Hi! I'm Lisa.
I grew up here in Oregon, in a small logging community just south of Eugene. I’ve always had a passion for studying and learning and throughout my life have pursued a wide variety of interests -- biology, theater, fashion design, art, music, social studies, massage, finally receiving a degree in Fine Art with a focus on photography, printmaking, art history, and painting. While in school I held a variety of jobs and acted as a caretaker for my aging grandmother.
In the spring of 1993 I met a wacky fun guy who talked nonstop about learning forms, sparring, jumping, getting thrown around, Qi, the cultivation of Qi, and of his Sifu. His Sifu was Dale Freeman, and I started training with him in the winter of 1993. This is where my study of martial arts and Chinese medicine began.
I continued to learn from Dale for 5 years, studying in the style of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, with a focus on the internal culmination of qi. I learned approximately 20 different forms, qi gung exercises and tai qi.
Dale was also an acupuncturist, herbalist and all around badass. Outside of my regular scheduled classes once a week, two other students and I would go to his house and learn Chinese medical theory, the laws of yin and yang (the medicine of nature). By observing nature and the animals around them, ancient cultures learned to treat themselves.
We learned herbal medicine, acupressure and Tui Na. He would put us to work making herbal liniments to treat our bruises from sparring. We worked on him practicing our massage techniques and he would work on us with his massively strong hands that were also bizarrely soft. Here I learned that I could treat a cold, a sprained ankle and something as complex as genital herpes with a few needles, the right massage technique, and a few Chinese herbs. This medicine was amazing to me. I wanted to learn more. I had found my direction, my path, and a focus.
I had studied Swedish massage in Eugene at the Cascade Institute of Massage in 1988, but this style was very different. The pushing, grasping and rolling techniques used a power that came from inside, the qi, not just strength.
Here is how I understand qi: it is the spark in your lover’s eye, it is the energy and force we are born with, it can be supplemented with meditation, rest, and food but you only have so much of it. Qi should be conserved and used wisely. It is your life force. It is what leaves your body when you die.
I had always had a love for nature, biology and what our roles as humans in the process. Science and medicine fascinated me, but the math needed for a western medical degree tripped me up. I struggled through algebra in high school and college was worse, I didn't think medicine was in my future until I discovered TCM. Here was something I could grasp and relate to. I am so lucky and grateful to have found my path and am excited to share my practice with you.