Laurel Boyajian, L.Ac.
I received my training at OCOM* in Portland and was licensed in October 1992. My first acupuncture job after graduating was at a Multnomah County court mandated addiction clinic. All clients had accepted the year-long program in exchange for no arrest on their record upon completion. We used the NADA* auricular (ear) five point protocol developed in the 1970s at Lincoln Recovery Center in the South Bronx, New York.
After moving to Washington in 1996, I continued to work part time at acupuncture while raising my two young children as a single parent, and also working at various other jobs to make ends meet.
This included food service and cleaning work as well as sales of my pastel paintings and, later, growing dye plants and selling hand dyed yarn at the Vashon Farmers' Market. I also taught fiber arts as an artist-in-residence at the public elementary school.
I knew I wanted to work in a community acupuncture clinic when I first heard about this model. It is several years and experiences later that I am finally making that a reality with the help of the People's Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA).
*I support the movement to remove or change the "O" word from the titles and names of all acupuncture schools and organizations. The school I went to is included in this group.