The acupuncture field is filled with women who are leading the way to better health. In honor of Women's Equality Day, we wanted to talk with one of our own, Vashni Nilon, L.Ac. about her experience. We interviewed Vashni about her career in acupuncture and how it contrasts to her previous work experience in the corporate world.
1. You made a shift from the corporate world to acupuncture. Tell us about that:
I had been working in fashion marketing for many years. My job was extremely demanding and I was under a lot of stress in an environment that was really, really unhealthy. I wasn't sleeping, no time to exercise and basically shoving food in my face. I was travellng constantly and chained to a Blackberry. Sometimes I worked until midnight and was then expected to be in New York for a meeting at 7:30 the next morning.
A few years earlier, I was treated for a rare cancer. Thankfully, it was a curable cancer but after treatment I was extremely depleted and went into early menopause. My OB suggested acupuncture and I started seeing Steve Mavros. I was hooked from the beginning. I started feeling like a human again. My ovaries started functioning again and I was lucky enough to give birth to my son. I really didn't need anymore proof that that - ACUPUNCTURE WORKS!!!
When my corporate job started laying off people in droves, I knew I had to make a decision. Should I stay in the field??? My gut said no and I applied to The Won Institute in Glenside, PA. People are still in shock that I gave up such a "great career."
2. Have there ever been any moments in your career where you felt a particular advantage or disadvantage being a women?
In corporate America it's pretty difficult to be a mom. At least where I was working. I felt that I was looked down upon for trying to be a hands on parent.
3. Acupuncture seems to be a field where there is equal representation among men and women. Do you feel that as a professional industry, women have a lot of opportunity for growth?
I think that if you are good at what you do, the opportunities are there. But you do have to hustle. And it's not a profession I would choose if you want to make a lot of money. It's a much saner way of life and I value what I do a lot more than I did.
4. Women have made so much progress since earning the right to vote. What do you see as some of the challenges we still face?
Well I think people underestimate that rights can be removed. I think women still need to stand up for the right to control their own bodies.
5. As a health and wellness practitioner, what is your advice for women who may be looking to enhance their overall well being?
Do something that you can manage every day. Heroic workouts once every three months are less beneficial than walking every day. If you can manage nothing else drink a glass of water! Treat yourself like you matter, because you do.