KRISTA OBENLOCK LAc
background, approach & training

For as long as I can remember, I have had an insatiable curiosity around what health really is,

and what it means to truly heal

 

The impetus to gain insight into my own self is what initially prompted my journey toward studying the human mind and behaviour and diving into the depths of what I consider to be one of the most powerful and curative systems available to humanity - Chinese medicine. 

A prominent role I've played throughout my life has been to serve as a bridge among disparate forces - it is the relationships among things that most capture my attention.  This is what fascinates me most about the Chinese medical approach - its recognition of the interconnectedness of everything in existence.  Observations of the natural world over thousands of years have led us to an incredibly sophisticated understanding of the human body along with many time-tested techniques that help bring us back into alignment with our own selves as well as our environment.   My approach to medicine is similarly focused on intersection and relationship.  I believe that states of health and illness can coexist, and rest upon the right relationship between yin and yang, form and function, body and mind, individual and community, humanity and nature. 

At the heart of my approach to treatment lies the empowerment of the patient. 

 

Chinese medicine supports the body in healing itself without suppressing symptoms, and so naturally invites a greater degree of freedom from the cellular level all the way out to the interpersonal.  As a trauma-informed practitioner, I trust my patients as experts of their own experience. 

In Chinese medicine, we treat people, not illnesses. 

 

This means that rather than viewing symptoms as problems in and of themselves, I interpret them as messages the body intelligently sends out to communicate its needs.  All symptoms are part of a larger pattern, and all diagnosis and treatment in Chinese medicine is based upon patterns.  I delight in the process of diagnosis and discovery possible within the therapeutic relationship.

My doctoral work focused on the theoretical and practical application of Chinese medicine in the realm of mental health. 

The perspective that the mind and body are indistinguishable from one another explains the clinical effectiveness of Chinese medicine in supporting mental wellness, and is a primary lens through which I approach my patients. 

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The Possibilities are Limitless

 

Since Chinese medicine is truly holistic, there is very little it cannot treat.  While we often focus on alleviating specific symptoms, like pain, its unsung benefits are its ability to optimize underlying physiology for a healthier future. 

That said, I have a special interest in treating certain conditions, including:

 

mental and emotional wellness

postpartum/post-abortive healing

fertility and reproductive health

adolescent health

digestive health

chronic illness and autoimmune disorders

acute respiratory illnesses

physical injuries

post-surgical support

When not treating patients, you might find me tending my garden, foraging, cooking, dancing, spending time with my husband and two bonus teens, and communing with the spectacular natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Find Out How I Can Help You

Education  |  Training  |  Credentials

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Doctor of Science in Oriental Medicine

National University of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon

Doctoral-level education at NUNM includes a rigorous program in Classical Chinese translation and a clinical capstone project.  Mine was titled "Rethinking Reality: Salutogenesis and the Depathologizing of Mental Variance in Classical Chinese Medicine".

 

Master of Science in Oriental Medicine

National University of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon

 

One of the distinguishing elements of NUNM's curriculum is its focus on "classical", as opposed to "traditional" Chinese medicine (TCM).  The subject this distinction is most clearly seen is in the approach to herbal medicine.   My teachers in this realm include Dr. Heiner Freuhauf, Joon Hee Lee L.Ac. and Michael Givens L.Ac., all of whom have a firm orientation toward Shanghan Lun theory and practice with varying degrees of modification. 

As part of my master's education I traveled to China with Dr. Heiner Freuhauf, founder of NUNM's College of Classical Chinese Medicine and lineage holder of the Jin Jing Gong form of Qigong taught at NUNM.  The trip's focus was on studying Paozhi - the art of fine-tuning medicinal qualities of herbs with specific cooking preparations - with China's leading expert in the subject, Dr. Hu.

Bachelor of Arts, Honours Psychology

Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Shen Hammer Pulse Diagnosis

I began studying the Shen Hammer system of contemporary pulse diagnosis under Brandt Stickley L.Ac. in 2013. 

Holistic Pelvic Care™

I trained with Portland's own Tami Kent in her unique lineage of pelvic floor therapy known as Holistic Pelvic Care™ in 2017. 

Bodywork Modalities

I learned craniosacral therapy and myofascial release under Michael McMahon, L.Ac. LMT, and sotai (a gentle Japanese form of somatic re-education) under Dr. Bob Quinn.  More than just another skill set to offer patients, my training in these modalities has shifted the way I approach bodies in general, from diagnosis to treatment. 

Oregon Medical Board    |   License #197250
 

National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Diplomate of Acupuncture   |   Certificate #171844

Oregon Association of Acupuncturists

Member of Oregon's state association