Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Amanda Cohen.
Dr. Cohen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and practice medicine with kindness, compassion, and mindfulness. I like to think of myself as a pioneer of a new way of medical practice: patient empowerment. My goals are to help my patients thrive in mind, body and spirit and be a witness to their lives and to their growth. Together with each patient, I create a customized unique treatment plan towards wellness that combines acupuncture and Chinese herbs, western herbs and supplements, nutrition, functional medicine (looking at the body as a whole system) and behavioral medicine (aka “homework”) such as yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, and journaling to strengthen the whole person.
I love both research and clinical practice and am quite a book nerd. I think I own about 600 books! I’ve always been fascinated in the mind and mesmerized by different types of healing modalities that vary among cultures. In college, I saw myself doing something where I would be working to heal the mind and body. My spiritual practice really took hold in my early 20’s where I studied meditation at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado as part of an Outward Bound program. This wilderness program emphasized the importance of developing a meditation practice to support an inward journey as we backpacked in the backcountry of the Colorado Rockies.
In 2003, I graduated from Cornell University; I double majored in clinical psychology and cultural anthropology. After college, I decided to pursue a career in academia and was accepted into the Psychology and Social Behavior PhD Program at UC Irvine in the School of Social Ecology. This prestigious program emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary research and collaboration and how one’s environment and social relationships greatly affect mental and physical health and wellness. In 2007, I received my Masters in in Social Ecology with concentrations in Psychopathology and Health Psychology.
Though I loved so many aspects of academia and helping people on the macro level, I realized I wanted to be a clinician and work with patients on a micro level. I took a leave of absence from UC Irvine in 2008 and began the Master’s Program in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine at Emperors College. In 2013, I graduated summa cum laude. I started my practice in Beverly Hills and Los Feliz in 2014; in addition, I commenced the Doctoral Program at Emperors College in 2014. In 2016, I completed my degree as a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine with a specialty in Functional Medicine and Anxiety Disorders.
I chose Source Point Wellness as my business name because I value the importance of figuring out the source of a person’s pain or discomfort. Similarly, a source point, in Chinese medicine goes straight to the organ and supports and brings blood flow and nutrients to the organ directly to help it heal. There are no band-aids in my practice; it’s all about finding the root of disease, strengthening the whole tree, and providing nutrient rich soil and clean water and sunlight so that the tree can grow strong and flourish.
I practice medicine with my mind and my heart. I may not have all the answers but I am a lifelong learner; I will always do my research and make sure that everyone in my care feels loved and supported, not alone in their pain, and feel empowered on their journey towards wellness.
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?
A lot of people feel alone and unsupported when they are unwell or lost. Feeling sick, stuck, or in pain can be so overwhelming and I wanted to be a seed of hope for people that come into my path. I came into medicine to start a practice where people would come in and experience love and support.
I am an empath; I grew up feeling the emotions of those around me and oftentimes, if someone was in pain, I would be in pain too. Needless to say, I was sick a lot and had debilitating migraines and tension headaches and other health conditions in early adulthood that perplexed western medicine. I felt hopeless and alone in my pain. At the time I was in a PhD program at UC Irvine in health psychology and was studying how stress affects the mind and body; I realized that I was extremely stressed and unhappy in my then career path. I started to see an acupuncturist and he helped me tremendously. Even more importantly, he LOVED his job and I wanted to love my job too. I was always passionate about healing and wellness and would read books on medicinal herbs and foods for fun. I had an “aha” moment where I realized that I deserved to love my job too. In 2007, I finished my master’s thesis and then took a leave of absence for a year to study Chinese medicine at Emperors College in Santa Monica. I never looked back.
11 years later, I have a dream job where I get to do what I love and work with such amazing and loveable patients. I followed my heart, and once I did that, it all fell into place. I dreamed of being a small-town doctor (I practice in a small hipster village in Los Angeles), with a busy practice, who treats patients from her heart and mind and makes her patients feel loved and supported. I am so lucky!
Source Point Wellness – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I look at the whole person from both eastern and western perspectives. We are so lucky to be living in a time where we can combine the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine with the miracles of western medicine. In my practice, I emphasize a team approach, collaborating and cross referring with an exceptional team of western MDs, therapists, healers, and energy workers who have compassionate bedside manner and are extremely talented in their respective fields.
I specialize in treating anxiety disorders and stress related diseases and symptoms. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the connection between the brain and the gut and how acupuncture can boost neurotransmitters such as serotonin and GABA, and improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. As a primary care physician, I treat a lot of gastrointestinal, urological, neurological, psychiatric, craniological, gynecological issues and disorders, mens’ health, and colds, coughs, and flu symptoms. I work collaboratively with MDs if my patient needs concurrent western medical support.
I am excellent at treating physical, emotional and spiritual pain and getting to the root of illness and imbalances in the mind, body and spirit. I use classical style acupuncture taught by my mentor, Dr Robert Chu and use a painless acupuncture style with relatively few, yet extremely effective acupuncture points.
Additionally, I work with many people in transition, feel stuck, or who are suffering from existential crisis, spiritual awakening, and need clarity and focus and find meaning and purpose in their lives. In such cases, I practice esoteric acupuncture, taught my teacher, Dr. Mikio Sankey; this type of acupuncture session combines the meridians, the chakras and sacred geometry. I also incorporate crystal medicine into this type of acupuncture treatment.
I only use medical grade supplements and herbs in my practice. Additionally, I have an apothecary of hand-picked beauty products, tinctures and salves that my patients love. I am a native to Los Angeles and like to carry local products and support small businesses and fair trade. I also use a lot of ancient traditional Chinese formulas in my practice and combine them and often make custom formulas for my patients (I let them name the custom formulas too for fun).
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My patients work hard and are committed to working with me to reach their health and wellness goals. I love being with them on their journey (which is not always easy) and creating a kind, loving, and supportive space for them to heal and thrive. I am so proud when they change their diets, eliminate toxins and toxic people from their loves, set healthy boundaries with others, learn to love themselves, feel inspired and free and find meaning and purpose in their lives,
I do not consider myself a healer, but I do help people heal themselves and give them a manageable treatment plan so they can take the healing process at their own pace. When they get there, to the other side of pain, trauma, mental and physical illnesses and crises, and begin to blossom, those are my proudest moments.
- Address: 4446 Ambrose Ave.,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Located inside and upstairs of Golden Sol Yoga and Wellness Center)
- Website: www.sourcepointwellness.com
- Phone: 424-835-0884
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Portrait of Dr. Cohen in a black dress, hair down – Diana Zalucky http://dianazalucky.com
Portrait Dr. Cohen in a white coat, hair down – Carrie Hirsch http://www.carrieelizabethhirsch.com
Dr. Cohen with cupping marks – Amalia Gardner L.Ac. https://pardonmyheartla.com