The Only Acupuncturist in Two Harbors
Lanna Schwab, LAc ‘16 does not have four generations of family history in Two Harbors, Minnesota. In fact, when she moved there to work as an x-ray tech in the hospital, she didn’t know anyone. Now, she runs Agate Acupuncture out of that same hospital, and has built a strong client-base through community connections and word of mouth.
She wasn’t sure how acupuncture would go over in Two Harbors, where people generally have less exposure to integrative care. “I’ve been doing a lot more basic education work, which is something that I enjoy,” she explained. “I really like connecting with people on that level.”
When Lanna first opened, she focused on pain, treating mostly older patients or people already exposed to natural healthcare. Now, she sees more chronic and complex issues. “I’m being challenged more, which is great,” she shared. In typical small-town fashion, word has spread. For example, after she helped a woman manage hot flashes, that woman made an appointment for her husband to help him sleep. “He came in, and he runs a construction business. I helped him with shoulder pain, which he never expected. So now he’s telling all his construction friends about it.”
Of course, like anywhere, there are skeptics. “One of my greatest joys in life is when a skeptic will walk in my door and leave feeling way better,” she laughed. “I really enjoy exposing people to different ways of healing and health. And since COVID, it seems like people are taking a lot more initiative in their own health.”
Establishing herself as a practitioner and building confidence while working alone in Two Harbors was a challenge. Ultimately, Lanna has found that leaning into her own style is the best way to serve her patients and grow as a practitioner. “My strength comes from personal connection and relationships,” she explained. “Sometimes just going through a simple explanation is enough to build rapport.”
Lanna also takes advantage of living somewhere with a slower pace and ample access to nature. “The rewarding part for me is that I can shut my computer at the end of the day, go home, and go into the woods with my dog.”