Sports Medicine

Athletes looking to optimize their performance will find an abundance of support at the clinic. Traditional Chinese Medicine is commonly turned to by elite athletes and for good reason. It is a safe and effective way to promote stamina and prevent injuries. If an injury has already occurred, acupuncture has a very successful record with restoring function fully. Kristi learned a cutting-edge technique for working with tendons directly from Mark Kastner who was the acupuncturist for many sports teams including the Los Angeles Lakers, San Diego Padres and San Diego Chargers. This technique promotes healing at the osteotendinous junction, where most tendon injuries occur.  To read a study on this technique written by Mr. Kastner, please click here.  There are two general types of sports injuries- an acute traumatic injury and an overuse or chronic injury. Numerous methods are implemented to treat both at the clinic including liniments and other topical herbal formulas designed for stages 1, 2 and 3 of recovery.  In addition to the use of liniments and other topicals, the application of electro-stimulation to the needles has been proven to be beneficial. Herbal liniments in conjunction with acupuncture is the primary method for quickly healing a martial arts injury. This combination is just as effective for treating contusions and sprains caused by other means. Kristi stocks liniments designed for stages 1, 2 and 3 of recovery as well as patches and cbd creams. Cupping and moxibustion are other techniques that can be beneficial in the treatment of sports injuries. For more on these please see the bodywork page. Traditional Chinese Medicine views sports injuries as a disorder to the natural state and takes a holistic approach to restoring balance, relieving pain and restoring function. There are also a variety of herbal supplements available to promote the healing of muscles and tendons as well as increase energy thereby optimizing athletic performance. Kristi works with each patient on a case by case basis to ensure their health goals are achieved.


Feeling well is essential to a life well-lived. Chinese Medicine has a wealth of resources to offer any stage of wellness or recovery. Time-proven methods for boosting immunity, increasing stable energy, enhancing mood, improving sleep, promoting relaxation and treating anxiety and depression can all be achieved at the clinic under Kristi’s care. 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 is 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 MDs. Chinese Medicine is used all over the world for patients managing major illnesses and Kristi is experienced at 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. Kristi is certified through Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for Oncology Acupuncture and is skilled at safely treating a variety of cancer-related disorders.

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 to provide free acupuncture to veterans and military service members. 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

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 improved 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. It also has been proven to release endorphins which influence norepinephrine. 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 beneficial 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 feel well.