David Schiman, M.Ac., Lic.Ac.
In the 4th grade, at the age of ten, I began to meditate. Not because I came from some long line of healers, but because I had been waking up in the middle of the night in agony.
My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Wolfe, was mean as a nest of hornets, and I was having nervous stomach pain. I was lucky that the ER doc told me I needed to learn to relax, instead of throwing a bunch of Ritalin or Prozac at me.
So, I began exploring ways to relax. I was into martial arts with my friend Jim, and had learned how to use my mind to overcome pain while fighting. I was a big science nerd, and I began to read about meditation and visualization exercises and bio feedback. Out of that, I began practicing a simple form of meditation. No gurus, no “grass hopper”, just a simple from of mental and physical relaxation.
It worked. I overcame my fears of Mrs. Wolfe, quieted my nervous stomach, and learned that the mind and the body are connected in ways we have just now begun to understand. Out of that, my interest in Chinese philosophy and ways of life were born. It also didn’t hurt that my grandfather, who had been stationed in China, had brought lots of Chinese artwork back from WWII………it was always there as a backdrop during my visits to their house. Funny how staring at a big Buddha for 18 years can make you wonder about the world!
After that early exposure to meditation and the power of the mind over the body, I began using sports as a sort of moving meditation. My favorites were basketball and volleyball because of the steady action and movement. Later, I became an avid cyclist.
My father’s mother taught me that you could eat things out of your yard, and that some plants were medicinal. My father’s father taught me about vitamins and standing on your head (he said it clears the brain and helps you live a long time….which evidently worked. Or maybe he lived a long time in spite of it 🙂 My mother taught me that eating right and getting rest were the most important things to good health. My dad taught me how to hit golf balls, be nice to people, and to do the hard work in life, first.
Later in life, I worked for Greenpeace, and was surrounded by people into all kinds of alternative healing work. That exposure to new ideas, and to the problems our planet faces, changed my life. After that, I began looking for a new career…. a career that would allow me to help other people, provide solutions to problems, and be a life long learning and growth process. This is something I can do until I am very old.
After much soul searching I discovered acupuncture. I explored many therapies, including chiropractic, massage, allopathic medicine, etc., but acupuncture seemed to be to be the very best fit for how I viewed health.
Acupuncture took into consideration all of who a person is, and all the influences on their life, including; diet, exercise, parent’s health, job and relationship stresses, sleep, and on and on. It is also profoundly effective, well established (3,000 year history), and extremely safe. It turned out that my wife’s college roommate’s mother was an acupuncturist. I went to visit her and she was radiant, happy, and very wise. I knew I wanted those qualities in my life. Then I met the faculty and students at the Tai Sophia Institute in Columbia, MD, and that sealed the deal!
I studied at Tai Sophia (then it was the Traditional Acupuncture Institute) for 3.5 years, earned a Master’s degree, and started my first practice. All together with the clinical portion of my studies, I have been practicing for over 17 years.
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