Elijah Hawken earned her Masters Degree in Science and Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM), graduating with top honors, from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego, after a four year post-graduate program of over 3000 hours of in-class and clinical training.
As an intern, Ms. Hawken had the opportunity to treat patients in many varied settings, including working alongside MDs, RNs and counselors treating terminally ill patients at the San Diego Hospice, treating the public at a no-cost community clinic run in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, and a specialization in acupuncture orthopedics/sports medicine at the UCSD athletic training center in La Jolla, California.
“I am honored to be carrying the tradition of such a powerful and ancient medicine into the lives of modern-day people, who can benefit so much from it.”
In the state of California, where Ms. Hawken studied, Licensed Acupuncturists are granted the status of Primary Care Physicians due to their extensive training in both western biomedicine and Oriental medicine. Ms. Hawken is proud to carry this training to her patients in Texas, knowing she is qualified to safeguard their health.
Elijah Hawken is certified as a Diplomate in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, and Oriental Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), is a member of the Chinese Herb Association, and the Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She holds a professional certification in the treatment of Hepatitis C with Traditional Chinese Medicine (MRCEF), and is an active volunteer with the Dallas County Medical Reserve Corps. Ms. Hawken is licensed in the state of Texas, and was formerly a Registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist in Victoria, Australia.
My career in Traditional Chinese Medicine began when I was an infant, and my mother decided to use what she called an ancient Chinese method of discovering what I would be when I grew up. She put me down on the floor surrounded by objects representing differing professions: a pot to represent a cook, and a book to represent a scholar, for example. Whichever object the baby crawled to and picked up first would reveal her chosen career. To my family’s delight, I crawled to and grasped a thermometer – forever cementing the idea in their minds that I was destined to become a Doctor. I had chosen it myself, after all!
Despite this clear assertion from my family that what I obviously wanted to be was a doctor, I rebelled. I was an art-school drop out, and worked at many jobs I loved, including (among other things) being a cook, an animal caretaker at the Humane Society, a dishwasher, a Porsche shop-sweep, a bouncer, a bartender, and a professional musician. But the course of my life would eventually steer me back to the practice of medicine.
While I was living in Washington, D.C., two of my closest friends were involved in a bad motorcycle accident. One died, the other suffered a traumatic brain injury, and while he survived, he has never been the same. The helplessness I felt at his bedside in the hospital was, I believe, the deep seated motivational factor in my decision to become an acupuncturist.
I didn’t recognize it at the time.
Needing to escape the grief I felt still living in a city where every street reminded me of my friends, I packed up and moved away – to Texas – in my mind as good a place as any. I had been living in Dallas for a number of years, and was bartending at the premier live music club in town. I loved the atmosphere, the clientele, and the people I worked with, but I had the creeping and undeniable sense that I was meant to be doing something else – something more meaningful – I just didn’t know what.
The feeling kept getting stronger, until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I have always been someone who follows my gut, and I decided to take some time to discover what my intuition was trying to tell me. I left my job in Texas and moved to the west coast of Ireland, supporting myself first through busking (playing music on the streets) and the occasional club performance, and then later through cooking at cafes. I lived there for over a year. During this time I had an epiphany. I can’t explain it in any other way. I knew nothing about acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine, except that at that moment I knew beyond doubt that it was what I was meant to be doing. I did not hesitate. I moved back to the U.S., got the best education available (at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego), and opened my private practice in Dallas – the place I missed more than any other.
My life experience has given me great compassion and empathy when working with people who are grieving: moving through, accepting, and finding their footing with loss in a culture that sweeps it under the rug. I am also passionate about helping people who have suffered from brain injury, be it traumatic or stroke. I have seen the amazing progress they can make in their recovery when acupuncture is a part of the treatment plan.
I am incredibly humbled and grateful to be able to practice this amazing medicine, and to help people who are often told they are beyond help.
I guess those ancient Chinese were right in more ways that one.