Lara Koljonen is a licensed Acupuncturist and Owner of the Herbin Acupuncture and Wellness center in Banker’s Hill, San Diego. She started Essentially Pink in 2006 while finishing her Master of Science degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Philosophy-Ethics from San Diego State University, San Diego and massage technician certificate from Mueller Massage school, San Diego. People often ask Lara if breast cancer runs in her family. Her answer is that breast health runs in her family, and she wants to pass it on to others.
Her interest in the body’s health started, like many people, with a fear of getting sick. Soon, however, her motivation changed to helping everyone feel great in their body. From a dynamic start in public health, she was recommended by a doctor to look into oriental medicine and acupuncture. Two years into her studies at PCOM, she noticed that breast cancer was the disease most prominent in the public eye. The negative, fear-based attitude toward treating breast cancer needed a makeover. Guided by her upbeat outlook that cultivating health is a much better way to combat sickness, she began to educate herself on how to draw the public focus onto breast health, rather than on cancer. She launched a series of free classes on breast health, teaching nutrition, breast massage and the TCM approach to cancer prevention to anyone who wanted to listen. A second epiphany followed when, in the middle of the night, she seized upon the idea of the Tulip Tap. It would become an easy and evocative way to keep energy moving through the acupuncture meridians, clearing the lymphatic system and allowing the body to constantly heal itself. Lara is a driving force for changing the image of breast health from a fear-based yearly reminder, to a way of life that fosters fun, sexy, vibrant health in everybody.