Danielle is the owner of Portland Healing Space. She is a licensed acupuncturist offering all five modalities of Chinese medicine: acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy, nutrition, meditation and massage as well as a Holistic Pelvic Care therapy. We sat down with Danielle to learn a little more about her:
When did you decide to work in holistic healthcare?
It started by mistake – I was in a lot of pain one day about a decade ago, and I ended up going to an acupuncturist only because she happened to have an opening in my moment of need. I was immediately drawn to the holistic aspects of her work and loved the way I felt after acupuncture – renewed, clear, energized. She also taught me qigong, which became a huge influence in my life. As I practiced qigong and continued with acupuncture I felt more and more centered, creative and alive. I began to see how the healing of my physical body was inextricably linked to the balance of my mind and spirit.
The model of holistic medicine was groundbreaking and life changing for me. It taught me to honor my whole self by cultivating my strengths and showing up with gentleness around the parts of my life that needed healing and tending. I began to truly understand the importance of deep presence, compassion and gratitude in the balance of my health and wellbeing. I felt so inspired to share what I was learning with everyone I loved that I went back to school and immersed myself in the study of Chinese medicine.
What exactly is qigong and how does it work with Chinese Medicine?
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, qigong is one of the five branches of Chinese medicine and is at the root of the practice of acupuncture. Like yoga, it combines gentle movement, meditation and breathing techniques to cleanse, cultivate, and circulate qi, or life energy. A qigong practice helps to calm the mind, body and spirit, and sensitize one's experience of subtle energies. It is particularly helpful in the diagnosis and treatment aspects of healing work.
Chinese medicine is holistic in its approach to healing because it looks at the whole person instead of just the symptoms, which allows the practitioner to treat both the root as well as the branch. It also looks at not only weakness or illness, but at all of the strengths of an individual, so as to harness and balance all aspects of wellness in a person.
What is your favorite part about owning Portland Healing Space?
My favorite part is the community. I get to work with some of most gifted and inspiring practitioners and front desk superheroes in Portland. I also get to laugh with them and swap recipes on our lunch breaks (we like our food)! We learn from each other's expertise, share exciting findings, and really just show up for each other with an integrity that I treasure.
I also LOVE the people who come through our doors. It is an honor to be able to serve this community through healthcare, but it is also such a joy for me to build trust and relationship with our clients. I love that people feel comfortable in our space to just sit and have a cup of tea or to share their latest adventures with us. The community and support we have created together feels like a family to me and for that I am deeply grateful.
What is Portland's best kept secret?
How can I think of just one? Trail running on morning weekdays in the quiet parts of forest park is pretty special: think Newberry Road, Maple Trail, and some of the Germantown Road Trailheads. Picnicking under giant oak trees after an evening walk around Oak Island is also magnificent. One of my favorite ways to get my heirloom veggies each week is by subscribing to one of the many Portland CSAs. For the past couple of years I've been with the fantastic Blue House Greenhouse Farm CSA and I get beautiful flowers with my veggies!