Born and raised in Hawaii I grew up in a land of perpetual sunshine, warmth and unbelievable natural beauty. When I wasn’t in school or helping out in my parents’ medical clinic I could be found either playing sports, cliff jumping at Portlock Point, spear fishing in Waimanalo, or hiking through the rich and varied rainforests of the islands. I come from a place where the rain and wind have a hundred different names. The `aina’, or land, has never left my heart throughout all my travels and adventures in this life. I left for college determined to be an orthopedic surgeon and by the time I finished my four years at Occidental College in LA, my thoughts had been much changed. Playing volleyball for the school and working as an athletic trainer put me in touch with a lot of injuries and how they were cared for either surgically or medically. For the first time I realized that allopathic medicine couldn’t do everything and in some cases was a completely ineffective health care choice. Thanks to my liberal arts college, my mind had expanded and was now taking in ideas from around the world and through history. My desire to go to medical school had changed and off I went to travel the world to broaden my understanding of health and care.
My travels found me living in Parma, Italy where I learned to appreciate the quality of food and the effort it requires from the community to uphold such high standards. I also fell in love with the romantic cobble-stoned streets, centuries old buildings where craftsmen still hang their shingles, and music that made me dance like no other. Japan was a wonderful dive outside of anything I thought I knew. The intricate customs and attention to detail in the strife to uphold integrity had a profound effect on me. Never have I seen people laugh and welcome you so warmly and yet maintain such high standards of performance and work. The food was also the widest range of ingredients I had eaten to date. New Zealand was my backpacker’s dream with no schedule, no work, and no limitations on what I could do. I went white water rafting, rappelling down mountains, driving on the beach in the water for miles on end, caving in the pitch dark and meeting locals who would show me good music and food. Brazil was next as my desire to see the world grew even more. I taught English at an adult school in Santa Cruz do sul, a very small town inland from the southern most border to Argentina. If Italy was the light that clicked on in terms of how much I love to dance, then Brazil was the stage for which it shined. I danced in our town’s carnival parade, I sambaed the bodega’s in the country side of the summer season, and I came to understand the absolute joy of living life Brazilians embrace so wholeheartedly. I had never been in a country where poverty existed side by side with the affluent and no one really cared. There was no law, there were no rules, it was everyone for them self. It was at the end of these travels in South America that I decided to return home and pursue my medical education.
Returning to Hawaii I enrolled at a Chinese medical school much to the surprise of people who knew me. My travels had excited me to adventure beyond the accepted norm to find varied perspectives on living and therefore health care. I studied for three years in an apprenticeship type school while working in a Pilates based physical therapy clinic. My last year saw me doing an internship at my father’s clinic as well, learning as much as I could about Western medicine’s strengths and weaknesses. And of course there was lots of free-diving and cliff jumping in whatever spare time I had.
I moved to San Francisco to attend another Chinese medical school with a much more academic approach towards the medicine. It was here that the herbal side of the medicine came to life for me. I finished in June of 2011 after 5 years of treating patients clinically, teaching qi gong, cooking herbal meals and working with people one on one to help shift them towards their idea of health. I realized that in order to be a good physician I would need to see a lot of people and continue to work with those who were dedicated towards mastering this body of knowledge. And this is how I came to be at Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Poulsbo, Washington. It has been a warm and wonderful welcoming by the community and I am so pleased to continue to develop my skills as a practitioner while living in such a beautiful part of our country. If anyone has any suggestions for good food or a good hike I would love to sit and have a good chat!