Master of Science in Oriental Medicine
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
Joel is a graduate of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, where he studied Chinese and Japanese acupuncture, herbology, and Zen Shiatsu. Joel has been on the healer’s path as long as he can remember, although his undergraduate studies focused on various subjects including organic agriculture, welding, woodworking, and art education. Prior to earning his Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine he achieved registry as a national EMT.
Joel is now a certified holistic healer through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). His education, knowledge, and compassion allow him to help patients with physical pain and internal illness, and he is drawn to helping those with mental and emotional ailments as well. Although his training is in Oriental Medicine, he draws on wisdom acquired from various traditions and experiences, including that of his native South American ancestry. In addition to being a healer, Joel is an artist, musician, and environmentalist. He is honored to work with you at Acupuncture Nirvana.
Alexandria (Alyx) Soesman
Master of Science in Acupuncture
Tri-State College of Acupuncture
I am originally from Long Island, NY before I moved to New York City to be closer to school. I’ve always had a caregiving nature even while growing up, but it wasn’t until high school that I realized I wanted to enter the medical field. My father was in the hospital for two weeks for heart surgery and I visited him every day. I idolized the nurses because of the positive impact they had on my dad’s care. That was the effect I wanted to have on peoples’ lives; to pick them up while they’re down.
Before becoming an Acupuncturist, I worked at a hospital for almost five years as a Nurse’s Aide. When I started the job, I intended to finish nursing school but soon realized I had another calling. Working as a nurse’s aide confirmed how much I enjoyed caring for others, but I also realized how much I disagreed with pharmaceutical drugs. My patients were usually prescribed multiple drugs at a time, commonly having to take more drugs to help the side effects of others. As a result, I became very interested in meditation and holistic medicine. Between my dislike for giving medication I didn’t agree with to my patients and my interest in learning more about holistic healing, I jumped at the opportunity to study acupuncture at Tri-state College of Acupuncture!
I couldn’t be happier with my decision to practice acupuncture; I love it! Like Kat, I practice three different styles of Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Japanese Acupuncture (Kiiko Matsumoto style), and Acupuncture Physical Medicine (with trigger point therapy). People respond differently to acupuncture so practicing three separate styles allows me as a practitioner to give a unique treatment that best serves each individual. I am well trained in treating muscular and skeletal pain conditions and love to apply my extensive training in dry trigger point needling to help improve my patient’s pain.
My boyfriend of five years and I moved upstate to the capital region in the summer of 2017 and we are ecstatic to be here! I’m excited about this new adventure in our lives and am enjoying being closer to nature after the living in the busy city. I look forward to working with Kat, Joy, Vicki, and I can’t wait to meet and help YOU!
Katherine “Kat” MacKenzie
Acupuncturist & Owner
Master of Science in Acupuncture
Tri-State College of Acupuncture
Hi, my name is Kat. I have been practicing acupuncture for 10 years. When I was 7, my father left his job at Hewlett Packard to go to medical school. While he was there, he showed me the anatomy dissection lab, and pointed out what a human heart and liver looked like. I thought it was so magical that I took a chicken’s heart to the next show and tell at school.
During my father’s rotations, he took me to see a baby being born. I got to go with him when he was on the night shift working in the ER. For a long time, I thought the smell of a hospital was homey because it was where my father was. When I was 23 he died of cancer. It was only when I was working on Wall Street that I realized what an impact he had made. During my 7 years on Wall Street I passed the stockbroker exam and got a job in hedge funds with a nice office overlooking Park Avenue. It was a dream job, but I was miserable.
I wanted to do something with my life that was as meaningful as my father’s. Yet when I thought about traditional medical school, I didn’t feel inspired. I felt like in some ways, my father’s medicine had failed him. He had died in a great deal of pain. He had worked 72 hours shifts at the ER and developed insomnia as a result. He was often in pain. His immune system kept breaking down. I remember thinking, why didn’t we know more about alternative medicine when he was fighting with cancer? It could have done so much to ease his suffering.
When I started getting acupuncture, I felt the same awe for the medicine that I felt when my father showed me that human heart and liver. I felt wonderful, like I was full of energy, relaxed, and in my most vibrant state of health. I quickly became an acupuncture fan, and not long after, applied to be a student at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine where I learned the fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I later transferred to Tri-State College of Acupuncture. I got to study with some of the great acupuncturists like Mark Seem and Kiiko Matsumoto and also studied in China. I graduated from Tri-State College in NYC with a Masters degree in acupuncture and am licensed by the State of New York and certified in Clean Needle Technique. From 2009 to 2011 I worked in NYC as an acupuncturist in rehabilitation facilities in NYC treating pain, injury, and muscular and skeletal conditions. I moved to the Glens Falls area in 2011 in order to be closer to family and to start my own practice in a small town.
I practice acupuncture in 3 different styles: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) , Japanese Acupuncture (in the tradition of Kiiko Matsumoto), and Acupuncture Physical Medicine as taught by Mark Seem (with dry trigger point needling in the tradition of Janet Travell M.D.) I am also a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where I got a Bachelors in English Literature and a cognate in Philosophy. I also attended nursing school at ACC and was a nurse aide for inpatient oncology in Glens Falls Hospital for 2 years before I realized I just wanted to do acupuncture. I was happy to learn a great deal from the experience though!
Herbal training: Herbal training is a part of most acupuncture programs. Mine started in 2005 at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine where I studied single Chinese herbs for 3 semesters. Then it continued at Tri-State where I took 1 year of their herbal formulas education focusing on Chinese and Japanese herbology. While at Tri-State I also worked at Integral Yoga Natural Apothecary, where part of on the job training was to learn homeopathy, supplements, vitamins, and herbal formulas that would provide solutions to the problems people came in with. I have interned at various other herbal dispensaries in NYC.
I am also a certified 200 hour yoga instructor. My hobbies are reading (I love books), yoga, kayaking, and taking long walks in the park and just enjoying the sunshine. I enjoy art and music and cute dresses. My favorite thing to do is hang out with friends and cook together. I also love my “aunty kat” dates with my two youngest nieces. An evening with a nice cup of tea or glass of prosecco, a comfy couch, a crackling fire, and a good book is my happy place.
I love to learn – this medicine brings me great joy because there is so much to study, and each complicated case brings a new opportunity to research and learn more and solve a new problem. I’m experienced at treating pain, but what i love best is when someone comes in with many complicated internal health issues as well as pain, and trying to get to the root of how we can improve them. I love internal medicine!
My needle and personality style tends to be on the gentler side, so most of my patients resonate with this. I appreciate feedback from patients – if we aren’t fixing it, I like to explore how can we change the treatment so that we do fix it – and feedback is crucial for that. Improving your health is a collaboration between us. You can expect to feel safe and respected under my care. You may come to fix emotional and physical health issues, but a treatment will also give you a chance to relax, be calm, and allow you a time of peace.
As a clinic owner, I strive to create an environment of harmony and happiness, with good patient care and quality treatments. I want us to be a resource to you and your family and friends, throughout your lives. We are always here for you and strive to help you live happier, healthier, and pain free.
Paladin of Insurance (biller)
Evening Front Desk Reception
I was raised in a small town in the mountains of Northern California. My parents moved away from the big city to raise their kids in the country. We gardened and planted fruit trees and raised chickens and rabbits. My parents built a solar home for our family. We practiced hospitality and living simply.
When I was in college I met and married Jonathan MacKenzie, Kat’s brother. We’ve been married for over 20 years and we may be starting to get the hang of the whole marriage thing.It’s a good thing that he is a patient guy and very cute.
We have 4 kids. Yes, it’s a lot, and yes, we know what causes that. We theoretically like our large family. We have chosen to educate our children at home, which is crazy and wonderful and fulfilling and terrifying. They don’t seem too “normal” yet, so I think it’s working.
As our children have grown we’ve seen in many different ways how their diet, and the stuff we put on their body affects them. Our kids each seem to have sensitivities to the foods that we eat and, at times,I’ve turned our lives inside out trying to get to the bottom of something that was causing the kids an issue.
Not to give an impression of super-mom-ness (cause I’m so not); I have grown food, canned it, cooked from scratch (like making my own broths) and avoided processed food like the plague. We’ve researched the kind of sunscreen the kids can use and what shampoo is ok. My cleaning supplies have gotten very simple. Not everyone needs to be that careful, but it’s good to know the potential side effects of the things we eat, wear and expose ourselves to.
I am a singer, and I get to perform with some of the amazing artists in this area. We are involved at our church and my spiritual walk is at the very core of who I am. I am filled with gratitude for God’s grace in my life, this lovely world, and the people I get to share it with. It is a gift to me to be able to be a part of the healing that happens here at Acupuncture Nirvana. I love Kat, and it’s so fun to get to play a role in this practice.
Morning Front Desk Reception
I grew up in Wilton, CT and came to this area in 1972 to go to college. During that time, I dated the man who is now my husband. We have three children and three grandchildren. I can’t forget to mention our dog, the only “kid” at home. I spent most of my working life being an independent contractor for our local paper, the Post Star, retiring in 2016 after 36 years. I delivered in the same area for all of those years, getting to “know” my customers, as much as that is possible in the middle of the night.
My husband got hurt on his job some years back. It was during that time that I started to pay closer attention to his treatments. Unfortunately, the life expectancy for the type of work he did was in the late 50’s. Thankfully, he’s flown by that. His family has a history of cancer and I was determined not to let him go down the same path. I receive periodicals from holistic doctors and read everything I can get my hands on to keep our health in the best shape possible at our age. I notice that many of my peers aren’t in the best shape and I just couldn’t see us not enjoying our advancing years as best as possible.
Enter massage and acupuncture. We have been receiving massages for around ten years. In 2015, I started to come to Kat for a variety of issues. Not long after that my husband started seeing her as well. We now see them every two weeks, almost without fail. The benefits of both are amazing. I simply can’t see us going without them.
I am also a stickler for the food we eat. I buy organic. non-GMO as much as possible. I have learned what you put in your body plays a big part in your health. I am equally picky about the water we drink as well as what I use for cleaning products. Our skin is the largest organ we have. What we put on it is very important, as well as what we use to clean it. I love to garden, growing my own veggies and canning them each year. I exercise regularly, walking Tucker, our Shepherd, 2 – 3 miles per day as well as working with weights and doing other exercises too.
One of the numerous things I enjoy working at Acupuncture Nirvana is listening to Kat when she is explaining to a patient a Chinese herb she wants the person to start to use. Her knowledge of the herbs is really something to listen too. I’ve used them as well, under her recommendation and she has not steered me wrong yet. For example, my husband was having some trouble with the skin on one of his legs. She did some research on what would help him and his skin is almost completely cleared up. No other doctor was able to help him with this.
Almost a year ago, I walked in the door for my scheduled appointment with Kat and she casually mentioned that her receptionist had quit and I said to her, “What about me?” Well, you could say the rest is history. I love working with the girls. I love talking to the people who come in the door. I love helping all of them out. The decision to come out of retirement was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time!!