We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Yvonne K Scarlett, DACM, Dipl. OM., L.Ac. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dr. Yvonne K, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As a child, I had always dreamed of becoming a doctor. At the  age of 19, I was accepted into the pre-med program at the  University of the West Indies in Jamaica and quickly realized  that wasn’t what I really wanted to do. 

A few years later I emigrated to the ‘states’, and went after  the American Dream by climbing up the corporate ladder. It  was then that I started having headaches which I chaulked up  to allergies. The migraines, nausea, visual auras gradually got  worse, impacting my work. Add to that stomach ulcers, acid  reflux; I was later diagnosed with ‘Adult-Onset Asthma’ at age  35. It seemed that my health was beginning its decline.  Rounds of Cortisone injections, high doses of Prednisone, and  too many hospital stays compelled me to start taking a more active role in my healing process. While trying to manage my  asthma, I was then given a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia to explain  the chronic fatigue, insomnia and pain everywhere in my body. Starting a wellness clinic was not even on my radar. I just  wanted to feel better. I was leading a stressful life which  compounded my health challenges. It was a daily struggle to  feel better while raising a family and navigating my corporate  career as a manager of a small department, which was  becoming extremely daunting. My health continued to  deteriorate. 

I relocated to Florida in the summer of 2003, still suffering  with the now daily migraines, made worse by the Florida heat  and humidity. I was miserable. My options were prescription  after prescription with their plethora of side effects. There had  to be a better way. I remembered that I was able to manage  the asthma by changing my diet and incorporating more whole  foods and botanicals. Fast forward to 2004 – still suffering for  many years with almost daily migraine headaches which didn’t  respond well to prescription medication, I started researching  other modalities. In my research, I “stumbled” upon Chinese  Medicine and Acupuncture when I found a business card at  the cash register of the health food store I visited weekly to  get my organic produce and non-dairy milk products.

Despite my fear of needles, I decided to try it, and called the  number to the clinic. I was desperate to find relief. After  several treatment sessions, I noticed that I had fewer days of  migraines, where I had to find a cool, dark room to hopefully  sleep it off. That was in 2004. I’ve not had a migraine since  completing that series of treatments. Well, that got my  attention. It worked! 

Years later I returned to Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for  treatment of chronic anxiety, panic attacks, stomach  ulcers, and recurrent sinus infections–all of which were  resolved. 

It was then that I decided to return to medical school to learn  about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and how I could  bring this medicine to my community, especially BIPOC (this  phrase didn’t exist then). My agenda was to work primarily  with children, so I completed two semesters of Pediatric TCM,  which included two semesters of clinical training at Rady  Children’s Hospital working in their hematology and oncology  department, treating their pediatric patients, both in-patient,  and out-patient in their chronic pain program. My youngest  patient there was 9 months old. The children responded  quickly to the treatments. This was so encouraging. During my Master’s program I hit a plateau with my health,  especially with the added stress of being in graduate  school and studying for the California Board exam. I started  getting weekly treatments from a professor at her private  clinic. She used a functional medicine approach to care and  ordered comprehensive labs which showed that I was severely  deficient is some key nutrients that my body needed in order  to function well. I was placed on a customized regimen of a  diet modified specifically for me, and was prescribed  nutraceuticals, Chinese herbal prescriptions, plus lifestyle  modification to include daily self-care routines. I started to  feel better – more energy, less pain, better sleep. Life was  good.

After graduating from Chinese Medicine school, I knew that I  wanted to bring more awareness about this powerful medicine  to everyone I knew and met. I wanted everyone to know about  how I was able to regain my health and feel good, so I decided  to open my own private clinic–initially in Banker’s Hill–and  then in Carlsbad in 2014. It was about empowering individuals  to take a broader view of their health and wellness care, being  proactive about it, by incorporating Chinese Medicine  modalities for the prevention, and management of their health  concerns, in an integrative and holistic manner. 

I really had no idea about what I was getting into by  owning and running an integrative medicine clinic. It has been  quite the journey. My focus has since been on Women’s  health, helping those suffering with the symptoms of  autoimmune disease, such as Thyroid  

disorders, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Sarcoidosis – the third is  the autoimmune disorder with which I was diagnosed in 2007.  My other clinical focus is infertility which is now being called  an ‘epidemic’ by some health agencies. So many women and  couples are struggling to have a baby. I want to help them  improve their odds, which clinical research has shown to  increase by over 40%. I have helped hundreds of those  dealing with fertility challenges with an amazing medicine bag  of tools at my disposal. 

This is why I show up in my clinic – to help people live better  lives on their terms, with more energy, better sleep, and an  improved quality of life.

What should our readers know about your business?
Lotus Wellness Center is my passion, my lifeblood, and  purpose. Whenever I have an opportunity to share what I do, I  often remind myself to be moderate – not to talk ad nauseam  about what I do – because I could! I’m in my third career and  wish that I had come to it sooner; however, it was my life and  health experiences which brought me to it when I didn’t even  know that it existed. Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture saved  my life. What I bring to clinical practice is a deep passion, 

borne out of my own debilitating health and tenuous health  journey. I bring a combination of extensive and diverse clinical  experience, academic knowledge, combined with personal  wisdom which allows me to relate quite well to those who  suffer from similar health challenges with which I have  previously struggled. Additionally, I bring experience from my  years of working in Fortune 100, and 500 corporations and, as  an electronic engineer – overworked, stressed, poor sleep,  etc., combined with my own survival of many traumatic life  experiences. I understand their challenges, pain and struggles  acutely. I can empathize and share from my vast and varied  journey back to good health.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many great places to visit in San Diego. Balboa Park is a must to check out the museums, the  Japanese Garden and Spanish Village, with many specialty  shops. Adjacent is the world-famous San Diego Zoo. If you  are looking for a yummy breakfast place, then it must be  Snooze, with a couple of locations. Delicious vegan food can  be had at Plumeria, Dao Fu and Loving Hut. For a more exotic  fare, visit Realm of 52 Remedies. If you’re craving decadent  desserts and treats, you’ll not be disappointed  

at Extraordinary desserts on Front Street. 

If you enjoy hiking then you may enjoy a hike at Torrey Pines,  or one of the courses in Balboa Park, or in Point Loma to see  the lighthouse at the Cabrillo National Monument and enjoy  the expansive ocean views. You may even spot a whale or a  few dolphins. 

If you are a lover of fine teas, then visiting tea houses like  Coral Tree or Shakespeare will delight. For the oenophiles, I  encourage you to check out some of our local wineries – Koi  Zen Cellars, Carruth Cellars, and the Bernardo Winery. San  Diego is replete with opportunities to please all the senses.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Shout-out is multi-pronged: First my immediate family the  Francis’, Murray’s, Escoffery’s, and Scarlett’s. My SoCal Family  – The Lemoine’s, Harrison’s, Goold’s, Sleeth’s and Ouya’s; 

Colleagues: Dr. Christine Grisham; Dr. Christine Adamo,  Dr. Ayanna Cobb; Dr. Laurena White, M.D., and Dr. Pearl  Zimmerman, M.D. 

I could not have navigated this journey and reached this place  without all these individuals who have supported me with  their love, affection, encouragement, finances, shelter, and  mentorship. I am eternally grateful.

Website: www.RedLotusWellnessCenter.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/redlotuscenter/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/redlotuswellnesscenter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AcupunctureForU

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RedLotusWellnessAcupuncture

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/red-lotus-wellness-center-carlsbad?osq=red+lotus+wellness+center

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWGsPEw0hNrAI4rBk4hrGSQ

Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/DrYvonneScarlett

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.