I should start with an introduction, since you haven’t heard from me here before. My name is Kara Howell, and I’m the social media manager and content creator here at Miridia Technology. I love Chinese Medicine. I also happen to be Dr. Larsen’s second-oldest daughter.
When I started working for Miridia Technology 2 years ago, I was fresh out of my undergrad with a shiny new diploma. My degree? Communications, with a Digital Media emphasis. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed—bursting with ideas and enthusiasm to transform Miridia’s social media presence and reinvent video production techniques.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job here at Miridia. It’s truly the best job I’ve ever had (and I’m not just saying that because my Dad is my boss). I’ve loved getting to know so many talented and warmhearted practitioners and learning more about Chinese Medicine. I’ve loved working with family and friends in a tight-knit staff full of believers. And I’ve loved serving you. But two years ago as I settled into this new position, I really believed that I had “reached my final destination,” per se, and now I could sit back and enjoy what I’d accomplished. That’s where I was wrong.
Have you ever experienced that before? The relief of completing a goal, accompanied by the understanding that you’ve finished your preparations and can now sit back and reap the rewards?
Life so often manages to rip the rug out from under us in these moments. Bemused, it offers stunning new possibilities and revelations. It opens our eyes to a whole new world we had never considered before. And that’s exactly what has happened to me.
After 2 years of believing I would NEVER put myself through college again, I’m applying for acupuncture school.
Inspiration Hits Hard
The truth is, if you’re reading this, it’s your fault. No, really. It’s all your fault. Practitioners like you have inspired me, touched my heart, opened my eyes and completely changed the trajectory of my life. I’m now hurdling headfirst toward the beautiful world of Chinese Medicine, 3 years of graduate school and a future that looks nothing like the one I expected.
I grew up in a family that practiced holistic healthcare religiously. I was raised on organic fruits and vegetables. Frequent chiropractic adjustments kept my siblings and me happy and well, and life’s struggles were remedied with powerful acupuncture points. Yin Tang to help us relax and sleep. Stomach 36 for energy and strength. Heart 7 in times of anxiety. I’m immeasurably grateful to my parents for that.
Though I was always passionate about natural medicine, I never thought I could become a practitioner myself. I knew that acupuncture school was expensive. All the schools were in big cities. It’s way too much science for my creative, right-brain mind. Plus, I probably wasn’t smart enough anyway. So I was able smother this quiet whisper of a dream because I thought it was out of reach, and settled for a more “accessible” career path instead.
Looking back, I’m glad I did. I’m so glad I learned about marketing, communications and digital media, because that knowledge paved the way for my job here at Miridia. I also believe that these skills will come in handy someday when I open up a practice. It’s amazing how the stones of our walkways are laid. We get to see where we’re placing one foot, but have no idea where the path will lead in the long run.
Chinese Medicine Changed My Life
So, what was the catalyst for this life-altering decision? What pushed me over the edge?
Last summer, my husband Trevin developed a terrible, recurring cough. It all started with one pesky cold that morphed into bronchitis. As soon as his cough would start to improve, he’d fall ill with a new respiratory virus which reawakened the cough. His condition progressed into pretty severe asthma—something he’d struggled with as a kid, but which hadn’t affected him for close to twenty years.
Around the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, his symptoms were starting to really scare us. He woke up multiple times each week in the middle of the night with asthma attacks that left him coughing, wheezing, and struggling to breathe. We didn’t know whether the asthma put him at greater risk of complications if he were to contract COVID. Western Medicine could offer us nothing—except steroids. Doctors told us he would need drugs for the rest of his life. We couldn’t accept that. And though we kept an emergency inhaler on hand just in case, we hoped we wouldn’t have to use it. In our eyes, Immune-suppressing steroids weren’t the best option in the midst of a global pandemic.
An Acupuncturist’s Diagnosis
So, just as hope was about to fail us, we reached out to a long-time AcuGraph User, Robin Ray Green. I remembered meeting her at our 2019 Symposium and hearing that she specialized in treating asthma. Coincidentally (nothing’s a coincidence) she had also just moved from California to Idaho and lived only a few minutes down the road. She was eager and happy to help. From our first meeting, she was attentive, empathetic and positive. She listened to us. Eased our fears. She really believed that acupuncture could help. What a night-and-day difference from our experience with western medicine!
After Robin graphed Trevin with AcuGraph, she told us how his symptoms related to the imbalances in his graph. She explained the concept of Spleen Dampness, and how that dampness can spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs and the heart. Then, she told us about the concept of a “lingering pathogenic factor” in Chinese Medicine, and the likelihood that the asthma was caused by both patterns of imbalance and lingering pathogens that his immune system hadn’t been able to fully fight off since that first cold so many months ago.
Using gentle acupuncture, a clinically-proven herbal formula, gua sha, cupping and light therapy patches, she treated him weekly. She also encouraged lifestyle changes he could implement to support his recovery.
His recovery was utterly shocking to me. I had always believed in Chinese Medicine, but I had never seen it work so quickly, and so undeniably, without any other adjunct treatments. Within a week the asthma attacks were gone, and within a few more weeks, the cough and wheezing faded. Now, just three months after his treatment began, he’s an entirely new person and very rarely experiences any symptoms. His graphs are green and squeaky clean.
Not only did acupuncture help tremendously with his asthma, but it also took care of many other pesky symptoms he had dealt with his entire life. Frequent bouts of brain fog, seasonal allergies, nausea, dizziness, digestive issues and fatigue had plagued him for years. Acupuncture reduced the frequency and severity of all these issues.
Trevin’s recovery was miraculous to me (and it also converted him, so win-win, right?) If acupuncture could help me in such a powerful way when I was so hopeless and afraid, how many other people out there must desperately need it? Suddenly all the reasons why becoming an acupuncturist was impossible before had vanished from my mind. I had found my calling.
Chinese Medicine Changes My Life (AGAIN)
I have a newfound passion and mission. I want to continue to spread the word about the efficacy of Chinese Medicine through social media and video content here at Miridia…
But additionally, I want to learn this amazing healing system myself so that I can directly contribute to the health and happiness of my brothers and sisters in this big, beautiful human family. Acupuncture has now officially changed my life in two ways—first, by helping my husband heal, and second, by opening my eyes to a new calling.
As part of my application for Middle Way Acupuncture Institute, I created this video, called “Created to Thrive.” I hope you’ll watch it and share it with friends, family and patients—especially those who are struggling.
Created to Thrive
I hope this inspires someone out there to try acupuncture. I hope it whispers hope to someone feeling lost and afraid… just like I was. Suffering through sickness, or watching someone you love suffer through sickness, is so dark and defeating. But if there’s one message of hope I want to leave with you, it is this: Just like this wild and free, ever-changing, beautiful world we live in, YOU are resilient beyond measure. You were created to thrive.
Thank you, ALL of you, for the ways you have inspired me and so many others. Thanks for bringing the beauty and wisdom of Chinese Medicine to the world in such a selfless way. For sharing your Qi and opening your hearts to help others heal. Thank you for spreading the hope of healing in your circle of influence.
Keep your eyes wide open—because there really is a whole world of possibilities out there, and you never know what may call to you next.
I wish you all peace and resilience in these difficult times, and courage to follow your dreams, whatever they may be. I’ll keep you updated on mine.
Humbly & With Love,