Journey to the West

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Acupuncture, Blog, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Oriental Medicine | Comments Off on Journey to the West

Acupuncture San Ramon Acupuncture

The new crew at Pacific Integrative & Functional Medicine – Susan, Benjamin, Dawn, and Nathalie

It’s official

I have finished moving into my new practice in San Ramon. As I continue my solo practice in Lafayette, this new endeavor enables me to work closely and in tandem with practitioners whom I respect and are enriching the field of wellness.

This completes an interesting circle within a circle for me

I’ll begin at the beginning. Traditional Chinese Medicine/Oriental Medicine has been traveling West to California and taking root here over the last 165 years. The journey started with the Gold Rush, when the only medicine available was from Chinese immigrants. By signing the Acupuncture Practice Act in 1975, then-governor Jerry Brown legalized acupuncture in California.

This Journey to the West (the title taken from a famous Chinese classical folk tale that I highly recommend reading), was the subject of the first Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (AOM) conference, which I produced in 1993. It was also the theme of my foray into acupuncture politics.

During my early AOM education, I became frustrated with content that was lacking or irrevelant. For example, a Western medical course promoted a system for assessing TB infection that was used by the Soviet Union in the 1960’s. Why? Because it was considered to be the “best one around.” It became my political mission to help bring the acupuncture profession in California, and by consequence in other states, up to standards that would ease integrating acupuncture into our country’s healthcare system.

We had a good run, and over a period of 10 years and the backing of a unified profession here in California, we helped pass legislation that permanently established licensed lcupuncturists as Primary Treating Physicians within Workers’ Comp, protected and expanded our scope of practice, increased educational standards, and set the stage for the inclusion of acupuncture as a covered benefit in Covered California (aka ACA/Obamacare).

The PIFM Team (Pacific Integrative & Functional Medicine)

Fast forward, and I am now making my own Journey to the West by helping to start an integrative medical group in San Ramon. It’s an honor and a blessing to work with this group of exceptional practitioners that includes two nutritionists, a medical doctor, and a licensed acupuncturist:

Functional Medicine San Ramon Functional Medicine

Dr. Nathalie Bera-Miller, MD – Integrative & Functional Medicine

Nathalie Bera-Miller, MD and I met at Cal in 1996 when we were studying Nutrition & Food Science We reconnected when I was the academic dean at AIMC Berkeley, where she taught some of the Western medical courses.

Nathalie practices Functional Medicine, a holistic style of Western Medicine that utilizes a detailed history intake and unique set of innovative lab tests to assess physiological function of various systems. Chief among them is the Central Nervous System (which includes one’s mental, emotional, and spiritual experience), and seven other systems that interact with it to support optimal functioning and health, including:

  • Digestion/Gastrointestinal
  • Immune/Repair
  • Energy Regulation
  • Biotransformation/Detoxification
  • Circulation/Transportation
  • Communication (hormones, neurotransmitters, etc)
  • Structural/Musculoskeletal

There are many interesting parallels between Oriental Medicine and Functional Medicine, as both are based on the concept of balance. Oriental Medicine also defines internal organs by their functions and how well they interact with each other. Needless to say, not only are there a lot of fascinating conversations and insights to be shared, but real benefits for patient care as well.

Functional Nutrition San Ramon Functional Nutrition

Dawn Preisendorf, MA, NC, CHWS – Functional Nutrition

Dawn Preisendorf, MA, NC, CHWC, practices as a functional nutritionist and health coach. She utilizes many of the same labs and tools as Dr. Bera-Miller to  assess body balance and function. Dawn is extremely sharp and knowledgeable in her areas of expertise, which include hormone balancing and brain health. She also leads group workshops for groups on health and nutrition, including a virtual Health-Reboot Workshop this May 13th, and a Virtual Quick Cleanse starting this May 27th.



Functional Nutrition San Ramon Functional Nutrition

Susan Blanc, NC -Functional Nutrition

Susan Blanc, NC, another Cal grad, has practiced functional nutrition for over 20 years and teaches nutrition at Bauman and Castro Valley Colleges. She is highly experienced, savvy, and very knowledgeable about western herbal traditions. In fact, is teaching a workshop in San Ramon on the use of local herbs for everyday health.




Acupuncture San Ramon Acupuncture

Benjamin Dierauf, LAc – San Ramon Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

Benjamin Dierauf, MS, Lac — and then there is me! I’m in San Ramon practicing Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, where I’ve got a lovely set of comfortable rooms with lots of natural light.

I treat a variety of conditions, including aches and pains (from the head to the toes, including low back pain),

Acupuncture San Ramon Acupuncture

San Ramon Acupuncture Treatment Roominjuries, digestive disorders, gynecological issues, allergies, immune deficiencies, fatigue, sleep disorders and stress, along with many other conditions. While I don’t have any workshops going on at this point, if you’d like to schedule a free 15-minute consultation .

injuries, digestive disorders, gynecological issues, allergies, immune deficiencies, fatigue, sleep disorders and stress, and other conditions. While I am not leading workshops at present, if you would like to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, click here.


Start your wellness journey

We’re all excited to be here at PIFM (Pacific Integrative & Functional Medicine), where we develop innovative treatment packages for patient’s with stubborn chronic health conditions.

While Dr. Bera-Miller has a waiting list that runs 2-3 months out, you can get started right away with the PIFM program by working with our functional nutritionists and acupuncturist. We all share HIPPA-compliant electronic medical records that keep track of patient visits, lab tests, herbs and supplements, and  pharmaceutical drugs (as a last resort). And we all bring a wide variety of knowledge, experience, and perspective to help you on your path to wellness.

If you like, you can visit me in San Ramon, separate from PIFM, to receive the health benefits and sense of relaxation that Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine provide.

Stay tuned as East meets West and we forge the medicine of the future – today!

Click here to Schedule Online

(925) 297-4785

Pacific Integrative & Functional Medicine: Acupuncture San Ramon
210 Porter Dr. Suite #230, San Ramon CA 94583

Lamorinda Healing Arts
961 Dewing Ave., Lafayette CA 94549

Acupuncture and herbs for:
Pains & Aches, Stress Reduction, Insomnia,
Fatigue, Digestive Issues, Chronic Illness,
Allergies, Men’s and Women’s Health


Acupuncture in Lafayette / Acupuncture in San Ramon:

Experienced Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
for Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Concord,
Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton,
Contra Costa & Alameda Counties,
and the Greater East Bay Area.