Spotlight: Debbie Hardin of Hardin Acupuncture


Debbie Hardin is a fabulous acupuncturist, a savvy businesswoman, and an all around swell chick. She is ready and willing to try new things, loves to explore all that Pittsburgh has to offer, and is a staunch support of other women entrepreneurs.

On top of all that, she has built a thriving practice in Pittsburgh in just one year.

The secret to Debbie's success? Her calm and steadying energy. Even one minute in her presence will make you leave feeling relaxed and in tune with your own body and life.

Schedule an appointment for acupuncture, and Debbie will help you navigate the waters of self-discovery. She can be your secret weapon to success in all areas of your life, work, relationships, and creativity (just to name a few).

We hope you enjoy getting to know Debbie as much as we have. And if you ever come to a Networking Happy Hour, be sure to spend some time talking with this fabulous lady.


Name: Debbie Hardin, L.Ac.
Job Title: Acupuncturist
Twitter: @debbie_hardin

Introduce yourself as if you were speaking from the cockpit.
Hello! Thank you for choosing to fly with Hardin Acupuncture. You may not be totally sure where you're headed, but something sparked you to buy a ticket and I encourage you to keep following that spark. Maybe you're struggling with chronic pain or migraines or anxiety. Or maybe you have some sense that life could be more fulfilling, more joyful. I think you'll find that after this flight, not only have your symptoms resolved, but you have a much bigger perspective on life. You'll have regained your sense of flow. And the best part is, you'll realize that you had this capacity to soar within you all along. You have your own wings to carry you through all of your physical and emotional struggles. My job is to help you re-discover them.

When did you earn your wings?
I started my acupuncture practice in Maryland after getting my masters in acupuncture in 2008. Moving to Pittsburgh last year meant starting over with my client base, but it's been a really good year! People are curious and receptive, and I'm very happy to be here.

I think I'll be earning my wings as a business person and as an acupuncturist for the rest of my life. The good news is that Chinese medicine is endlessly fascinating! This year I'm studying with my mentor, Lonny Jarrett, in Massachusetts, and I'm also starting to learn Chinese. Next year, I'll start a two-year course in Chinese herbalism. Working to be a better acupuncturist, makes me a better person and vice versa. I'm grateful to have my life integrated in this way.

If you could name a nail polish color after yourself of your business, what would it be?
I'd call it Shining Shen and it would be transparent and very shiny. Maybe a little glittery.

Shen is the Chinese word for spirit — it's what we can see radiating out from someone's eyes or glowing in her face. It's like the sun, always shining, nothing to hide. It can't ever be diminished in someone — it can be covered up by clouds, but it's always there, just waiting to be revealed. It's the part of us that's deeply OK, no matter what's going on in our lives. Someone could be facing an enormous amount of health challenges, but if you can see the shen in her eyes, the prognosis is always good.

Not all flights are smooth. Tell us about how you handle turbulence in your business and life.
Meditation! Life makes so much more sense when I take time every day to let go of everything. It's like I can see out from a deeper set of eyes. Things that seemed overwhelming are once again life-sized and manageable. There's still turbulence, but I'm steadier within myself and I know that I can handle whatever happens. Without that daily practice, I'd probably be running around like chicken little 90% of the time.

Seeing my acupuncturist every once in a while also helps tremendously.

Who is the wind beneath your wings?
My patients, for sure. Acupuncture transformed my life when I was in college. When I have the privilege of helping others see an opening where before they saw only a wall or an endless trudge through an anxious, painful life, it totally lights me up. It makes everything worth it.

What’s your advice to other women as they navigate the business world?
The best advice I've ever received was from one of my teachers during school, when he noticed me struggling to find clients to treat in the student clinic. He said, how dare you keep this from people. How dare you let your own fears get in the way of making this powerful medicine available to those who need it. Whoa, that was quite a jolt and it worked! If you believe in what you're doing (and I'm sure you do) then don't let your own insecurities get in the way. This gets easier with practice.

Also, there'll always, always be another email to respond to, tweet to send, to-do item to check off. You won't ever get to the end of your tasks and say, ah, let me settle in with a cup of tea and do the real work now, the stuff I'm passionate about, the stuff that matters. We have to schedule in time for that first, or else it'll get crowded out by the mundane "emergencies."

All of the drive that it takes to be a successful business owner needs to be connected to the heart of what we're doing. Then we have a business that's alive and growing outwardly and also deeply rooted. If all we're doing is the busy work, we end up with a flimsy structure that'll blow over if we slow down because there's no foundation.

Now, for that cup of tea!