Dr. Kathleen Murray D.Ac., L.Ac.
I don’t recall the first time I heard the word “acupuncture,” but I know the concept always intrigued me. I wasn’t the first person in my family to see an acupuncturist– my husband Matt actually tried it a few years before I did. He had suffered with severe allergies for many years, and was frustrated and willing to try almost anything. One option was allergy shots, but as he put it, he was “afraid of needles,” and acupuncture sounded like a better option. That may seem counterintuitive, but the needles used in acupuncture are filiform needles, which are very thin, flexible, and solid rather than hollow, nothing like hypodermic needles.
After a few months of receiving acupuncture treatment from Margaret, we began to notice Matt’s symptoms easing. Twenty years later, he is seeing the same acupuncturist about once a month, for maintenance. He credits acupuncture for not only a reduction in his allergy symptoms, but also for improvements in his overall health and well-being.
My personal experience as an acupuncture patient began a few years after Matt’s, and was deeply transformative. Although generally I managed to navigate my day-to-day life well, I struggled at times with significant fears and frustrations, and a tendency to dissociate when I felt overwhelmed. Since childhood, I had had a sense that feeling better was possible, and that life did not have to be so difficult. After I’d reached 30-something, I decided to seek support and guidance, and was fortunate enough to find a wonderful therapist, Lynn. Soon after I began working with Lynn, I began to see Matt’s acupuncturist, Margaret, as well. Thanks to the dedication and skill of those two women, and some hard work, I began to see profound changes in myself. I learned to quiet the messages my brain produced that caused my body to react with anxiety and fear; I stopped dissociating and learned to stay mindfully present both within my physical body and to the world around me. Lynn credited acupuncture as having a significant therapeutic impact, and I agreed. I felt like I had shed layers of hastily thrown-on, ill-fitting garments, and was now standing gratefully in my own comfortable skin.
Prior to my decision to apply to graduate school, my professional life consisted primarily of finance and accounting work for small businesses and nonprofits. Although I was fortunate enough to support a number of wonderful, mission-driven organizations, I remained curious about what other sort of work I could do that might impact the health and wellness of others more directly. I began to see the impact acupuncture was having on my life, and then, to my amazement, discovered that a school teaching this medicine was less than 30 minutes from my home. I began my studies in January 2014, graduated with my Master of Acupuncture (M.Ac.) degree in December 2019, and later my Doctor of Acupuncture (D.Ac.) degree in August 2020.
These days, I feel like the luckiest person on earth. My goal is to take what I have learned and pay it forward to you and your loved ones, as you all work to feel better. It’s a path more easily taken with support, and that is what I am committed to providing.