Working with Karen FAQ
Do I need to have an auto-immune disorder to work with Karen?
No you do not. Although I have a special interest in auto-immune disorders stemming from my own experience with them, I am thrilled to work with any person who wants to improve their health.
Is Karen a doctor?
I am not a doctor. I earned my Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in 2008. I am a practitioner of Chinese Medicine and am licensed by the State of California. In my scope of practice I may perform acupuncture, prescribe herbal medicine, counsel my clients in nutrition and lifestyle, perform bodywork, perform cupping, perform moxabustion and order and interpret lab work.
The university I attended for Chinese Medicine has the reputation for high academic standards. The curriculum there is intensive in both Eastern education (theory, acupuncture, diagnosis, herbal medicine) and in Western sciences (anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, diagnosis, pharmacology, epidemiology).
I cannot- and would never- prescribe medications nor instruct you to stop any medications you are on. I can and would help you manage side effects your medication may be causing and can and would help you reduce or eliminate medication(s) with your doctor's approval.
What is your style regarding your nutritional advise?
I am deeply committed to the practice of food elimination protocols. That means I assess your health and symptomology and then design an eating program uniquely designed for you which incorporates the elimination of possible food allergens/ antagonists. Together we monitor how you are feeling over several weeks. Based on your improvements, we learn which food(s) you need to stay away from, which foods you do well with and which foods are “in-betweeners”; meaning you can have them once in a while but not everyday or possibly every week.
Why is your practice not set up like a regular acupuncture clinic?
My short answer is that I want to teach you to fish. I want to teach you how to navigate the waters of your own body, so you are in charge of your life and not dependent on me to keep you going.
My longer answer: I had a regular acupuncture and herbal medicine clinic in Los Angeles for 7 years. I booked acupuncture appointments every 30 minutes or hour. My clients had very good results and I enjoyed treating them. However, I knew if they became educated about what they were putting in their mouths every day their health would improve dramatically, and they wouldn’t need to keep seeing me week after week for this or that. Unfortunately, if I suggested my client book a nutrition consultation with me they rarely followed through with this request. They just wanted me to “make them better”.
I still include acupuncture, cupping and herbal medicine in my work with clients, it’s just that the spotlight isn’t on acupuncture- it's on education and nutrition. The other tools of my trade; acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, tuina, herbal medicine, qi gong, and tai chi are all powerful methods in their own right. Incorporating them into your health care routine can help you heal faster by offering extra support for your body along it's journey into wellness and great health.
I feel intimidated to start working with you. I’m afraid I will fail or feel really unhappy through the process. What would you say about that?
I would say I totally understand! I also like to say I will "meet you where you are at". And in doing so, I will set you up for success. I have no interest in overwhelming you by throwing radical concepts and challenges at you. When a person starts changing their way of eating, of nourishing and caring for themselves, of course there are times it is hard. That is why my practice is set up the way it is- I am there for you every step of the way offering guidance/ tips/tricks and hacks!
I have been working in the field of healthcare since I was 14 years old, assisting my local veterinarian with check ups and surgery. I became a certified masseuse at 18, took nursing training at 20, did undergraduate studies for veterinary school (I was very conflicted as to whether I would go into animal or human medicine) and spent 4 years earning my Masters in Chinese Medicine. I have taken 5 yoga teacher trainings, I have taken all 3 levels of Pilates Reformer training. I have been working with people in various fields of healthcare for a VERY long time, in the realms of Eastern and Western medicine. What I am saying is I know people, and I love people, and my only desire is to help you succeed at your own life. Therefore, when you work with me, I set you up for success. Now, if you are really into my throwing radical concepts and challenges at you, I’m down! Like I said, I’ve been working with people a very long time, and I will "meet you where you are at".
When I sign up with you, is there ever a time you are not available?
Yes! I take Fridays after 2:00pm through Sunday at 12:00pm off. If I am traveling I will let you know ahead of time, but I am still able to work with you via the magic of technology. If I take a proper vacation, I book them between clients.
And of course I sleep, so I’m not available when that is happening ;-) I generally shut down after 8pm until about 8am.
I interact with my clients heavily across the mediums of email and text, and my response time is between 5 minutes and two hours. For example, if you are going grocery shopping in the beginning of our work together and know you will have questions, you would let me know and I would make myself available to you so I could reply quickly to your questions. If you want me to go grocery shopping WITH you, we can book an appointment for that, and I can shop with you either in person or over FaceTime.
Will working with you help me lose weight?
If your body needs to lose weight (read as: Reduce body fat) then yes, you will lose weight. However, if you do have an auto-immune disorder or serious illness, my first and foremost directive is to help your body become WELL. Once you have shifted into a state of WELLNESS, then we can continue on and work with your body composition.
Regardless of the current health state of your body, it is inherent in the process of attaining wellness that your body will naturally seek a better state of composition.