Acupuncture =

We’ll get right to the point.

Acupuncture =

“Qi,” or energy, moves through the body and the internal organs along channels or pathways called “meridians.” Meridians are similar to arteries, veins, and nerves throughout the body. When there is stagnation of blockages along the pathways, imbalance, dysfunction, disease, or pain can occur.

Acupuncture restores health by removing imbalances and blockages through the insertion of small, sterile needles into specific points of the body. The points of insertion are specifically chosen based on a patient’s needs and the goals of treatment, with the overall goal of allowing energy to flow freely through the body.

Acupuncture treatments are not painful; in fact, many patients feel nothing at all during the procedure, while others experience a prickling or aching sensation and still others feel a warmth of heaviness during treatment.

Common Uses

Many people think of acupuncture as a treatment for pain relief—and while it is undoubtedly effective in relieving pain, it is also so much more than that. Clients have come to Community Wellness Collaborative for relief from any of the following conditions:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Mentrual & PMS Problems
Headaches & Migraines
Stress Related Disorders
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Sinus Problems
Obesity & Weight Control

If you’re curious as to whether acupuncture can help you with a specific issue, schedule a consultation with us. We’ll answer any questions you have and make sure you’re comfortable with what to expect from your acupuncture treatments.

Our Practitioners

We’ve got an amazing team of acupuncturists at our Adams Ave location in Normal Heights. 

Dr. Ryan Altman, DACM, L.Ac., HHP

Insurance Accepted: Some

Focus Areas:

  • Classical Japanese 
  • Meridian Therapy
  • Internal Medicine
  • Reiki
  • General Practice

Dr. Ryan Altman, DACM, L.Ac., HHP
 is the Founder and Executive Director of Alternative Healing Network.  Ryan is a graduate of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and practices a combination of Classical Japanese acupuncture with Reiki, offering gentle, energetic treatments that follow meridian theory while using lighter gauge needles and a shallow insertion. This is good for anyone who may be a bit more needle sensitive.

While still a student at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Ryan created the San Diego Healing Arts Festival, a free community event that brings music and healing together, allowing a fun and accessible forum to teach the public about integrative health care. With the help of affiliations with Pacific College, and other local institutions of higher learning, he created a series of Free Community Wellness events (“Integrative Health Nights”) to offer health services to under-served communities.  This became the foundation of the entire organization and Alternative Healing Network was born. In June 2008, Ryan created Adams Avenue Integrative Health (AAIH),as a community oriented integrative health center that operates on a sliding scale to make services available and affordable to everyone.

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Michelle Coltart, L.Ac

Insurance Accepted: Most

Focus Areas:

  • Chronic pain management 
  • Healing acute injuries
  • Stress management 
  • Addiction recovery
  • Mental health support
  • Pregnancy support

Michelle Coltart, L.Ac. discovered the Chinese healing art of Acupuncture in the early 1990’s while working in the computer industry. After a co-worker suggested she get a treatment, she realized her true calling. She fell in love with this healing modality, instantly impressed by the effect it had on the health and wellbeing of herself and those she cares for.  She began her studies by attending seminars and reading every book she could find; a few years later she left the world of computing and returned to school to explore the wonders of this medicine in-depth.  Along the way, she has studied nutrition, herbology, postural analysis, and medical qi gong. Michelle’s passion for this medicine shows in her commitment to her patients. Her compassion, humor and gentle needle technique set people at ease.  She delights that those she treats are as amazed by the effect as she first was.

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Dr. Leda DeRose, DACM, L.Ac.

Insurance Accepted: Most

Focus Areas:

  • Pain management
  • Insomnia
  • Mental health
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety and depression

Dr. Leda DeRose, DACM, L.Ac. began her career in Massage Therapy in 2011. She received her education at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine where she earned an Associates of Science degree in Massage Therapy and Asian Body Work, and graduated with a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Now a Licensed Acupuncturist, Leda integrates Traditional Acupuncture, Herbology, and Asian Body Work to fit individual needs. She is passionate about health, wellness, and practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine with compassion and a genuine connection. Leda is dedicated to lifelong learning, professional development, and personal growth. She believes in the principle of facilitating good health by promoting and restoring balance and integration of the body’s natural systems.

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Dr. Maile Helgeson, DACM, L.Ac.

Insurance Accepted: Some

Focus Areas:

  • Orthopedic & Sports Injuries (3 yrs specialty training with local expert Dr. Mark Kastner)
  • Emotional Wellness: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, etc.
  • Hormonal Management

Dr. Maile grew up in Coronado, Ca just across the bay from San Diego. In 1999, she pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from University of California in Berkeley, and then in 2003, she attended the Santa Barbara City College Marine Diving Technology Program and returned to San Diego in 2004. After having both knees rehabilitated with consistent acupuncture treatments, she eventually found her way to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Specializing in orthopedic and sports medicine, she worked as an assistant for three years under the mentorship of Mark Kastner L.Ac and interned at USCD with the young athletes. Maile enjoys riding her bike around University Heights, eating delicious and nutritious food, and practicing Chinese medicine. She is honored to be an assistant in your healing experience.

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Joseph W. Hlebica, L.Ac

Insurance Accepted: Most

Focus Areas:

  • Pediatrics
  • Sports & Athletic Injuries
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Sciatica
Joseph W. Hlebica, L.Ac comes to us from his home in Northern California. He is very grateful to be here, and eager to contribute to the mission of Adams Avenue Integrative Health.
He is a graduate of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine with ten years experience in group and private practice. Following a year-long internship at Rady Children’s Hospital where he acquired specialized training and experience in the application of acupuncture to Pediatric Orthopedic Medicine, Joe traveled to China for further education and clinical observation at the Chengdu University if Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sichuan Province.
Prior to his entry into the Masters program at PCOM, Joe spent 11 years as a science journalist and writing instructor at UC San Diego.  As an undergraduate at the University of Oregon where he earned his Bachelors degree, Joe took an interest in Asian culture, studying Japanese language, literature, and history. He spent 12 years in Japan, during which he experienced acupuncture for the first time as a patient, which kindled his interest in eventually pursuing his own career as a practitioner. In addition to acu/moxa, Joe has specialized training in Meridian Therapy, shiatsu, and Myofascial Release Therapy.
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Dr. Robin Persinger, DACM, L.Ac.

Insurance Accepted: None

Focus Areas:

  • Mental Wellness: Stress, Anxiety, Depression
  • Adrenal Health
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Fertility

Her first experience with alternative therapies was from her father as a child. He had, and still has to this day, a closet full of tinctures, teas, vitamins and a myriad of other old folk cures and modern natural marvels. Inspired by the amazing healing powers of acupuncture and natural cures, she now has over 15 years of education and devotion and continues the pursuit for growth and knowledge in the field. Received her under-graduate education from Bastyr University in Seattle, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Natural Health Sciences, then her graduate degree at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego. She has worked at several specialized satellite clinics including the Pacific Beach Homeless Clinic, the Seniors Clinic in downtown San Diego, and a HIV specific shift in Seattle Washington, and started her private practice in 2006. She is a strong advocate of AAIH’s mission statement and is honored to be a part of the movement towards affordable healthcare and the continued integration and education of alternative therapies in the community.

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How Our Patients Are Healing from the Root Cause

I just underwent an IVF embryo transfer and my doctor recommended acupuncture to help with the implantation process.  Since my transfer, I've been beyond stressed and scared and worried, like what if it doesn't work, will my husband leave me, will I ever be able to have kids.... Etc. I feel none of that now. I feel weightless. Mind, body and soul. I feel so strong and so hopeful. If you've ever been on the fence about acupuncture, just go and try it already. I'm disappointed I waited 27 years to do this. Thank you so much, Joe!

Brianna J. on Yelp
How Our Patients Are Healing from the Root Cause

Leda helped rid me of a lot of chest pain, anxiety, and depression, and I couldn't be more grateful for her.  Adams Ave Integrative Health has been crucial in my journeys of rejuvenation, restoration, and recovery. I am grateful for the compassion and skills of their employees and am look forward to all my future visits

K.S. on Yelp
How Our Patients Are Healing from the Root Cause

I dislocated my thumb and couldn't afford health care. I received Acupuncture everyday for a week and I now have full function. I am forever grateful.

Rebekah B. on Yelp
How Our Patients Are Healing from the Root Cause

This place was fabulous! I def recommend it to anyone...  I got acupuncture from Dr. Maile Helgeson and she was informative, calm, gentle, helpful and had positive soothing energy that really helped the whole process. She also looked thoroughly at my charts to give me the best fit for my body/mind. I will be going back to visit them again soon.

T.T. on Yelp

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1 service to an underserved community member
$10 tax-deductible donation

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back to a community member

All for only $140 per month!

Member credits are valid for one year after issue and roll over month to month, until expiration. Memberships require 6-month commitments and then become month-to-month agreements. After the initial six-month contract period, you can cancel your membership anytime with a 7-day notice before the next billing cycle.
You are welcome to place a membership on hold for up to 2 months at a time; please note you cannot use credits on your account while it is on hold.
Although the standard membership is only valid for one adult and credits cannot be transferred, children under 12 may use their parent/guardian’s membership credits.

Family Memberships are available!

You can also upgrade an individual membership to a family membership. Add any household member and receive an additional 2 credits a month, with a total of 5 credits to share between the two of you. 

Each new person you add to your account results in 2 more credits to your account and costs an additional $95/month each.

Ready to invest in your health? Talk to a team member or call us at 619-546-4806 to sign up!





Members may upgrade Clinical Massage Therapy “half sessions” to a Full or Plus session using multiple credits or by paying an upgrade of $25 per 30 min upgrade. Massage Only Membership is also available.