Interest in ancient medicine leads
alum to success as acupuncturist
By Catherine Harper
From ancient China to the present, acupuncture and Chinese medicine have passed through time, bringing the mind and body together to heal. For Tiffany Chiu, a licensed acupuncturist and Texas State alumna, her dedication and passion for this ancient practice have led to a fulfilling medicinal career.
In 2007, Chiu graduated from the Texas State Honors Program with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. With her expanded knowledge of the human mind, Chiu says she was able to combine her studies in psychology with her interest in traditional Chinese medicine. In the process of finding her path in acupuncture, Chiu says she cultivated her mind and spirit toward the practice with unrelenting dedication.
According to Chiu, her attraction to acupuncture stemmed from her nurturing nature and was guided by her strong support system in a family of Texas State alumni. She also received support from her mentor, Dr. Eileen Morrison, a professor in the School of Health Administration at Texas State.
“I always knew I wanted to help people,” Chiu says. “It wasn’t until I took the Complementary and Alternative Medicine class [with Morrison] at Texas State that I realized my calling of being an acupuncturist. It was the definitive moment that led me to where I am now.”
Through her university experience, Chiu says she learned to work her hardest, knowing that it would pay off and not taking shortcuts. In 2006, Chiu delivered her thesis, “Yin Yang and Qi in Acupuncture,” to the Honors department at Texas State. According to Chiu, this moment brought forth her efforts in a shining triumph and propelled her to attend AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine for her master’s in traditional Chinese medicine, which she completed in April.
While attending graduate school, Chiu studied abroad in China at Chengdu University’s international training program in traditional Chinese medicine, where she worked with herbal medicine and acupuncture.
Now a licensed acupuncturist at Texas Acupuncture Clinic in South Austin, Chiu uses several specialized techniques in Chinese medicine to heal both the mind and body, including: tuina (Chinese bodywork), reiki (Japanese bodywork) and mind-body exercises such as tai chi and qigong. In Chiu’s practice, these methods are intended to help a wide variety of patients and are unique to different illnesses.
Chiu also writes for The Examiner in Austin in a weekly column on the topics of Chinese medicine and women’s health.
From Chiu’s experience, the best part about her practice is seeing a smile on a customer’s face, or simply not seeing them return.
“This may sound odd, but the most rewarding part of my job is when a patient no longer has to come see me for treatments,” Chiu said. “When that happens, it means I have ultimately accomplished my goal in making them better.”
For people trying to tap their inner power, Chiu gives simple advice: listen and learn from others. She also offers all Texas State students interested in the healing powers of acupuncture to visit her at Texas Acupuncture Clinic and receive a 15-percent student discount.