Iva Lim Peck:
NEEDLING HER WAY TO SUCCESS
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