Growing up in Indio before Coachella flooded the region with floral crowns every summer, Raul was interested in medicine and helping others from an early age. “I was a boy scout when I was little, and I always liked medical training,” he says. “I got the first aid training and completed my CPR training early, but I never imgained it would be my career path.”
Leaving for college at UCLA, his life took a twist when his martial arts team got the opportunity to train at Beijing Sports University one summer. When Raul hurt his knee and a local trainer applied herb patches, he wasn’t sure exactly what to make of it. But after all the pain was gone by the following morning, his interest in Eastern medicine was sparked and a lifelong passion for helping others with these ancient techniques began.
After completing his masters degree in California, he traveled back East, this time to an internship in South Korea.
“I was working and studying in Seoul at the best Eastern medical school in the world, which was amazing,” he says. “They have a nineteen story hospital with fully-equipped emergency rooms filled with all kinds of Western diagnostic machines, but the main core of treatment is Eastern medical techniques.”
Returning to the States, Raul finished his PhD in Eastern medicine in Orange County and began serving patients in and around Culver City, which is why he was thrilled to recently join SoulPlay’s Wellness team, where he offers a range of acupuncture treatments, as well as Eastern Medical Massages and herbal medicine.
For those unfamiliar with the benefits of acupuncture, Raul explains its longevity in treating everything from physical injuries and digestive issues to emotional problems.
“When you look at one of the first textbooks from thousands of years ago explaining these techniques, it was already well-established back then,” he says. “They weren’t guessing or noticing some random results, they were explaining something that had already been proven as effective.”
And in our car-obsessed town, he regularly sees patients after car accidents, as acupuncture is one of the therapies covered by most car insurances.
“People usually think acupuncture is good for treating pain,” he says. “Which it definitely is. But it’s also really good for stress management and internal medical problems. It can help treat different inflammatory problems in the gut, and it’s one of the best therapies for women suffering from menstrual pains or cysts, as it helps regulate hormones in the body.”