A new free natural health clinic starts in Felton

The partnership between local herbalist and acupuncturist Michael Tierra and Roxanne Moore, program manager for Mountain Community Resources happened, you could say, naturally.
“We were looking for new creative things that might be helpful and fill a need here,” Moore said.
Last weekend, Tierra and his wife Lesley, hosted the first “Free East West Natural Health Clinic” at MCR in Felton. The pair, along with other volunteer specialists, provided services including acupuncture, cupping and providing herbal supplements—all free—to any adult or children that attended.
“No one is turned away. It’s providing a unique service without being cost prohibitive,” Moore said.
Starting in 1970, Michael studied and apprenticed with Norma Meiers and Dr. Christopher in Vancouver, Canada, and began his Chinese medicine and acupuncture studies with Efrem Korngold, Foon Lee Wong and Mariam Lee in San Francisco. He became one of the first acupuncturists to practice in Santa Cruz County, and has since opened his own practice, the East West Herb Clinic in Santa Cruz.
A few years ago, Tierra wanted expand his services and knowledge of herbology and acupuncture to reach all demographics. He started taking his students from his school, the East West School of Planetary Herbology, to a homeless shelter and mental health coalition in Santa Cruz. But the logistics of working with the shelters and some other inconsistencies made it difficult to run in the long term.
“I had always wanted to work with MCR and Roxanne made us feel very welcomed,” Tierra said. “We have a room here where we can keep our supplements, patient files etc. It feels like a home base.”
The first clinic, on Feb. 24, Tierra and his team of volunteers treated about 10 people. According to Tierra, most of the clients he assist struggle with PTSD or some kind of back/neck/or knee pain. The main room in MCR is rearranged to accommodate massage tables, a small waiting area and a pharmacy. Services include individual herbal consultations, acupuncture and other natural therapies.
“We are on a much more solid footing to develop a more sustainable healing facility,” Tierra said.
The Free East West Natural Health Clinic is held every second and fourth Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Mountain Community Resources at 6134 Highway 9, Felton. The next clinic is on March 10. To schedule an appointment contact (831)335-6600. To learn more about herbology visit www.planetherbs.com.

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