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Acupuncturist goes from Wall Street to starting a free clinic in India
- Kristen Forbes
- The Times - Features
Today Tadavarthy indeed owns a small business, located in Suite 205 at 7110 S.W. Fir Loop in Tigard, and she's stayed true to her goal of helping others
TIGARD - The story behind Anita Tadavarthy's pathway to acupuncture and Chinese medicine is as rich as the vibrant, bold colors on the walls of her Tigard clinic. A business and finance major who graduated from the University of Virginia, Tadavarthy initially worked for Morgan Stanley on Wall Street. She spent several years handling investments, mergers, acquisitions and buyouts for large corporations, such as Disney and Time Warner. This eventually led to a job working with the CFO of GAP in San Francisco, which later led to a job working in the finance division at Nike.
Tadavarthy, who says she has nothing but good things to say about all the companies she worked for, felt herself wanting to take a different path.
'I was supposed to go to business school. I had my recommendations. I had pretty much everything set up for me to go to business school. And I just couldn't do it. I'm just not cut from that cloth.'
Instead, Tadavarthy decided to think outside the box.
'I was at a coffee shop one day and I started thinking: What would happen if I didn't even think about having a degree in finance? If I didn't think I'd had these jobs working on Wall Street, working for Nike? What do I want to do? And I thought to myself, I want to be able help people, and I want to own a small business.'
Today Tadavarthy indeed owns a small business, located in Suite 205 at 7110 S.W. Fir Loop in Tigard, and she's stayed true to her goal of helping others. Seeking relief from pain, allergies, fatigue, hypertension and more, patients come to Metis Acupuncture Clinics to experience the healing power of acupuncture.
'The whole idea behind Chinese medicine is the idea of balance,' Tadavarthy says.
She begins her acupuncture sessions by asking her patients to describe the sensations they are experiencing. Knowing whether it's a dull ache, sharp pain, burning sensation, numbness, etc., then identifying where the sensation is coming from influences everything from the number of needles used to where the needles are inserted on the body.
'When the patient tells me where, I diagnose which meridian was affected,' says Tadavarthy. The meridian gives me an idea of where you're located on the highway. I tell people I'm located at the intersection of 1-5 and 217. I tell them I'm off exit 292 and just like that, they know where I am. When the patient tells me it's near the wrist, it's not quite at the wrist, it's a little more proximal than the wrist and it's located on the most medial part of the forearm, then I know which meridian. Then I find a balancing meridian to balance the affected meridian.'
There are many ways to approach this medicine, Tadavarthy says, and she uses a Taiwanese, distal style. After she decides her balancing meridians, she uses a holographic imaging system to place the needles.
Tadavarthy explains that when she inserts the needles (the width of a human hair), she can feel the muscle fibers wrap around the needle. This tells her that the nerve ending recognizes the needle and is then able to communicate with the central nervous system. The central nervous system in turn communicates with the hypothalamus and different organs, which release endorphins to the affected areas.
Different patients experience different results. The patient treated on the day of this interview says he feels relief from his carpal tunnel symptoms immediately.
For Tadavarthy, her Tigard clinic is only one piece of the master plan. After graduating from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Tadavarthy took four classmates to her father's home town in Repalle, India, to run a free clinic. For five months, Tadavarthy saw between 100 and 150 patients a day - mainly farmers, fishermen and laborers. For many of these patients, the free clinic was their only resource for health care.
Tadavarthy, who was born and raised in the United States, returned to India in November to evaluate the free clinic and put plans forth for building a free hospital there.
'My goal is to build my practice here and be able to step away for one month out of the year to go abroad and run the clinic and lay the groundwork to have a free hospital. That's going to take a long time.'
It's time Tadavarthy is willing to take, and it's a cause she's planning on devoting herself to.
As for her take on Western medicine, Tadavarthy is a proponent and says she doesn't intend for Eastern medicine to be a replacement.
'This is not a trauma-based medicine. If someone is having a heart attack: 911. If a woman is pregnant and going into labor: 911. If someone was in a car accident: 911. Third degree burn: 911. I can't stress to you enough that the combination of the two medicines, Western and Eastern, is so fantastic because Western medicine is really trauma-based and this medicine isn't. They can really work well together. The combination is synergistic.'
Tadavarthy gives 10 percent of her proceeds to humanitarian efforts. Her Web site is www.metisacupunctureclinics.com, and her phone number is 503-819-2904.