Beth Griffing, LAc, MAcOM
Acupuncture Practitioner & Thai Massage
As a child Beth was drawn to herbalism and massage, treating her family during week-long backpacking trips with yarrow poultices and chamomile-oil calf rubs. Then as an undergrad anthro major at Reed College, she experienced the remarkable physical and mental benefits of Taiji Chuan, leading to an interest in East Asian medical thought. Following this path, she found the remarkable philosophy and diagnostic framework of Traditional East Asian Medicine to be highly advanced in its comprehensive view of the human body, yet accessible to implement on a community level. As an adult, her goal is to provide preventive, effective, low-cost medical care that empowers people to feel in control of their health.
Acupuncture and East Asian medicine fulfill this goal in an elegant and enjoyable way, using the principles found in nature to embody optimal health. Beth views the body as an ecosystem and draws inspiration from time spent in wild nature and from the fields of neurology and microbiology. She is passionate about both the art and science of acupuncture and loves the opportunity to create lasting change within moments.
Beth also specializes in effective and gentle acupressure massage techniques: Thai traditional massage and Zen Shiatsu massage. Both types can be used in place of needles if necessary, and they enhance the treatment effect of acupuncture when performed consecutively or simultaneously. Thai massage works on the musculoskeletal level to integrate the body’s structures while harmonizing the immune system. Zen Shiatsu creates a deep relaxation that calms the mind and rejuvenates the over-worked body. Because Beth has worked with both techniques for over 6 years, she combines them during the course of Thai massage, responding to the individual’s needs.
Beth passionately studies the use of external herbs, both Chinese and Thai, for both their pain relieving effects and their transdermal impact on internal medical conditions. She has studied under Andrew Miles, DOM, Xuelan Qiu, PhD, and Tom Whalen, MD to refine the impact of combining internal and external herbs for the treatment of fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and digestive complaints. She aims to create the most efficient treatments possible, and for this reason has spearheaded the integration of herbal foot treatments and medicinal herbal compress massage into the community acupuncture setting.
Lastly, in her studies of the body-mind connection, Beth has found that working on the area of the neck, face, head, and shoulders creates a profound and transformative experience for the nervous system and entire being. As she became proficient in treating the musculoskeletal complaints of these areas (neck pain, tmj, headaches, eyes strain), she found that a new level of rejuvenation can be accomplished that actually transforms and enlivens the face, using the medically effective massage techniques of facial gua sha (very gentle stone massage) and steamed Thai herbal compress massage. She began teaching these techniques to professionals in 2017 and has continued to be astounded at the results possible during a “facial” treatment, which actually treats office syndrome, deep seated stress and trauma, and can impact the vagus nerve tone to help create nervous system resilience.
Beth maintains a strong interest in Traditional East Asian Medicine research, especially clinical effectiveness research and interdisciplinary studies of pain, fascia, and neurology. She runs a small website (TEAM Research) to describe some of the trends and questions in acupuncture research.