I am a licensed acupuncturist
in Washington and Oregon, and a certified massage therapist in San Francisco, California.
Prior to my career as an acupuncturist, I was trained
as a classical guitarist and earned my bachelors degree in music from San Francisco State University. I first moved to
Washington to pursue an apprenticeship building classical guitars. I began to investigate graduate education in Chinese Medicine
after I took a career test at a local university and the findings indicated two fields that would be most suitable for
me: Air Traffic Controller and Acupuncturist. I chose acupuncture.
I studied at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Seattle. I completed my practicum
during the day and attended classes four nights a week. I was awarded my masters in acupuncture in 1994. I
received my diplomate in acupuncture the same year. To this day, I maintain contact with my primary mentor, Dr.
Jian Xin Huang.
I have worked in a number of settings. In
addition to my private practice as a general practitioner, I have worked in correctional facilities,
mental health facilities and methadone maintenance centers. I have a fond recollection of my experience at the
Work Release Prisons:
They were these tough muscle-bound
bruiser guys – totally afraid of acupuncture. Once they tried it they loved it. It was nice to offer them something
because they were starting their lives all over again. I was a part of that new beginning.
My Professional Philosophy
have been influenced by my work with the Korean Yoga Institute, which emphasizes accessing the Chi, or vital energy
in the body. I adhere to a practice in which one heals oneself to heal others, because the healthier I am, the more I
have to offer.
I am a proponent of holistic care and view the healing process as a dialogue or interaction
between the person giving and receiving the treatment. Although I have helped many people, I am hesitant to call myself a
healer. I am responding to the patient's request to be in a relationship that involves healing. I want it to be a mutual
experience where I inspire the person coming for treatment to receive motion for their health. Ultimately people heal themselves.
Integrative and Complementary Medicine,
the Role of Collaboration and Referral
I see my work as a complement to Western biomedicine rather than as a substitute. When appropriate, I will refer
patients to neurologists and other specialists for treatment. Similarly, physicians refer patients to me for integrative
treatment. Many times, I will see one member of a family, who then brings in other family members for treatment, so that I
become the entire family’s health care provider.
I gave up my full-time
practice in Stanwood, Washington in 2006 to return to San Francisco to care for my elderly mother, who suffers
from dementia. It was then that I sought certification in massage therapy, working first through Osento, a spa setting
for women, and later setting up my own private practice in San Francisco. I make frequent trips to Stanwood,
Washington and Selma, Oregon, where I continue to treat both existing and new patients.
of bodywork is extensive. In addition to the classes needed to earn my certification in massage therapy, my education
in Chinese Medicine included 400 hours in Chinese massage technique including tuina, shiatsu and acupressure. I utilize a
whole body approach in my work. Although I now do full body massage, I have always incorporated bodywork, using the two ─ acupuncture and massage ─ in
tandem. People need to be touched in a loving supportive way through massage with hands-on energy that acupuncture alone doesn't
Three of my former patients, one
of whom was already a medical professional, have since pursued training as acupuncturists and entered into private practice.
I practice in Washington, Oregon, and San Francisco. In
my spare time, I enjoy cooking, fishing, refinishing antiques, and hiking. I have a special place in my heart
for animals. In addition to cats, I have rescued several Siberian Huskies, and now have a new puppy, Lacey, a Husky-Shepherd