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Meet Robert Youngs of Robert Youngs Acupuncture in Beverly Hills and Century City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Youngs.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Robert. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My first experience with the medicine was when I was working in marketing at MTV Networks in NYC and I started seeing an acupuncturist for stress and stomach issues. He helped me a great deal and I was fascinated with the medicine, though it wasn’t until about fifteen years later that I’d personally become an acupuncturist myself.

I should say that I had been one of those undergraduates who had no idea what they want to do with their lives. I enjoyed my job more but wasn’t passionate about it. I was however lucky enough to have a fantastic mentor at the time who took me to see 1-2 Broadway shows a week and I quickly fell in love with the theater. After taking a few acting classes I got into Columbia University, completed an MFA in Acting and worked in theater for about ten years.

But the actor’s life is one of waiting and my personality craves problem solving, healing and personal growth. I was looking for something else to do with my life and while discussing it on set of a film in the beautiful town of Antigua, Guatemala, the great actress Talia Shire observed that I was a healer. Though I had no idea at the time, her wise and intuitive observation planted a seed which grew quickly. I started observing conversations in which I was involved, almost always went in the direction of healing and personal growth.

I entered the four year master’s program for Acupuncture and Herbal medicine thinking I’d do it part time. A year into the program I realized it was all I wanted to do. The book work and memorizing aspect however came very hard for me and I had to cut sacrifice other aspects of my life to focus on the medicine and I had many doubts.

It was in residence during my final year while learning from great masters and putting the medicine to practical use that I began to feel how naturally the medicine came to me. Joseph Campbell talks about “following your bliss”; “bliss” being that which you do, when you do it you lose track of time.

For those who wonder if they are “following their bliss”, I recommend the book “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett. Bill teaches one of the most sought after elective courses at Stanford University to help students find their purpose and design the life they want to lead and it’s on this course that the book is based.

After school I started off seeing patients in my little apartment near the beach in Marina Del Rey and then moved to my current office space on the south edge of Beverly Hills. I use a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine and current philosophy and eastern teachings to help patients. A session usually involves a bit of acupuncture and cupping while talking and sharing that week’s TED Talk discovery or Hidden Brain episode that might help the patient in their life.

While running a busy practice I also work on an herbal supplements line I’ve created. My goal is to educate Americans about herbs and how they can help them heal naturally without side effects or dependency. There are Chinese herbal formulas for just about every illness you can imagine. The challenge is to teach an audience raised on pharmaceuticals with instant results from one tiny little pill. Herbs by contrast require larger doses and, depending on the illness, can take longer to work. A fast working herbal formula like “Sinus Clear” for example, requires 5-8 capsules and can take 45 minutes to 2 hours to work. The good news is herbs dosing is based on body weight and being herbs, there are no side effects.

I love what I do and I see so many opportunities to share what is still a relatively undiscovered medicine with Americans. My personal obstacles are like most people -finding balance while still accomplishing all that I want to do and share. There is such joy in sharing acupuncture and herbs with someone for the first time and seeing the hope that they can get better sparkle in their eye for the first time in years.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The Struggles along the way:
School: The book work and memorizing aspect came very hard for me in school and it was a challenge to remain positive when it came so much easier to my classmates. A good friend of mine would tell me from time to time that eventually, other aspects of the work would come more naturally to me. He was right of course, and fortunately the parts that came easier to me are the practical aspects of problem solving and applying the medicine in a clinical setting.

My first few months in my current office I worked 60-70 hours a week marketing, promoting and looking for patients but wasn’t making enough money to pay the rent so I had to get a part time job in the Whole Foods body department. It was hours of stocking shelves and paper cuts and then getting out to go to my “other” job.

I’d gotten in the habit of emailing patients after their treatments while in residence even though some of my classmates thought I was nuts to take that kind of time to follow up in the midst of our crazy schedules. I reached out to one of these patients who started seeing me once a week and that consistent income was what kept me afloat until others joined.

When I first started the herbal supplements I thought the Women’s PMS and hormonal balancing formulas would be the best sellers since they were in my clinic. But selling on Amazon presented new challenges. Since I was not there to talk with the women, many of them resisted the dose size or didn’t take them consistently or just couldn’t comprehend taking them for 4-6 weeks.

I remember thinking maybe I was wrong, maybe people just aren’t ready for Chinese herbs yet. I pulled the products and was feeling very discouraged. Fortunately a couple weeks later I happened to have a patient who had sinus congestion and I gave her the sinus clearing formula I’d been working on. She loved it and said it worked really fast. I wondered if that was part of the problem -the instant gratification. After Sinus Clear started selling really well on Amazon I soon realized it was a combination of how quickly it works and also how many people are looking for that type of medicine.

My personal ongoing struggles are like most people -finding balance while still accomplishing all that I want to do and share. I’m a workaholic and taking breaks and holidays without checking emails or working on new products are very difficult for me.

Robert Youngs Acupuncture – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Most of my patients have issues related to PMS, menstrual issues, fertility, stomach pain, digestion and the effects of stress on the body including emotional issues as well as neck, shoulder and back pain.

I have a great knowledge and love of herbs. My life experience includes having worked in a classic 9-5 office job with long hours and high stress as well as a life in the arts. Also I’ve lived the search for a new purpose in life – these are all things that many of my patients go through.

My staff and I enjoy personally follow up with patients and are always available to answer questions which is huge value to them when their western MD’s can only give 4-5 minutes (through no fault of their own, it’s just how the system is setup). I believe that the acupuncturist job is to support the western medical doctors in this way in a symbiotic relationship.

I naturally spend my down time listening to podcasts about healing and personal growth or new shows in the arts. Sharing these things with patients gives them a well-rounded treatment.

Two other things are very special about my office. My beautiful Aussie Shepherd is the most gentle dog with a natural healing intuition and she is at the office everyday. The second is the homemade ginger, goji berry, astragalus, lemon honey tea that I bring to work – patients love it!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is having a balanced life of work and play. For work it’s when patients are on a steady progression towards healing in their own timeline. The Oracle at Delphi says two things 1. Know Thyself 2. The Measure is all. Each person responds to acupuncture and herbs in their own timeline and speed -I’m happiest when they are on a steady progression forwards.

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