We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Tijmes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
The most important lesson my career has taught me is that you can spend years learning your craft in school. and then assume that once you graduate you will finally be ready and know everything – wrong. I spent 4+ years studying Chinese Medicine, and it was a tough journey. What I learned once I was done with school was so much more than I expected, and it was something I would never learn until I threw myself into the deep-end. By meeting new patients, being tossed with new cases that I may not have seen in our school clinic, and having to treat these cases last minute. I also had to learn to show confidence in the room, and also learn to give the patient my true healing nature, which is something you learn to develop over time and not from memorizing a book. The patient receives so much more than just your knowledge in each session, they pick up on your healing energy, and by being able to hone in on that feature is the first step in healing. The rest comes naturally.
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 work at a clinic that my mentor from school founded, Well Women Acupuncture. I learned about this clinic while in school taking women’s health classes from Danica, who founded it. I remember after the first day in one of her classes I was drawn by this energy to her, to her stories, and was excited to learn more. This relationship evolved over the next few years and when I was ready to practice, I was offered a job at her clinic. The challenging part of finding a job after acupuncture school was finding the right clinic for you. Every clinic has a different feel and it is important to know what you are looking for in terms of an environment that will allow you to be the most comfortable for your patients. What I learned was to get as much experience as you could – go interview at every place and then decide what feels right. I also suggest learning to really get to know yourself as a healer and know what it is that you have to offer, and how that is different to someone else.
I also got offered a job at another clinic to work part-time. I was standing in line at the grocery store and picked up a magazine to read while I waited. I saw an excerpt on ear seeds that featured an acupuncturist here in LA, so I contacted them. The next day I had an interview with them! It really is all about how you communicate, and how much you take initiative and show your effort and drive for success.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love having visitors come to LA, there is always something to do! I love taking friends to bike along the bike path on the beach, it’s such a great way to see the different beaches and enjoy a good part of the day. When we aren’t enjoying a beach day, I love taking them to new coffee spots, like LaLa Land on Montana, or stopping to get some ice cream from Jeni’s on Rose avenue. I think people watching in LA is always entertaining, so Abbot Kinney is great for that. While on Abbot Kinney, Gjelina is a must for food. As for shopping, one of my favorite jewelry spots is Wendy Faye which is a pop-up on Saturdays and Sundays on Abbot Kinney. Another recommendation in the area is Clutch Venice, on Lincoln. Their food is always on point and their outdoor seating area is always a fun scene.
If you’re willing to go further east, another great spot is Herb Albert’s Vibrato Jazz Grill, which is off Beverly Glen. This is a one-of-a-kind experience to bring friends to, and definitely a must on your list! You get to enjoy dinner and a cocktail while listening to live jazz, and they have different performers every night. If we want to hear live music on the west side, Penmar Golf has live music every Wednesday evening which has drawn a fun crowd.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There will always be people involved on your journey as an acupuncturist. I would have to acknowledge Danica Thornberry, who started Well Women Acupuncture as one of the best mentors I ever had. She inspired me with her success stories in helping women get pregnant, and taught me a new way of looking at offering healing in and out of the treatment room for these women. There will always be someone you acknowledge on this road, and she definitely takes this role.
Photographer: River Callaway Instagram: rivercallaway