From time to time, NTI will feature one of our remarkable faculty, staff members, students, or graduates. Steve Shomo joined the community of NTI in September 2016 as an instructor of Anatomy and Physiology. Like many healers, Dr. Steve allowed personal experience to guide him down the path of the healing arts as an acupuncturist, wilderness first responder, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and instructor. At NTI, we’re fortunate to have such a compassionate instructor with an equally rich and varied personal history as part of our team.
What drew you to NTI?
The draw for me to NTI was the commitment to true nutritional science and a holistic approach to health and wellness that both the school and its staff possessed.
What motivated you to focus your work as an acupuncturist and first responder to disaster relief and trauma recovery?
My private practice is founded in Integrative Medical Practices of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine including cardiology, stroke, neurology, oncology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, sports and rehabilitative medicine, along with psycho-emotional and mental health. Having worked as a Wilderness First Responder prior to becoming an Acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, I understand the mental and physical stress of dealing with trauma on a daily basis. The knowledge, skill sets, and clinical experiences have allowed me to travel throughout the USA and internationally, providing acupuncture and medical services to those in need, under-served, or displaced due to natural disasters or conflict. My most recent deployment was with Global Outreach Doctors to Jordan, treating Syrian refugees and working with young adults experiencing spinal cord injuries and amputations.
My motivation comes from seeing the results of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in all cultures and genders, on a physical, mental, and emotional level. Being able to give back to a global community is a true blessing. More importantly, the opportunity to offer to Emergency Responders (EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement, Dispatch, Military, and Emergency Personnel) a way to cope with PTSD, traumatic stress, suicide, injury, and disease is what keeps me going.
How does nutrition play a role in the work that you do, and also in your personal life?
Nutrition (food as medicine) is a very big part of my work. In East Asian Medical Traditions, food is one of the first lines of defense against disease and aging (movement being another). Each of my patients presents as an individual, not as a condition or disease. Nutrition is a foundational component to treating that individual to resolve or improve a condition or state of disease. If a person's nutritional habits do not support a healing state, then treatments become a temporary fix. By instilling better nutrition, as a foundation and to assist with other modalities of treatment (such as acupuncture, herbs, bodywork, cupping and moxa), the results and success for the individual are much higher.
In my personal life, having weighed almost 300 pounds in 1992, (now around 200 pounds), nutrition and quality of movement were the two most important factors in eliminating the excess weight I was carrying. Understanding which foods and how to prepare them properly for me as an individual is what allowed me the success.
How did your path to the healing arts begin? Was there a turning point in your life that called you to do this work?
My journey in healing arts has taken me down several pathways: some physical, some mental, some emotional, some educational. My path of healing arts was a result of many past personal experiences, from 3rd degree burns to obesity to traumatic stress, and more. Each experience provides a turning point, steering me in different directions and giving me opportunities to help those on a physical, mental, and emotional level. I learn from each person I meet, place I visit or volunteer, and disaster, critical incident, or conflict to which I respond. Those experiences are the turning points that motivate me to improve the world and those in it through Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Dr Steve’s website: www.preZENtmoment.com
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