Dr. Thomas Kolenda, the head practitioner at Kolenda Chiropractic, prescribes each of his patients the same simple regimen of preventative health care: exercise, nutrition, and a positive mental attitude. He recommends coupling that system with occasional visits to his office for a chiropractic adjustment or acupuncture treatment. He uses such methods to mitigate the effect of injury and to help patients keep their bodies strong and flexible. He also offers nutritional planning services to help clients determine what foods best support their lifestyle, and how to make a real-life food pyramid out of all the other foods they shouldn't eat anymore.
Master of Oriental medicine and certified acupuncturist Dr. Sherry Lee won't perform any treatments on her patients that she wouldn’t give to her own family. In fact, with a combination of acupuncture and Chinese traditional medicine, Dr. Lee has been able to all but cure her children of their severe allergies. She honed these skills during her two years traveling through Japan and China, researching diet control and allergy-related problems. Dr. Lee combines these specialty skills with holistic services including cupping, herbal medicine, and gua sha, a technique to circulate stagnant blood by scraping the skin and pushing the body’s percolate button.
Nailin Lu's life changed in 2003, when her son was diagnosed with a serious blood disease. Although she initially sought help from conventional medical practitioners, she eventually expanded her search and introduced traditional Chinese herbal medicine into her son's treatment regimen. When her son recovered one month after beginning to take these Chinese herbs, Nailin knew that she wanted to pursue a career in this form of holistic care and bring relief to clients using natural treatment modalities.
At Lu Acupuncture Center, Nailin takes this approach to restore physical, mental, and emotional balance to people's lives?addressing not only their painful symptoms but also the underlying conditions that cause those symptoms. She uses acupuncture treatments to remove blockages in the natural flow of the body's energies by inserting superfine, single-use needles into strategic points across the body. These treatments aim to jump-start the human body's natural healing processes and help clients overcome the chronic pain or stress they have grown accustomed to experiencing. Traditional Chinese herbal medicine and acupressure sessions round out the center's selection of holistically focused treatment options.
A clinician of many trades, Doctor of Oriental Medicine Marlene Merritt's stores of knowledge span far beyond needles and herbs. She is also an applied nutritionist, board-certified bariatric counselor, and longtime anatomy and physiology instructor. At Merritt Wellness Center, she practices alongside her husband, Doctor of Oriental Medicine Will Mitchell; a gaggle of licensed acupuncturists; and a certified rolfer. Together, they blend Eastern and Western therapies in an effort to treat the root causes of maladies, not just the symptoms. The clinic's offerings include nutritional counseling and Nutrition Response Testing as well as detox cleanses, stress management, and lifestyle advice.
Kyung Yi-O'Kelly, owner of Austin Center for Holistic Healing & Yoga, knows firsthand that emotional strain can have a tangible negative impact on the body. After enduring the wrenching heartbreak of losing several family members while juggling a stressful career in software consulting, Kyung looked for something that would heal her emotionally and physically. She found refuge in Dahn yoga, a deeply meditative modality that she learned from a tantric monk. After dedicating herself to practicing and teaching yoga, she opened Austin Center for Holistic Healing & Yoga. She leads a team of instructors and alternative healers as they strive to help people of all ages fix their minds and bodies with holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation, aikido, and massage.
"Our mission is to transform lives and communities through graduate education in Oriental medicine," school president William R. Morris tells AOMA students. These budding practitioners are all working toward a master's degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, studying needle techniques, herbal and mind-body medicine, and Eastern bodywork modalities at one of the largest institutions of its kind in Austin. In 2009, the clinics had more than 20,000 appointments to treat patient ailments ranging from allergies and stress to digestive woes and ice-cream headaches.