Ryan Ruiz studied at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, one of the premiere schools for acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine in the United States. The rigorous four-year program instilled in him a high degree of proficiency in the theory and application of ancient Eastern traditional healing techniques and herbal remedies. Ryan completed his master’s degree in December 2016 and has successfully treated an array of acute and chronic afflictions including musculoskeletal pain, neurological disorders, menstrual irregularities, skin maladies, and various others ailments.
Ryan came to his calling as a healer in a roundabout fashion. With an early interest in medicine and human anatomy, Ryan earned dual associate’s degrees in biology and general studies at the local community college in his hometown of Mesa, Arizona, but felt uninspired by the Western medical approach. Later, Ryan would pursue another passion, photojournalism, earning his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and spent a number of years working as a photographer for local magazines and newspapers in the Phoenix area. By this time, Ryan had developed a keen interest in acupuncture after years of martial arts training turned him onto the healing potential of pressure points on the body.
Impressed by the depth of knowledge, understanding and insight garnered by the ancient peoples of Asia as to the inner workings of the human form, Ryan was inspired to dedicate himself to the study and practice of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. By guiding the body to access its potential for self-healing, Ryan helps his patients enjoy a physical, emotional and spiritual state of balance.
Q&A with Ryan Ruiz
What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?
Professionally, aside from endeavoring to help my patients and be the best acupuncturist I can be, I am passionate about elevating, integrating, and advancing acupuncture and Traditional East Asian Medicine into the Western medical model and psyche. I feel this medicine is under appreciated in the States and that educating people about its versatility and effectiveness will serve to benefit the overall health of the general population.
Personally, I enjoy time with friends and doing anything outdoors or anything physical, but would really love to travel more. I love cultures and languages.
What three traits define you?
My three defining traits?… Kind. Understanding. Hardworking. (These are so awkward)
What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?
Acupuncture and martial arts all day long.
What are you surprisingly good at?
Walking on my hands… Not great at it, but not terrible either.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
Exercise! It’s free. Just go outside and move.
What’s the biggest proof that you’re good at what you do?
My patients tell me about how good they feel and what improvements they experience after my treatments.
What’s your biggest accomplishment?
(So far) Completing the rigorous four-year MSTOM program through Pacific College of Oriental Medicine… I was nominated to be the student speaker at my graduation. Public speaking is not my favorite thing, but I can proudly say that I delivered a good speech and was honored to do it.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
From 2011 to 2012 I worked for my brother’s highway construction-related company. He owns a giant grinding machine that shaves down bumps in the road, and his company operates all over the western United States. My job was to drive an inertial profiler (an SUV with a modified bumper that shoots lasers at the road surface) that measures the smoothness of the road surface. I would drive the length of a newly paved stretch of road collecting data, then I would have to go back and mark out with spray paint the rough patches that needed to be ground down. We would complete a job in 5-7 days, working 15-hour days then move on to the next job anywhere from Arizona and New Mexico to Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas and everywhere in between. We would stay in a different town and motel every week and have to drive hundreds and thousands of miles.
What problems do you consistently solve for your clients?
Stress and its various manifestations on the mind and body, and tons of neck, shoulder, and back pain and stiffness.
What are you complimented on most in your work?
Probably my ability to make people feel at ease. I try to explain in detail what the treatment entails as I perform it so there are no surprises, and I’m a friendly personality.
Who is your ideal client and why should they connect with you?
My ideal client is anyone who has tried “everything” to find relief of their ailment, but to no avail. Acupuncture seems to be a last-ditch effort for relief for a lot of people. It’s always great when the patient feels better after only a couple treatments and says, “Why didn’t I try this FIRST?!”
In your work or creative process, what concepts are sacred? Which rules have you made, which ones do you follow?
Do no harm. It’s a big one. Of course the goal is to do the exact opposite, but there are some inherent risks involved. The idea is to maintain focus and put one’s intention behind each and every treatment.
What is your grand, audacious goal?
My grand goal is to author a book. What I would write about is yet to be seen, but it IS an interest of mine
What do you wish people would know, believe, do?
I wish people would prioritize their health more. I see a lot of needless pain and suffering that is easily preventable with a little bit of consistent self-care.
Do you have any other passions of personal goals that you would like to share?
I would like to travel to as many countries as I possibly can, and learn as many languages as I can. I have some catching up to do.
What do you do for fun in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
In my spare time in enjoy working out in the park and riding my bike along the lake. I love exploring the city, spending time with friends, hosting get togethers, etc. My motto is always “The more the merrier.” My biggest hobby is photography. I spent years as a photojournalist in Arizona working for magazines and newspapers. I’ve been meaning to get out more and explore the city of Chicago photographically.
What is something unique about you that most people don’t know?
I am from Mesa, Arizona. When I was in the fourth grade I was part of a jump rope troop called the Hot Peppers that performed during the halftime show at a Phoenix Suns basketball game. I also got to play an extra in The Kingdom, a feature length big budget Hollywood movie starring Jamie Foxx that was filmed in my hometown in 2006. You can see me on the back of a Humvee in the original trailer for the movie at the 1:22 mark [YouTube: The Kingdom (Trailer 2007)]. My split second of fame.