My name is Aliya Schulze. I am the founder of ZenMed as well as an acupuncturist and Chinese herbologist. I would like to share my personal journey with you so to explain how I was introduced to Chinese Medicine. It all started in 2009 when I was diagnosed with narcolepsy at the age of 23. Narcolepsy is defined as a sleeping disorder that causes excessive sleepiness during the daytime. After several visits which I complained of extreme exhaustion and problems staying awake at school or work, my primary care physician referred me to see a neurologist. After a single visit, the neurologist ordered me to attend a sleep study at a facility in Torrey Pines, California. I had to spend the night at the sleep facility, where they attached all kinds of electrodes to my head and body. They explained the objective was to study my brain waves to determine whether I had any abnormalities typical of a sleep disorder.
The study confirmed my neurologist’s suspicion, and I was officially diagnosed with narcolepsy. Of course I was given pharmaceuticals for treatment. The drug I was taking was called Provigil, also known as Modafinil, is a stimulant that was supposed to help me feel more alert and awake during the day. Soon after, I was also given a heavy-duty central nervous system depressant called Xyrem to take at night. The chemical constituents of Xyrem are gamma-hydroxybutyrate, also known as GHB. GHB is the same drug that is known as the “date rape drug” on the streets. At 23 I was told I needed to take these two drugs for the rest of my life.
Slowly I began to learn about health and wellness on my own. I began making lifestyle changes that included removing processed foods and exercising regularly. The day my life changed was when I decided to visit an acupuncture clinic—honestly, to simply satisfy my curiosity. The practitioner I met claimed he should be able to help me, but would need my full cooperation and a commitment to to one treatment per week for six consecutive months. I agreed. He prescribed some Chinese herbs that I was responsible for taking daily. Six months later, I am happy to report I was able to stop taking both of those serious medications altogether!
At the time, I was attending community college to obtain my general education before transferring to a university to complete a nursing program. It was at this time in my life I knew that I was better suited for the acupuncture field rather than the western medical field. I recognize the value of western medicine for many conditions, but I found sometimes a holistic approach to healthcare is more appropriate and effective. This is why I believe in acupuncture. This is why I spent four years of my life learning about Chinese Medicine. This is why I believe I can help you.