Laurel was drawn to study Chinese medicine through her own experiences with acupuncture and Chinese herbs which were helpful in her own healing.
She attended the Five Branches Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Santa Cruz, CA from 1992 to 1995, and graduated with a Master’s of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her education included acupuncture, Chinese herbology, Chinese dietetics, Qi Gong, Tui Na (massage techniques), and Western pathophysiology and pharmacology. She studied with Chinese faculty who had specialties in gynecology, oncology, pediatrics, respiratory illness, and traumatic injury.
She began practicing in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1996, and opened her home office in Sunderland, MA in 1997. Since then she has completed extensive continuing education with Sharon Weizenbaum, particularly both in acupuncture and in herbology for women’s health. She has also studied extensively with Thea Elijah, 5-element acupuncturist, studying the emotional and spiritual aspects of the herbs and the acupuncture points.