When I arrived at Oriental medical school I had already been an organic herb farmer and Western herbalist for over a decade. During that time I had also been developing and manufacturing natural remedies made with herbs and essential oils. At school I was introduced to traditional Chinese topical remedies as well as herbs for internal use; medicinal herbalism was part of the curriculum and we had a fully stocked working pharmacy at the student clinic.
We had few if any school breaks during the year other than the month of July. This was a tremendous relief as I was attended Dragon Rises College in Gainesville, FL and July was especially hot and humid in this land-locked North Florida town. I took some time to visit my sisters in Marin County just north of San Francisco. Because San Francisco has an amazing Chinatown (Jiùjīnshān tángrénjiē) which is home to countless herb shops, I decided to venture into the city to further my knowledge of Chinese herbs and purchase some herbal goodies.
Because I was an impoverished graduate student, I had taken the redeye across the country. Trying to sleep with little success in the cramped airplane seat, I managed to crick my neck. It was still bothering me while I perused the markets and I decided to purchase a liniment to apply to the area. This type of herbal topical pain remedy is also called a Dit Dat Jow which I now manufacture and sell online.
My mode of transportation when visiting this part of California is the Golden Gate Transit System which runs buses and ferries from Marin to San Francisco. The buses are not your normal city buses; they sport big, comfortable, reclining seats that are filled with people in business attire who commute daily from the affluent towns of Marin to work at their power-jobs in the city.
During my ride returning back over the Golden Gate Bridge, the man in an expensive suit sitting next to me abruptly got up, grabbed his leather briefcase from the overhead storage, and moved to another seat at the back of the bus. The next person who sat down next to me did not stay long either. I felt my face begin to burn as it turned red with my realization that the linament I had applied earlier in the day smelled really bad to these people. My constant exposure to the wafting aromas of Chinese herbs in the student clinic made me oblivious to my faux pas.
This short-lived embarrassment led to an amazing realization; I had the resources and knowledge to produce topical pain remedies using pure essential oils and herbs that did not have an offensive odor. This is an incredibly important element to a remedy as patient compliance is the key to the long-term alleviation of chronic pain syndromes. If they cannot apply a remedy and go to work or out in public it is unlikely they will use the remedy with any regularity.
Thus, the inception of our Acupressure-Sticks™ dates back to 1998. Since that time, using pure essential oils to activate the healing potential of acupressure points has gained great popularity among the Oriental medicine practitioner community; we wholesale many Acu-Sticks™ to licensed acupuncturists these days, but it took a long time to get to this place. The development of our topical Dit Dat Jow sprays for pain relief developed more recently as we only made these available online in 2015.
An entrepreneur at heart, my first venture was at the ripe age of 18. While my first few start-ups were short-lived, they were not complete failures. Each small success led to the next business idea; each failure served as a learning opportunity. Eventually, my destiny led to an organic herb farm business that I started in 1983 and owned for over 16 years up to the enrollment in Oriental medical school. It is my hope that sharing my story helps to inspire some other aspiring entrepreneur to embrace the process of making something from nothing; you will never be bored and your creative efforts can contribute to making the world a better place!