Whether you’re a yogi, athlete or health nut focusing on living your best life, someone in recovery from a major illness, surgery, or addiction, or somewhere in between: Chinese Medicine has a wealth of resources to offer! Time-proven methods for boosting immunity, increasing stable energy, enhancing mood, improving sleep, promoting relaxation, treating anxiety and depression and aiding in recovery are available to you right here in Solvang! Wellness and illness prevention have been elevated to an art form by the Chinese for centuries. An interesting fact is that Chinese emperors would choose their physicians and those drafted were not permitted to decline. It was not unheard of for a doctor to flee, resolved to a life of solitude upon hearing about their upcoming appointment.  The reason for this being that it was widely believed Chinese Medicine prevents illness. Therefore if the Emperor fell ill, his physician was certainly blamed and sometimes executed. The Chinese medical system of preventing illness and promoting wellness is vast indeed. Living well means different things to different people, Kristi tailors each wellness plan on a case by case basis. She is the acupuncturist/herbalist of referral for several doctors in the Santa Ynez Valley when an integrated approach is desired. Many patients discontinuing western pharmaceuticals for the treatment of anxiety and depression have relied on her treatments while under the care of their MD.  Chinese Medicine is used all over the world for patients managing major illnesses and Kristi is experienced with being part of an integrative care team. Sleeping well is critical to any healthcare plan and acupuncture and herbal medicine hold many solutions.  Modern research is revealing something Chinese Medicine has known for centuries, that the microbiota and balance in the GI tract are infinitely important to immunity, mood and brain function. For more on this please see Longevity Medicine.  Nutrition and meditation are tools that Kristi has been practicing since the 1980s. She began working with patients in recovery from addictions during the 1990s and currently contracts through The Family Counseling & Trauma Healing Center, Inc. in Solvang for group acupuncture sessions. In her experience acupuncture is very beneficial during the recovery from joint replacement and other orthopedic surgeries as well as from gynecological surgeries.

Increased immunity

Acupuncture and herbs are very effective at boosting immunity.  For this reason Chinese Medicine is often relied upon for the care of patients managing lifelong illnesses such as auto-immune disease and chronic viral infections, those with a predisposition to upper respiratory infections, and by cancer survivors.

Relaxation, Enhanced Mood & Sleep

Research has shown that acupuncture has a calming effect on the sympathetic nervous system.  It has been used for the treatment of PTSD in veterans and Kristi has volunteered at the Solvang Vet’s Hall on holidays and also on the UCSB campus at the club for veterans and military service members to provide free acupuncture. Acupuncture offers protocols for calming anxiety and enhancing mood in a safe and effective way without side-effects. Many patients discontinuing western pharmaceuticals for the treatment of anxiety and depression have relied on her treatments while under the care of their MD. Several physicians at Sansum in Solvang refer to her exclusively when patients suffering from anxiety and depression require additional support. Chinese herbs can be a safe alternative to western pharmaceuticals in some cases. Kristi includes mind-body practices into treatments to increase relaxation, improve mental clarity and when otherwise indicated.  She is certified to teach Qi Gong.

Improved Energy and Athletic Performance

Modern research is proving that the mitochondria in each cell can be utilized to increase that particular cell’s function.  As you may remember from Biology the mitochondria are “the powerhouses of the cell”.  When the mitochondria in a muscle cell are stronger, the muscle will perform better.  When the mitochondria in a liver cell are energized, the liver will detox more effectively. When the mitochondria in a brain cell are fortified, the brain function improves. Similarly, Chinese medical theory talks about qi or energy as an essential factor to health; boosting the qi anywhere in the body equates with improving mitochondria function. Acupuncture is used to free up areas of stagnation and smooth out excesses as well and to tonify and nourish deficiencies. This provides fresh blood and improves cell function throughout the body. Many Chinese herbs are well known for their adaptogenic properties. These are utilized to treat fatigue, adrenal fatigue, stress and anxiety; they also improve strength, stamina and sustained energy. They are very useful in assisting the body’s adaptation to stress and therefore are benefitial to the immune system and contribute to an increase in mental clarity. Chinese herbs are a time-proven way to improve digestive energy which has an integral link to our general energy level and our ability to compete at an optimal level.

Recovery

Acupuncture has been successfully used for recovery since the 1970s. It involves 5 needles in each ear to calm the nervous system and promote detoxification in the lung, liver and kidneys.  It has been proven to reduce cravings, minimize withdrawal symptoms, lessen anxiety and promote better sleep. It is widely-used across the nation in court mandated drug rehabilitation programs and in other situations where calming the sympathetic nervous system is needed such as natural disasters and the treatment of veterans for PTSD. Kristi has focused on the treatment of those in recovery since her clinical internship at the Portland Addictions Clinic during the 1990s. She is currently contracted to provide detoxification acupuncture in Solvang at the Family Counseling & Trauma Healing Center, Inc.

Post-surgical recovery is also benefitted by acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Ear points are utilized for detoxification and to calm the sympathetic nervous system while scar therapy is applied at the site to speed the healing process locally.  General points are selected to counter-act the effects of anesthesia, improve circulation and decrease pain. Herbal poultices and liniments are applied topically to increase blood flow. Kristi has helped many patients recovery from joint replacement and other orthopedic surgeries as well as gynecological surgeries. She values her role as a member of an integrative care team.