Cheryl Ensing

I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and I currently live in Burlington, WA with my husband. If someone would have told me, when I was young, that someday I would become an acupuncturist and an aspiring herbalist, I doubt I would have believed them. Though, truth be told, in kindergarten I wanted to be a nurse, and as a child I often spent time diagnosing and treating all of my stuffed animals. Some foreshadowing, certainly!

In college, I gravitated toward linguistics and foreign languages, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with my life. I dropped out of school and worked a few years for a kayak manufacturer. It was during this time that I was diagnosed with a serious case of endometriosis. My friend, with the same condition, referred me to a TCM herbalist. Her formulas kicked my endometriosis to the curb! I then tried acupuncture for a nagging whiplash injury, and was amazed by the results. I had found my calling. I went to acupuncture school and graduated in 2001, but opted to not do herbs at that time, as I felt a great need to take a break from school and get to work.

I did the first section of the East West course around 2003. I didn’t enroll in the remainder of the course until a few years ago. The needs of my family and running a business have taken center stage for much of the last few years, but I continue to doggedly learn as much as I can, as best I can. Although I’m not learning herbs at the rate I had originally hoped, I am learning how to help my elderly mother and disabled brother maneuver through the challenges of declining health. Compassion, patience, and coordination of care – these three comprise my “core curriculum” right now, and I’m learning quite a bit.

Someday, my husband and I would like to have a piece of land outside of town. I want to cultivate a food forest, with plenty of medicinal herbs, and grow lots of vegetables. I’m not yet sure what my professional focus will be with herbs. I’ve been feeling a strong pull toward specializing in chronic infections and autoimmune disorders, but I’m waiting to see how things unfold. I’m so thankful for the knowledge, support, and wisdom that are available to me at East West!

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