In a year full of milestones, it’s safe to say that for a lot of us, none of our plans for 2020 went according to plan. For me, a year that’s been arguably tainted by the pandemic was also the year I got married, the year I opened my acupuncture space, ORA, and the year I learned I’d soon be a mother. While our wedding plans happened to fall in the small window of pre-pandemic life that this year had to offer, ORA is a passion project turned entrepreneurial venture that’s been two years in the making. Due to several construction setbacks, the opening of ORA was delayed quite a bit, but we finally opened our doors on March 5th. Just ten days later, we closed those same doors as the threat of Coronavirus began to rise. And the surprise of our baby girl, while exciting, was still very much of a surprise. As I ponder and prepare for what’s to come in the new year, I find myself thinking heavily of my children, my business baby and my almost-earthside daughter, and how the two have haphazardly sharpened my ability to be a better business owner and a better mother as well.
While I can’t say I’m prepared for the next chapter of motherhood, the journey of starting and now running ORA has brought lots of surprise, full of ups and downs along the way. While business owner and mother are titles that bear different responsibilities, I have learned the power of embracing the journey. I’ve learned to check my emotions at the door because in business and in life, nothing ever goes according to plan, and that’s okay. With each unexpected surprise, our company has grown, pocketing new lessons, and becoming a stronger business along the way. When quarantine hit, we shifted gears to bring the benefits of acupuncture to the digital landscape, offering virtual sessions and launching our e-commerce store, two components of our business that have grown immensely since spring.
My vision for ORA emerged from my love of acupuncture, something that has always been a sort of therapy for me. There is so much this practice can do to benefit your physical, psychological, and emotional well-being, and from its inception, ORA’s mission is to bring everyday healing to our community. Personally, I have always found acupuncture to be helpful with my digestion and thyroid issues. Yet, in this season of pregnancy, I am now experiencing a whole new way acupuncture can aid alternative issues. I have weaved weekly acupuncture appointments in to my routine throughout this pregnancy and have been enjoying, learning, and experiencing more ways in which this practice can help people. For a time, I had terrible sciatic pain to a point that it hurt to stand up. After just two acupuncture sessions, the pain had vanished. I had heard how acupuncture was helpful for back pain and pregnancy, but experiencing it first hand was eye-opening.
In addition to consistent acupuncture appointments, I’ve also stuck to a tea and tonic routine, something I swear has played a critical role in keeping me sane and healthy while navigating the highs and lows of this year. While so many things have felt uncertain and out of balance, these practices have improved my sleep, stress, digestion, and have helped to keep my hormones and emotions in check. I make a point to surround myself with a relaxing environment, using ORA’s custom aromatherapy scent and keeping a roll-on next to my computer to apply when I need a pick me up. With pregnancy, it feels like there’s a new symptom every day. Having natural remedies and resources at my disposal has transformed the way in which I’ve cared for my body and mind while carrying my daughter.
Motherhood brings on a whole new set of challenges and I do believe that ORA can be helpful, not just to new mamas, but to anyone who is adapting to a new normal. From stress management to nutrition advice, sleeping help, physical pain, hormone relief, and so much more, I feel increasingly passionate about what ORA offers and the role we play in bringing relief and resolve to our community.
Kimberly Ross is the Founder and CEO of ORA, an acupuncture and wellness practice in the heart of New York’s Noho, bringing a highly-curated and elevated acupuncture experience to New York. The concept of ORA was conceived during her time at Harvard Business School, in an attempt to make acupuncture more approachable to others experiencing health issues.