Our PractitionersIt takes a village and we at PRH aim to provide you not only with excellent care but to make sure you are matched with practitioners and treatments that work well with you and your schedule. We realize that not every body is the same. Ask us to match you with the right practitioner, feel free to go from one to another at anytime and talk to us about your goals and preferences. Let us know how we can help you get the most out of your time at PRH.
Zoe Strauss, LAc
How did you get into acupuncture?Heaven and Earth. Feeling my own physical and mental health improve, I instantly fell in love with the medicine and became fascinated by it. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and luckily I had just finished my pre-med requirements! I almost immediately applied to the Master’s program at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco and a little over 4 years later I was awarded my license as well as the honor of being the commencement speaker for our graduation. I’ve been practicing ever since and feel so fortunate that my path has brought me to this work. I absolutely love it.
Do acupuncturists specialize and if so what did you specialize in?It’s not like western medicine where a specialization means that that’s often all you treat. We are all trained to treat the entire array of what occurs in the human body. We ALL see a lot of pain, musculoskeletal disturbances, trouble sleeping, stress, emotion and mood, colds, flus and hormone imbalances. I did end up doing a residency program in Shanghai at Yue Yang Hospital and was affiliated with Shanghai University. The residency largely focused on neurology, stroke recovery and children with developmental disabilities. In Shanghai I got to see how acupuncture is used in the hospitals in China and it blew my mind. Every hospital bed had a pot of herbs cooking in a kitchen; the herbal pharmacy was like Grand Central Station. All of the patients got acupuncture DAILY and all of the acupuncturist had to become MD’s prior to training to be an acupuncturist. I saw this medicine used to its best possible outcomes day after day and it really changed the way I wanted to practice. In San Francisco I tended to see more emotions and mood. I imagine because of the damp and fog! In New York City I ended up treating a lot of fertility patients. In Montana I see a lot of sports injury recovery and general well being. Everywhere there are allergies, sleep and the occasional cold or flu. For me, it’s all so rewarding and as much as there are certain areas I do have more personal experience with, I think a huge part of what compels me in this work is that you can treat, study and practice this medicine for EVERYBODY your entire life.
Why did you choose Community Acupuncture?Let me count the ways! I think Americans have the idea that expensive = excellence. With Chinese Medicine it’s just not true. It’s often frequency of treatments and regular maintenance with a skilled practitioner that makes all the difference for treatment outcomes. In a community setting we can charge you what you would pay for your normal co-pay and that way you can afford to get healed and maintain that. That is not only rewarding for both of us but mandatory for excellence in health care. After spending time in China and working or training at various Community Acupuncture clinic’s in California there was no other choice for me. I personally had been seeing ‘the best in the field’ acupuncturists for years and paying $60-100 for a treatment (even at student rates). When I worked in China, I trained with literally the best doctor’s in the world and the difference in how they approached treatment was profound. It all came down to frequency of treatment.
What are the Top 3 things you do to maintain your health?
- Regular Exercise
- The RIGHT Food and Vitamins
- Love, Laughter and Water!
How did you get into acupuncture?When I was living in NYC I suffered from acute sciatica as well as all kinds of skin inflammations. I hadn’t considered acupuncture because I was fairly needle-phobic and hadn’t had no exposure to it, but thanks to a frustrating lack of results from allopathic medicine, I was becoming more open to alternative treatments. I had one session with a Chinese acupuncturist and I continued going because it was so transformative, not just physically, but also emotionally. Ultimately I decided to go back to school to study Chinese Medicine, because I wanted to learn everything I could about mind-body connection and the responses I was having to my treatments. I had always been interested in health sciences and biomedicine, but nothing resonated as a life path until I encountered acupuncture 7 years ago. Acupuncture has changed my relationship to my body as well as anxiety, fear, love and trust. I suspect that if I had had access to acupuncture earlier in my life, a lot of my struggles could have been much easier; and I want to help make that available to other people.
What do you specialize in?I enjoy all aspects of acupuncture and am sure my specialty will continue to evolve over the years. In school we learned three styles of acupuncture: APM, TCM, and KM. In clinical practice I definitely shined most at TCM, but I’d love to keep learning, integrating styles and discovering what resonates. The most gratifying work is holding space for patients who are ready to grow and heal in the direction which feels right to them.
What are your passions and hobbies?I am quite nerdy (I was a French & English major and then became an archivist/librarian). I love to read, occasionally write, and generally just be around language. I also love digging in the dirt! There is no satisfaction like composting, planting, pruning; really any kind of gardening work. Equally consistently, I have an athletic nature, which has taken a number of forms over the years: running, gymnastics, skiing, and most recently, rock climbing. The goal now is to cultivate a lifestyle where I focus on the elements of kinesthesia, camaraderie and learning as much as I can.
What are the top three things you do in your life to maintain your health?
- Spending time outside in nature.
- Resting an adequate amount via sleep and spending time with my cats
- Expressing a full range of emotions, from crying to being super silly when it’s acceptable.
How did you get into acupuncture and massage?I come from generations of humble, helping and healing professions – ministers, social workers, nurses, organic farmers and holistic healers as well as many athletes. I followed in the tradition. At Montana State University I studied social work and psychology and competed as a runner at the NCAA collegiate level. Between my studies and the intensity of athletic training and competition I felt imbalanced despite my excellent physical health. Something was missing. I found yoga and meditation, and it was life changing. There was no turning back. It brought me such physical, emotional and spiritual balance. Amazing. After graduating and practicing social work throughout rural Montana for several years (and also starting a coffeehouse and having twin daughters), I moved to San Francisco, where my yoga practice evolved into teaching by completing two consecutive teacher training programs. I have been leading classes, and workshops ever since. The complementary nature of acupuncture, Chinese meridians and yoga steered me to graduate studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine, first at American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, then finally landing and finishing at Five Branches University in San Jose. During same time I completed my Asian Bodywork and Massage schooling (and somewhere in all of that was blessed with two more children). Everything is coming full circle as I have found my way here, where my studies began. I am so happy to have moved back to Montana. I am thankful to be able to live and work in this paradise we all call home.
What do you specialize in?I have treated many conditions with acupuncture and herbs: emotional and mental health; acute/chronic injuries; chronic internal diseases such as cancer, IBS, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions; common physiological issues related to the aging process; weight loss, insomnia, gender-specific health issues as well as common viral and bacterial illnesses and overall health and general well being. My Asian Bodywork and Massage specialization has primarily been acupressure and tuina session, which go hand in hand with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. More recently I have added Thai massage to my practice and it feels quite natural and complementary with yoga and Chinese Medicine. I infuse nutritional, lifestyle, and yoga suggestions as appropriate within sessions.
What Are Your Passions and Hobbies?I love the mountains, can’t get enough of them: running trails, identifying wildflowers, the colors, the fresh air, the thunderstorms, every sense awakened. But then that’s why we all live here right? I love rituals – morning cup of coffee, daily asana and meditation, a glass of good red wine in the evening. These practices calm me and keep me grounded in the present. I deeply care for other beings, both humans and animals, and have a soft spot for the underprivileged and underrepresented. I guess that’s what drew me to social work in the first place so many years ago. We are all in this together. I love my family – my husband and my four children. Sharing all of the above with them brings me the greatest joy.
What are the top 3 things you do to maintain your health?
- Exercise daily – alternating running and yoga
- Eat well and supplement mindfully
How did you get into massage?I first got into massage because of the benefits I observed from the CranioSacral Therapy that myself and my friends and family received. Working as a nurse in the Emergency Room for ten years opened my eyes to the limitations of western medicine, and gave me a desire to bring a different form of help to those who continued to suffer. I’ve been practicing CranioSacral Therapy for five-and-a-half years now, and continue to be amazed on a daily basis with the depth at which CranioSacral Therapy is able to address issues! I truly enjoy the holistic health community in the Bozeman area and am honored to be a part of it.
What do you specialize in?CranioSacral Therapy is my passion! CranioSacral Therapy operates on the principle that the body is self-healing, and that a practitioner’s job is to assist in bringing additional resources that the body may need to heal. It is a very gentle, light touch approach that uses the subtle movements of the CranioSacral system to find and release tensions anywhere they might be present throughout the body. It also helps to reset the Central Nervous System so that every other system in the body can relax, self-correct, and free itself of pain and discomfort. I am currently working towards a CranioSacral Therapy certification through the Upledger Institute. I also practice Swedish Massage, Myofascial Release, Deep Tissue, and Neuromuscular Therapy.
What Are Your Passions and Hobbies?In my free time, I love to do pretty much anything outside – rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and skiing are some of my favorite activities. I also love to travel and spend time with family and friends. I really enjoy being a part of People’s Republic of Health!
How did you get into massage?Donna first discovered the power of massage when she was out on a date with a local Chiropractor, and she offered to massage his hands – he accepted and fell asleep in the middle of a busy restaurant! When he woke up, he asked: “have you ever considered becoming a massage therapist?” He allowed Donna to practice on him, and said he could coach her through some techniques. That was the start to what has now been a 19-year journey for Donna! She practiced on friends and neighbors to see if others thought this would be a good fit, and everyone said “yes, go to Massage School.”
First, she wanted to really test if massage was her path. Donna went to Heartwood for a 100-hour intensive training to find out: YES this was it – Massage Therapy was her path!
Second, Donna wanted to find a mentor and a curriculum and to become certified. She attended Myotherapy Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah for a 523 hours certificate. Her mentor, a local Massage Therapist, helped her through the certification and to start her Massage Therapy practice.
Next, she spent five years working part-time for a physical therapist while she built her private practice. Donna learned Myofascial Release techniques, movement therapies, Qua Shaw, and hot/cold therapy while working with him.
What do you specialize in?Donna specializes in integrative and intuitive massage. By listening to her clients’ voice and body, she customizes and integrates 9 techniques to bring the best therapeutic relaxation to each body. Techniques include: Swedish, Myofascial Release, Neuromuscular, CranioSacral, Positional Release, Reflexology, Deep Tissue, Pre-natal (pregnancy) and ‘Cancer Care Massage.’
What Are Your Hobbies?Donna is passionate about living in Bozeman – her ‘longest standing love affair is Montana.’ Being outdoors, the Bozeman community, and living a healthy lifestyle has brought so much love and healing to Donna. Her hobbies include cooking, walking, hiking, cross country skiing, bicycling, kayaking, reading, studying massage and health-related subjects, meditation, yoga, and spending time with her friends and family.
How did you get into massage?I decided that I wanted to do bodywork in 2014 after a long stint battling chronic illness. I became bed ridden for a year starting in 2011 and was told I had a month to live in 2012. I was introduced to alternative medicine after many failed attempts to get better through traditional methods. Since I had nothing to lose I tried all therapies and treatments suggested to me. That started my 3 year healing journey. One of my therapies was visceral massage. I loved the work and when I started feeling like myself again, I knew healing bodywork was what I wanted to do when I got well. So I did and I love it!
What do you specialize in?I specialize in Myofascial Release. However, I never use only one modality in a session. I love using a combination of modalities during bodywork sessions to assist my clients in achieving their wellness goals. My integrated approach to bodywork offers clients a truly unique experience and each session is customized to their specific needs.
What Are Your Passions and Hobbies?I am extremely passionate about assisting others on their healing journey and learning new modalities. My favorite hobbies are drawing, making my own skin hydrating oil mixes, caring for my plants, and playing Dead Nation (possibly the best top down game ever!).
How did you get into massage?Steele was impacted and inspired by her massage teachers in Billings who were shifting peoples lives for the better, along with her own life, through therapeutic movement practice and massage therapy. Her belief in this life’s work is that if anything is sacred the human body is sacred and we are the architect of our own healing. Her interest in the human body and how it operates began as a kid growing up in Montana playing soccer. After high school she became interested in Yoga and after several years of her own practice, she wanted to share this gift with others. In 2015 she completed a 200 hour training and began teaching classes at several gyms and studios. The next phase of her movement interest led her to work as an assistant at a physical therapy clinic, where she was able to witness first hand how to use movement to increase the health and vitality of people. She wanted to explore this understanding on a deeper level and went back to school to become a massage therapist. She truly and wholeheartedly enjoys being able to provide others with the healing power that is physical touch, along with helping people regain a sense of awareness within their bodies. She doesn’t even see this as a “job” she enjoys it so much!
What do you specialize in?Steele specializes in MFR (Myofascial Release). MFR is a holistic, whole body, hands on technique that lengthens the body’s fascia to allow for more movement and agility.
What are the Top 3 things you do to maintain your health?The top three ways that Steele likes to stay healthy are mindful movement, walks in nature and consistent meditation!