Acu-needling her way

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Iva Lim Peck:
 by Nancy Winstead                     deciding on one in Great Britain developed a mysterious rash on her            and was directed to a Nottingham
                                       which permitted students to earn face; a rash that rapidly escalated           aesthetician who was known
                                       money working in a hospital while into a mass of open, running sores.          for successfully treating stubborn
          Iva Lim Peck is one of those attending class.                     After two years, the skin condition       acne cases with the French-
 women who could never be satisfied            Between school and job,      still had not responded to any            developed            Rene          Guinot
 with a single career. In fact, each day she
                                       Peck worked non-stop. In four years, type of medication or treatment.          Hydradermie treatment and Biopeel.
 wears three very unique hats:         she earned her Registered Nurse              Because of the unsightly                    The results were dramatic.
 acupuncturist, aesthetician, and Tai                                                                                 Peck's face was soon healed, and in the
 Chi instructor.                                                                                                      process, the insatiable student
          Peck says the diversity is                                                                                  knew she had to learn all she could
 stimulating, and the more she has to do,                                                                             about skin care. She began by
 the better. Always aware of the                                                                                      teaming up with the woman who had
 message her mother drummed into her                                                                                  restored her skin (and her self
 as a child, she comes by her work                                                                                    confidence) for yet another year of
 ethic quite naturally.                                                                                               specialized training. Her additional
          Her mother said, "You can do                                                                                skills enabled her to accept a
 anything you want; nothing is too                                                                                    position with a cosmetic surgeon as a
 difficult. And if someone else is on top,                                                                            post-operation nurse.
 with a lot of work you, too, can be on                                                                                          Peck worked, studied, and
 top."                                                                                                                 cared for her siblings, who joined
          A typical attitude for                                                                                       their sister in England. But it wasn't
 mothers and daughters in the '90s, but                                                                                enough. She was bored.
 a rather progressive way of thinking                                                                                            "I liked my work OK," she
 for a mother in the '50s -                                                                                            says, laughing. "But something
 especially a Chinese mother.                                                                                          inside of me said I must go on to
           Although she had positive                                                                                   something else."
 reinforcement at home, Peck says                                                                                                When she thought her
 that the Chinese culture itself                                                                                       siblings could support themselves,
 demanded that "women must be                                                                                          Peck found herself back at square
 submissive to men, they must be                                                                                       one, dreaming about becoming a
 respectful of their elders, and they                                                                                  doctor. She discussed the possibility
 must do anything for their family."                                                                                   with her brother, a medical doctor,
           Growing up in Malaysia as                                                                                   and he reminded her of the seven to eight
 the eldest of nine children, Peck                                                                                     years of study yet ahead of her. Instead,
 remembers her family as poor but                                                                                      he suggested she might go back to her
 very happy. Her father was a                                                                                          roots and study Chinese rather than
 salesman, who instilled a love of                                                                                     Western medicine.
 music and singing within his large                                                                                              "We remembered an aunt
 family. Her mother cared for the                                                                                      who had practiced acupuncture and
 family,         grew         her       own                                                                            who used to use special herbs
 vegetables, and raised chickens.                                                                                      and roots to treat illnesses," Peck
 Both parents were very strict when                                                                                    says. "As a girl my aunt had given
 it came to education and expected top.                                                                                me many books to read on the
 grades from each of their children.                                                                                   subject, but at the time, I just
           While other little girls
 fantasized about Cinderella and                                                                                       wasn't interested."
 Prince Charming, young Iva's                                                                                                    But many years later it
 recurrent childhood dream was to                                                                                      seemed to be the perfect path to
 become a doctor. Throughout                                                                                           follow. The only problem was
 primary school and high school, her Combining the East with the West, Iva Lim Peck brings                             locating an accredited school that
 interest in pursuing medicine never                                                                                   taught acupuncture and Oriental
 waned. However, the reality was acupuncture to the ears of America.
 that if a family had enough money for degree for midwifery and completed sores, the already shy Peck became           medicine outside of Mainland
 medical school, it was the sons who post-graduate work in psychiatric even more reclusive. "I would go to             China. In the early '70s, China was
 went. The daughters were pointed nursing. Eager to explore more work and then come back to my                         not yet available to foreigners.
 toward a nursing school.                                                                                              Taiwan would have to do.
           When. she graduated at age 16, about the medical field, she accepted a room," says Peck. "I didn't                    Peck contacted a family
 Peck did what was expected and position working for one of London's see anyone. It was very lonely                    acquaintance in Taiwan who
 researched nursing schools abroad,          most prestigious Harley Street and I knew I needed to do
                                             cardiology clinics.                   something about it."                                   (see next page)
                                                      It was during this period of        Peck decided to seek help
                                             frenetic work and study that Peck     outside of the medical community

14 . March 1993
arranged for her to attend a three- wall, lay down bathroom tiles,                 his Tai Chi center and Iva began area represented an upscale,
week acupuncture seminar that was everything!" Peck says.                         working with a medical doctor who had educated population, a population
designed specifically for interested                "This was the hardest time agreed to sponsor her, a Texas that would be more receptive to
doctors and nurses.                         of my life!" Peck says, laughing at requirement of all acupuncturists. alternative medicine such as
         "Those three weeks turned the recollection. "Richard sold After a year, she was ready to fulfill her acupuncture.
into four years!" Peck says. "After the insurance and real estate, I worked as lifelong ambition and open her own                 Although it has been used for
seminar, I told myself that I could an RN at night, and during the clinic.                                                centuries in the Far East, until about a
not go back to England. I had to stay and day I did acupuncture at home                    No easy task for a Chinese
learn even more."                           while also caring for [son] David entrepreneur! If tradition is followed decade ago, acupuncture was
         Her instructors agreed and Anthony."                                     correctly, and one expects to have regarded as something akin to
arranged for an apprenticeship,                     It was the mid-'80s, and      good luck, one must be most careful in quackery in the United States. with
followed by an internship at a although they were the high rolling                site selection. The determination       its new-found acceptance in the
progressive hospital. Patients could be                                                                                   treatment of illness, pain, and
treated with antibiotics along with Reagan years elsewhere, that was                                                      addiction,       acupuncture         has
a modality that can be traced as far back                                                                                 become an option that many
as 3000 years.                                                                                                            frustrated patients are willing to try
         Peck recalls her years in                                                                                        when conventional medicine has
Taiwan as being idyllic.                                                                                                  not been effective. Understanding
         "I had a full schedule and                                                                                       that, Peck simply desires to aid those
was learning new things all of the                                                                                        who seek an Eastern alternative.
time," she says. "I studied acu-                                                                                                  The East and the West are not
puncture six days a week, I took up                                                                                       only merged in her business life,
Chinese scenic brush painting, and then                                                                                   but also in her personal life. Where
I discovered Oriental martial arts."
That new discipline became such a                                                                                         her Chinese heritage makes her
passion that she eventually became                                                                                        reluctant to boast of her
proficient in Tai Chi, HsingI, Pakua and                                                                                  accomplishments, her American
weapons.                                                                                                                  values allows her to be aggressive.
         To earn money for living                                                                                         She laughs when she says, "You
expenses and tuition, Peck bartered her                                                                                   would not know me 10 years ago. I
valuable skills. She worked as a                                                                                          was so quiet and not aggressive at
translator of four Chinese dialects and                                                                                   all.
as an English teacher, making a                                                                                                   "After overcoming that
fairly acceptable living.                                                                                                 terrible skin condition, and once I
         While earning her living, she                                                                                    began doing acupuncture and
translated for an American who wanted                                                                                     teaching Tai Chi, I became more
to study acupuncture and
                                                                                                                          confident. I now stand up for
Oriental martial arts.
                                                                                                                          what I believe."
          Richard Peck had always
had an unusual fascination with the Far                                                                                            At present she sits on the
East and had spent years studying                                                                                         local and state board of directors for
the culture. While working for Abbott                                                                                     both the American Association of
Laboratories, he became interested in                                                                                     Acupuncture           and        Oriental
acupuncture and began studying with                                                                                       Medicine, and on the board of
a Korean teacher. Eventually, he                                                                                          Medical Examiners for Acupuncture.
realized that he would need clinical                                                                                               Peck says her role as a
experience, and to the astonishment of                                                                                    chairperson with the Association is
friends and family, he dropped                                                                                            important as she plans to be
everything and moved to Taiwan. His                                                                                       instrumental in passing legislation to
goal was to master both Chinese                                                                                           allow the acupuncturist to be
medicine and Oriental martial arts.                                                                                       independent of a medical doctor.
          Three days after his arrival, Iva                                                                               Also, she wants to raise edu -
met Richard in an herbal shop, and                                                                                        cational and individual standards and
one year later, they married.                                                                                             set up a code of practice that would
          The couple studied, trained,
and worked together for two more Iva "pierces" an ear to alleviate pain.                                                  permit only properly trained
years. In 1982, an epidemic of polio and                                                                                  people to perform acupuncture.
hepatitis hit Taiwan. In order to protect                                                                                 Finally, she is going to present to
Iva who was then pregnant, the Pecks not so in Arkansas. Wages were low .of the most fortuitous site is our newly elected government a
made a hasty departure to the United and Peck had many clients who dependent upon the birthday and national standard that will enable
States.                                     could not afford to pay for her year of the potential owner. At that alternative                medicine        to   be
          Settling in the Arkansas services. Despite the fact that both time a favorable direction-north, accepted into the health care
Ozarks, where Richard had pur- Richard and Iva worked, they were east, south or west-is given. system and honored by Medicare
chased land several years earlier, the still having a difficult time making Throughout life, a home or business and insurance companies.
couple went about building their log ends meet. They decided to move.              location must be chosen according to
home the hard way - by themselves.                                                                                                  In her very polite, but no
                                                     After researching several the birth-direction. Happily, both
           "I learned how to hang dry larger cities in the southwest, they Pecks shared the same lucky sign so less tenacious manner, she'll get
                                            settled on Dallas, a city that, at the the chosen site would be compatible to the job done. Her mother taught her
                                            time, was still enjoying the "good both of them.                               well. ∎
                                            life." After the move, the couple               The ideal site was found on
                                            went right to work. Richard opened     Preston and Campbell roads, a site
                                                                                   that was applauded by friends as the
                                                                                Their new clinic is now at                          (972) 473-9070
                                                                                5924 W. Parker Rd, Plano

                                                                               Please say, "I saw it In Today's Dallas Woman Magazine." . March 1993 . 15

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