My name is Morgan, and I have the good fortune of being the twin sister to Danielle Talley, Acupuncturist Extraordinaire. Over the last 18 months, Danielle has grown her business, Avenue Acupuncture, at a blistering pace. She went from seeing roughly ten patients a week back in September of 2015 to presently treating over 40 a week with a wait-list that is growing by the day.
This kind of growth does not come from dumb luck or even smart luck. Rather, Danielle has skills that reach beyond inserting needles at the right spot. My sister would call herself a vehicle for the medicine, saying “It’s not me, it’s the medicine,” but she is only half right. Chinese medicine is amazing and to us Western medicine folks, it is also kind of like magic. You place a needle the width of a human hair in my ear, and my stomach feels better? What?! Magic!! In all seriousness, though, Danielle is sharing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with the North Country and let me tell you, the North Country loves it.
As I reflect on the success of the practice a few thoughts cross my mind. As Danielle’s publicist, bookkeeper, PR person, Sales & Marketing person and sister I would like to be able to take some small credit for her success but truly I cannot. She has done the work that has allowed her to complete over two thousand treatments. If you have ever met Danielle then you know her demeanor is such that it allows her to bring both tough love (stop eating junk food that makes you feel sick) and at the same time empathy (I’m sorry you are feeling sick, let me try to help you). However, Danielle has other skills that set her apart. She takes the time to educate her patients on the medicine, and she takes her time with each appointment. Each treatment is tailored to individual needs on that day which means the treatment could be different every time for every person. She takes detailed notes so she can track her cases and ensure progress with each patient.
Her practice is holistic in the sense that she looks at the body completely. She looks for the root cause of the problem and not just at the symptoms. Sometimes this can be a challenge especially, with a chronic condition. She explained it to me once by describing it as a stream. Think about how a blockage upstream can cause the stream to stop running. We have to identify the root cause of the blockage. It makes complete sense when you shift your mindset from a more symptom-based Western medicine approach. Western medicine absolutely has its place - you would never visit Danielle for a compound fracture or a ruptured appendix as she would not have the tools to support that type of medical issue. However, post-surgery she could apply techniques to help increase blood flow and accelerate healing time. The two types of medicine work together in harmony.
Danielle has shared some remarkable patient success stories with me. She has had infertility cases achieve pregnancy, she has been a key contributor to jump-starting labor in overdue pregnancies, and even more remarkable, Danielle has helped restore clear hearing to a patient with an unexplained ringing in the ear! She has successfully helped dozens of patients achieve significantly reduced pain and overall improved well-being.
I am a patient of Danielle’s (I would assume her least favorite one because she has taught me so much that I think I know how to treat myself – so that you know, I do not). She calls this patient-directed care, which in my case is sort of like thinking I can drive a tractor trailer just by watching some else drive one (so that you know, I also cannot do that). She makes sure to tough love me into remembering I did not study Chinese Medicine for three years (including an internship in China) and I am not qualified to self-diagnosis.
Acupuncture has changed my life. With Danielle's help, guidance, and care I was able to stop taking a medication I was on for 9 years which was a huge accomplishment. My digestive issues and chronic headaches have also dramatically reduced with a combination of acupuncture and herbs. Finally, and most importantly she has taught me the value of self-care.
As much as we want to care for everyone else in our lives, we must care for ourselves first. Whether you are the tired mom that hasn’t slept for years or whether you are the busy professional that puts work first always, you need to care for you first. For me, sometimes self-care comes in last, after work, walking the dogs, cleaning the house and just about anything else. Ok, so it pretty much always comes in last.
It’s hard for me to look in a mirror and ask myself, “Hey Morgan, what do you need?” It some cases, it makes us feel guilty, or maybe we truly don’t like what we see in the mirror. Maybe we don’t want to give up chips or soda or beer. I get that, but if TCM and Danielle have taught me anything, it’s that you will not get better without adjusting course. Your actions contribute to your overall well-being, so sometimes you have to turn that ship around. The more open minded you are about changing course, the more successful a new type of medicine may be for you.
Whether you are reading this as an enthusiastic patient of Danielle’s or newcomer to Chinese Medicine, I invite you all to step back, reflect and open your mind to the possibilities that Chinese Medicine can add to your self-care routine. Lastly, huge congratulations to my baby sister (yes, by 6 minutes!) on the early success of your business, I have, without a doubt, hit the sister lottery!
Vice President of Sales & Marketing