Q&A with Joyce, Acupuncturist at AACI Asian Women's Home

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Joyce moved to the United States to obtain higher education. She holds a PhD in Pharmacology from Stanford University and works as an acupuncturist today. She volunteers with AACI once a week in our domestic violence shelter, providing free acupuncture services to survivors.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

A: After working in the biotech industry for twenty years, I switched to studying Chinese medicine because I always had an interest for it. I believe it is important to take care of both our mental and physical well-being. I remember drinking the bitter Chinese medicine as a child, and I wanted to learn about it in a more scientific way. After attending a four-year program, I became a licensed acupuncturist and had my own practice until 2 years ago. During the same time, I have also been doing volunteer acupuncture for more than 10 years.

Q: Why is volunteering so important to you and what do you love about it?
A: I want to give back to the community. For 10 years, I have been working with Herban Health, a non-profit organization in East Palo Alto founded by a fellow acupuncturist to provide free acupuncture to people with limited resources. Since I live in the South Bay and I speak Cantonese and Mandarin, I researched for nonprofits where I could use my language skills. I started volunteering with Asian Americans Recovery Services 9 years ago, with YWCA 4 years ago and with AACI 3 years ago. 

I love being able to give underprivileged people access to services they may not otherwise be able to get. When I provide acupuncture services at AACI Asian Women’s Home shelter, I notice survivors enjoy being in a safe space. Even for just one hour, they don’t have to worry about anything going on outside of the room. I also give them advice for better eating and exercises. I get a lot of positive feedback.

Volunteering is very rewarding to me as well. By giving help, I’m getting help in return too. I realize that sometimes we take things for granted, and I am happy to provide a little bit of relief for stress or pain to people who are struggling.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I like music and I enjoy playing the piano, and two Chinese instruments, the pipa and the gu zheng. I take online classes, anything from philosophy to history. I also love travelling; my best trip so far was to the silk road.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I really admire the people who work at AACI Asian Women’s Home. They put their clients ahead and always wear a smile! I enjoy my work at AACI, and I am willing to volunteer even more!



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