"The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.
Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind."
About Alan Coffman, L.Ac.
I practice traditional Oriental Medicine from a modern American perspective. In Oriental Medicine (OM), we focus on supporting the body to heal itself by restoring natural systems to balance. Attention is given to addressing underlying causative factors and not just treating symptoms. China, the center of traditional OM, was a rural farming culture when the medicine was developed. The causal factors considered included climate and seasonal changes such as wind, heat, cold and damp -- and the reflections of these natural factors inside of our bodies, along with mental and emotional tendencies, dietary factors, and others.
The modern U.S. is a predominantly urban culture, and so a new branch of OM is taking shape, one that recognizes new patterns caused by different environmental variables. Today we are often most strongly impacted by the indoor environment, with a range of new health stressors to be considered: excessive air conditioning and windows that donít open to allow fresh air; urban crowding and a faster pace of life; indoor pollution and toxins from smoking, the use of household cleaners, artificial scents and perfumes, pest control chemicals and the like; greater reliance on pharmaceutical medicines; the prevalence of preservatives, flavor enhancers and artificial colorings, refined flour, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup in our foods; and so on. It is from that broader modern American perspective that I practice OM.
My health care training began with a Master's Degree program in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland. After graduating in 1997, I completed a 100-hour certificate program in Japanese acupuncture taught by Stephen Birch and Junko Ida.
In my subsequent years of study and training I have added a number of natural therapies that complement my degree training, many of which I touch on in this web site. My personal and professional focus has always been on natural medicine for its effectiveness, safety, and ability to address underlying causes. Ultimately I also do this out of respect for the human body, for we must all humbly admit that we do not heal the body -- it is the body that has the miraculous ability to heal itself.
Our job is to align ourselves with the body's natural healing process and provide it with optimal support for the work it needs to do in each moment: removing roadblocks, re-stimulating stalled healing processes, and supplying the necessary materials and energy to complete that work.
Managing Our Own Life Energy: The Way Of Empowerment
Acupuncture is a potent and effective tool for moving blocked energy in the body, for rebalancing energy flows, and stimulating the body to heal from many conditions. However, another major dynamic often presents itself in the ills of modern society: degenerative conditions where physical reserves are depleted. Building up the vital energy, or Qi, with acupuncture alone is often a slow and challenging process.
One of the cornerstones of my practice has always been to serve as a teacher or health coach to my clients. This has naturally led me to a style of treatment based on empowering clients, not only by providing information and encouragement, but also by employing techniques that literally help clients 'power up,' building and enhancing their energy levels.
Techniques That Build Our Energy Levels
My professional quest has been to assemble the highest quality natural therapies, bridging both ancient and modern energy medicine: reliable, safe and effective techniques based on the principle of building the internal healing resources and energy levels of clients. These methods have the ability to lift up the Qi state (energy level, or molecular 'vibratory rate') of the individual so the body can more easily repair and regenerate itself. This is similar to a principle of basic chemistry: chemical reactions proceed more quickly when heat is applied and the energy state of the molecules is increased.
These approaches complement each other well because they share that unifying principle of adding energy to the equation, but even more exciting to me has been the results when we use these techniques in combination. Used together, they enhance each other; clients experience a synergy in the greater speed, depth and potency of therapeutic results. For example, I coach clients in conscious breathing techniques, which are a potent tool for deepening the results of therapy sessions.
I realize that some of these approaches to healing will be new to you. No need to worry: my job is to educate and explain, provide options, and encourage you to explore, but in the end I will always stay within your comfort zone. The array of tools I work with offers choices to suit each individual; your course of treatment will be customized to fit your condition, constitution, and preferences. I will also work with and honor your needs and inclinations regarding the balance of office treatments and self-care protocols, so we can stay within your budget, and honor the time and motivation you have to devote yourself to self-care between visits.
How healthy do you want to be, and are you willing to put in the work that it takes? For the individual who wants to fully apply themselves and achieve deeper levels of health and wellness, these methods can provide a powerful toolbox. Your results are limited mostly by your goals and the level of commitment you are willing to underwrite with effort.
Holistic Medicine And Treating the Whole Person
The balance and relationship of our physical actions, thoughts and emotions together is what ultimately determines our state of wellness or disease. As we work together and I learn more about what matters to you as a unique individual, we have a chance to map out your 'inner landscape' of thoughts and feelings, and begin to see how addressing inner mental-emotional dynamics could support your way to wellness.
It is my professional passion to work with clients who are interested in healing themselves with such a whole-person focus. A number of the tools I use engage the inner aspects of our being, initiating a supporting pathway of healing from the inside out at the same time as we use therapies focused directly on physical healing. For the individual who is drawn to that style of work, I have developed a process that I call 'Transformational Healing.' (Click here to learn more)
In the end, my role is to support your goals and health agenda. According to your interests and motivation, together we can plot your personal course toward greater health and aliveness.