In this interview, we ask Gabrielle Gottlieb, Why Alternative Medicine? What influenced her to start a practice using Asian and Alternative treatments for women’s health.
What is your earliest memory of Asian Medicine?
When I was 7 years old, I quite literally opened up the encyclopedia to the Bronze Man. I learned that Song Dynasty doctors had to practice their skills on these life-sized, bronze statues, marked with 365 acupoints, before treating patients. While certainly I was very young, I never forgot this image and say that chance is a very powerful thing.
Later, when I was 16, I saw a fascinating broadcast from China on television. Chinese doctors were performing heart valve surgery on a woman who was sedated with acupuncture, along with some chemical sedation, but she was awake. This fascinated me and is another point on my path I will never forget. Also while in high school, in Long Island, NY, l was introduced to yoga and meditation through a friend. I subsequently entered pre-med for my undergraduate degree and started teaching yoga at school.
What happened next?
While studying pre-med, and teaching yoga, I found myself wanting to emphasize prevention and lifestyle changes over medication of symptoms. I recognize and respect the value in Western biomedicine, and if someone needs surgery or medications, they need to take on these treatments. However for me, I wanted to learn more about prevention and lifestyle treatments, which led me to study Therapeutic Massage at the Swedish Institute.
I practiced medical massage for 17 years. My patients were amazing, and I thrived in this environment. Through building a connection with patients and dissolving their pain during long-term care, I observed common issues I wanted to explore more deeply
How did you really find Acupuncture?
Quite a few of my patients had health concerns which could not be addressed by massage alone. I myself was always very body oriented. I danced professionally and worked as a yoga teacher and fitness instructor, and was able to make the connection between mind, body and spirit not only for myself but in healing and offering healing treatments to patients.
However, I wanted to explore alternative therapies more deeply. I remembered the acupuncture surgery broadcast I had seen as a young woman, and started to explore acupuncture as my next phase.
I enrolled in the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, to earn my bachelors and masters of science in acupuncture. Taking over 3000 hours of academic training and externships gave me the courage, knowledge and direction of knowing exactly what I wanted to do for my patients.
What is your Professional Philosophy?
I take a holistic approach to healthcare. I empower my patients to do the same. By having a genuine interest in my patients health, growth and development, I want them to know they have the capability within them to get well, be well and maintain their health throughout their life.