Meet the Staff

ACUPUNCTURISTS

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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 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 Amanda  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

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, crossfit, 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!  I love treating cancer because I want to be a support after watching my dad go through it, but I also have 2 years experience working in the Glens Falls Hospital cancer ward of T2.   I love treating digestive issues because I believe the way we eat impacts our health and leaky gut syndrome can lead to many health issues.  I also treat a lot of anxiety and depression.  I think emotional health is important, living a happy life is important, and stress is something we all struggle with.   Thankfully, there are many points to help with this.

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 may come just 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.  You can expect to always feel safe and respected under my care.

As a clinic owner, I strive to create an environment of harmony and happiness, with good patient care and quality treatments.   I walk my talk in that Alyx is my acupuncturist and Amanda is my massage therapist.  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.

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MASSAGE

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Amanda-Marie Porlier
Licensed Massage Therapist
Associate Degree in Applied Science for Massage Therapy
Morrisville State College

Hi, my name is Amanda-Marie Porlier. I grew up in Queensbury, and from a young age had a passion for massage therapy and bringing quality complementary care to my hometown. In 2014 I graduated from Morrisville State College, where I earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science for Massage Therapy. I was eager to return home with my new skill set and begin this important work.

During my first few years of practice I had the pleasure of collaborating with other therapists in a spa setting and learning more techniques to help my patients. In June 2017 I took a big step towards independence by owning and operating my current practice at Kneading Warmth Massage Therapy. During this process I’ve seen more improvements in my patients’ results, as well as in my skills and techniques. As I join this healing team, I am excited to extend my expertise into Acupuncture Nirvana and bring my knowledge of the body to this space.

My sessions integrate many styles, but my major focus has been on the medical aspect of massage therapy and getting to the root of people’s pain and dysfunction; not just treating the symptoms of a greater issue. In practice I have found that one patient’s body can be vastly different from another, so I listen to their concerns and address them during each session. Patients can look forward to an individualized massage plan that fits their specific needs, so no two patients’ sessions are alike. I look forward to working hand in hand with everyone at Acupuncture Nirvana and helping patients get through their day with increased energy and greater functionality.

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DIETITIAN/NUTRITIONIST

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Danielle Kiser, RDN, CDN
Registered & Certified Dietitian
Master of Science in Dietetics
SUNY Oneonta

I have always been fascinated with nutrition and eating healthy. I truly believe that food is medicine that fuels our bodies. Not only can it be healing, but it is the core to prevention of many conditions. Sharing these values with people of all ages and backgrounds has been my goal the past few years. This has led me to get experiences and grow in a variety of settings. It has included creating a diabetes education program through my local YMCA, working full time in a nursing home, providing grocery store tours, educating athletes (including division I), and giving numerous nutrition presentations throughout New York State.

Although nutrition is a huge passion of mine, I believe physical activity is just as important. This is why other than being a Registered Dietitian, I’ve also been a Certified Spinning Instructor for over four years teaching at local gyms and YMCA’s. It has allowed me to connect with the community and promote a healthy lifestyle in another way other than just food. One thing I stress with everyone is balance. No one is perfect nor are they expected to be. I do not promote “dieting”, cutting out foods or food groups, or extreme calorie restrictions. I work with people to create realistic lifestyle changes that they can achieve and carry out for the rest of their lives.

My fiancé and I recently moved to the Glens Falls area with our dog Annie. We are thrilled to be closer to the Adirondacks. If I’m not teaching spin or educating on nutrition, then I’m likely doing something outside with my family. I love running, kayaking, hiking, and cooking. I make a mean banana nut muffin – and I’ll gladly share the recipe upon request!

I’m honored to be joining Acupuncture Nirvana’s amazing team. Right off the bat I felt that Kat and I connected. I can’t wait to collaborate with everyone and provide individualized nutrition care to each and every patient.

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OFFICE

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Joy MacKenzie
Paladin of Insurance
(aka “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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