Sarah West was born in Massachusetts in 1955 and traveled to the west coast at age 19, seeking opportunities to study acupuncture. In 1974 she began her studies in Oriental Medicine through a tutorship. In 1976 she began a 2 year program of study at California Acupuncture College, graduating in 1978. In 1979 she spent a year at the New England School of Acupuncture, and in 1980 moved to New Mexico, where she completed a year long western herb program as well as a Chinese medical program, graduating from the Santa Fe College of Natural Medicine in 1982.
In 1985 she became a faculty member at Southwest Acupuncture College, where she later attained a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine as the program was developed. During her nine years of working at the college, she served on the board of directors, and was the head of the acupuncture department. In 1990, she escorted a group of students on a month long Chinese medical program in Beijing, for further training and the opportunity to observe the integration of traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine in hospital environments.
Between 1980-1985 Sarah spent a total of 13 months working in villages in Mexico and Guatemala. She worked in several clinics during this time, as well as in the homes of villagers, serving the local population who had very little access to health care. She also spent several months working in a hospital in Oaxaca, where she gained valuable clinical experience assisting the attending physician, which included performing acupuncture anesthesia for several surgical cases.
In 1981 Sarah worked with the acupuncture methadone detoxification program through the University of New Mexico. She provided acupuncture treatment in clinics in Albuquerque and Espanola, for the management of methadone and heroin withdrawal. The following year she received a grant to provide acupuncture treatment for substance abuse in the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos of New Mexico. She traveled to the pueblos of Taos, San Juan, Santa Clara, and Picuris, and continued the acupuncture program for 9 years at New Moon Lodge located at San Juan Pueblo.
From 1982 –1993, Sarah was in private practice in Santa Fe, N.M. Before moving to Hawaii in 1994, Sarah spent a year in Michigan working with osteopathic physicians, and specialized in chronic pain and severe cases of TMJ syndrome.
Throughout her career, Sarah has attended many workshops and training seminars in a variety of healing modalities. In 1983, she become a certified emergency medical technician. She began her studies in craniosacral therapy in 1986, and eventually studied the Upledger cranial system in 1993, which she often integrates with acupuncture treatment.'
Sarah attended courses for one year in transformational counseling at the Southwest College of Life Sciences in Santa Fe, and attended many workshops in body oriented psychotherapy, particularly the Hakomi method.
She has also taken seminars in various forms of bodywork, meditation, Qi Gong, Tai Chi Chuan, western and Chinese herbal therapy, as well as Tibetan and Ayurvedic Medicine. .In 1977 she had the opportunity to live and study with Taoist Master Hua Ching Ni for 2 months, a well known author of many book on Taoism as well as a translation of the I Ching.
Since 1994 Sarah has been in private practice in Hawaii, and has been a faculty member at HICOM ( formerly TCMCH ) for 15 years, specializing in point functions, locations, and channel theory, as well as serving as a clinical supervisor. She maintains a private practice in Hilo, and has specialized in a variety of disorders over the years, particularly sleep and anxiety disorders, TMJ, women’s health, digestive health, autoimmunity, addiction, and of course pain. She incorporates herbs, diet, and craniosacral therapy to enhance the efficacy of her work.