This Acupuncturist Is Healing Brown Bodies, One Needle At A Time
Meet Portia R. Wilson, L.Ac., the acupuncturist behind Deeper Genius.
In simple terms, how would you explain acupuncture?
In the simplest of terms: acupuncture is the insertion of sterile, single-use fine needles into the body to facilitate the body's innate healing mechanisms. The idea behind acupuncture is that we have channels of energy known as "meridians" which travel around and through our bodies.
Lifestyle, diet, environment, genetics, and a number of other factors determine how well or how poorly energy or qi (pronounced "chee") flows through these meridians. When this energy is out of balance it causes illness.
Acupuncture seeks to regain that balance by inserting whisker thin acupuncture needles along specified acupuncture points on the meridians to restore health. In addition to the use of acupuncture needles, acupuncture itself also includes the use of herbal medicine, cupping, bodywork and nutritional wisdom. It's an entire medical system!
How do you deal with skepticism in regards to your practice?
In the wise words of Trinidad James: "Don't believe me?? Just watch." That's essentially my motto. Acupuncture is one of the fastest growing healthcare modalities in the United States. It's only a matter of time before a skeptic's neighbor/daughter/brother/co-worker insists that they make an appointment to see an acupuncturist. Acupuncturists dedicate a minimum of 4 years to full time year round graduate study to practice this 5,000 year old medicine. We successfully treat sciatica, painful periods, migraines, eczema, acne, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety,...the list goes on and on. Skeptics are usually under informed about the medicine. I always invite them to book an appointment at Deeper Genius to experience for themselves!
What is the most beneficial part of holistic medicine to you?
The most beneficial part of holistic medicine to me is empowering people in their healthcare journey. In my time as an acupuncturist, I've had a number of patients who have reported seemingly unrelated and strange symptoms to their former healthcare providers.
Those providers dismissed their concerns as outliers or unfounded anxieties. Those experiences left the patients feeling not only disempowered, but unsupported in their healthcare. Patients are the primary experts on what they are experiencing in their bodies. As an acupuncturist, I am a resource and facilitator of wellness.
In order to successfully do my job as a healthcare provider, I truly have to listen to all the concerns, symptoms, and experiences of a patient. By thoroughly listening, I am better equipped to offer patients what they need to help them reach their health goals. Holistic medicine helps restore the power of healing into the hands of the patient.
What is your favorite part of offering holistic medicine for you?
That's really simple for me. My favorite part of offering holistic medicine is helping people get well and stay well. It's rewarding to receive emails from patients who ecstatically report that their anxiety levels have drastically decreased or that their periods were pain free.
Walk us through a typical day for you.
A typical day for me starts around 6am with a gratitude list, some form of meditation, then breakfast with my wife and a morning walk with our French Bulldog. My brain moves at lightning speed and we live in a very high energy neighborhood in Los Angeles so I like to start my mornings early and slowly for my own sanity. After that, it's all emails, scheduling, research, until it's time to see patients. I have to remind myself to slow down and take breaks. I can really get into tunnel vision mode because I'm doing something that I love. Still, balance is key and breaks are necessary. After I wrap up with patients for the day, my evenings are pretty chill. I'm usually vibing out to sounds from Soulection, Smino, or whoever's sound matches my mood. After that it's lights out. I go to bed early. I'm a granny.
What is an appointment like with you?
Appointments with me are chill yet informative. I like the healing environment to feel as relaxed as possible. I spend the first part of the appointment listening to the patient, asking diagnostic questions, educating, and getting a clear understanding of how I can assist them. I ask to see their tongue. I feel their pulses. By the time we're done talking, I've designed a tailored treatment plan for them. I insert needles along specific acupuncture points that will help them regain balance. The patient relaxes on the table with the needles for about 30 minutes. During that time some people sleep. Many enter a light, meditative like state where they feel calm. Just about everyone gets up feeling lighter, refreshed, more calm and clear headed. At the conclusion of a treatment, I offer nutritional advice, simple lifestyle adjustments, and the advice about the number and frequency of treatments necessary to treat their conditions. When necessary, I provide cupping therapy and herbal recommendations.
Tell us a little about yourself.
This is a tough one. I like to think of myself as an open book, but somehow talking about myself is difficult. I'll keep it simple: St. Louis raised me. Howard University made me. I'm currently coasting in Los Angeles. Everyday is my birthday. I live by love, not fear. I'm unapologetically black, queer, and forever free. I'm a goddess and a force. That's the tip of the tip of the iceberg.
My mom flew ✈️ from St. Louis to spend the holidays with Alma, Lola, and me in Los Angeles. We skipped the (material) presents and simply took care of one another. We cooked, we laughed, we practiced #radicalselflove and #radicalselfcare. It was far more rewarding than the previous years of amassing more #stuff and more stress. This 📸 was taken during one of several #cupping and #acupuncture sessions I was able to provide. It's a rewarding feeling to offer the gift of wellness to my mama. These shoulders have carried the weight of the world and I'm happy to do what I can to help them release and #letgo. Cheers to the New Year, everyone. Love up on your loved ones. Love up on yourself. Put your wellness first. Asé. #thespringsla #botanarchy
What did you want to be when you were little?
HA! What didn't I want to be would probably be the easiest way to answer this. At one point I wanted to be a doctor, teacher, dancer, astronaut, hairdresser, scuba diver, environmental scientist, and Janet Jackson. That's the short list. Eventually, I realized that I have two left feet and that Janet was doing a pretty good job of being Janet. I quickly realized I was better off being myself and following my joy. Maybe around the age of 8 or 9, I decided that I new what I wanted to be and that was to be happy and free. That kid wisdom still applies today. Shout out to younger me for holding it down. Lol.
Tell us about Deeper Genius Acupuncture. How did it come about?
The authentic self has always been my driving force in how I move about the world. I recognize that the ability to live as one's authentic self is something that can be clouded by anxiety, stress, judgement, limiting social constructs, and fear. Being ruled by those factors causes great unrest in the spirit and illness in the body.
Deeper Genius Acupuncture & Healing Arts came about because I wanted to create a healthcare practice that acknowledged the imperative power of healing mind, body, and spirit. The name is inspired by the notion of deepening one's connection to the personal genius. Honestly, I believe that if we were all more aligned with our freedom and purpose, that we'd be a more peaceful, powerful, and healthy global community.
What are some of your hobbies when you aren't at DGA?
I'm a music head, food lover, nature junkie, wanderlust and art babe. You can catch me indulging in something related to one of those.