MEET OUR PRACTITIONERS
L.Ac., Dipl. OM., MSOM NCCAOM Board Certified
Karen has been practicing acupuncture and Chinese Medicine since 2003. She primarily uses Japanese-style acupuncture, as well as adjunct therapies such as moxa, cupping, tuina/shiatsu, electrical stimulation, injection therapy and trigger point therapy (sometimes called dry needling).
Karen also enjoys working with children, using a Japanese technique called Sho-ni-shin, which utilizes special tools for tapping and rubbing the skin in place of- and sometimes in addition to- needling.
Karen is also trained in Acutonics and cosmetic acupuncture.
In addition to her work at Alpenglow Acupuncture, Karen has worked with many non-profits over the years. In 2005, she accompanied Acupuncturists Without Borders to serve in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. She was one of the first acupuncturists to volunteer for the Chanda Plan Foundation, a non-profit that helps provide alternative treatment to individuals with disabilities. In 2010, Karen went to Uganda on two different visits to help teach local healthcare providers, such as nurses and midwives, how to use simple acupuncture protocols in their practices. These simple protocols have helped conditions such as splenomegaly, symptoms related to Malaria, TB and AIDS (while also treating with western medications), sleep disorders, and pain. Karen was recognized for these efforts in 2011 with the Arvada Young Professionals Leadership Award.
Karen first became interested in acupuncture and Chinese Medicine when she was successfully treated for back pain and asthma while studying music at UCLA. After graduating Cum Laude with a double specialization in jazz studies and music education, she spent a year in Japan teaching English and studying the Japanese culture and language. She also visited Thailand, Mongolia and China during this time.
After returning to the US, Karen attended Southwest Acupuncture College (SWAC) in Boulder, Colorado. There, she received her Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine, which included an intense education in both Chinese and Japanese style acupuncture and herbal medicine, as well as classes in the western medical biosciences, physics and chemistry.
Karen took part in many specialized internships, including those at the Longmont Oncology Clinic, Boulder County AIDS Project, and Golden West Retirement Community. At the onsite clinic at SWAC, she also participated in the Japanese-style, sports medicine and herbal specialty clinics, as well as the regular acupuncture/herb clinics
From 2006-2014, Karen was a co-owner and practitioner at Olde Town Acupuncture & Wellness Center, where her focus was on community acupuncture. She has taken this experience and built upon it to create what she believes is a better experience for patient and practitioner alike, here at Alpenglow Acupuncture.
Karen is a native of Arvada, Colorado, and she enjoys hiking, biking (both on road and off), skiing and travelling, as well as listening to or performing music, reading and spending time with her family.
L.Ac., Dipl. OM., MSOM NCCAOM Board Certified
Originally from Austin, Texas, Sarah found a home in Colorado nearly 10 years ago. Attracted to its wild blue yonder, she came to know the healthy and alternative lifestyle that the people of Colorado encompass. She soon became a citizen of the world when she went on Semester at Sea, traveling to over 15 countries including Brazil, South Africa, India, China and Japan. This is where she experienced Eastern medicine for the first time and fell in love with what it had to offer its patients.
Sarah received her Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, CO—one of the foremost institutions for Traditional Chinese Medicine in the country. After three and a half rigorous years of study, Sarah completed over 2,000 hours in classroom work; becoming proficient in all theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine including herbal medicine. Along with the class work, she has completed over 1,500 hours in clinical internships. Included in those are specialty clinics including OBGYN, oncology, pediatrics, sports medicine, Japanese Kototama Inochi medicine, and Qi Gong body/energy work. Sarah also had the opportunity to work with The Carriage House, a program set up to treat Boulder’s homeless community. Sarah became a NCCAOM board certified acupuncturist and herbalist in 2013 and is a member of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado.
Sarah also has a background in health sciences as she received a Bachelors degree from Colorado State University in Health and Exercise Sciences, specializing in Sports Medicine. This degree allowed Sarah to have a Western foundation and understanding for the body, physiological functioning and knowledge helping her to treat any type of ailment such as musculoskeletal problems, pain, digestive disorders, women’s issues,pregnancy wellness, and stress-related disorders. Based on her knowledge of nutrition, as an alternative therapy to encourage healing, dietary counseling has become a staple in her treatments as well.
Gina moved to Colorado in 2011 with the intention of pursing her goal and dream of working with animals. She loved to help animals, and enjoyed seeing them off to feeling better so that they could be adopted. It was very rewarding for her to see the smile on the face of their adopter when they were picking up their brand new furry family member. Little did she know that it would soon come to be that her patients would actually be of the human variety!
Originally from the Bay Area of California, she fell in love with the vast beauty of the mountains and outdoor life that Colorado had to offer. She earned her Bachelors in Animal Science with an emphasis on Companion and Captive Animal, Equine, and Behavior from the University of California, Davis. During her time in college she enjoyed her time riding horses on the Equestrian Team and participating in various animal related internships. After her time at Davis she studied Veterinary
Technology to become a veterinary technician, and became a Certified Veterinary Technician in Colorado.
During her studies with animals and while working as a vet tech Gina experienced some health issues that only seemed to respond well to acupuncture and herbs. She had reached a point in her life where it was very hard to function due to debilitating medical complications. She was fortunate to
receive acupuncture and herbs from a very compassionate and caring acupuncturist who helped her and gave her hope when no one else was able to. It was her repeated experiences of improvement in her health, as well as a variety of other occurrences and lessons along the way that drove her to study acupuncture.
Along her journey of discovering alternatives to Western Medicine, Gina became interested in massage and went to school to become a massage therapist. She was impressed with the benefits of massage on her own body, and those of people that she worked on as well. Before massage school, she
was not as aware of her body or areas where her stress was stored, but with massage school, she gained a whole new sense of body awareness. Gina left massage school with a new cognizance of her own health that she had never realized in her western medicine background with animals. She noticed a
sense of well-being and balance, and a calmer state of mind. Better sleep and less stress were other positive health improvements she experienced from massage. She is now a licensed massage therapist and enjoys creating a calm and healing atmosphere for those who receive bodywork from her.
Gina is a student at Southwest Acupuncture College and is nearing the end of her studies there. In school, she was excited to be able to learn some Tui Na and Shiatsu and incorporate those techniques into her massage. She took the elective Tui Na class as well as the elective Tui Na clinical internship and
observed how much patients enjoyed the bodywork and benefited from it.
Gina would like to help others with their health the way that she was helped. She knows what it is like to be alive, but to not really feel like you are living. While studying about animals, she did not fully realize the impacts that her stress had on her health in addition to her existing physical conditions at the
time. Acupuncture and herbs brought her back to feeling like a real person, a person who could enjoy life again. It is these experiences in life that have guided her greatest learning and change.