Bianca Di Giulio said she originally planned on earning a master’s degree in social work, but after receiving acupuncture treatments to treat her own migraines, she switched gears to study acupuncture. “It was the best decision I’ve ever made,” Di Giulio said.
“It’s always a remarkable experience to participate in someone’s health recovery.”
Today, Di Giulio is a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine with offices in Napa and Oakland. She’s also studying to become a doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
1. What was your first job?
In 1995 (at) That Bagel Place in downtown Napa, across from the now-demolished clock tower.
2. How did you get into this business?
My first experience with acupuncture was at the age of 16 because I was concerned about a reduced appetite and persistent insomnia. I didn’t understand how a few needles could so positively affect my wellness.
After high school, I completed my undergraduate degree in social welfare at UC Berkeley, with the goal to work toward a master’s degree in social work. However, I continued to receive acupuncture treatments and I became certified in massage therapy.
As I evaluated graduate programs, a dear friend suggested I consider graduate programs in acupuncture. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
3. What’s a common misconception you get about your work?
Because Chinese medicine is not often recognized as mainstream health care, the public is not generally aware that traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help prevent illness and maintain good health. Individuals generally make appointments when there is an acute problem, such as persistent pain, instead of coming in before the onset of illness for an evaluation and to discuss wellness goals. In our practice, it is said that a good physician never has a sick patient.
4. What’s your advice to someone who wants to get into your industry?
Everyone wants to be a healer (but) you also have to be business oriented.
5. Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
Yes. With Obamacare, most California health care plans are required to approve acupuncture and cover it.
6. What are some people surprised to know about Chinese medicine?
There is 3,000 years of imperial research behind the practice of Chinese medicine and currently ongoing scientific studies. A lot of people are also surprised it treats more than just pain, for example sleep issues, digestive problems and fertility. The entire body system can be addressed with Chinese medicine.
7. Who do you most admire in the business world?
I admire the women in health and medicine who are pioneers in expanding the awareness and understanding of mind-body medicine, and do so with integrity, such as Caroline Myss, who writes about healing, and Dr. Christiane Northrup.
8. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
I’d like to open an integrative health center built on the foundation of Chinese medicine in collaboration with other health care practitioners. The practice would specialize in integrative oncology and women’s health.
9. What was your childhood ambition?
I dreamed of being a back-up dancer on tour with Janet Jackson.
10. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Southern Italy, in my dad’s hometown of Triggiano, on the warm beaches of the Adriatic.
Bonus questions for the Web:
Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?
- Maya Angelou, to hear her voice in person sharing her perspective on life and lessons learned.
- Will Ferrell, because he never fails to make me laugh.
- Christiane Northrup, M.D., who is an authority on mind-body medicine specific to women’s health.
What job would you like to try/not try?
Try: Travel writer, so that I might combine my love of travel with new experiences, and share those experiences with a greater audience.
Not try: Deep sea fisherman. Watching the movie “The Perfect Storm” and the show “Deadliest Catch” have only fueled my fear of the unknown in the deep sea, and because I get seasick!
What’s the worst job you ever had?
Food runner in a busy restaurant. I consistently delivered food to the wrong patron.
What’s on your to-do list?
- Complete my doctoral education and dissertation in Chinese medicine by June 2015.
- Remodel my outdoor space and garden.
- Walk the dog more often.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I would enjoy having business partners, to not only support one another in the logistical aspects of running a practice, but also to collaborate on patient care. Every practitioner brings a unique perspective and approach to healing, and I would enjoy learning and sharing in this process to benefit my patients.
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
Every two years I become a rabid, flag-waving soccer fan during Euro Cup and World Cup. I wake up at 6 a.m. for games, and check ESPN scores throughout the day. As a former high school and intramural college player, soccer is my passion!