Many people ask why I went into acupuncture and natural medicine. Well, it didn’t start that way. I grew up in a family where my parents both worked at hospitals. My mom was a registered nurse on the high-risk maternity unit and my dad, was a financial analyst at another hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. You should have heard the conversations at our dinner table. I was always asking what my mom got to treat each day. She inspired me and I knew I wanted to get into healthcare!
Shortly after turning 40, I experienced an event that changed my life. I found myself constantly fatigued, and experienced a concussion while skiing due to this fatigue. I ended up in the emergency room where my lab tests showed a thyroid disorder called Hashimotos thyroiditis. When diagnosed, the doctor said to me, “We’ll check your labs every month, because you’re in a state of hyperthyroidism, and your body will continue to kill off your thyroid, and then you will go into hypothyroidism and be on a thyroid pill the rest of your life.” It was the only solution any of the doctors had. Not being satisfied with only one option I thought to myself, where is plan B?
I decided I was going to get into western medicine. I enrolled get my EMT and Wilderness EMT license. I was working double shifts, going to school at night, and frankly not taking care of myself. I got extremely sick with a kidney infection and was near septic shock. I was admitted to the hospital for five days where I was diagnosed with an acute kidney infection. I asked why this did not become a urinary track infection (UTI) first, but went right to my infected kidneys. My doctor’s response was to put me on antibiotics, and have a surgeon come in to talk to me about taking out my gallbladder. I couldn’t believe how this was snowballing downhill. Antibiotics, thyroid issues, lifelong medication, and gallbladder removal . . . what was next?
Enter plan B. I went back to the drawing board to discover what I wanted to do with my life. My intuition was telling me to switch gears, to look at natural ways to heal my body, and to avoid antibiotics and surgery. I chose acupuncture, and natural medicine found me.
Within the first week of attending classes at Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I knew I had found my path. Everything the instructors were saying made so much sense. The more sense it made the more I wanted, and needed, to learn.
Acupuncture naturally balances the body and then herbs treat internal issues. When practiced together they solve problems western medicine simply medicates to mask the symptoms, or performs surgery to cut out problems, and then prescribes more medicine to mask the pain of surgery.
During this first semester of school, I realized my earlier kidney infection was in large part due to dehydration. I still have my gallbladder because there are Chinese herbal formulas that break up gallstones. Surgery was not necessary, but it was the only solution western medicine offered me. Also, I am not on any thyroid medication because diet plays a huge part of my health picture.
Yes the classes were difficult, but they made sense by naturally healing the body. I’m not going to say it was easy with all the late night studying and all the national boards to pass, it was challenging, and yet so rewarding.
After four and a half years of studying acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and earing two masters degrees, I still wanted to learn more. In my practice, I learned many people are afraid of needles. While at the Institute of BioEnergetic Medicine, we learned how to treat the whole body through the ear with biofeedback. We learned how biofeedback scans (using ultrasonic frequencies), show food allergies, vitamin deficiencies, and assess risk of disease at the pre-clinical stage. After three years at The Institute of BioEnergetic Medicine, I earned my Doctorate in Natural Medicine.
It’s been a journey, one that found me, and one I’m very proud of. I love helping people naturally, and it all works so well together, to “Get to the Root of the Cause.”
Tami L. Clark is a Doctor of Natural & Sacred Medicine and an NCCAOM Board Certified, Licensed Acupuncturist in the State of Colorado, as well as a Reiki Master/Teacher, a Nationally Certified Auricular Therapist and a Nationally Certified Biofeedback Practitioner. She is also a mom of four great kids, a part-time ski instructor at Breckenridge Ski Resort and has lived in the county for fourteen years.
Tami L. Clark, DNM, Dipl.Ac, LAc, CBC, ACIC, Reiki Master/Teacher