Meet the Staff

ACUPUNCTURISTS

Cassandra Dugan
Licensed Acupuncturist
Masters of Science in Acupuncture
Tri-State College of Acupuncture

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Hello all, my name is Casssandra.  I am an original upstater, born and raised in the capital district.  Now I get to do what I love, practicing acupuncture, in the same place I grew up in.  With the added benefit of raising my young family in this beautiful setting.

I have been a NYS licensed Acupuncturist for the past 10 years and I have been in the holistic health field as a massage therapist for 16 years.  Massage therapy is what helped me find my way to Acupuncture.  Like Kat and Alyx I studied three different styles of Acupuncture: TCM, KM and APM (trigger point therapy, dry needling).  As a massage therapist, I gravitated toward the physical aspect of Acupuncture, doing trigger points.  I gravitated to the holistic aspect of medicine to help people like my father, who were stuck in a loop of medications and surgery for a back injury.  The negative and harmful effects that I saw happen when no other options were available drove me to seek out alternative medicine.  I absolutely love sharing the amazing benefits of Acupuncture and giving people options that they might not have known existed.

Shortly after getting my MS in Acupuncture from Tri-State, I joined the Air Force, where I am proudly still a member.  The dedication and bravery of the military members has always inspired me, so I decided to join myself.  I was an airplane mechanic on the C-5 galaxy for 8 years and now I work in an office setting.

I hold the title Diplomat of Acupuncture and have taken many continuing education courses, most recently Fundamentals of Oncology Acupuncture through Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, dry needling, cosmetic acupuncture and many more.  I love learning and will continue to be a lifelong student.

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Alexandria
(Alyx) Soesman
Licensed Acupuncturist
Master of Science in Acupuncture
Tri-State College of Acupuncture

I am originally from Long Island, NY before I moved to NYC 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 2 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 people’s 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, Joel, Margaret, and Moreland and I can’t wait to meet and help YOU!

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Katherine “Kat” MacKenzie

Acupuncturist & Owner
Licensed Acupuncturist
Master of Science in Acupuncture
Tri-State College of Acupuncture

A little about myself: Hi, my name is Kat.  I have been practicing acupuncture for 12 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 children’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 marketing managed futures/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 allopathic 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 holistic 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 Chengdu, 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.  I am also a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where I got a Bachelors in English Literature and a cognate in Philosophy.

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 also worked in Glens Falls Hospital on T2 Cancer floor while attending nursing school before I decided to just focus on Acupuncture Nirvana.  I found the more I focused on my specialty of holistic medicine (acupuncture and herbs) the better patients did and the more the clinic has thrived.

Acupuncture: 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 a French meridian focus (with dry trigger point needling in the tradition of Janet Travell M.D.)

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 am now currently studying with David Winston, in his 2020-2022 Two year Herbal Program and in Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Program at Sage Mountain.

Memberships:  I am also on the Board of Directors for the Glens Falls Youth Center.  I am also a member of the American Herbalists Guild and United Plant Savers.  I have previously been vice president of ASNY (Acupuncture Society of NY).  I also am 200 hour yoga teacher certified, and practice yin yoga.

Interests: I’m experienced at treating pain, anxiety, allergies, and women’s health, but what I love best is when someone comes in with many complicated internal health issues and trying to get to the root of how we can improve them.  My needle and personality style tends to be on the gentler side, so most of my patients resonate with this.  I also believe that while you may come to fix emotional and physical health issues, an acupuncture 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.  Our clinic is slow paced with a focus on calm and cleanliness.  I want us to be a resource to you and your family and friends, throughout your lives.  Our goal is to help you live a healthier happier life, able to do the activities you love without pain or anxiety.

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Joy MacKenzie

“Paladin of Insurance”
Biller

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.

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Margaret Tripp
Morning Front Desk Reception

Please welcome Margaret to Nirvana! Margaret comes to us with over 20 years of medical secretary experience, having worked at Glens Falls Hospital, an OBGYN doctor’s office, and most recently, a dermatologist’s office. Her hobbies are reading and drawing.