by Lee Bothamley R.N., R.TCMP, R.Ac.

I have told my story many times, and each time I do, I hope that some small piece of information will help someone on their own journey to healing.  I hope that this helps you too.

In 1976, I became a Registered Nurse – something that I had wanted since I was a very young girl. In 1988, a car accident changed my life and my health.

Until then, I had been very active – working full time, exercising, taking part time classes and volunteering in my community. When our car was broadsided, I had no idea how much my life would change.

I went immediately to the hospital experiencing severe neck tightness. I followed the suggested regime of treatment – anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, medication for sleep, physiotherapy and a neck collar. After a few months, I was given permission to attempt a return to my nursing position. This and several subsequent attempts to perform the duties of my job left me in excrutiating pain and stiffness.

Over the next 3 years, I progressively got worse and was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a rheumatologist. Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome includes widespread chronic pain, non-restful/restorative sleep, headaches, fatigue, bowel & bladder irritability, difficulty concentrating and speaking and many other symptoms. FM mimics many other conditions, but it is diagnosed by specific tender spots on the body. It is a very frustrating condition not only for the patient, but for their family and friends. Little wonder it is referred to as “the irritable everything syndrome”.

Western medicine had no further suggestions for me other than to “get used to it and live with it”. I was told I would be moderately permanently disabled.

I had always been interested in alternative forms of healing and at this point, I started to investigate some of them. I made radical changes in my diet, started on a vitamin & mineral regime and over the next few years I had massage, Trager therapy, craniosacral work and I saw a Naturopathic Doctor. All of these things were very beneficial for me.

In 1994, I decided to try acupuncture. I saw a Doctor of Chinese Medicine for treatments 3 times weekly initially. Chinese herbs specifically formulated for my constitution helped with the pain and other issues I was experiencing.  Within a few months, I noticed that I could think more clearly and my energy was improving. With ongoing treatment, the pain and headaches I experienced on a daily basis were lessening. As I improved, the frequency of my treatments was decreased.

During my course of treatment, I did extensive reading on Traditional Chinese Medicine. I was intrigued enough that I decided if I regained enough of my health to be able to return to school, I would study Chinese Medicine.

In 1996, I returned to school for 4 years in London, Ontario to study Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. It was a long, hard 4 years but I graduated in 2000 and set up my practice that year. I am also certified in Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Bach Flower Essence consultation, Regression Work and ear candling. I offer these treatments alone, or in conjunction with acupuncture & Chinese medicine.

I see patients with a variety of health concerns in my office – pain, headaches, gout, arthritis, digestive problems, menstrual irregularities, infertility, allergies, skin conditions, addiction & immune system problems, etc. My goal with each and every patient is to educate them about the process of healing and to give them as many tools as possible to use in their recovery. My hope is to offer inspiration for those suffering from ill health, or to those wanting to use a preventative approach.

My experience as a Registered Nurse combined with my education and experience in Traditional Chinese Medicine uses an “east meets west” philosophy to combine the best of both systems of medicine.

It is important to know that the body can, and will, heal itself if given the proper tools. Healing takes time and making the decision to take control of your health is the first step on your road to recovery.

-Lee Bothamley, Registered Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture