My Journey into Chinese Medicine

Dawna Ara Acupuncture MicroNeedling

I’m a fair-skinned redhead so skin issues are something I’m very familiar with. In the early 90’s I started getting acne as a teenager. Back then there was no internet and information on skin health was hard to find. My Mom was determined to help and took me to see a dermatologist. After taking rounds of topical and oral antibiotics, Retin-A, strong chemical peels and gels my dermatologist talked me into Accutane, a brand name for Isotretinoin which was later taken off the market due to an association with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS).

I wish I knew then what I know now about the dangers of Accutane because it had very strong side effects. It permanently alters the DNA of the sebaceous glands causing them to shrink and produce less sebum. After a 6 month course of Accutane my skin did clear up. However, a milder form of acne eventually came back and I was left with dry eyes and skin as permanent side effects of taking Accutane.

In my early 20's I went to see an acupuncturist to address my skin. It was my first experience with acupuncture and little did I know, it would change the course of my life. She taught me that skin health is related to hormones and diet and how the food I was eating was causing acne. She treated me with acupuncture, changed my diet and skincare routine, and prescribed remedies to address my gut and digestive health. In a short time, I saw a dramatic improvement in my skin and I quickly became a believer.

That experience inspired me to study Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. I received a Master's Degree from the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, Ca. After graduating I completed post-graduate studies in stroke recovery at Tianjin University in Tianjin, China. I went on to study functional medicine from the Institute of Functional Medicine as well as completed a functional medicine mentorship with Dr. Kalish of the Kalish Institute. Later I received my doctorate in Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine from the Pacific College of Health & Science.

I have over 15 years of experience working with people to achieve their health goals from a Chinese medicine perspective. Everything I do in the treatment room is geared towards you as an individual. I use a combination of acupuncture, red light therapy, nano & micro-needling, herbal remedies and products, nutritional supplements, body and energy work, and dietary and lifestyle recommendations that are all carefully chosen to be personal to you and the conditions you are facing. I promise you are in good hands when you come to me with your healthcare needs!


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