Famous on Youtube


Hopefully, my 15 minutes transforms into a lifetime of good health for many many people around the world! 

It used to be a joke, "Yeah, but you could be famous on Youtube." We'd LOL about it, and even ROFL about it. But the world is changing fast, and if you're famous for posting content on Youtube...well, you're famous. There's even a name for it. Yup, you guessed it, a Youtuber. 

My lanky 11 year old son has recently been recording his own videos, speaking directly at the camera to his four "fans". My eyes rolled so hard, I thought they'd fall out of my head. And then, out of nowhere, the tables turned; I got an email from Roi Wassabi aka Guava Juice, a Youtuber with nearly 7 million subscribers. And just like that, I agreed to allow the Guava Juice team to film me giving an acupuncture and cupping treatment to one of the most famous Youtubers in the world. I was nervous and quite frankly, a little perplexed, but what the heck, I figured...this is an extraordinary chance to introduce millions of young people to acupuncture. Besides, it would win me some serious brownie points with my own kid. 

And, yes, my son was whooping and hollering with unbridled delight at the news, but he didn't really believe it was real until Roi and his crew walked up our driveway in board shorts and t-shirts, camera in hand, with wide, warm grins on their faces. Roi's videos are a silly and filled with crazy antics, and I had no idea what was going to happen during our shoot. To my (pleasant) surprise, Roi was extremely humble, kind, and easy to work with.  Nonetheless, as the camera started to roll, I found myself twirling the ends of my trademark braids with shaking fingers. I tried to breathe and just focus on my patient, while somehow simultaneously talking to the camera in the hopes of educating millions (literally millions) of kids. 

Acupuncture is at the forefront of medical care right now, as Western medicine has finally begun to look towards acupuncture to enhance fertility, to stop shock and bleeding on battlefields in the U.S. Army and even to treat acute pain in hospital emergency rooms (see links at the foot of this blog), and suddenly, I was an ambassador. 

The video went up the next day, and within 24 hours there were a million views. And then that doubled. At last count, there were about 2.7 million views, with the cupping video receiving almost 3.5 million. 

And suddenly, my life got wildly busy. Children from around the world were sending messages at all hours, asking what acupuncture was, or if I could help their father's back, or stop them from vomiting after their cancer treatments. My heart was moved, and I stayed up all night and tried to answer as many children as possible. I was thrilled to have these meaningful interactions, and I got excited because when I woke up, my calendar was filled with appointments! 

And then I realized...while the emails were real, the appointments were fake, pranks played by bored kids. I spent huge amounts of time calling the numbers to determine which patients were real and which were not. My phone rang at all hours with cruel and nasty prank calls. Aside from impacting my family and my time, it also negatively impacted my patients, as people who really needed help were unable to access the appointments they needed because I was already booked with fake patients.

But I had to focus on the bigger picture. Good often comes with bad. That's just part of life. Light contains a seed of dark, dark a seed of light. Constant motion and transformation. These are foundational principles of Chinese Medicine. And so we look for the middle. We look for balance.

A week later, things had gotten quieter. I was just another mom and acupuncturist, harvesting my tomato plants, sweeping my clinic, helping my patients to feel better. But wow, what an awesome chance to give kids all over the world hope and new options they didn't even realize they had. 

I am grateful to Roi Wassabi for helping me to be 15 minute famous on Youtube, because if it translates into better health for even one person, than it was totally worth it!

Articles about acupuncture and fertility, U.S. Army use, and in emergency rooms.