PORT ST. LUCIE PEOPLE
Growing up in rural Kentucky, Rachelle Tetreault
remembers gathering sassafras leaves for tea, a
remedy for various ills around the world. Even
though her mother was a nurse, the family
rarely went to the doctor. From her father, a preacher and
social worker, she absorbed the idea that the human body
was created with the ability to heal itself.
Tetreault’s family moved to Florida when she was a
teenager. She married relatively young, but her husband’s
death left her a young widow with two children. When
her older son was 8, he often mentioned his best friend at
school. The day she met the boy at the bus stop, she also
met his father, Robert. Going out for coffee that morning
was the first of many dates.
Robert and Rachelle dated several years before getting
married. “Because we both had kids, we wanted to be sure
it was right. We’ve been a blended family — yours, mine,
and ours — for 22 years now.”
Tetreault’s first career was as a registered respiratory
therapist, trained at Indian River State College. She
worked at Raulerson Hospital in Okeechobee, followed by
Cleveland Clinic. When a colleague decided to go back to
school to become an acupuncturist, Tetreault joined her.
“I’d taken care of patients with COPD (Chronic Obstructive
44 Port St. Lucie Magazine
Pulmonary Disease),” says Tetreault. “Steroids
sometimes only maintained, without lasting progress.
When I developed asthma and chronic asthmatic bronchitis
myself, traditional medications weren’t effective.”
Acupuncture and herbal medication, however, were. “It
made me a true believer.”
Florida’s certification program for acupuncturists is
one of the strictest in the country. One may practice with
a master’s degree which includes three years of training,
but Tetreault opted for an additional two years to get
BY ELLEN GILLETTE
A certified respiratory therapist, Rachelle Tetreault experienced the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese herbs herself when traditional medicine failed to
help with chronic asthmatic bronchitis. She went back to school for a doctorate in Eastern medicine so she could help others.