About

IMG_0751 I am Katharine Stewart, L.Ac.,NCCAOM, licensed acupuncturist and herbalist.
After working as an Acupuncturist & Herbalist for almost twenty-five years, I believe people need to have natural options for themselves and their family that they can do at home. Whether it is an herbal formula for a high fever, or stomach- ache, or dietary advice for getting rid of fatigue, we all need to know how to take care of ourselves in a natural and non-harmful way, now more than ever.

I love doing acupuncture. I love treating people and making them feel better. I also love teaching people how to feel better without needing to see me. Acupuncture used to be my primary focus. But I now realize how much education I do, and how much I need to do, for those who are taking their health into their own hands. I am here to assist and educate anyone who wants to be healthy, wherever you are on your journey.

My Personal Story:

I got into acupuncture almost thirty years ago, when it was really ‘alternative.’ I was in severe pain and such extreme fatigue that I could not raise my arm to brush my hair or walk to the mailbox. I tried conventional medicine first, even went to a medical school in Los Angeles for expert opinions. I was told that there was nothing clinically wrong, except for having Epstein-Barr Virus, which was just like Mono, and should just go away on its own. I was told to come back in a year and maybe some disease, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, might show up on the blood work, then they could give me treatments for it. I was 22 years old.

Someone, probably my mother, suggested acupuncture for the pain. I had heard of it once when I watched a program with Leonard Nimoy showing brain surgery with acupuncture for anesthesia. I never thought it would apply to me. And, also, I just happen to hate needles. I mean, pass-out-hate needles. I mean that I would scream bloody murder as a kid getting shots. And, since I was sick-a lot, I got them-a lot.

Desperation breeds courage I suppose. I thought I would give acupuncture a try. I remember that I told my acupuncturist that I knew he could not help my condition, but if he could help with the pain, that would be great. He told me that he could actually cure my virus, and my pain; that in Chinese Medicine they could treat both viruses and pain. It was a system of medicine that had been successful for thousands of years treating anything and everything known to humans. He said it didn’t make much difference what the western diagnosis was or wasn’t. I had no clue what he meant, but, again, I was desperate.

He put in the first needle between my eyebrows. I was shaking like a leaf! It really, really didn’t hurt. At .All. He also took me off all sugar. I happened to be on a major fruit diet, and was so proud that I was actually off sugar, after years of being a sugar junkie. I told him I hadn’t touched any sugar in two months. He was looking at my tongue and taking my pulses and said that I was clearly on sugar- a lot of it. I told him I was just eating fruit, all day. He explained that fruit is a form of sugar, whether good sugar or bad sugar, it was still sugar, and wreaking havoc on my system. This was a strange, new world for sure. I cried for the first week on this strict diet. No bread, no fruit, no honey, no dairy, no starch of any kind. Those were in the days with no alternatives like now. I can help anyone do it easier than I did, with way less tears.

Anyway, within 6 weeks of twice weekly treatments and a very strict diet, I was really better. I never personally say ‘cured,’ because many of us do have chronic conditions that can reappear under the ‘wrong’ circumstances. I have had to deal with flare-ups of Epstein Barr virus over the years, and what they now call “Fibromyalgia,” and “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” I was lucky that when I got sick, those labels did not exist, and I had to seek alternative care.

I am happy to say that I am symptom free, most of the time. I have found that I still can’t eat sugar, or much fruit, or any gluten whatsoever. I do meditate most days, with the help of a cd, or App. I move my body every day. Getting so sick, and getting sick with no Western diagnosis or treatment, has taken me on a journey that brought me to practicing herbal medicine and acupuncture for almost a quarter of a century. And, it brought me the understanding that acupuncture is emergency medicine. It works, but it is the day-to-day practices, including food, herbal remedies, movement, meditation & rest, that are the most beneficial and crucial to our health. And, also, most importantly, we all need to commit to taking charge of our health for ourselves on a regular basis.

Education/Experience:

I have a bachelor’s of arts degree from Arizona State University in Anthropology, Cum Laude. I graduated from the now defunct Santa Barbara of Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture in 1990. I was voted “Best Acupuncturist,” by the “Santa Barbara Independent” newspaper reader’s poll.

I was a founding faculty member at the first accredited herbal medicine and acupuncture college in Arizona, where I was a professor of Chinese Medicine for ten years. During my years there, I also served as the Clinic Dean, during our national accreditation process, Acupuncture Chair, and Clinical Supervisor. I received the “Outstanding Faculty” award. I was featured on the television show, “Sonoran Living Live.” I was also in “Sedona Monthly Magazine” twice, and the fitness magazine, “Fitness Plus,” featuring my specialized acupuncture/massage therapies.

I was the founder and director of the Community Acupuncture & Wellness Clinic in Phoenix, a multi-practice center with Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Yoga Instructors, Acupuncturists and student interns.

I worked for over five years at Los Abrigados Sedona Spa, and the Sedona Racquet Club specializing in spa style acupuncture combined with acupressure massage or hot stone therapy to relieve stress, jet lag, or just to relax and rejuvenate the body.

I am currently in private practice in Sedona, Arizona treating adults and children of all ages for many health conditions using acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional counseling and specialty bodywork. I also have trained in Orthopedic Acupuncture, which addresses pain in the body and back, and traditional nutrition, which addresses chronic health issues from a dietary aspect.