“Working with clients is gentle transition work; from acute or chronic illness we seek a renewed path of integration and adaptability so we can meet clearly defined functional goals. The healing arts are a wisdom school and my clients have been my teachers.’Julie Meyer, M.Ac., L.Ac., Diplomat, NCCAOM
Julie Meyer has a Master’s degree from the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) (now part of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) (1998) and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts in Women’s Studies (now Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies) (1984). A 1998 recipient of the Tsay Fellowship, she is a licensed acupuncturist and a diplomate with the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Early in her career she worked in a hospital-based complementary medicine clinic.
Acupuncture is gentle and effective. Julie has been providing acupuncture treatments for over 20 years in Midcoast Maine. She practices Traditional Chinese Medicine and Japanese Acupuncture, using only sterile, single-use needles. She may also use techniques called Cupping, Gua Sha, Sotai and Tui Na. She may recommend specific herbal remedies for some clients, sourced primarily from two companies, Herbal Times and Evergreen Herbs. She only works with companies with careful monitoring and inspection practices to ensure quality control.
Since the global COVID-19 pandemic, Julie began offering on-line intakes, in addition to in-person acupuncture treatments. The on-line platform allows more time to be safely “face-to-face” and to share other tools of Asian medicine, including herbal recommendations, nutrition, self-massage and exercise; and allow time to share a wider range of experiences and depth of study in areas outside academic and clinical training in Asian Medicine, when appropriate to do so. These other tools include meditation, body alignment, whole foods cooking, gluten free eating and baking, maintaining health through the challenges of parenting, marriage and divorce, and sexuality after menopause.
Integrated Body Alignment and Voice: Julie’s understanding of the body, it’s power, flexibility and alignment was cultivated over the course of more than a decade as a martial artist and teacher of martial arts to women and girls. Julie holds black belts in two martial arts styles, an Okinawan style of Karate called Shuri-Ryu and a Filipino style of weapon and empty hand arts called Modern Arnis. She trained at and later taught karate and self-defense for women and girls at Valley Women’s Martial Arts from 1983-1995, studying under the seventh degree black belts Sensei Janet Aalfs and Sensei Beth Holt. She also studied with Modern Arnis founder Professor Remy Presas who in 1982 was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as Instructor of the Year.
This background allows Julie to offer useful feedback about integration of the physical body with purpose, heart and voice. Through exercises she teaches others to bring awareness to areas of the body that are blocked and to experiment with ways the heart and mind can zero in on and inhabit the body in new more fulfilling ways.
“Perseverance, mindful practice, and mentoring in the dojo helped cultivate deep inner awareness of fluidity versus stagnation in the personal and collective body. We explored collaboratively and individually what the socially ingrained patterns of being feel like in the body, asking if and how I/we became co-opted as a body both personal and political, if and how I/we silenced our own voices, and demanded of the body a way of moving and being in the world that was smaller than our natural birth-right. We trained, releasing old restrictions in our bodies and strove to adopt our natural inheritance as humans of an energetic balance of agency, desire and empathy. We asked: What does it feel like in the body to allow the voice to come from deep within, to pair the inner sound made external come what may, joining our voice, our power with actions of hips rooted on legs, on feet, on Earth, one with self and one with our environment. In the dojo our torsos, heads and arms rose powerfully seated from rooted hips below, extending towards heaven, or gracefully cascading, spinning, and inserting powerfully towards the earth, our mark. Our lives. What did it feel like? It felt like wind in the trees, sun on a flower, and a life worth living. This was the foundation for my decision to shift my course of study to the healing arts in 1995. By exploring the balance of body, mind and spirit, and by practicing the alertness, fluidity and power of that balance in a mindful way, with respect for others and in collaboration with and mentoring by other wonderful teachers and guides, I strive to be fully present with a soft focus, alert yet relaxed and to accept that I do so imperfectly.’~Julie
Meditation: Julie began meditating over 46 years ago when at age 12 her mother brought her and her 14 year old brother to a seminar where they learned Transcendental Meditation. She practiced it daily for decades and then began exploring other forms of meditation such as mindfulness meditation, group sitting meditation and collaborative moving meditation which was practiced within her martial arts community and later still she learned and began practicing meditation in the Taoist tradition of Mantak Chia, including the microcosmic orbit and healing smile meditation. She is not a meditation teacher, but she can offer exercises that speak to the stillness within, which can spark mindfulness as a way of life and awareness to counter rigid patterns of mind and behavior that no longer serve our health.
“For me meditation opens a place of stillness and teaches me the difference between thinking about and simply being. When I’m not trying to work everything out in my mind, when I see the patterns of my own mind and recognize them, the repetitiveness and predictability of my reactions and patterned thinking, I’m more apt to pause and allow more spaciousness and deeper breathing to follow. This spaciousness allows a reprieve from judgement and reactivity, and gives rise to something new, a kind of gentle flow into the center of myself, allowing me to feel more rooted, and therefore more open to others, and to our differences. I find myself really curious about others in a new way; I really like the feeling. It’s a good place for me to be. The practice of meditation influenced the development of my listening skills which are the foundation of my work as a healthcare practitioner. I meditate not only for the sake of my own health but for the health of my relationships with others.”~Julie
Food: Food choices and our relationship to food is not a “diet.” All types of bodies can be healthy and all types and sizes of bodies can be unhealthy. Some people may want or need to change their way of eating and that may lead, for some, to weight loss. But holistic eating as a practice is not about social norms of thinness, or about fat-phobia. Julie offers food advice based on scientific principles of balance and nutrition, as well as the ancient wisdom of the 5 Elements and 8 Principles which are theories in traditional Chinese medicine with concrete applications in our modern world and to our modern way of eating. Julie has been studying these ideas for over 20 years, and eating a whole food diet (over 30 years) and a gluten-free diet (18 years). No one approach is right for all people. Exploring what is right for you includes conversation about your personal story of eating, your history of medication use, your experience of and need for food as a source of pleasure, your social and home life and your desire.
Female Sexuality after Menopause: The “change” –when a female body stops menstruating–has been feared and mocked and caused much suffering. At Radiant Health menopause is recognized instead as an exciting time of renewal. Bring it on! The monthly menstrual cycle can extend for 30-40 plus years. That’s a long time to physically, mentally and emotionally experience a hormonal cycle that includes the hard work of building a blood-lined palace rich and stable enough to nurture, protect and grow a new being! And then every month shedding that lining when it’s not needed for a fetus, and preparing for another egg-drop and purple palace in two weeks’ time!
Whether or not the female body ever bears a child, that cycle included a cascade of hormones designed to facilitate nurturing another being. That monthly hormonal cascade was reinforced daily by social and cultural norms which have historically laid a preponderance of responsibility on women in the home to be caretakers, geared towards others even when they also work full-time. Menopause is a pause and reset button. It’s a time to bring your care-taking energy home to your own body, heart and mind, and to explore your desire.
Sexuality after menopause is an adventure within the pause. It’s a reminder to reset the focus from external to internal, to come home to ourselves, and explore what feels good. Cultivating joy and pleasure later in life may take courage but the give-back is immense–more energy, more connection, and better health. Discussion, herbs, supplements, exercises and acupuncture are useful tools for this life-affirming time of pause and reset.