Lisa Hanfileti, LAc, MAcOM

My name is Lisa Hanfileti and I am a licensed acupuncturist in Vancouver, WA (that's Washington state, USA) located about 20 minutes north of downtown Portland, Oregon, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

I have been practicing acupuncture full-time and making a living at it since I graduated from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) in the year 2000, and Peter & I opened our acupuncture clinic, Points of Origin, PLLC.

Considering that just a few years prior to my graduation from OCOM both my husband and I thought acupuncture was a bunch of nonsense (that's putting it nicely), the fact that we opened a successful acupuncture clinic is no small miracle. Add on top of that that neither of us had any business training or experience and I think miracle is indeed the right description.

Take a look at my education and you will see a research-oriented science nerd without any business management and marketing training. So don't feel bad if you too are lacking in this area.

My Credentials

Everyone has a unique path to becoming an acupuncturist. My route was especially circuitous since I was entrenched in the western model of science and research and thought very little of acupuncture as a "medicine". Although my educational training looks fairly straight forward I can assure you that my mental / emotional journey was as linear as the yin-yang symbol. At least I can say I am thrilled with where I ended up.

  • Co-Owner, Points of Origin, PLLC Acupuncture & Holistic Health Care Clinic, Vancouver, WA, 2000-present.
  • Licensed Acupuncturist, Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Portland, OR, 1997-2000.
  • Diplomate of Acupuncture, Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, Certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), 2000.
  • Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist, Certified by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), 2000.
  • Certified Qigong Teacher, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, 1999.
  • Certified Colorpuncture Practitioner, Institute for Esogetic Colorpuncture USA, San Anselmo, CA, 1999.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Laboratory Technologist, OHSU, Portland, OR, 1994-1996.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Laboratory Technologist, Ann Arbor Reproductive Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI, 1992-1994.
  • M.A., Biology (Reproductive Endocrinology), Boston University, Boston, MA, 1985-1991.
  • B.A., Biology at Earlham College, Richmond, IN, 1981-1985.

My Approach

I have approached Chinese Medicine from the "scientific" point of view. I have learned, however, that this approach is limiting.

Authentic Chinese Medicine's descriptions of disease states and healing do not fit easily into our western scientific model. Nor does the study of acupuncture fit into the Gold Standard model of medical research, namely the "double-blind placebo-controlled" study.

Nonetheless, acupuncture continues to be studied in such fields as neuroscience, psycholgy, pain management, biochemistry, quantum physics, and mind-body medicine.

We need more people who can "bridge" the gap between the conventional allopathic point of view and the holistic body-mind perspective.

"Energy Medicine" is the future of medicine, even if we do not yet have the language or conceptual models to explain it.

My Goals

One morning I started writing down all the things I wish I had known before I became an acupuncturist and opened my practice. I wondered how all my colleagues were doing. Were they happy and fulfilled with their career as an acupuncturist? I also worried about YOU, new acupuncture school graduates and acupuncturists, and hoped you were not overwhelmed with the business challenges of starting your acupuncture practice.

I made so many silly, preventable mistakes that could have been avoided easily if only I had consulted with other acupuncturists and business owners. Some of the more serious financial mistakes I made could have ended my practice. I wondered how many of my colleagues had succumbed to these mistakes.

According to "The Statistic", only half of my former classmates should still be in practice. I never really trusted that statistic so I decided to find the source of the study and see for myself if it was true.

At the same time I asked myself the question, if half of us ARE still in practice then we must be doing something right. I started asking other successful acupuncturists what they believe the keys are to a successful practice.

Insights-For-Acupuncturists was developed to share the experiences of successful acupuncturists so that new acupuncturists can learn from our mistakes and our successes. It is in website form so that, like a book, the information can be referred to whenever it is needed, but unlike a book, the information can be updated and added to on an ongoing basis.

I am pleased to see that there are a handful of us "out there" trying to help each other out. We know there are enough patients for everyone. In fact, the more acupuncturists there are providing and talking about acupuncture, the more likely people are to ask about and use it.

Ultimately, I hope for successful acupuncturists in other countries to share how they have integrated their services into their health care systems. What is working and what is not? We can learn from each other and expand the reach of Acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Because I really, REALLY believe,

The World Needs More Acupuncturists!

Why I Decided to Become An Acupuncturist

The Challenges I Faced Opening My Clinic

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