Photo Credit: Nick TenBrink

Photo Credit: Nick TenBrink

My professional experience

I started my career as a therapist after receiving my first master's degree from Hazelden Graduate School. I worked seven years treating men, women, and youth with addiction and mental health issues at Hazeden Betty Ford Foundation, Pride Institute, and Lino Lake Prison (with a year long backpacking trip through various parts of the world included in the mix). During that time I yearned for a medical system that incorporates natural healing by encompassing the mind, body, and spirit. After my own healing journey, I decided that acupuncture is the best fit for my idea of helping others create optimal health and  received my second Master's Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Graduate Certificate from Northwestern Health Sciences University. I am board certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and licensed by the Minnesota State Medical Board. I have experience giving acupuncture treatments at Salvation Army, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Fairview Hospital, Bloomington Natural Care Center, Pathways Health Crisis Resource Center, and Fertile Ground Natural Care. I am an instructor of Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine, Patterns and Pathology of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ethics and Communication at CenterPoint Massage and Shiatsu Therapy School. When I’m not enmeshed in the endlessly awe-inspiring study of Traditional Chinese Medicine, you’ll find me in the woods searching for mushrooms or wild food, listening to the birds and water, or identifying flowers, trees, and insects.

My approach to health

I believe that we have the resources to start our day with more energy and vitality, and can end it with less stress and tension. I also believe that we can heal ourselves, prevent illness, and feel connected to the energy in both our body and around us. This is achieved by finding balance. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), our physical structures, emotions, mind, and spirit are bound together as an energetic interdependent whole that needs to be in perfect balance. Simply put, when we are out of balance, symptoms arise, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, insomnia, pain, digestive issues, headaches, chronic disease and a lack of energy, to name a few. It is my job to help you interpret what your body is telling you, and then help you get into balance through education, emotional support, acupuncture, herbal formulas, nutritional guidance, and bodywork.

My perspective on healing

The majority of us are accustomed to the western view of medicine which treats symptoms of a particular disease or organ, usually through medication or costly and dangerous procedures. Mental, emotional, and spiritual components of recovery are greatly ignored. Typically a doctor is considered the expert in your health, which leaves little room for them to empower their patients. I will approach your health, not as just symptomatic relief to one particular ailment, but as achieving overall wellness in every area of your life. Through all of my years of clinical experience and research, I understand that the therapeutic alliance with your practitioner  remains to be the most important factor in increasing successful outcomes in recovery. Not only will you receive natural medicine, my hope is that you will leave each visit feeling inspired, supported, and challenged to incorporate the necessary changes into your life so you can feel your best in a safe and effective way. Treating your mind, body, and spirit while assisting you in cultivating your own medicinal power—that is my idea of healing.