Practitioner Bios

Daniele Uzes, L.Ac., DMQ, MTCM, Dipl. OM, Co-Founder

Daniele has earned a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, California. She is a licensed Acupuncturist and a primary care practitioner in the state of California.  Daniele has completed her Doctorate in Medical QiGong from the International Institute of Medical Qigong in Monterey, California.  Currently she is working on her Doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in San Jose, Ca. In the past, Daniele has volunteered at Janus of Santa Cruz teaching meditation and Qi Gong classes. She has also volunteered at Yayasan Bumi Sehat, an all natural birthing and health clinic, in Bali, Indonesia. There she worked as an intern treating pregnant women and their families and providing doula services to mothers in labor. Daniele is passionate about providing quality healthcare that is accessible and affordable. As a general practitioner, she enjoys working with a broad spectrum of conditions including gynecological, trauma and orthopedics, gastrointestinal illness, mental illness, addiction, autoimmune, and chronic disease. In her practice, Daniele strives to help patients improve their overall quality of life. In her free time, Daniele is an avid surfer, aerial dancer, and snowboarder.  She is also very passionate about international volunteer work and travel.

Lishanna Tryllium, L.Ac, DMQ, MTCM, Dipl. OM, Co-Founder

Lishanna earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Holistic Health from Fairhaven College in Bellingham, Washington.  She has earned a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, California.  Lishanna has also completed her Master’s in Medical QiGong and holds a double doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Medical QiGong from the International Institute of Medical QiGong in Monterey, California.  Lishanna has worked as a veterinary assistant for primates in Bolivia, interned with a Naturopathic Doctor in Washington State, and she has interned in hospitals in Hangzhou, China. Lishanna’s practice focuses on chronic and auto-immune diseases such as Celiac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Metabolic Syndrome.  She incorporates diet, nutrition, qi gong, meditation, acupuncture and herbal therapies to reduce chronic inflammation, hormone imbalance, and the multiple sub-clinical manifestations of chronic disease such as insomnia, mental fog, anxiety, body aches, and allergies. In her clinical experience, Lishanna has found great fulfillment by helping patients heal from traumatic events on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.   She enjoys watching patients flourish as they take an active role in their own healing process. “Forty years ago I experienced acupuncture for the first time, and have been utilizing acupuncture services ever since to enhance my body’s healing process for many conditons.  So, I have seen a number of practitioners over four decades, ranging from practitioners I would not recommend at all, to master practitioners I fully trust, and would gladly see others assisted by them!  Lishanna is one of the latter- a profoundly gifted practitioner.  Recently I suffered a bout of horrendous, painful sciatica in my left leg; never before in my life had I felt anything like it! It lasted months and months.  I was seeing a physical therapist, but a friend recommended I also consider doing acupuncture with Lishanna.  I did, for 5 sessions, and am now convinced she is “fully assisted by revered ancestors”.  My experience was deep, restorative, and I am now fully recovered, with no pain whatsoever.  I highly recommend her as a master acupuncture practitioner!” -Christina Pearson

Dr. Joshua M. Donaldson, ND

Dr. Joshua Donaldson began his educational career at the University of Oregon where he obtained a B.S. in Sports Medicine and Biology.  He then worked in the physical Therapy & Fitness Training field for several years before entering medical school at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, OR.  where he received his doctorate (N.D.) in 2004. After medical school, Dr. Donaldson completed a post-doctoral clinical research position where he investigated the nutritional implications of various diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and gastro-intestinal conditions. Since then, he has been in clinical practice where his primary attention is centered on the prevention and treatment of disease and chronic pain through appropriate dietary and lifestyle modifications and various treatment modalities.  Dr. Donaldson’s holistic approach addresses all aspects of each individual’s health and helps guide them back to optimal and lasting wellness. In addition, Dr. Donaldson has a passion for education and has been an Adjunct Professor at local community colleges & universities since 2006.  He also gives community lectures on various health topics, offers Corporate Wellness Programs throughout the Bay Area, and leads Detox & Cleansing Retreats in Mexico & Hawaii.  To find more information about Dr. Donaldson and his services, please feel free to call the office or visit his website:

Ia Susan Walton, Certified McTimoney Practitioner

Ia studied McTimoney in Abingdon, England and graduated with a degree in chiropractic in 2002.  The gentle technique and whole body approach make the McTimoney Method vastly different from American chiropractic and is thus classed as its own therapy in the United Sates.  McTimoney is new in the US, but has been practiced around the world for over 30 years. In the McTimoney Method ‘cracking’ and ‘popping’ sounds are rare. This is because the technique uses highly specific stretches, utilizing the speed and dexterity of their delivery to correct misalignment, rather than a more vigorous approach. Consequently, the majority of patients find the treatment comfortable and pain free. In Addition to McTimoney, Ia studied sports massage and myofascial release techniques. During her studies, Ia’s emphasis was pediatrics, however she enjoys working with patients of all ages and with all conditions.  She began a free clinic with a program in Guatemala City ( working with children and families that live on the city dump.  This opened her eyes to the countless benefits of The McTimoney Method and the need to maintain an affordable sliding scale policy to allow access for all. In her free time, Ia can be found running in the woods, walking on the beach, or chasing her 1 year old around the park.  She also loves traveling, snowboarding and cooking healthy gluten free food.

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Kristin Buzzetta, CMT

My philosophy in bodywork is simple. I believe we all have the power to heal; ourselves and each other. My goal as a massage therapist is to help my clients reconnect to that place in themselves where true healing begins. My goal for every session is to help release tension and correct imbalances in both the physical and energetic bodies. I went to Twin Lakes College of the Healing Arts and was certified in 2008. I am a current member of the Calfornia Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) as well as the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professional (ABMP) organization.The foundation of  my training was in Swedish Massage, but I specialize in postural analysis, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, facilitated stretching techniques, and acupressure. I am also an athletic training student and I’m currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at San Jose State University. Helping people stay active and pain free has become a key focus of my life and education. I love what I do and it never ceases to amaze me how powerful our bodies really are!!

Tracy Phariss, L.E.

Tracy Phariss has been an esthetician for seven years. She graduated from Shoreline School of Cosmetology in Santa Cruz, CA. After graduation, Tracy went to work for a local Dermatology practice as a clinical esthetician. There, she discovered that she enjoys working with teenagers that have acne prone skin, as well as adult clients with sun damaged skin.  With the right treatments and effective home care, the results can be amazing! Tracy’s goal is to pamper you from head to toe, while bringing out your individual, natural beauty.  She also takes the time to address any skin care concerns that you may have. Whether you need a full hour treatment, a new skin care routine or mini treatment, Tracy is determined to cater to your personal care. Tracy just started carrying the Biodynamic line by Eminence, to offer  an organic, anti-inflammatory, and delicious experience to her clientele.  Her practice is based on the belief that the customer’s needs are of the utmost importance.  Tracy welcomes the opportunity to earn your trust and is excited to work with you! Please see Tracy’s website for more information!


Susannah Weiler, L.Ac., CMT, Dipl. OM

Susannah is an acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist licensed in the state of California. She became interested in medicine at a young age as the daughter of an allopathic physician in Houston, Tx. Growing up, Susannah observed what it means to provide honest health care with integrity and passion. Inspired by this example, she began studying complementary health care in 1999 attending Twin Lakes College of the Healing Arts in Santa Cruz, CA. She learned the powerful healing effect of human touch firsthand, and received her Massage Practitioner certification. Deeply moved by the emotional/spiritual element experienced with clients, Susannah moved to Boulder, CO to enrich her practice. There she completed an undergraduate degree in Buddhist Studies at Naropa University and a Massage Therapist certification at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy. Susannah received additional bodywork certifications in prenatal and postpartum massage, raising her total hours of massage training to over 1300. In Boulder, Susannah had the opportunity to develop a private massage practice and give back to her community by volunteering healing touch at the local hospital, hospice and women’s safehouse. Susannah returned to Santa Cruz, CA to attend Five Branches University where she earned an advanced degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This four year master’s program provided over 3200 hours of extensive training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, Western clinical knowledge and Eastern clinical internships. Susannah obtained additional training in acupuncture and internal medicine during her study abroad at Zhejiang Medical University in Hangzhou, China. Susannah is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) to be completed in 2015 as well as further study through Functional Medicine University. Susannah enjoys hiking, cycling, skiing, knitting, creating gluten free fare and spending time with her family. To learn more about Susannah’s work, please visit her website at: West Coast Vital Health


Sandra Subotich, L.Ac., Dipl. OM

Sandra is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and primary care practitioner in the state of California. She is also nationally certified as a Diplomat of Oriental medicine and holds a Bachelors degree in education/psychology. In addition, Sandra is a Certified Reiki Master and teacher. Raised by eastern european immigrant parents, Sandra was exposed to traditional herbal medicine at a very young age and loved to help her mother, father and grandmother make herbal preparations for various ailments. Her father, a trained allopathic doctor and biochemist, was always researching natural alternatives to prescribed medications and offering his findings to patients, friends and family. Sandra was fascinated by his research, and continued to by inspired and moved by the power of herbal medicine and alternative therapies.After a fateful first visit to an acupuncturist, Sandra was guided to pursue her love and passion for alternative medicine. She started her journey in Honolulu, Hi where she attended The World Medicine Institute ~ Tai Hsuan, a small Taoist school run by 67th lineage Heavenly Taoist Master Lillian Chang. Under direct mentorship with Dr. Chang, Sandra learned lineage specific acupuncture, herbal preparations, Qi Gong, Meditations and energetic healing techniques and practices. She also traveled throughout China with Dr. Chang visiting many hospitals and temples, and being taught by various Taoist Masters residing in rural areas of the country. After two years in Hawaii, Sandra decided to live and practice in California, so she transferred to Five Branches University to complete her studies.While at Five Branches, Sandra did extensive work in Dr Tan style pain management as well as 5 element acupuncture which focuses on the emotional and psych-spiritual aspects of ourselves. In addition, Sandra interned at an acupuncture clinic focused on fertility and women’s health, and experienced first hand the astounding effects that acupuncture can have in those who are facing fertility challenges. Sandra has also been trained in acupuncture for addiction (NADA) and interned at janus of Santa Cruz, where she worked to help all of the patients there ease their symptoms and assist in their recovery. Sandra is extremely passionate about alternative medicine and being able to facilitate each persons own healing process and growth potential. Thus, she enjoys a variety of patients and cases, and is committed to nurturing each and every patient with exceptional care. Sandra specializes in pain management (chronic and acute), emotional and psycho-spiritual traumas, depression, anxiety, fertility, addiction, weight loss, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue, sciatica, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, immunity and nutritional counseling.  To learn more about Sandra’s work, click here!


Ali Palisca, Certified Life Coach

Ali earned her Life Coach Certification at Body-Mind Mastery Life Coaching with cutting edge masters in the field of individual and group transformation.  In service to a prayer for world peace and unity, she has traveled around the globe, studying and working extensively for the Center for Sacred Studies and the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers.  She has a BA in Community Studies.  At age 13, Ali faced the death of her mother, which catalyzed her into a journey of inquiry and knowledge of the healing arts.  Inspired by her experiences in death and dying, Ali has coached and supported Hospice volunteers in learning how to care for, honor, and emotionally support those in the dying process and their families. Ali enjoys working with individuals and couples that are open, curious, and committed to making changes in their lives.  She views her clients as her equals, powerful and capable of creating the life that they most want.  Ali coaches with compassion, a keen eye, perceptive ear, and penetrating honesty.  She specializes in working with individuals that are healing from trauma and grief.  Ali’s education and experience provide her with special skills in cross-cultural communication and Enneagram personality patterns.  Born and raised in Yosemite National Park, Ali is a lover of nature.  She lives and plays in Santa Cruz, CA. “Ali has taught me to be more compassionate, honest, and loving toward myself and others, and to have faith in myself to be able to find my way through life’s challenges with integrity and positivity.” -Nick Ross-rhudy See the “Online Exclusive Offer” on our homepage and get started on your healing journey with Ali! Or-  Check out her website at

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Meghan Robinson, CMT, ANMT

I believe my path to massage therapy began when I healed a running injury through my yoga practice. I was very intrigued by muscles and how they create or inhibit our movement and so I went on to became a Certified Massage Therapist and Health Educator at National Holistic Institute in San Jose. There I studied Eastern and Western modalities as well as anatomy, kinesiology, physiology and pathology. After graduating, I returned to NHI to become an Advanced Neuromuscular Therapist with over 1300 hours of training.

We hold the power to heal ourselves; I am only the conduit for change. I am trained in and incorporate many modalities into each session to give you the best treatment possible, including Swedish, deep tissue, Shiatsu, myofascial therapy, durmoneuromodulation (durmo=skin, neuro=nerves, modulation=change), trigger point therapy and neuromuscular massage . I love to help my clients overcome postural issues and chronic pain that they believed might only be remedied with surgical procedures. It is very rewarding to watch their attitudes change from session to session.

In addition to yoga, I enjoy reading, traveling, and working in my garden. I plan to travel the world and help people through massage.


Carola Cuenca, N.P., H.M.C.

By using homeopathic medicine and its laws of healing according to the principal “Like Cures Like” as first recognized by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, my goal is to help my clients to understand the root cause of their imbalanced health, thus revealing the causes of their blockage or illness.

Homeopathy is holistic (not merely alternative) because the essential need is to understand my patient as a whole person. I can arrive at an indication as to the appropriate treatment or remedy only after understanding the physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychic make-up of the patient.  In the regimen of treatment that follows from the understanding of the whole person, we allow a completion for enrichment of energetic and biochemical balance, and their physical, mental and emotional wellness.  
Once the patient has resumed a state of balanced health, my goal is to guide and educate them on techniques conducive to living a healthy lifestyle thus creating their personal foundation for continued wellness and enjoyment of life, without relapse or the need for further treatment.    
About  Carola Cuenca: Carola  practices Natural Medicine and Homeopathy in Santa Cruz and Florida. She is a fully accredited Naturopathic Practitioner, and uses a holistic approach to help patients regain optimum health choosing methods that are drugless and addressing the root causes of disease and imbalance.   She is a graduate of the Homeopathic Master Clinician’s Course (HMC), International College of Naturopathy. Completing courses with notables including Lou Klein, Jan Scholten MD , Farokh Masters MD, and Dr. Rajan Sankaran, all homeopathic masters of international recognition. She has also trained extensively with Biological Medicine at the Paraclesus Klinic In Switzerland with Dr. Thomas Rau.  
Carola  Cuenca has a natural gift in the treatment of women’s, children’s and adolescent health issues. Her passion is to help all her patients regain their health so that they can enjoy their lives to the fullest.
For more information please see Carola’s website-
Maria Fernandez, Hendrickson Method Practitioner, People's Integrative Medicine

Maria Fernandez, B.S., ATC, Hendrickson Method Practitioner

Maria Fernandez was raised in Keene California, the headquarters of United Farm Workers’ (UFW) in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. She remains close to her large family, forever active in the UFW movement. With exposure to concepts of people’s rights and justice from birth, she developed compassion and the desire to aid in alleviating suffering and improving the quality of life of those around her.  Due to long and frequent commutes required for involvement in the UFW from Keene to Monterey county and back, her family moved to Monterey county when Maria was 16 years old. She has been playing basketball since the age of 12 and joined the Cabrillo Junior College basketball team to nurture her involvement in sports. This interest in basketball has branched into her love of many sports as well as their impact on the body. Maria began her quest for a deeper understanding of the function of the human body at Humboldt State University in the far reaches of coastal Northern California. She earned her degree in Kinesiology, Athletic Training and has been a Certified Athletic Trainer/Sports Medicine since 2000. Her experience is with various sports teams and rehabilitating injuries. While working as a physical therapy aid, she witnessed another massage practitioner integrate the Hendrickson Method into her Swedish Massage practice. After receiving a treatment from this woman, Maria knew that she wanted to explore it more in her own practice. Finding and learning the Hendrickson Method expanded her manual therapy technique. This method creates a profound relaxation response in the body through rhythmic oscillations. The technique works to rehydrate and promote nutritional exchange on a cellular level through active and passive massage of the soft tissue structures, joints and bones. Maria is dedicated to helping people find relief from pain and general discomfort. She uses a natural combination of her compassionate heart, sports interest and experience as well as the Hendrickson Method to promote healing for her clients. This technique is effective for a full spectrum of needs; recovering from acute/chronic injury to simple relaxation/nurturing. Maria has a very gentle yet powerful touch to promote healing and rejuvenation in the body and spirit. Make your appointment today!

Shamanic Practitioner, Santa Cruz, CA

Gabrielle Freels, Shamanic Practitioner

Gabrielle discovered Shamanic Energy Medicine through her own personal journey of health & wellbeing. The incredible transformation that the shamanic work has allowed her to create in her life has fueled her desire to learn this ancient art of energy healing. She completed her certification with The Four Winds Society in 2012. Gabrielle loves to witness the beautiful unfolding of people’s true soul story and the illumination of their life through this profound work. Her love and gratitude for the opportunity to share this medicine is more than she can express into words. Gabrielle continues to expand her energetic education and is also working on her Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Five Branches University, here in Santa Cruz. Her ultimate goal is to bridge the Physical and Energetic aspects of health care, and teach her clients how to integrate the lifestyle changes necessary to create the health & freedom they dream about. Gabrielle knows from her own personal experience that when you initiate healing from a place of the soul, the possibilities are endless.

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4170 Gross Rd Ext., Suite 6
Capitola, California 95010
Phone: 831 464-1605
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