OAP’s Jeff Levin on the May Teachers’ Special

What made you want to do a Promotion for teachers this month?

Well, teacher appreciation day was a nice excuse, but it’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a while. Both Whitney and I are married to teachers: Mya teaches 8th grade and Katy teaches 5th.  So, we see how hard they work and the effects of the stress of the job. Also, I worked as a substitute teacher which was brutal. I just couldn’t cut it: seems like you have to have the heart of a warrior to do that job. This was during a time when I was teaching yoga full time and the contrast was stark. For yoga I was cruising around town in my pajamas getting kudos and gracious namastes from everyone. As a substitute teacher, I had to put on slacks, get up at the crack of dawn, and try to wrangle a room full of kids bent on my destruction. So I can appreciate how tough the job is. A lot of teachers don’t get the kind of recognition they deserve: what they do is heroic, noble, and a huge positive contribution to society as a whole. I’m stoked that, here at OAP, we can spend a month dedicated to helping teachers out by making acupuncture a little bit more accessible than we normally do.

Have there been any teachers who’ve made an impact on you?

For sure- there was Mrs. Krimmel, my 2nd grade teacher; that was the first time I remember school being fun. She and my mom eventually became friends. I still have a book of quotes she gave me for my Bar Mitzvah which I still use. It has a very sweet note in the front. Also, David Bryan. He was my 8th grade English teacher, he gave me a D because he thought I wasn’t living up to my full potential, and in retrospect, he was right. Then in 10th grade, he was my “Mind/body fitness” teacher, which was basically yoga: we did standing poses, sun salutes, and savasana. I loved it. I couldn’t believe PE could include a short nap. Then, in my senior year, I took a political science class with him where we read Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. That totally rocked my world.

How can acupuncture help teachers?

I would say helping manage stress would be the number one way acupuncture can help teachers. We have quite a few teachers who come in after work just to help cool their jets. We use points that, as they say in Chinese medicine, “calm the spirit.” But stress can take its toll on our health in a lot of ways: headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, physical pain and chronic tension. Acupuncture can help with all these issues as well.

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