About Viveka Rucker
About Viveka S. Rucker, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M., A.C.N.
Training & Experience
I received my Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Yo San University, Los Angeles, CA, graduating with honors in 2002. I am both State licensed and Nationally Board Certified as a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine. After years of working with whole food nutritional supplementation to enhance treatment outcomes, and improve my own health, I achieved certification as an Applied Clinical Nutritionist in 2014 through Southern California University of Health Sciences.
In order to maintain my license, I am required to complete 50 hours of continuing education every 2 years. However, I have consistently completed well in excess of that requirement each renewal period. For example, in the past 2 years alone (9/2012-9/2014) I completed over 123 hours of continuing education. I continue on an ongoing basis to read, study, participate and learn, in order to stay abreast of the latest scientific developments and wisdom in medicine, especially as it relates to my field and continues to grow my expertise, because providing you with excellent care and perspective is what matters most to me.
My first interests in continuing education 12 years ago were cosmetic acupuncture and dermatology, and due to my ongoing study and practice I have learned a number of modalities and techniques and perspectives from recognized experts in this area of Chinese medicine including Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, Dr. Martha Lucas, and Dr. YueYing Li. I am one of very few acupuncturists in this area with this range of specialization and experience in Cosmetic acupuncture. Please check out our Cosmetic Acupuncture page. I love the detail of my work and to watch patients revive both on the surface and from the inside as their health and well-being improves.
Internal medicine is also a passion, allowing me to help you transform many disease processes into healing processes. Blood sugar management and Type 2 Diabetes are a particular area of expertise, working with patients and their doctors to improve blood sugar regulation and lower dependence on medications.
Although Chinese medicine and nutrition are by nature preventative therapies, we are most often the medicine of last resort when all other treatments have failed. Because of this, through the years I have become capable of handling many complex conditions with good success. Even during my internship at Yo San University Clinic and Venice Family Clinic I attracted very complex cases and came to know that health can always be enhanced, regardless of condition.
Cancer support and cancer prevention: I have helped many patients through their cancer treatments with symptoms such as dry mouth, nausea, lymphedema, and fatigue, as well as sadness, depression, and worry. In all cases we work to uphold and strengthen immune function to support people in overcoming this difficult disease, prevent occurence, and prevent recurrence.
Mental-emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD, are also an area of experience for me which I have seen benefit profoundly through acupunture, dietary, whole food nutrition supplementation and herbal medicine. Indeed, most every condition has an emotional component whether mental or physiological root. In Chinese medicine we have a saying, " You cannot treat the body without treating the mind, and you cannot treat the mind without treating the body." I seek first to understand, and then to partner with you in treatment.
And of course, I treat pain, the most asked for service, and this is what often tips the balance for people toward seeking treatment, regardless of other health issues.
Ultimately it is what you do consistently that makes the difference. Just like the accumulating benefits of going to the gym, or any regular practice, actively promoting your health and immune function through some schedule of regular acupuncture that is right for you (usually one or two times per month), and ongoing professional nutritional/herbal guidance that changes as you change, is the true intention of managing health through natural medicine. This is the path towards moving beyond acute and chronic health complaints into truly vibrant health and well-being.
About My Practice
Like you, I want to be healthy, happy, and age beautifully. I want to recover from ailments quickly, manage my health naturally, avoid pharmaceutical or surgical interventions whenever possible, and to be able to do all the fun things in life as I grow older, not sit on the sidelines lamenting my lost youth, blaming my genes. I know it takes something to have that kind of life, and I'm willing to do what it takes while making it as fun and enjoyable as possible. Like many of you, I like wine and chocolate, so there are definitely times when that 80/20 rule applies. Life is to be enjoyed! But, not wasted on preventable illness. I don't ask patients to do things I am not willing to do myself, so I know full well the challenges, as well as the amazing discoveries and benefits of integrating healthy change. This is my inspiration, my education, my passion, my practice, and my joy to share with you.
My priority, and that of our wellness center, is our patient's experience from the moment they walk through the door. I decided long ago that being conveyor-belted through an indifferent medical system was not for me, and that I would be different with my patients, creating a safe, beautiful, non-judgmental environment where we can work together to heal your concerns with effective, natural, healthy tools.
At the same time as I am committed to a natural approach to healthcare as much as possible, I believe that western medicine is an important component of care in many cases. We need these dedicated western medical professionals, and their expertise. In an ideal scenario we are all on the same team towards the best outcome for patients. Depending on your condition when you come for treatment, it may be adviseable for us to work together with your other physicians. Licensed as primary care physicians by the state of California, it is within our scope of practice to order lab tests. I limit my interpretation only to certain tests and only from a nutritional standpoint, not as a substitute for interpretation by your medical doctor. Whether ordered by your medical doctor or this office, often labs provide a baseline from which to work and to allow some evaluation from a nutritional standpoint. Also, follow up labs can help let us know how we're doing. Many of you come for treatment to try to avoid pharmaceutical medications in response to your doctor's concern about certain lab values. We have a number of methods for assessing your personal nutritional needs which when met, allows your body to respond more completely to treatment.
What I want for you is the least invasive treatment with the best outcome, one that leaves you headed on the healthiest trajectory for the long term. I consider what we do to be "natural functional medicine." Acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine, along with dietary and lifestyle strategies, and western medicine when natural methods are not enough, are all legs of the stool that support the best treatment outcomes. We have many programs to help you heal and get on the right track for the long term.
The promise of health: When your body regains function, resilience and renewed energy, your mind calms and clears, and your spirits lift, suddenly you have the physical and emotional energy for all kinds of things that seemed unrealistic and out of reach before. This is what it is ultimately all about - not the illness or injury itself, but what overcoming it or managing it successfully and getting your health on track means for your life. One of my greatest pleasures is seeing my patients notice that this path of care is not just a treatment for the condition they came in with, it is an enriching cumulative investment in themselves and their quality of life.
Chinese medicine gave me many tools that ground my healthy lifestyle and contribute to my peace of mind. I continue to practice these strategies in my own life, and it is my passion and mission to share these ideas for healing that can help us live more fully and enjoy all that we want to throughout our years.
It is not a matter of blame, but empowerment to accept that the quality of our physical, mental and emotional health is essentially our own responsibility. Regardless of genes, jobs or conditions, we each have a profound influence over how we heal, age, and weather the unexpected health events that happen in life. The question we need to ask is, "What trajectory am I on?" Am I on a path that leads to more pharmaceutical medications and invasive interventions, or am I on the path towards wellness and fulfillment?
Healing involves growth, growth involves change, and change by its nature, can involve some discomfort. Making it through the discomfort to realize the benefits on the other side requires building greater tolerance for ourselves and making peace with our "icky bits," so that they do not sabotage the process.
My mission is to be of service in providing the professional guidance and natural treatment that helps you move towards wellness and fulfillment.
Communing with nature, spirit, laughter, beauty, and the healing journey of life is what inspires and sustains me.
From an early age I was drawn to observe and study nature, as well as psychological, philosophical, and spiritual concepts. My experiences as an organic gardener, life-long environmentalist, champion of creatures large and small, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and other outdoor exercise led me to greater connection with myself, the world around me. I have always been passionate about the wisdom of nature, the health of our environment, the humanity with which we treat other living things, and the safety of our food and products.
My purpose in bringing my skills, education and experience as a practitioner to this work is to honor and appreciate each person for who they are and what they are going through; to engender and support each person's healing, comfort, hope and courage. I endeavor to express my deep sincerity, caring, and sense of humor in all the dealings of my life. It comes from living a life dedicated to observing the way nature works and the way we work. I am honored to be of service in a way that is so close to my heart.
Healing Compass & Qi Center
My partnership with Linda Read-Shelby, M.S.O.M., L.Ac., A.C.N. represents a combined 24 years of practice, the common vision for a naturally healthy community, and a shared passion for loving, compassionate service with integrity, plus keeping it fun as we navigate the twists and turns of aging through menopause and beyond.
I met Linda when I first started my practice and discovered she had an office in the same building, just across the courtyard pond from mine. The center she was working with had an open house, and I went over there to see what my neighbors were up to. Linda's treatment room, welcoming presence, and gorgeous display of Chinese herbs instantly conveyed to me that here was someone with a sensibility like mine. We eventually shared my office space in that building and found that we were indeed a successful team. A decade later, growing beyond our private practices we merged in 2011 to become the Co-Founders and Directors of Healing Compass & Qi Center, creating a wellness center with the warm human touch you might expect if you came to our homes. Our goal is to continually expand the ways we can be of service to our community while maintaining the personalized care that matters so much to us, and to you.
Your Health Connection - October 2013 issue: Chinese Medicine Before, During and After a Cancer Diagnosis
Your Health Connection - March 2013 issue: A Place For Acupuncture, Community and Healing
Health & Longevity Magazine - 2012: Health & Longevity Using Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture.com: Featured acupuncturist for Ask The Doctor column
American Holistic Medical Association
CSOMA - California State Oriental Medicine Association
NCCAOM - National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
For more information call or visit www.healingcompass-qicenter.com
Like us on Yelp & Facebook! We are listed as: Healing Compass & Qi Center