I’ve had a non-linear career journey. Reading tutor. Office administrator. Music teacher. Grant writer. Acupuncturist and herbalist.
What has been linear in my life, however, is a growing passion about health which ultimately inspired me to study acupuncture and herbal medicine. I know own my own clinic where I help people thrive in body, mind, and heart.
I LOVE what I do. I feel so grateful that I get to spend my days helping people feel better. It’s rewarding, it’s an honor, and there’s nowhere I would rather be.
Like many people, I first became aware of the value of health and wellness after a period of personal crisis. As I ended my junior year of high school, my mother was diagnosed with terminal lung and brain cancer, and I spent the next year watching her body and mind deteriorate. Over that time she lost all of her hair, lost all of her weight to the point of being skeletal, and suffered a stroke that left one side of her face paralyzed.
It was extremely difficult to witness.
I didn’t have the skills to cope with the situation, and I buried myself in school. I had a hefty academic load and I pushed myself to the brink of exhaustion with sleep deprivation from studying late into the night for months on end.
My mother lost her battle around the time I graduated from high school. Summer arrive, and I found that I was a wreck: physically, emotionally, and mentally. I was weak, exhausted, and grief-stricken and at some point I understood that some things needed to change. I needed to heal, first of all, from my grief and exhaustion. I also needed to learn some legitimate coping mechanisms. And I also needed to reset my priorities.
When I arrived at college, I found a grief counselor who helped me process my tangle of emotions. She introduced to me the concept of self-care and what it means to take good care of yourself and your body. I started cooking nutritious meals, making a point to get enough sleep, taking yoga classes, and meditating.
Over time, all of this effort made a huge positive impact on my well-being and happiness, and health and wellness became a core value for me.
Women’s Health & Chinese Medicine
I became interested in women’s health a few years later in my mid-twenties when I suddenly developed debilitating menstrual periods. These periods triggered vomiting episodes and left me curled up in a ball on the floor (and fantasizing about having my uterus surgically removed).
I visited my gynecologist, and I was shocked when she had little to offer me in terms of a satisfying diagnosis and treatment. She suggested hormonal birth control, but even then I understood that the Pill would only mask my symptoms, not heal my body. So I began seeking answers in the realm of holistic healthcare.
I was fortunate to meet an acupuncturist who not only set me on the path to healing, but also inspired me to pursue a degree in Chinese Medicine.
What really grabbed me about acupuncture was how it made me feel. My years practicing yoga and meditation had helped me become more conscious and aware of my mind and body, and as I was leaving my third or fourth acupuncture session, I realized that I was in an altered state. I was surprised to feel a profound depth of calm, peace, and relaxation that I had not anticipated. Though I had sought help for painful periods, what I was receiving was so much more than that.
I started to learn more about Chinese Medicine and felt a resonance with its holistic philosophy that included acupuncture, herbal medicine, and the idea of a nourishing one’s health through lifestyle and mindful living. My interest grew until I knew it was time to switch careers, and I started a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine. As I went through school, I was especially interested to learn about women’s health conditions because of my personal history. I discovered that many of the uncomfortable experiences that we take for granted as a "normal" part of living in a female body—PMS, painful periods, hot flashes—are, in fact, not normal, and are treatable by Chinese Medicine.
This same principle also applies to a myriad of other symptoms we all deal with on a regular basis: the symptoms are common, but they aren’t normal. And there is a holistic way to treat them.
It became my mission to be a resource for people who are suffering. I’ve been there, and I know how powerful it was to receive help when I most needed it.
It is my greatest wish that you will achieve your best health through this work and become empowered to live your most vibrant, healthy, and joyful life.
Julie Johnson is a licensed acupuncturist, board certified herbalist, and the owner of Seven Seeds Acupuncture. She is an NCCAOM Diplomate of Oriental Medicine and a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. She specializes in women’s health, and she is passionate about self-care and eco-friendly living. She loves combining these passions to help her clients get healthy and stay healthy for a lifetime.