Tatyana Ryevzina, LAc, co-founder
I grew up in the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States as a teen, living in New York and Chicago before moving to the Bay Area in 1998. I have been involved with various Eastern healing and spiritual traditions for almost 20 years. I began as a Yoga instructor and as a practitioner of Ohashiatsu bodywork and have been practicing Chinese Medicine since 2003. In addition to private practice, I have worked as an herbal pharmacist, an herbal medicine instructor and as a volunteer at the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic in Oakland, serving low-income women with cancer.
My discovery of Community Acupuncture practice model transformed and revived me. I see this type of acupuncture practice as the most sustainable and most fitting to my values. It makes sense to me from the point of view of healthcare access, social justice, spirituality, and as an antidote to isolation. I have taught Community Acupuncture practice development at AIMC, an acupuncture college in Berkeley. I also served on the Board of Directors of Community Acupuncture Network and continue to volunteer for POCA co-op.
I live in Albany with a wonderful family that includes four humans and a black cat. I do lots of cooking, make fermented foods, swim at the YMCA, and (somewhat sporadically) practice meditation. I always wish I had more time to read and knit.
Pamela O’Malley Chang, LAc, co-founder
I grew up in Massachusetts, daughter of a Chinese immigrant biologist father and an American-born librarian mother whose father was a Chinese herbalist. Initially rejecting medicine as a career, I became an architect/civil engineer specializing in eco-friendly residential renovation. After side-trips into the nonprofit world, and a bout with early-stage ovarian cancer, I received a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences in Oakland, California and am licensed to practice acupuncture in California.
Having a deep-seated desire for a world with ample resources for people to create their own solutions to everyday problems, I am delighted to be a founding partner of Sarana Community Acupuncture and a member of the People's Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) co-op. I am currently serving on the POCA Board of Directors.
Outside of work, I am a volunteer at the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic—a free alternative therapies center for low-income women with cancer, and am a contributing editor to Yes!Magazine, journal of the positive futures network. I practice a variety of tai chi and qi gong forms, am an enthusiastic if mediocre violinist, and have dreams of creating a deer-free organic vegetable garden in my Berkeley backyard. I am also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Micronesia), and the owner of a solar-electric roof.
Sean Carson, LAc
I was born and raised in Californian suburbia. After escaping to UC Davis in the early 90s, I found myself unexpectedly studying tai chi, qi gong, and Chinese herbal medicine with a local master who indelibly influenced my life. This fortuitous meeting led to my becoming an herbal pharmacist and assistant to one of the few local acupuncturists. It wasn't long before I knew that I found my calling. I remember looking at my first acupuncture school course catalog back in 1993, but it took more than 10 years before I actually made it to acupuncture school. Sometimes the river of life has other things in store for us, and the challenges I faced have made me a more mature and grounded practitioner today.
When I first encountered the community acupuncture model, something inside me felt electrified. I had sensed for a long time that something was missing from my education and the practice model we were indoctrinated into. The variety of publications and blog posts that I came across on the POCA Website gave voice to my dissatisfaction. Acupuncture is beautiful, and it should be available to everyone!
When I am not practicing, I am often contemplating all kinds of things related to acupuncture and medicine, ideally sitting under a tree (preferably a redwood). I've been known to frequent open mic nights and karaoke bars as an enthusiastic participant, go dancing on a whim, and I still try to keep up with my tai chi and qi gong practice that my late master taught me all those years ago.
Jason Sandys, LAc
I grew up in nearby Sonoma California. I attended UC Santa Cruz for my undergrad studies in Film and Video with a year-long-life-altering travel adventure in between my studies. This led me to yet more traveling...this time to teach English in Changsha China for a year. I returned to China for another year to study the Chinese language, enjoy the culture, indulge in the food, and steep with the tea.
I never liked needles and was disenchanted with our health care system, so needles(s) to say it took some time for me to find my calling in Acupuncture/East Asian Medicine. But I guess all that time in China had an impression on me. When I finally decided upon my path I was living in Portland, OR so I studied at OCOM (Oregon College of Oriental Medicine). During school I had an observation shift at Working Class Acupuncture which inspired me to practice in a community acupuncture setting and reach as many individuals as possible with this wonderful medicine.
When not needling patients, I'm spending time with my toddler (anything to do with trains). You may also find me bike commuting, cooking, fermenting, brewing, practicing TaiJi, hiking, drinking tea, or taking photographs.
Meave O'Connor, massage practitioner
I come to Asian bodywork from a lifelong interest in complementary medicine and healing practices. I started my acupressure bodywork practice after a career as a public school teacher where I worked with children who had learning disabilities.
I have received most of my training at the Berkeley Acupressure Institute and continue to study privately with some of the faculty members there. In my practice at Sarana I utilize the active bodywork styles of acupressure, including tui na, shiatsu and some reflexology.
As an activist who helps to protect and restore the environment, I have come to understand that our bodies are much like the natural environment and oftentimes reflections of it. Working with the energy meridians to enable the body's wisdom to balance the whole person is the practice I love.
I enjoy dancing, music, film and theater as well as hiking and swimming. Being a vagabond at heart I have traveled far and wide. I've been practicing yoga daily for 30 years and have recently started to study Qigong with Master Mingtong Gu.
I volunteer at the Charlotte Maxwell Complimentary Clinic in Oakland where there is a strong community healing atmosphere, similar to Sarana, which vibrates with love and connection. I strongly support the community acupuncture model and am a longtime Sarana client. I am happy to be part of Sarana&aposs community of caring and knowledgable practitioners.
Sally Nelson, massage practitioner
I grew up in the Northeast, and moved to Berkeley in 1977. For many years I was an artist and teacher of site-specific installations and sculpture. After a months' long bout with vertigo was successfully treated with acupuncture and herbs, I was drawn to learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine. I then began studies at the Acupressure Institute and with Sensei Ping Lee.
Working with clients since 1990. I integrate the modalities of Shiatsu, Acupressure, and Hendrickson Method Manual Therapy. Since 2004, I have been volunteering at the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, which offers alternative treatments for low-income women with cancer.
I enjoy my work, and look forward to participating in Sarana and in the growing Community Acupuncture Movement. I also enjoy swimming, bicycling, and hiking at Point Reyes or in the Sierra. Of course, spending time with the families of my two grown sons is a great source of delight.
Sarah Lovett, massage practitioner
I grew up in Northern Colorado and relocated to the Bay Area in 2002. I received my acupressure massage training at the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, where I received a 1000 hour Body Work Professional Certification. I am a licensed Certified Massage Therapist through the California Massage Therapy Council.
I specialize in Tui Na (Chinese massage), Jin Shin Acupressure, and Reiki. In addition I have trained in Shiatsu, Reflexology, and Cranio Sacral Therapy. My style of massage offers therapeutic touch through the gentle movement of the body and its energy.
In my free time I enjoy collecting all things vintage, crocheting, train travel, writing, art, and playing the clarinet and drums.