Wellness Wednesdays is about the journey and the pursuit of good health. Mental health, physical health, and spiritual health. Acupuncture and the practice of it is the combination of all three. Acupuncture is a system of integrative medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions.  This #WellnessWednesday goes to Portia R. Wilson, a certified acupuncturist at Deeper Genius Acupuncture.

Graduating Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelors of Arts from prestigious HBCU Howard University, from which pursued her holistic graduate studies (at the nationally ranked Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, California), Portia graduated with her Master’s in Traditional Oriental Medium after 5 years of rigorous, year-round studies.

With a life-long journey and commitment to greater mental, spiritual, and physical health, Portia has dedicated herself not only to her patient’s well-being, but also to her patient’s empowerment, and education.

1. How did you get into acupuncture?

I’d have to say I was led to it honestly. Holistic medicine and cures that worked with the body’s natural healing abilities and the earth’s plants has as always fascinated me. After watching my black, working class family interact with a medical system that spent more time writing prescriptions for preventable illnesses while hardly asking them about their nutrition, stress levels, or how their bodies felt I vowed to study other paths to health and wellness. After years of searching and researching, I found acupuncture to be one of the oldest most comprehensive and effective medical paths to achieve this.


2. Describe your professional background.  

After completing my undergraduate degree in sociology, I attended a 4 year graduate program to get my Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine in order to become an acupuncturist. That was 4 years–year round full time of both didactic and hands on study. As an acupuncturist, I have to be well versed in both eastern and medicine, herbalism, and the anatomy of the body.

Once I completed school,  I immediately went into business for myself. I’ve worked at a few cool wellness centers and now have my own independently operated office in Downtown Los Angeles.

3. How do you practice self-care for yourself?

Acupuncture, mindfulness, tai qi, meditation, music, travel, following my heart…these are my go-to’s.

4. How does the intersection of being black, queer, and femme affected your mental health?

Whew! On the one hand it can wear on me to be at all of those intersections. Namely, because I can see how the -isms affect everyone. I have days where I want to stand on a rooftop with a mega phone announcing how if we dismantled so much our engrained violence and ignorance that we could literally save lives and ALL be better off. Ultimately though being black, queer, and femme is POPPING and I feel so damn free in my identity. I celebrate this everyday–even on the tough days.

5. What is the most important mental health lesson you’ve learned or gained from your childhood?

Breathe from your belly. Period.

  6. How big was mental health and self-care growing up?

These were words I never heard of growing up. I think the  focus for my family and neighborhood was survival and for each of the children going further than the parents did. This is why it’s important for me to reach as many folks with similar backgrounds with acupuncture. Being in survival and stress mode constantly deteriorates your physical and mental health. Acupuncture can help slow and sometimes reverse these effects.

7. How do you feel like mental health in our society has changed?

We’re finally talking about it! That’s the first step. It’s almost no longer taboo to discuss. There are therapy funds and databases for black folks to find therapists. More practitioners are understanding its importance. We’re growing!


Deeper Genius Acupunture is located in the greater Los Angeles area. You can find out more on DeeperGenius.com