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In ancient China a doctor’s role was to help keep people well: to prevent them from getting sick. This was done through diet, therapeutic exercises, herbs, and acupuncture. The central theme of Chinese medicine’s several thousand year history is balance. Through observation by both patient and doctor signs of deviation from the body’s normal state of balance are detected and corrected early on, before they result in serious health problems.


My role as a health care provider is to help my patients live healthier more balanced lives. Lifestyle changes can be difficult and part of my role is to give encouragement. I am also very practical and meet people where they are. If you come to see me for your back pain, allergies, menstrual problems or headaches these will be our first priority. During treatment many patients find they slow down, relax, and reconnect with themselves. Acupuncture treatments can be profoundly restorative, giving one a feeling of vibrancy and health from the inside.


My acupuncture practice specializes in chronic pain, orthopedics, and sports medicine. Advanced training has evolved my style of treatment to be a hybrid of traditional meridian-based acupuncture and western anatomically-based treatment. This involves the use of trigger points in the muscles throughout the body with specific protocols for treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.


My Philosophy


Acupuncture as primary care

As primary care, acupuncture and herbs treat a myriad of complaints that are not life threatening, but often compromise people's daily quality of life (such as fatigue, allergies, pain conditions, headaches, PMS, etc.) For these complaints and many others, acupuncture and herbs offer not only symptomatic relief, but assist the body to restore its optimal functioning and assure that problems will not easily return.


Acupuncture as complementary care

Acupuncture establishes an important intermediate niche in our current healthcare system. Western allopathic care is best suited to treating conditions that involve emergency medical care, or conditions in which the body can no longer sustain its functions without serious drug or surgical interventions. Many things fall short of this level of intervention, and while I wouldn't suggest using acupuncture to setting a broken bone or other severe trauma, it can be very useful in speeding recovery from such a trauma after western medical care has been provided. This is also true, post-surgically, to aid recovery or concurrently with chemotherapy to strengthen the immune system and reduce side effects from harsh yet necessary therapies. Many western medical providers are now recommending acupuncture to compliment their own treatment modalities as acupuncture further establishes itself within mainstream medicine.




Brian Barlay, L.Ac. has over 30 years of experience in the healing arts. He received an Asian Studies degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1983. Graduating from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco in 1991 he then received post-graduate training at the Chengdu Teaching Hospital in Sichuan, China.


Brian was an Associate Professor on the faculty of the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley (AIMC) for over 10 years, teaching numerous classes in point location and clinical supervision.


He has been in private practice for over 23 years and founded the Temescal Acupuncture Center in 2003, creating an integrative clinic to serve the North Oakland community and beyond. He was recently voted best acupuncturist (“needle whisperer”) in the East Bay Express 2010 reader’s poll.


Working with a variety of healthcare providers, Brian has been the one of Kaiser Permanente’s acupuncturists of choice and has received referrals from more than 150 Oakland Kaiser physicians for the treatment of chronic pain.


Brian is a lifetime Oakland resident and has been married for 28 years and has two children. He has a 20 year background of teaching and practicing Tai Chi Chuan and is an avid, competitive tennis player.



California Acupuncture Board, Lisc. # CA 4444 in 1993

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in 1991

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