Mental and Emotional Health
Dr. Aimie Apigian, MD
Functional Medicine; Trauma, Attachment, and
What is your story? Many of us may not even know the full scope of our life story, but our bodies and health give us clues. Symptoms and illnesses that become chronic, that the current medical system is not able to provide answers or healing for can be the clues our bodies give of our story.
My story starts with the traditional medical training at Loma Linda University and 4 years general General Surgery training at Oregon State Health Sciences University in Portland, OR.
My life was dramatically affected by Miguel, a 4 year old boy I adopted from the foster care system while during medical school who had experienced neglect, abuse, and instability since he was born. He ultimately challenged every aspect of my way of thinking, my medical training, even my spiritual beliefs.
The result has been an experiential learning of trauma, neurobiology, attachment disorders, stress and inflammatory illnesses, and addictions. The result has also been a personal quest to find the underlying cause and heal myself from fatigue, depression, and high levels of autoimmune antibodies that the specialists had no answers for except an anti-depressant to manage symptoms.
Through my own journey, training and now helping others on their journey, my understanding of what it takes to help the mind and body after the effects of stress and trauma has expanded to beyond what conventional medicine offers. Science and the experience of others are now confirming that even the most challenging of cases can achieve a better level of health.
There is hope, and you can experience improved health and wholeness too.
Is this a good fit for you?
If you are ready to take ownership of your health, be empowered with knowledge and tools to make changes and get results in your physical, mental and emotional health, then you will find value in these programs. There are different levels of the programs available to you. You can enroll in a self-paced program providing you knowledge and tools or you can go through a program with a trauma health coach for additional accountability, support and guidance. For those who want to get results faster, you can travel and attend a 3-day retreat and get hands on support and guidance along with additional services including IV therapies and lab work.
Whichever level you decide is right for you at this time, these programs are about giving you the knowledge and tools to take ownership of your health and take it to the next level.
Trauma, Attachment, and Addiction Specialist
Dr. Aimie’s Education & Credentials:
- Doctorate in Medicine, MD, Loma Linda University, 2010
- Board-Eligible Addiction Medicine, 2020
- NeuroAffective Touch Student under Dr. Aline LaPierre, 2020
- Preventive Medicine Board Certified, 2020
- Masters in Biochemistry, 2008
- Masters in Public Health, 2012
- Certified in Functional Addiction Nutrition
- Walsh Research Institute – Certified in Targeted Nutritional Treatment for Mental Health
- Certified in Neuro-Autoimmunity Course by Kharrazian Institute
- Functional Medicine Practitioner
- Certified in Art Narrative Trauma Therapy Model: Instinctual Trauma Response Model
- Certified Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapy Practitioner (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced Trainings)
Dr. Aimie’s Experience:
- Founder of Family Challenge Camps: Family Camps for Children and Adults with Trauma, Attachment, and Trust Issues
- Foster and Adoptive Parent
A unique approach to mental and emotional health
Erna Wenus, L.Ac.D
Acupuncture, Trauma and PTSD Therapy
My path to Traditional Chinese Medicine was through my training as an MD specializing in Anesthesiology. I worked at a university hospital in Germany, where I was looking for a form of pain management with less severe side effects than what I was working with. This is where I first came across acupuncture. When I came to the US, my focus was on raising my toddler, but “on the side” I attended the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. The interaction with the teachers there drew me in, and when it became clear I would be staying in the US, I started building an acupuncture practice. Now, two decades later, I find myself delving ever deeper into the ancient wisdom of TCM. Working with all kinds of illnesses, I got to appreciate the viability of a true holistic approach to human suffering.
Learning about advances in medical science, especially in neurophysiology, complemented my understanding of TCM and helped me develop a model that explains stress and how we respond to it. By understanding the dysfunctions created by stress and applying TCM principles and these findings about how the brain works, I’ve developed methods to help my patients respond to stress and restore function.
Focus on Trauma and PTSD
This has led me to focus my practice increasingly on working with patients who struggle with stress and its most cruel form, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A crucial push in that direction came from my experience with the Acupuncturists Without Borders. I was part of our mission to offer stress relief treatment in a post-disaster setting, in my case in Nepal. What I found was that, even a year after the disaster, people were still heavily impacted by the stress of the disaster, and the non-invasive interventions we offered brought tangible, visible relief.
For years now, I have been bringing presentations to my community on the practical applications of TCM to everyday life, from cooking with Chinese herbs or developing recipes for personal health to understanding personality types according to the TCM Five Element theory. TCM can be beneficial in your everyday life. It was great fun to do classes on how to cook with Chinese herbs or how to gear your food towards the seasons or one’s personal health circumstances. For the acupuncturist community, I am an approved provider of continuing education units and have presented my work on stress management at several conferences.
I am also a proud herbalist who loves to tailor herb formulas to the immediate need of a patient so they can be adapted to a patient’s progress. Outside of work I like to go to classical music concerts, contemporary art exhibitions, or go sailing on the Bay.
Dr. Brielle Kelly
Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nutrition, Fertility Treatments
Dr. Brielle Kelly, D.Ac., Dipl.O.M., L.Ac.
I knew this was my course when I walked away from my first acupuncture treatment lightened, giddy, and completely resolved of the depression I’d been thwarted by for months. Finally, I thought, a medicine that supported my natural state of being, harmlessly. I was hooked. More than a decade later, my family is in part thanks to the acupuncture I gave to my wife during IVF. I have 18 years of patient experience in the miracles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and nutritional support, and I co-authored “What’s Your Season?”, a book that celebrates TCM principles in a body-type focused guide to health living. For more information, please visit www.whatsyourseason.com.
My graduate clinical research in immunology yielded significant evidence in support of acupuncture’s enhancement of immune response. My additional clinical experience includes participation with the support staff and medical records team at Dr. Dean Ornish’s Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. While there, I studied and observed the benefits of preventive medicine as applied to cardiac and cancer patients. I previously held a professorship at Mercy College and the Swedish Institute in New York City. While in NY, my work with the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care at Columbia University helped spur my passion for providing Chinese Medicine care for patients struggling with infertility.
I am a licensed acupuncturist in the states of California and New York, a Diplomate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and a Certified Applied Clinical Nutritionist. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Chemistry minor. I also earned an additional Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and a Master’s degree in Professional Studies for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York. I continued on for my doctorate in acupuncture, further integrating functional medicine and evidenced-based medicine into my practice. I am an esteemed member of the American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM).
Dr. Artashes Mirzatuny
Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Pain Management
Dr. Artashes Mirzatuny, DAOM, Dipl.O.M., L.Ac.
My interest in holistic medicine began when I was a teenager, when I taught myself about aromatherapy and the use of essential oils. I continue to employ the use of essential oils in my practice, both diffused into the air and also sometimes used topically for specific therapeutic effects. My interest in medicine continued into my college years at the University of California at Santa Barbara where I began the pre-medical program and earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology and a Bachelor of Art in Environmental Studies. However I decided not to go directly into medical school following graduation and instead took a job offer up in San Francisco conducting oncology and metabolic drug discovery research. Having immersed myself in pharmaceutical research for five years, I realized I wanted to learn how to heal people in a more complete, gentle yet effective manner. This realization led me to begin studying Chinese Medicine at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco.
I am a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in California and hold a Master’s of Science in Tradition Chinese Medicine from ACTCM. I have extensive clinic experience from my internships at the ACTCM Community Clinic and at the ACTCM Auricular Clinic, as well as externships at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic. I also completed an advanced program of study in Traditional Chinese Medicine, focusing on acupuncture and herbal medicine, at the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University in Hangzhou, China. I am currently completing my Doctoral degree from ACTCM, where I am pursuing advancing training in pain management, gynecology and mental health.
I am deeply committed to the health and wellbeing of my patients. I specialize in managing simple and complex pain problems, psycho-emotional issues such as stress, anxiety and depression, men’s health-specific issues, women’s health-specific issues and providing care to LGBTQ populations. I utilize modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine like acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, electrical-stimulation, gua sha, moxabustion, nutritional counseling and bodywork to bring my patients back to a place of harmony in their physical and mental states.
When I am not with my patients, you will most likely find me being outdoors. I love camping, hiking around, being at the beach on sunny days or staying at home and tending to my plants and cat Oscar.
Community and Resiliency: Yoga Together
A passionate practitioner for the past 25 years, Robin has cultivated a wellness practice that balances strength and relaxation, effort and ease. She focuses her guidance towards down-regulation and management of stress and anxiety while providing the body and mind with just the right amount of the good stress that fosters resiliency. Robin encourages choice and customizations to help make the practice right for your unique needs and anatomy. There is no one size fits all with yoga and Robin will empower you to find what feels good for your body.
Robin has led yoga as a full time teacher for the past 6 years and worked with local yoga studios/gyms, school teachers, Fortune 500 companies, Redwood City Firefighters, JASA soccer league, College of San Mateo students and all ages and abilities in the community.
- 500 hour RYT Yoga Alliance
- Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark
- Restorative yoga- Denaya Dailey/Susan Bowen
- It’s Kids Yoga
- RISE yoga for teens
- Yoga for First Responders- Fire Flex Yoga
Yoga for Health & Transformation
Susana is a certified Yoga Therapist* recognized by the International Association of Yoga Therapy, a certified Viniyoga teacher and a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.
Previously a professional dancer, actress, dance teacher and choreographer, Susana began to practice yoga around 1984, and did her first Teacher Training in 1996 with Federico Enriquez, Indra Devi’s student. She has been teaching Yoga classes and workshops ever since, both in Mexico and in the U.S.A.
After arriving in Oregon in 2008, she continued her education with a 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification with Sarahjoy Marsh, followed by one year of apprenticeship.
In 2012 Susana met her teacher, Gary Kraftsow, and fell in love with the Viniyoga approach, a very mindful, detailed, refined and personalized way to use the ancient tools of yoga. She completed the 500 hour Viniyoga Teacher Training in 2015, and the Yoga Therapist Training in 2018, providing in the last 3 years more than 380 practicum hours of effective yoga therapy to private clients with a variety of conditions
She has also led International Yoga Retreats beginning in February 2017.
Susana tailors each session to the needs of her students and clients, emphasizing mindfulness and awareness on breath, encouraging them to discover their potential and empowering them to improve their health at all levels.
She thanks her teachers, Gary Kraftsow, Mary Hilliker, Dawn Summers, the AVI Faculty, Federico & Cristina Enriquez, Virginia Filip, Sarahjoy Marsh, Liz Eisman and Leslie Kaminoff, and all the students that she has had the joy to encounter throughout the years.
She resides with her husband in Belmont, California.
* The yoga therapy components of my teaching are based on my [non-YAR credential or other qualification], not derived from my status as an [RYT/E-RYT] with Yoga Alliance Registry.