PAMELA YAP, L.Ac, MSTOM
As a Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Herbalist, I received my Master of Science degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York in 2009. I am certified by the National Board (NCCAOM) in both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology. Completing the program and getting certified was only the beginning, however.
I have been studying Daoist philosophy since 1994, and started my Qigong cultivation under Micheal Tse's student Adam Wallace in 2005. In 2009, I came to a major watershed moment in my practice when I discovered Chi Nei Tsang (氣內腸) , a Daoist system of internal organ healing, under Mantak Chia’s students Karin Sorvik and Rob Renahan.
My Approach to Life and Healing
The Five-Phase Cycle (Water, Wood, and Fire, Earth and Metal) as an interdependent web of alchemical processes that make up the ecosystem of the person, runs deep in my approach to healing and to life. The body is of nature, and serves as a microcosm for the elegant intelligence present in all of life. I founded Acupuncture for All Seasons in 2010 based on this very principle: the incorruptible whole beyond the sum of its constantly changing parts. I am fully convinced that we are here to discover the abundance and generosity of the universe as it flows in our own bodies and through our life. We are here to help each other discover, embody, and share this with all beings and with the planet.
I have worked in various hospital settings such as St. Vincent’s Comprehensive Cancer Center (before it was dissolved) and the Lincoln Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry, but I have to say that it is really simply being a New Yorker for the last 15 years has given me a deeper understanding of the health gap that is aching to be closed in our time. More than food choices (which is what everyone obsesses with these days), this has to do with mindset factors, such as the capacity for focus and receptivity --- domething we need for actual digestion of so much stimuli. the loss of community meal time -- to the point that "I don't have time" to chew and make juice with my own saliva. Instead, I might go my juicer -- the quickest way to both prep and then chug down a meal. No chewing or mastication or churning involved Life has gotten too fast and too short for chewing anything. One gets obsessed with over-optimization of every little chunk of time and opportunity. If I don't schedule fun time for rest I don't know how to anymore. Isolation and loneliness haunt me in the midst of hyperactivity and hyper-productivity; stage 4 nature deprivation. All yang and no yin makes for fragile systems. We have all these gadgets, apps, and activities on our calendars, but when we are out of sync with our own bodies, we become impoverished, disconnected from our true nature, from the earth, and from each other. Nothing is more painful than feeling cut off from the greater whole.
Having the convenience of the grocery store and Amazon Prime deliveries makes it really easy to ignore that our health as a nation is directly tied to the health of our soil. If we are what we eat, we are only as good as our soil gets. -- the soil being the source of our food and medicine, and we have a long road of restoration to do as human race.
In our healing sessions, the first step is always grounding. It is the earth element. The most important place to start is this body; with all its sensations, emotions, hunger, needs, impulses,and conflicts; it's the most alive, and intelligent place to be -- where I am now. Coming back to the energy of receptivity to all life...sunshine, rain,..and building the inner resilience to overcome each challenge and grow into fullness, season after season, after season. There is an expression: to break ground. It refers to that precise moment when a seedling breaks through the soil and send out its leaves to receive the sun, and begins to interact with the environment in a fuller way than before. We are always breaking new ground, and I am here to support you in your unique trajectory.
I am grateful for the visionaries that I have had the privilege to study with:
- Jean Giblette of High Falls Garden , who back in 2008 showed me the very delicate balance at work in the soil, the delicate balance that allows us to harvest herbal medicine from forests and jungles and also from our own gardens. This work deeply affected my outlook of health as intricately tied to a bigger whole. It requires diversity -- the whole spectrum of yin and yang. It's wild, but at the same time, orchestrated. It brought me back to childhood wonder and nothing excites me more today than working with the soil and all its magic.
- Dr. Stephen Cowan, Developmental Pediatrician and acupuncturist whom I have come to know as "the cycle whisperer". Dr. Cowan's unique clinical practice these last 25 years has allowed him to integrate in a most embodied way the 5 Phase Cycle and the I-Ching 易經 with the evolutionary 7-8 year cycle (as detailed in the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine黃帝內經). His work helps me help parents, kids, and their teachers navigate the twists and turns of childhood development. And by children, I do mean from age 0 to 101. In truth, we are all kids still growing up together, and still learning to get along. As of this 2018, I have begun to offer coaching sessions in family dynamics along this line of work.
Our work as healers is to sense where cycles have been broken, where they need delicate mending, and to always see the person as a whole instead of a symptom that needs to be eradicated. I have these mentors to thank for keeping this path truly holistic for me.
Nature, the earth, the family, the body, the inner child -- these are vital foundations for the health of our community that I have the greatest joy of working with. I look forward to exploring with you groundbreakers.