Next in our practitioner spotlight series: Jeff, our Portland, Ore., store manager, who also happens to be a licensed acupuncturist. Read on to hear more about his holistic healing philosophy.
Why did you decide to become an acupuncturist?
I became a licensed acupuncturist in 1999 after my return from the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa. I had become severely ill with malaria, and it was acupuncture and Chinese herbs that helped me get well after a relapse using Western medication. Alternative health care, in particular homeopathy, is something I have always been interested in and utilize with my family. Acupuncture was the perfect career for me to pursue after my own healing experience with Chinese medicine.
What’s your favorite part of being a practitioner with Pharmaca?
I like helping people and providing them with different perspectives, information and treatment options to help them achieve their wellness goals. There are so many options available to find good health and happiness and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experience with anyone who is interested in hearing about it. I love being a Pharmaca practitioner because of all the resources we have available—from multiple modalities of health products to traditional goods to herbal medicines and nutritional supplements. It allows us to be truly integrative in assessing and treating our customers’ needs.
What Pharmaca product can you not live without?
There are so many amazing products, it’s hard to choose only one! Host Defense Agarikon is a supplement I take daily. It is made by an eco-conscious company based in Olympia, Wash. that has done a lot of research on the mycelium (root system) of mushrooms. The Agarikon is very nutritive and tonifying, which will help give a boost to all of your body’s systems. You only need to take it once a day.
Paul Stamets, their founder, is doing a lot of good to change the world, too. Agarikon has been around for 1000s of years in native culture and because of his efforts, he was able to have a large portion of old growth forest officially protected. Stamets has also launched an initiative to protect bee’s and has developed a protocol using Host Defense products to strengthen the bee’s immune systems.
Another of my daily recommendations is HealthForce Antioxidant Extreme. This supplement does wonders for the skin by increasing circulation and promoting blood flow. It also boasts a high antioxidant content, which can help your skin keep looking young and fresh.
I also love the Gaia Herbs Hawthorne Supreme. Hawthorne is helpful with most anything heart-related as it relaxes the musculature of the heart. I went through a period of my life when I had severe chest pains and tried everything from swimming, yoga, Rolfing and chiropractic to reduce the pain. As soon as I started taking hawthorne, I could feel the tension in my body relax and the pain disappeared almost immediately. These are amazing products!
What’s your top tip for health?
I drink a lot of water, stretch daily including a regular Qi Gong* practice, and eat broccoli almost every day!
*Qi Gong is a philosophy based in Taoism that works to generate energy in body (qi = energy, gong = work). It works with the breath and specific movements to exercise your organs and help balance the mind-body energy. It mirrors the ebb and flow of the body in relation to nature.