More about Dr. Catherine...
I grew up in a small New England town where my family trekked to the Unitarian Universalist church with a love for singing, an intellectual fervor for ethics, and a solid commitment that many paths lead to the Divine. I attended a liberal arts college focused on interconnectedness and finding common ground. My undergraduate and a masters degree are both in studio art, but Chinese language, Eastern philosophy, and martial arts training all pulled me in unexpected ways.
I found Chinese Medicine by happy accident. A good friend walked me into the studio of a martial arts and Feng Shui master, and I soon found myself receiving acupuncture. Simultaneously, I learned about deep listening based peer counseling, and was introduced to anti-racism and social justice work. From these two paths I began unwinding the homophobic, sex and body-shaming messages of my youth. At a crossroads considering abandoning my career path in art, I sought the help of a psychic. She saw me surrounded by thin, silver, falling objects pilling up by the thousands without harm - the spirits were calling them 'needles,' but they were not like any needle she'd ever seen. She told me if I ever found 'those needles,' I would have found my Destiny.
I wanted to understand more about about Feng Shui and Qigong, which share the same foundational theory as Chinese Medicine, so I registered for acupuncture school in Tucson AZ. That program incorporated year-long studies in Medical Qigong (healing others), self-cultivation Qigong, Tuina, Japanese acupuncture, and Worsley 5 Element theory. Covering the breadth of CM in general rather than focusing heavily in TCM / CCM / 5 Element was unique; the school also had a strong relationship with Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine program, and the ‘defining principles' of his program are a good basis for how I still think about medicine.
It was a Zen Priest in Tucson that confirmed my Feng Shui Mastery in 2004, the same year I began teaching weekly Qigong classes. In 2008 I began studying with a new Qigong Master who confirmed my own Mastery a few years later by asking why I did not believe my own students, who'd been calling me Master since 2010 ("Did you not train them well enough to see?" he asked).
My first book was released in 2019: Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Medicine is an empowering and gender fluid/non-binary take on all aspects of sexuality, relationships, and the emotional consequences of oppression. In 2021 I completed my Doctor of Acupuncture in Integrative Medicine through Five Branches University, focused on 'bridging the gap' between eastern and western thinking in healthcare. I have also taught at two acupuncture schools in the USA, and designed accredited programs in Gynecology and Medical Qigong.
Qigong remains my foundational root; this influence is evidenced in my teaching, my treatments, my writing, and in how I live my every day life. But every time I open a package of acupuncture needles, I remember my psychic's words, and I am always grateful to have found my Destiny.
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