Practitioner Profile

Acupuncture Practitioners

Laura Christensen, M.A., M.Ac., L.Ac.

DSC01905_0761Laura Christensen is a graduate of Oberlin College, where she earned her BA in Biology and premedical studies. In 1984 she earned her Master’s in Acupuncture (M.Ac.) at the New England School of Acupuncture in Boston, and has over 3500 hours of training in acupuncture and professional Chinese herbology. She is a Nationally Board Certified Acupuncturist, Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM), and Iowa Licensed Acupuncturist (current).

Laura also has a 1986 Master’s in Holistic Counseling Psychology from Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts. Certified in Japanese Acupuncture by Miki Shima, OMD, and certified in Chinese Herbology by Ken Morris, LAc, she has studied with Susan Johnson LAc (Master Tong’s Acupuncture), Sharon Weizenbaum LAp (4 yrs Graduate Mentorship in Chinese Herbology), and has completed a 150 certification program in Kiiko Matsumoto Style acupuncture with Kiiko Matsumoto LAp and her colleagues Monika Kobylecka LAc (Japanese Acupuncture).

Currently Laura is training in Engaging Vitality, with Charles Chase, Marguerite Denkins, and Dan Bensky. This gentle system of acupuncture enables the practitioner to accurately assess the currently active acupuncture points and thus design highly effective treatments. It combines principles of osteopathic assessment and treatment with ancient Chinese medicine principles.

Utilizing Master Tung’s acupuncture has been a long time interest for Laura. She has renewed her training recently by studying the work of Brad Whisnant, and is using this approach to help with pain and chronic illness. She blends many styles of acupuncture within a treatment to try to get the best results for her patients.

Laura specializes in the practice of Kiiko Matsumoto Style acupuncture. She has found it to be the most gentle, effective and rapid-acting method of acupuncture for most patients. Using this style, patients have seen results far beyond what any other method of acupuncture has produced in our clinic. She has been studying this approach since 2007. To  learn more, go to http://www.kiikomatsumoto.com/kiiko-style-acupuncture.html

Laura also serves as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Iowa  Global Health Studies program. She presents a course titled: Studies in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In this course, students are introduced to a variety of complementary medicine modalities, and are asked to do their own inquiries in the field. Students are very enthusiastic about this course and often are stimulated to explore complementary medicine professions when they complete their undergraduate studies. In this course, scientific inquiry is combined with experiential evens for students to dive deeply into the major themes in complementary medicine around the world.

Laura is a Certified Wahls Protocol Health Professional. This means that she has completed training in the the Wahls Protocol with Dr. Terry Wahls MD, and is certified by Dr. Wahls to use this method in her nutrition and dietary counseling with patients. Laura is also well informed about a number of other dietary strategies for the management of chronic and auto-immune illness, including Whole 30, Auto-Immune Paleo Approach, and the Plant Paradox. She is eager to assist patients in integrating these approaches in their lives and attempts to inspire them with recipes and strategies for success in changing their relationships with food.

From 2010 to 2017 Laura was on the faculty of the East West School of Massage and Integrative Studies. There she presented a 14 contact hour course called Eastern Theory, which introduced and developed the basic ideas and theoretical structures of Oriental Medicine. The course taught a number of assessment techniques appropriate for massage therapists who might be applying shiatsu or other oriental modalities in their clinical practice. She also taught two other courses: Nutrition, an introduction to the application of Oriental medicine concepts and modern biomedicine concepts in nutritional therapy;  and Cupping and Gua Sha for massage therapists. These courses were taken as curriculum elements or CEUs at the school.

Laura has also been trained in a variety of other holistic approaches, including Functional Medicine, deep tissue massage, Aromatherapy, Upledger Craniosacral therapy, Applied Kinesiology, Reiki II, Ericksonian hypnotherapy, guided imagery, Hakomi therapy, Bodytalk, Healing Touch, and Reconnective healing. In addition she has training in Yuen Chinese Energetic Healing with Mary Fox, Matrix Energetics, and dowsing with Raymon Grace. She weaves these techniques into her acupuncture sessions when appropriate.

She has ten years experience in medical research, 6 years experience as a mental health counselor, and over twenty-six years experience in private practice in oriental medicine and acupuncture in Iowa City. Laura is an Iowa City native and comes from a family background of doctors, scientists, gardeners and classical musicians. She was also trained as a musician and her non-work activities include photography, gardening, dog activities, family gatherings, singing, meditation and spiritual study, healthy cooking, and home improvement. She has three grown step-children and one charming toddler grandchild.