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Renee K Barsa Extended Biography

As an intern in graduate school, in addition to practicing general medicine, Renée began focusing on women’s health, fertility, and pregnancy, under the guidance of Nikki Doner Sherwood, L.Ac. and Cathy McNease, Master Herbalist. It was clear to Renée even then just how powerful Traditional Chinese Medicine is at addressing women’s health issues. Shortly after starting her private practice, she began working closely with reproductive endocrinologists to perform pre- and post-transfer acupuncture for In Vitro Fertilizations (IVF’s), which helps increase success rates up to 70%. As the daughter of a physician, Renée is very comfortable stepping into western medicine clinics, and from early on has been weaving the path of Integrative Medicine in the community. She has studied with some of the world’s most renowned fertility and pregnancy specialists, including Dr. Elizabeth Ohm, Dr. Naoshing Ni, Jani White, L.Ac., Dr. Debra Betts, and Jane Lyttleton, in addition to furthering her education in general acupuncture practice.

With so many wildfires severely affecting Santa Barbara and traumatizing the community in the mid to late 2000’s, a local visionary, Dr. John Ackerman, approached Renée’s non-profit, Healing Opp000802_c620_0004_csls_400x600ortunities, Inc., in 2009. He asked if they would be willing to join the local Santa Barbara County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to support local firefighters and future survivors of the next wildfire with the ear NADA acupuncture protocol. This protocol helps treat acute stress and trauma, and can help prevent PTSD. Renée and her partners were thrilled with the opportunity to work with local physicians and nurses to draft the Scope of Practice for the first Acupuncture Team in the MRC in the country. They established a national model for integrating ear acupuncture into existing disaster response volunteer teams, creating a single and powerful way to support communities quickly and efficiently when calamity strikes.

As the survivor of a disaster herself, with firsthand experience of being trapped in a raging wildfire, loosing her home, and the resultant PTSD, Renée was in a unique position to share with others the powerful healing impact that ear acupuncture has on trauma. She has helped countless counties across the country establish their own MRC Acupuncture Teams, has worked with Acupuncturists Without Borders and NADA, has volunteered her services both in the US and internationally, and continues to speak at conferences and trainings. She is a national leader in the integration of ear acupuncture for trauma and PTSD treatment, and supports veterans here in Cary, NC. Her passion is to make this important modality accessible to communities in their time of need, helping people live healthier, more balanced lives.

Renée has additionally been practicing yoga and meditation for over 20 years, and teaching for over 12 years. Living in California for many years allowed her the opportunity to study with some of the most renowned yoga professionals in this country, including Sarah Powers, Paul Grilley, Cheri Clampett, Erich Schiffman, Seane Corn, and Denise Zaverdas. This training and discipline greatly influences her understanding of how the body functions and moves. Her extensive background in Therapeutic and Yin Yoga enhances her ability to treat the entire individual gently and holistically.

As part of your whole health assessment, Renée may prescribe one or more Therapeutic Yoga postures for you to practice daily between your acupuncture visits. Yin Yoga, where poses are held passively for longer lengths of time, can activate the meridian lines of the body that we work with in acupuncture. She may also recommend specific local yoga classes or teachers to practice with. You may also find her subbing an occasional local yoga class!

To learn more about Therapeutic Yoga, please visit