Kirsten Isakson, MAcOM, LAc
Kirsten utilizes diverse approaches to address your health and wellness goals. A diplomat of Oriental Medicine, board certified herbalist and licensed acupuncturist, she graduated from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, where she received training in east asian herbalism, bodywork, acupuncture, nutrition, western biomedicine and Qi Gong exercises to improve health, strength and flexibility. As an apprentice in the art of Jin Shou Tuina, a lineage of manual medicine maintained through the North American Tang Shou Tao, she is well equipped to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal complaints, including trauma of all varieties. She completed advanced coursework in Shiatsu (a Japanese style of bodywork) and Japanese Acupuncture, which are gentle methods for activating the body’s innate healing potential.
Growing up in the Willamette valley, Kirsten loves climbing mountains, skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing and backpacking. A few years in the Rocky Mountains introduced her to the world of alpinism and mountaineering; she has been climbing mountains from Alaska to Ecuador ever since. She especially enjoys opportunities to blend her love of the mountains with medicine by treating climbing, skiing and biking related injuries.
Kirsten comes to the treatment room with personal experience of East Asian medicine’s power to heal both internal and external conditions. As a young ski racer, she injured her low back. A year of physical therapy later, she was told she would just have to get used to being in pain for the rest of her life. A practitioner recommended yoga. After nearly 10 years of regular yoga practice, she found Qi Gong, a type of moving meditation rooted in Chinese Medicine. Qi Gong lead to a Masters in Oriental Medicine, which lead to Gong Fu. Gong Fu lead her to the trauma medicine embedded in the wisdom of traditional martial arts. Her body has never felt better.
Kirsten received a Bachelor’s in Biology from Lewis & Clark College, concentrating in Botany, Ecology and Ethnobotany. This education provided her a foundation in microbiology, organic chemistry and genetics, and afforded her opportunities to study traditional agricultural systems, plant medicine and healing traditions from around the world. Studying abroad in Ecuador in 2005, Kirsten discovered the field of Ethnobotany while working with indigenous people from the Amazonian Basin. There, she witnessed the power of herbalism, witnessing the depth of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, that helps communities eat, heal and thrive, while maintaining a lifestyle very intimately interwoven into the rainforest ecosystems. Later, she was awarded a scholarship through Duke University to do Ethnobiological field research, working first-hand with Central American communities to understand the relationship between the sustainability of agricultural systems, and the degree to which communities maintain this Traditional Knowledge of their local ecosystems.
During her tenure at Lewis & Clark College, Kirsten became actively involved with the College Outdoors Program, learning the art of facilitating wilderness experiences for groups. Working as a naturalist, environmental educator and wilderness instructor, she developed a deep appreciation for nature's ability to heal. She continues this work today, guiding mountaineering and rock climbing courses for young adults and an Outward Bound Instructor. Kirsten maintains a core belief that our wellness on a personal level depends on the quality of our relationship with Nature, and that the health of our planet improves as humans become healthier.
Today, with first hand experience treating everything from sprained ankles, torn ligaments, frozen shoulders, digestive complaints, nerve pain, anxiety and insomnia to providing complementary care for conditions like Parkinson's, autoimmune disease, hypertension, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, cancer, stroke sequelae, fractured vertebrae and hormonal imbalances, Kirsten looks forward to accompanying you on your journey towards wellness.