Hi, my name is Kat. I have been practicing acupuncture for 8 years. When I was 7, my father left his job at Hewlett Packard to go to medical school. While he was there, he showed me the anatomy dissection lab, and pointed out what a human heart and liver looked like. I thought it was so magical that I took a chicken's heart to the next show and tell at school.
During my father's rotations, he took me to see a baby being born. I got to go with him when he was on the night shift working in the ER. For a long time, I thought the smell of a hospital was homey because it was where my father was. When I was 23 he died of cancer. It was only when I was working on Wall Street that I realized what an impact he had made. During my 7 years on Wall Street I passed the stockbroker exam and got a job in hedge funds with a nice office overlooking Park Avenue. It was a dream job, but I was miserable.
I wanted to do something with my life that was as meaningful as my father's. Yet when I thought about traditional medical school, I didn't feel inspired. I felt like in some ways, my father's medicine had failed him. He had died in a great deal of pain. He had worked 72 hours shifts at the ER and developed insomnia as a result. He was often in pain. His immune system kept breaking down. I remember thinking, why didn't we know more about alternative medicine when he was fighting with cancer? It could have done so much to ease his suffering.·
When I started getting acupuncture, I felt the same awe for the medicine that I felt when my father showed me that human heart and liver. My first acupuncture experience was terrible: I was terrified and shaking, and the practitioner was not very nice about it. But I gave it another go and went to another acupuncturist, and walked out glowing! I felt wonderful, like I was full of energy, relaxed, and in my most vibrant state of health. I quickly became an acupuncture fan, and not long after, applied to be a student at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine where I learned the fundamentals of traditional Chinese medicine.
I later transferred to Tri-State College of Acupuncture. I got to study with some of the great acupuncturists like Mark Seem and Kiiko Matsumoto and also studied in China. I graduated from Tri-State College in NYC with a Master’s degree in acupuncture and am licensed by the State of New York and certified in Clean Needle Technique. From 2009 to 2011 I worked in NYC as an acupuncturist in rehabilitation facilities in NYC treating pain, injury, and muscle and skeletal conditions. I moved to the Glens Falls area in 2011 so be closer to family and start my own practice in a small town.
I practice acupuncture in 3 different styles: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Japanese Acupuncture (in the tradition of Kiiko Matsumoto), and Acupuncture Physical Medicine as taught by Mark Seem (with dry trigger point needling in the tradition of Janet Travell M.D.) I am also a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where I got a Bachelors in English Literature and a cognate in Philosophy. I also attended nursing school and was a nurse aide for inpatient oncology in Glens Falls Hospital for 2 years before I realized I just wanted to do acupuncture. I was happy to learn a great deal from the experience though!
Herbal training is a part of most acupuncture programs. Mine started in 2005 at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine where I studied single Chinese herbs for 3 semesters. Then it continued at Tri-State where I took 1 year of their herbal formulas education focusing on Chinese and Japanese herbology. While at Tri-State I also worked at Integral Yoga Natural Apothecary, where part of on the job training was to learn homeopathy, supplements, vitamins, and herbal formulas that would provide solutions to the problems people came in with.
I love learning! I am currently taking a 200 hour yoga teacher training at Yoga Kayla, and a Restorative Yoga training Level 1 & 2 at Yoga Mandali with Ann Saffi Biasetti, PhD. I've recently also taken a Reiki Level 1 & 2 course with Lindsay Bodkin. I hope to encorporate therapeutically based restorative yoga poses into my acupuncture treatments to better help patients with emotional balance, stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
I always strive to be a source of comfort to my patients, to make them feel cared for and heard during each treatment. I believe that acupuncture should be a relaxing experience. You may be there to fix your neck or back pain, but a treatment should also give you a chance to relax, be calm, and allow you a time of peace.
Joy Covington MacKenzie
Office Manager Extraordinaire
I was raised in a small town in the mountains of Northern California. My parents moved away from the big city to raise their kids in the country. We gardened and planted fruit trees and raised chickens and rabbits. My parents built a solar home for our family. We practiced hospitality and living simply.
When I was in college I met and married Jonathan MacKenzie, Kat's brother. We've been married for over 20 years and we may be starting to get the hang of the whole marriage thing. It's a good thing that he is a patient guy and very cute.
We have 4 kids. Yes, it's a lot, and yes, we know what causes that. We theoretically like our large family. We have chosen to educate our children at home, which is crazy and wonderful and fulfilling and terrifying. They don't seem too "normal" yet, so I think it's working.
As our children have grown we've seen in many different ways how their diet, and the stuff we put on their body affects them. Our kids each seem to have sensitivities to the foods that we eat and, at times, I've turned our lives inside out trying to get to the bottom of something that was causing the kids an issue.
Not to give an impression of super-mom-ness (cause I'm so not); I have grown food, canned it, cooked from scratch (like making my own broths) and avoided processed food like the plague. We've researched the kind of sunscreen the kids can use and what shampoo is ok. My cleaning supplies have gotten very simple. Not everyone needs to be that careful, but it's good to know the potential side effects of the things we eat, wear and expose our selves to.
I am a singer, and I get to perform with some of the amazing artists in this area. We are involved at our church and my spiritual walk is at the very core of who I am. I am filled with gratitude for God's grace in my life, this lovely world, and the people I get to share it with. It is a gift to me to be able to be a part of the healing that happens here at Acupuncture Nirvana. I love Kat, and it's so fun to get to play a role in this practice.