Amit Singh, MAcOM, LAc is a 2004 graduate of OCOM. Originally from Punjab, India -- “Good food, free spirit; that is the hallmark of Punjab” -- he earned both a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in mass communication before enrolling in OCOM’s master’s program. When he’s not practicing, he enjoys long walks, writing, photography, art and music. Amit spoke with OCOM about his thriving Southeast Portland practice Prema Clinic and how the relationship between practitioner and patient is at the heart of health care.

Tell me about your practice.
I specialize in what is called “the happiness treatment.” Rooted in the heart of the person as well as the heart of the practitioner, it creates a bridge of love between the two. Its source is in the Tao, hence it works without working, and acts without acting. This is the only way to be, really, and the only way to truly help.

Would you describe yourself as a determined person?
Yes. If I put my heart on something, I will do it. But, I do not do it in a yang manner; I let it happen to me. I let things happen to me naturally.

What do you enjoy most about treating your patients?
First, I like the fact that I can help them, that I can change their lives. I also like that I can do it without changing myself. I have realized that the more I become myself, the more naturally medicine flows out of me. Effort is not required here at all. That effortlessness is my favorite thing in practice. To be a successful practitioner, you have to be very open-minded as a person. The more, the better. Open-mindedness helps you connect with patients and patients really appreciate that. You do have to be open-minded to the point that you are not thinking at all — it is quite difficult to do. But, even if you can do it a little bit, and have no thoughts for a while, that really makes a great relationship with patients.

What drew you to this career?
It happened quite naturally by itself. The holy waters came my way and I jumped in completely. It fit with my personality really well and I enjoyed the process completely. I do think that it is necessary to have some kind of internal feeling for it. If you do not, it might not be the right thing for you in the end.

Was there one instructor or supervisor who really made an impression? Any nuggets of wisdom that made an impact on how you practice this medicine?
I feel OCOM welcomed me into a family of people who took the medicine from the heart and believed in it completely. Professor Chen had a great impact on me. Roger Lore as a teacher and practitioner, who said right at the beginning of my studies that if I knew qigong really well, I could do the medicine from a very deep place within me and I would know the flow of energy and meridians completely. I took it to heart and loved the combination of internal energy expressing itself into acupuncture. Even now, when I know that that energy is really love and openness in the spirit, that is what I stand by in my practice as an acupuncturist and healer.