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Ward Tummins

I was born in Pt Arthur Texas a good number of years ago when all kids grew up pretty much free range (left the house in the morning and came back for supper when dad got home). I grew up in Groves TX, right next to Pt Arthur, but very few people have heard of either one. It’s on the Texas coast right on the Louisiana border so the culture was more Cajun than Texan.

Ward_TumminsMy wife and I moved to TN almost 20 years ago after looking for a place we could buy a piece of land in the country in a relatively peaceful area. TN won out in large part because this is where my father is from and he and my mother moved here when he retired a good number of years ago. Having them here made the move a bit easier and being close to them is an added perk. Living in the country dictated having a lot of animals as they tend to show up, well that and the fact that my wife will collect them if they look like they need help. At the peak, we had 7 dogs, 3 cats and a horse, making animal care a serious part time job. We are down to 3 dogs and 2 cats.

I evolve through hobbies and interests outside of work with no rhyme or reason. For a while I painted, mostly abstracts and geometric designs, strongly influenced by southwestern and Central American art. That faded during a very busy period and when my creative energy came back, I started playing the drums, which led to having to build a room in the barn as a practice room, One thing seems to lead to another always keeping me active. As far as other interests or hobbies, they come and go, one enduring interest is textiles, mostly brightly colored. I have a small collection of weavings, blankets and textiles from around the world, mostly from Central America. I lived in Guatemala for 2 years and love traveling in the Spanish speaking world so I collect textiles in my travels.

I have an office in Athens and Knoxville. I’ve been in Athens for 18 years or so, Knoxville for probably 16. Previously I practiced in Texas mostly. I graduated from Southwest Acupuncture College in 1984. I’ve always been interested in health, but was always interested in energetic medicine, not so attracted to western or biochemical medicine. I was living in Santa Fe in the early ’80’s studying martial arts with a teacher who was an acupuncturist. Over time, I became interested in the medicine and after a weekend workshop presenting a variety of health modalities, I had an absolute knowing that I had to go to acupuncture school.

Acupuncture is a very helpful tool for maintaining health. Chinese medicine philosophy or theory takes into account the entire being and looks at the body as a complete functional unit, not as a number of individual parts to be dealt with. The goal is to keep the system running as efficiently as possible, overcoming or compensating for inherited weaknesses and avoiding the traps of injuries or weaknesses related to diet, lifestyle, or excessive emotional turmoil. The medicine does not separate the various layers of experience, they are seen as reflections of an overall energy, thus treating the physical body affects the mental and spiritual aspects of the self, just as treating and emotional or spiritual disorder affects the physical body. Within the body, every energetic system is seen as having an interaction with other systems creating and maintaining a balance (ideally), or causing an imbalance if things are not functioning as they should.

If there was one thing I could convince people to do to maintain a healthy being, it would be to slow down, breathe, and be aware of what is going on, inside the body and in the environment around them. A basic awareness practice with minimal distraction. This alone would make people more healthy because relaxing is very important (stress is the biggest cause of illness in our culture), but more importantly, by being aware of the body and how it is functioning in the environment allows a person to adjust on every level to have a less stressful experience and a much more peaceful life. Harmony being the key concept here.


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