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Meet Jared Lien of Lien On Me Acupuncture in Pacific Beach & North Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jared Lien.

Jared, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been a Cardiac nurse specialist for over 12 years. I have worked at Scripps for the last 11 years. During my time as a nurse, I realized the importance of holistic and preventative medicine. Nursing showed me the importance of assessing all areas of peoples lives. Stress management was a common issue with cardiac patients, especially for the younger patients with cardiac issues.

Cardiac patients returned frequently to the hospital. This made me wonder & seek out other methods of healing the body. Nursing showed me that western medicine is the treatment of disease. Diseases are incredibly hard to treat with drugs alone. People need a change in their diet and lifestyles. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work well in treating disease but more importantly helps to prevent disease. Prevention is the key.

My first experience with acupuncture is what led me to start school. My brother completed an intense CrossFit workout and ended up getting rhabdomyolysis in his low back. He spent a week in the hospital with severe pain and inability to move his low back. Rhabdomyolysis is a serious syndrome due to a direct or indirect muscle injury. It results from the death of muscle fibers and release of their contents into the bloodstream. This can lead to serious complications such as kidney failure or heart attack. He was discharged on strong opioids and muscle relaxers. He was unable to function on those strong meds. He could not move his lower back and was still in severe pain. He started getting acupuncture every week and his pain and range of motion improved with every treatment. This was my first introduction to acupuncture.

I had an AC joint separation while surfing soon after his injury. I went to the best shoulder doctors in San Diego and had 2 steroid injections, which is the standard of care for western medicine. I had no resolution of my pain or swelling for 6 weeks so I finally tried acupuncture. My pain and swelling were relieved the first week after 2 treatments with acupuncture and cupping. I was sold at this point. I found Pacific College of Oriental medicine campus here in San Diego. I visited the school and enrolled immediately. My girlfriend( now wife) thought I was crazy. She kept telling me how expensive it was and that it was 4 years of school. I listened to my intuition and grinded out school for 4 1/2 years while continuing to work as a nurse. This was an incredibly challenging time but I would do it all over again. I have been in practice for 3 years. I work as an independent contractor out of 2 offices in Pacific Beach (Personalized Chiropractic) and North Park (True Motion Human performance). I continue to work at Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular center in the Cath lab prep and recovery area 1 day a week.

I have been married for 3 years and we have 1 beautiful son Theodore who just had his second birthday. I can’t say I would recommend starting a family and business at the same time but that’s how we did it. There is a new challenge every day but I love it. I enjoy growing, evolving and constantly learning.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t ever do anything the easy way. Working as a nurse while going to school was very challenging. I worked full time and went to school full time the first year. I had 3-13 hour shifts at the hospital and 3 8-10 hour days of school. I had 1 day to study for 5 or 6 classes and relax. This pace was impossible for me to keep up. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown after the first year. I backed off my nursing schedule to 2 days a week and continued full time at school because I did not want to be in school for 6 years. I graduated and thought the hard part was over. I soon realized the challenges were just starting. I had 5 board exams to study for and pass. This was an extremely stressful couple months of studying every free second. I passed all exams and thought things would get easier. I was wrong.

My wife Jessica and I were married that year. Preparation for the wedding while starting my business was a constant challenge. The wedding finally happened and I thought great I can finally focus on my business. My wife was pregnant 6 weeks after our wedding. The best mistake of my life. The next 10 months of focus was on making money as a nurse, prepping for baby and working on my business in my spare time. My business grew slower than I anticipated the first two years but life kept me very busy. My 3rd year in practice finally picked up and I decreased my nursing to casual, which is only one day a week. This was a tough decision because I had to give up all of my benefits with no increase in pay. This was the best decision I could have made. It frees up time for me to network and market my business but most importantly gives me more time to treat patients.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Lien On Me Acupuncture story. Tell us more about the business.
I specialize in pain management, sports injuries, and emotional disorders. I practice a style of acupuncture called Japanese meridian therapy. This style is unique because it uses small needles, which allows painless and shallow needle insertion. The needles are about the size of your hair. Most people don’t feel any of the insertions. I started learning this style because I realized after a couple years of school and needling classes that I don’t like being poked with big needles. This is a common fear among patients. Most people have a major phobia to needles due to being poked by large needles as babies and young kids at the doctor’s visits with vaccine shots or antibiotics.

I combine my treatments with Tui na bodywork (massage), cupping and gua sha. I spend a lot of time counseling my patients about stress management. My main area of focus is meditation and deep breathing exercises. This is especially important for my patients that aren’t sleeping.

My nursing background sets me apart from most other acupuncturists. I have 12 years of acute patient cardiac care combined with 3 years of acupuncture. This gives me 15 years of combined experience with patient care. I review all lab work and any imaging tests that are available from there PCP doctor or orthopedic doctors.

I think I am most proud of the results I get with my patients. I am amazed weekly how acupuncture can enhance the bodies innate ability to heal itself. I have helped people get rid of chronic issues that drugs and surgery would not work on. The most exciting moment I had was inducing my wife into labor with acupuncture. I have also done this with several other clients since then. This is super important for women who don’t want to get induced with drugs.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Acupuncture is the fastest growing area of healthcare. I see acupuncturist working in every hospital, ER, Urgent care and integrative centers across America. Acupuncture is now being accepted by most insurance plans, this will continue to grow.

Acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, and PT are now the first recommendations for patients with low back pain or strains. Opioids are no longer the standard of care due to the crisis in our country. This is a big reason that acupuncture has been growing as a profession. Providing relief without side effects.

An acupuncturist can already be your primary physician in California. I see this trend continuing across America. Our roles will grow as our profession grows. People like acupuncturists because we offer a drug-free and side-effect free treatments.
I see there being more Chinese herbal shops in every city and people trying herbs before they try drugs. The Cleveland clinic has outpatient acupuncture and Chinese herbal clinic. They’ve had great success with few side effects helping to pave the way for doctors of Chinese medicine in the future. This is a big stage for Chinese medicine and it has passed with flying colors. I believe doctors and patients will be seeking out Chinese medicine before pharmaceutical drugs due to fewer side effects.

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