Todd McCloskey L.Ac.
People often ask me why I became an acupuncturist. My story started when I was in college studying biology. I wanted to become a medical doctor and was taking all of the prerequisites as an undergraduate. Along came organic chemistry. To my pride I did very well in the class. I blew away the curve. But in the process of mustering up the intensity to do that I developed a great deal of anxiety. I had a hard time sitting still, if I wasn’t studying I felt terrible and the happiness and peace that I had in my life was simply nowhere to be found. I realized that if I kept on this tract that life wouldn’t get better for me, it would be worse. From all of this anxiety I was only rewarded with more knowledge of chemistry and mechanisms of the body, which wasn’t a good trade off in my opinion. I wanted to know more. I wanted to be happy and learn about life with a capital L, not the biochemical mechanisms of methylation. With this desire I took a leap and chose acupuncture. Mind you, I had never even had a treatment at this point in my life. Since Chinese medicine has been in continuous practice for over 2,000 years and has treated hundreds of millions of people, I assumed that it would not only be effective but also teach me about life—with a capital L. Jumps like this can make for hard falls, I was taking a risk.
Somehow I landed in an acupuncture school, formerly called Tai Sophia, currently called Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH), that taught me to look at life closely. Not by using a microscope to peer into cells, but by examining myself. I started to learn that my body is wise and its symptoms were my teachers. My professors showed me how emotions were just as much a part of our lives as our muscles and bones. I learned to see the rising of anger, the knotting of worry or the exhaustion of joy leading to depression. I was being taught about Life. It was here in 2003 that I started to train my hands in bodywork. I studied Zero Balancing at my acupuncture school and started to travel the country learning from highly experienced bodyworkers.
Chinese medicine is a deep medicine. Its grooves have been worn not by decades of research but centuries of practice. Because of this you can study Chinese medicine your entire life and feel like you’ve only scratched the surface. This deep well of medical knowledge and my innate desire to learn drove me to study across the country with renowned doctors of Chinese medicine. Each time going deeper into the art.
Finally I was able to find one of the most sincere, skilled and dedicated practitioners of Chinese medicine to study with: Andrew Nugent-Head. Andrew has trained for decades with older Chinese doctors who had a connection with the truly traditional Chinese arts: one of Andrew’s primary teacher Dr. Xie was the last lineage holder of an imperial style of medicine. Dr. Xie traced his medical knowledge back to a physician and bodyguard of the last empress of China, Yin Fu. It is an honor to be able to carry a part of that experience and skill to modern patients in Washington, D.C.
Through all of this I have begun to understand life better, become a happier person and acquire the skills that have been honed over millennia and passed down from teacher to student to help others. I offer you all the the skills and learning that has been passed to me from the amazing doctors that have come before me.