The short story

I have chosen Chinese medicine as my primary means of medical care for almost thirty years.  Over this period of time, my interest in healing, acupuncture and herbs became so strong that I returned to school to complete a formal education at Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine in Sugar Grove, NC.  My wish is to provide a comfortable setting for local treatment in my Spruce Pine community at a reasonable price. 

Along with acupuncture, I use other Chinese techniques for releasing pain and stagnation and building energy in the body (see Treatment Modalities). I have studied both Western and Eastern herbs, the properties and uses of essential oils and other botanical products.  I am familiar with many common Chinese formulas and will make suggestions if the situation warrants their use.  

Chinese herbalism is a sophisticated system of remarkable specificity and breadth and could take a lifetime of study on its own.  For unusual or complex situations, there are several herbal pharmacies and practitioners I would be happy to recommend.  

The longer version

Though I am a native Virginian, I have lived over half my years in Western North Carolina.  I moved to Celo in 1981 and later to Spruce Pine when I met my future husband Gary Beecham (, then a devoted glassblower working for Harvey Littleton. 

I attended Mary Baldwin College where I graduated with a B.A. in English and a strong background in Art.  Like many liberal arts majors, I found my education more useful in continuing to learn than to prepare me for the world of employment.    

So I soon enrolled in a work-study program at the Horticulture School at Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  My journey into the world of herbs began in those lush greenhouses and extensive gardens.  My first job was foreman for a gardening crew that maintained the Norfolk Zoo.  I learned to love a particular tiger who lived there, a magnificent animal whose cage lock I was often tempted to pick. 

Many interests followed, many paths were taken in the years after I moved to this area, primarily in the glass and fiber arts.  In the 80’s, I became interested in acupuncture for a health issue of my own.  I did not like the standard medical options open to me.  Cissy Majebe was practicing in Asheville and I went to see her; she treated me with acupuncture and Chinese herbs for a year and the threat was cleared. 

I credit her and her clinic for keeping me out of the hospital at least three times and transmitting to me a lifelong love of Chinese medicine.  After beginning to receive acupuncture, I read everything I could get my hands on about the subject and began to study the medical theory and herbal formulas.  Through Cissy, I was introduced to the ideas and practical applications of Dr. Jeffrey Yuen, a renowned teacher and walking encyclopedia of Classical Chinese Medicine.

I am also indebted to one of my early teachers and current acupuncturist Mark Fortney who suggested to me that it was time for this medicine to become either a vocation or a “very expensive habit” as I struggled with the decision to return to school in acupuncture.  I am grateful to Dr. Sean Marshall, who started Jung Tao School.  He was a complex man with a capacity to weave disparate ideas and concepts into a simple and elegant fabric.  May the understanding he transmitted to us as students serve as solid ground for our growth as practitioners. 

I enjoy gardening, cooking, walking with my husband and our dog Zoey, reading, writing, music and various forms of needlework.  I like to mess around with the piano though you can't quite call it "playing".