Inderjeet Ramgotra, LAc, a graduate of Bastyr University's acupuncture and Oriental medicine program, is one of those rare people who knew what she wanted to do when she was 16 - and acted on it.
"Early on, I knew I wanted to study alternative medicine," explains the 33-year-old Saskatchewan, Canada native. "My father was a doctor, but I realized that medicine did not necessarily equal healing, so I went searching for information about healing options. While I was in high school, I went to libraries, traveled and went to lectures and workshops to inform myself."
As part of her quest, she found herself at the International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego, California. "That's when I knew I had found something," says Inderjeet. "It was perfect. I learned a lot about how to do bodywork from the perspective of body-mind integration."
After completing the school's intensive program, Inderjeet returned home. She ran her own business for 10 years, called Inside Out Holistic Lifestyle Consulting, practicing bodywork and reflexology. She also sold a line of herbal supplements. "I was so fired up about all the important information I could share with people," she says. "People in my community were always asking me to do lectures, too."
Although things were going well in her practice, Inderjeet yearned for more in-depth knowledge and a professional license. So she enrolled in Bastyr University's acupuncture program in 1998. She graduated in 2001 with an acupuncture degree and earned a certificate in Chinese herbal medicine afterwards.
"Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very effective. I love doing this work," she says. "I can access all kinds of levels within a person with acupuncture-not just their physical body but also their emotional and spiritual sense of well-being. Acupuncture gives me the tools I need to get at the areas where disease and illness are originating and relieve them. The results are deep and long-lasting."
Inderjeet is discovering a particular talent for treating chronic sinusitis, insomnia, gynecological concerns and cancer patients. She has a private practice at Eastside Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in Redmond, Washington but is soon moving her practice to Seattle.
"It's a definite calling," she says. "Originally, I asked myself how I could have deep, meaningful, positive communication with people. I realized it was by doing healing work.