GLN Interview with Chinese Medical Practitioners
Sarah Vosen and Sarah Yovovich are esteemed teachers and Chinese medical practitioners in West Los Angeles, operating under the business moniker “Sarahpeutics.” These two have practiced together for over 10,000 hours, including rigorous study of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, massage, nutrition, partner yoga, pilates, meditation, and more. They have first-hand experience in fusing Western and Eastern medical practices in progressive and contemporary ways.
Q: What would you want people who are completely new or unfamiliar with Chinese medicine to know about the practice?
A – Yovovich: I would want them to know that they have the power to heal themselves. Medical doctors are only there to guide you, but ultimately you are the one who has to heal yourself. In addition, I would want them to know that Chinese medicine is available as a tool to take the mystery out of seemingly scattered symptoms, and to start seeing symptoms as part of a bigger, integrated system.
A – Vosen: You can be and feel empowered to understand your symptoms. Even the tiniest discomfort is information that your body is trying to provide you with about what is going on. When symptoms manifest physically, it is often a lagging indicator of something else going on in that person’s life. Chinese medicine can help uncover what is the underlying cause of a person’s suffering or pain. I try to teach my patients concepts which they can apply to their daily lives. I also want my patients to know that they can challenge a core belief in Western medicine that you are not stuck as you are – you have infinite capacity to change your life and to heal.
A – Vosen: Honestly… It was a hangover cure! I was coming off a hard night, and my friend’s mom gave me a concoction of Chinese herbs. I remember feeling just SO good after taking these herbs that I had to start learning more about it. I was so curious to learn about the impact these herbs had on my body. It just grew from there.
A – Yovovich: My mother had health problems growing up. She was diagnosed with fibromylagia and saw every doctor she could. It was only when she started to see a Chinese medical practitioner that she began to feel better after she was placed on a strict elimination diet. Around this time I was training to be an acrobatic yoga teacher, and saw the opportunity to fuse the two modalities into one.
A – Yovovich: Both and neither! It is a diagnostic system where Western medicine fails. It is a preventative practice when the concepts are applied appropriately. I have had many clients who need soft tissue work that just doesn’t show up on standard lab tests. So in this way, I am working with the client to help them understand and explain their symptoms in an integrated way. A sustained treatment or therapy plan may even require my clients to make certain lifestyle changes.
A – Vosen: I agree with Sarah. Chinese medicine fills in the gaps that Western medicine leaves. It connects physical ailments to emotions, seasons, diets, environment, and lifestyle. In Chinese medicine, all these are important and valid medical considerations.
Q: It sounds like there is a dichotomy between Western and Eastern medicinal practices. Are the two in conflict or are they complementary to each other?
A – Yovovich: Westerners are used to, and fond of, linear concepts: A leads to B. We like our business and our lives to run this way, with direct correlation. So it is natural to expect the body to also behave this way, even when it is dysfunctional. But the body does not necessarily function in this way, which many people do not realize. There is not always a linear reason for why we may experience pain or suffering, so we must leverage a different way of thinking in order to have an effective medical practice. A lot of the concepts in Eastern medicine are “rounder” and more “circular,” which can feel unfamiliar or sometimes difficult to grasp for Western patients.
A – Vosen: Western and Eastern medicine can be quite complementary. I have been growing more and more fond of the idea of collaborative, cooperative, and integrated medicine. I work with both medical doctors and practitioners of alternative therapies and healing modalities. Ultimately, you should be paying your doctor to keep you well, instead of curing you from sickness. There is a huge emphasis on preventative care these days, but that requires the patient to be proactive and participating in their health and wellness. This is a choice every individual must make for themselves.
For more information:
If you are more interested in learning about Chinese medicine, or are in the Los Angeles area and would like to book a session with Chinese Medical Practitioners Sarah Vosen and Sarah Yovovich, please visit their website at www.sarahpeutics.org.
The first image in this blog was taken by and is copyrighted by Charles Ryan Barber. For photography inquiries, please visit www.charlesryanbarber.com.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Before starting any new medical treatment, please consult your doctor or health care practitioner.