We had the good fortune of connecting with Allen Liu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allen, what role has risk played in your life or career?
In my professional life, I’d say all of the major decisions I’ve made have been risks. So far, I’ve had two professions. First, I was an actor … risky haha. And now, I’m an acupuncturist … also, risky! Not to be too boastful … I had some success as an actor. And now, I’m slowly but surely experiencing greater and greater success as an acupuncturist!
So, how do I think about risk? I don’t “think” so much as I “listen”. There are always two voices. One that says, “This is risky. Danger. Danger.” One that says, “Yes, this feels RIGHT.” From somewhere within my being … I’ve always heard that voice of instinct. The instinctual voice from my gut has always guided me towards the path of health, happiness, and success when I listen to it instead of the warning voice of alarm coming from my mind.
Does that mean I am thoughtless in my actions? Does it mean that I have a devil-may-care attitude towards taking risks? No it does not. The mind’s warning voice is there for good reason. To protect you from harm. So, I listen to it. I consider it’s warning. I look at the dangers of the risk I am considering. And then I listen to the other voice. The one that comes from my gut, the instinctual voice … and if it also says, “You know what, this doesn’t feel RIGHT.” Then, I do not take the risk. I acknowledge the red flags waving and I do not proceed. Trust me, the times I have proceeded in disregard of the red flags waving I have come to regret in one way or another.
If the instinctual voice is saying, “Yes, this feels RIGHT.” Then I proceed with the risk. I also take action to set up safety and protection for myself in whatever ways are available to me in the present moment. After taking those protective measures, I surrender the risk and wait to see what happens next. Those “right & appropriate” feeling risks have always worked out in very positive ways.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m a licensed acupuncturist here in Los Angeles in private practice in Hollywood. What sets me apart from other acupuncturists? I’ve asked myself this question since before I graduated from school and got my license. The answer is fairly obvious but it took some time for me to come around to the answer and feel confident and secure in my answer. And the answer is this … It’s me. I’m the difference.
I don’t say that with ego but it’s just the plain and very simple obvious fact. There’s nothing I do within the confines of the four walls of my office that is a unique way of performing acupuncture treatments. Yes, I have my own style (I happen to like using lots of needles & I’m a bit more on the aggressive side), but my style is certainly not unique to me. And, yet, nine times out of ten, patients return to continue treatment with me after their initial appointment. Nine times out of ten, my patients achieve the relief from symptoms they are seeking through acupuncture.
The fact that I am effective as an acupuncturist is obviously a huge factor in my developing success. I work very hard for my patients and I think that’s obvious to anyone who is under my care. I’m definitely not trying to get away with doing minimal work. I like to work hard.
I think the thing I am the most proud of, is also the thing I am most grateful for. And that is the fact that I genuinely love my job. I genuinely enjoy spending time with all of my patients. I like the people who come to me for help and they reciprocate the same appreciation and affection for me. I’m genuinely happy at work, happy to do the work I do, and happy to work with the people who are my patients. When I was growing up, I dreaded the idea of being an adult and going to a corporate 9 to 5 white collar job. I instinctually knew that was not for me. I’m proud of being able to manifest a professional life for myself that is independent, self-realized, and deeply satisfying.
The biggest challenge I’ve had so far is with engaging with the wrong people. When we are not a match with people who come our way, it becomes almost immediately apparent. Usually, involvement with the wrong people happens because we’ve ignored the red flags and warning signs. The only way out of relationships that are not a match is to face it and address it with honesty and clarity. Here is where we cannot avoid confrontation. Here is where we cannot afford being co-dependent. Here is where we cannot shy away from being “disliked”. Communicate. Be clear. No need to be rude, mean-spirited, or belligerent. Communicate with clarity, confidence, and professionalism.
I don’t feel compelled to convert anyone to acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. But I do feel that my practice of acupuncture offers people something that is increasingly rare in our modern world. That is the experience of human-to-human, one-on-one care, connection, and shared humanity. I believe that healing is a shared experience. I believe healing is an experience of shared humanity.
Ultimately, I am a facilitator of Joy in the lives of the people under my care. If I can help people feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally through my practice of acupuncture, then I’m clearing the way for Joy & Happiness to elevate in the lives of my patients. And, perhaps, greater levels of Joy & Happiness in the lives of my patients will reverberate throughout all aspects of their lives and positively affect the people they share their lives with.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You know what? I’m still in the process of finding my own personal “favorite spots” in LA … thank god, I’m never put in the position of hosting visitors. Let’s see … Well, I really love DTLA because I love “Old Los Angeles” … those old hotels are cool … The Biltmore? The Figurora? The Mark Taper Forum always has amazing theater with not a bad seat in the house. Amazing restaurants in DTLA too … Perch? Red Bird? This is more like a list of places I want to go but haven’t yet hahaa. Sorry, I’m not good at answering this question!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m going to dedicate this to my grandparents. My mother’s mom & dad, who raised me my first two years on the planet and saturated me with so much love and affection that I, thanks to them, was given the emotional foundation to navigate the challenges of life in years and decades ahead.
Other: Check out my Google Business profile: Allen Liu Acupuncture