by Lilian Huang
Since opening her clinic on 53rd Street last August, Julie Bear Don’t Walk has been providing traditional Chinese medical treatment to residents of Hyde Park and the surrounding communities. A licensed acupuncturist, Julie also offers other services such as dietary therapy, Tui Na bodywork, and the recommendation of Chinese herbs. Her patients span a wide age range – “anywhere from pediatrics to geriatrics,” as she puts it – and her regular clientele includes many families.
The clinic, located at 1525 E. 53rd Street, Suite 824, is part of the ongoing wave of development along 53rd Street. Besides the flourishing restaurants, boutiques and pop-up shops, the area has also seen the arrival of numerous small businesses providing professional services, such as Julie’s health and wellness practice.
Julie first developed an interest in traditional Chinese medicine due to its interdisciplinary and holistic nature, which combines both theoretical and hands-on aspects to pursue a fundamental human mission of “helping people to feel better.” Her last name, “Bear Don’t Walk,” is from her husband Scott Bear Don’t Walk, a member of the Crow Tribe of Montana, and symbolizes Julie’s commitment to the sacred responsibility of healing and helping people to achieve lifelong wellbeing. Having studied for six years at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and completed over 3,000 hours of training, Julie describes traditional Chinese medicine as being an excellent complement to conventional Western medicine. Its holistic approach allows it to address many sets of symptoms for which Western medicine has no clear diagnosis or treatment.
She often works with patients who experience nerve pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and general fatigue, and helps them to improve their overall sense of health and wellbeing. In the words of one of her patients, “After my treatment, the stress from outside didn't change at all, but my relationship to it improved dramatically.”
Julie also emphasizes the importance of listening to patients and working collaboratively to design a feasible course of treatment. Her goal is to determine what is possible for each individual patient given their current lifestyle, and then recommending a personalized treatment tailored to suit the patient’s needs and living situation, rather than insisting on standardized procedures.
Even before opening her clinic in the Hyde Park Bank building, Julie had a longstanding connection to the Hyde Park neighborhood. She also works as a Resident Head at the University of Chicago, where she resides on campus with her husband and five-year-old daughter. This made 53rd Street a logical place to look when she was scouting for suitable spaces, a year before her graduation from Pacific College. The Hyde Park Bank building, in particular, appealed to her as being a “good, solid, beautiful building” and was also highly recommended by fellow acupuncturist Mary Rogel, who operates another practice in the building. “The fact that 53rd Street is being revitalized is a huge bonus,” Julie remarks.
Optimistic about the future prospects of her clinic in the neighborhood, she plans to expand her practice by acquiring adjoining office space, as well as hiring a massage therapist who will provide treatment on weekends.
Julie is holding an open house on Friday, April 10, from 12-4 p.m., for the community to learn more about the services she offers – recognizing that many people are interested in the possibilities of traditional Chinese medicine, but are unsure whether they can still visit her clinic if there is “nothing wrong with them.” “Spring is actually the perfect time, because it’s a transition of seasons,” says Julie. Her treatment, which is aimed at boosting the immune system and harmonizing the nervous system, is “a good way to reset” after a long, draining winter. In other words, “It’s totally fine to come in!”
Julie Bear Don’t Walk takes appointments from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Her clinic is located at 1525 E. 53rd Street, Suite 824, inside the Hyde Park Bank Building; she also makes house calls. She can be contacted at 773-991-9455 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be hosting an open house at her clinic on Friday, April 10, 2015, from 12 to 4 p.m. with light refreshments. To RSVP, visit www.tiny.cc/feelgreat.