I grew up in San Luis Obispo County, graduating from Morro Bay High School in 2002. At the age of nineteen I had not yet figured out my professional passion and I worked as a mechanic to support myself as I pursued my athletic interests: rock climbing, wakeboarding, surfing, and racing semi-professionally as a downhill mountain cyclist. I also enjoyed off-roading during this time, an activity that both serendipitously lead me to discover acupuncture and unfortunately lead me to experience a thoracic vertebrae compression fracture. I rolled my truck 200 feet down a steep ravine on the Cuesta Ridge in San Luis Obispo and I was lucky to survive. After the accident, I had back pain that persisted for years and kept me from pursuing the kind of active lifestyle I wanted. I tried the typical routes for treatment (some more effective than others), but I did not want to use painkillers long-term or undergo surgery. I began trying alternative exercise therapies like yoga and tai chi.
The relief I found from yoga eventually led me to live on an ashram in Colorado and then to pursue studies in Eastern philosophy and traditional Eastern arts as an undergraduate at Naropa University. My first exposure to acupuncture was during this time and I found profound personal relief and healing through these treatments. Through this experience, I found my passion for acupuncture, knowing that I wanted to help other people find ways to heal themselves even when the barriers to health seemed insurmountable.