Berry Franko L.Ac., L.M.T.
A native of Floyd, Virginia, I attended an alternative private school in my early years and did most of my high school education at home. My sister, Amara, introduced me to Chinese medicine and in 2004, I accepted an invitation to a 4 year formal Apprenticeship with Jason Redinbo, L.Ac. The Apprenticeship focused on Tuina (Twee-nah), a style of therapeutic bodywork that uses Chinese medical theory, along with specific hand techniques, to address structural problems and Internal illness. In short, it is hands on medicine.
In addition to Tuina, the curriculum covered Chinese herbal medicine, medical Qigong, Acupuncture theory and CranioSacral Therapy. Daily practice of Meridian Qigong cultivated the sensitivity necessary to interact with a patient's energetic systems. The internal martial arts Xing Yi Chuan (form mind boxing) and Bagua Zhang (eight trigram palm) cultivated the proper structural alignment, strength and stamina needed in order to be a healthy practitioner. The treatment strategies and clinical techniques I learned during that time are invaluable.
Sometime during the Apprenticeship, I realized I, too, would like to be able to stick people with needles. I began taking online classes at New River Community College hoping to be accepted into an Acupuncture program after obtaining the necessary pre-requisites. In 2008 I began my studies at the Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine in Sugar Grove, North Carolina. Founded by Sean Marshall, the school focused on Classical Acupuncture and the curriculum came from Nguyen Van Nghi who was a brilliant Doctor, scholar and translator of classical Chinese medical texts. The Jung Tao program encouraged students to learn the art of Acupuncture while remaining in their own communities, which allowed me to continue to train martial arts and practice Tuina in my home town. Having strong beliefs in my family system of medicine made me somewhat skeptical of this new (to me) approach, but after seeing the clinical results I realized it greatly complimented all I was familiar with.
Four years later I graduated with a diploma in Acupuncture.
I now practice at the Shen Dao Clinic here in Harrisonburg. I am fortunate that Amara and Jason Heller, the founders of Shen Dao, have already integrated into the community and that they are so supportive of me practicing with them here in the Friendly City.
I am happy to treat anyone who is in need, and especially enjoy working with people who are willing to take responsibility for their own health. Even when treating someone for pain I often look beyond the main symptoms to inquire about life-style choices as well as mental and emotional states. I also enjoy working with children and have had lots of experience thanks to good teachers and the trust of the families who have brought their kids in to see me.
I appreciate the system based approach Chinese medicine offers and look forward to a life-long study of the human condition.