Renée Klorman, M.S.O.M, L.Ac., RES-CPT
Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicinal Herbalist, and Nutritious Movement Certified Restorative Exercise Specialist
The first time I encountered Chinese medicine was as a patient in a lot of pain. My job was making me sick. I was in my mid twenties, working for a high profile billionaire in midtown Manhattan where making errors was not an option.
I didn’t know I was falling in love with Chinese medicine during that first visit, but I did know that something absolutely profound occurred, and I wanted to understand why. By the end of my treatment, my shoulder pain was gone and has never returned. By the morning, the debilitating stomach pain was gone and also never returned. I quit my job that week and vowed to never work in an office again.
Prior to earning an M.S. in Chinese medicine, I was on an academic path. I studied Art History as an undergraduate and then went on to graduate school where I earned an M.A. is Women's/Labor History. I loved the rigor of learning and wanted to continue on to a PhD, but didn't want to jump into a career that would keep me cloistered in a research library for decades to come.
What I really wanted was to dedicate myself to a profession that not only challenged me intellectually, but also gave me a skill to participate meaningfully in the community where I live. Chinese medicine is the perfect marriage of these two ideals. Chinese medicine is an ancient medicine, but also incredibly practical and applicable to our 21st century living. Everyday I see how effective a few needles or herbs can be to help with pain, digestive issues, insomnia, depression, and a host of other health challenges. I love learning about people and nature through this lens, and finding ways to bridge the ancient with the contemporary.
As this history reflects, I really live to learn. I am always working to increase my knowledge of Chinese medicine to better serve my patients. I am dedicated to a life long learning mission in pursuit of becoming a skilled practitioner and scholar of the medicine. The scholar doctors that have strongly influenced my clinical work are Dr. Heiner Fruehauf (classical Chinese medicine), Sharon Weizenbaum (advanced herbal medicine and diagnosis), Dr. Henry McCann (Master Tung Acupuncture and classical Chinese medicine), Dr. Huang Huang (advanced herbal medicine and diagnosis), and the late Dr. Wang Ju Yi (Channel Palpation and classical Chinese medicine).
For the last four years I have also studied with biomechanist Katy Bowman of Nutritious movement. Nutritious Movement is about helping you understand where your sedentary parts are, and identifying your sticky movement patterns that keep you in pain, inhibit your physical activity, or may be affecting your physiological health. Once we establish this baseline, I create a treatment plan of corrective exercises that will put you on a path to feel better, and move better in 10 years, than you do now.
When I am not working in the clinic or have my nose in a book, you can find me at higher elevations, hiking / camping with my partner and our dog in the high Sierra mountains. You can follow my adventures on Instagram.
Why the name Roots and Burls?
Of all the nature metaphors I could use to describe the human body, a tree is my favorite. The leaves express symptoms that come and go, and offer a glimpse of your overall health. The branches are the symptoms that stick around a bit longer and nag you. The trunk, and its rings, bark, and burls break life down into a timeline. The roots tell the history of what is and is not being nourished (air, water, and food), kept safe (community, family, friends, i.e., emotional and physical safety), and are the keepers of history (your DNA/Jing). .
When I am working with someone, I am thinking about all of this and making an assessment about what gets nourished and pruned to help the whole being thrive. This means that I am also thinking about the various paths a present health concern could take, and how they will take shape if nothing is done—a year or ten years from now. From an East Asian medicine perspective, *everything* is connected, which is why this medicine is an art form as much as a science. The beauty of treating the human body this way is that once you see your health through this lens, you can’t unsee it, generating paradigm shifts that support the entire ecosystem, not just the tree.