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The Beginning

How do you start a blog about the thing you are the most passionate about?

I guess you start at the beginning…

I remember visiting CROW (the Center for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) in Sanibel Island, Florida when I was still in vet school. We were at the home of one of the veterinarians and a red book on the shelf caught my eye. It was the overall textbook on Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine by Huisheng Xie (who ended up teaching me) and Vanessa Preast. I wasn’t even finished with vet school, but a seed was planted. There is another way to help animals.

After graduating from veterinary school, I spent 5 years in Western veterinary medicine before Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine came up again. I was working a relief shift at a clinic and the same red book that caught my eye years ago was on the shelf. I was thumbing through it and the owner said, “You can have that if you want it. I know deep down I’ll never use it.” And, that’s all she wrote… sort of.

I started school at the Chi Institute the next year. The Chi Institute was started and run by Dr. Huisheng Xie, the author of the textbook. I think it was good that I waited because I felt like Aladdin and Jasmine on the magic carpet. Only it wasn’t Jasmine and Aladdin on the carpet, it was me and my (very small in stature, but huge in personality and knowledge) Chinese teacher, Dr. Xie. “A whole new world, a dazzling place I never knew. But now from way up here, it’s crystal clear…” was playing over in my mind.

I was so stoked to be learning about Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (nerd alert). On the first day of school, there was a poster framed on the wall that read:

The Forces of nature, yin and yang, exist in an eternal state of transformation, as does the veterinarian who must learn to balance these forces in the practice of the ancient healing art of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.

Utilizing the invaluable discoveries, knowledge, and experience of generations of Chinese healers, the practitioner strives to maintain balance and harmony within the patient’s body and the external environment. This is achieved through the use of acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine, tai-na, and environmental management.

Just as qi (chee) energy flows through the meridians to bring harmony to the mind, body and spirit, so must the pure intent and healing energy of the veterinarian. The evolution of a masterful healer is accomplished through gratitude, practice, patience, experience and integration of all acquired medical knowledge from East to West.

– Donna Ragno, DVM and Thor Basko, DVM

Yes. This is definitely the place for me.