It's time for another Practitioner Profile! This time around we are getting a closer look at our Registered Acupuncturist Bonnie Adam's goals, dreams, and "Why" moments.
Q: What made you enter your field of practice?
A: I have been a Reiki Master and energy worker for over 15 years. I have tried many different kinds of natural and complementary therapies over the years. For several years different health practitioners had been suggesting that I try acupuncture. My Shiatsu therapist, my chiropractor and my massage therapist had all suggested acupuncture for different issues I was experiencing. Believe it or not, I, an acupuncturist, was afraid of needles! I wasn’t deathly terrified or anything. I could give blood or have a blood test, but I couldn’t stomach the idea of several needles going into my body. I resisted trying acupuncture for a long time. I heard about how effective it was, but I still could not convince myself to give it a try. Until the day I put my back out. That was about 10 years ago now. I had put my back out once before, several years earlier, and I had been incapacitated for two weeks. I remember lying on my back, staring at the ceiling, zoned out on muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. It took many more weeks to truly recover and I didn’t want to go through that again. So, this time, I got over my fear and tried acupuncture. My back injury was the just as severe, or maybe a little worse than it had been the first time, so I was expecting to be out of commission for a while. To my surprise and delight, I was back on my feet in only three days! No weeks of lying in bed on medication. No weeks of slow and tedious recovery! I was hooked! To me, acupuncture was a miracle! Needless to say, I was ready to try acupuncture for other issues I was having, such as hormonal imbalances and menstrual pain. I found it to be extremely useful for those issues as well, so the next thing I knew I had signed up to learn how to do acupuncture myself.
Q: What is the most rewarding experience you have had in your practice?
A: It is really difficult to choose only one experience when you get to help people every day, but I think the most rewarding experience was when I was able to help a client with an extreme case of frozen shoulders. This client worked loading trucks all day for 20 years. Somehow, he was managing to work through the pain and limitations of having 2 frozen shoulders. He could barely lift his arms at all. After the first 3 treatments we still weren't making a difference in his symptoms. He was a real trooper and kept coming for treatment. I ramped up the treatments, using every tool in my toolbox. We did massage, cupping therapy, and acupuncture with electrical stimulation every week for nearly 2 months. After 2 months we finally got him loosened up. He was able to recover almost complete range of motion and can now go to work almost free from pain. Friends were asking him if he had been on vacation or recovered from some grave illness, because the constant look on pain on his face had disappeared. He has become a regular client, coming in monthly to prevent a relapse.
Q: What is one thing about yourself that no one would guess?
A: I once had a very interesting second job. I worked with race horses. My job title was, “Test Inspector.” A “Test Inspector" is responsible for taking urine samples from horses to check for doping. One of the main job requirements was the ability to whistle a certain tune that was supposed to encourage the horses to do their stuff.
It was actually the most dangerous thing I have ever done.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have visited?
A: Just last fall I went to Thailand and Cambodia for 2 and a half weeks. It was a volunteer trip. I stayed in a house in rural Thailand with an elephant in the back yard. I cut bamboo with a machete to feed our elephant and rode around in the back of a truck so old that it had to be started with a hand crank. I helped to walk a herd of elephants to the river and give them a bath. They love having their heads scratched just like puppy dogs. In Cambodia I volunteered teaching English to children in a small school and explored the ruins of ancient temples. If you ever get a chance to take a tour with the Bamboo company, I highly recommend it!
Q: What is your favorite pastime away from the clinic?
A: I really just love to hang out and connect with friends, family and my partner Wayne. I enjoy hiking and walking my dog and my son's dog. Family is everything to me. I have 3 children, 2 of them into their 20's now. Raising my kids and running a business pretty much takes up most of my time. As I write this I am at my 16 year old son's volleyball tournament. He has played REP volleyball for 4 years. We commute to Mississauga 4 times a week for practice and his team recently won silver in the Ontario Campionships. You could say I am a proud volleyball mom!
Thanks for sharing with us Bonnie! It's always fun to find out a bit more about our practitioners and what makes them tick!