Russell Brown, L.Ac, MTOM, founder & owner
After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in journalism, I came home to Los Angeles and enjoyed a career in feature film development. We made some fun movies—like the near-Academy Award-nominated The Fast and the Furious films, Not Another Teen Movie, and Cruel Intentions—and some terrible ones for which I secretly fear I may someday be karmically punished.
I was at breakfast one morning in 2002 when I overheard and then eavesdropped on a conversation at the table next to me where a young woman was talking about how she was about to start school to become an acupuncturist. I’m generally not a risk-taker and never had acupuncture before or even considered it, but something sparked in me. I enrolled at Emperor’s College of Traditional Chinese Medicine the next day, quit my job, graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s degree in TCM, and was licensed by the California State Board of Acupuncture soon after.
I have a fairly different attitude about Chinese medicine than many of my peers. I’m not a hippie and I never was. I don’t own billowy yoga pants. I’ve never heard a Caucasian person say namaste without sounding at least a little bit deranged. And I understand that many of the more typical “love and light” trappings of acupuncture might make some people uncomfortable as patients. That said, I absolutely believe in the power of this ancient medicine.
I believe pain and disease are not inconveniences but communication between your body and your brain. They are the body’s way of signaling for help. Pills and injections often just silence that call. I believe that if the things that you are doing for your health are making you resentful of your health, well, that’s bad medicine. I believe that 100% adherence to every “You should…” health mandate is impossible and unhealthy and makes for a very boring life. Health and medicine should be about electrifying the pursuit of living, not dampening it.
I always come back to this: Forgive yourself. We are all meeting each other at the level of our own inadequacies, running too fast and carrying too much. Lighten your insane expectations and offer yourself, at the very least, the same generosity and compassion you would offer a stranger and, at the very most, the same kindness and forgiveness you would offer the people you love best. You deserve that as much as anyone else.
I treat everything, but areas I treat most include emotional disorders, pain, stress-related conditions, sports injury, and contemporary existential crises.
Appointments available Tuesday through Saturday
Alexandra Bruehl, L.Ac, MTOM
I’ve always been interested in culture and biology, but didn’t always understand the interplay between the two. My childhood was a cultural mash-up: my dad is German, my mom is Peruvian, and I was raised primarily in the States (hablo español und ein bisschen Deutsch). I was drawn to my major, Medical Anthropology, because it examined how the interaction of culture and biology impacts health. I went on to get a Masters in the subject at Emory University.
I came to acupuncture by chance. I’d been using Western drugs to stop my migraines, but they had negative side effects and I worried about long-term use. I tried acupuncture and was able to reduce my medication, improving my quality of life exponentially. Recognizing an opportunity to help others, I enrolled at Dongguk University, graduated summa cum laude with a Masters in Oriental Medicine, and started practicing shortly thereafter.
I believe in both Eastern and Western medicine. Both are powerful tools, and you should have as many tools in your kit as possible. What resonates with me about Eastern medicine is that it is more holistic and emphasizes the interplay between physical and emotional health and that both are impacted by the broader environment.
While acupuncturists are trained to treat it all, I am particularly interested in treating migraine/headache, psycho-emotional issues, and pain.
Appointments available Sunday through Thursday
Portia Wilson, L.Ac, MTOM
A lifelong affinity for holistic wellness and the desire to make it more accessible, led Portia down a long and rewarding educational path. After graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Art in Sociology from Howard University in Washington, DC, Portia pursued her holistic graduate studies at the nationally ranked Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, California. After nearly 5 years of year round full-time study, Portia graduated cum laude with a Master’s in Traditional Oriental Medicine. Her graduate level studies included acupuncture, Chinese & Western herbalism as well as western medical science. Additionally, Portia has studied various forms of therapeutic bodywork including Shiatsu massage.
Stress and anxiety management, pain relief, digestive health, and realignment are areas of expertise, though her education has afforded her the ability to treat a range of conditions from the common cold to chronic ailments.
Portia’s commitment to a heart-centered practice assures not only a high quality of patient care, but also an emphasis on both patient education and patient empowerment. She looks forward to assisting you on your wellness journey.
Appointments available Wednesday, Friday and Saturday