How she found TCM
Francesca fell in love with TCM when she began receiving acupuncture treatments in a community acupuncture clinic, via a friend’s recommendation. The relief she obtained from acupuncture and her first TCM herb formula compelled her to volunteer as a receptionist for the clinic in exchange for regular treatments. During several months of volunteering, Francesca witnessed TCM’s powerful healing and transformational impact on patients and admired her acupuncturist so much that she realized she wanted to become an acupuncturist.
Francesca has had a total of over 6 years of clinical practice--including her experience as an intern at Five Branches University in Santa Cruz and her professional practice in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. She also completed 80 hours of clinical training at the Hospital of Traditional Medicine in Hanoi, Vietnam, which integrates Eastern and Western medicine, as well as 80 hours of clinical and academic training at the EBRAMEC school in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Francesca was raised in Napa, California by Italian immigrants and grew up speaking Italian at home. No, they aren't in the wine industry, but her father does make homemade wine and grappa and gladly gives her free bottles (lucky Francesca!). She also studied Spanish and speaks it at an intermediate level. She has loved nature from a young age. She became fascinated with herbal medicine when she stumbled upon a book of medicinal herbs as a preteen. That led to a passion for researching natural methods of healing and maintaining health. This naturally complemented her interest in environmental and ecological studies. Holistic healing has always been the lens through which she sees the world. Pastimes of Francesca’s include surfing (her favorite), hiking, walking along the ocean, learning and researching, exploring, running, anything involving music (listening, making, etc), and spending time with friends.
Academic Background and Philosophy
Francesca received two Bachelor’s Degrees at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin: B.S. in Biology and B.S. in Environmental Studies. She aspired to be a conservation biologist and field ecologist. She believed her calling was to dedicate her life to the protection of the Earth’s environment and ecosystems--that was before she fell in love with Traditional Chinese Medicine. She came to be aware of the impact of human activity on the earth's health, and how the health of humans directly influences how they treat the earth. Francesca realized that her calling was to give to the world by treating one patient at a time--because humans and nature are one and flow through the same elemental archetypes. Francesca believes that when people are in a state of harmony, they bring the earth closer to a state of harmony, too. Traditional Chinese Medicine, being rooted in the mechanisms and cycles of Nature, brings people into harmony, so they can live most healthfully and joyfully. This ultimately makes the world a better place, safer and more suitable for the future generations to come.
Francesca is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine post-graduate program, which requires the completion of a total of 1280 professional, didactic, and clinical hours, which includes capstone research for peer-review. For her research, Francesca is very interested in the relationship between the endogenous cannabinoid system and acupuncture, and its application in medicine and developing a greater understanding of how acupuncture works. For her DAOM research capstone, she will be studying the the importance of cannabinoid levels in the body on the effectiveness of acupuncture, which is scheduled to be completed by December of 2019.
Francesca will soon receive a doctoral degree (DAOM) with a specialization in Pain Management and Neuromuscular Medicine. She has also completed 240 hours of academic and clinical training in Five Element Acupuncture, which is a style of Oriental Medicine that is rooted in the Five Elements and treats disease/disharmony via its psycho-emotional manifestations, which are characterized and organized according to the Five Element archetypes that compose Nature. The goal of this is to balance the five elements in the body/mind/spirit via the emotions. She also completed 200 academic and clinical hours of TCM Tuina Massage Therapy. Tuina massage is one of the five branches of TCM, which is meant to be combined with the other branches (acupuncture, herbs, energetics, and dietetics). Francesca has also studied Pediatric Tuina, which is also one of primary treatment methods for treating infants and children.