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Our Practitioners

The Acupuncture Center of La Jolla has been in the same location for more than 30 years.
Our practitioners have a combined experience of more than 80 years. We work with Modern Medicine while maintaining our roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine
健康疗愈和谐

Health  Healing  Harmony

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Clinic Director Julie Simonton, L.Ac. Dipl.O.M. found acupuncture during her own infertility journey and found a peace and understanding that acupuncture is so much more than a "quick fix" or "magic cure". Inspired by her experience, she took on a journey of self-discovery which led her to the practice of Traditional Oriental Medicine and Reiki. Holding a BA in Psychology from The State University of NY at Albany, early in her career she worked with developmentally challenged youth, then spent 18 years working in the corporate world. She achieved a level 3 Reiki Master certification, and then felt a desire to do more hands-on healing. She made a decision to pursue this goal, so attended Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and received a Master's Degree of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine in 2010. While pursuing her degree, she practiced at ACLJ performing therapeutic massage and rapidly developed a following of devoted patients. She is a California State Board Certified Acupuncturist as well as a National Diplomate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Julie followed her mentor, Donna Keefe, from being her patient, attending her alma mater, and years of assisting her before joining her practice as an acupuncturist and thus shares an emphasis on women's health. She took over as Clinic Director in December 2022. She has a unique ability to empathize with those going through the fertility process, as well as a knowledge-base of the available treatments and support available both from the Western and Eastern perspective. She is a member of the San Diego chapter of RESOLVE, a fertility support group, and has been a guest speaker at informational conferences regarding how Eastern medicine plays a supportive role in achieving and maintaining healthy pregnancies. In addition to treating all aspects of enhancing fertility and personal experience with assisted reproductive technologies, she has had much success controlling and eliminating all types of physical and emotional pain using Traditional Oriental Medicine. Her approach to patient care involves using all of the tools available, such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, massage, self-care and nutritional counseling to achieve the best results and creates customized treatment plans for each patient, based on their specific needs.

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Marie Raymer, L.Ac. is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbal Practitioner, and board certified by the California Board of Acupuncture. Her interest in Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has always been prominent as her mother is Chinese and always instilled the importance of using this natural medicine as the key to maintaining health and preventing disease. This innate passion for health care led her to the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her Bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. It was after working in the Western health care realm for several years that her interest truly blossomed; she knew there had to be a more holistic way to improve people's lives and she found the answer with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Marie graduated from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine here in San Diego, studied and worked at the Chengdu teaching hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has extensively traveled the world introducing people to this transformative medicine. If you have pain or any imbalance in your body- you are a candidate to try this medicine. And if you have tried all the traditional approaches (such as medication, surgery, physical therapy or chiropractic) but still have symptoms- listen to your body because it's still trying to tell you something is wrong. Marie has helped thousands of people find true pain relief and restored balance through eliminating symptoms. Marie will work with you to empower yourself to change and improve the state of your health.

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John Maxwell, L.Ac. first experienced acupuncture as a patient when it successfully relieved his back pain. He received his training at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, CA., where he graduated with a Masters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine in 1988. John has extensive clinical experience and post graduate training. Since 1993 John has studied with Dr. Richard Tan, a world renowned practitioner and teacher of "The Balance Method" of acupuncture. In this highly effective system distal points are used as opposed to needling into the painful affected site. This often results in almost immediate relief from a persons condition. John is also a Postural Alignment Specialist in " The Egoscue Method" and does postural evaluations and prescribes therapeutic exercises to relieve a wide variety of conditions. For many years John has studied a number of martial art forms and yoga and continues training in Tai Chi chaun, Nami Ryu Aiki Ju Jutsu, Systema and does posture exercises from " The Egoscue Method". Many principals and exercises from these arts are applicable to daily life thru enhancing health and teaching skills to deal with stress and fears.

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Ashley Pester, L.Ac. received her Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine in 2017 from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Through her internships, externships, and apprenticeships, she has gotten to study this ancient medicine with modern day masters, taking valuable information that she has learned along the way from all of them and integrating it into her own style. She has apprenticed at various acupuncture offices in San Diego, as well as numerous clinics including the Pacific Beach Free Clinic, UCSD Sports Medicine program, and UCSD Cancer Research Institute in Encinitas. Ashley received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Today, she is both excited and proud to get to combine her passions of language and natural medicine to serve those in need. She has had the opportunity to act as a staff interpreter as well as acupuncturist through international volunteer clinics in Tijuana, Mexico and Panajachal, Guatemala. As a lifelong student, she continues to learn and practice various techniques and schools of thought that fall under the umbrella of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ashley uses acupuncture as the gateway into true healing, which she believes happens on different levels. She believes in treating the whole person with a holistic approach that involves diet and nutrition, exercise, meditation, herbal medicine, and connection with self and others. By prioritizing self care to establish a true balance in all areas of life, Ashley believes that in health and wellness, anything is possible.

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Lynda Carter, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist who graduated with a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (now Pacific College of Health Sciences) in 2015. She is trained as a general TCM practitioner and is also experienced in Japanese Meridian Therapy (a classical and subtle acupuncture technique) as well as the Balance Method of Dr. Richard Tan. Lynda works with women throughout all of life's phases - including fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause and menopause. She also treats entire families including young children and babies. Her focus also includes pain conditions, digestion and emotional issues. Her approach to healing is holistic, considering mind, body and spirit. Her treatments include counseling in Ayurvedic and lifestyle medicine, as well as nutrition (especially wholefood, plant based foods). She also prescribes traditional Chinese herbal formulas as part of her treatment protocols as necessary. Lynda has been passionate about natural health for decades. She grew up on a farm in South Africa with a myriad of dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, horses, chickens and a few cows. She was her mother's assistant in caring for them and troubleshooting when the animals were in need. Around this time, a good friend of hers died from cystic fibrosis. This sad event motivated her to learn more about medical science so she could help her friends and family with their health issues. Lynda has always gardened and grown herbs. She reads extensively about health, psychology and spirituality and she has obtained numerous certificates in natural health such as Bach flower remedies, western herbalism, reflexology, aromatherapy and Ayurveda. When she moved with her husband and three children to the USA in 2004, she knew that this was her moment to realize her dream of becoming a healthcare practitioner and obtain a professional degree in natural medicine. The opportunity to study this deep and ancient medicine and to finally practice after a lifetime of learning has made her deeply grateful and committed to this path. Lynda and her husband of thirty years manage a farm in Escondido. They grow organic vegetables, herbs and flowers. They have a horse, four cows and three dogs. They have practiced Yoga and meditation for decades. Lynda considers being a healer and a farmer as the ultimate in living the good life!

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Chyrie Ramirez, L.Ac, D.A.C.M is a passionate advocate for women's reproductive health and pediatric wellness. She is thrilled to join the esteemed team at the Acupuncture Center of La Jolla. With a decade of rich background in holistic care and hands-on experience, she brings a unique blend of expertise to our practice. Her journey into integrative medicine began after seven years of working at the Boys and Girls Club, where she had the privilege of engaging closely with children aged 5 to 14 but became painfully aware of how many families relied on pharmaceutical products to maintain regulation. Chyrie's invaluable experience deepened her understanding of the importance of holistic pediatric health, reinforced her commitment to providing compassionate and integrative care to young patients and led her away from the conventional path of allopathic medicine. In 2015, Chyrie graduated as a holistic health practitioner from Healing Hands School of Holistic Health and then received her A.A from Mira Costa College with an emphasis in Applied Health, Nutrition and Kinesiology in 2017. In 2021, she graduated with her Masters in Traditional Oriental Medicine and Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. During her time at Pacific College of Health and Science, she had the opportunity to hone her pediatric skills through onsite internships at Rady Children’s Hospital. Outside of her practice, Chyrie is mom to her 2 year old boy, RJ, and will be celebrating 17 years with her partner, Ray. Chyrie is an avid learner who thrives on exploring new ways to challenge herself and staying updated on the latest advancements in holistic healthcare. Currently, she is working towards passing her National board exams, obtaining a Strength and Conditioning Specialist certificate and wants to get her pilot's license by 2026. She also enjoys learning more about aerospace and aviation medicine and the proven benefits acupuncture & herbal medicine can offer to our space/flight crews. She looks forward to working with you and helping you find a way of wellness that works for your goals and lifestyle.

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Aurea Ochoa is a highly skilled and experienced Licensed Massage Therapist. She specializes in Tui na, circulatory, deep tissue and sports massages as well as cupping therapy. With a personal passion for holistic wellness and healing, Aurea is dedicated to providing personalized and effective massage treatments to enhance every client's physical and mental well-being. Her passion for health and wellness has given her the opportunity to work in a variety of fields including Respiratory Therapy and Sleep Therapy - and after becoming an Adult Caregiver, she discovered the healing power of touch. This is when she knew she wanted to become a Massage Therapist. With 20 years of experience in the healthcare field, combined with her incredible skill in massage, Aurea offers a wide range of therapeutic techniques. She can address sports injuries, low back pain, occasional muscle tension or, if all you need is just plain stress relief, a massage session with Aurea will most certainly do the trick! We invite you to come and experience the healing power of massage and embark on the journey to a healthier, more balanced and more relaxed you with Aurea's healing touch.

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