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Torrance, CA: Atsuki Maeda

Fast facts
Practice type: Private
Specialties: Back pain, general wellness, musculoskeletal pain, sports injuries, stroke, dementia
Styles: Japanese acupuncture, pediatric acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Why did you become an acupuncturist?
I grew up in a family of Western doctors and pharmacists, so I always thought I’d become a professional healthcare provider. Oriental medicine attracted me most because of its characteristics of balancing and harmonizing to heal the whole person. It is very natural and so effective. For me, being a doctor of Oriental medicine is the best way of life because it is what I love to do.

What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
I was first licensed in Japan. Then I studied in China, and then got licensed in California. My background allows me to use Japanese style acupuncture treatments that are very gentle, subtle, and comfortable for patients. I am certified in a very innovative Chinese acupuncture modality for post-stroke conditions and dementia—Stroke Rehab Acupuncture: Xing Nao Kai Qiao Therapy. I am a faculty member and supervisor at Emperor’s College of TOM in both the Masters and Doctoral programs. I am the leading acupuncturist at the college’s Stroke Rehabilitation & Dementia Care Clinic. I give seminars nationwide and also in other countries, such as Japan and Brazil. I enjoy interacting with foreign people and inspiring them with the beauty of acupuncture.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love interacting with my patients. During treatments, we discuss various aspects of their lives—hobbies, sports and business. They always know what I don’t know, and to be exposed to something unknown is very exciting. I also love teaching—to students who just entered the school, as well as to those who are already licensed and in the doctoral level program. I learn more by teaching them. When patients are better and show a big smile, I realize that I’ve chosen the right step.

What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
That an acupuncture needle has to cause an electric sensation (acupuncturists call this “de qi”) in order for it to work. There are many forms of acupuncture needling, and many are not invasive and still very effective. There are even some that are used to stimulate the skin surface without ever penetrating. Often in research, they refer to non-invasive needling as “sham acupuncture,” but this is actually considered contact needling and can be as effective as other types of acupuncture. I often use this kind of contact needling to treat small children and people who are sensitive to or afraid of needles.

How do you stay healthy in your own life?
I play soccer on a weekly basis to keep myself healthy and fit. I also like to go to the mountains, camp, and fly fish. Putting myself in nature always refreshes my soul and spirit.

How have people described an acupuncture treatment with you?
My treatments are like “mixed juice.” I customize treatment protocols by combining Japanese and Chinese styles, depending on the condition and constitution of the patient. If one person needs apple, then I put more apple; if one needs orange, then I add more orange to the juice. I always seek to accommodate my patients and deliver the most effective and most comfortable treatment possible.

Learn more and get in touch
(310) 891-1111

3248 Sepulveda Blvd., Torrance, CA 90505
1807 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403