Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Rufus Fuller.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have wanted to be a doctor all my life. I wanted to help people feel good. I knew by High School I did not want to practice Western Medicine. I felt the medicine lacked compassion and was not empowering. By my teenage years, I was consuming as much alternative thought I could and even experimenting with herbs as well as fasting. However, I did not know if there was another way I could be a doctor aside from the traditional route of university. I knew of herbalists and my family used nonbiomedical remedies all the time, unfortunately the remedies were delivered like drugs, in other words, you get sick take these and the herbalist behaved more like salespeople. So I worked hard and got into college. In college, few things really continued to disrupt my original trajectory.
First, I was born and raised in the hoods of Compton and South Central LA and when I got to school, I felt out of place. That was compounded by my feeling that the end goal would not be what I truly desired.On the other hand, I really enjoyed the learning environment and the multitude I things I could study. I took classes in whatever interested me and not what I major dictated. Finally, I had two children by the end of my sophomore year. I took a break from school during this time. I moved to the country and attempted to break away from society. I grew my own food, made my own clothes continue to study and use herbs. Eventually, I returned to university but saw things really differently. I left the university and went to massage therapy school. In school, I met a student of acupuncture and heard about Naturopathic Medicine. Then I decided I would become a Naturopath but only because I did not completely understand the scope of an acupuncturist.
Nevertheless, once I finished massage school I went to work, I had children to provide for. Practicing massage opened the door for information and experience. Going on to become a doctor was the only way for me. It would take five years before I could return to my education. With time and the experience of raising children came maturity and renewed focus. I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology, ten years after I started on the path. It would be another seven years after that before I could enter the program to study acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine. I eventually completed both my master’s and doctorate while taking care of a family of 6. I opened my practice almost three years ago and have truly realized my purpose.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has been a winding, hilly, bumpy road. I did not have any money growing up. I had children very young and the entire time I was in school was a balancing act of providing for a family, physical and mentally. Furthermore, I was ignorant to my possibilities. I knew I wanted to be a certain type of doctor. I just didn’t know it existed initially.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I practice traditional East Asian Medicine. I have a general practice split between two locations. A massage spa and a gym. As a result, I treat lots of physical pains but also emotional pains. I am also a yoga instructor and academic director of a holistic health institute.
So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Legacy. I appreciate the fact that we are here for a limited time. I think it’s important to come here enjoy it, live your life and attempt to leave here with a foundation for those coming after you so that they can be free to live completely. If they are complete, they have less fear and they leave space for the those around them and the following generation to freely exist.
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