As featured on VoyagePhoenix.com
Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Derby.
Michelle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My journey to becoming an acupuncturist started when I was in my early 20s. My hair was falling out and none of my Drs could tell me why it was occurring. My blood work kept coming back normal. So the Drs would suggest I eat more protein or refer me to someone else that also had no answers for me. I was getting so frustrated because I knew there was something going on in my body.
One day I came across the number for the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA) college in Phoenix and I called the student clinic. I told the gentleman on the other line what I was going through and he told me it sounded like blood deficiency, I asked him how he could consider it blood deficiency if all my test results came back normal and there were no signs of anemia, He explained to me that Chinese medicine looks at the individual as a whole.
Taking into consideration your mind, body and soul and not just concentrating on symptoms when going over your whole health history. Everything he was saying was all making sense to me. Of course, you are going to have ailments and disease if your blood and vital energy of the body is not flowing correctly. I made an appointment that day to start acupuncture and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. After my first couple of treatments, I couldn’t believe how amazing I was feeling. Emotionally I was less stressed and other symptoms I was having along with my hair loss were resolving. It was amazing!
It was at this moment I realized that I wanted to be an acupuncturist. I wanted to help people heal and reclaim their health just as I was doing. So I applied for the summer intensive program at PIHMA College and Clinic in May 2000 and graduated with my Master’s degree in Chinese Acupuncture in 2005. I started my business Rock Star Acupuncture in 2007 and have been healing people ever since. Every day I feel so blessed that I can make a difference in someone’s life by helping them feel better. It is the most rewarding career I could have ever chosen.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course, the road has not always been smooth and I have gone through many struggles along the way. But I wouldn’t change any part of my life because of the woman I have become. One of the struggles I went through was just a couple of years ago in 2015.
I was 30 weeks pregnant with my daughter, Harleyquinn, and my placenta ruptured in the middle of the night. When we got to the hospital I had an emergency c-section but my daughter ended up passing just after birth. It is the most devastating thing I have ever experienced. Completely life changing and to be honest I didn’t know how I would be able to treat my patients again feeling so broken. I had severe PTSD and my body was traumatized leading to extreme pain.
I turned to fellow acupuncturists in the valley to help heal my mind, body, soul and process the grief I was experiencing. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I continue to get acupuncture regularly because losing a child is something you never get over. You just learn to cope. I have my moments of grief for Harleyquinn but I experience more joy than anything these days thanks to acupuncture. My body is still healing and that is because I ended up getting pregnant again 6 months after Harleyquinn passed and had her sister, Willow, a year later on Harleyquinn’s original due date.
Definitely the work of God. Acupuncture played a very pivotal role in supporting my second pregnancy and kept me emotionally stable until Willow was born. She is now a year and a half old and as healthy as can be. She is our rainbow baby and has brought so much joy to our family. Going through this experience has taken me on a new path with my practice of helping grieving mothers of stillborn and infant loss heal their mind, body, and soul so they can experience joy and love again.
Please tell us about Rock Star Acupuncture.
My business name is Rock Star Acupuncture. I named it that because of my many years in the performing arts and being a part of the local music scene from 2000 to 2006. I wanted my business name to be unique and to stand out. To this day I still get compliments on my business name. I have over 3000 hours of training and a Masters degree in Chinese Acupuncture and I am licensed and insured.
At Rock Star Acupuncture you will find yourself being treated with respect and dignity while I address your health issues. In your initial consultation and treatment with me, I will go over your whole health history and ask a serious of questions that will help me properly diagnose and treat you. I listen to your every concern and will do whatever it takes to make you feel better. I want to make sure you leave my office feeling amazing. I love when my patients walk out of my office with a permanent grin on their face and on cloud 9, It is so rewarding and makes me proud to be a healer.
I specialize in stress/anxiety, depression, addiction, grief and pain of all types. I also love to treat kids! They are such bundles of energy and when I treat them they respond so quickly to the acupuncture. It is great! I have been blessed to help many women get pregnant and hold the pregnancy until their due date. It is really rewarding to meet the babies that I have helped come to this earth. I say you can always tell an acupuncture baby because they are so much more relaxed, sleep better through the night and rarely get sick, or if they do they recover really quickly.
I offer acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, electro-acupuncture, nutritional counseling, and life coaching, I also incorporate essential oils into my treatments to make them that much more effective.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Absolutely nothing! I am very happy and content with my life and practice.