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 (beechamwhiteglass.com),
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
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".