What is Five Element Acupuncture?


Five Element acupuncture restores balance to the Body, Mind, AND Spirit.

Other styles of acupuncture focus on the physical level, treating symptomatically. The vast majority of physical symptoms are expressions of problems at the deeper levels within us.  By treating the Spirit, we can prevent future manifestations of the pain or issue elsewhere in the body.  When the Body, Mind and Spirit are in alignment with each other, the body is able to heal itself when future imbalances occur.

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About Neva Healer

I immediately felt a connection with Neva.  She is totally focused on her patient in an honest, kind, gentle manner. After a few sessions, I could already see, feel and know I was responding. Her knowledge and practice in this Ancient Medicine was the beginning of my healing.
— Leslie E

Neva Healer is a Santa Cruz local who has spent the last several decades committed to learning, growing, and serving. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Chemistry from UC San Diego, before moving on to complete a Masters of Science in Land Resources from Montana State University. She now holds her Masters of Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University, and has completed extensive postgraduate study and specialization in Classical Five Elements acupuncture. Neva also completed an immersive acupuncture internship in Hangzhou, China, studying directly under master acupuncturists and herbalists.

For the past 15 years, Neva has explored and invested in her own wellness through yoga, meditation, mindfulness, therapy, spiritual ceremonies, and education under global thought leaders and gurus. This has helped her to maintain centeredness and spiritual connection that she feels is key to her joy and serenity in life.  

The unique combination of scientific study, critical thinking, academia (both Western and Eastern), and deep personal work allows Neva to provide transcendent healing and profound awakening to her patients.

When Neva is not at work, you can usually find her chasing her two small children around with her wife. They all enjoy being outdoors as a family - biking, walking, going to the beach, etc.  Before the kids were born, Neva filled her spare time with outdoor activities such as surfing, rock climbing, skiing, camping and road and mountain biking. She is hoping to get back to these adventures as soon as the kids are old enough to join in!  

Neva’s  life experience as a bisexual woman has guided her to center herself from a place of non-judgment and open mindedness. As well, her experiences throughout pregnancy, the birthing process and motherhood have profoundly and deeply shaped who she is as a person today. The birthing process specifically drove home the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all healthcare standard. The non-judgment and open mindedness from her social experiences organically bled into her opinions of healthcare. She believes every human body is like a snowflake, no one is exactly alike. What works for one person, might not work for another. And what works for someone one day, might not necessarily work the next. This allows her to more easily be with her patients in the present moment, in a state of compassion and open presence.    

I have been coming to Neva Healer since 2014. What can I say, only that I truly believe that she is the sole reason that I am able to keep up with and cope with my very busy life! I am a mother, wife, full time student, amongst many other things. I have been coming to see Neva every other week for the past couple years and when I come to her office, I end up leaving a new vibrant me! She knows me very well now. She is in tune with my pulses (one of the ways she diagnoses) and when she feels a block she is able to release the blockage and move the energy. I joke around with her often about how I want her office to be my second home, hence receiving the healing she has to offer daily. Neva is above all, so knowledgeable, as well as inherently talented and passionate about what she does. I believe she helped me get pregnant as I was having a bit of trouble. She performed needle work on me throughout my pregnancy during 2015. I feel as though I am really taking care of my health by seeing Neva regularly. I recommend her to everyone I know!
— Sandra V.
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Read more about Neva's patients’ experiences:


Frequently Asked Questions

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works through a system of meridians in the body to move qi (“chee”) through the body. Think of the meridians like a highway system of energy throughout your body. Qi is just energy; it is like the electricity running through the wires in the walls of your home. You can’t see the electricity but you trust that it is there when you flip the lightswitch on and the room becomes illuminated. This is the same as qi. You can see it but if your heart is beating and your blood is pumping, you know that it is there. Qi moves the blood, the immune response system, it keeps all of your organs operating efficiently, it moves the detoxification process of the body, keeps the body at optimal metabolism and temperature, etc. It is literally the electrical system of the body. Sometimes the qi becomes depleted or sometimes it gets blocked up in certain areas or pathways of the body. The acupuncture needles can signal the qi to move in different ways, to fill in the gaps, unblock blocks, and to build up that which is depleted.

Do the needles hurt?

First and foremost, acupuncture needles are about 25 times smaller than a hypodermic needle. This means that 25 acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of a typical needle you might receive a blood draw with or a vaccination with. They are tiny! That being said, every human body is different and people experience sensation in many different ways. Some patients enjoy the needles, they think it feels good. Needles cause the body to release endorphins, just like exercise does, and most bodies enjoy this feeling. And there are certain areas of the body that are more sensitive than others (such as the hands and feet). I pride myself on being extremely gentle and aware when it comes to needling these sensitive areas. I have had extremely sensitive patients continue coming to receive acupuncture treatments because the benefits they receive outweigh the slight pain they might experience while being needled. I also have many patients who don’t feel a thing and actually fall asleep while being needled. I am happy and willing to work with patients on whatever end of the spectrum of sensitivity they might fall on.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Most plans these days do cover acupuncture to some extent and I am happy to take insurance. To find out if your insurance covers acupuncture, call them up and ask. Even if you don’t think they do, it is worth a call to just make sure. I am also happy to have my insurance biller call your provider for you to get the details of your coverage if need be.