Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Oct. 27, 2021

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Working in Clark County: Barbara Beale, acupuncturist

By , Columbian News Assistant
Published:
3 Photos
Acupuncturist Barbara Beale works with a patient Tuesday in Vancouver.
Acupuncturist Barbara Beale works with a patient Tuesday in Vancouver. Photo Gallery

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mailto:mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Barbara Beale mostly treats people for pain and injury. A former certified athletic trainer, Beale said she is able to get results for people through acupuncture. “It is a very gratifying career. I have never regretted one day of getting into acupuncture,” Beale said.

Name: Barbara Beale.

Job/employer: Self-employed, 3305 Main St., Suite 117, 360-693-2848.

Age: 53.

Education/professional background: I earned a bachelor of science degree in sports medicine at Central Michigan University, a master’s degree at the University of Florida in exercise physiology and a master’s degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland in 1997. I started my acupuncture practice the same year, 1997.

I was a certified athletic trainer from 1985 to 2006.

How I got into acupuncture: I wanted to make a move to the Northwest. I moved out to Washington with no job and in about six days I was working. It wasn’t necessarily my dream job, but still something interesting in wellness education. In 1993 I was at a party and met a woman who was going to acupuncture school. The next morning I went to the school to enroll. I missed the class deadline by three days. I had to wait until the next year.

The acupuncture school was really a good combination with my background in sports medicine. Things made sense. I have never regretted one day of getting into acupuncture.

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mailto:mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

I mostly treat people for pain and injury. They have strained their back while rototilling or gardening. When I am treating them, I feel my background is a big boon, because when I look at the body I know what is under the skin.

Most rewarding part of job: Some people come in who have had pain for a long time and feel they are at the end of their rope and I am able to get results for them. They are grateful and express great joy. I just put in the needles and get out of the way. I love cancellations because it means they are not in pain anymore and don’t need me. About 75 percent get relief. It is a very gratifying career.

Most challenging part of job: Dealing with the changing insurance environment. The absolute most challenging part of the practice is dealing with how insurance companies are constantly changing the playing field. I would rather be treating people.

Personal/business philosophy: I want to get people better in as few treatments as possible. People have to get on with their lives and not fill their time with appointments. I am very direct with people and if I don’t think I can help, I will tell them and send them to someone else.

Something you would like to do over: My work life has been blessed. I am exactly where I should be. I have good people come to see me. The playing field has changed. When I started I was the seventh acupuncturist in Clark County and now there are more than 70.

Residence: I lived in Vancouver until 2010 when I moved to Southeast Portland.

Best feature of my Vancouver/Clark County community: I like the realness of Vancouver. People tend to be real and organic here, not a lot of pretense. They represent middle America and have a working-class ethic. People are the best feature, they are salt of the earth.

What would make your community a better place: It would be nice to have walkable neighborhoods.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: My favorites are La Bottega, Mona Ami, McMenamins on the Columbia and Latte Da Coffee House and Wine Bar.

Hobbies: I like playing with my dog, jogging, reading and playing the guitar.

Volunteer activities: I am one of four administrators for a website for acupuncture businesses and I mentor other acupuncture practitioners, helping them with business practices.

Most interesting book in last 12 months: “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. The best book I ever read is “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson.

Most interesting play/movie/arts event: I liked “Twist Your Dickens,” a theater performance in Portland, and I always go to the Crackedpots art show at McMenamins Edgefield.

One thing you want to do this year: I am going to Europe in April.

Something you want to do within five years: I want to start snowbirding in the next four or five years. I probably will spend time in Palm Springs, Calif.

One word to describe yourself: Forthright.

Person you’d most like to meet: Musician Brandi Carlile.

Columbian News Assistant
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