I offer acupuncture treatments, herbal support and personalized dietary advice based on Chinese food therapy. Treatment plans are individualized to your specific needs and are based on both 5 Element acupuncture and Japanese Meridian Therapy. Your treatment may include moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, and essential oils.
My practice is an open and inclusive practice that is affirming of all genders, sexual orientations, body types, abilities and ages. I am a member of ASDAH (Association for Size Diversity and Health, promoting the principles of Health at Every Size).
I treat all ages including children and the elderly (ask about non-insertion techniques or Shonishin).
I seek to support the entire family and am particularly interested in supporting caregivers. I have years of experience working with providing housing for the families of children who are critically ill or seriously injured. Providing a safe, comforting, relaxing, and nourishing environment is of particular importance to me.
I approach my practice of acupuncture and East Asian Medicine from a social justice lens. #1 this is not MY medicine. This is medicine on loan to me from people who were excluded from this land, denied votes, some interned, many ridiculed or fetishized. I owe it to them to work to dismantle systems that continue to other and oppress marginalized voices. I see it as the cost of being loaned this medicine. I also acknowledge that my office is on Chinook land - a people never given treaty status nor compensated for their resources. #2 illness is often the result of systemic oppression. I can treat the results while working to correct the source for the most effective community health.
I work to help individuals to achieve better health and a sense of ease in their lives and, in this way, to support family and community well-being.
Languages spoken: I speak some Spanish and French. I also know finger spelling and a few ASL signs. I am more than happy to work with an interpreter if you are looking for support and English is not your first language. I can provide extended appointment times to compensate for translation time and at no additional cost.
Owner: Maria C. Hicks, LAc, MSOM, MA
The fun stuff:
In my free time I really enjoy gardening, reading young adult sci-fi, bad TV, laughing at myself, block printing, going to therapy (OK I don't actually "enjoy" that) and kayaking. I hate exercise but love moving outside, and sitting outside, like just sitting in my kiddie pool. Sometimes I dance alone in my house. I'm a freaking fish and take any chance I can get to housesit for my wife's aunt and uncle on the Big Island. I LOVE snorkeling and diving.
Did I say "wife"? Yes, I'm queer. Exploring my gender queerness too.
We have a family of two cats and one very large (rescued Berner) dog named Troy (it fits him I promise). Additionally, we have a lot of nieces, nephews and surrogate nieces and nephews. We take being aunties VERY seriously.
Bubble tea. Just. Bubble. Tea.
My most recent hobby is learning to understand my white thin privilege and to really challenge myself to speak up in situations where others are being unwittingly (or wittingly) racist, fat phobic, ability shaming, heterocentrist, misogynist etc.
I deal with chronic pain myself (from a car accident when I was 17) depression and anxiety and suicidality. I'm working to dismantle my own shame around those last ones. I share these so that you may feel seen and supported if you also struggle with these and know that "I got you" if you are my patient/friend. I'm medication positive - whatever works for you.
The Resume Stuff:
Before attending the National College of Natural Medicine (now the National University of National Medicine) to study Classical Chinese Medicine, I worked for many years in the non-profit sector. Supporting community well-being has always been my work. After eight years with an organization that houses the families of critically ill and seriously injured children, I realized I wanted to increase my ability to directly help individuals in need. I especially saw the need for "care for the caregiver" in this capacity. It is my strong desire to help those caring for others maintain or obtain optimal health and mental well-being as they perform the most difficult work of caring for another.
Whether you are caring for an aging adult relative, a child, or you are an activist working to support your community, I want to support you.
While studying at the National University of Natural Medicine (formerly National College of National Medicine), I was particularly drawn to 5 Element acupuncture based on the Worsley tradition and spent two years in mentorship with David Berkshire, LAc. I love how this tradition has such a strong emphasis, especially in how it was taught to me, on the connection to nature and on the individual's own ability to heal. I was also drawn to Japanese styles of acupuncture and spent a year in mentorship with Dr. Bob Quinn, LAc. and Daniel Silver, LAc. While studying with these two practitioners and teachers, I took on leadership of the pediatric club where I learned the gentle, non-insertive techniques for kids called shonishin. I am passionate about how this medicine can help children.
During my education in Chinese Medicine, I began an artistic practice of linoleum block printing and botanical illustrations from the Chinese materia medica. My artwork has been featured in Sabine Wilms' latest translation of the Shen nong bencao jing. My work is geared toward a symbolic understanding of the healing properties of the plants. (The Shen nong bencao jing can be purchased directly from Happy Goat Productions)
Prior to Chinese medicine, I earned a Masters of Art in Anthropology with an emphasis in cultural anthropology including gender, visual and applied anthropology. During part of this time, I was staff at Western Washington University in Academic Advising, where I ran a study skills program and assisted young adults in obtaining their educational goals. I attended field school in rural Andean Peru at the Center for Social Well Being where I studied participatory research methods. I was also the organizer for a coalition of girls' service providers in Northwest Washington State. My passion truly is empowering others to succeed and to assist in their well-being all in service to community health and dismantling systems of oppression.