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Acupuncture Burien
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More Than a Decade of Experience

Philip Kelley graduated from the NW Institute of Acupuncture in Seattle in 2000 and has been practicing locally ever since.

Philip Kelley

Philip Kelley in the officeHow does one become involved with acupuncture as a patient, much less a practitioner? I think that a diverse background helps. I owe thanks to several superb schoolteachers, Walter Hahn and John Hoose, who inspired my interests in visual arts and natural sciences. After starting college as a Biology major, dispirited at how surprisingly “lifeless” the department was, I followed my heart, turned 180° and became a Fine Arts major. With renewed commitment and passion fueling my studies, I particularly admired the values and refinement found in Asian arts and culture. I graduated with a BFA and a lasting interest in Eastern arts, spirituality, and culture.

Following school I apprenticed to a master cabinetmaker and spent several decades as a custom woodworker and artist’s assistant. Then, like many aging artisans, I developed a chronic overuse injury. Great. I “dealt with” the pain for a while (sound familiar?) until, in the spring of 1997, a friend suggested I try the student acupuncture clinic at the NW Institute of Acupuncture (NIAOM) in Seattle. If you've been in chronic pain for some time, think it may never end, and suddenly experience dramatic relief, that has a way of changing your perspective. It did mine.

I couldn't help wondering about the treatment; what was the meaning of these new sensations in my body, where did the idea of inserting needles into acupuncture points to improve health come from, and… what are acupuncture points, anyway? Most puzzling of all; what accounted for acupuncture’s effectiveness? Fascinated, I began reading various books on the subject, and soon found myself in the familiar world of classical Chinese thought and realized “Hey, this actually makes sense to me.”

Sometimes we find our destiny, and sometimes it finds us. Here, within the many-layered realm of Chinese medicine, many interests from my past converged. When destiny calls the heart should listen, and so, my life found a new direction. I enrolled at NIAOM in September 1997, and today I know that I have found my calling in acupuncture.

Now in practice for more than a decade, I combine personal experience, deep respect for Chinese medicine, solid grounding in conventional medicine, and a warm appreciation of each patient’s uniqueness in ways that help my clients access the healing within themselves. Eastern medicine incorporates science, philosophy, creativity, and spirit. It demands knowledge and skill while encouraging intuition, spontaneity, and joy in its practice. From my heart, I look forward to working with you to achieve better health.