We're proud to introduce our last guest on our Monday Night Self Improvement Class with Matthew Brownstein, Dr. Pat Acerra! Pat brings her experience of over Ten years in Accupuncture and Chinese Medicine, as well as nearly 30 years in the corporate sphere, to her current occupation as a Certified Clinical and Transpersonal Hypnotherapist. Pat sat down and answered some of our questions about her journey before her meeting with us on Monday, May 19th at 7pm EST. So without further ado , may I present Pat Acerra.



  1. Tell us a little about your background, story, personal journey…

Growing up I thought I only had a few career choices as a woman….teacher, nurse or nun. I didn’t want to be any of those. I worked in corporate America from the age of 18 until 45. I worked in practically every environment. I started out as a legal secretary, then a Medical secretary, then I went to Washington D.C. and worked for the Department of Agriculture, then to Florida where I worked for an investment firm, then as the head of the new Witness Assistance Program, and then as Firm Administrator for an accounting firm. So….literally, I worked for doctors, lawyers, bankers, and accountants…


It wasn’t until I was 45 years old and went for my first facial that it dawned on me…’Hey, I can do this…I want to work for myself.”  So I went to esthetics school…then I worked my way through Massage school doing facials…then I worked my way thru acupuncture school doing facials and massages.   I stayed with those three modalities for @ 10 years, taking various side courses … until hypnotherapy came along.  I couldn’t resist it.


Because of Chinese Medicine I knew that the wrong emotions, or the blockage of emotions could cause illnesses.  I thought hypnotherapy would be a wonderful adjunct to my practice.  I could move someone’s Qi and educate him or her enough so that they understood the concept…but after learning about hypnotherapy I realized that I could empower people for healthier lives.


  1. What is traditional approach to Chinese Medicine and how is what I do different Now?   

The traditional approach to Chinese medicine is to enhance the quality, quantity and balance of Qi …to promote natural healing, better immunity, and physical, emotional and mental health.


When I first began studying acupuncture it was still considered an ancient art form.  It was mysterious…spiritual.  That’s why I wanted to study it.   In my first year of school it became mainstream and by the time I graduated I was considered a Primary Care Physician. Suddenly acupuncture was “medical’.  That wasn’t my original intent, so I was thrown off course as far as my treatments went for a while.


Going to FIOH gave me an additional validation that what I originally wanted to study with acupuncture (the ancient wisdom, the poetry and beauty and spirituality of it) was the right track for me.  My certification in hypnotherapy gave me more confidence to practice acupuncture the way I wanted.   I was always more interested in the mental, spiritual, emotional aspects of acupuncture and was fortunate enough to study under some really great men at the time who offered seminars on Chinese Medical Psychiatry..and Treating Mental and Emotional Disorders with Chinese Medicine…my hypnotherapy education gave me further validation on it all.  It is also an absolute joy to take my acupuncture patients who may be having extra difficulty healing and with hypnotherapy I can empower them.  I love empowering them.


 I’m not sure I really do anything differently as far as acupuncture goes.  I’ve always treated the emotional aspect of the disharmony in their body.  I will say that I have more confidence as a healer now.  I always felt the need to be centered and aligned before I treated another person…and now I feel really strong in that area…because of hypnotherapy.  


Just recently I began studying under a very special teacher named Mikio Sankey who is presenting an expanded concept called Esoteric Acupuncture, which is an integration of the Ancient Wisdom, Sacred Geometry, the Qabbalistic Tree of Life and the chakra systems with acupuncture.  If it weren’t for Matthew’s teaching in transpersonal hypnotherapy I would not have recognized any of these terms and may have bypassed this incredible man and his knowledge.


The overall intention of esoteric acupuncture patterns is to be able to understand ourselves on the highest consciousness levels in order to heal and to expand our spiritual energies.  An awakening occurs within the client.  Dr. Sankey stresses over and over that the awakening of the client depends on the levels of the practitoner AND the client…so it’s important to hold ourselves at the level of frequency of constant joy and love with a god-realized energy field. 


Actually, you know, that when you get an acupuncture treatment, before the needle even touches you it is passing thru your spiritual, mental/causal, astral and etheric bodies…before it reaches your dense physical body.  These bodies are all connected and spill into each other.


So that’s another area where the hypnotherapy comes in.  Some clients need the hypnotherapy experience to feel that higher vibrational level – and then they will respond better to the acupuncture treatments.


Another area hypnotherapy comes in for me is with compliance.  When the patient and I both know what they’re SUPPOSED to be doing, and yet they’re not doing it….we can explore that further with hypnotherapy.


We can also explore if they have any attachment to their illness.  Sometimes it’s an identity issue.  We need to turn that around.


  1. How has hypnotherapy changed my life personally and professionally?

I would say by leaps and bounds.  My personal and professional life are so intertwined that it’s hard to separate.  Hypnotherapy has given me a stronger confidence as a healer.  It’s also given me better listening skills to what people are really saying  (part of me wants this…part of me wants that)..   I have the skills now to relax people around me – whether or not I’m hypnotizing them…by pacing and breathing.  I learned a lot of skills that I pretty much use every day.  Hypnotherapy has made me a calmer person….because I realized that I have ‘performance anxiety’ about nearly everything I do!  So I’m able to recognize that little voice and quiet it.

And of course, it’s all about energy and being in the vortex…so once you experience that so strongly and fully in hypnotherapy, you can, literally, bring yourself to that place whenever you want, no matter what is going on around you.


  1. Who else works with me and why?

My daugher-in-law, Amber has worked with me for the past 5 years.  She does all the skin care now, I no longer do that.


  1. Why have we teamed up?  

I’m in a place in my life where I want to reach and help larger groups of people.   There’s a unique joy in teaching.  There’s a fuller feeling in being part of something bigger than your immediate circle.


  1. What is the value of spirituality in therapy?

In my opinion, it’s everything.  That’s my belief system.  Your intention, your vibrational level and connection to Spirit are essential in order to be physically, mentally, emotionally happy.  And your spirituality, I feel makes you better in any therapy you do.  No matter what you do.  Not just therapy…every job.  Being aligned with spirit while we’re still in human form is what it’s all about.


  1. What is the real root cause individual and global suffering? 

Not being aligned with spirit.  Acting in fear, greed,  Acting outside of the vortex.


  1. What is the role of hypnotherapy and Chinese medicine in mental and physical health? 

Chinese medicine has always been about balancing yourself.  Having a free flow of energy thru the body.  Emotional blockages affect you physically.  Making sure you have sufficient, vital, vibrant energy flowing freely thru the body mentally and physically is essential.  Hypnotherapy helps unblock the mind’s qi.


  1.  Why is it important to protect the practice of hypnotherapy? 

If it weren’t for such a strong lobby of acupuncturists in Florida, I might be working in some doctor’s office for $20 an hour right now. 


  1. How can we help those who are suffering and finding no real results in the traditional model? 

Empower them.  Let them bathe in a higher vibrational frequency.


  1. How can we work with doctors of both western and Chinese Medicine in a professional way to help develop relationships and help people?  

If you’re working with a western doctor, you’ll want to know their terminology – their trigger words, when you explain how you can help.  The same goes for Chinese medicine.  You’ll want to be able to explain what you do, or what you can do for their clients, in a language that they’ll understand.  You can develop relationships at speaking engagements, seminars, chamber of commerce meetings…anytime, anywhere.   Think of how you might be of help to a doctor without threatening them.   Cosmetic surgeons would probably love the idea of their potential patient being hypnotized to bleed less, heal faster!  Work up some statistics…make up a brochure…decide where you want to be a help and then target that area.  Maybe an area dentist would love for you t