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Meet Melissa Tsai of Guide Acupuncture in West Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Tsai.

Melissa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Growing up in a Chinese household, Chinese herbal medicine was common. Goji berries and jacobs tears were staples in soups and dishes and whenever I questioned the unique items in our food, my mom would always tell me that it was great for the eyes or would benefit my health in some way. My family would go to the local acupuncturist for sprains or aches and pains, I remember jamming my pinky once when I was 5 and my mom taking me to get it treated. I was terrified of needles at the time so the acupuncturist only used a single needle, which was just enough for my injury. I don’t remember how much it helped, but I do remember not needing to visit her again.

Flash forward 20 years and I have introduced to acupuncture once again while I was seeking treatment for my scoliosis. I had been going to a Chiropractor who helped me, and as my body shifted, I noticed that my hip started to get incredibly tight and click and grind. My hip joint became increasingly uncomfortable and I decided to try acupuncture again to see if I could get it to loosen up. After a few treatments, the clicking stopped and my leg felt much better! I started getting regular treatments and I was hooked. I loved the results and really wanted to help people, so this seemed like the perfect path for me.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Haha! There are always challenges. There are always some growing pains when it comes to starting your own business. Getting it off the ground was the hardest part. But, I love what I do and building a business around helping people is well worth it.

Please tell us about Guide Acupuncture.
At Guide Acupuncture, I specialize in stress reduction, healthy lifestyle practices, dermatology, women’s health and pain management. I practice preventative medicine by teaching my patients habits that keep them healthy.

One of the most important things we go over is what you put in your body, which is food! We go over what and what not to eat and what environmental toxins can do to your body. The average women put about 515 chemicals on her body; some are hormonal disrupters which can mimic estrogen and cause health issues. Sometimes making a simple product switch can go a long way.

I think I’m unique in that sense: I integrate a lot of daily lifestyle skills into visits, like body care, household products and simple pain-relieving stretches. I’m proud of that because it’s helped a lot of people and I’m also proud of using herbal medicine as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite memories was playing outside in the dirt. I loved to pick up bugs and worms, dig holes and basically make a mess. It was super fun! Something about touching the soil was a very nurturing and visceral experience. I loved to dig up weeds and replant them! It probably drove my mom crazy.

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