Today, she's an acupuncturist and highly trained practitioner of Chinese medicine, but Peru native Maria Baraybar Lee began her diploma collection with a Ph.D. in marine biology. When she finally swam up to the surface, her research brought her together with AIDS patients who taught her about paying close attention to the mental and physical components that accompany the treatment of health challenges. Soon after, she would experience these challenges herself, when a severe car accident left her in intense pain assuaged only by acupuncture.
Lee was hooked. Further inspired by her mentor, Dr. Ron "Doc" Rosen, she graduated from the Colorado School of Chinese Medicine and spent more than 2,260 hours working through hands-on and classroom training. She is accredited by and a needle-carrying member of several professional organizations.
In addition to performing five distinct varieties of acupuncture, Lee unlocks the ancient secrets of herbs, cupping, and Chinese massage to keep patients balanced and healthy. When she's not treating clients and manatees in her private practice—where she also specializes in women's health, cosmetic acupuncture, and pain management—she's donating her skills to non-profit organizations.