An interview with Katie Pedrick, L.Ac.
Katie, I go to your integrative wellness clinic, VIBE Wellness, for acupuncture to help with my PCOS and it has been such a beacon of light in my treatment. Unfortunately, I can’t go in right now but can you give us a brief rundown on how we can incorporate any basics of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) into our at-home wellness routines?
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes strongly in finding balance and living in tune with the energy around you. People think of TCM as being just herbs and acupuncture, but there are actually 6 other branches to Chinese medicine: nutrition, meditation, feng shui, body work, movement, and astrology. Each of these branches affects your health and wellbeing equally. This means how your home feels and how energy moves through it – its feng shui – is equally as important for your health as whether you exercise and what food you put in your belly. Think of how you feel compelled to organize the space around you before sitting down to an intense work session – order in your space, helps you to create order within your mind. Daily straightening and giving your home Hygge vibes can help a lot with anxiety and stress management, especially when you’re in your space indefinitely.
I know you use your scientific background to help others through Jinjur Shop, your store that sells plant based formulas to help others in an accessible way. Would you briefly dive into that background?
Sure! My undergraduate degree is in biology with a concentration in genetics, cell and molecular biology. After graduating from college I went on to do cancer research at a major Boston cancer center, and then ultimately moved on to pharmaceutical research. I spent a lot of time in the pharma world, and also have a masters degree in biotechnology. Through this work I became very familiar with the flaws of our western medical and pharmaceutical systems. At the same time, I gained a huge respect for herbal medicine — which I was already studying in acupuncture school! Of the top 150 pharmaceuticals in the US, 118 have active ingredients originally derived from plants. However, consuming these active ingredients as a plant is safer, and often more effective, than taking them as isolated compounds in a pill. At Jinjur, we make herbal tinctures that harness the healing power of plants so people can feel better, naturally and safely.
Can you give us some ideas on how we can be more mindful of herbalism concepts in our day-to-day?
Herbalism is just using plants as medicine. I think people get caught up in the idea of ground up herbs or teas, and forget that we all eat plants every day in the form of fruits and vegetables! Everything you put in your mouth can be medicinal. For example, my husband and I have been making an effort recently to cook with lots of antiviral foods: garlic, black tea, cinnamon, onions, turmeric, pineapple, and apple cider vinegar. The cashiers at our grocery store must think we’re nuts because we practically buy garlic by the bushel! We’ve also been trying hard to avoid foods that weaken your immune system like sugar and alcohol. Each food you eat is a step toward health or away from it. I think when you have that perspective fruits and veggies feel even more important right now.
Which Jinjur Shop formula would you take with you to a deserted island if you could only take one?
That’s such a hard choice! I’m 10,000% an extrovert, and very much *not* a beach person, so a deserted island would be my personal hell. I would be stressed to the max, so I think I would be drinking Chill Out by the bottle!
Your favorite way to elevate your life right now?
I’m trying to really take pleasure and elevate the little things. Drinking coffee in the morning out of my favorite mugs, even though they need to be hand washed. Taking the time to make a unique essential oil blend for my mood each day. Cooking really delicious and nourishing food, then savoring that I have the time to plate it in a beautiful way. My friend’s therapist told her, “Use the good china, and say the F word often” and I think those are great words to live by in quarantine.