At GoodMedizen, we strive to exceed expectations in every moment. All of our practitioners have been extensively trained in the same distal acupuncture techniques so that we can provide a consistent patient experience. Our practitioners vary in specialties, but our practice style is the same.

We are starting a blog series that enables our patients to get to know us just a little bit more. In this “Meet the Practitioners” series, we’ll chat with each of our four practitioners to find out more about their backgrounds, what sets them apart from others in the field, and more.

Meet the Practitioners of GoodMedizen: Penny Brewer

Penny Brewer by the A-Maze-Ing Laughter sculpture in Vancouver’s Morton Park.

We’ll kick it off with Penny Brewer, MS, EAMP, who has been practicing acupuncture since mid-2010 and has been with GoodMedizen for a year and a half. Originally from Pinehurst, NC, Penny spent summers in White Rock, BC, and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest summers.

What do you love about being an acupuncturist?

Helping people. For me, the greatest patient interaction is when a patient comes in and are not feeling great or are really stressed out, and then after the treatment, they tell me, “Thank you so much! I feel so much better!” It’s hard to put a value on that, because it’s not monetary. But it’s really great to be able to help someone in that way. It’s unusual to go somewhere and feel such a remarkable shift after a treatment.

Did you have that kind of shift after your first acupuncture treatment?

Yes. I was living in Vancouver, BC, at the time, and I was having very bad foot pain. I was working as a server in a bar, and I wasn’t wearing the right shoes, to the point where my big toe would go numb. And acupuncture really helped. Plus, I don’t wear heels anymore.

And you’re also a massage therapist, correct?

Yes, I have the training and the certification, although I’m not currently practicing; it was physically too much on my hands. But the training and education definitely helps with my palpation skills and finding blockages and stagnation—knowing where and how something should feel. If you’ve ever made bread before, there’s a certain way that the dough should feel. So with a patient, as I palpate the meridian, or feel for the perfect acupuncture point, my hands have this innate knowledge of what I am feeling.

Is that part of what separates you from other acupuncturists in the field?

I would say that I have a pretty good intuition on how to treat people. Where others see and hear things, I feel things. I really go by my hands. I palpate a lot, so I can feel where the blockages are. I also have learned Craniosacral therapy, which is a very subtle technique. I apply very light pressure, about the weight of a nickel, but it works very deeply to release restrictions in the fascia in tissues and muscles.

What can a new patient expect from a session with you?

The first visit is an hour and a half, and we go through a review of systems. In Chinese medicine, we look at your whole body. You might be coming in to address shoulder pain, you also might have sleep issues, digestive issues, high stress that can’t be managed, or fatigue. I want to know if there are any other areas that might be underlying causes as to why you’re having the issue that you are; I want to get to the root. We talk a lot about the root and the branch in Chinese medicine. The branch is the symptom—the shoulder pain. But the root could be something like a kidney deficiency.

Is kidney deficiency something you commonly see?

One of my teachers once told me that the kidneys are our bank accounts. And we’re given a deposit when we’re born—from our family, our heritage; it’s our DNA. And up to about age 30, we draw from that account. But after 30, it’s really up to our own choices. How are we living our lives, and how are our bodies responding? Some people can drink and party and smoke, and they’re fine; nothing’s wrong. Other people eat a slice of pizza, and they’re out for two days. So I like to encourage people to focus on how they feel when they do the right things and then crystallize it in their minds. Yes, I want to feel like that!

Who would be an ideal patient for you?

I specialize in pain management and sports medicine, so I work with a lot of athletes. Weight lifters with shoulder pain, or runners with sciatica. Generally, sports-related patients and athletes don’t have the time or don’t want to take the time off of their training regimen to heal. But actually, rest and recovery is just as important as the training. So I try to help them through and manage their pain to get back to their fitness as quickly as possible. Acupuncture helps you move through the healing process more quickly and shortens the recovery time. Even a common cold—you might still have to ride the wave, but it shortens the duration and speeds up the healing process.

Aren’t you an athlete as well?

Yes, I’m a certified yoga instructor. I did that first; it helped me heal a shoulder injury. And then I studied acupuncture and massage at the same time at Bastyr. I also am a biker, although I was hit by a car, but I’m hoping to get back into it this summer. And I enjoy running and hiking.

It’s clear why you fell in love with summers in Seattle! It’s the perfect spot for those activities.

Definitely! And I love all of the parks here—Golden Gardens, Madrona Beach, Alki, Discovery Park. I love all of the nature that I can get to, and it’s all so close. I call it a big small city, because it still has some of the small-town feel, like upper Queen Anne with the mom and pop shops. I live in Capital Hill, which has more of the city feel, and I love my 18-minute walk to work.

And loving the work on the other side of that commute is so important. If you think Penny sounds like the practitioner for you, book an appointment today.