Welcome to another pulse-pounding edition of “5 Questions With …”!  Today Mahesh Raj Mohan, Portland area freelance writer, speaks with Lara Dilkes, the owner of PDX Acupuncture, also based in Portland.  Here we go!

Mahesh Raj Mohan: How did you get involved in acupuncture?

Lara Dilkes: I always knew I wanted to be in a field where I could help people.  As an athlete in high school and early college (intramural), I originally explored nursing and physical therapy.  After taking a break from college, I decided to travel around a bit and get some life experience under my belt.  I ended up in Alaska working in the fishing industry of all places.  The choice to go to Alaska was motivated by my Dad so I could make some money and get back in school!

Little did he know, he introduced me to my future career path.  I decided to explore Alaska with some friends from the fishing factory to a town called Hope.  I met a man named Skip who changed my life.  He was known as the “healer in town.”   The back of his home was converted into a shiatsu massage area surrounded by herbs and other things in jars lining the walls.  I was instantly inspired to do what he was doing.  I settled on acupuncture in the next couple of years when I went back to school, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

MRM: Acupuncture has been described as feng shui for your body (and vice versa); can you explain the concept of Qi and how acupuncture affects it?

LD: Qi –  pronounced “chi” –  is a difficult word to translate as the English language is limited in the words to describe it.  The Chinese instructors at my grad school never liked to describe it like this, but would roughly describe qi as energy or life force.  As an acupuncturist and herbal practitioner, my goal is to make sure the qi in the body is balanced.  I work with in the medium of the meridians to bring balance to a person’s bodily qi.  Each person is very different, so it can be a puzzle to figure out where the imbalances are, but so much fun!

MRM: Your recent presentation focused on “yin and yang” energies in our everyday lives.  Can you elaborate on this concept for us?

LD: Yin and Yang theory (pronounced “yin” and “yahng”) is the basic foundation of Chinese Medicine.  It is like looking at the profile of a mountain where on the yang side you have the sun rising, birds chirping, water flowing, kids skipping along, and movement, expression and brightness all over.  On the yin side, the moon is glowing, the birds are resting and digesting, the children are sleeping, and the earth is rejuvenating.  They are balanced within each other as you cannot have yin without yang, and vise versa.  For example, you cannot have children using energy and skipping along in a yang expressive manner without the solid foundation of yin to support such activity.  We take these basic observations of nature and human nature and apply them to our health to find balance with in the body.

MRM: What are the most rewarding aspects of your business?

LD: The most rewarding aspect of my business is when a patient who came in suffering from a pain or ailment comes out of the treatment room after acupuncture and looks at me with soft eyes, a full heart and a relaxed pain free body and says, “I feel great!”  That means I did my job well.

MRM: You’re a loyal Blazers fan; what are your thoughts on this season?

LD: Oh goodness!  I do love me some Blazers and there is a variety of players to love these days with all of our injuries.  I am impressed with ability to close out games lately and not just drop the ball of a good lead in the last quarter.  I am excited to see Gerald Wallace do some damage on the boards … we need it!  I am very excited to see Brandon out there again; he really sparks the spirit of the team.  I wanna put Patty Mills in my pocket he is so cute, and I could watch the athleticism of Wesley Matthews all day. But the biggest part of this season that impresses me the most is the growth of LaMarcus Aldridge.  What a season that boy has made for himself.  His confidence has soared and his 20 foot shot no longer makes me cringe!  And his strength in dunks is earthshaking awesomeness.  He will be an All Star next year for sure!   Very exciting season overall!  I’ll be sad when it’s over, but delighted to mark that time as when my first child will enter the world, so it’s a blessing in disguise.  Hopefully our baby will bring the Blazers some luck in the playoffs.  Go Rip City!

Lara is an excellent acupuncturist and creates a warm and welcoming environment at her office (where Kristin Lindquist’s Achieve Through Massage is also located).  Contact Lara at info @ pdx-acpuncture.com and check out her page on Facebook.

As always, feel free to come to our meetings, Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Jake’s Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205.

See ya soon!

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