We had the good fortune of connecting with Lesley Johnsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lesley, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Acupuncture is an ancient medicine rooted in the concept of balance. We are a part of nature, and as such, everything ebbs and flows in cycles – emotions, levels of energy, and all stages of life. This medicine works to enhance the natural healing capacity we all have, keeping / restoring balance to our mind, body and spirit, so that we can have greater resiliency to flow with everything that comes along with our daily lives. Now, more than ever before in our generation, we need to strengthen our resiliency to flow with all that is happening in our world. We need to sleep well, move our bodies, drink enough water and eat nourishing foods so that our bodies have the energy to flow with the changes that may be arising on a daily basis. We need strong immune systems, and the emotional fortitude to move through the myriad of emotions that have been challenging so many of us over this past year. We need to have compassion for ourselves and others, regardless of what is happening outside. Our health is like a house of cards: when one system is stuck or out of balance, the whole house is compromised. At the most basic level, acupuncture helps to restore and maintain balance in our system. It helps improve sleep, digestion, immunity and emotional resiliency. It helps to relieve pain in a long-lasting way. When people leave my office, they typically feel more grounded and able to deal more gracefully with the people around them. They have less pain, and can engage more fully and joyfully in their lives, making them happier and healthier members of their families, workplaces and communities in general. They have more tools to share with others, and often find that they need fewer medications to feel good throughout the day. Imagine if everyone you encounter was healthier, more emotionally grounded and more accepting of the ebbs and flow of life? What a community that would be!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One of the things that I believe sets me apart from many of my outstanding colleagues is that my original acupuncture education is from a Five-Element perspective. This gave me a foundation of learning about acupuncture from a more spiritual perspective, truly seeking to resolve the root cause of dis-ease, using the model of the seasons and the elements. This training fit perfectly with my background in the field of mental health and my training as a massage therapist, providing the final piece to the idea of addressing the mindbodyspirit as one, versus focusing only on one aspect of a person’s health and hoping for the rest to fall into place. My work is also highly informed by mindfulness practices such as meditation and somatic (body) awareness. The more aware we are of the connection between our emotional states, lifestyle choices and our bodies, the greater the opportunity for healing and catching ourselves before going out of balance. I also utilize the skills I have learned through working with Nonviolent Communication, Compassionate Communication and Compassionate Inquiry. Whew! That’s a lot to simply say that I use everything I’ve learned over the years to simply hold space for all of my clients, allowing them to be themselves and partnering with them to find the best path to healing on their unique journey through life.
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?
If my best friend were to visit for a day or two, I would probably start the day with breakfast at The Crepe Bar in Tempe. Then, depending on the time of year, it’s all about spending some time outside. The Japanese Friendship Garden is a beautiful place to hang out for an hour or two and just be peaceful and make some plans for the day. Their tea ceremonies are a great experience if you are able to do this. Weather permitting, I love to drive up to Bartlett Lake and off-road a little bit to park my car and walk along the lake. The drive up there is gorgeous, and it’s always nice to see some water in AZ. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior is also a great option for some desert beauty, especially in the springtime. And of course, it’s always worth it to check out what is showing at the FilmBar Phoenix, especially now with their outdoor venue at the Phoenix Art Museum.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to honor the founders of the TAI Sophia Institute in Laurel, MD. This is the school from which I received both of my Master’s Degrees, giving me an incredible grounding in the wisdom traditions and the importance of holding gentle space for all of the people and situations we encounter. My years at this institution have informed the way I approach life, personally and professionally, over the last 15+ years. I am so grateful for this.