Acupuncture is a method of healing that utilizes sterile, stainless steel, disposable needles to treat various disharmonies. The main objectives of an acupuncture treatment are to a) reduce pain and other symptoms, b) strengthen the body’s immune system, and c) balance and integrate functions of the organs with each other, making for a unified, integrated, healthy person. The World Health Organization recognizes that acupuncture can be used to treat over 200 common clinical disorders, including- sports injury, chronic pain, arthritis, stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, indigestion, acid reflux, IBS, common cold, cough and flu, PMS, irregular or painful menstruation, menopause, sexual dysfunction, UTI, asthma, allergies, cough, migraines, hypertension, hormonal imbalances, addiction, and post-traumatic stress.

Community Acupuncture

Community acupuncture simply means that treatments are not delivered in private treatment rooms but in a quiet common area.  Treatments are given in comfortable reclining chairs, with needles placed primarily along the  legs, feet, arms, hands, face, and head.

The group setting allows us to see multiple patients each hour while still providing quality, personalized care.  This, in turn, makes it possible for us to keep our fees lower and make acupuncture available to a greater number of people.  Acupuncture is most effective with regular and more frequent treatments.

With the high cost of a one-on-one private treatment, it has become the norm in America to receive treatments once a week at best.  This is not frequent enough for many conditions, and prohibits most of us from experiencing the full potential of acupuncture’s effectiveness. Our low cost sliding scale allows you get quick results and maintain better long-term health.

Our community acupuncture room, nestled in the heart of our clinic in Capitola, Santa Cruz, is a healing sanctuary with heated beds, eye pillows, and a professional staff to attend to your healing needs.


Both of our estheticians are highly experienced and approach skin care from a medial perspective.  They will not only pamper and nourish your skin during the treatment, but will assist you in the long-term personal care that will allow your skin to look and feel its very best!

We offer the Eminence Biodynamic, Beyond Organic skincare products at our Santa Cruz clinic.  These are organic, food-based products, in which 100% of the ingredients are naturally anti-inflammatory, and perfect for sensitive skin.  Eminence products are incredibly effective in treating skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.

Our estheticians offer a variety of therapeutic treatments for your skin, including-

  • Complementary consultations
  • Facials
  • Peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Waxing for face & body

There are a wide variety of facial treatments to chose from.  Each treatment is customized to your skin type and complications such as acne or sun damage.  Each facial treatment is approximately an hour to an hour and a half.  They start with a comprehensive skin analysis, followed by a deep pore cleansing, an exfoliation treatment such as an enzyme or a mild peel, extractions when necessary, and a masque.  The treatment also includes a hand and shoulder massage as well as antioxidant serums, moisturizers and sunscreen.

If it is your first time having a skin care treatment it is a good idea to have a consultation.  We recommend booking an extra half hour for this.  This is your time to ask questions about treatments, skincare products and to discuss the unique needs of your skin.

Medical QiGong

“Medical Qi Gong is an ancient form of Chinese energetic medicine, and is one of the four main branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), along with acupuncture, herbal medicine, and medical massage. As with the other branches of TCM, healing occurs through balancing Qi. Qi is the electromagnetic energy which surrounds and pervades all living creatures.” Doctor Jerry Alan Johnson, founder, International Institute of Medical Qi Gong.

We at People’s are proud to have the largest team of Medical Qi Gong practitioners in Santa Cruz County.  All of our practitioners are certified directly through the Henan University in China, and are held to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and compassion.

After treatment patients often report energetic sensitivity, the resolution of pain, and healing from emotional traumas that are nothing short of miraculous. Some Qi Gong techniques are performed without touch, and some include light massage therapies.  Each patient will be given a tailored homework prescription to further their healing process.  Homework may include movement exercises, journaling projects, as well as creative visualizations and/or meditations.


Cupping is a therapeutic technique used by Chinese practitioners for over 5000 years. The treatment is performed by a practitioner creating suction within a glass cup, then placing the cup onto the desired area of treatment.  Cupping is safe, effective, and can be used to treat a variety of pathologies including sore and stiff muscles, aches and pains associated with traumatic injury, orthopedic conditions, neuromuscular dysfunctions, sports injuries, and fibromyalgia. The use of cupping can be effective in creating myofacial release, inducing lymphatic drainage, promoting detoxification, and diminishing cellulite.

Gua Sha

Used in China for more than two thousand years, gua sha means to “scrape toxins”.  A method of promoting blood circulation and removing toxic heat, blood, and lymph from the body, gua sha involves scraping the skin with a flat tool to facilitate pain relief. Massage oils and herbs are often applied to the skin to open pores, increase deep cleansing, and improve circulation.  Gua sha is very effective in treating migraines, fevers and morning sickness, as well as promoting the healing of tendons and ligaments, and reducing pain associated with acute trauma chronic muscle tension, various sports injuries.

Electrical Stimulation

Otherwise known as “E-Stim”, is a treatment method that uses an electrical current flowing though patches placed on the patient’s skin, or electrodes attached to acupuncture needles. This modality can be used for pain relief or for neuromuscular re-education. E-Stim has been proven to increase muscle strength, stimulate lymph and blood flow, promote analgesic response, build kinesthetic awareness, and trigger autonomic nervous system responses.

 McTimoney Method

The McTimoney method of structural re-alignment was developed by the late John McTimoney over 50 years ago and is taught only at the McTimoney College of Chiropractic in England. It is well known for being a precise, whole body approach to structural care. The gentle nature of the McTimoney method makes it especially suitable for people of all ages. It’s proven to be effective in treating the following conditions:

  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Pain, discomfort and stiffness in joints
  • Migraine
  • Muscular aches
  • Sports injuries
  • Arthritic pain


Naturopathic medicine follows a holistic approach to health care in that the whole person is treated, recognizing that every aspect of an individual’s health (physical, mental, environmental and emotional) are all intricately related. The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is to find the underlying cause of the patient’s condition rather than focusing on specific symptoms of the disease itself. Treatment is then structured around therapeutic methods which strengthen the body’s natural ability to heal.

Dr. Donaldson our resident Naturopath at Peoples Integrative Medicine, offers the following specialized services-

*Prolotherapy *Natural Hormone Balancing *I.V. Therapy *Nutritional Supplementation *Herbal and Homeopathic Medicine *Specialized Lab Testing *Neural Therapy *Myofascial Release Techniques *Low Level Laser Therapy *Trigger Point Injections *Nutritional Counseling *Athletic Optimization *Metabolic Detoxification*

Shamanic Healing

Working with the Luminous Energy Field that surrounds the body and with the chakra system, shamanic techniques are highly effective in erasing negative behavior and thought patterns, healing the effects of trauma, clearing the root of dis-ease and returning you to your soul’s path. Shamanic healing works to restore body, mind and spirit balance at its essence. These techniques are especially beneficial in treating:

  • emotional imbalances such as depression, anxiety, fear, repeating negative patterns and past traumas
  • physical imbalances such as chronic illness, mystery conditions, acute pain, auto-immune conditions, and serious illness
  • spiritual imbalances such as feeling lost on your journey, feeling disconnected from source and having a series of negative occurrences in your life

Sessions may include a combination of conversation, hands on healing, breathwork, smudging, work with crystals and stones, rattling, mythic mapping and ceremony. Clients often leave with small projects to complete at home to reinforce the work and continue the healing journey.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

This ancient medical practice has been around for over 3500 years.  There are five main components, or “branches” of TCM, which include acupuncture, herbal therapies, massage, nutrition, and QiGong.  When you visit a Chinese Medical Practitioner, you will be asked various questions regarding your health and lifestyle.  The practitioner will then feel your pulses at each wrist, and ask to see your tongue.  These methods of diagnosis tell the practitioner quite a lot about the internal workings of your organ systems.  Next, your practitioner will give you a treatment consisting of healing therapies such as acupuncture, massage, cupping, qua sha, or moxa.   Your practitioner may also discuss diet and lifestyle choices to help support your treatment plan, and potentially suggest meditations, breathing techniques, or simple exercises to bring your body back into healthful balance.

For a deeper understanding of the philosophies of this medicine, Wickipedia has a great introduction.


Moxa, or “moxibustion”, is a traditional healing therapy consisting of a thick stick consisting of dried mugwort.  This stick of herbs is lit by a practitioner, who then hovers the moxa over various strategic points on the body to warm a particular channel or internal organ, to move qi or blood, or even to turn a breech baby before birth.  Please see the video below for a better understanding of this effective, relaxing, and warming treatment modality.


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