fix mentality. The body doesn't work that way, especially if it isn't working properly. Years of disease and damage won't heal in a day. It might take months or years. Everybody is different and we all have different healing capacities. Communication is also very important, not just what you say but how you communicate it. Not everyone is going to have the same understanding as you or as other patients. I've learned you must be clear and concise and communicate the right amount of information at the right time.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own healing practice/business?
Be patient. It takes time to grow a practice and it won't happen overnight. Remembering the intention of why you originally wanted to start your practice is an important goal to focus to on. There are also lots of different kinds of people who are going to come in that door. So keep an open mind. Boundaries are really important too, especially when patients are running late. It's important to respect everyone's time, and if someone is running late it can take away time from another patient and that's not fair. So you have to set boundaries on what is ok and what is not.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from a lot of places. Surprisingly, instagram or pinterest have many inspiring photos that give me ideas that I would have never thought about. I especially feel inspired when I see other humans being kind to one another. That inspires me to share the kindness and think of ways to spread that to other people.
What are you looking forward to in 2017?
I look forward to some traveling and spending time with my loved ones next year. But life is so fun in general that I'm and excited to be living in the time I live in.
How can people connect with you?