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Meet Marissa Pearson of Dr. Marissa Bacchetta Pearson, DAOM, L.Ac. in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marissa Pearson.

Marissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Ever since I was a little girl I had a strong curiosity for eastern philosophy’s, such as Daoism and Buddhism, and I always loved the culinary tastes that came from Japan and Thailand. About eight years ago when I was a student at CSUN, I heard about acupuncture for the first time. I just had a year left before graduating, and I was also exhausted. I was very active at the school, involved with various clubs, busy social life, and staying on top of my studies, which left me feeling chronically fatigued. The fatigue got so bad that sleep helped very little, food and caffeine provided no energy, and I just desired to ghost through life. Once I realized I was found myself at the pharmacy purchasing caffeine pills and laxatives for my now sluggish metabolism from poor lifestyle habits, I know I needed help. I had a conversation with my mother about my issues and she told me that she heard acupuncture is supposed to be good at getting your body back into a ‘good balance’. Having been in a peer-counseling club on eating disorders, I was aware that CSUN had wellness practitioners on staff at the Klotz Student Health Center. At the center, they had an acupuncturist there named Joo Kim, L.Ac., who provided exceptional care for me. I went just once a week for about 5 weeks, and when my weekly sessions had ended, I was a whole new person! Life was brought back to my bones, and my spirit had the joy that I had not felt in a very long time. Suddenly school and life came easier, and I had an incredible amount of energy! After my recovery, I knew I wanted to practice acupuncture and share its wonderful benefits with everyone! One year later after I graduated from Cal State University – Northridge with my B.S. in Health Sciences in December 2010, I immediately enrolled at Emperor’s College to study acupuncture and oriental medicine in January 2011.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My time at Emperor’s College (January 2011 – March 2017) to study acupuncture and oriental medicine had been a fairly smooth ride, for the most part. At times life liked to throw curve balls at me, such as breakups and sport-related injuries, but because I was so passionate about the medicine I was studying, I was able to conquer the obstacles that were placed before me. During school, I was trying to balance exercise and a social life. I was blessed to have been living at home while going to school. I did not have to worry about having a job. My mother did all she could to make my life comfortable during my time in school. Bless her heart.

Dr. Marissa Bacchetta Pearson, DAOM, L.Ac. – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am the sole business owner/ doctor of my acupuncture and integrative medicine practice. In April of this year, I will be celebrating 2 years of being in private practice as a licensed acupuncturist. I completed the required 4-year Master’s degree program at Emperor’s College to become a licensed acupuncturist, but I also decided to go back to school immediately to get my doctorate in acupuncture and oriental medicine, because I wanted to learn more, and be able to advance the medicine in the future, and quite possibly teach someday. I have been in acupuncture and oriental medicine school for a total of 6 years, so I consider myself a very studious person and someone who loves what they do. While I studied oriental medicine, I prefer using the term ‘integrative medicine’ to describe my medical practice since I also incorporate the use of dietary supplements, nutritional counseling, western herbs, and functional medicine, alongside with what I was originally taught, such as Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese nutrition, medical qi gong, tai chi, cupping, gua sha, and tui na. Being the 21st century, I like to blend the traditional acupuncture and oriental medicine knowledge taught to me in school with modern day scientific tools that I’ve studied on my own. When in a session with a patient, I am very patient while listening to their concerns, and I am honest with how I feel they can improve their lives, but I present my opinions as gently as possible. I want to be able to help a patient best discover the root cause of their problem(s) and not just their symptoms. Depending on the case, I may occasionally order a laboratory test that a patient can do at the convenience of his or her own home. I consider myself a ‘general acupuncture and integrative doctor’. I treat disorders such as sports related injuries, skin diseases, weight loss, high cholesterol, insomnia, depression/anxiety, infertility, Bell’s palsy, and much more. Traditional oriental medicine is a holistic, mind-body medicine that can essentially treat any kind of imbalance in the body. My office is located in the beautiful Victorian -like ‘Pondella building’ on Riverside Dr. near the corner of Woodman Ave. I chose a space that had a charming, yet homelike feel that’s very clean and quiet to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Proudest moment of my career was making it through my last 2 years of the doctorate program, that ended for me on March 20, 2017. The Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program is a dual-specialization focus in Internal Medicine and Physical Medicine. The DAOM program consists of a total of 1,250 hours – 600 hours of didactic instruction and 650 hours of advanced clinical rotations – completed over the course of eight academic quarters. During my 2 years in the program, I was having to work and still be in the process of establishing my private practice. There are only a few licensed acupuncturists or people with Master’s degrees in acupuncture and oriental medicine who decide to go back to school, so I feel proud to stand among the few who went back to further their credentials.

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Image Credit:
Maria Bacchetta

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