I came across Acupressure through another world in my life – tennis. My family lived next to a park with tennis courts, and playing tennis became my life and favorite sport. I knew Ron Teeguarden through his father, who was my tennis teacher.
In 1971, at a health food store, I noticed an Acupressure class poster with a funny looking little Chinese man. The class was being taught by Ron & Iona Teeguarden. I hadn’t seen Ron for years while he was in college.
Miraculously, that same day, I ran into him at the park and asked him about Acupressure. He told how incredible the healing results were, and I remember how skeptical I was. I asked him, “How can I experience this healing art?” He suggested getting a private session from his wife, Iona.
During my first Acupressure session, I asked, “What can I do to get the most out of this? Should I meditate, focus on where you’re touching me, breathe deeply, or do visualizations?” Iona’s answer was, “Do whatever you want. It will still work …” My first session was relaxing, so I got another.
At end of my second session, I saw a remarkable golden light in the middle of my head. Eventually, this light expanded and intensified, until I saw a billion brilliant suns – and became that light! This illuminating experience happened several other times in my life, while practicing Yoga.
I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Social Relations, an integration of Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, and Economics at Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood, California. At the same time, I also studied Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness, and Acupressure Therapy points and meridians.
I took yoga classes with excellent teachers who guided me into states of consciousness that transformed my thinking about the world and universe. My philosophy of life and spiritual beliefs were shaped from these yogic experiences, while I was also working with healing energy using Acupressure points.
I learned how to feel for the Acupressure points and integrate their healing touch. By holding Acupressure points on myself, I could feel what it was like in my fingertips when I connected to this flow of energy, and thus knew how to work on others.
Later, I combined the ancient wisdom traditions of Acupressure and Yoga in my first book, Acu-Yoga, published in 1981. Its timeless self-healing practices are still valuable today.
In 1972, when I was 20, Ron and Iona Teeguarden taught Jin Shin Jyutsu, a powerful style of Acupressure, out of their home in Venice, California. They taught excellent classes in this style that is also called the “Art of the Compassionate Spirit.” Years later, Iona developed Jin Shin Do®. Their classes taught me the world of Acupressure points, meridians, and healing channels, and also point formulas for hundreds of ailments.
As I took classes, I practiced on friends, and just played with the points. I had phenomenal results and loved helping people relieve their headaches, menstrual cramps, and more. I discovered that this healing art often created illuminating spiritual experiences.
In 1974, I moved to Berkeley, California, under the premise of leading a series of Acupressure sessions for 18 of the Teeguarden’s students. Iona proposed to pay me $3 an hour. Each practice session was two hours, a total of $6 for the entire night. When I attempted to negotiate a higher rate, I was met with a scolding. I accepted the original offer and organized workshops for them in the Bay Area. After two years, Ron and Iona Teeguarden insisted that the school I started was theirs, a claim difficult to maintain since I started the school myself and obtained its business license.
Through all of this I recognized that Ron and Iona Teeguarden were my first and foremost Acupressure teachers. Hearing Ron’s voice and inspiration came through me for years as I taught Acupressure. Although now, after forty-plus years, what comes through me is simply my own voice. I remember when I first started teaching, I could hear his voice so clearly. He said, “This field of Acupressure is going to grow far and wide. This is just the beginning.” I took his vision seriously and will always be grateful for what Ron and Iona taught me.