As a practice, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for over 2,500 years and specializes in alternative healing methodologies across multiple practices. It is based on the belief that the body's vital energy, known as "qi," flows along specific channels in the body and helps to balance a person's spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health. Treatments, which were unknown to most Americans before the 1970s, can include acupuncture, herbal therapy, meditation, exercise, massage and diet adjustments. Now, a popular Santa Fe TCM clinic is expanding into Albuquerque to offer treatments for patients that are looking for alternative wellness options.
Started in 2006 by Dr. Brandon Taylor, "Dr. Brandon" to his patients, the clinic was established out of what he felt was a necessity to provide broader care to people that need it and an overall desire to help. There is a misconception that TCM caters only to the wealthy, but through various insurance providers and affordably priced services, Taylor hoped to change all of that. Fast forward 15 years: Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine, which just opened its third New Mexico location in Albuquerque's Nob Hill this year, now employs over 30 practitioners and is seeing record patient levels. "Our team provides care to thousands of patients annually," said Taylor. "Pre-COVID, we provided 20,000 visits per year just in our two Santa Fe clinics, and we've recently grown back that volume."
Taylor, a native of Sacramento, Calif., who has lived in N.M. since 2005, studied psychology and holistic healing at San Francisco State, where he worked as a youth substance abuse and recovery support counselor before completing his post-graduate degree in Oriental Medicine in 2004.
Along with being a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM), Taylor is also a licensed acupuncturist, auricular detoxification supervisor, is accredited by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, maintains National Board Certification in the whole of Oriental Medicine and is a proud member of Albuquerque's LGBTQIA community. "I was fortunate to receive a scholarship from my local PFLAG organization when I was in medical school," said Taylor. "For years I have helped fund the same scholarship, which a number of PFLAG chapters still offer."
Taylor considers Mountain Spirit Integrated Medicine to be a very fortunate business, in that their team consists of people of diverse cultures, age ranges, genders and sexual orientations. "We're embracing of people with diverse faiths, nationalities, gender identities and beyond" he said. His team has not been witness to the biases that still exist toward members of the LGBTQIA community but would approach any such situation as a teachable moment and, as Taylor puts it, "The more good energy and compassion we put into the world, the more we receive." Still, for people within the LGBTQIA community that are still struggling to find their voice, Taylor offers his own advice. "I say respect yourself, and choose to share your truth with those who exude respect. Let go of the need to label yourself. We are all first and foremost human beings. Most importantly, never let anyone else define your feelings, nor who or how you love, that's an inside job!"
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